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Zelius
22-01-2012, 06:16 PM
I wasn't sure if this should go here or rather in Tech Help. If it belongs there, please let me know. Anyway, onwards to what this is all about:

In my thesis, I'm trying to find out if the inclusion of DRM has a significant effect on making people not buy a product, or perhaps even driving them to pirating said product. Could you please help me out by answering the following questions?


Have you ever not purchased a product you wanted, because it included some form of DRM? If so, which product(s) and which type(s) of DRM was used?
If you answered yes to the previous question, which aspect(s) of this type of DRM in particular made you not purchase said product(s)?
Would you be more inclined to purchase a product with DRM, if the service it was purchased from provided benefits over piracy? (For example, many people consider Steam's DRM to be acceptable, because of the benefits it has)
Have you ever pirated a product? (excluding music)
If you answered yes to the previous question, did you simply want this product for free, or was the inclusion of DRM the reason? If you have a different reason, please state this instead.

If you would rather use SurveyMonkey, instead of posting your answers here, please go to this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/G3JPGF3

Thank you for your time!

Nalano
22-01-2012, 06:51 PM
Most Ubisoft products, some others.
Always-on Uplay. Limited-installs Tages. Rootkit shit like Starforce.
The philosophy of Newell's Steam DRM is that it's a mere one-time authentication and tempered by the benefits of the platform. There is give and take. We are being treated like customers. If Steam's DRM was as invasive as Ubisoft's, or if Valve were as inconsistent or contemptuous as Ubisoft, then it wouldn't be worth it.
Yes.
Because demos are passe nowadays, and $50 is not an inconsiderable sum of money.

Althea
22-01-2012, 07:11 PM
1. I want to say Yes, but I've forgotten what it would have been, so I'm saying "No" for now.
2. N/A
3. Yes. I support the principle of things like UPlay, Steamworks, Impulse and Games for Windows Live, but not always the result. I find Ubisoft's system to work very well as it provides benefits to the user via cloud saving, only one activation needed for the game on your account, no other DRM, unlockable items/maps/gameplay modes via UPlay Points - it drives you on to play the game.
4. No.
5. N/A

Icarus
22-01-2012, 07:18 PM
1. Yes- I'm not purchasing Diablo 3 whenever it comes out, because of the always-online requirement for single player. The same reason I didn't purchase Darkspore.
2. An always-online client/server requirement (which affects the game with lag) for a single player twitch-action game isn't something I'm prepared to accept. I don't like GFWL but I'll accept it if the game is good enough like Arkham Asylum or Dawn of War 2.
3. Yeah, absolutely. My Steam library is pretty big. It's when the pirates have the better product that I resent DRM.
4. Yes I have- But the only games are Final Fantasy 7 PC and Crysis PC.
5. FF7 on PC is impossible to find, and requires some jiggery pokery to get working on an OS more recent than WinXP, so the crack is the only option (I do own the PS1 version of the game, so I have still paid). There wasn't a demo for Crysis and I wanted to try the game out- I didn't enjoy it after a couple of hours so I uninstalled the game and deleted the .iso.

Cooper
22-01-2012, 07:36 PM
1. Yes. Most recently Anno 2070 because of the 'always online' requirement to get the fully featured game.
I've also avoided buying certain games because of a total lack of clairty about the DRM and whether / if / when the DRM has / has not been removed.

2. Always-on for singleplayer is absurd and I totally avoid. As are limited installs, although I will sometimes let that pass. I'm fine with once-only online activation, and if needs be DVD in the drive. But I'd rather these things did not exist at all.

3. Yes. Steam is the obvious one here. Steam is DRM, for sure. But it is also many other things. Nalano summarised this pretty well.

4. Yes.

5. I pirate games I cannot legitimately purchase (Planescape Torment was the most recent. I then bought it from GoG).

Kaira-
22-01-2012, 07:52 PM
Yes, for example Skyrim and Assassin's Creed. First one having client-based/account-based DRM and second having (originally) always-online DRM.
In Steam's case, the fact that it is an unnecessary third party in the way of me accessing the game, as well as the fact that I can't lend or sell my games ever. In the case of always-online DRM, I have somewhat shaky internet connection and limited time to play, so I'd rather not be kicked out of the game, especially a single-player one, just because wireless decided to shit itself.
No.
Yes.
Easy access, free and no DRM. However, nowadays when I have more money than time, I don't pirate that much anymore, especially when I want to support the developers.

Grizzly
22-01-2012, 07:53 PM
1. No. Not yet. The thing is, that I now have ignored a few steam deals and such ever since I found out that my brother has an interest in the games I play as well. But it is not a specific game I am boycotting or anything. Its more of a subconscious process. I tend to buy my games on Gamersgate more now.
2. If a game has a strong singleplayer component, do not buy it on steam. It is not worth the hassle.
3. No - Sharing the game in the household is more important to me then the social stuff steam offers, especially because steam can be used in a game that has no steam drm.
4. Yes. Quite often, and my primary source for games untill I could buy them myself.
5. My reason quite simply is that there was no way for me to get the money to the retailer: I live in a rural village, and the trip of half an hour to a game shop that almost all the time does not have the game I want simply is not worth the effort. When I could use iDeal (a form of payment trough internet banking currently only available in the Netherlands) on bol.com, Gamersgate, and later on, Steam, my piracy days were over. Now I have a paypal account as well, which is a neat bonus.

PeopleLikeFrank
22-01-2012, 08:03 PM
1. Yes. Assassin's Creed II was a sure purchase for me before the UbiDRM scheme. I still don't purchase Ubisoft products. I also try to avoid anything with limited activations, overly invasive implementations (rootkit type stuff), and GfWL is a major turn-off too.

2. Always-on DRM is unacceptable. Anything that compromises security or privacy is unacceptable. GfWL has prevented me from playing games previously due to update bugs - I'd just cite it as a terrible implementation and too much of an obstacle.

3. Yes. Steam is acceptable for this reason. As long as the DRM itself isn't too obnoxious (always-on or rootkit type stuff would be too much for me to be swayed by other benefits.) Most other services would probably need to do something other than the social elements, since Steam is so established as my social hub for gaming. (I'm not a "Steam or no sale" person, but I can understand the aforementioned as a motivation for that.) What Nalano said about corporate attitude, too.

4. Yes.

5. I've never pirated due to DRM. I don't consider it a valid motivation - if I object to something that strongly, I prefer not to play the game at all. However, if you've purchased a game and are hampered by DRM, I consider using cracks or pirated versions valid. I used to pirate due to being broke as a kid/teenager/student, now I don't do it at all.

jaheria
22-01-2012, 08:10 PM
1. No
2. N/A
3. No
4. No
5. N/A

It strikes me that question 3 could maybe do with re-phrasing. "more inclined" than what?
@ Icarus There was/is a demo for Crysis
@ OP Interesting project. What are you doing about the self-selected sample problem?

Nullkigan
22-01-2012, 08:20 PM
I answered on surveymonkey but I'll add a little bit here, too.



2. Always-on DRM is unacceptable.

For some reason this has lots of apologists, and there's that one penny arcade comic, but I cannot agree more that Always-on DRM is unacceptable for singleplayer games. Even assuming that the other side is working (your staff goes home for the weekend and the auth servers fail? Thanks muchly but what if I work a normal week too?), I have a download cap and wireless network that drops a couple of times a week.

The Uplay system, even ignoring the drm component, is obnoxious too. When I buy a game I want to play that game, not have to meta-game the game then drop back to use menus that are outside the game to unlock content within the game, just so you can do statistical profiling of my preferences/system/whatever they justify the system with. Whilst that is a horrible sentence, it's less painful than actually using the system. Why not just give me the stuff in the game anyway? It's purely cosmetic. Or if you really must limit it, then maybe involve it in the plot somehow. A simple menu choice at a shop?

Althea
22-01-2012, 08:28 PM
The Uplay system, even ignoring the drm component, is obnoxious too. When I buy a game I want to play that game, not have to meta-game the game then drop back to use menus that are outside the game to unlock content within the game, just so you can do statistical profiling of my preferences/system/whatever they justify the system with. Whilst that is a horrible sentence, it's less painful than actually using the system. Why not just give me the stuff in the game anyway? It's purely cosmetic. Or if you really must limit it, then maybe involve it in the plot somehow. A simple menu choice at a shop?
Massively disagree. It's really simple to use, and the whole point of it is to get you to play the game to unlock things. There's three game-related rewards, sometimes four (AssCreed Brahhood had 5 or six, mostly cosmetic). It's no different to the in-game system Ubisoft also employed in Anno 1404 (which also exists in 2070) in that you have to reach in-game milestones to unlock certain things.

You have the complete game on your HDD, it's up to you to unlock the content you want.

Icarus
22-01-2012, 08:30 PM
@Jaheria, I just checked the Steam page for Crysis 1 and there isn't a demo, so maybe they took it down.

Nalano
22-01-2012, 08:30 PM
It strikes me that question 3 could maybe do with re-phrasing. "more inclined" than what?

Well, the assumption is that the inclusion of DRM weighs negatively on one's purchasing decision. As such, what then could weigh positively such that DRM would then be acceptable? If DRM does not weigh negatively - as is your case - then question three is non-applicable.


@ OP Interesting project. What are you doing about the self-selected sample problem?

What can you do? Yes, people respond in greater numbers to things they don't like, but counter-balancing that with an educated guess on an assumption as to the "silent majority" is, well, adulterating the findings.

Drake Sigar
22-01-2012, 09:11 PM
1. Yes. Every game from Half Life 2 (which was my first experience with online activation) till last year, where I finally gave up.

2. I regard anything other than a simple CD key as completely invasive. Online activations, forced sign-ups to other websites, limited activations, and always on connectivity requirements are intolerable.

3. I wouldn't say Steam offers benefits so much a semblance of equality. They're taking with one hand and giving with the other, but I still wanted what was in that other hand more.

4. No. Publishers should build a friggin' statue of me.

Zelius
22-01-2012, 09:14 PM
It strikes me that question 3 could maybe do with re-phrasing. "more inclined" than what?

More inclined than when a service does not provide benefits to counter-balance the included DRM. For example, services like Steam and GFWL might have achievements, integrated social networking, cloud storage, etc. These inclusions might make consumers more willing to pay for a product bundled with DRM.



@ OP Interesting project. What are you doing about the self-selected sample problem?

Thanks! As far as that problem goes, I've already analyzed theories and findings by other academics and will compare these to my own. Combined, I believe I will be able to formulate an accurate conclusion.

LaunchJC
22-01-2012, 09:41 PM
1. No.
2. N/A
3. Yes, Steam being a good example, although the ideal would always be no DRM.
4. Yes.
5. Needed to test definitively if it'd run on laptop, it did, I purchased. (Did this a few times, if it didn't run well enough, I didn't buy)

jaheria
22-01-2012, 09:44 PM
@ Icarus http://www.gamershell.com/download_21700.shtml
@ Nalano "what can you do?" Well, you avoid the problem by choosing a sample at random and asking 'em the questions rather than relying on people to choose themselves. Of course this is more difficult for Zelius to do and I don't how much time and resources he has.

Caleb367
22-01-2012, 09:53 PM
1. Yes, a good deal of the Ubisoft catalogue.
2. Invasive and unreliable DRM. A copy protection system that prevents me from playing when I want and/or ruins performance or stability is a definite no-no. For example, one of the first thing I did on GTA IV and Fallout 3 was crack out Live and found out I had both better FPS and stability.
3. Yes. Steam is a good example.
4. Yes.
5. Lack of a demo or a suspiciously short one. I'm not buying stuff blindly, if I like it, I'll buy it regardless; if I don't like it, I'll steer clear of it.

Rauten
22-01-2012, 10:13 PM
1)Yes, AssCreed II, AssBro, Anno 2070, BF3, Darkspore.
2)Always-on retardation, activation/install limits mostly. I'm still not big Origin myself, but that's mostly cause I find it hard to trust in EA even a slight bit.
3)Steam. Nothing else so far.
4)Good god, yes, and I still do.
5)Shitty DRM, wanted for free, no demo, and the reasons keep piling.

buemba
22-01-2012, 10:55 PM
I imagine if you focus only on the audience found in gaming sites the results of your poll will be far more anti-DRM than if you include regular people who buy the occasional song or tv show on iTunes or Amazon, but anyway:

1. No. It did make me wait for a significant price drop, but I never skipped on a game I wanted because of DRM.
2. n/a
3. Yes.
4. Yes.
5. The game was not available for sale in my country and I didn't have an international credit card yet, so buying it on eBay wasn't an option. Thankfully nowdays most games on Steam and all on GOG have no region restrictions (Unfortunately that's not the case with Gamersgate, D2D or Green Man Gaming, which is why I don't buy much stuff in them).

By the way, what definition of "DRM" are you using on your thesis? Because if you go by WIPO's definition (Meaning that it encompasses both Rights Management Information and Technological Protection Measures) all digital content has DRM (Including pirated games, songs and movies), it's just that some places like GOG don't include TPM in it.

Zelius
22-01-2012, 11:37 PM
I imagine if you focus only on the audience found in gaming sites the results of your poll will be far more anti-DRM than if you include regular people who buy the occasional song or tv show on iTunes or Amazon, but anyway

I've thought about that, but one of the problems with asking the average person is they don't know enough about or understand DRM in such a way that they're able to formulate an informed opinion. Many people I've asked have never even heard the term "Digital Rights Management" before.


By the way, what definition of "DRM" are you using on your thesis? Because if you go by WIPO's definition (Meaning that it encompasses both Rights Management Information and Technological Protection Measures) all digital content has DRM (Including pirated games, songs and movies), it's just that some places like GOG don't include TPM in it.

Sorry, I should have made that clear. I'm focusing specifically on technological protection measures.

buemba
23-01-2012, 12:11 AM
I've thought about that, but one of the problems with asking the average person is they don't know enough about or understand DRM in such a way that they're able to formulate an informed opinion. Many people I've asked have never even heard the term "Digital Rights Management" before.

But in a way doesn't that answer the question of whether or not the inclusion of DRM has a significant effect on making them buy a product or not? If they don't care enough to know what it is that probably means it has no negative impact on their decision.

Now hopefully that ignorance stems from the fact that DRM has never impeded their consumption of digital content in any way, which is how DRM should ideally work.

Zelius
23-01-2012, 01:27 AM
But in a way doesn't that answer the question of whether or not the inclusion of DRM has a significant effect on making them buy a product or not? If they don't care enough to know what it is that probably means it has no negative impact on their decision.

Now hopefully that ignorance stems from the fact that DRM has never impeded their consumption of digital content in any way, which is how DRM should ideally work.

You're absolutely right, but don't worry, I've analyzed a whole list of research on this subject, some of which has that group accounted for. I'll be comparing my findings with theirs.

pmh
23-01-2012, 11:17 AM
1. Yes: 1) anything with Tages (e.g. Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena); 2) certain versions of Starforce and Securom (which have onerous requirements on what other software you can run at the same time); 3) any always-online DRM (BNet2, some Ubisoft DRM); and 4) any non-transferable account-based online DRM (e.g. Steam). With the last category, I may wait to purchase when the game is similar in cost to a rental.

2. Always-online requirements, ability of your games to be held hostage at the whim of a third-party or service outages, the aforementioned incompatibility with other legitimate software.

3. No, but it would also depend on the benefits. Steam currently offers me little in the way of benefits.

4. Yes

5. Both to demo and to get around DRM of products I had already purchased.

Dexter
23-01-2012, 01:09 PM
1) Yes, if a game contains Activation limits or Always-On DRM (be it Mass Effect (1), Spore, Assassin’s Creed II, Anno 2070, Batman: AC, Diablo III etc.) I don’t buy it… no exceptions.
It’s even more infuriating/frustrating if there’s games you already own like Crysis or Risen, which you might want to buy Online just for the sake of ease of use, but they deliberately included said Activation Limits in the Online versions of them…

2) Activation Limits, Always-Online DRM categorically, there may be some others I object to from a case-to-case basis.

3) Yes, I have over 350 games on Steam because it is so easy to get them and you have them all in one place, not to say a lot more convenient than having to search/switch DVDs and install Patches manually.

4) Yes

5) It was considered a normal thing through my childhood in Eastern Europe, I came into contact with "piracy" by getting and trading casettes with both Spectrum ZX-like games and music (Mixtapes) and it didn't have any sort of "illegal" undertone or noone considered it. The "brainwashing" of trying to make me believe that VCRs, casette recorders and the likes are a thing of the devil set in much much later when it was too late. I continued with "Internet piracy" because I couldn't get TV series in a timely manner through any legal manner (and still can't even today), having to wait 6-12 months+ for them to hit mainland Europe, and even then usually being horribly dubbed.

Zelius
24-01-2012, 04:48 PM
Had 73 participators in the end (combined with some other sites I posted it). Not as much as I'd hoped, but it'll at least give me an indication as to which aspects of DRM in particular people might avoid. Thanks for the help!

Unaco
24-01-2012, 05:01 PM
1. No.
2. -
3. Yes.
4. Yes.
5. Different reason. Was a game, wasn't available in my region, had to order from overseas. Really wanted to start playing, and not wait 2-3 weeks. Downloaded the .iso, and started playing.

Snargelfargen
24-01-2012, 07:54 PM
As a big side-note to this, I have purchased and enjoyed multiplayer-centric games. It seems my stance on always-on drm only applies to games that are focused on the single player experience.

1.
Yes. I avoid all recent Ubisoft games, specifically the Assassins Creed series and Anno 1404. I don't buy Ubisoft products because of the always-on drm. I know this does not apply to all of Ubisoft's catalogue. I simply can't be bothered to research if a game is "safe" when there are other excellent games with publishers who do not use always on drm. Looking at my collection, the newest Ubisoft game I have is Ghost Recon Advanced 2 from 2007.

2.
I move around quite a bit, and there have been many times when I didn't have access to the internet, either because I was waiting for a cable company, I had an unreliable connection or my room-mates flaked out somehow. Currently my only options are 3G and satellite, both of which drop out most evenings because of over-subscription. Always-on drm would prevent me from playing or accessing all the content of some single-player games.

3.
Yes. I appreciate steam's community tools, the program is light weight and the deals are good. That said, I really don't care about drm so long as it doesn't have an adverse effect on my system, and it doesn't prevent me from playing the game.

4.
Yes.

5.
I have pirated many games in the past because I wanted them for free and had very little money at the time. More recently (in the last 3 years), I pirate games for a couple other reasons:
a. I already own the game on cd/dvd but installing it is a hassle.
b. I already own the game, but it won't work for some reason. Examples are the bolo mod in Just Cause 2 not working with the new patch and EA's servers mistakenly unauthenticating all the legally purchased dlc in Dragon Age.

Stellar Duck
24-01-2012, 10:21 PM
1.Yes. Plenty of times. To name a few: Spore, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Assassins Creed 2, Anno 1404, Anno 2070, Silent Hunter 5, Settlers 7, Driver San Fran, From Dust (though other things made a difference there as well), Far Cry 2 (until they patched out the DRM) and more.

It should be noted that I've later bought some of these games after the DRM was removed. However I typically payed 5-10€ instead of the 50€ they could have gotten at release.

As for types of DRM: in the cases mentioned is securom, TAGES and Uplay.

2. Basically anything that requires me to be online or limit my activations will get a pass. I refuse to fork over money and not be allowed to install a game as many times as I wish.

3. If there are no limits to number of installs and no need to be online, then sure, I'll buy. Steam is acceptable, mostly but places like GamersGate and gog.com are vastly better, requiring no client and having downloadable installers.

4. Yes.

5. I pirated a bit 10-15 years ago when I was young and money was tight. These days I just wait for a sale if a title is not worth the asking price. Though if a game is not available commercially I might pirate it. Depends on the context.
I do, however, still pirate TV shows as it's a bit sketchy to find a legal way of watching them.
And no, my piracy had nothing to do with DRM. That wasn't a huge issue in the late 90s. It was purely because I was young and poor.

BobbyFizz
24-01-2012, 11:09 PM
1. Yes, Dawn of War II initially, and a couple of other GFWL games. I also generally steer clear of games that have the obvious shareholder pleasing DRM, that just serves zero purpose to the game.

2. After having huge problems and jumping through hurdles to get GFWL working with both GTA4 and Red Faction, I decided not to buy any games that use it.

3. Yes, specifically Steam as I enjoy the community features.

4. Yes

5. Most of the time just to try the game. If there's a demo of a game I'll try that instead. I've also downloaded a couple of old games that I simply couldn't find anymore. I've never downloaded a copy of a game purely for the reason of avoiding the DRM.

vecordae
24-01-2012, 11:31 PM
No. If I want something I will buy it. If a feature turns out to be obnoxious I will modify the game accordingly.
N/A
Yes. If I have to choose between DRM as part of a service I enjoy and DRM as proof that I'm not a pirate, I will choose the former every single time.
Yes. I don't regret doing so, but will not likely do so again.
I carefully considered my then-current situation and decided that I wanted to play some video games but couldn't actually afford to do so. I decided that it wouldn't impact anyone I knew in a way I cared about, so I went ahead and downloaded whatever looked interesting. I've since purchased every single game I've ever pirated because my outlook on such things has changed, but if I am honest, I had no intention of paying anyone anything ever at the time.

Vexing Vision
25-01-2012, 01:55 PM
As your Surveymonkey survey is closed, let me answer here.

I would also be VERY interested in your findings - please don't hesitate to contact me (contact ways, see below in my signature).



Have you ever not purchased a product you wanted, because it included some form of DRM? If so, which product(s) and which type(s) of DRM was used?

I have not purchased any UbiSoft game for PC that include the UbiDRM. I have received one gifted copy of Heroes 6, and my experience with it definitely convinced me in my decision. I was very interested in several of their titles, but have opted against purchasing (or pirating) them.

Back in the early 2000's, I would not purchase games with SecuRom 3+ protection, as my old CD-drive was unable to play these CDs.



If you answered yes to the previous question, which aspect(s) of this type of DRM in particular made you not purchase said product(s)?

Technical incompatibility and invasiveness. I wish to be able to play a Singleplayer game at all times. With UbiSoft's DRM - and I observed this first hand with Heroes 6 -, I was actually affected by a server maintenance, which left me unable to play my purchased (gifted), single-player game for an entire weekend. This is not acceptable to me, and ensured that I have informed everyone that I do not wish any UbiSoft titles gifted.
I also refuse to purchase Origin titles for the same fears.


Would you be more inclined to purchase a product with DRM, if the service it was purchased from provided benefits over piracy? (For example, many people consider Steam's DRM to be acceptable, because of the benefits it has)

I never liked Steam. But I can tolerate it, because it comes with real benefits to me (mostly the sales). Steam also has a very high up-time, and therefor is acceptable.



Have you ever pirated a product? (excluding music)

Yes, as a young kid, before I had an allowance that would allow me to actually purchase some games (this was before the shareware scene supplied me with all kinds of legal free stuff).


If you answered yes to the previous question, did you simply want this product for free, or was the inclusion of DRM the reason? If you have a different reason, please state this instead.

I did not know any better! Ever since I earn my own money (even allowances back in the school days), I have not pirated a game, as I still consider it theft.
If I cannot or do not wish to pay for a game, I will leave it aside.