“Permanent Internet Access” For STALKER 2

Kotaku Australia are reporting this Ukrainian publication’s interview with GSC’s Studio Director Sergey Grigorovich. In it it he answers a huge number of questions, revealing little about the sequel apart from question one about “security” for the forthcoming game:

“Software piracy is an issue for us, we try to fight it, but within reason… Protection from piracy? Part of the content will be located on the server and downloaded as the game progresses. Permanent internet access is required. Text information, code and quests will be loaded through that connection.”

I’ve contacted GSC for a statement.


  1. Meat Circus says:

    The stupid fuckers have just killed their own game. :(

    I was vaguely looking forward to playing it too. What a shame.

    Jim: I assume RPS will be denying them any further breathless expectation until they (inevitably) reverse this inexplicably fuckwitted decision?

    • Pod42 says:

      They killed it for me when they announced it for consoles, but this has just put the nail in the coffin.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      “They killed it for me when they announced it for consoles.”

      Get over yourself.

      Games can be aimed at both PC and consoles and still be great. The technical advantages of high-end PCs are no guarantee of game quality, even less of accessibility. And the technical limits of consoles do not prevent games taking full advantage of the PC.

      Look at Valve, a champion of PC gaming if ever there was one. Team Fortress 2, Portal, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2—none of these were compromised on the PC despite being released simultaneously for Xbox and/or PS3.

      Or closer to GSC: Metro 2033 was released simultaneously for PC and Xbox, and it is so very much at home on a high-end PC.

      I deride games that are poorly ported from consoles to PC as much as anyone. But judge a game on its merits, and not just because it’s being released on multiple platforms.

    • Bull0 says:

      Metro 2033 was a new property, and Stalker is a PC property. The original Stalker would not translate at all well to consoles without sweeping changes because of the fiddliness and idiosyncrasies, but all of that made it a cult hit on PC. Hearing that for Stalker 2 they’re simultaneously developing it for consoles is pretty alarming.

      In a nutshell: context is everything, you missed it.

      @Meat Circus Ordinarily I react badly to people who scream “You’ve killed your game because you’ve got DRM”, but in the case of Stalker, I think the game’s footprint is a bit narrower and it’s got that cult feel and in those circumstances this announcement really could be quite damaging, so I’m with you.

    • Pod42 says:

      I’m not talking about technical limits, nor bad ports, but the term “dumbed down” accounts for gameplay, level design, UI, the whole bleedin lot. The game needs to be catered for console or PC, never pulls it off with both.

      BF3 is trying to pull off both and look at the uproar for that. You use Portal 2 as an example of not being compromised but I use it as a prime example that it was (Grey walls with answers, no twitch portaling etc).

      I might need to get over myself but it’s a firm belief from the result of many let downs.

    • Octaeder says:


      Your Portal 2 example conveniently misses the point that Portal was also a multiplatform release. If you really feel that Portal 2 was dumbed down, being on a console was not the reason for it.

    • Bull0 says:

      Except Portal came before Portal 2, and it’s perfectly likely that feedback about Portal’s twitchier shots being difficult on consoles was taken into account when developing Portal 2. If we’re conveniently missing points

    • DrGonzo says:

      I agree that stalker will likely suffer. But your portal 2 comment is rubbish. Both my girlfriend and my dad both gave up on portal 1 due to the twitchy bits and they ate both pc gamers, yet none of my console friends had a problem with it. The reason twitch bits were removed is because they aren’t fun and are completely out of place in a puzzle game.

    • skinlo says:

      The twitch mechanic added no benefit in Portal 1 except to those who like to do glitch out the game and do speed runs. I haven’t missed it at all.

    • Bull0 says:

      I don’t exactly mourn its’ passing either but there’s no denying it made the game easier, and there’s also no denying it’s more difficult to pull off the twitchy shots on a console than it is with the accuracy of a mouse. That is the full extent of my meaning – I’m no game designer

    • Jumwa says:

      DrGonzo is absolutely right. PC gamer only here (we own a Wii but haven’t hardly touched it in a couple years). The only parts of the first Portal I didn’t enjoy, were the parts where you had to be a quick draw with your portal gun, with those gun turrents or while flying around at super speed. It was tense and unpleasant for a puzzle game. When Portal 2 was on its way, my biggest fear was that they would do more of that. I was more than pleasantly surprised to see they got rid of it altogether.

      As for this STALKER 2 news? Well, they just lost themselves one sale here. I bought the last game the moment it came out, and I’ve been a huge fan of the series. But no way am I going to buy any single player game from a company that does this sort of garbage to its customers.

    • Mattressi says:

      Bah, morons. They’ve lost a sale from me too. I’ve bought SoC, CS and CoP and I’ve been hanging out for this for ages – but there’s no way in hell I’m going to buy it unless they remove their crappy DRM. With any luck they’re only talking about the DRM for the Russian version; I remember something about how the Russian versions of one of the Stalker games had Starforce and Westerner’s flipped out about it, so GSC dropped it. Hopefully that happens this time too – for their sake and mine.

    • vodka and cookies says:

      @Pod42 you do need to get over yourself, as that is complete and utter nonsense I seriously doubt your even familiar with game consoles.

      There are lots of deeply complex games on game consoles, Dark Souls is one of the the most popular current titles as an example. The reason some games get dumbed down is to have mass appeal and that happens regardless of platform.

      If more PC gamers had actually bought Stalker instead of pirating it then they probably would never had developed a console version so you only got the PC fanboys who treat PC gaming as a free buffet to blame.

    • Heisenberg says:


      They killed it for me when they announced it for consoles, but this has just put the nail in the coffin.

      If you are suggesting all console games have to be dumbed down,I strongly suggest you give ‘Dark Souls’ a go.

      btw, the level design and complexity in it is incredible, and better then anything i have seen all year on PC.

    • Nic Clapper says:

      These games have enough rough edges as it is being pc only with content stored locally. Developing multiplatform with streaming content? I can only imagine this being quite a messy release.

      Guess have to hope they somehow pull this craziness off…as stalker is one of my favorite series.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      Speaking of PC and consoles, I wonder if they are doing this because they want to switch their market to consoles. I mean, this is going to destroy PC sales, but not console ones. This all is so stupid that it can only be on purpose.

    • alundra says:

      @vodka and cookies

      “If more PC gamers had actually bought Stalker instead of pirating…”

      How come all drm apologist always spew the same crap? Piracy is the reason for all the evils in the world, I purchased all three soc games through steam because they were drm free PC games, now they pull this crap??

      Got a better explanation for you, they got rich off the backs of they loyal PC followers, they got ambitious, now they want to pull an UBI or an EA, including the total disregard for their customers.

      Seeing how UBI states that their PC sales are 90% down, these backstabbers called GSC are going to need good luck with that.

    • Necroscope says:

      I couldn’t give a monkeys about DRM and have never had a problem with a game or service using it, even for Settlers 7! No frikking way would I put having a good time with potentially a few rough edges over principles when it comes to PC gaming. The only thing that could prevent me from playing is if the game has completely sold out its roots of the previous installments at times phenomenal atmospheric PC-centric gameplay.
      Tell me what happens to your game collection if Steam goes belly up ? Your game collection perishes. I typed into google Steam is DRM and was fascinated! :)

    • Bughunter says:

      “Get over yourself” is right!

      Try having kids to feed and a mortgage to pay while working in an industry that relies on income from digital content. You do realize that all gaming studios are not made equal right? That just maybe some of them can’t weather piracy, don’t have “piracy in the budget”, that piracy and file sharing CAN AND DOES tank honest, small businesses. Its not just videogames, its any and all digital content.

      This privileged bull attitude only comes from kids who don’t work in any related industry and expect everything for FREE. I’m right there with you when DRM or related protection cripple a game BUT when it doesn’t then I say GO FOR IT. I want the companies I respect to actually earn a dime from their efforts and to be able to feed their families.

    • Pod42 says:

      @vodka and cookies @Heisenberg
      Clearly I’m talking about multi-plat, and know consoles have great games.

    • Nielk1 says:


      DRM just makes it easier to play the Pirated version than the paid release. I know, I have tested both in numerous cases.

      It is not like Stalker 2 can’t be pirated either, all it would probably involve is someone playing the game, capturing all the data, and then throwing it all on a fake server program and forcing the computer to loop back when it tries to access the external server. And in the end, using that after someone else did it would be easier than playing the game after buying it.

      I can recall actually pirating games I owned just so that I could play them because of DRM garbage.

    • Bughunter says:

      @Nielk1: Your attitude is EXACTLY WHY there is DRM in the first place. That casual, thoughtless “meh, piracy is just a means to an end” bullcrap is putting a lot of small businesses in the dumps. And I don’t buy it either, you’re just getting into memetic arguing for arguments sake.

      At a certain level, file sharing and piracy destroy honest, real people relying on the income. You don’t steal bread from the baker and go “Meh, he was probably making a ton of money anyway. Doesn’t deserve mine.” do you?

    • Squiddity says:

      @VelvetFistIronGlove, Left 4 Dead 2 was compromised on the PC. Its menus, FOV, and weapon size were all adjusted for console play, and if I could boot it up right now (Steam’s downloading actively on my laptop, which doesn’t have Left 4 Dead 2 on it), I’m fairly certain I would be unable to find a way to alter the FOV to fit a PC monitor.

      Portal 2 was the same way.

    • Randomgerbil says:

      @Pod42 “They killed it for me when they announced it for consoles”

      What? to add to a list of good arguements, The Witcher 2 is coming to consoles and it’s one of the best games I’ve played this year, and certainly feels like a PC RPG. Deus Ex: Human revolution got special love on the PC, so we have DX11 and stuff like the ability to change the FOV. And before you start shouting about radial menus in The Witcher, they designed it so it’d work well with a controller regardless of platfrom because that kind of combat is often better with one.

      In regards to S.T.A.L.K.E.R, that’s something I’m not buying, if this nonsense isn’t stopped. There are plenty of other titles, old and new that I can get stuck into.

      My line on piracy is NO. It gets murky when you own the game and pirate it as well because of horrible DRM, but I normaly go with the approach that if the goods are damaged, I dont buy them, and that’s what I view the harder forms of DRM as.

    • D3xter says:

      Those twitch-shots were actually (aside of the writing and general characters) one of my favourite parts of Portal, but then I usually love games that give you a lot of possibilities to do stuff (Jedi Knight 2 still being my fav multiplayer shooter with all those force-powers and glitches and stuff like wall-gliding, strafing, immense jumps and whatnot e.g.: link to youtube.com or say Left4Dead with all them Hunter-jumps etc. link to youtube.com (spent a lot of time on that map to at least get a somewhat respectable time myself)) and demand at least a somewhat moderate amount of “skill” to do something. I don’t exactly want Battletoads kind of hard and memorization back, but games like Super Meat Boy seem like a good compromise and I wished that they could abstract that to some other genres again too…

      But hell, even here in the comments we see that several people were unhappy that they couldn’t just press a “Play” button and watch the game play itself all the way through like a movie and most developers pander to that crowd wanting games to almost run by themselves without any or much player input.

    • Nielk1 says:


      @Nielk1: Your attitude is EXACTLY WHY there is DRM in the first place. That casual, thoughtless “meh, piracy is just a means to an end” bullcrap is putting a lot of small businesses in the dumps. And I don’t buy it either, you’re just getting into memetic arguing for arguments sake.

      At a certain level, file sharing and piracy destroy honest, real people relying on the income. You don’t steal bread from the baker and go “Meh, he was probably making a ton of money anyway. Doesn’t deserve mine.” do you?

      Except that is not what I said or how I think. You are making assumptions. First of all, from the game developers I know, the biggest danger to their livelihoods are the publishers and not the pirates. I don’t see how I making the point that I have had to pirate games that I own (yes, AFTER I buy them) to get them to work gives me some sort of horrible job killing mentality. The only jobs hurt by that thought are the ones of those who make these archaic DRM solutions. It is a shame that most ppl on the side of DRM make such comments without bothering to read what they are replying to, or at least understand it.

      I have no issue with sensical DRM. I don’t mind regenerating install limits, I don’t mind the majority of Steam’s DRM system which mostly amounts to ‘DRM at Installation’ and not ‘DRM at breathing’. What I do mind is DRM that destroys the playability of games and ruins it for everyone except for those who pirate. The truth is that DRM causes a rise in piracy. The only thing DRM stops is used game sales, which is probably its real purpose.

      The only part of your statement that is realistic are the words “at a certain level”. At a certain level of anything, it becomes poisonous. As I said, I know people in the industry, I myself am a programmer hoping to break into the industry starting at the Indy level, and first and for most, I am a realist, something many people seem not to be.

      And I support the game companies, I don’t support the publishers that force in this anti-customer DRM. I am just sad that of all my 100s of game purchases the money doesn’t go to the developers but to the publishers that just try to screw us customers over more.

      DRM, in this form, is NOT about protecting the product, it is about controlling the consumer.

    • lurkalisk says:


      Sorry, this isn’t too much about the meat of your post, but, I recommend you never start an argument with “get over yourself”. I don’t know how long you’ve been alive, but if the number’s past a modest threshold, you should know how people react to remarks like that. Intelligent or not, it’s rare for people to take you seriously after reading something like that. I know I certainly don’t. Why? Your only possible intent is to antagonize. No decent argument should.

      On topic: While any existing game should be considered on its own merit, the likelihood of a problematic release for stalker 2 as a result of its platform availability is high. I don’t believe this to be a certainty of any kind, this is just guesswork based on observation of trends.

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      My only problem with games made for both platforms is usually the console version gets the focus, with the PC port being an afterthought. It’s very easy not to expect much from them. Pre-ordering itself is a thing of the past for me. I do not buy any games until they’ve been well reviewed or demonstrated.

      By the way, I don’t have anything against well done PC port’s whatsoever. For example… I thought Batman: Arkham Asylum was an exceptional port (worked great with mouse/keyboard!), and to a slightly lesser extent Dead Space 2.

      Honestly, my largest problem (more of a giant annoyance really) with PC ports are the jackasses who inevitably post “you need to play it with a gamepad” as the answer to all human interface issues.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      @lurkalisk Your point is well taken. When making that post I re-read it several times, deleted that line, then ultimately put it back in. I still think it’s an appropriate reaction to the stupid sentiment “if it’s on consoles it can’t be any good on PCs” that the comment I was replying to espoused. The only better response is silence, but I’ve seen that same thought expressed so often on RPS that I wanted to say something this time.

  2. Eukatheude says:

    What a shame.

  3. Serge says:

    I wonder if the protection system will be as broken as STALKER itself permanently banning legit customers and instead allowing pirates to play.

    • simoroth says:

      Indeed. One of the reasons I picked up COP for £5 instead of £24.99 was that I waited a whole year for them to patch most of the game breaking bugs.

      The game will just be made more unstable by any DRM system hashed in.

    • enobayram says:

      When will they stop thinking pirates will switch to legit when they’re forced to. They’ll just switch to other games, just like the legit gamers.

    • Urthman says:

      Exactly. I buy all my games and I’ve still got a crazy backlog of things to play. I can’t imagine being one of those pirates who downloads every game just because he can.

      “Can’t pirate Stalker 2? Gee should I buy it? Or play one of the 3000 other games on my RAID?”

    • Mistabashi says:

      “Indeed. One of the reasons I picked up COP for £5 instead of £24.99 was that I waited a whole year for them to patch most of the game breaking bugs.”

      That wasn’t very sensible, since CoP was already patched-up to the final (1.6.02) version when it was released world-wide.

  4. Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

    Pity. I was looking foward to this. Another legitimate sale lost.

    • Westcreek says:

      Indeed, this is becoming an alarming trend. I’m also putting my foot down and not getting single-player games that require online access, my internet simply isn’t reliable enough to deal with this.

    • MrKay says:

      Ay, too bad. I was looking forward to this title. Luckily I’m sure there’ll be other titles that’ll to spend my money on without being punished for it.

    • JiminyJickers says:

      Same here, I won’t give someone money to treat me like a criminal.

    • dadioflex says:

      They’ve lost my money. I bought the previous three games at launch. Screw’em.

    • Kismet says:

      Same. Loved the franchise and I generally don’t enjoy too much single-player FPSs.
      Looks like I’ll skip this one, or pick it when it will cost less than a pint of beer or so.

    • P7uen says:

      Me too. I’ll give you my money a 4th time if you treat me like the good customer I am.

  5. sueyed says:

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R has a massive cult following the large majority of which started out with pirated versions of the game.

    You’re fighting yourself.

    • Jumwa says:

      Funnily enough, thinking back on it, that applies to me.

      A friend sent me a copy of the game when I was broke and suffering health problems that lost me my scholarships. I couldn’t afford crap at the time, but my friend thought I’d like the game. He was darn right.

      I bought the game legitimately as one of my first legit game purchase after I got my finances in some semblance of order, and bought the next two games at launch. In fact, I bought two copies (one digital, one hard) of the first two games in the series.

      This one? Will never buy it as is. My internet connection is terribly unreliable, so aside from detesting being treated like a criminal, it’s just not an option for me.

    • dryg says:

      Pirated SoC at first. Bought every STALKER at retail and then again on Steam. Also a lot of overpriced merch from their store.

      If this is legit I won’t buy a GSC game again.

    • aerozol says:

      Pirated it, didn’t like it, didn’t buy it. Played a few hours.
      The friends I gave it to though… There’s at least three paying customers/ fans out there because of that one dl’ed copy. I don’t want to pretend that’s a super argument for piracy, but an interesting little tale anyway ( :

    • Amun says:

      This applies to me as well. I pirated SoC to see what it was like and fell in love with the game. I didn’t have any money to spend on gaming at the time, so I put it on the “must buy” list. I got a job last month and bought CoP as soon as I got my first paycheck. I’m looking forward to buying clear sky and SoC, and I was excited about Stalker 2, but now not so much.

  6. hjarg says:

    Nothing spreads better then a stupid idea, it seems.

    No, really. Ukraine doesn’t have some kind of special April Fools day today?

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      Now that you mention it, it is the Lawyer’s Day in Ukraine today (or so said Wikipedia).

  7. FCA says:

    What a shame….
    Any connection problem (their side or my side), and the game goes down. And forget about playing the game 4 years after release, which is precisely what I’m doing with their first offering.

    Not to mention all the mods, which really made a difference for my perception ofthe Stalker series.

  8. skyturnedred says:

    So… fans modding/fixing the game will be impossible now?

  9. Wildcard says:

    At least there’s always mods for the other stalker games

  10. The Army of None says:

    Noooo… The first STALKER game I won’t be buying :(

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Yep. That’s pretty much all I have to say on the matter as well.

      The UbiRot is spreading…

    • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

      Yep. I’ve bought the three STALKER games, and GSC have guaranteed that they won’t be getting my money this time.

    • OJ287 says:

      I’ve also bought all 3 at full price and persuaded friends and family to buy them. I downloaded dozens of mods and played hundreds of hours but there’s not a shadow of a chance I will buy STALKER 2 as it stands.

  11. Dreamhacker says:

    “Text information, code and quests will be loaded through that connection.”

    As a software developer, let me go on record to say that most of the time and unless you can solve it in another way (ie local storage) this is a Bad Idea(TM).

    • Nemrod says:

      + 1google times agreed

    • MrNice says:

      Local storage would defeat the purpose of the anti piracy then again they did say download the data.

  12. archcorenth says:

    they were a huge unexpected success, why do they think piracy is hurting them?

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      because this guy counted the amount of times people have connected or downloaded the torrent files of their game around the internet and then calculated what amount of money that would equal if those were sales of the game instead. it’s the kind of thing management do to kill time during downtime while the team is building a game.

  13. Nemrod says:


    I remember pirating the first game 2 weeks before launch and then buying that fancy metal box edition on launch day… and then evry game of the series on pre-order.


  14. StingingVelvet says:

    I will not support this kind of thing ever. I will not pirate it either, but I will tell you I would feel no guilt in doing so. Disrespect me, I disrespect you.

  15. jti says:

    Those idiots! Their attempts at fighting piracy just made sure I won’t buy their games! I am not one of those people who go back with their words when the games come out, I just seriously won’t buy a game with this sort of DRM on it. No chance, no matter how good the game is.

    The thing is, there’ll probably be a pirated version of it around very soon after it coming out and if the game is very good…… You see what I mean.

    This is so sad.

  16. Mirqy says:

    I think it may be time to ditch my blacklist of big devs and publishers to avoid because of ridiculous anti piracy measures – it’s getting too long. I’ll make a whitelist of those who I won’t be ignoring instead.

  17. Kollega says:

    As an impartial observer (never cared much for STALKER, so wouldn’t have bought it either way), the only justification i can see here is the idiotically high rate of piracy in Russia and other post-Soviet countries. But, seeing how our internet connections aren’t the most stable either, that may well backfire in a major way.

  18. Shinan says:

    What a shame :(

    Though on the other hand I still haven’t finished Pripyat, so maybe they’ll remove this restriction before I’m able to get it.

    And on an unrelated note, whatever happened to that TV-series they were going to make about STALKER?

  19. Sepulchrave76 says:

    Let’s hope GSC have a change of heart about this

  20. rustybroomhandle says:

    You youngsters have it so easy with your always-on DRM. Why I remember back in the day when I was your age, I must have lost 10% of my eyesight from having to calibrate my Lenslok so I could go space-pirating in Elite.

    Good times, good times.

    • GreatUncleBaal says:

      Lenslok… (shudder). I remember getting so indignant about that bloody piece of plastic when the game I owned refused to let me in – it was like it was accusing me of a crime I hadn’t committed.

    • westyfield says:

      I just looked up Lenslok. Holy shit, I thought always-on was a pain in the arse.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      Lenslok! God that brings back memories! I used to spend ages just trying to get the ‘OK’ lined up on this old, goldfish-bowl black-and-white portable TV in my bedroom…

  21. hello_mr.Trout says:

    *pain cry*

  22. Offa says:

    In principle I’m fine with games requiring permanent Internet connection, but GSC has a track record of technical incompetence. I predict they won’t be able to make it work properly and will drop the requirement shortly after launch.

  23. CaspianRoach says:

    This is weird coming from ukranian developer, since not much of rus/ukr playerbase has a stable good internet connection.

    • bear912 says:

      At this point, my hunch is that something got a bit muddled in translation or along the grape vine. A quick application of Google Translate yielded surprisingly little mention of piracy or copy-protection in the comments of the article in question. Granted, it’s Google Translate I was using, so there’s quite a bit of room for error there, but given Gawker’s click-baiting tendencies, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they jumped at a controversial headline without cross-checking their findings very thoroughly.

    • Moni says:

      On the other hand, isn’t there an insane level of piracy in Russia?

    • CaspianRoach says:

      I checked the article and it indeed is saying about the permanent internet connection. They want to “create a game which after trying pirated version the player will want to buy licensed one”. Some part of the game will be kept server-side and will be downloaded as you move through the game.

      (- Защита от пиратского копирования? Часть контента будет находится на сервере и скачивается по мере прохождения игры. Нужен постоянный доступ к интернету. Будет докачиваться текстовая информация, максимум код и игра. Пиратство больно по нам бьет, мы боремся с ним, но в меру. Если человек не может купить лицензионную версию, то нам выгодно, чтобы он купил пиратку, а затем захотел купить лицензию. В Украине есть разные продукты, которые человеку нравятся на столько, что он покупает лицензию принципиально. Мы хотим создать именно такой продукт.)

      And yeah, piracy here is massive, pirated copies sell for 3-4$ USD in lots of shady stores and nobody really cares.

    • Muzman says:

      This is interesting. I wouldn’t have thought the internet would be good enough there for enough people to do online DRM as it is generally understood (and before anyone says anything, I don’t think Australian internet is good enough either. Indeed I wonder if there’s 20 places in the world where it is)
      So this is kinda halfway between DRM and shareware in a weird way.

    • bear912 says:

      Thanks for checking that out. I don’t speak Russian, as you can obviously tell by my use of Google translate, but I’m glad someone checked out the facts, even if they are disappointing. I hope perhaps they will change their minds (or convince THQ to change their minds?)…

  24. absolofdoom says:

    This is some of the most depressing news I’ve ever received.

  25. Persus-9 says:

    This is bad news and I won’t be buying it as long as it has this level of DRM. However to my mind it’s just like them notifying us that there will be a huge bug in the game at launch and in response we should wait until it’s patched out. I general wait for games to be patched a few times before buying them anyway so in some ways I feel like this doesn’t affect me at all. I’ll just wait until they produce a version that isn’t broken in this way and then buy it in a sale. Same old, same old.

  26. tanith says:

    Oh Sergey, you son of a bitch…
    Another game I can cross off my list. Well, I was already wary when it was announced that it’s going to be released for consoles.

    At least I can look forward to X Rebirth and PRAY that they don’t pull a stunt like that because it’s also the last PC exclusive title I’m interested in right now.

  27. sparna says:

    I don’t pirate. I have 250+ games in my Steam library. I was going to buy this. I will now pirate it. Simple.

    I seriously do not understand how people can be this thick though. HOW do they not see that this will hurt them more than help? Especially with a “cult” fanbase like STALKERs.

    • Jim Rossignol says:


      It would actually be simpler, and 100% less of a dick move, to not play it at all.

    • coldvvvave says:

      People who go apeshit over news like this are irrelevant vocal minority. Simple.

    • Metonymy says:

      And to be fair, fans of this game are a minority as well.

      As someone who hasn’t purchased a video game since 16-bit consoles, I can safely say that better DRM doesn’t affect me in any way, it just means I might not be playing it at all. Since it’s not negatively affecting pirates, or somehow ‘winning’ our nonexistent money, it just harms buyers.

    • JiminyJickers says:

      Yeah dude, pirating just confirms to them that they did the right thing. They can’t seem to get it that DRM affects the legitimate customer far more.

      The best thing to to is let them know you are not going to buy or play their game and then following through with that decision. There are too many good games out there to have to put up with such nonsense.

    • Nemrod says:

      I’d say that in fact pirating is the ONLY message you can send them. You DO love the game, but you don’t want to be tied to some shitty code streaming technology.

      If you’d not buy it then you leave the customer zone, which is the one they’re trying to reach. If they don’t manage to get their customer zone with their product then they will change their ways… hopefully.

      Then of course for a fan it is unimaginable not to play another Stalker release, so pirating IS the only message we fans can send.

    • Emeraude says:

      I’m amazed that you have problem with this, but still accept STEAM.

      Not saying I cannot understand, but it really surprises me every time.

    • Wisq says:

      Then of course for a fan it is unimaginable not to play another Stalker release, so pirating IS the only message we fans can send.

      Or, you know … you could suck it up, decide not to play the game, and send them an email to that effect. “I’m a die-hard fan who will not be playing your latest game until the DRM is gone” carries a lot more weight than either -1 sale or +1 to the number of pirates does.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      “I’d say that in fact pirating is the ONLY message you can send them. You DO love the game, but you don’t want to be tied to some shitty code streaming technology.”

      That’s not the message they see. There’s already a huge amount of piracy of the game (as for basically any game). They see piracy, they think the answer is DRM. If you add to the piracy, their answer is going to be more DRM.

      On the other hand, if piracy rates remain much the same but sales go down after the introduction of DRM, that’s going to send a clearer message: pirates were unaffected, customers were lost. But of course, neither are as clear as actually telling GSC what you think of this.

      “I’m amazed that you have problem with this, but still accept STEAM.”

      For me, my comment elsewhere contains my answer to this: “I will continue to buy games from publishers with more respect for the player, and more consideration for the circumstances of how and where they want to play it.”

      With Steam, Valve do this, despite the DRM. They add features to Steam far beyond DRM that can enhance the overall experience: download your games anytime. Install them anywhere. Chat with friends from within any game, over text or voice (even in games you didn’t buy from Steam). Access your savegames from anywhere. And they continue to show consideration for circumstances: offline mode, backups of games (if your internet connection is slow, DVD-Rs are cheap after that first download).

      Steam’s DRM is still bad, and I don’t much care for it. But for me, the overall benefits of Steam outweigh my dislike of their activate-on-launch (or first launch, with offline mode) DRM.

      In contrast, neither the always-on DRM that Ubisoft pushes, nor the different system described here offer any benefits for the paying customer: it’s just bad.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Though I doubt I will ever pirate a new game I understand the motivation here. The only reason to buy games when they’re free all across the internet is to support the developers, to send a message of “more please” and support. When a publisher or developer disrespects the consumer, of COURSE the consumer cares less about supporting them.

      Taken to extremes we have people who say “no quicksave? Console port? I’ll just torrent it,” and that sucks. This kind of DRM though? I think there’s a legitimate argument to be made that it crosses a line where I don’t want to give you money anymore and don’t care about playing your game anyway. Like Gabe always talks about, when the pirated copy is better than the purchased one a lot of people are going to take the better version.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Emeraude, I have 625 games on Steam, though it’s actually around 800+ if you count all of the classic game compilations (Mega Drive Classics, etc.). I already have literally thousands of physical copies of other games. It would be unmanageable to have those 800+ discs, cartridges, and systems (Mega Drive, Atari 2600, etc.) physically in my apartment on top of the rest of my collection.

      Steam’s “DRM” is less of a hassle than physical copies, and comes with tons of nice features. THAT is why I “accept” Steam and several other download services while drawing the line at UbiDRM, etc.

    • Emeraude says:


      I always tend to forget that STEAM is also – foremost- a d2d platform.

      For the record, though I won’t use their service, I have nothing against Valve, I think they’re a good thing for the gaming community, as long as they only remain an option.

      My beef is actually with STEAM used by publishers as an online activation DRM for boxed games.

    • mpk says:

      @ StingingVelvet

      The only reason to buy games when they’re free all across the internet is to support the developers,

      Not wanting to commit an act of theft isn’t a reason?

    • Emeraude says:

      Copyright infringement, not theft.

      Some people seem to believe it is nitpicking, I tend to find correct framing is necessary for the debate to be fruitful.

    • Asuron says:


      They’ll just contribute it to piracy either way.
      People high up in these companies have been convinced piracy is a problem to their profits, regardless of the truth and they’ll put these things in to control people as much as possible.
      So honestly why not pirate? They’ll just attribute low sales to piracy anyway, so what more damage can possibly be done by actually pirating it.

    • Chris D says:


      If we’re concerned about correct terminology then I don’t think calling itcopyright infringement should be allowed either. That has too many connotations of “I’m just skipping some red tape” or “It’s only technically wrong.” That lets people off the hook too easily.

      Piracy is more akin to sneaking into a theatre without paying, eating a meal and then refusing to split the bill or refusing to tip someone who makes their living that way. Argue it’s not technically theft if you want, but it’s still very definitely a dick move.

    • jalf says:

      Except that legally speaking, it is copyright infringement, and none of those other things. So calling it copyright infringement has the advantage that it’s factually correct.

      I know not everyone considers these fancy “facts” to count for much, but it may be worth pointing out at least.

    • Chris D says:


      Legally speaking, they’re both equally illegal so saying it’s copyright infringement not theft is no justification, but we both know the implied point behind it is almost always “It’s only copyright infringement so it’s not like I’m actually doing anything wrong” and this just isn’t true.

    • Emeraude says:

      @Chris D

      Following your logic to it’s extreme one would argue that piracy should be described as murder. They’re both equally crimes after all.

      Copyright infringement is not theft. It obeys a different set of laws, and risks altogether different punishments. It has vastly different socio-economical consequences – and technical necessities.

      As such, it should discussed at the kind of crime it is. Not the one people misunderstand it to be.

    • Chris D says:


      That’s not my logic. Really I have nothing much to say about the legal status of piracy, I only brought it up at all in response to Jalf.

      What I am objecting to is the sleight-of-hand that almost always accompanies this type of dicussion which implies piracy does not equal theft therefore does not equal wrong. What it’s legal status should be is a matter for legislators. Ethically it’s still a dick move*

      *Exceptions if, as a commenter last week, you live in a third world company and genuinely have no chance of being able to afford games thanks to the exchange rate. Does not apply if you just want to spend the money on a new set of trainers instead.

      I have some sympathy for the piracy as tech-demo argument provided that’s genuinely what you’re doing and not just a flimsy excuse. Playing the whole game then deciding it wasn’t that good so you won’t pay doesn’t count.

      Everyone else who pirates=dicks.

      Not allowing piracy as protest either. If you want to protest then don’t buy it and write a letter or something if you feel strongly enough. Piracy just say “I still wanted to play it, I just didn’t want to pay for it.”

    • Emeraude says:

      “What I am objecting to is the sleight-of-hand that almost always accompanies this type of discussion which implies piracy does not equal theft therefore does not equal wrong. ”

      And what I am objecting to is the fact that the constant linking of piracy to theft – with its clear agenda of vilifying the criminal, is detrimental to the discussion because it muddles it.

      It is a crime. Said crime isn’t theft.

      Understanding that is important if we want to address the problem correctly. Not to mention it reveals, when looked up closer, weird paradoxes about laws that were created to protect creators from publishers, and are now used to protect publishers from the public.

    • Chris D says:


      Fair enough then. Looks like we’re talking at cross purposes which was my fault. I stand by what I said but it probably shouldn’t have been framed as a response to you. My apologies.

    • Emeraude says:

      @Chris D

      While I do understand your concern, I think that way of dealing with it is harmful in the long run.

      Too bad I couldn’t convince you of the validity of my point. Thank you for your civility.

    • Chris D says:


      Actually I think your point about needing to frame the debate correctly is a valid one, which is why I backed off, so don’t feel bad about that. It’s just that you’re talking about the legal dimensions of the issue which is not something I feel I have very much to say about, I’m more interested in the ethical dimensions of it. But I did assume you were going somewhere with it that you weren’t, which I shouldn’t have done.

    • Wisq says:

      Piracy is more akin to sneaking into a theatre without paying,

      Inappropriate analogy. You’re taking up a seat a legitimate customer could use. On the internet, there are an infinite number of seats.

      In this case, piracy would be watching a video of the movie, as taken from within the theatre. Which is already a form of piracy, so it’s a bit redundant. :)

      eating a meal and then refusing to split the bill

      Ditto. You’re sticking the other guy(s) with covering the cost of your meal. This is closer, since you could argue that piracy drives up the cost of games and therefore you’re costing your follow gamers more by not paying your share. But that’s a tenuous analogy based on an unproven argument, since you could just as easily argue that most companies would continue to charge the “industry average”, i.e. what they can get away with, even if piracy stopped tomorrow. Plus new-release console games and PC games tend to cost roughly the same, but console games don’t have much piracy to deal with.

      In this case, piracy would be eating the leftovers that were going to be thrown away anyway. That’s about the best you can get before you get into “magical item duplication” territory, which completely throws a wrench in all forms of modern economics.

      or refusing to tip someone who makes their living that way.

      This is getting very close. Voluntary payment, where it’s a custom to pay, and a dick move to not pay.

      Obviously, there are still some flaws here — for example, if we all stopped tipping, we’d have a lot of angry waiters and delivery guys, but they’d still get paid their base salary and theoretically make some sort of (angry) living. Whereas games companies would go out of business entirely.

      Also, although there’s a customary amount, around here, tips are still technically a variable amount that you pay based on the perceived quality of service you’ve received. Applying this analogy implies that all games are sold on a “pay what you want” basis — ideal but not particularly realistic.

      Finally, this is the analogy that actually undermines your whole argument against piracy. What prompts a $0 tip? The same thing that prompts otherwise legitimate customers to commit piracy: Extremely poor service. Especially when the poor service is announced to begin with, as with DRM.

      Now, I’m not promoting piracy here. But I think that breaking down these analogies helps describe why piracy is a complex issue that can’t be boiled down into a black-and-white issue like both sides would want us to believe.

      The truth is, some percentage of piracy is going to happen no matter what (very limited cash or very loose morals), some percentage based on what price you set for your game (lower = less), and some percentage can be attributed to how you treat your customers. And the sad reality is, “AAA” game prices have been going up and customer satisfaction has been going down — and at least some of that is due to piracy, which means it’s something of a vicious cycle.

      I’m hoping it’s the brave indie companies who are going to show us the way, by giving us titles focused more on gameplay and less on big-budget cutscenes, more on customer satisfaction and less on protection schemes. More pay-what-you-want, less $60 for a few hours of singleplayer and multiplayer that will last a few months at most.

      Heck, maybe the tipping thing is a possibility here. You pay a certain base cost for the game. You play through it, and once you finish, or at any point (since not all games are the “play to the end” sort), you pay extra as a tip. There would be a customary amount expected — maybe the price of the game, making it 50-50. Your friends can see what you’ve paid, so there’s social pressure to pay it, and you can see the average of what people have paid, so it also functions as an aggregate user satisfaction metric. Maybe if you pay little or nothing, they ask you why — I wonder if having to say “because I don’t have to” or “because I’m a cheap bastard” would turn more no-tips into tips. And maybe your game service (Steam etc.) limits the number of untipped games you can be playing at a time, meaning you can’t just put the decision off indefinitely.

      … No, it would never really work, I don’t think. (Especially gifts — that would get messy fast.) But it’s a fun idea.

    • Jimbo says:

      The first two analogies work fine.

    • Tyshalle says:

      Can someone explain to me exactly how they’d have any fucking idea at all whether or not you pirate the game? Couldn’t you very easily “just send them an email” telling them you won’t be purchasing the game, and it will have the exact same effect as you pirating or not pirating it in addition to not buying it (the effect of course being, practically none)?

      This is ultimately a question of morality: Either you do the “right” thing by only playing the game if you purchase it, or you do the “wrong” thing by being pissed off about their DRM to the point that you won’t give them your money for an inferior product, but you still want to play it, and so you pirate it.

      One thing is for certain though, asserting that if you do pirate the game you’re “only confirming to them that they did the right thing” with their idiotic DRM is a slave mentality. “Oh, I did my master wrong by running away, so I deserved to get whipped!” That’s what’s truly idiotic. DRM is a stupid fucking idea, no matter how many people pirate your game.

      Let’s be clear: If there is some magickal way for them to track every pirated copy (which seems absurd to me) of their game, then pirating their game when they implement this stupid DRM sends them a clear message: “You’re not hurting the pirates, dumbass. You’re only hurting your paying customers.” And hopefully their number of paying customers takes a hit after instituting this stupid DRM.

      I’ve never pirated a videogame in my life, and there are numerous games I have flat out boycotted due to their DRM. I also am not saying that it is morally right (or wrong) to pirate games with insidious DRM. I’m simply saying, don’t paint this as something it’s not. Pirating games with shitty DRM does not in ANY WAY confirm to a company that their DRM is a great fucking idea.

      ‘Nuff said.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      If there is some magickal way for them to track every pirated copy

      World of Goo actually did this; the pirate version still checked in on their servers, for scoreboards or something.

      They found 90% piracy. And you could run around screaming about that, because those pirates are bad naughty men and OMG lots. Or you could, as they did, enjoy the large success they had and keep porting the game to more platforms to get even more sales (and there’s a ton of piracy on iOS and Android, by the way).

      The music industry grew up and accepted that convenient, DRM-free products are what customers want. The games industry is going to have to do the same.

    • aerozol says:

      “pirating just confirms to them that they did the right thing”
      No, it confirms that it isn’t working. If their sales went down, and piracy went down, management would probably pat themselves on the back for doing the right thing. Pirating it and then not playing it would probably be a ‘moral’ way to do it, while getting a strong point across.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Yeah you guys are right, let’s all not pirate it.

      I’m sure that if no-one pirates their game the publishers and developers won’t at all take that as an indication that the DRM actually worked, and I’m sure other developers won’t look at the success and start adopting similar processes.

      Seriously, if you give a shit about gaming you owe it to yourself to pirate this game. Even if you also buy a legit copy. Or download it and then delete it right away and never play it. Because the last thing we want these people thinking is that this silly DRM actually helped reduce piracy.

  28. Jimbo says:

    Haha. Good luck with that.

  29. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    This is unexpected, especially for STALKER. I adore all the STALKER games (Pripyat most), and STALKER 2 was pretty much a guaranteed purchase for me.

    Until now. GSC, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face. You may hinder the pirates for a while—maybe a long while—but you’re spitting on all your customers at the same time. I will not buy STALKER 2 if this promised DRM is indeed in the product—not even in a massively discounted Steam sale a couple of years from now, not until and unless the DRM is patched out.

    I will continue to buy games from publishers with more respect for the player, and more consideration for the circumstances of how and where they want to play it.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Hear hear.

      I still refuse to buy Assassin’s Creed 2 over this same problem, even though I’ve seen a copy go for like £1.50, as it’s just simply unacceptable in my mind, and no amount of discounts is going to change that.
      Well, let’s hope they backpedal real fast out of this one, otherwise they’re going to be digging their own grave.

  30. chokoladenudlen says:

    Oh no.
    They dun goofed up now :(

  31. Aemony says:

    Well, that made my decision easy. I’ll ignore this until it hits the bargain bucket on Steam. What a shame.

  32. phenom_x8 says:

    Less piracy and more than 90% decline on PC sales!

    link to eurogamer.net

    Thats whay you learn from Ubisoft, Sergey!

  33. neolith says:

    Et tu, Brute?

  34. noom says:

    I am seriously upset by this.

    Had a nose around but can only find business/PR related email addresses for GSC. Don’t think sending anti-DRM pleas to those will do much good. Anybody find anything better?

    Edit: Forums might be a better idea actually. Refusing to buy is all well and good, but it’s ten times better if you let them know precisely why you’re not doing so.

    Thread here on the GSC forums regarding DRM. Might be worth throwing your two cents in.

  35. Arclight says:

    … no one? Alright:

    Get out of here STALKER!

  36. caddyB says:

    Buy it, throw the box somewhere in the room and play a pirated version if you want to play it that much. If you want to teach the devs a lesson, don’t buy it and don’t play it.


  37. NathaI3 says:

    You guys are like King Canute trying to stop the tide. This IS a trend that will continue in PC gaming, no matter how vocal the legitimate few are. This is one of the smarter DRMs I’ve heard about. For those worried about having an unstable or slow connection, text information and quests shouldn’t trouble your connection too badly. Depends on how much code they want to keep outside the local installation really.

    I’m going to wait for more info on this (and the game itself) before making my mind up but I really don’t think outright condemnation of EVERY online-related DRM feature is the way to go. Pick your battles, guys.

    • drewski says:

      Sod that. If I can’t play it when my internet freaks out and spends half an hour offline for no reason other than that Australia has the telecommunications infrastructure of sub-Saharan Africa, I won’t buy it.

      I choose my battles, sure. Always on DRM is the battle I choose. Every. Single. Time.

      Playable offline or no sale. No exceptions.

    • Thants says:

      I’d rather try to stop the tide then be as defeatist as you. If always-online-DRM isn’t a battle worth picking I don’t know what is. There’s plenty of companies that don’t damage their products just to treat me like a criminal.

    • AlwaysRight says:

      Nathal3 is right, unfortunately.
      In the future this will be the norm no matter how purple with anger you go now.

      Edit: I am aware this is a massive oversimplification though.

      …oh and not buying a game is not ‘sticking it to the man’. This is business, if it doesnt sell well on PC they will simply dissregard a PC release in the future.

    • noom says:

      Thants said it best I think. Rather than add anything I’ll just +1.

    • V. Profane says:

      Except who are all the console gamers that are going to buy STALKER? Good luck to them if they really think they can successfully compete against $100m ad campaigns and Hollywood production values.

  38. WastedJoker says:

    All the crying over something that won’t matter much *facepalms*

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      *reads your post*

    • Asuron says:

      Didn’t AC2 have major issues with this?
      What about those in Australia, whose internet services crap out all the time or other foreign countries where it isn’t stable.
      What happens if someone manages to screw up the connection to the service just for kicks.

      What then?
      It does matter, thinking otherwise is nonsense

  39. Echo Black says:

    I have the three STALKER titles on Steam but might just skip this. Vote with your wallet, they say. Also, I wouldn’t trust GSC on having a stable content stream backend, considering the coding “prowess” they’ve shown in the past. Expect a lot of bugs and headaches.

  40. Walter Heisenberg says:


  41. Walter Heisenberg says:

    Day one every bit of data will be mined out of their servers by The Scene and once again pirates will have the better experience. Your move draconian fools!

    • Pod42 says:

      Exactly what they did with Assasins Creed, this method of sending data through only stopped the crackers for a day.

    • meatshit says:

      If you’re talking Assassin’s Creed 2, it was actually 1-2 months before a working crack that let you play the entire game came out, and even then it was temperamental and difficult to use.

    • chackosan says:

      I don’t know about ‘temperamental and difficult to use’. I got a single cracked executable to replace the default launcher, and immediately I was able to play without having to connect to Ubisoft servers. Pretty painless overall.

    • Starky says:

      Yeah about 3-4 weeks after launch I was able to painlessly crack my legitimately purchased version for mobile gaming (if you can call a 4.5 Kg laptop “mobile”).

  42. DOs says:

    So Sergey thinks piracy is hurting his games. It’s a niche game franchise already, and he thinks it’s financially valid to paint his game into a corner, making it exclusive to just those with perfect internet connections that never drop.

    There’s a lot of people out there who can’t play multiplayer games because of bad connections, and have no way to do anything about it due to regional monopolies, and now they will have to deal with it with singleplayer, too?

    Also, Jim. It may be a dick move to pirate the game, but if you are a dick to your customers you should expect nothing less back. I’ve been a loyal STALKER fan since game one, but if faced with having to choose between a future with DRM like this, and GSC and the franchise disappearing due to customer reactions to this, I would easily pick the latter.

    • coldvvvave says:

      5 millions boxes sold is niche, huh?

    • Jimbo says:

      Inventing sales figures doesn’t make them true.

    • coldvvvave says:

      Well, I didn’t invent that, guy who is being quoted in the post did, he is also a CEO of GSC so I don’t see any reason to be in disbelief.

    • Emeraude says:

      “he is also a CEO of GSC so I don’t see any reason to be in disbelief.”

      Actually, that is reason enough to disbelieve. One could argue he might have a vested interest in manipulating the numbers.

      Sad we lack a proper third party that could produce reliable data really. It would help tremendously with the debate.

    • coldvvvave says:

      It wasn’t some kind of official statement, just an answer to a comminity questions. So, ok, not five millions. Let it be threee. I still don’t see STALKER as a niche game just because it has hardcore modding community. It was widely advertised( remember E3 sarcophagus?) and it sold fine. How is it a niche game when it’s ‘niche’ is like everyone in Post-Soviet Union and a considerable number of people outside?

    • Emeraude says:

      Nothing against your original point (I do think Stalker is out of the niche crowd by this point), just pointing the problem I saw in the argument you presented to back it up; sorry if it read otherwise.

    • Starky says:

      0.5 (maybe even 1) million copies sold at a price over £20.
      4 million copies sold at £2-3 in steam/other DD sales.

      Is probably much, much closer to the truth.

  43. Emeraude says:

    What is it with this industry’s desire to deny access to its audience/clients (the later more fitting their alleged desire to provide a “service” rather than a product) ?

  44. Robin says:

    Ridiculous. Very bad move.

  45. Robin says:

    edit: double because I thought my reply failed.

  46. NathaI3 says:

    I just wrote a comment full of phrases like “fighting the tide” and “pick your battles” but it seems to have been lost in the nether regions of the interspace so I’ll summarize as I’m quite lazy:

    This is a trend that will continue. Declaiming against every game that has online DRM will just make us look like Luddites who cannot accept change in the way our games are delivered. Picking our battles is the only way to make any ground against particularly tyrannical publishers (ie Ubisoft). STALKER is a series that has suffered massively from piracy, and from this statement this DRM does not seem particularly intrusive. So why the condemnation?

    EDIT: oh, it wasn’t lost, just misplaced. never mind then

    • Emeraude says:

      We picked up our battle. For some the line that cannot be crossed to avoid war is: no online activation.

      I don’t see why one trespasser should be allowed more leeway once this has been defined.

      “DRM will just make us look like Luddites ”

      I just love how Neoclassical economic propaganda has made being described a Luddite inherently bad, as if there was *no* value to resisting change. As with Luddites, it is not the technology we refuse, it is the underlying societal model it enforces (in the case tat hand hat the redefining of property) .

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      It’s pretty much exactly the same as the UbiDRM and should be reacted to in the same way I don’t think we should care about saving face to look better to the mindless robots that chant “you’re afraid of change blah blah blah”

    • DOs says:

      It doesn’t matter if it’s a battle fought against massive Ubisoft or smaller GSC. The results are the same, and it’s easier to influence a small developer than a massive one.

      Besides, you argue that STALKER “has suffered massively from piracy”, which just sounds like you parrot GSC statements. I’ve never seen any of this proven. I can just as easily argue that GSC make niche games that are very difficult to make a profit from, unless you manage your studio and development costs accordingly.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I love people who say “there’s nothing we can do so just roll over!” They are the exact people who cause the “nothing we can do” in the first place.

      I will not support singleplayer games going online completely. I just won’t. If it means I run out of games to play then fine, so be it. I have 20+ years of games I loved to replay as well as literally hundreds of good games I never got around to playing. There will also be indies and small publishers who cater to me and my ilk, and chances are the future online games from big publishers will not be games I want to play anyway.

      I will not roll over.

    • aerozol says:

      “STALKER is a series that has suffered massively from piracy”
      …NO. I can’t impress that harshly enough. NO IT HASN’T. You can pull as many ‘this many were pirated so this much money was ‘lost” figures as you want, and you’ll still be on the stupidly retarded side of wrong.

    • MD says:

      Man, of all the sides of wrong you can be on, that one’s the worst.

  47. Moni says:

    I’ve been thinking that games streaming code and data will be the way forward for copy protection. From a technical standpoint, it’s fairly cheap to do.

    I’m really interested to see how this works out and if there really will be a cracked version out on Day One.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Not on day one probably, but it will come. The Ubisoft DRM does the same thing, it streams quest triggers and such. Pirates figured it out in about a month the first time, then much quicker every time after.

    • Hanban says:

      Some fellow with Russian reading skills commented that they had said basically that you would be able to pirate the game, but there would be content later in the game that could only be accessed from the always online component. Thus you would be able to pirate the first part of the game and then if it whet your appetite you would feel inclined to buy it to play the rest.

      I honestly think that is okay. Or at least honest. Blizzard just said that their always online service was to improve the provided service for customers, which feels like a really dishonest statement. Here they are at least being honest about what they are doing which to me counts for something at least.

  48. drewski says:

    Fine, don’t have my money then.

  49. Vexing Vision says:

    “Within reason” = “permanent internet connection”… I really, really dislike this world. Could our local ISPs please catch up with what game developers now consider “within reason”?