Are You Ready? Fight! SSF4:AE DRM WTF

By Lewie Procter on May 26th, 2011 at 11:23 am.

Even Ryu is burning with rage about this one.

UPDATE: Capcom appear to be reconsidering certain elements of their DRM plans, but removing GFWL is not on the table, and they say that removing the DRM completely is “not feasible”. They also discuss removing the DRM from legitimate copies of the game in the event of it being cracked.

Here’s a new one. The original Street Fighter 4 sold well on the PC by Capcom’s own admission, but apparently some folk found a way to acquire it without paying for it, so they didn’t bother releasing the PC version of Super Street Fighter 4 that they had already more or less developed. I hope no one tells them that piracy happens on consoles too, or they’ll maybe stop releasing any games, and just produce them for their own amusement. They’ve had a change of heart for the latest iteration though: they’ll be letting PC gamers give them their money if they so choose. Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition is coming to PC, and it’s learnt a few new DRM tricks too.

As a mechanism to ensure no one will ever be able to pirate it ever, Capcom are locking out features of the game unless you are logged in to GFWL, and online. If you are offline, you will only be able to use 15 of the cast of 39 characters (that’s 61.5% of the characters you will be cut off from, percentage fans), you lose the ability to save any progress in the challenge mode, you cannot save any settings, and you will be cut off from any of the (purely cosmetic) DLC that you have bought.

If your internet connection drops, or if their servers are ever unavailable, here’s what will happen:

You’ll be able to keep doing what you’re doing until you come to a logical break point, like exiting to a menu, at which point you’ll be asked to sign back in. Assuming your PC is back online, everything will continue as it should, just like on Xbox 360.

If you are not able to get back online, or if their servers remain down, you will be forced to exit without saving, and start again in the restricted offline mode.

GFWL has always had restrictions in place to protect the achievements system, as promoting the Xbox brand is obviously amongst the biggest priorities Microsoft have for GFWL, but restricting access to content that has no bearing on achievements just seems arbitrarily draconian. I understand, even if I don’t appreciate, that they feel the need to maintain the integrity of leaderboards and achievements, and GFWL does serve that purpose. However, couldn’t they just let people not interested in any of that console guff just opt out of achievements and public leaderboards?

I’m not sure if ensuring that the pirated version has a better offline mode than the official version will help them realise their goal of 0% piracy rate either. For a lot of people this DRM will probably be tolerable (especially as the online SF4 bouts are arguably its major draw), but it’s turned me right off. I’m also not too keen on them setting the digital RRP at £30 and the physical RRP at £20 (and some places selling it for as low as £17.86).

On the plus side, it has fairly meagre system requirements, an acceptably long list of graphical options, comprehensive Xbox and not-Xbox controller support, and matchmaking that pairs people up based on the benchmark results (for framerate reasons that I am no way near good enough at fighting games to fully understand).

You can read all the ins and outs on the DRM and all sorts of other details about the PC version over at the Capcom Unity blog. It’s worth a read if only to see Capcom apparently encouraging people who live in any of the 160 countries that are unsupported by GFWL to fib about where they live so that they are able to play the game.

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199 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    UW says:

    Honestly, from a purely selfish perspective, having to be online has very little effect on me with games. I’d much rather the games arrived with over the top DRM than not arriving at all.
    Still, if my connection does become unstable.. I could always get the pirated version which will probably be unaffected by all of this in due course.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      And you much rather are raped in the ass, than not to get that corn candy, aren’t you.
      Holy shit Batman.

      PROTIP:
      http://btjunkie.org/torrent/Street-Fighter-4-PC-DVD-MULTI/679655f8c2588196d5cae99885e327aa104610ae0579
      http://m0001.gamecopyworld.com/games/pc_street_fighter_4.shtml

      Has anyone forgotten, that DRM can by definition never ever physically work?
      It’s not like, but exactly, giving your CPU a encrypted file, a key, and a algorithm to use the key to decrypt the file, and expects the CPU to blindly execute the list of commands in the algorithm only exactly like it’s written down. Despite the CPU being under your control, and the list of commands being a simple, editable, file.
      One has to be on LSD, cocaine, AND speed, to actually think this will keep anything secure.
      Which, looking at some managers in the “entertainment biz”, might be a bit of an understatement.
      It’s basically a big fraud scheme. To trick those infected with the “intellectual property” delusion, into paying money… to alienate their own customer base.
      Way to go…

    • Premium User Badge

      Crimsoneer says:

      Actually, most of the cracks for this sort of thing rely on offline mode being available – eg, in Ass Creed Bro, the crack works, but you won’t be able to access any of the long term online features. This might be quite a clever move from capcom. I suspect the cracked version will be closer to a demo tahn anything else.

    • Archonsod says:

      Having to be online doesn’t bother me.

      Having to log into GFWL, that bothers me.

    • Premium User Badge

      UW says:

      Maybe you’re misunderstanding the actual purpose of DRM and copy protection.

      Firstly, it’s to deter casual players from sharing the game. If I bought a game and wanted to give my friend a copy? Couldn’t do it. Crackers will crack it, yeah, but it doesn’t mean that having DRM won’t have SOME effect on piracy.

      Secondly, what they really want to do is prevent 0-day piracy. That’s the most important time in a AAA game’s life, in the first few days of release when it’s fresh in everyone’s mind. If a pirated version of the game is not available at that point, the people who really want it early will pay the price of entry. The longer a game goes without being cracked, the more successful the DRM. What makes this tough is that once a system is cracked, it becomes easier to crack the next time. In order to have a good chance of consistently preventing 0-day piracy you would have to develop a new scheme for every game. Probably not worth the money.

      DRM is like putting doors with locks on your house. Realistically anyone could get in if they were willing to take the associated risks, like smashing a window or something – what it does is deter casual passers-by from strolling inside and taking what they feel like.

      The problem with this is, people are giving out free copies of your house keys to pretty much anyone who knows where to find them.

    • Nalano says:

      Focusing on Day 1 sales to the exclusion and alienation of all else is the same reason, UW, certain developers try to issue bans on reviews. It’s a brazen, cynical attempt to dupe people into buying a mediocre product by blasting them with a ceaseless hype campaign and hoping that, by the time they realize they’ve bought a dud, their credit card went through and – lo and behold – there’s no return policy.

      How did we get to the point where

      - You can’t use your legally-purchased product except under close supervision.
      - You can’t back-up your legally-purchased product.
      - You can’t use your legally-purchased product without bundled item you don’t need nor want.
      - You can’t lend or give your legally-purchased product to a friend.
      - You can’t return your legally-purchased product.

      Seriously. I thought we had commerce clauses and consumer rights protection and the better business bureau. But then, considering every third commercial on TV is either “ask your doctor about X today!” or “have you or a family member died while taking X?” I suppose consumer rights is simply out of the question.

    • Reapy says:

      Anytime a game is described to me to have this 24×7 online or game is crippled bs automatically removes it from consideration to purchase. Hell, I remember throwing a fit when I bought dow2 at the store, because my internet was down for a few days, and I needed something else to do besides my regular. I couldn’t install it because it had to activate via steam. WTF. CD in my hand. Still cant activate it.

      This whole if you lose your connection to GFWL or your internet connection you can’t play the f’ing game, ffffffffff that, just like AC2 on the PC.

    • Metonymy says:

      It’s cool that other people understand this. The point is not making piracy impossible, it’s in making piracy hard, so that they people on the fence go ahead and pay the money.

      If you’ve ever ‘examined’ the pirated SC2, you’ll see it was downright difficult to pirate, even after it had been successfully cracked by several different methods. By the time there was a relatively easy method available, a month had passed, and no one even cared enough to produce a clean release.

      Upshot of this is that torrents were probably the worst thing to happen to PC gaming. It makes piracy way too easy. (This is not a condemnation of torrents, its just an observation.)

    • Nalano says:

      The flipside of that, Metronomy, is that this self-destructive myopy companies have for DRM and anti-pirating measures don’t work against pirates and only serve to alienate paying customers.

      A game should be long-lasting. If sales of your game and all the hype surrounding your game peter out inside of a month, then your game ain’t worth diddly, and that coupled with the bad press and bad blood you get for strangling your actual customers with this draconian DRM makes it difficult to develop a brand.

      I will never ‘examine’ SC2 – legitimately or otherwise – because SC2 is horribly derivative of SC despite ten years of progression in the genre, Blizzard is actively attempting to sell the same game three times over, and furthermore I hate that somebody on Blizzard’s board of directors actually suggested they publish the private information of their customers. They didn’t follow through with it thanks to the overwhelming backlash, but that they were thinking about it at all is more than a little chilling.

    • AiglosCelt says:

      @Metonymy

      This is like saying my mother was the worst thing that ever happened to my father because she made him beat her.

    • jalf says:

      Firstly, it’s to deter casual players from sharing the game. If I bought a game and wanted to give my friend a copy? Couldn’t do it. Crackers will crack it, yeah, but it doesn’t mean that having DRM won’t have SOME effect on piracy.

      Sigh… And this is why DRM doesn’t work. It is attacking a problem that hasn’t existed for 10 years.

      If a casual gamer wants to try a game, he either borrows the disc, or he visits the pirate bay. He certainly does not go and prod his friend, asking him to “please install the tools on your PC you need to burn a copy of a DVD while bypassing any copy protection that may be in place, then burn a copy of the game disc and give it to me”.

      Apparently, DRM vendors (and the few gamers who try to justify it) are still living in the 80′s, where games are copied by inserting a floppy and copying the files.

      Good grief, wake up. Casual pirates are precisely the ones who use torrents. They’re the ones who benefit from cracks. They’re not the ones engaging in ancient and arcane rituals in order to create a reliable copy of a game on a disposable DVD.

  2. Turbobutts says:

    Well, I was planning on buying it but Capcom seem to do everything they can to not get any money.

    • Calneon says:

      If you buy the game, you will get a restricted offline mode where you can’t save your progress, and can only use 15/39 characters.

      If you pirate the game, you will get an unrestricted version that allows you to save your game and use all available characters.

      Clever!

    • DrGonzo says:

      If you pirate the game you get a completely functioning version I bet my socks on it.

      also, I bought the previous 2 games and 2 controllers. Fuck em if they expect me to pay for this.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      If you buy the game, you’re telling them that their DRM scheme is ok and they should keep it.

      If you pirate the game you’re telling them that their DRM scheme is not enough and they should either make it worse, or give up making games altogether.

      The consumer just can’t win.

    • Premium User Badge

      tikey says:

      @Memphis-Ahn: You could not play it at all.
      Don’t buy it, don’t pirate it.

    • AiglosCelt says:

      thus telling them that pc is a dead market and they shouldn’t bother making games for it.

  3. Zogtee says:

    Well, that makes it easy. I’ll be getting the (inevitable) dodgy version then.

    • kikito says:

      So you are going to buy it.

      (tsssh-splash!)

    • Zogtee says:

      What can I say? I lolled. :D

    • bokkiedog says:

      “It’s vitally important that it be possible for creative people to make a living off their work”

      I can’t see why that should be the case. Many creative people do not make a living off their work and yet remain creative and productive. If a group in society desires that a creative person be able to increase the frequency of his output, then that group will, indeed, fund that work (see Kickstarter, patronage et al). Why this requires a government-protected monopoly is beyond me.

      But well done on the proper use of the subjunctive!

    • DrGonzo says:

      If cliffski wasn’t a developer he would have been banned. You may disagree with Rii but thats no reason to be horrible to him. He stated his views politely and you respond with puerile sweary abuse. You read like someone who has no justification for his views other than his own wealth backed into a corner.

  4. poop says:

    its like all of my favorite parts of pc gaming ahve convened in one place

  5. magnus says:

    So I guess that means another excuse to ‘give it to the man’ from people who make a political statement out of their tight-arsedness.(facepalm)

    • cliffski says:

      Yup, I’ve already counted 3 assholes with self-entitlement issues on the thread so far. Tragic isn’t it.
      This is why everyone I know thinks I’m mad for not making unpiratable facebook games and MMOs.

    • Rii says:

      “Yup, I’ve already counted 3 assholes with self-entitlement issues on the thread so far.”

      Who are the other two devs in the thread?

    • pakoito says:

      Count me out of “give it to the man” and add me to the “why should I buy if I cannot lanparty with the game?”

    • AbyssUK says:

      I’ll buy it… but bypass the DRM what does that make me ??

      Edit: Also to Hijack the reply… but actually Cliffski I for one think that a facebook version of democracy could be pretty awesome.

    • cliffski says:

      What the fuck?
      So you think developers who expect to be paid for their work if people want to play it are the ones with entitlement issues, not the gamers who think the world owes them free entertainment?
      get a grip.

    • pakoito says:

      I know you’re answering the other guy, but in my case I’ll HAVE TO pirate it because I want to play offline with all characters when I play against my friends anywhere. I *may* buy it on hyper-low discount because this games last for 10 years easily (3rd Strike anyone?) but with their stupid DRM when GFWL goes down no PC player will be able to play.

      PS:It has local vs, right?

    • el_Chi says:

      I *was* going to buy this, but now that Capcom expect all PC games to be pirated, I’m going to teach them a lesson by pirating it. So nurr.

    • Rii says:

      @AbyssUK
      The law says it makes you a criminal. So much for the law.

      @cliffski

      “So you think developers who expect to be paid for their work if people want to play it are the ones with entitlement issues, not the gamers who think the world owes them free entertainment?”

      Of course. You just said it yourself: developers *expect* to be paid for their work, i.e. they believe they are entitled to be paid whenever someone, somewhere, enjoys what can be said, indirectly, to be the fruits of their labours. That is to say, they feel entitled to infringe upon the liberty of others and rip money from their hands. Or rather, they seek to preemptively infringe upon the liberty of others via that instrument known as law – that is to say, by the threat of violence.

      In contrast your characterisation of pirates is entirely inaccurate. Nobody expects someone to provide them with entertainment. Nobody – save, perhaps, Kim Jong Il – is going to point a gun at your head and force you to create entertainment. All pirates ask for is liberty to engage in such endeavours as they will to the extent that they do not harm others. Liberty is all that is asked for, and it is you who would stand against it, seeking rather to crush others beneath your heel.

    • mjig says:

      How dare people not support business practices they disagree with? Preposterous!

    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, all pirates want is endless free entertainment without any need to compensate the creators of said entertainment in any way, what could possibly be unreasonable, entitled, or immoral about that?

      Don’t like the DRM? Don’t buy the game. You don’t get to have your cake and eat it too. Pirates are what got us into this mess in the first place, more piracy is not going to get us back out of it.

    • cliffski says:

      Frankly, if your attitude to the entire games industry, which is entirely IP, is that the mere idea of paying for games is absurd, then you can go fuck yourself.
      I’m sure you feel morally superior to people who actually believe in paying people to create the games that you play, and feel that somehow you are ‘special’ and that the mere peasants who pay for games (thus enabling them to be made) are lesser than yourself.
      What a horrible, sad and indefensible attitude.

      You are the reason DRM exists. never forget that.
      You are the reason the sid meiers of this world now want to make farmville games. You can probably spend the rest of your life moaning at about how they are beneath you too.
      it’s truly fucking sad.
      Anyway, back to work on some worthless game you consider it beneath you to actually pay for…

    • KikiJiki says:

      I see the blood mist of generalisation has descended upon cliffski already.
      Make sure he doesn’t bite you, rabies tests are painful.

    • Vinraith says:

      Cliffski’s pretty obviously responding to Rii, there, and frankly he’s doing so more calmly than I think I would in his place.

    • Rii says:

      @Vinraith

      “Yeah, all pirates want is endless free entertainment without any need to compensate the creators of said entertainment in any way, what could possibly be unreasonable, entitled, or immoral about that?”

      Endless free entertainment already exists. There are far more out-of-copyright works out there than one could hope to experience in a lifetime. Or are you suggesting that it is immoral for me to read Shakespeare or, say, Wikipedia?

      There are certain schisms underlying all of this. One is the conflation of law with morality, the other is the entirely nonsensical notion of intellectual property, which in turn builds upon the very shaky ground that the notion of property itself resides upon. It’s always interesting to observe folks struggle with various minutiae of the debate: they can intuitively sense that something is wrong with all this, but the rotten foundations go so deep that they are rarely perceived.

    • Premium User Badge

      Eric says:

      I certainly don’t intend to pirate it. I just don’t intend to buy it now, either.

    • Vinraith says:

      Rii, you can philosophize and obfuscate all you like, but if your employer abruptly decided that you should no longer be paid for your work you’d be howling mad. I really don’t care what excuses you cloak your behavior in, the notion that creative people don’t deserve to be able to make a living off their creations is indefensible simply because the logical consequences of said notion are unthinkable.

    • John Walker says:

      Rii – I think you’ve muddled two issues.

      Nobody *deserves* money because they created something. That’s a horrible, stupid mistake that people make. “I made something – I deserve money!” The universe owes no one a salary.

      But your conclusion, despite saying that consumers cannot demand that the artist create, that this means that consumers DO *deserve* the resulting entertainment of the artist’s creation is equally ludicrous. The arrogance of your remarks demonstrates you really haven’t understood why artists aren’t automatically owed something, when you think consumers are.

      I absolutely agree that “intellectual property” is grotesque, and copyright laws are one of the most wretched and demeaning aspects of modern life. But the solution to such greed is not greed!

      In a society that understands true worth, an artist would be compensated for his work in response to his worthwhile creation. People should want to give Cliffski money (or the equivalent) if they love his games, because they believe he has earned it, and they want to create a situation where he is capable of producing more.

      You appear to want one liberty for consumers, and a lack of it for creators. It’s an peculiar position, where I think you’ve begun to embrace the freedom we should be offered, but then somehow let it become corrupted by the same innate greed that drives the issue in the first place.

    • Rii says:

      @cliffski
      “Frankly, if your attitude to the entire games industry, which is entirely IP, is that the mere idea of paying for games is absurd, then you can go fuck yourself.
      I’m sure you feel morally superior to people who actually believe in paying people to create the games that you play, and feel that somehow you are ‘special’ and that the mere peasants who pay for games (thus enabling them to be made) are lesser than yourself.”

      Wherever would you get that idea that I think it’s absurd to pay for games? I pay for games all the time. Because I choose to. I haven’t even pirated a game in years. Not that there’s anything wrong with pirating games mind you, I just can’t be bothered.

      Indeed, the fact that you leapt to this conclusion about my behaviour from my comments thus far indicates just how deep your entitlement complex runs: I don’t grant your asserted right – via the law – to infringe upon my liberty, therefore I must also not of my own free will choose to give you money. Does not compute.

    • KikiJiki says:

      @Vinraith

      It’s pretty obvious that in this case cliffski is replying to Rii, but considering he doesn’t make that explicit I wouldn’t be surprised if someone found his stream of vitriol, using the word ‘you’ constantly to be targeted at themselves.

      It should be noted that I’m not a pirate, and also have no intention of buying SSFIV, but I do find the notion of releasing defective (note, not buggy, withholding files needed to run the game to stream them or unlock them online is defective. Not everyone even in this day and age has reliable or even any internet access) software to be indefensible in any manner, much less the ‘someone please hit me in the face’ attitude that cliffski takes.

    • Archonsod says:

      And of course the question of why anyone would be writing games, for free, when they could be using those same talents to be writing banking apps or the like, for sixty grand.

    • Terraval says:

      Wow, I actually feel myself on Cliffski’s side, such is the nonsense being thrown up by Rii. First time for everything I suppose.

      Rii: You have no right morally or legally to acquire a copy of somebody else’s game and play it without reimbursing the responsible people for their time and effort. Your stance of denial to the phenomenon of “intellectual copyright” shows a laughable misunderstanding as to how the entire service industry operates. An industry that makes up an enormous proportion of the global economy, which if anything demonstrates a pretty goddamn sound reason as to the validity of intellectual copyright.

    • Zogtee says:

      I don’t think I deserve the game for free. I’d be happy to pay for it, as long as the DRM isn’t unreasonable.

      I buy shitloads of games from Steam and GoG, and haven’t pirated anything in 10 fucking years, so I refuse to feel bad about this.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Kiki

      You’re aware that cliffski releases his games DRM-free, yes? I agree that Capcom’s behavior here is completely indefensible, and would agree with you that a product released with this kind of DRM is essentially defective. This subthread has drifted well away from a discussion of this particular title and DRM scheme, though.

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      Rii, I am in favor of looser intellectual property rights, but to remove them altogether would eliminate incentives for people to create the arts and entertainment. It would not be a viable use of time and resources for anyone to make games or movies on the scale that they are now. Bottom line: people need to have a place to live and food to eat. If you propose doing away with intellectual property rights, you need to propose a counter system that can take its place and ensure that creative works and art continue.

      And don’t say government subsidies and taxes.

    • John Walker says:

      Um, Terraval, into which rock are the tenets of intellectual property and the service industry etched, since the beginning of time?

      There are a lot of people throwing around a lot of weighty insults here, but I’m seeing little argument to defend why.

      If someone can demonstrate how and why a person who creates something automatically deserves a living from their creation, we might get somewhere. Until then, this isn’t moving forward.

      P.S. “The arms industry makes up an enormous proportion of the global economy, which if anything demonstrates a pretty goddamn sound reason as to the validity of having lots of wars.”

    • Vinraith says:

      If someone can demonstrate how and why a person who creates something automatically deserves a living from their creation, we might get somewhere.

      Where is anyone even suggesting such a thing?

      It’s vitally important that it be possible for creative people to make a living off their work, but I don’t see anyone here arguing that anyone who creates anything is automatically entitled to a living.

    • bokkiedog says:

      “f you propose doing away with intellectual property rights, you need to propose a counter system that can take its place and ensure that creative works and art continue”.

      You know, that’s true. There was absolutely no creativity nor art until the formulation of copyright law in the 18th century.

      I guess this means that all those ancient tribal sculptures, medieval paintings, early baroque pieces of music and even cave drawings have been badly mis-dated! You could win a nobel prize for this realisation!

    • KikiJiki says:

      @Vinraith

      I’m aware that cliffski releases his games DRM free yes, but that doesn’t excuse the attitude being foisted upon us here.

      It’s not like releasing DRM-free games give you a license to act like a cock.

    • Premium User Badge

      lhzr says:

      don’t worry, cliffski, people can still buy the game second hand, which, as we know, is worse than piracy.
      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-05-17-lionhead-pre-owned-worse-than-pc-piracy

      it’s all perfectly legal, but i’m sure you’ll be happy to tell those second hand buyers that they can “go fuck themselves” too.

    • DrazharLn says:

      I violate copyright laws, so do you, most probably if you have ever leant a CD to a friend or let a friend install software using a key that you’re already using.

      That said, I do not wantonly download games for free, I pay for them. Like I pay for music, despite also ripping music from my friends’ and family’s collections. I think the crux of the problem is that selling so-called intellectual property involves the sale of data.

      The thing with information is that it costs resources (time, skilled professionals) to “create” in the first instance but then very little to nothing to reproduce, a reality not reflected in the distribution of the information where (typically) copies of the information are sold.

      So, I want to see creatives rewarded for their work but I don’t want anyone to pay for copies of a work, because paying for copies is just this clunky, indirect system we have at the moment for rewarding them.

      I assert that selling copies of a work is a bad system because: it restricts access to that work to the subset of people who can afford to pay; it discourages sharing of resources (source code, artistic and/or engineering principles) between artists and the world; it encourages crazy, hard to enforce restriction policies on the distribution of the copies.

      Unfortunately, we’re left with with a much saner and humane distribution model (Open Source, Free as in Speech and as in Beer) but no easy way to reward the creators. It’s a problem I am not confident that capitalism can solve adequately.

      And so I buy copies of information.

    • Terraval says:

      Hi John, I feel a more suitable analogy would perhaps be:
      “The arms industry makes up an enormous proportion of the global economy, which if anything demonstrates a pretty goddamn sound reason as to the validity of being an arms dealer.”
      My point was not moral but practical. In the context of this sentence it was probably not the right one to make.

      As far as questioning the service industry is concerned I’m not entirely sure what your point is. Are you trying to insinuate that it is an undesirable thing? In the context of modern industry and entertainment, where the sphere of human knowledge is so vast, it is the only possible recourse to maximise the quantity of production and the quality of entertainment. Apologies if my addressing of this point is vague but I feel an critique of the service industry itself is equally nebulous.

      I believe intellectual property law exists for a pretty solid reason: there are people in this world who excel at certain vocations and art forms. Intellectual copyright allows those people creating such works to focus entirely on their craft while maintaining a secure income. If The National or Gabe Newell are able to focus entirely on making new art then the gain to us all is positive.

      I would imagine you agree with this, I believe your gripe may be not with the ideology of intellectual copyright but instead with the practicalities; that musicians and the like are able to amass untold fortunes through hoarding the fruits of their craft and the rights to it. If there was a sensible way to mitigate this unbalancing I would be happy to consider it.

      I recall you saying in an old RPS podcast that you believed musicians should be able to make a maximum amount on any given song. You were joking about the practicalities I believe, but the point is an interesting one. Perhaps a suitable recourse would be to implement a generous maximum income one can derive from a song, at which point the product is still sold for the requisite amount but the proceeds instead go to some charitable body? That way artists still have some measure of protection but the greed you rail against is curbed. Ideologically I have some ill feelings towards anything that curbs personal freedoms in such a fashion, being a stout libertarian, but perhaps the overall gain would be worth some sacrifice of principals?

      Allow me to state for clarity I agree with you entirely on the subject of DRM, and believe that RPS has been a beacon in the dark as far as logic is concerned on the matter. It is indeed ludicrous that publishers seek to prevent piracy by making paying customers suffer exclusively.

    • Wilson says:

      @bokkiedog – True, but bear in mind that you had a very different situation back then. If you suddenly did away with the concept of IP today, I have no idea what the consequences would be, but although you aren’t going to see the end of all art (and no-one is suggesting that would happen) things would change a lot. Medieval paintings would have been paid for by someone (e.g. the church, wealthy folk), and cave paintings don’t need as much material stuff as say, making a AAA computer game.

    • Dworgi says:

      “So, I want to see creatives rewarded for their work but I don’t want anyone to pay for copies of a work, because paying for copies is just this clunky, indirect system we have at the moment for rewarding them.”

      I fully agree with this. I kind of think that once a certain threshold (the “price” of the game) has been reached, it should just become free. Things like Kickstarter, but on a bigger scale – people become patrons of the arts instead of consumers, paying pre-emptively for creative people to continue creating art for the benefit of all. The system could scale, as well, the price of an indie game being a few hundred to a few thousand pounds, and StarCraft 2 requiring 30 million to get released.

      The per-copy cost of games is rooted in an age of scarcity that just doesn’t exist anymore. DRM is trying to mimic physical goods – a pointless restriction in an age where the only cost is that of creating the work to begin with and distribution is free.

      Is it so inconceivable that artists could be paid a salary to continue creating, rather than hoping to create something that’s wildly popular and makes them rich? It’s just greed – if the crowd can keep you in a steady job creating, is that not better than the hit-and-miss nature of sales?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      I remember when Cliffski used to be anti-DRM.

      Shame what the games industry can do to a man.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Cliff is anti-DRM, he’s also anti-piracy.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      I remember when people understood the concept that if you keep ripping people’s stuff off, they’re just going to stop making stuff for you to rip off & go do something else with their time which they won’t get ripped off for doing.

      Go go internet gamer entitlement complex!

    • Deano2099 says:

      The issue being of course, is that if suddenly all of Clifski’s words finally hit home, and pirates around the world decide he’s right and decide not to pirate this game, what’s going to happen?

      “Oh did you see how well that new DRM system worked? Let’s used that on all our games.”

      Sorry, but if you are anti-DRM, you have to be willing to at least tolerate a degree of piracy on games with heavy DRM. And be entirely against piracy of games with no DRM.

      I think it’s an entirely valid position to fight against DRM by encouraging piracy of DRM’d games, as long as it’s matched by equal attempts to discourage piracy of games with no DRM. I really do think ‘more piracy’ is an option in getting us out of this situation.

      Also bemused by the idea that Facebook games and MMOs don’t get pirated. WoW gets pirated, there are pirate servers, they may not be as good, but it happens. Likewise if anyone ever releases a properly great FB game that costs a good chunk of money to properly enjoy it, it’ll get ripped-off or pirated. There’s no doubt to that at all. FB games don’t get pirated at the moment as they’re mostly free and not that great.

    • Premium User Badge

      heretic says:

      maybe if cliffski wasn’t so rude people would buy his games…

    • Teddy Leach says:

      EDIT: Sod it, I want no part in this argument.

    • Rii says:

      @John Walker
      “But your conclusion, despite saying that consumers cannot demand that the artist create, that this means that consumers DO *deserve* the resulting entertainment of the artist’s creation is equally ludicrous.”

      I don’t believe that consumers deserve anything. Indeed, I have often spoken against sentiments of consumer entitlement whenever they arise in relation to certain questionable practices on the part of developers, publishers, or whatever. I am as firmly opposed to consumer interference in the activities of the artist as I am interference by the artist in the activities of the consumer.

      The last game I tried to pirate was Mass Effect, a few years back now. Some short way into the game I encountered a game-breaking bug which it turned out had been introduced by the developers as an anti-piracy measure. I didn’t feel cheated of an experience I deserved, rather I actually laughed at the ingenuity of the anti-piracy measure.

      Consumers have no right to the artist’s creation. If someone made a game and sat on it, nobody would have any right to take it from him. But once the game has been released, the art is no longer associated with the artist. My downloading via Bittorrent however many gigabytes of 1s and 0s which collectively translate via various wizardries to something we can call ‘Mass Effect’ is something that concerns me and however many generous seeders there are, and nobody else. But the artist – well, the artist’s legal team – wants to barge in on this conversation – this free exchange of information – of which he is not a part and start barking orders.

      A possibly useful anecdote: I pirate films all the time, I’ve got about ten sitting in my ‘to watch’ folder right now. If things go as they usually do, I’ll probably end up buying 2-4 of them. I have a considerable DVD collection and the vast majority of it consists of films that I originally saw illegally or otherwise for free. There is absolutely no doubt that the film industry has benefited enormously from my so freely being able to appreciate its works.

      “In a society that understands true worth, an artist would be compensated for his work in response to his worthwhile creation. People should want to give Cliffski money (or the equivalent) if they love his games, because they believe he has earned it, and they want to create a situation where he is capable of producing more.”

      I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    • bhlaab says:

      I think I’ve heard the word ‘entitled’ in relation to video games enough for one lifetime, thanks. I’d prefer it if devs and publishers spent less time trying to work out my personality defects and more time making PC ports that aren’t terrible of games that aren’t terrible.

    • MadMatty says:

      What a horribly muddled debate!
      GFWL is a piece of turd- its from Microsoft- comes from people with no connection to actual reality.
      After a month after reinstalling Windows Vista (which is undeniably crap) it suddenly went into “not genuine mode”- i dont know what happened… maybe i hit a mahine activation limit, maybe some keygenners used my key somewhere else.
      Fuck it, i havent bothered phoning them now even after 2 months. It´s still working, now, just without annoying updates haha (even tho they did try to pester me with Explorer 9, still haha)
      There was a webform so you could contact Windows support, but alas when clicked it tells you that this option is not supported by my windows version. sweet (sarcasm).
      I also found out that because of this, my legally paid for GFWL/Steam version of DiRT 2 (double DRM anyone?) stopped working.
      I am currently running a copy… anyone surprised?
      As for pirating, well…. its not like people in general will suddenly find that extra 50£ under their couch if every game was 100% protected. There ARE some stingy pricks around, who dont pay because they dont have to, but in general i think id see people playing their old games more, and maybe reading books or watching TV instead of playing games, if DRM was 100% uncrackable.
      To think that creative or other types of persons in the “Information” business don´t deserve money for their work, is a ridicoulous notion however.
      They ARE doing hard work, and even tho a DVD only costs half a quid, doesn´t mean that money and work didn´t go into the making of the game, and giving the creators some money to live on.
      If it weren´t so, we´d only see very small scale freeware games (anyone?) which some enthusiasts would work on AFTER THEY GOT HOME FROM THEIR PAYING JOBS.
      People should try to reward the game creators that makes the type of games they love, or else they are simply bigots, although in a small way. I certainly can´t see why anyone would want to be PROUD of being a pirate.
      Having said that, the righteous boloney coming from some people, when they talk about “pirates ruining gaming” leads me to thinking of these “self entitlement” issues also.
      Some kind of righteous rage against some guy who got something for free, when you paid for it. Fairly simple.
      Would 100% uncrackable DRM give higher software sales?
      Slightly, I presume, but quite far away from the figures quoted by some industry types, who have made their deductions from faulty, and incomplete statistical analysis. They probably don´t even play games themselves, so they have little contact with “the average gamer”
      Will DRM ever be uncrackable?
      No it won´t. No computer system or software is uncrackable, its almost as sure as the law of gravity.
      I like Streetfighter, but i prefer Tekken…. so I *might* get SF4 turbo on sale or on the cheap some time in the future…. tho i hate GFWL.
      The waffle of finding your passwords (anyone else misplace/lose them regularly?), doing annoying updates, and now getting cut off from game if youre not online, seems to be taking a piss at customers who want, say a quick 5 min match before they go to work, or want to play their games while on vacation in the countryside.

    • CMaster says:

      @Cliffski
      “This is why everyone I know thinks I’m mad for not making unpiratable facebook games and MMOs.”
      Which just goes to show how little everyone you know thinks things through. It doesn’t matter how many copies of GSB get pirated. It matter how many get sold. You know if that’s enough. You can probably also take a reasonable guess as to if an FB game or MMO made by you would do better.

      I’d hazard a guess that carrying on making games like you are now is the lower risk (if perhaps lower best return) option.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      @DrazharLn

      Along the lines of an alternative within the constraints of capitalism, how about state sponsorship for creators of entertainment? Basically working along the same lines of current TV lisences, but creating new ones for other areas. Everyone interested in that kind of entertainment pays a fee and the govornment pays creators a full-time wage to create, everyone who paid the fee gets to enjoy all the works created.

      With the publisher now being essentially not-for-profit, more of the money spent on entertainment could go to the actual creators, as well as allowing greater creative freedom due to having a roughly steady income every year regardless of output. Waste and outright corruption in the use of funding will be an issue, but private companies are equally prone to that. You can even create a centralised public rating system to help ensure developers get rewarded in proportion to the public value of their output.

      Trouble is, that only works for national output unless other governments follow suit and form an agreement to share output. But as more people sign up to the scheme, the more efficient the system becomes. (One person can only consume so much entertainment in a year, regardless of how much is on offer. Yet with more people sharing their output, the more that’s available. The more that’s on offer, the more likely they’ll find exactly what they want.)

    • Outsider says:

      Some of the attitudes here are shocking. It’s difficult to fathom how someone could rail against copyright laws or the idea of intellectual property, or perhaps most perplexing, the idea of compensation for services. Maybe not so shocking, actually. Criminals and parasites (or fantasy-land communists) usually have some justification as to why it’s ok for them to take something that doesn’t belong to them without paying for it.

    • DK says:

      “So you think developers who expect to be paid for their work if people want to play it are the ones with entitlement issues, not the gamers who think the world owes them free entertainment?”
      When the games they sell us stop being priced as “10 bucks more than they used to be – and you have to let us punch you in the balls, every time you start the game” maybe more people will buy them instead of stealing them?
      Publishers can whine about piracy all they want but IT WONT GO AWAY. EVER. It’s here, it’ll always be here from now on and they gotta stop being utter morons and assholes to their customers if they wanna get the good times back.

    • CMaster says:

      @Outside
      “It’s difficult to fathom how someone could rail against copyright laws or the idea of intellectual property”

      Clearly spoken by something who knows nothing of copyright law, how it is enforced and to whose benefit it is used. Or has much understanding of human history or the world of science or so on.
      The world would pretty much unquestionably be a better place if we had no copyright law, yet people who created ideas were adequately compensated through some other means. A perfectly assessed grant, or some other such non-entity. The question we wrestle with in debates like this is whether in the real world, the good done by copyright makes up for the harm it causes. It’s nothing like as easy an answer as you seem to think.

    • ssxjoe says:

      “developers *expect* to be paid for their work, i.e. they believe they are entitled to be paid whenever someone, somewhere, enjoys what can be said, indirectly, to be the fruits of their labours. That is to say, they feel entitled to infringe upon the liberty of others and rip money from their hands. Or rather, they seek to preemptively infringe upon the liberty of others via that instrument known as law – that is to say, by the threat of violence.”

      Woah there captain ridiculous! There are like 2 games a year that I know I’ll play enough to consider spending my money on(here’s looking at you, Skyrim!), so I pirate stuff all the time. That said, your post has to be the biggest bunch of shit I’ve read in a while. Of course they *expect* to be paid, it’s their job. You think they’re going to work every day making games for charity? Don’t start with this liberty shit either. They’re not ripping money from anyone’s hand… if you don’t want the game, don’t buy it(or just pirate it!). As much of an asshat as Bobby Kotick might be, he’s never held a gun to my head and told me to buy a game(as much as he might want to).

      “preemptively infringe upon the liberty of others via that instrument known as law – that is to say, by the threat of violence”. Amazing, another piece of overblown crap. One, it’s their work, and it’s copyrighted, and they are well within their right to try and take some sort of action. Violence? Dude despite what someone might have told you, they’re not busting down doors and ruffing up families cause little Johnny got himself some free Crysis. I’d hardly consider a letter in the mail or court hearing “violent”. Give your hyperbolic bullshit a rest dude.

      Like I said, I pirate, but I make no allusions as to what I’m doing. I’m taking someones copyrighted work, bypassing all the legal distribution methods, and getting something I didn’t pay for. I also think DRM is a bunch of BS because it does hurt the paying customers more than me. But your just completely full of yourself, tossing out words and phrases like ‘infringe upon the liberty’ and ‘threat of violence’. There are two extremes to the aspect of piracy… those who think everyone should be prosecuted with ridiculous penalties(like the RIAA), and those who think there some kind of fucking hero with some superior sense of justice because they steal shit online. You’re that kind of crazy, the last one.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “Sorry, but if you are anti-DRM, you have to be willing to at least tolerate a degree of piracy on games with heavy DRM.”

      Sure is No True Scotsman in here.

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      I said:
      “If you propose doing away with intellectual property rights, you need to propose a counter system that can take its place and ensure that creative works and art continue”.

      Bokkiedog said:
      “You know, that’s true. There was absolutely no creativity nor art until the formulation of copyright law in the 18th century.”

      Hey man, I understand that. But some of what we enjoy nowadays is the collective work of hundreds of people. Do you like summer movies? Big budget video games? The nature of creative works has changed. Part of that is the financial incentive. That’s what gets people coordinating.

      Many of those earlier artists had patrons that financed their work. Are you proposing a return to the patron system? We’re seeing something like that with places like Kickstarter. Probably the best form of DRM would be to have everyone that possibly was going to pay just pay up front to make sure a game is produced. Once it’s produced for that fair price it wouldn’t matter if anyone else paid for it. But then there’s no more try before you buy.

      Without IP, there would be some film, some games, etc. But without IP,you would see a drastic change in what types of film, games, etc are produced.

      So thanks for totally not proposing a counter system. Let’s entirely revert to the 18th century way of life. Very insightful, thanks.

    • Outsider says:

      CMaster:

      Clearly spoken by something who knows nothing of copyright law, how it is enforced and to whose benefit it is used. Or has much understanding of human history or the world of science or so on

      Not exactly. I’ve taken a college course on copyright law because I needed to be familiar with it in the field which I am working … and I’ve dealt very intimately with it in regard to the work I do. I’m not ignorant to it, its uses, or how it is enforced contrary to your baseless assumption.

      I don’t think it is a net negative and I think it is a necessary if realistically imperfect way to protect artistic rights. Your opinion differs, obviously, but the vague, untenable fantasy you offered as an alternative makes your above comment about my apparent lack of knowledge ironic. Not to mention you address compensation when the primary point of copyright is protection.

      The question we wrestle with in debates like this is whether in the real world, the good done by copyright makes up for the harm it causes. It’s nothing like as easy an answer as you seem to think.

      That wasn’t a question you wrestled with, you skipped right to telling me I knew nothing. Theorizing if copyright law does more harm than good is a pretty fruitless exercise if you believe it shouldn’t exist at all yet have no viable way to replace it.

    • DrazharLn says:

      The spam filter keeps eating my second message.

      I talked a little about how a subscription for early access to a developer’s work (say a beta and a year of release) could fund a developer and how I still thought this acceptable and workable if the work was released properly free to subscribers instantly (probably promoting some open source magic) and to the world a while later.

      I talked about how this was a cost that can be justified solely selfishly. I talked some about Kickstarter too, but considering I’ve already written it once and had it eaten and I’ll probably write it in an article later I feel no need to write it again.

    • dysphemism says:

      To all sides of the argument, I quote: “You’re not wrong, Walter. You’re just an asshole.” The fact is that Rii has a point, he’s just chosen to express it in a grating, high-school-communist kind of way. Reasonable people agree, I think, that the system is broke, and that attempts at DRM are merely duct taping it together. The question, though, is how to fix it.

      By way of misguided analogy, the internet has become an urban riot against IP law. Pirates are looters, claiming moral outrage while pushing a wheelbarrow full of stereos. IP law is messed, but it’s only symptomatic of deeper issues ingrained in capitalism… which “looting” is unlikely to change.

      I don’t have a satisfactory answer, but I think it’s worth noting that Martin Luther King advocated for a guaranteed minimum income on the following grounds (quoted from Henry George):

      “The fact is that the work which improves the condition of mankind, the work which extends knowledge and increases power and enriches literature and elevates thought, is not done to secure a living. It is not the work of slaves driven to their tasks either by the task, by the taskmaster, or by animal necessity. It is the work of men who somehow find a form of work that brings a security for its own sake and a state of society where want is abolished. “

      If you take a person’s daily bread out of the equation, perhaps they’d defend their work less rabidly and exercise creativity for its own sake. Guarantee someone a living wage, and then we can talk about “paying what we feel” for somebody’s ideas and works.

    • Rii says:

      The largest stumbling block impeding useful discussion of piracy and IP is the reflexive but nonetheless decidedly odd idea that there is something morally objectionable about piracy. Many people at one time or another have come to sense – usually by dint of an absurd instance or hypothetical instance of the rigid application of IP law – that there is something wrong with this narrative, but its roots lie so deep that more refined analysis is difficult and uncomfortable.

      In the final analysis I do believe that in a capitalist society there is a limited place for Intellectual Property rights. Essentially that place is to maintain a record of origination and to ensure that such profits as do accrue from a particular work, technique, etc. do so to the benefit of those most involved in its creation rather than imitators or other parasitic entities.

      However to make the case for this – and only this – role for IP requires that we strip back to the very foundations of society – property, liberty, rights, law – and rebuild from there. Hence the grandiloquent and confrontational statements of unconventional principle necessarily precede more practical discussions about what is right and wrong with IP today.

    • dysphemism says:

      essentially that place is to ensure that such profits as do accrue from a particular work, technique, etc. do so to the benefit of those most involved in its creation rather than imitators or other parasitic entities.

      From what you’ve said, though, you don’t believe any profits need accrue from a particular work, technique, etc, regardless of the originator’s intent in sharing it. So, without the protection of law, any profits are incidental. Basically, the only permissible form of protection is disallowing anyone to profit from it (except for the creator, who may receive good-will donations). Not trying to argue this point, per se, just trying to make sure I understand it.

      However to make the case for this – and only this – role for IP requires that we strip back to the very foundations of society – property, liberty, rights, law – and rebuild from there. Hence the grandiloquent and confrontational statements of unconventional principle necessarily precede more practical discussions about what is right and wrong with IP today.

      If we’re going whole-hog on revamping property, liberty, rights, and law, I feel like there are other iniquities than IP law that take primacy.

  6. kwyjibo says:

    Steam should really try harder to make sure no developer signs up to gfwl forever.

    • Premium User Badge

      Buzko says:

      No, they really shouldn’t. The efforts of competitors like GFWL are what will keep Steam and Steamworks getting better.

      Unless you meant that’s how they should crush GFWL. In which case, go Valve!

  7. jplayer01 says:

    And … when people refuse to buy this game because of the absurd DRM, they’ll scream ‘piracy’.

    Pass.

  8. Spacewalk says:

    I think I’ll stick with the DOS port of Super Street Fighter II.

  9. ImperialCreed says:

    Can we have a nice Glados-style slow clap for Capcom?

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      Here. I’ll put Ubisoft on.

      [in a high pitched French accent] Our new DRM will provide added value and enrich the gaming experience

      That’s you, Capcom! That’s how dumb you sound!

  10. banks1990 says:

    Ubisoft evil twin-brother?

  11. jon_hill987 says:

    GfWL was bad enough in Street Fighter IV, but this is extracting the urine. Needless to say I won’t be buying this one. I hope (in vain) no one pirates it either so it teaches Capcom a lesson.

  12. Nim says:

    Developer: Sir, the PC version is now finished. When shall we send the gold copy over to the DVD manufacturers?

    Herp Derp: No we can’t release it! What if it gets pirated and we end up losing sales!

    Developer: But if we don’t release it, we won’t sell any copies at all!

    Herp Derp: PIRATES!!!

    • lunarplasma says:

      Yes.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

      In non-sarcastic terms it’s actually more like:

      Publisher: Okay, we’re porting this game to the PC.

      Herp Derp Shareholder: What are you doing to protect the game from piracy?

      Pub: Well I guess we could make it check with our servers when it’s installed…

      HDS: But I heard Ubisoft make their games check in constantly over the internet! That’s even better!

      Pub: But…

      HDS: Who owns your arse?

      Pub: *sigh* You do, master.

      HDS: Get it done!

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      Lots of people have consoles as well as PC. Perhaps they worry that releasing it for the PC might lose them sales on the more profitable platforms, enough that it may be a pure loss.

    • Wedge says:

      Unlikely considering this is releasing a month prior on consoles as DLC for the last version that was NEVER released on PC.

    • Baines says:

      Wasn’t that Capcom’s solution to vanilla Super Street Fighter 4? Because the PC version of SF4 was pirated, Capcom refused to release a PC version of SSF4 even though PC SF4 sold well?

  13. Steven Hutton says:

    Was anyone really waiting for this to land on PC? Surely anyone who cares about Street Fighter at all is playing on 360.

    • Premium User Badge

      UW says:

      I wasn’t holding my breath but I will be getting this, and I don’t have it on any other platform.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      What if they don’t have a 360? It is after all just a rubbish PC to put under my TV, why would I get one after spending £800 on my desktop?

    • cw8 says:

      Much, much more than you would think. I waited painfully for SSFIV for 2 years. There’s a closed 472 page thread in Capcom Unity asking why there’s no PC SSFIV before they announced AE.
      Sadly, PC SFIV was the 2nd most pirated game for awhile below MW2.
      Also, people have been playing fighting games on PC since SF2, Mortal Kombat 1&2 nearly 20 years now. I know I did.
      Hope to see more fighting games on PC, Capcom’s definitely making it happen thus far.

    • Wedge says:

      Yes actually, I’ve been hanging onto Super coming out on PC for years, until I realized it would eventually roll over into being a standalone AE release. Which was fine, I figured it would be just like the SF IV port, which was wholly serviceable (other than the fact they simply need to REMOVE the “smoothing” framerate option and force everyone to frameskip). Then they go and do this, and I’m like fuck. Instead of making GFWL useful and adding cross-console play this time, they’ve used it to fuck paying customers over instead.

      And I have SSFIV on 360 AND PS3 already, but still wanted to get it on PC just for the vastly superior resolution and framerate, and the convenience of being able to boot it up from where I spend most of my time…

    • pangaway says:

      I was waiting for this on PC. I throw weekly LAN parties at my place and would LOVE to have an arcade cab set up. I’ve got the old computer parts that will run this game flawlessly. I don’t, however, want to make sure the arcade always has internet connection.

      I don’t want to pirate the game, but I want an offline product. Guess I might be sticking to the classics.

  14. Alexander Norris says:

    If that 61.5% of characters is unlockable and depends on your progress in the game then it would make sense that they’re restricted if you’re not signed in (because the miserable pile of shit that is GfWL encrypts saves).

    It’s still monstrously idiotic that it boots you out of the game if your connection drops.

  15. Nomaki says:

    One day, companies will realise that fighting piracy is an impossible war, as one way or another pirates will find a way around any DRM; so instead of causing massive collateral damage in the form of genuine consumers, why not just change the mindset?

    Extra Credits summed up piracy brilliantly: “See them as competitors who are offering the same product as you, but better quality and free”. Instead of forcing genuine gamers to use the pirated copies of games due to draconion DRM, why not simply reward those that genuinely purchase the game (I’m sure something could be worked out) and use piracy as an avenue of advertisement, for example.

    • Rii says:

      Stop, you are making too much sense.

    • Premium User Badge

      lhzr says:

      >>why not simply reward those that genuinely purchase the game

      but they’ll reward you with 61.5% more characters..

    • Nalano says:

      Bioware’s “free day 0 DLC” is something along that vein.

      But then, ANY game that’s supported and updated regularly is a bonus for paying customers. Too bad a lot of the companies who have such horrible DRM are also the ones who are quick to drop support for games.

    • CMaster says:

      I don’t see how game developers can ever compete with the pirates.
      Anything they can offer, the pirates can match. Extra content – pirated. Online play – unofficial servers. Etc etc. About the only thing they can restrict is support and communication. They can refuse to listen to suggestions, not offer technical advice for anyone except those who pay. That’s about it.

    • Nalano says:

      Reasons I pay for games:

      1) The support of the people who made the game in good will to their selves and their fans.
      2) The convenience of the game’s installation, updating and ongoing support.
      3) Possible future iterations of the game.

      Make the installation and updating of a working copy of a game on my current and future machines as quick and painless as possible is a convenience that pirates cannot offer. Steam offers that, and because Steam offers that, I don’t need to fumble useless jewel cases and manuals for over a hundred serial keys or search byzantine company websites for patch mirrors.

      (Or, in the case of pirating, instead of searching for a key in a manual, I must find a keygen, run the keygen, scan my machine for the obvious trojan embedded in the keygen, and delete the trojan)

      This is also why I pretty much buy my games exclusively from Steam, D2D and GOG nowadays: They’re even more convenient than torrenting. About the only thing I’ve had to search for CDs for, lately, were SMAC and SMAX, because they’re not offered anywhere.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      This is of course the motivation behind Steam. It’s supposed to offer a better product than pirates do. Faster downloads, consistent access, Steamworks features like achievements and the cloud, etc. etc.. What Extra Credits described is basically Steam.

      But then everything in life is relative. For me, someone who only plays singleplayer and follows the GOG or packaged goods mindset, Steam is a nuisance. An annoying program I have to load just to play my singleplayer games and a DRM system that makes me worry about what will happen if Steam ever shuts down.

      There is no single solution everyone likes.

    • Nalano says:

      I’m not just talking faster downloads and consistent access to updates, StingingVelvet. I’m also talking the very existence of updates.

      I buy Valve not because of Steam (tho I do indeed use Steam) but because they add updates and patch their older games just because. It’s an issue with a demarcation line that doesn’t seem to exist when we talk of it in an “online subscription base” versus “offline product base” duality.

      It’s “company that produces PC games for PC gamers” versus “company that produces console games, whines about PC gamers for six months, dithers another six months, and then ports the exact same console games over to PC, slapped with DRM of a kind that eats computers alive, and charges full price.”

      Steam may have DRM, but Valve does not treat its customers like criminals. They’ve honeyed the pot enough to garner goodwill. Capcom, like certain other companies… has not.

  16. Grey says:

    Capcom is the new UBI. :) Yay!

  17. pakoito says:

    I was going to buy it, for sure, I’m a sucker for fighting games and I had SF4 in my (now broken) 360. Now I’ll pirate it because fuck that online stuff…I CANNOT EVEN PLAY WITH MY FRIENDS FULL ROSTER.

    GREAT JOB CAPCOM!

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Or the responsible option: don’t buy it, don’t pirate it.

  18. telpscorei says:

    Why? Why would they do this to me?

    I wanted this game so badly, almost entirely to beat my friends with, and now there’s this ridiculous online DRM thing, GfWL being used (which I don’t mind that much) and no cross-platform play. Come on Capcom, this is ridiculous… Pirates should not get a more functional game than legitimate customers!

  19. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    Well shucks, that’s pretty retarded in all manner of ways. I mean, consider the following stupid decisions involved in the design of GfWL:
    * GfWL is an Xbox Live account, basically. Therefore if you own PC & Xbox, you will use the same account.
    * Doing anything on the Xbox requires being signed in. Including, for example, streaming videos from the PC to the Xbox.
    * GfWL/Xbox accounts can only be signed in once, so signing in elsewhere kicks you off anything already connected.

    So if I were playing SSIV on my PC (which I won’t be) and someone else in my family decides they want to watch a video on the Xbox (as they frequently do), I’ll get booted off SSIV and lose any progress I’ve made and be playing a demo-version of the game I’ve payed for. And if I try and sign back in, the video will break for the rest of my family.

    Congratulations, MS & Capcom. What a marvellous fucking system you have deigned to bestow upon us. Fucking idiots :/

    • AbyssUK says:

      This is a very good point.. with a high probability of happening in my house….

    • TomA says:

      Yeah this is the best point raised so far, I’m upset about this too, I loved SF4 (despite never getting a real grip on the controls and being absolutely terrible at it. Never even managed to finish the end boss and couldnt bring myself to lower the difficulty to easy because I’m a stubborn dick.) It’s such a terrible way to go about things.

    • Deano2099 says:

      The other person could just sign in with their own account though? I’d only be an issue if you only had the one Gold account and that person wanted to play something online rather than stream a video. But then, it’s all part of this push to get game and service ownership linked to a single person…

    • Premium User Badge

      sonofsanta says:

      @Deano: technically yes, but with the Xbox set to auto-sign in on my account (for obvious convenience) it would still kick me off. Turning auto-sign in off results in my wife & daughter getting very confused and having to ask me to get the video to play for them.

      It’s happened in the past with DoW2 and DiRT2 but there wasn’t really any negative effect there, other than achievements not being counted (oh noes). Deliberately having my game kneecapped like this though, and losing progress I’ve made, is quite frankly just vindictive.

  20. sbs says:

    oh, will they ever learn.

  21. Premium User Badge

    tomeoftom says:

    Don’t buy it, don’t pirate it. We face a glut of amazing entertainment for very very cheap – play anything instead. If you feel entitled, send them an email instead explaining why you didn’t buy it.

    • telpscorei says:

      This is a good idea, and I will be doing so.

    • Vinraith says:

      Very much this. Deny them sales and deny them excuses, it’s the only way there’s any chance they might learn something from this stupidity.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      WTF is this? Reasonable, considered & dare I say intelligent points being made in the comments in a DRM article on RPS?
      I think you may be “doing it wrong” as the kids say these days messrs tomeoftom, telpscorei & Vinraith.
      Isn’t it your civic duty to pirate the game if you don’t like the DRM adopted by the developer/publisher even if you don’t want to play the game in the first place just to make some sort of point about the futility of copyright?

    • DrazharLn says:

      Malibu Stacy, you seem to have become almost inconsolably jaded about this whole issue, please, go play one of those delightful games John is always talking about and be made whole again.

      As to not buying the game if I don’t like the publisher or developer’s policy, I quite agree.

    • Nalano says:

      They’ll make up the numbers for pirating whether you’ll pirate or not.

      I’m not suggesting that you should pirate it, and I will not be pirating it, but I’d just like to point out that boycotts don’t work nearly as well as you think.

    • telpscorei says:

      They seemed to have an effect on Ubisoft…

    • Nalano says:

      How? Ubisoft’s sales went up.

  22. Mattressi says:

    What I’d love to see is the most draconian DRM scheme ever seen: something which requires a constant connection to their servers in order to stream the game’s core files (not textures/models/etc, just the code) – without a connection you literally cannot play it. No way to pirate it.

    Then, once they’ve got this done, I want to see them release the game and find that they have zero pirates – as well as nearly zero customers. Prove once and for all that draconian DRM doesn’t give you more money AT ALL (hell, it usually doesn’t even reduce the number of pirated copies).

    Of course, I only say this because Street Fighter and other fighting games bore the crap out of me, so I wouldn’t care if I couldn’t buy one due to the DRM. I’d probably cry if Bethesda did this for Skyrim. Still, I hope one of the more stupid publishers tries this at some point, just so that they might finally realise the ridiculousness of it all.

    • telpscorei says:

      You mean like that onLive console thingy?

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      What I’d love to see is the most draconian DRM scheme ever seen: something which requires a constant connection to their servers in order to stream the game’s core files

      That is what Ubisoft’s always-online DRM did, move parts of the game’s code to their servers.

    • karry says:

      “they have zero pirates – as well as nearly zero customers.”

      What, thousands of browser games are somehow eluding your gaze ? I have no idea who the fuck plays that shit, but i see all kinds of ads offering to work on yet more browser games.

    • Mattressi says:

      @telpscorei: no; that’s merely one of many means of accessing a game – I’m talking about a game which is entirely locked down. Perhaps it could be only accessible via onLive though, if that’s what you meant.

      @pkt-zer0: yeah, that’s what I was thinking of, though from what I can remember you can continue playing after a connection drop now.

      @karry: I’m talking about the singleplayer side of a game which you purchase. I’ve not yet seen a singleplayer, browser only game which you must purchase – let alone a ‘AAA’ title which costs $50.

  23. Hatsworth says:

    This is pretty exasperating, but sadly I’ll still bite. GFWL was already the main issue, and it’s been known since SF4 PC was announced pretty much. For me it’s nearly exclusively an online game, so I the only thing that might hurt me directly is if I can’t use training mode for some characters if my internet is their servers are down. If it becomes a problem a decade from now, I won’t feel bad downloading a less official yet more feature full version. Still, it’s pretty much the only game I’d grudgingly accept this crap for — the only other example I can think of is Starcraft 2. The main issue with SF4 PC’s security in the first place was GFWL letting anyone play it online with any GFWL key… I wonder if that’s even fixed? I don’t think it was for BlazBlue’s later PC release.
    “matchmaking that pairs people up based on the benchmark results (for framerate reasons that I am no way near good enough at fighting games to fully understand).”
    The default setting in vanilla SF4 PC was inexplicably to slow down the game on slow pcs, instead of frameskipping. This meant that if you matched up with someone using an archaic machine(I mean my cheap laptop runs SF4 on decent settings flawlessly) it would actually slow down the game for you too, especially soon after release you’d get games at 50% true-speed. This implies that they aren’t forcing frameskipping on for online matches, which is ridiculous to me. Sadly it also seems conceivably it might not even be the default setting yet again. Adding another matchmaking parameter will only further split the already small userbase — though according to Microsoft’s stats SF4 was still the 5th most played GFWL game last month even though it’s an outdated iteration.
    Digital prices are ridiculous, yep, so are the regional steam prices. 57$ here vs 40$ in NA. The 10% discount for people who own SF4 on steam also seems stingy. There’s a 4pack for a reduced price, but I don’t know that I can find 3 people online to trust which such a significant amount of money.
    Oh, btw: Capcom has unannounced SF X Tekken for PC. The announcement was apparently a mistake. If you ever get around to reannouncing it Capcom; maybe drop the GFWL BS?

    • Delusibeta says:

      Apparently, they’re using SSA to prevent any Tom, Dick and Harry from playing online. In theory anyway. But that change really was all that was needed: nerfing the offline modes so horrifically would only lose them sales and increase piracy rates.

      At least in Blazblue’s case it actually used GfWL’s cross-platform play (even though it was released a couple of months before its sequel arrived on consoles).

  24. geokes says:

    Wow, gonna be cracked by pirates eventually leaving the people who bought it as the only ones who suffer.

  25. Vexing Vision says:

    What a shame.

    And I was looking forward to this, having purchased and enjoyed SF4.

    Not going to bother. And not going to pirate this either. Seriously, peeps, grow up – noone’s FORCING you to play games. You don’t have to play games. You don’t have to play THIS game. There’s other games out there with a drm-scheme more to your likening.

  26. Multidirectional says:

    They’ll realize that fighting piracy is pointless, you’ll see. Right after governments stop the “war on drugs”.

    • Delusibeta says:

      I’ve heard a rumour that the UN may be considering abandoning the “war on drugs”.

      Then again, I heard said rumour on a sub-reddit about drugs, so take with a lot of salt.

    • Premium User Badge

      lhzr says:

      @delusibeta: got a source for that? seeing how they treat the not-yet-illegal research chems, i kinda have doubts about seeing a positive change anytime soon.

  27. patricij says:

    Well…look on the bright side – like, uh, their DRM doesn’t give you cancer. Not yet, anyway.

    • Vinraith says:

      Now there’s a DRM scheme for you. The game gives you cancer, but legally purchased versions of the game deliver a course of chemotherapy as you play them. It’s genius, I tell you! The mortality rate among paying customers is bound to be acceptably small, right?

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      Shamus Young already made that joke. Coincidentally, also in relation to Capcom.

      http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=11614

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “The game gives you cancer, but legally purchased versions of the game deliver a course of chemotherapy as you play them. ”

      But only if you’re online and signed into GFWL. *facepalm*

  28. Captain Hijinx says:

    Games for Windows Live?

    Shame, i’d have bought it otherwise.

    No deal.

  29. Mr_Hands says:

    This is a fine hornet’s nest.
    Without really commenting on the back and forth here:
    I kinda liked Street Fighter IV. I didn’t so much enjoy the GFWL. I didn’t cotton to Capcom’s whinging about piracy and refusing to release a game they’d pretty much developed anyway. I wasn’t necessarily upset about it, mind. I was just… perplexed. I’m happy that the PC will actually see a SSFIV:AE release, but largely because I hope it means that Mortal Kombat might also see some PC love in the future. I grew up with MK and SF games in the arcades, so they always have a soft spot in my heart.
    I’m not so keen on the 39.99 price tag for digital retailers. (Yeah, it’s cheaper if you already own SFIV on steam.) Though, from what I’ve read, they definitely added a lot of features.
    This kind of cynical DRM is awful. Abjectly awful. Though, it’s a little more reasonable in this case since I can only see myself wanting to play against the AI for an hour or two before taking on meatier opponents. So, having a stable internet connection is something I’m going to need anyways.
    I’m not convinced I’ll make this a day-1 purchase. What bothers me is their decision to add an extra element to the buyer’s decision that probably won’t be included in their sales metrics. So if it sells piss-poor because of the silly DRM, they’re likely to point at the numbers and scream “I FUCKING KNEW IT!” and use that instance to reinforce their already paranoid rhetoric. On the other hand, if it sells well, then it once again legitimizes the use of intrusive DRM.
    That’s what frustrates me the most about all this.

  30. malkav11 says:

    I actually think this is more reasonable (which is, admittedly, a pretty low bar) than Ubisoft’s original implementation of their DRM. Sure, both systems require you to deal with a bullshit requirement that you always be connected to both the internet itself and arbitrary servers thereon, but at least Capcom will let you play a crippled version of the game you paid for if you’re not. It would still be an automatic no buy if I had any intention whatsoever of buying a Street Fighter game to begin with. But I don’t.

  31. My2CENTS says:

    I’ve never seen a good game by Capcom for PC, anyway nice to see that they impose the “Dragon” DRM measures.

  32. GarethF says:

    @ Bokkiedog

    “You know, that’s true. There was absolutely no creativity nor art until the formulation of copyright law in the 18th century.

    I guess this means that all those ancient tribal sculptures, medieval paintings, early baroque pieces of music and even cave drawings have been badly mis-dated! You could win a nobel prize for this realisation!”

    Yes, art was created before copyright laws. But never mass produced at the level we have in the modern era, for the common people, Copyright laws were created because of the challenges that arose from that.

    Sure, people still painted and wrote and so on before copyright laws. But generally under commission from patrons, who took their work into their private collections or restricted access. Dirty peasants like you and I wouldn’t get to wander around looking at the private collections of such patrons unless it was in a Church and used for promoting religious dogma, or commissioned by a king who wanted a public display to accentuate their own status.

    The simple fact is that regardless of whether a good is physical or intellectual, they have production costs. No one will make the kind of media we all currently enjoy (which has titanic production costs) without a good chance of being able to make that money back. A system which allows people to consume your product regardless of whether they feel like contributing to the creator’s production costs is doomed, human nature is too apathetic and selfish, on the whole. On a small scale it can work, individuals can be amazing.

    But I’ve seen no credible proof that it works on a mass scale. Just look at charities, the cause can be the most worthy around and they struggle to get the funding that is routinely spent making single Hollywood movies. People are apathetic, taken as a whole. The free rider problem cannot simply be hand-waved away.

    • fooga44 says:

      “The free rider problem cannot simply be hand-waved away.”
      Yes it can, people still buy PC games despite being able to get them for free on the net. Brand new games still succeed on the PC. Magicka, a game that was only expected to sell ~3000 over it’s entire lifetime sold over 300,000 in it’s first two weeks. The real issue is game developers/publishers are stuck in a rut of developing ONLY the most expensive to develop games, where other developers come out of nowhere and make games on smaller budget and succeed.

      The real issue is developers and publishers, not gamers. SF4 was by all accounts financially successful on PC and capcom even admits it! The real truth is that developers are lacking creativity. SF 4 was by the creators own admission trying to recreate the experience of street fighter 2…

      The whole industry is surviving off the fumes of old games these days and they expect us to just hand over money for the same old games, it’s a bunch of crap. The real issue is that they have no idea where to go from here in terms of creativity. They have a lot of challenges they have to take responsibility in dealing with rather then blame the customer or other scapegoats like piracy.

      Pirates who have no intention of buying the game are non-customers by definition. So they should stop focusing on people who are never going to pay and ask – are there enough paying customers on the PC that making a PC version makes sense? That’s the only question that needs to be asked after the success of SF4 on the PC, despite being released on consoles earlier then it was on PC.

  33. MadTinkerer says:

    Tsk. Now I’m glad I didn’t preorder.

  34. deadstoned says:

    I’m still yet to buy Street Fighter 4 and I was planing on getting this, but it looks like Capcom is determined to not get my money. First they use GFWL telling us its good, now this shit…

    Capcom! If you sell your games over steam minus GFWL using Steamworks or something your sales will be better. Yes there may be more piracy, but I guarantee the sales will be better. Check out Dawn of War II’s Retribution sales after dropping GFWL.

  35. Chakawi says:

    Many odd opinions here… So much I don’t want to pitch in.

  36. somini says:

    I don’t understand the people that say that the pirated version won’t have the entire roaster. Do you really think that whoever makes the crack will give up like that? The pirated version will be the BEST version, having all that the original one has, minus the hassle and insanity of GFWL.

  37. Zanchito says:

    Didn’t Ubisoft have a very similar DRM scheme last year? (Settlers V, Assassin’s Creed 2, Silent Hunter). I clearly remember it not working, giving a lot of headaches for legit customers and finally being retired.

  38. Drake Sigar says:

    *Sigh* yet another company who punishes the loyal consumers whilst ensuring the pirates have the best version. When did PC Gamers stop fighting this? Only a few years ago we were outraged at this sort of crap.

  39. Premium User Badge

    Shockeh says:

    Worst thing: I actually find the concept of deploying GFWL (An abortion of a system, rivalled only in it’s sheer stupidity by Bonzai Buddy) into SSF4AE more of a turn-off than I do the DRM. I mean, it’s truly, truly painful, in every way.

  40. Teddy Leach says:

    Tell you what Capcom… I’m just going to ignore you until you start being sensible again.

  41. Miker says:

    To all the people who are giving up on SSFIV for it using GFWL: what did you expect it to use? Steamworks? A custom GGPO-based solution? Neither of those are plausible — Steamworks just received ELO-based matchmaking services with Retribution, and Capcom isn’t going to overhaul SSFIV’s online infrastructure for PC release. I hate GFWL as much as the next person, but realistically speaking, there wasn’t really any other choice for Capcom.

    EDIT: Call me crazy, but I’d rather have this DRM for a strictly multiplayer-focused title than, say, not being able to start up a Dragon Age save with DLC when offline.

  42. Indefinable Nigel says:

    Because Dragon Age proved conclusively that DRM reliant on publisher-side servers constantly being online can never run into any problems.

    While admittedly I was unlikely to buy this game to begin with, I’ll be playing it a lot more cautious when deciding whether or not to purchase any titles from Capcom in the future.

  43. Jetsetlemming says:

    I blame games journalism, and by extension keiron of course, for piracy. All those many games you lot play every week. People couldn’t dream to afford that many games, but the lifestyle just seems so glamorous, playing every new fancy all up in our faces advertised video game, and telling us how awesome they are. It’s only natural people go “Well if all those games are so good, but I can’t afford them, then how am I gonna go to Heaven if I can’t experience them all?” and then you have piracy. Maybe if capcom would just send me a free review copy of street fighter I wouldn’t HAVE to steal it, eh? That’s one less lost sale. Think about it.

  44. vash47 says:

    How stupid can Capcom be?

  45. kache says:

    And in the meantime The Witcher 2 is selling GoG copies as if they were candies, thanks to the absence of DRM and treating their customers well.

  46. Radiant says:

    The whole point of SF4 on your laptop was that you could just whip out a couple of sticks and have a game WHEREVER.

    I remember people playing SF4 in the queue to a bloody capcom event.

    And how in the fuck can you run any tournaments using this?
    There’s usually barely enough bandwidth to run a fucking live stream let alone have 8+ setups all trying to auth themselves all the time.

    The only time it should auth is when you go online to play vs.

    Real geniuses came up with this.

  47. Rebel44 says:

    GFWL = no money from me.

  48. boiglenoight darkstar says:

    I registered to say this: my friend Mike shares Rii’s opinion on IP almost exactly, and it’s maddening. He also believes all information should be free and that all software should be open source. It’s not so much that he feels liberty is being infringed upon as it is his affront to the inherent evil of money.

    After arguing with him endlessly, I’ve learned that he and others like him have rationalized selfish behavior and there’s no way to change their minds. They’re a-holes who don’t think they’re a-holes.

    As for Capcom, I understand their intent behind this but as they say of the road to Hell. I was going to play the PC version with my buddy, but I’ll just stick to the console version. Not that that platform is safe either. During the PSN outage I couldn’t play Magic Sword singleplayer as it requires being logged into PSN. Terrible.

    • CMaster says:

      I’m sorry, but disapproving of current Intellectual Property law is not just rationalizing away greed.
      Especially when it comes to things like software, music, anything that can be shared as data.
      Where’s the inherent moral justification in charging per unit for something that is reproduced at no cost? That doesn’t seem intrinsically right to me, nor can I see how it does to anybody. Yes, maybe CliffyB put 3 years of his life into that game. Maybe Cliff Richard put 9 months of his life into that Album. But why is it inherently right that they should then be able to never work again, simply making more money from copying what they already made at no cost to themselves?

      Beyond that, where’s the obvious intrinsic rightness to saying “this is the recipe for a drug that could save your life, made from readily available reagents. You aren’t allowed to make it though, as you can’t pay us our fee.” Obviously anybody who says that is wrong is just self-justifying greed.

      The problem we have however, is in our pseudo-capitalist, commodity driven society, we don’t really have any clear alternative ways of rewarding these people. To some extent, the music industry does – bands and musicians can get paid for doing work in the form of live shows, with recorded music acting as promotion. But should moview then just become promotion for stage shows? What about games? They represent a huge amount of human effort, but what way can the creators be compensated that’s also fair? There aren’t easy answers to these questions, but I don’t think we gain a better world by pretending that we already have it right, and going “LALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU” whenever someone points out what’s wrong.

    • caliwyrm says:

      “It’s not so much that he feels liberty is being infringed upon as it is his affront to the inherent evil of money.”

      Could you imagine if the rest of the world worked like IP?

      For every year you live in your house, you need to pay a fee to the architect who drew your plans (the songwriter/composer) and to the construction workers (the band). If your friend comes over to house-sit for you while your away, 61.5% of the doors won’t work (lending your house out like a game disk)

      I know this isn’t related to the conversation at hand, but do you know why the normal version of “Happy Birthday” isn’t sung at restaurants? Someone (Warner Brothers music I believe) claims–and ENFORCES–its claim of copyright on a song created in 1893.

      What does this have to do with gaming? Simply put, the precedent is established for ‘big business’ to screw everything they can out of society. We can’t even call it OUR society anymore since (according to ‘the man’) we don’t own anything anymore, we merely consume and/or license the use of things that we paid money for.

      Either I own that game or I don’t. If I own the game than I am free to do WHATEVER I want with it (reverse engineer it, mod it, burn the CD disc). If I don’t own the game but am merely a liscense to use/play it, will the game companies replace a scratched or defective CD?

    • disperse says:

      @Cmaster

      “But why is it inherently right that they should then be able to never work again, simply making more money from copying what they already made at no cost to themselves?”

      You’re talking about the top 1% of 1% of artists (be them musicians, writers, or game developers) who rake in enough money from sales of their albums, books, games to sit back and laugh while lighting cigars with $100 bills.

      Most artists won’t even recoup the costs put into developing their work. Indie developers like Jeff Vogel and cliffski work their ass off to release games on a regular basis so they can make a living. Each time someone chooses to pirate one of their games instead of paying for it they are literally taking money from their pockets. This “a copy should be free” argument does not hold water when you are talking about the artists who are trying to make ends meet while working in their field.

    • disperse says:

      @caliwyrm

      “For every year you live in your house, you need to pay a fee to the architect who drew your plans…”

      Why, yes, in general you are. You got a mortgage to finance the building of your house which includes the money you paid the architect for their time. What you are arguing, in reality, is sneaking into an architect’s office and stealing the plans to your neighbor’s house because you like the way it looks.

    • CMaster says:

      @disperse
      I never argued that people shouldn’t pay for things. I’m just pointing out that paying for freely produced copies doesn’t really make sense. One could argue that people should start giving away their game/music/whatever for free once they’d made back what it cost them to make. That falls down on many levels in any kind of practical situation though. I realise that most never make megabucks – I’m just saying why is a system that creates that kind of daft situation so obviously the right one? Especially when we face the reality that IP law is used to withhold profits from the creator as much as grant them. Record companies rake in the cash on bands that barely make ends meet. Pharmaceuticals companies aggressively enforce their IP rights, while at the same time threatening their scientists. Game publishers pay their CEOs millions while sacking developers the week before the bonus is due. Etc.
      Also:
      “What you are arguing, in reality, is sneaking into an architect’s office and stealing the plans to your neighbor’s house because you like the way it looks.”
      The architect’s been paid. Your neighbour has their house. Where’s the harm?

    • disperse says:

      @Cmaster

      “The architect’s been paid. Your neighbour has their house. Where’s the harm?”
      Well, they laid off that journeyman architect they just hired last month due to lack of work.

      One of the reasons to allow people to continue profiting off of their intellectual property is it allows them to finance new, potentially risky, properties. Sure, they may have paid off the expenses for producing the game that was a hit but the next three might flop.

      I bought a copy of Kudos 2 from cliffski years after it first came out. It’s DRM-free so I’m sure I could have pirated it. The money I’m giving him for an old game goes toward his living expenses and allows him the time to create the next game.

    • CMaster says:

      @disperse
      Yeah, I thought of that (the architect being made redundant). It doesn’t hold up though, when you look at it closely. Either he a)Designs a whole new house, when all you really wanted was your neighbour’s again or b)he just fobs you off with a minor variant of your neighbour’s house for the same cost. Either way, it’s not really necessary, and if anyone was getting laid off as a result, it just shows we have an oversupply of architects. People senselessly doing again the same thing that has already been done is a weakness of current IP law, not a strength.

      In contrast, being able to fund future projects is a strength of the system. However I’d argue that there’s good evidence that the bigger the money involved, the less risks are taken, so it doesn’t work out quite as well as it should :(

  49. caliwyrm says:

    People need to recognize what business they’re in

    It amazes me how many higher ups in these industries fail to recognize that they’re not in the gaming business, or the music business, or the film business. They’re in the entertainment business.

    If you’re going to make it a pain in the ass to purchase/play your games I’m just as happy to spend my time reading a book, or surfing the Internet, or watching a movie. 99% of the time I’m not even going to bother trying to hunt down a pirated copy, because quite frankly I’d rather just spend that time being entertained by one of the other numerous options I have available to me.

    You’re not competing for my money, you’re competing for my time, and you’re competing against everything else I can possibly find to fill it with. The sooner these businesses learn this the easier they’ll find it to get my money.

  50. rocketman71 says:

    So, one of the big three of the PCGA showing, yet again, that they have no fucking idea about PC gamers and the PC market?.

    SHOCKING!.

    I’ll make sure to call the two friends that were going to buy this to make them cancel their preorders and say “told you so”.