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  1. #121
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    99% of all people are morons.

    Anyway, what is the point of this tangent anyway? I feel like I'm missing something or does this not even really relate to anything worthwhile?
    Honestly, I was kind of wondering the same thing...

    I think it started with you wondering why nobody listened to the industry experts, I answered, and somehow we got here.
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  2. #122
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    DRM is absolutely necessary for the medium to evolve. Game developers need more viable business options than making $60 games.

    Without DRM, it's basically impossible to charge a lot of money for a game. Pirating becomes a more attractive option as the price rises, especially when it deviates from the norm.

    This curses all the games that don't have mass appeal to very low budgets, and the quality almost always suffers.

    This is bad for gamers. They are only going to get games tailored for the mass market instead of games specialized for their unique tastes.

    The anti-DRM crusade needs to die so that games which don't appeal to 10 million people can have big budgets too.

  3. #123
    Lesser Hivemind Node RobF's Avatar
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    Aside from "I just said that" is there even the slightest logic to any of that?
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  4. #124
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biz View Post
    This curses all the games that don't have mass appeal to very low budgets, and the quality almost always suffers.
    Really? Are you sure it's because niche titles naturally just sell less copies, because hey, they're not for everyone?

    The kind of "It's an elite game so it should cost a fortune" thinking is basically what Apple did.

  5. #125
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Really? Are you sure it's because niche titles naturally just sell less copies, because hey, they're not for everyone?

    The kind of "It's an elite game so it should cost a fortune" thinking is basically what Apple did.
    To be fair, with Apple you're also paying for really high quality product support. And really pretty, well built devices. It sort of is an elite product. I prefer Windows and Linux, but I think apple is worth the price hike unless you're really attached to the Windows GUI, windows-dependent software, or the modularity of a custom built desktop. I fall into all three categories, so I don't buy apple products. I love the Windows GUI less now that I've played around with Linux (also it's basically an IDE for C/C++ which is convenient for me) ... but I still prefer it to Mac. Mac has some better non-GUI API features (@#$(!$% acronyms ...) though. Point is: worth the money, in my opinion, but I'm not the target audience.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 25-07-2012 at 08:47 AM.
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  6. #126
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojimboo View Post
    Strawman. You think we are arguing that DRM is a necessary evil because it in effect enforces copyright, or actually replaces any copy-right laws?

    Having a company purchase an IP, developing and selling a product base off of that, has very little to do with DRM. You can have all of that, without ever even realising such a thing as DRM exists.

    Please, this thread is about DRM, and especially the rational reasons why it should not exist. So far, there has been no evidence whatsoever to counter the peer-reviewed examples of my lit review, or the practical examples in the TweakGuides articles.
    By no means I think DRM is a necessary evil. DRM is evil and defective by design because it's solving the wrong problem. It's trying to treat information like physical objects, and information is fundamentally not like that. Thomas Jefferson said it well:

    If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.
    DRM is an extension of copyright, it's copyright in practice. "You can have all of that without realizing such a thing as DRM exists." - you said about selling "IP". But DRM locks things down and encourages companies to do that. What you're saying is like saying that driving drunk is okay, because people crash their cars even without alcohol. It's about introducing defects into software. The problem is not selling copies, but making a profit while developing useful or fun things.

    And as I said in my later post, it's not required to make profit from software. Selling copies is not required to make profit.
    - grant/commision model (kickstarter)
    - freemium (Tribes: Ascend)
    - in-game ads

    Each has pros and cons, and is suitable to different kinds of games, but neither requires DRM or copyright. It's hard to prove that copyright benefits creation anyway. The number of composers in European countries post-copyright has fallen significantly, with the lone exception being France where it seemed to increase. (Detailed stats in "Agains the intellectual monopoly", full text available online for free)

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    I take issue with that. DRM is not meant to protect copyrights in that regard (or at all, I forget the strict definition of "copyright" legally).

    Those are cases of badness. What about if some random company (EA) decided to do a sequel to The Witcher, even though CD Projekt are already allocating a few people to The Witcher 3 (regardless of what they might say)? What about if Activision decides to make Half-Life 3 because Valve are taking too long?

    Yeah, the companies that "don't know how to handle" an IP are horrid, but that is a small price to pay. There is nothing preventing EA from making their own mature RPG with action elements or Activsion from making their own plot-based sci fi story (at least, until Apple gets involved in video games and patents the concept of an RPG and an FPS...), they just can't use those particular IPs. That's why we have new XCOM-like games coming and Stardock did Elemental (and Paradox did Warlock).
    And what would be wrong with EA making a sequel to Witcher or Activision making Half Life 3 ? First, it doesn't make the initial works start to suck. Look at books about Conan the Barbarian. People learned to pay attention who the author is. Fantasy fans often agree that later books, by other authors, are often worse, and they stick to authors they like. Cthulhu mythos is another good example, a huge influence and some of writers who picked it up did a great job.
    A gamer who's not too naive would just stay away from HL3 by Activision. If you're thinking "HL3 by Activision means a wasted opportunity because no one else could do it", then you're thinking in copyright terms. Gamers would just shrug and wait for a game by a better team.

    DRM is not meant to protect copyright perhaps, but it works in the spirit of copyright. It enables all sorts of ugly behavior. I deffinitely not agree that horrid mishanding of once stellar game serries is a small price to pay. DRM and copyright have chilling effect on game creation.

    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    You're only focusing on a small part of the process though. It's the problem with the reward argument; actually creating the game is only around 10% of the work that actually gets the game onto the Steam storefront / shop shelves. The other 90% is done by the publisher. Or to put it another way, you're basically saying the guy who designed the car deserves more of the money than the guys who assembled it, painted it, tested it and sold it.
    Painting, testing, and assembling a car is difficult, requires skill, knowledge and tools. This is a very good example why physical items are not like copies of software. 90% of work done by publisher ? Really ? A kid with a torrent can seed it. Word of mouth works wonders as a marketing substitute, as long as your game is good. Perhaps that's why marketing is so popular, because it disguises crap as something fun and valuable. Take a look at ARMA 2 sales at Steam. The game has very little marketing, but Day Z word of mouth has made it surge and it's been occuping 1st-2nd spot of bestsellers for months now. Without a discount.
    Last edited by b0rsuk; 25-07-2012 at 09:51 AM.
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  7. #127
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    Non-gaming industries thrives on products that fewer people would pay more for.
    Variety is good. Consumers are happy. Developers are happy.

    Rampant piracy makes that an impossible business model for games.
    There is a huge difference between asking someone to buy a $60 game instead of pirating it and asking someone to buy a $200 game instead of pirating it.

    Until DRM is accepted, developers have limited options and will only make a limited pool of games. Games will evolve slower as a result.

  8. #128
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biz View Post
    Non-gaming industries thrives on products that fewer people would pay more for.
    Variety is good. Consumers are happy. Developers are happy.

    Rampant piracy makes that an impossible business model for games.
    There is a huge difference between asking someone to buy a $60 game instead of pirating it and asking someone to buy a $200 game instead of pirating it.

    Until DRM is accepted, developers have limited options and will only make a limited pool of games. Games will evolve slower as a result.
    And what would be that grand game that would justify a 200$ price ticket for you?
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  9. #129
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    Um, any kickstarter, funded game or indy game without DRM proves that to be false. See Dwarf fortress for "infinite pirating", oh wait it's not pirating it's free distribution!

    See Minecraft or Dungeons of Dremor for other examples. You don't need DRM.

  10. #130
    Lesser Hivemind Node RobF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biz View Post
    Non-gaming industries thrives on products that fewer people would pay more for.
    Variety is good. Consumers are happy. Developers are happy.
    So do games. This is how Cliffski can afford to charge a premium for his games compared to other indie efforts, see also Spiderweb Software, Cryptic Comet and various others. It's how Railworks can justify over £1,000 worth of DLC too. If you're not competing with the meat and potatoes of gaming, you have no need to price the same as them.

    It's also how games can exist and get made in niches and be available free of charge and all sorts inbetween. We have, for all its faults, a very very healthy market for videogames right now where niches can thrive.

    What happens on Steam stays on Steam. As a general rule.

    Rampant piracy makes that an impossible business model for games.
    Except it doesn't. It's already possible. People are doing it. And that's with "rampant piracy".

    There is a huge difference between asking someone to buy a $60 game instead of pirating it and asking someone to buy a $200 game instead of pirating it.
    There is, and you'd probably be a complete lunatic asking someone to pay $200 for your game because that's over and above -anything- currently charged. There's also a huge difference between asking someone to buy a game for 69p and £60 but the market supports both. And there's also a huge difference between asking for £60 and £6000, it's just as spurious a point.

    That's not to say that people won't donate over $200 to games if they're quality and in an underrepresented genre (or they really appreciate what the developer does) because people do just that but that's not an RRP. Dwarf Fortress pulls in regular of $4k a month in donations. Without copy protection. Hmm...


    Until DRM is accepted, developers have limited options and will only make a limited pool of games. Games will evolve slower as a result.
    No they don't have limited options, there's vast amounts of ways to fund and get funded now. Copy protection will not magically improve the viability of niche gaming nor will it increase the budgets in any way, shape or form. You're drawing a relation between locking something down and, I dunno, what? A magical money hat growing or something?
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  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Since you're so interested in logical, rational arguments, could you just explain to me exactly how that's a strawman? I'm making that argument myself, you can't strawman your own side of the argument.

    I'm a bit confused at how I'm meant to give you a logical, rational argument when you don't seem to have the basic fallacies down yet.
    Not sure how you missed its definition, but here goes. You are misrepresenting the opponent's position because you believe DRM exists to completely stop or prevent piracy, and have thus argued about the ineffectiveness of DRM because all games are cracked eventually (well, almost all). As many have noted, and even the DRM companies themselves, it is there to try and stop zero-day sales, and delay the inevitable cracking. Hence, strawman. You might want to look it up.

    The more sophisticated DRM systems (always-online) obviously go beyond this, and prove more effective at reducing piracy throughout its lifetime, as nobody wants to play Diablo 3 on a cracked server if they can help it.

    Of course, the issue is that there will never be any conclusive, definitive proof that DRM resulted in less or more sales. The only way to measure such a thing is to have a parallel universe at hand, and release a game laden with DRM and without. There are of course estimates and algorithms, but actually they were never validated against empirical data, because it does not exist. I imagine this problem exists in any statistical endeavour where you rely on statistics from illegal activity.

    In its absence, there is however quite a bit of circumstantial evidence, debunking common myths like that DRM heavy games result in higher piracy rates, or that DRM free games result in lower piracy rates.

    http://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_4.html

    Finally, on the contentious topic of DRM, aside from Spore whose audience may well have fallen victim to DRM-induced hysteria, the presence of intrusive DRM appears not to increase piracy of a game. For example Call of Duty 4, Assassin's Creed and Crysis all have no intrusive DRM whatsoever: they all use basic SafeDisc copy protection with no install limits, no online activation, and no major reports of protection-related issues. Yet all were pirated heavily enough to have the dubious distinction of being in the Top 10 downloaded games list. But strangely absent from the list are several popular games which do use more intrusive DRM: BioShock, Crysis Warhead, and Mass Effect. This indicates quite clearly that intrusive DRM is not the main reason why some games are pirated more heavily than others. We examine this issue in more detail in the Copy Protection & DRM section.
    ....

    I've saved an excellent example for last. As an indication that not only is the scale of piracy generally high across all types of games, but more importantly, that it seems to have little to do with DRM, big greedy game companies, or the high price of games, let's take a look at a game called World of Goo, recently released by a small independent developer called 2D Boy consisting of a team of 3 people. It's available as a digital download, selling for less than $20 on Steam, it has no intrusive DRM, and it's received nothing but praise, reflected in a Metacritic Score of 90%/95%. This should be precisely the recipe for preventing piracy according to some, but unfortunately the truth is less convenient: the developer of the game has stated that World of Goo has an approximate piracy rate of 90%. Regardless of the precise level of piracy, the key point to consider is that World of Goo addresses every single item on the checklist of excuses which people usually present for pirating games - yet it is still being pirated quite heavily.

    Update: Just to show that World of Goo wasn't an isolated case, there is yet another example of the irrelevance of DRM, big greedy companies and high prices to piracy. The independent game Machinarium, released by a small Czech developer and priced at $20 with no DRM also has the dubious honor of a 90% piracy rate.

    Update: A common complaint from gamers is that most PC games these days are ported over from the console versions (which they often are), and hence this fact is used to justify rampant piracy. However a 2011 PC exclusive by the name of The Witcher 2 provides solid evidence that this excuse is just a smokescreen. The Witcher 2 is a detailed role playing game made by independent polish developers CD Projekt solely for PCs in its first year of release. It proved very popular with PC gamers, garnering a Metacritic Score of 88%/83%. Some versions of the game came with DRM, but this was quickly removed in initial patches, and the game also received a lot of free bonus content. Did this prevent or reduce piracy? Not one bit. The Witcher 2 has an estimated 80% piracy rate, once again proving that trying to address the fanciful excuses people make for piracy can be fruitless. CD Projekt is discussed further in the Copy Protection & DRM section of this article.
    So whilst DRM free is no doubt an acceptable model for some indie games, it is clearly not for others. And of course, there are vast differences in the business models for indie titles and AAA ones, as breaking even with your multi-million dollar investment on a PC game is no mean feat, considering 90% was stolen (not that even the majority of those would ever be convertible to actual sales, but still there is huge amount of potential there).
    Last edited by rojimboo; 25-07-2012 at 01:00 PM.

  12. #132
    Network Hub Ernesto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojimboo View Post
    as nobody wants to play Diablo 3 on a cracked server if they can help it.
    That's a pretty big assumption. I didn't buy D3, but I sure wouldn't mind playing some mods or something. And a cracked server seems to be the only way to achieve that.
    Which brings up another point against the newer DRM-methods. Modding becomes significantly harder.

    This thread is quite entertaining, by the way. And sad.

  13. #133
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    To be fair, with Apple you're also paying for really high quality product support.
    It's worth less than what's being charged, in terms of design and under-the-hood components, and the support is also overpriced. This is why Apple's losing a battle with Android and Vizio's just about to undercut them harshly.
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  14. #134
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    And what would be wrong with EA making a sequel to Witcher or Activision making Half Life 3 ? First, it doesn't make the initial works start to suck. Look at books about Conan the Barbarian. People learned to pay attention who the author is. Fantasy fans often agree that later books, by other authors, are often worse, and they stick to authors they like. Cthulhu mythos is another good example, a huge influence and some of writers who picked it up did a great job.
    A gamer who's not too naive would just stay away from HL3 by Activision. If you're thinking "HL3 by Activision means a wasted opportunity because no one else could do it", then you're thinking in copyright terms. Gamers would just shrug and wait for a game by a better team.

    DRM is not meant to protect copyright perhaps, but it works in the spirit of copyright. It enables all sorts of ugly behavior. I deffinitely not agree that horrid mishanding of once stellar game serries is a small price to pay. DRM and copyright have chilling effect on game creation.
    So to protect a few brand names, you would like to sacrifice all of them?

    Because i just listed EA doing a Witcher sequel (concurrently with GoG). After the success of TW2, you can be damned sure that Activision would also be doing one. And so would every single indie dev. And I don't mean "We basically have a studio" indie devs. I mean "I live in my mom's basement and like video games" indie devs.

    So great, someone can name their HoMM-style game "HoMM". And everyone else can label their turds "Half-Life".

    And you cite Conan. I am not familiar with the licensing on that character/franchise, but it sounds like the same approach taken by Star Wars, Battletech, and Warhammer (Fantasy Battle AND 40k). The copyright holder determines what stories are allowed, but they contract it out to different writers. So yes, you have different authors, but they all have to follow the same approved (general) plotline. If Dan Abnett decides to kill off Horus before The Battle of Terra, you can be sure that the Black Library wouldn't let him publish (unless they decide to make the twist that Horus wasn't at Terra, and that it was Alpharion in disguise, which is actually possible). Thus, everything is still canon (to the extent canon is handled in the franchise) and is "correct" because the copyright holders agreed to the pitch.

    What you are proposing is a free-for-all situation that would really just mean brand name means absolutely nothing. So, like I said, you are sacrificing everything for the sake of not wanting to acknowledge that King's Bounty and that ElfBattle thing (I think the devs who did Warlock made it?) are the same genre, but from better devs than the current copyright holders.
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  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobF View Post
    More seriously, for a moment, I wrote a while back on why I don't and won't include DRM in my games:

    http://www.merseyremakes.co.uk/gibbe.../01/on-no-drm/

    tl;dr version:



    No amount of academic papers written can ever get me back the hour and a half I spent begrudginly wrestling with uPlay. They can't ever bring back the drive that failed after an especially obstinate early form of Starforce took it out, it can't get me back the time it takes Rockstar Social or GFWL to auth themselves, it can't bring back lost saves that disappeared into the GFWL void or any of the other, many, hassles that DRM has inflicted upon me over time.

    And I'm not special here. The amount of inconvenience varies from person to person and the amount of bullshit people will put up with varies but it's still inconvenience and bullshit.

    When I write and publish games, it's not the players responsibility to bear the brunt of ensuring my work is its most profitable. Their part of the deal here is that they give me money to play the game. Except when they don't, obviously, but I'm fairly cool with that because this is 2012 and the internet exists and there's enough people I can reach on the internet who will and do pay for things that the balance, even if 50,000 people pirated my game tomorrow, still tips in my favour. I still get some money to spend on games because people are great.

    So knowing that people are great, why would I want or need to make their life worse when all they want to do is give me money and have a good time?

    But then, it's daft to go looking for academic critiques or analysis of a fundamentally human issue. And in this case, "because I fucking hate it" is genuinely a reasonable response. Because that's the sort of response that matters here. Because it's people that matter not bottom lines.
    I read your article, from a developer of indie games lamenting piracy and proclaiming never to use DRM.

    First of all, I wouldn't be so eager to lump all DRM together and say it is bad for all business models - there is a significant difference between an indie business model and a AAA business model. Having said that, you also admit piracy is a huge problem and would like your users not to resort to it. Sort of like many indie developers who experience rampant piracy of 90% plus, like World of Goo. Naturally, your objection to using DRM is that it mostly seems ineffective.

    However, there is a constant evolution of it, where it becomes less intrusive, and more effective. In fact, most people playing Securom+GFWL+Steam triple-deckeded DRM games already testify to this - they just enjoy playing the game, and contributed to the future prospects of the developer.

    There is no doubt you, and others (in a minority) were bitten by DRM. However, boycotting games and harming yourself and the PC gaming industry in general due to past software bugs, seems completely extreme (like the infamous GFWL save issue, which has since been fixed). I mean, if I boycotted all games because of past software bugs (like Witcher 2 - recently there was a game-breaking bug with Steam cloud saves, where you just lost your progress, even though it said so in-game, how cruel), I would stop playing all Steam games, stop using Steam and GoG, in fact, stop using all software, period.

    Keep in mind the constant effort to evolve DRM, and TAGES two years ago, does not equal TAGES today.
    Last edited by rojimboo; 25-07-2012 at 02:09 PM.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    You must be new to the internet. We've been having arguments and debates about piracy since before you were born.
    I've yet to see you debate anything so far reading this thread tbh Hyper. Repeatedly saying 'No, you're wrong!!!''Lies!!!' 'Irrelevant!!!' and innumerable variations there of doesn't really cut the mustard in debate circles.
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