Serious Sam’s DRM Is A Giant Pink Scorpion

By John Walker on December 7th, 2011 at 4:10 pm.

This is actually what Ubisoft's DRM developers look like.

Some companies’ DRM is stupidly cruel, punishing only those who have legitimately purchased the game, and not those who pirate it. Well, most companies’ DRM is that. Serious Sam 3′s DRM is brilliantly cruel, punishing only those who pirated it. By relentlessly pursuing them with a giant invincible armoured scorpion. As revealed by Dark Side Of Gaming, only those who unlawfully duplicate the game encounter this immortal enemy, who haunts them from the opening moments. You can see it in action below.

The only problem now is, I’m quite tempted to pirate Serious Sam 3 just to see this happen.

Thanks again to Craig.

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179 Comments »

  1. Shooop says:

    One of the best things about CroTeam is their sense of humor. Case in point.

  2. JackShandy says:

    I think I might just paste this comic under every DRM story from now on.

    http://www.octopuspie.com/strippy/2007-06-13.png

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      The comic is missing the point though. SS3 is seriously (heh) funny. In the comic, the problem lies in the design of the bike, i.e. it is no fun to ride. Not because the security is so intrusive, but because the gal didn’t care about the riding experience.

  3. Nethlem says:

    I think “DRM” like this can actually have an impact on sales, if you do them smartly.
    In most cases the piracy scene even works very predictable so you could actually play into that as an developer.

    But DRM like this can also completly backfire and snowball piracy and kill sales when gamers consider the famous “removes XY problem”cracks as a fix to a problem a game had in the first place even with the legit version.

    If developers are so aware of how pirates work and that they are there why not be even more direct?

    The scene works predictable, the groups try to get their crack out first so they will make the game runable but NEVER play trough it or do some indepth bugtesting. So you can be sure that the first fast and dirty cracked version with a hidden DRM like this will reach alot of people.

    After all one of the things that draws people to piracy is games beeing aviable weeks prior to official launch…

    But if you bother to understand them that much, why not go deeper?
    Cut the whole “we make the game crashy” stuff, let the pirated version show up a message after 1 hour/the player triggers something telling him:

    “Hey we noticed you play a pirated version! That means you got interest in our game, we appericate that, but we also need to feed our families!. So for the time beeing we gonna let you play the game but make it a pain in the ass by haunting you with this pink red scoprion. Enjoy!

    P.S. If you paid for this copy of the game then you are obviously experiencing a Bug and shouldn’t be bothered by this scoprion. Please contact support”

    Sure the scene might find the first trigger for the scoprion, after a while and release a fix. But if you hide more things like this in later stages of the game (and in more random ways) while clearly labeling them as “Hey right now we are fucking with your fun! But only because you are playing the pirated version! You seem to be enjoying what we made so reconsider buying it and removing all these annoying issues!” then pirates will go crazy.

    By the time the scene “bugtested” your game completly and released a final working crack most people got so fed up with all the issues from all the different cracks the scene released that at some point they get more likely to just buy the legit version.

    Basicly a layered DRM.. the more a pirate plays the game the more it’s gonna fuck you up at random chance, while CLEARLY STATING it’s doing so only because it thinks you are a pirate.

    So any developer/publisher who cares to uses this method should know that i consider it my copyrighted idea so i’m gonna demand licensing fees for every copy sold of a game using this kind of DRM :P

    edit: I just noticed how stupid all this has gotten, why is this even called a “DRM”? Isn’t that actually just a copy protection? Or do we consider them all the same by now?

    • Urthman says:

      I think that would be a great way to do it.

    • Jonith says:

      That would be an amazing idea (but we need to make Ubisoft friendly, so all that happens to people who bought the game instead)

  4. Voon says:

    Shame that its not a freaking impossible to kill Kleer skeleton instead.

  5. manveruppd says:

    If anyone actually manages to finish the pirated game, despite the scorpion chasing them around and making their life hell, the least they could do is give them a free legit copy as a reward! :)

  6. Zetetic says:

    I do love this in principle, but I can understand Wulf’s concerns. While I think it obviously detracts from it a little, I don’t think that there’s any real harm in going down the Ambrosia SW route and having the scorpion be more explicit about the fact that it’s a DRM measure. In the event of a false positive, then at least someone can be open about the fact that their game is accusing them of piracy and discuss why they think it’s got it wrong.

    Anyway, I’m trying to think of other schemes that have made the consequences of DRM occur in-games. There was the Red Alert 2 self-destruct one – I think that was good for being quite explicit.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Malibu Stacey says:

    I love how these posts always turn into the developers/publishers being the bad guys because they try to stop their products being ripped off. How about we all bitch at shops for having anti-theft devices & banks for having vaults etc?

    Or how about people don’t rip off things in the first place? Ever heard of “living within your means”? Fuck me what a novel idea.

  8. Bishop149 says:

    I don’t think its such a bad idea, the whole negative word of mouth thing can be fixed simply by advertising the fact that; Pink Scorpion = DRM.

    Which in this case they have clearly done as you’re reading about in on RPS. . . .

  9. OJSlaughter says:

    I see this being fixed soon, the pirates are a smart bunch sadly :/

    • vezz616 says:

      I support Croteam (I think they deserve the money), but I do follow the warez scene. The immortal scorpion has been cracked for five days now. The gaming media didn’t find out until a YouTube user posted the video of this occurring… on the same day it was fixed.

      I lol’d.