Steamy: Skyrim Definitely Using Steamworks

By Jim Rossignol on August 17th, 2011 at 9:54 pm.

HELLO, I'D LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR ONLINE CLOUD SAVEGAME SYSTEM PLEASE, ATTRACTIVE LADY.
There was some speculation earlier in the year – I believe after a GFW badge was spotted oozing across the surface of Skyrim box – about whether Skyrim would be using Games For Windows Live for its content delivery, savegames, DRM, and general online nonsense, but apparently not. The official Elder Scrolls twitter typist has confirmed it will be using Steamworks. That means we can sidestep the extra login, and the fear that GFWL will attempt to “update”, breaking irreparably and causing your beloved but distant relatives to catch on fire, pass out, and drown in their soup.

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167 Comments »

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  1. Kaira- says:

    Welp, I guess I will wait for sale. Shame, Skyrim seems interesting enough.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stijn says:

      What… how… why?

    • tyrsius says:

      Is this an anti-steam post? I’m so confused.

    • Kaira- says:

      Because I’d rather not pay full price (40-50€) for a game, which I have to tie to an account and hope that 3rd party service lets me play it.

    • tyrsius says:

      Yea, that’s why people hate on GFWL… I am confused on how Steam would cause that problem. I have never heard of that happening.

    • lurk says:

      Just get a cheap retail copy off the internet somewhere and activate it on Steam.

      It’s not like Steamworks means that you can *only* buy it on Steam.

    • Kaira- says:

      I don’t really care which service forces me to do that, it’s rubbish anyway. Origin, Steam, GFWL, what have you.

      Oh, and for clarification, I’m talking about boxed copies, it’s only natural that digital copies would be tied to service/account.

    • edgeblend says:

      What…huh….wha… Kaira… My sensibilities are in shock. Is this Stewart Lee level satire or are you insane?

    • Kaira- says:

      @Edgeblend

      Why would I be joking/satirizing? I’m serious about this, it does bother me as a customer. Maybe not you, and that’s just fine, but this rubs me totally the wrong way.

    • Dana says:

      In my 6 years of using Steam, Im yet to witness scenario of not being able to play a game.

    • Kaira- says:

      I’ve been stopped multiple times, mostly with offline-mode refusing to work, and few times by “Steam servers are too busy to handle your request”.

    • Prime says:

      I have been blocked from playing a game by Steam. More than once. Refusing to connect to whatever server, either to update the client itself – whoop-de-do – or to provide an game update I didn’t need.

    • Maxey says:

      Pretty much everyone has had that, but that’s just stuff that gets fixed rather quickly.

      I think people were assuming that you meant stuff like Valve blocking you access to a game because they were being jerks or something.

    • Vagrant says:

      It’s a crazy world that thinks that someone who wants to buy a game and play it without installing /running extra software is insane. This is just like when installing Java, and they have that checkbox wanting you to get some browser search plugin. How would you feel if you couldn’t uncheck that box?

      That’s Steamworks in retail games.

    • edgeblend says:

      I’m only seeing this from a UK perspective. Now I see your Finnish, I can’t comment for you but for me this is silly because:
      “id rather not pay full price” – steam pre order sales are usually at least 10% off retail.

      “hope a 3rd party company will let me play it” – as long as its not before the relase date and have internet connection (as you obviously do to post this) this isnt a problem.

      “I’m talking about boxed copies” … Boxed? What is this the 90’s?

      “steam servers are too busy” – Steam have recently updated to minimise all of this.

      … And having to log in to register a game cuts down piracy so yeah… A number of points detailing how this is silly.

    • DClark says:

      I’m in the same boat as Kaira; I can’t justify paying full price for a game that uses DRM. It’s the same as Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I was close to buying it but have decided that I’ll probably wait until it’s about $30 or so, and I expect to do the same for Skyrim.

      I don’t hate Steam or anything (my Steam account has about 40 gameson it) but the most I’ve been willing to spend so far for a single game on Steam has been $25 (DA:O Ultimate Edition).

    • Kismet says:

      Steamworks was quite likely so I didn’t even remotely bother to hope for something like a simple CD-check (let alone a DRM-free release) but yeah, see you in GOTY edition some time around winter 2012 Skyrim (eventually).

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Lol good luck ever playing any modern PC game ever again. Everything is moving this direction and there’s nothing anybody can do about that. Either adapt or I guess you quit gaming.

    • Arnastia says:

      I dislike that Steam doesn’t allow you to opt out of DLC you bought and forces you to the latest version of a game (or whichever latest version your setup allows, like Vic2’s 1.2 with the Old Vic DLC). This is to be expected, but nonetheless annoying, especially on mod heavy games.

      The first problem Skyrim will probably address (I hope) the same way TES3 and TES4 did, but I’d like to be able to play the glitch prone versions of single player games if I so wish it (I want my regenerating robe god darn it).

      On another (same) note, I don’t know if Steam already offers such features. If so, please do tell.

      EDIT: Finally, is it Steam’s DRM or its superb sales that’s preventing piracy?

    • edgeblend says:

      …………parp!

    • Novotny says:

      personally, I’m just glad that EA don’t pay people to say stupid thing about steam on gaming forums. That would be awful and extremely obvious.

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      Colthor says:

      I agree with Kaira- and co’s sentiment, but on the bright side it could be much worse, we saw it coming , I’m a massive fanboy, and my (boxed) pre-order was only something like twenty-two quid anyway (thanks, Lewie!).

      Besides, when my Steam account’s hacked or locked, or Valve turns evil or goes bust, there are going to be so many games lost… might as well cram even more eggs in that basket.

    • PickyBugger says:

      @ DClark Thing is if you’d looked around you could already have gotten DE:HR for under $30 and I have no doubt that you will be able to do the same from Skyrim. You don’t have to buy the game from the Steam store and not playing it because you don’t shop seems odd. Never mind complaining about the DRM making you not want to spend over $X.

    • DrGonzo says:

      That analogy doesn’t entirely work though Vagrant, as Steam does provide a bunch of useful stuff alongside the DRM. That’s why I quite like it. But I can see how it is a bit crazy you can’t just install an offline version with the multiplayer ripped out or something.

    • Premium User Badge

      Alegis says:

      Steamworks actually means you can get Steam copies cheaper by activating the box copies. Steamworks heavy games are also usually working more closely with Steam promotions.

      It does not increase the price of boxed copies or prevent the game (or rather: steam key) from being sold by other Digital Distribution outlets.

    • Kaira- says:

      @edgeblend

      Yeah, I usually pre-order from UK my games.

      “steam pre order sales are usually at least 10% off retail”
      So, with game costing 50€, that would leave me at 45€ and no physical copy. Not good, especially as I consider 10-15€ a tad much to pay for a game which I must to tie to Steam.

      “as long as its not before the relase date and have internet connection (as you obviously do to post this) this isnt a problem.”
      And as long as servers aren’t too busy and offline-mode works.

      “Boxed? What is this the 90′s?”
      Old habits die hard. I wish they still made cardboard-boxes. :(

    • TheGameSquid says:

      I’m with Kaira- too. I have no idea why my retail-version has to be registered on Steam, a DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION system for God’s sake!

      It’s not game-breaking, but it’s definitely something I don’t approve of, and I find the use of Steamworks in retail games to infringe the same right as the UbiActiveOneTimeAndThenPlayOrWhateverDRM does. They’re putting third parties between me and my game that have no right being there.

    • Vinraith says:

      At least GfWL was easy to remove, Steamworks seems to be nigh impossible to subvert safely. I’ll still buy it, but like Kaira says I’ll wait for a nice steep sale. I don’t tolerate $50/$60 rentals anymore.

    • Vagrant says:

      I love Steam personally, largely because I loathe disc checks and the promotions. but I’m just saying that Kaira’s view was 100% valid.

      And my analogy still works; I’m sure lots of people find the services provided by the Google Toolbar quite helpful. Also, since this is a single-player game (or is it?), I fail to see how steamworks provides any benefit to the player.

      If you are someone who doesn’t think the benefit of Steam is enough to offset being forced to use it, then I don’t see why they’re insane.

    • Rii says:

      Fuck this bullshit. And fuck the gaming community and media (yes RPS, that includes you) for swallowing it with a smile and asking for more.

      @Vinraith: “I don’t tolerate $50/$60 rentals anymore.”

      This exactly. Steamworks attached to a retail product serves one purpose and one purpose only: to deny one ownership of the game they’ve purchased.

    • DClark says:

      @ PickyBugger
      Yes, I saw the greenmangaming sale a month or so ago and I did consider it at the time, but I’d like to see the reviews to make sure the game is worth my money, and for Deus Ex: Human Revolution I’m also considering going for the retail Augmented Edition for the physical artbook (I know the digital versions have a digital version of the artbook, but it’s not the same).

      The point I was trying to make in my post was that the use of DRM affects the amount of money I’m willing to spend on a game. If and when it gets back to the $30 range I may buy it – I’m not sure why deciding not to go for that specific offer invalidates my point.

    • Stochastic says:

      While I personally have no qualms with Steam (like others, I’m rather smitten with the service), I understand the ideological resistance to it. Like any software, Steam isn’t perfect and it would be nice to have the option to install the game sans a digital distribution platform.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      To put it very simply, Steamworks = no resale, no lending to friends.

      Any form of DRM that ties a game to one account means you don’t really own it. Its objective value is significantly less than that of a non-DRM’d game.

    • Waltorious says:

      I’m also disappointed by this… having skipped over the Fallout titles from Bethesda I actually wasn’t expecting it either, but in retrospect I should have. Puts me in a tough position because I want to support the game but dislike having to tie my games to Steam. Fortunately I have a little time to decide what to do.

      For those who seem confused by our viewpoint… Just because Steam works better than GFWL doesn’t mean it’s not the same thing. You’re still handing over your right to play your games to a third party, and they can deny you access to your games whenever they want. The fact that Valve haven’t done that yet doesn’t somehow make it OK.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      PC RETAIL HAS BEEN DEAD FOR SEVERAL YEARS. GET OVER IT.

      It’s not 1998 any more.

    • Kaira- says:

      @MadTinkerer

      I’d say PC retail is far from dead, making 57% of the revenue, even though downloads sell more.

    • bagga says:

      >Waltorious says:
      >Puts me in a tough position because I want to support the game but dislike having to tie my games to Steam.

      You don’t like having to tie your games to Steam? You must be joking? You need help. Jesus. It makes me feel profoundly ill that people like you exist. You’re dirt. Worse than dirt. A monster. A dirty monster. How can you look at yourself in the mirror? Steam-disliker. They should lock your sort up and throw away the key. You’re a menace.

    • yutt says:

      Steam does not force updates. That is false.

      Right-click on game in Steam library -> Properties -> Updates -> Do not automatically update this game.

      I am surprised if people were so irritated by this feature, that they didn’t take the 30 seconds to research how to disable it. It would literally take you less time to research and disable it than it did to type the post complaining about it.

      *boggle*

    • Mattressi says:

      Wow, I can’t believe the reaction to Kaira’s post. From absolute confusion to “Lol good luck ever playing any modern PC game ever again”. Seriously, are RPS readers so dim that they’ll follow the crowd with hating GFWL being required, but could not possibly see how Steam being required is EXTREMELY similar. In fact, it’s exactly the same except that GFWL sucks complete balls (that’s right – not partial balls) while Steam at least generally works. Regardless, they’re still both DRM systems which require an internet connection for many parts, don’t allow you to choose which patch number you’d like and have iffy offline modes.

      The most confusing part is that Kaira clearly said that he/she’d wait for a sale to buy it, yet people seem to think that Kaira said that they’d never buy a PC game which used Steam or contained the word ‘steam’ in any of the in-game dialogue. I think it’s fair enough – if you’re going to require me to tie your game to a digital distribution service, I’m going to buy it through one of that service’s sales. I’d more than happily pay $50 (certainly not the $89.99 USD that Steam wants from me or the $89.99 AUD retail stores want from me, but that’s another boyc…story) if I didn’t have to tie it to Steam, but they obviously don’t want that. The last AAA game that I paid full price for was Oblivion, because this was the last AAA game that I really wanted to buy and did not require GFWL and/or Steam.

    • Commisar says:

      2 words Offline Mode. Yeah, it ain’t the best, but from the looks of your blog Kaira, I think you can figure it out.

    • Kleppy says:

      Regardless of how you feel about Steam, retail PC gaming is pretty much dead. Unless you plan on only playing indy or CD Projekt games, it’s probably better to just accept it. The only one missing out on you not playing a good game for using Steam is you.

    • sink257 says:

      I thought the whole point behind Steamworks was being able to buy a retail copy of the game and registering it on Steam. Surely as a PC gamer you must know even the basics of this stuff.

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      Joshua says:

      @Yut.

      You have never tried that feature, have you? The game still automatically updates most of the time when you check that box, and even if it does not, you are unable to play the game untill you actually went out and updated it. Steam is horrible about that, you must always use the latest version. So if the steam client needs updating and you are offline… no steam and steam games for you!

    • Ondrej says:

      Regarding the nosale, nolend argument – I buy games to play them over the next couple of days after I bought them, not putting them in backlog and installing them ten years later when they might not be available (due to a massive explosion at Valve serverfarm or something).

      Some people buy games just for the sake of them being on sale and then they just sit in their Steam library for ages, not ever being installed or played, which – from psychological standpoint – I can understand, but I just don’t get the point of not buying Steam games just because they might not be available in some time in the future. In other words, I don’t mind not having the games after I played them. I rarely buy games on preorder or just released, I can wait a couple of months for a sale.

      My 2 cents.

    • I4C says:

      Totally agree with you Kaira.

    • Bret says:

      Sigh.

      Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

    • Wilson says:

      @Mattressi – Agree completely. Excellent comment. I’m glad it’s not on GFWL, but I’m not glad that it’s on Steamworks. Steam generally works for me, but I have been stopped from playing games a couple of times with ‘Could not connect to Steam servers’, and while that isn’t much considering how often I use it to play games, it still means that mandatory Steam isn’t something to celebrate.

    • Arnastia says:

      @yutt

      But it doesn’t let you choose which version you want installed, which can be of interest to games with mods which only work in a specific version. Even if you can disable automatic updates, it’s hardly a solution since most often (if not always) Steam changes executables to remove copy protection and CD-checks, so you can’t update manually.

      Then we have cases (or case, can’t say it happens in any other game) like Victoria 2’s, wherein with the Old Vic DLC bought, the game is stuck to 1.2, because Old Vic and patch 1.3 glitch the game. Sure, Paradox could (and should) solve this by patching the DLC, but I’d rather have Valve allow me to choose which of my DLC I want to install. I also want to choose whether to play EU3 vanilla or Heir to the Throne or, Vic 1 and Vic Revolutions, or whatever.

      Long story short, don’t be tempted by the sales price of Paradox Interactive games on Steam.

    • sana says:

      I love how all the people who shout things “OMG HOW CAN YOU ARGUE AGAINST STEAM??” and “OMG RETAIL IS DEAD GET WITH THE TIMES..” proceed to be stomped into the ground by the overwhelming positive response to Kaira’s stance. Keep on fighting the good fight, folks!

    • Mad Hamish says:

      eh I might as well chime in. I too agree with the curmudgeons led by Kaira. Although steam works and it a decent service, being forced to install it a couple of years ago pissed me off. I generally only buy small indie games on it. But I hate when anything imposes itself on my computer, which is why there are only 2 icons in my system tray that aren’t volume or network connections.

      But what really surprises me is some of the reactions in this thread. It reminds me of a phrase I’ve seen around the place recently “No Steam, No Sale”. Which just has me shaking my head. People pledging their loyalty to company, even one as good as Valve, is bullshit.

    • skocznymroczny says:

      Don’t worry Kaira. I also don’t buy any games with Steamworks or GFWL or any other form of internet activation. The only exception is Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, but it requires Steam for multiplayer gaming only and to be frank, no one cares about multiplayer in that game.
      More and more games are getting steamworks, that’s too bad, lost sale. I will wait, maybe they will release a non-DRM version later, but that’s highly unlikely.
      My collection of games consists of around 30 boxes and EVERY game is playable no matter what happens to auth servers, my internet connection, etc. (except for MMOs and multiplayer focused games).

      Just release your games DRM free.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I’m no fan of DRM, but I am nothing if not pragmatic. Steam is convenient enough and flexible enough that I’m happy to use it. It generally makes downloading and installing games very quick and easy. When I go visit the family back in Australia, I can log in and download and play my games there. And the offline mode now works very reliably (at last) since a patch a couple of years ago. And that I get Mac copies of many games without paying extra is very nice.

      Admittedly, these are the same benefits I get from GOG and many other DRM-free retailers that allow re-downloads, and I always buy from GOG in preference to Steam for this reason.

      I also find the Steam friends and groups really handy, made better by the fact that the overlay works in almost every game. So I launch most of my non-Steam games through Steam to get this.

      In summary: DRM is bad. Steam is the least bad of the online DRM implementations, and has side benefits. DRM-free is good.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Okay, look: You need online for a bunch of things. Like playing online, getting cheevos, etc. And if you don’t care about those things, then maybe Steam seems useless to you.

      But offline mode usually works for me if I need it. There are plenty of games that work just fine in offline mode, though there are some that don’t (Can’t practice with non-standard weapons in offline TF2 last I checked, though bots still work fine.).

      Also, Steamworks isn’t necessarily DRM. Some games use just the Steam Achievements part of Steamworks. So if you want, you can use Steam to download the game once, then back it up, go into offline mode and never log onto Steam again.

      But the biggest point in Steam’s favor is that it’s FAR better than UbiDRM, Blizzard’s current insanity, etc. Oh, and speaking of which: how much of that 57% of retail is Blizzard and other publishers that use worse DRM than Steamworks (all parts at once)? Can’t quote percentages of percentages myself, but MMOs are popular these days, and MMOs by definition have always-on DRM. The real relevant number is how many single player games with zero DRM being sold at retail…

      Oh wait… Hahaha! See: it’s funny because I said “single player games with zero DRM being sold at retail” as if there was such a thing. (Casual games don’t count in this case.)

      EDIT: Hmmm. Got a little more hostile than intending there, but seriously: this thread is taking up the whole first page of the comments now. The article itself is a minor news item that’s not even nearly as controversial as other recent posts. The place to make this argument is a general article about Steamworks, not an article about Skyrim.

    • Kent says:

      I agree with Kaira

      At least there’s ONE bloody gamer that actually cares for principles. Unlike SOME “gamers” I know of!

    • Daveman88 says:

      @ Edgeblend
      I am not mad because I have to purchase my game. I am mad because I hate having to update the game for 2 hours after I just installed it. Then I have to have internet for a single player game, which when I try to run it in offline mode it says I need internet, Real updated huh? I don’t even get the option to tell steam to patch my game it does it without my permission. If I log into my steam account onto another PC it whines. Why do I have so many problems for a game I purchased? And on top of all that I can’t even make a backup copy where I can work around the constant updates and internet requirement without some fan boys complaining about it saying I’m such a criminal for editing my own game that I PURCHASED WITH MY MONEY.. It is my game, I bought it, why do I need a 3rd party software team telling me what to do with my fully bought subscribed purchase? And your comment. “What it this the 90’s?” Yeah in the 90’s I could buy my game install it and just play it without tons of complicating work arounds and requirements, I go through the hassle enough buying my hardware to run the games. So now I need to waste more time with a software company telling me what to do with my purchase? No thanks. I don’t see how all of you steam fan boys out there do not get annoyed with constant updates and a single player game that requires internet and you trying to run it in offline mode it SAYS YOU NEED INTERNET FOR OFFLINE MODE. Cache my account data? Tried that and it gives me an error. Games seem no longer a product anymore but a service. one day if something happens to steam how will I run my games? You tell me

  2. PaulMorel says:

    And the villagers rejoiced!

    Preordering now!

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Yeah, that was my reaction before someone ganked the first post whining about the best of the download services.

    • Commisar says:

      me too, I guess that kaira rabbit-thing will just have to listen to us having lots of fun with Skyrim comes out. DRM is practically a fact of life now and Steam is one of the most mild forms out there, plus it integrates chat, voice and friends list in one package. I can’t believe that to him, Steamworks is a reason to NOT buy a game :(

    • trigonometryhappy says:

      Just because something bad exists (DRM) doesn’t mean we have to bend over and accept it, some people know of the lost art of voting with their wallets. The brave rabbit just has a backbone, that’s all.

    • sPOONz says:

      Exactly. Good on Karia for voicing his/her opinon. I cant see why saying so should put you under so much fire. Voting with your wallet on a product you were keen to have is impressive. If DRM was completley dropped by the industry it will be thanks to people such as Karia for making themselves miss out whilst the rest of the sheep just fell in line.

    • Chalky says:

      Awesome news, will certainly be buying this.

      Now if only they can get ME3 on Steam, I’ll be happy.

    • deadsexy says:

      Why is someone who likes the Steamworks integration and buys the game automatically a sheep?
      Not that I think there’s anything wrong with the decision Kaira is making…

    • trigonometryhappy says:

      I think its more the people who disagree with the aspect of games being linked to a single 3rd party DRM platform but buy it anyway ’cause they they needz doz gamz and then say there’s “nothing we can do, DRM is here to stay. Get a reality check its 2011 etc. etc.”

      Anyone remember the L4D2 or MW2 boycotts.

      http://blog.ryankearney.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/boycott.png

      http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/l4d2.jpg?w=620&h=474

      Gamers: they got spine. >_>

  3. db1331 says:

    No Origin, no sale.

  4. kuran says:

    I’ll definitely wait for a sale… I can’t get New Vegas to load my saves on Windows 7, even after a clean Steam install. Sigh… I wish they would release at least one more patch for that.

    The weird thing is that I can’t find anyone with the same issues, most reports are about the 360 version. 60$ thrown to the wolves..

    • PaulMorel says:

      It’s not windows 7, it’s the DLC. Saves from games without a piece of DLC are incompatible with saves that include the DLC.

      This really pisses me off as well. I had to start a new character to play the DLC.

    • Azradesh says:

      What? No, this isn’t true at all.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Funny I’m playing New Vegas on Win 7 64 bit and saves just fine. I like when people experience a problem running the game and instantly blame the software, Steam, etc. It works, the fact it’s not working for you is unfortunate, but nothing on PC is ever 100% certain. Either deal with it or switch to consoles.

    • Danarchist says:

      I had no problem playing dlc with my original character after installing them. But that being said I did have issues after installing it on my laptop and copying my saves over. Ended up being a mod I had originally ran on my desktop playthrough. Once i figured out which mod it was and installed it on my laptop it worked fine.
      I think this primarily happens when you have mods that adjust your characters stats, appearance, or skills. I had the updated texture pack and “skill based perks” installed. When I transferred it over for some reason the texture pack was lost and that caused it to crash the second I loaded a save game.
      If you didnt use any mods on your first playthrough though not sure how to help =P

    • Mana_Garmr says:

      “I like when people experience a problem running the game and instantly blame the software, Steam, etc. It works, the fact it’s not working for you is unfortunate, but nothing on PC is ever 100% certain. Either deal with it or switch to consoles.”

      So what’s your point? He had a problem with the last Bethesda related game he bought on Steam, so he’s going to wait and spend less money this time in case it happens again. He already mentioned that it seemed to be a unique problem, he didn’t say anything about blaming Steam or anyone else. Why the attitude?

    • DrGonzo says:

      I just played the 360 version with no DLC and I had no end of problems with my save games. I had a few saves get corrupted which became useless, then often it would just refuse to load my save for no apparent reason.

    • kuran says:

      My game was started with all three DLC packs loaded from the start. I’m only 7 hours in so I don’t mind restarting.. I’m just terrified of it happening again later in the game.

      Another reoccurring bug is the launcher crashing the first time it is launched after a system restart, this occurs every time and it doesn’t make me feel any better! It’s a shame that

      I never finished Oblivion on 360 for a similar reason (quest line buggering out), and Morrowind on Xbox before that, same issue.

      Let’s not speak about Daggerfall which 20 years after release I doubt anyone has ever finished due to bugs.

      I understand not everyone has these issues, but when a company is so successful sales-wise you would expect some sort of follow-up and continued support through patches.

  5. magnus says:

    I’ve got so many games on steam I’m almost afraid to buy this. :O

    Still I can’t miss the chance to fire arrows at a Spiggan’s fanny as a female Orc again, or to hear Linda Carter’s voice. :)

  6. Bantros says:

    Games For Windows (GFW) is a certification to be displayed on product packaging if the game passes a few Microsoft requirements.

    Games For Windows Live (GFWL) is the above but requires the horrible horrible Live software to play.

    People should really know the difference by now, it’s been around for 4-5 years.

    • tyren says:

      Yeah, Fallout: NV has the “Games For Windows” label on it and it uses Steamworks and not GFWL.

      I really wish companies would use one or the other. One of my friends bought Bioshock 2 via Steam and was incredibly annoyed to find that it also uses GFWL.

    • UnravThreads says:

      People know the difference, it was PCGamer, RPS and other sites not using their brains and scaremongering that caused the confusion. If they’d have taken two seconds to stand back and look at the images, they’d have seen it was a GfW case.

    • nrvsNRG says:

      i remember this….didnt everyone correct the article writer straight away tho?

    • Stochastic says:

      It would help if they didn’t make the labels so easy to conflate. I honestly think that Microsoft should ditch the Windows branding moving forward, it still carries all the negative stigma from the 90s. Windows Phone 7 is a solid OS but is tethered to a tainted name.

      Also, is it just me, or has there lately been a lot of news about DRM schemes, digital distribution services, and business models?

    • UnravThreads says:

      Stochastic; They’re not easy to confuse. Aside from both using a big border at the top, if you put the two versions in existence next to each other like in the Skyrim promo image, you’ll see there’s a fair amount of difference. If you can only see the first inch or so of the banner, the word “Live” is shown on a GfWL case in bright orange, but on a GfW case you see part of the word “Windows”. GfWL games also have an orange border around the banner, whereas GfW has a blue one.

      It was harder to tell a few years back when the scheme started. For example, my copies of Gears of War and Universe at War are both GfWL titles, but unless you see the back of the case or the top right corner (Where it had a small ‘Live’ logo), you can’t tell that they’re GfWL.

  7. Dr. Clockwork says:

    Has anyone seen the retail box for Fallout: New Vegas? Big ol’ “Games for Windows” header on the box art…since it is not a game for Apple.

    Just because a game has “Games for Windows” on it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be “Games for Windows – LIVE”.

    EDIT: Dammit! You guys above me beat me to it! XD

  8. Paul says:

    Well I sure hope they won’t pull Squeenix and continue the wonderful thing of region locking.Steam sure allows that. And someone should talk to Valve about it.

    • tyrsius says:

      This practice is hardly limited to Squeenix. This is a pretty universal practice in the games industry, actually. Few major developers don’t do it.

    • dontnormally says:

      It’s a pretty universal practise in all software industries.
      Has to do with existing distribution channels being big ol’ problems that are difficult to move / change.

  9. Maxey says:

    I hope it also has an internal achievement system like in Fallout New Vegas that rewards you with XP everytime you complete certain challenges.

    • Rhin says:

      In Tamriel, “internal achievements” are called quests.

    • Maxey says:

      I mean things like “Kill a thousand mudcrabs”, “Walk 20 miles”, “Throw a lot of fireballs”, stuff like that.

    • diamondmx says:

      In Tamriel, those are known as “crap quests”

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Quests give you a badge saying congratulations?

    • Premium User Badge

      Daiv says:

      Yaouw have eeeaten faive thaaaaaousand loaves of bread.

      A winnar is yaouw!

    • Dachannien says:

      Badges? We don’ need no steenking badges!

  10. Premium User Badge

    RLacey says:

    Bethesda in using-the-same-DRM-that-they’ve-used-for-every-game-since-New-Vegas shock!

  11. AMonkey says:

    Thank the lord Skyrim won’t be GWFL. There you go Steam haters, there is at least one good reason Steam exists.

  12. Prime says:

    I had a feeling we’d get something like this about Skyrim today…weird.

    Still, it’s not terrible news, right?

  13. Daniel Is I says:

    I am not comfortable with expressing my emotions over the internet, so if you would all be so kind as to turn your monitors off for a moment.

    HELL YEAH TIME TO SPIN IN THIS CHAIR FOR JOY!

    You may turn them back on, now.

  14. Namos says:

    You know, with all the hate for GFWL, it has one feature that Steam lacks: the ability for multiple people to play the same game and enjoy separate progression without having to purchase multiple copies of it.

    I like Steam, but its continued obliviousness to the fact that a single PC gaming machine may not be restricted to a single person is starting to get really annoying.

    Valve, let me create subprofiles for my brothers, please?

    • ScubaMonster says:

      What are you talking about? On GFWL you have to log in with whatever gamertag profile you’ll be using. Steam, well you log in with your Steam account. Steam doesn’t magically lock your computer from allowing you to log in with a different account. There is no difference at all. Only one Live/gamertag can be signed in at once. Same with Steam accounts.

    • vecordae says:

      Valve won’t let you do that, BUT, most games do keep their local saves in a folder associated with your windows log in ID. You can try setting up multiple windows users, one for each brother, and making sure they log in as themselves before accessing your steam account.

      This doesn’t work for games saved “in the cloud”, but the sky was never meant for storing game save data anyway.

    • Namos says:

      @Scubamonster Except that in GFWL, multiple people can log into the same copy of the game with a different gamertag. In steam, that would mean purchasing another copy of the game to play it with a different account.

      From the replies, I guess this means I’ll be looking at any possible future Steam purchase with a much more skeptical eye. I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to replicate functionality that was there in the past of PC games, and that Valve chooses to ignore.

      RPS could write a feature on the demise of the PC as a gaming machine for family entertainment, but I suspect it would fall upon deaf ears among most of the site’s readership.

    • Maktaka says:

      Did you ever game in the days of DOS or Win95/98? How on earth did you manage in to survive in those pre-save-everything-in-Documents days? You had to keep track of your savegames yourself! Oh the humanity!

      Seriously, manage your own savegames, it’s simple. The PC is no less a family gaming box now than it ever was before.

  15. ScubaMonster says:

    Did anybody seriously think this game would be DRM free? Lol… the only company that does 100% DRM free is CD Projekt. Whether it’s Steam, activations, or whatever, games are going to be released like this from now on. You’re going to have to adapt or quit PC gaming because it’s not going to change.

  16. ResonanceCascade says:

    I was kinda hoping it would use nothing, but be available on Steam in case I did decide not to get it through retail. I plan on modding the hell outta this game, and cycling through all my Steam folders gets annoying.

    This is obviously a very mild complaint.

    • Maktaka says:

      Bethesda is on board the DLC boat (and some it it’s actually pretty good and has a decent value for your money even), so they need a system to distribute that DLC and handle its sales. Steam has that built right in, and it works much, much better than GfWL or the system they used in Oblivion (which doesn’t even work in Vista or Win7).

  17. Synesthesia says:

    that’s not funny, thats how granny died.

  18. Unaco says:

    That’s good and all, but… Why can’t people in the UK Pre-Order this on Steam? It’s got a store page… but no price, and no option to pre-order. We’re missing out on hats! Also, is it going to be like BRINK? Will it not be available on Steam in the UK for the first month or so after release?

    • vecordae says:

      The UK version of Skyrim is actually slated to be a copy of Brink, but with different cover art and signs that say “Welcomm to Skirym” placed randomly throughout the levels. Also, you there will be a button that makes the word “BARBARYUN!!!” appear on the screen.

      So, no, not exactly like Brink.

    • CMaster says:

      @Unaco
      That seems to be standard practive with Steamworks games for the UK, at least from Bethesda/Zenimax and THQ. It’s hypothesized to be a compromise between publisher and retailer over steamworks.

    • Unaco says:

      @Cmaster,

      That’s my reckoning as well. But, it’s the silence on the issue that gets me. Apparently Jom Rissignol approached THQ for comment about this, in relation to Space Marine not being available for UK Preorder on Steam, which means people in the UK will miss out on the early access. But he hasn’t let us know what he heard back from them, if anything at all. And there hasn’t ever been any comment from Bethesda on the issue either, with Brink and now SkyRim being affected from them.

      Edit: also, to point out… I missed out on Brink at release, and they missed out on a sale. It was going to be an impulse buy, on release day… I found I had £20 more than I thought, a lot of people in the RPS Steam chat room where getting together to play it. I decided to splash out on it. Went to get it on Steam, and it wasn’t available. I could have picked it up from another DD service, but at the time there were comments going round that those copies couldn’t be registered on Steam. Turned out this was a brief problem, that only lasted a few hours, but it scared me off the other services. In the end, after trying it on the free weekend, and hearing everyone’s thoughts on it, I realised I probably lucked out, but it’s the principle of it… and whether this is going to be a regular thing… will there now be a lot of big titles, cross platform, that won’t be available on Steam in the UK before and shortly after release?

  19. Tretiak says:

    Doesn’t she look a bit old?

  20. warkwark says:

    Ah, yes, Linda Carter.

    Really a terrible, terrible voice actress. I wasn’t very familiar with her voice before the Bethesda games, but once I learned she was in there, I realized *that* was the annoying drone emanating from 33% of the female characters in Morrowind/Oblivion.

    Maybe I’m dreaming, but when she delivers her lines, I can hear her making faces at someone in the studio booth, as if to say: “So weird, right? All these dungeons and dragons and things? The kids these days, what with their interwebs and such! Ah, well… it’s a living. Now, back to voicing this orcish bar wench.”

    Ugh. Bethesda, get some different voice actors. And while you’re at it, get a 3D modeling system that doesn’t make everyone’s head look like a giant, overdone roast.

    I seem to have gone off on a tangent.

    • Bettymartin says:

      From wikipedia : Carter has also done voiceovers for video games, performing voices for the nord and orsimer (orc) females in two computer games of The Elder Scrolls series, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. These games were developed by Bethesda Softworks; her husband, businessman Robert A. Altman, is Chairman and CEO of Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Ha, wow. She was Wonder Woman on that crappy old show.

    • Bettymartin says:

      You’re calling this crappy?

      I will not hear of it! Not at all!

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Very true, madam. I misspoke.

  21. Was Neurotic says:

    well i fink itis digsgusting wot steam agen in mi game? I kant understan it y o y wen wil vis wurld lurn!!!

  22. Vagrant says:

    whoops reply fail.

  23. djbriandamage says:

    lol @ the image tooltip

    • Prime says:

      Hehe. And to think that for the longest time Jim was the only one who didn’t do them! Made me sad, it did. But now I’m happy!

  24. Davie says:

    Well then. I’d kind of prefer it untethered to any platform, what with my recent unpleasant experience with Steamworks (FUCK YOU AND MAY YOU BURN, CDGAMEEXCHANGE, FOR SELLING ME AN ALREADY ACTIVATED COPY OF NEW VEGAS, THANK YOU) but Steam certainly beats the various other platforms for this kind of thing by a long shot.

  25. Velvetmeds says:

    Will it be region locked too?

    • Coins says:

      Yeah, it’ll be region locked. The people in Cyrodiil won’t be able to play with people from the Black Marsh, I’m afraid.

  26. Shivoa says:

    Slightly strange that the official Skyrim page on Steam doesn’t list the SteamPowered features. I guess they’re just waiting for the game to be completed and everything nailed down before they list the details.

  27. deadstoned says:

    Ahhh Brilliant! Another game saved from the jaws of death…. I mean GFWL.

  28. StingingVelvet says:

    I’m all for Steamworks in multiplayer games but I really don’t get why people celebrate it for offline singleplayer games.

    • soldant says:

      Mostly people are excited because it’s not going to use GFWL. And the rest of the excitement is typical “Yay, Valve!”

  29. vash47 says:

    What a shame. I won’t be getting this.

    Please stop bundling 3rd party crapware with my games.

    • Commisar says:

      WoW, now I know I’m going crazy when people on RPS call Steam crapware, or maybe he just be trollin’…

    • Xiyng says:

      @Commisar: You know, there’s actually people who have pretty much no use for Steam’s ‘good’ features and all that remains is DRM.

  30. Commisar says:

    man, you know its bad when people start bitching about a game using STEAMWORKS. You know it could be ALOT worse, I’m looking at you Ubisoft and/or GFWL.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      So what? It could also be a lot better, such as:
      GFWL. It does not require you to buy multiple copies of the same game if you want to play LAN with your brothers and sisters, the only problem I have encountered is that the client suffers from bugs.

      Origin, which you only need to download stuff right now. although This may change in the future, I have not checked up on that.

      One time activation.

      cd check (remember the days when people loathed starforce?),

      No DRM at all.

      The steam client can be very buggy sometimes, denying you acces to your games just because their servers are ful (instead of giving you the benefit of doubt)l, or if it wants to update either the client (no steam games for you!) or the game (no sp for you!).

    • Premium User Badge

      Hanban says:

      “I only have a spear stuck in my leg, it could be worse, it could be rusty!”

      I enjoy Steam and having everything easily accessible in one place. But then, where I live everyone who lives in the city has access to 100mbit connections, and if you’re a student like me, for almost no money at all.

      I don’t assume this is the case everywhere around the world, which makes me aware of the fact that Steam might not be considered the most awesome thing ever. It is still DRM. And you know, a spear in the leg is still a spear in the leg, even if it is not barbed/poisoned/rusty.

    • Prime says:

      It gets a bit tiresome seeing people rage about DRM in one thread then celebrating/apologising for anything Valve does in another: “Oh but Steam’s awesome. Get used to it.”

      Make up your minds – either like DRM or don’t, and please stop feigning confusion and bewilderment when those of us who don’t like DRM in any form express our irritation with the choking yoke that is Steam/Steamworks. Expect that some of us will think differently to you.

      – It may not be the worst out there but it’s still DRM.
      – It may come packaged with a load of ‘benefits’ but some of us would like the choice, and were maybe happy with not having our arses wiped for us. We’ve gone from having the choice to do whatever we wanted with our games to basically a binary choice between using Steam or not using it.
      – Valve/Steam seems to inspire a very creepy level of adoration among gamers. Honestly, on these boards alone it can often be like listening to a cult at prayer. Or Mac worshippers.

      Don’t get me wrong. I use Steam. It generally behaves itself and I’ve now got a modest collection of games on it, but given the choice I’d far rather it died in a fire alongside any DRM Ubisoft and EA care to concoct.

    • Hematite says:

      @Prime:

      Revelation! More than one person posts on RPS.

      Edit: Or maybe I misunderstood – are there actually individuals both raging against DRM and “No steam, no sale”ing?

  31. AreChaos says:

    You know I never really wondered, I buy most of my games on retail some have STEAMWORKS some don’t. What happens, say STEAM no longer is around in the future (Hopefully they stay, they are a good company) what happens to the games that are bind to STEAMWORKS?

    • PopeJamal says:

      What happens to Steamworks games if Steam goes away? Well, you’ll have to pirate it like everyone else will. That is, until the publisher decided to re-release the game and force you to pay for it…again.

      I don’t buy Steam games because of my faith in Valve. I buy Steam games because of my faith in Computer Science students with lots of free time and Russian-hacker-types.

      THEY will be the ones helping me play Skyrim or whatever in 10 years. Not Valve.

  32. Premium User Badge

    Cross says:

    This post does need to be tagged with Staring Eyes.

  33. Spider Jerusalem says:

    So buy your retail copy and download the crack.

    :dustshands:

  34. Premium User Badge

    Joshua says:

    “That means we can sidestep the extra login, and the fear that GFWL will attempt to “update”, breaking irreparably and causing your beloved but distant relatives to catch on fire, pass out, and drown in their soup.”

    And off course, this does not apply to steam.

  35. FieldOfTheBattle says:

    Sorry Bethesda I don’t pay to rent games from the almighty cloud if you want my money you will have to let me own what I buy.

  36. TooNu says:

    Will Skyrim also be region locked 1 week before release?

    • Prime says:

      Given that their recent games didn’t do this I’d say it was highly unlikely. Having said that, I wouldn’t rule it out entirely; most companies seem to go a bit daft when they sense tidal waves of money about to come at them.

  37. I4C says:

    Steam DRM!!!!!! Noooooooooooooooooooo

  38. Xiyng says:

    Not Steamy: Me Definitely Not Buying Skyrim

    Get rid of Steam in the retail version and I will have to seriously reconsider. Or at least make it optional, it should be even better and silence ALL complaints.

  39. The Colonel says:

    Wait a sec… Why is anyone buying this? Where’s the boycott? Bethesda are being about as cuntish to Notch as anyone ever has to an opponent tinier than David was to Goliath. If we can boycott Left5Dead because it wasn’t free then surely there ought to be a little bit of moral outrage against Bethesda?

    • CMaster says:

      Not really. Notch was trying to trademark a word within the realm of games that is already part of Bethesda’s trademark. I suspect they would have just let it lie if all he wanted to do was call the game Scrolls, but he tried to trademark it too.

      Equally, Mojang aren’t really that tiny. They have tens of millions of euros in cash sat around, and no debt. They’re probably wealthier than most game publishers at this point.

    • The Colonel says:

      Well that doesn’t seem to be the received wisdom around these parts. Mojang have a bit of capital floating around at the moment but aren’t large by anyone’s definition. They haven’t even released a game yet.

      Will Activision be justified in suing 1C for the use of the word “war”? Bethesda may have a legal case, but they are still twats.

    • kuran says:

      I’d say Notch is the goliath in this case, actually.

  40. Velvetmeds says:

    Considering what’s happening with DE HR, i don’t think anyone should celebrate. More and more publishers are using steam to control TOO MUCH their own products. This is starting to go too far and Steam needs to suffer to back down

  41. Kefren says:

    Grrr, I don’t have an account on Steam and don’t want one. DRM-free please. Like the lovely Witcher 2.

  42. deadly.by.design says:

    To the complainers: Let me guess… you still buy CE editions with trinkets that collect dust?

    I don’t think everybody needs to love Steam. I do think that it’s preferable to GFWL, though, and that one or the other was inevitable on this game. Unless it’s a CDProjekt game, which still requires an initial online check-in, there’s likely no way around *some* kind of protection. With Steam, at least that protection comes with a useful service.

  43. japol2023 says:

    Well,what are you waiting for people?Write them a mail of complaint and don’t buy games from companies that don’t respect our money like Diablo III and Assassins Creed 2 for example.

  44. Branthog says:

    I don’t get it. It’s a single player game. Why do I need/want *any* online system for it?

    • olemars says:

      Because when you play you get lots of these neat little 32×32 bitmaps and accompanying bad puns, which you can show off to the friends you don’t have.

  45. Aishaan448 says:

    I’ve read thru this thing but I still don’t understand how anyone can hate DRM so much. From what I’ve read/been told, the only people who hate DRM are pirates and illegal downloaders… am I wrong? I know that DRM on music files annoys some people because it limits what they can do with the file, but I mean, is it the same for games?

    I personally love the way that Steam works. It seems pretty dang slick to me. Automatic updates, easy digital download and install, and easy removal as well… the fact that whatever I purchase from Steam has to actually run thru Steam doesn’t seem all that inconvenient… especially since I could probably have purchased any of the games I own from some other digital download service if I really didn’t want to use Steam at all.

    • shizamon says:

      If you’ve read through this whole thread and attempted to comprehend a different viewpoint and still don’t understand, then you never will. There are people who can’t get anything but dial-up still, I know that seems impossible to Europeans, but it’s true nonetheless. There are also people with data caps, increasingly prevalent in North America. There’s also the fact that if you want to play this game 10 years down the road, you’ll have to become a pirate to do so (given the current climate of cost cutting, I’m pretty certain this concern will only grow)

      Basically there are a lot of us that don’t want to rent games, we want to own them.

  46. Aishaan448 says:

    @shizamon

    I guess I’ve never actually played a game I purchased 10 years after I bought it. Especially with the way that game technology is advancing these days, the idea of playing a ten year old game seems insane to me. I’m not even talking about graphics, I’m talking about game-play.

    I understand how you feel about wanting to own something outright. Even then, if the creators of a ten year old game no longer support the software then it doesn’t sound like they’re too worried about making a profit. I think at that point, it’s like jazz music in the sense that anyone can play it and no one gives a dang who owns it.

  47. Simoneer says:

    Can no one see this one, major issue with being forced to use an online service? Anyone care to take a guess? Anyone? Okay, let me spell it out for you…

    YOU. WON’T. BE. ABLE. TO. PLAY. YOUR. GODDAMN. GAME. 20. YEARS. FROM. NOW.

    One day many of us will want to revisit games of our past, as is commonly practiced today, and absolute HORSESHIT like this will prevent it! I can’t begin to tell you how much this pisses me off. This seriously needs to stop. I bought it; let me own it!

    I doubt it’s good for business. Well, it’s a double-edged sword, if I ever witnessed one. Oh, it will be harder for people to crack and pirate it, but it ENCOURAGES said pirating. When you don’t actually get something, why pay for it? Or why pay full price? As people are pointing out, it’s essentially a rental, albeit a long-term one. You’re getting a lifetime (i.e., until the service goes down) access to a movie on Netflix, as opposed to a disc you may pop into any DVD at your leisure. Something you may OWN for the rest of your life.

    It’s respectable that people here care more about the experience at hand, I concede, but none of you seem to look ahead of you. This form of DRM needs to go. Retail copies should always be substantial copies. Just have digital downloads available AS WELL.