Quantum Break Makes Light Of Piracy

I’m hearing mostly bad things about Rememdy’s Quantum Break [official site], not least of which is that the reliably unreliable Windows Store (in many ways the child of Games For Windows Live) is preventing our reviewer from getting into the damn thing. Remedy’s approach to pirated copies of the game makes me want to like it, though.

Re-using a technique seen in Alan Wake on PC, if Quantum Break decides you’re running a pirated copy, it sticks a skull’n’crossbones-adorned eyepatch onto lead character Jack Joyce. Rather than a punishment, this seems rather a comic touch, seems appealingly at odds with what is otherwise rather a dour affair.

However, DRM being DRM, the jape is showing up when it isn’t supposed to, as acknowledged in this official FAQ. For instance, by being logged out of the Windows store when you start the game. This means you get to see the effect without doing anything naughty, but obviously it’s a bit annoying if you wanted to play things entirely straight. If that happens, quitting the game, making sure you’re logged into the Windows Store then loading it again should sort you out.

Of course, if you don’t have Windows 10 you can’t even buy the thing in the first place. Not that you’re guaranteed to be able to even if you do have Windows 10 – our reviewer is currently locked out by miscellaneous Windows Store error messages.

It’s a messy business for sure. Remedy aren’t exactly defending the decision to make Quantum Break Win 10-exclusive, which I’m going to guess was a condition of having all those MSbucks injected into the game’s budget. “The publisher decides where and on what platform to distribute the game” is their response to why they’ve done this.

They also say “Yet another publisher decision I’m afraid” in response to concerns about disproportionately high pricing in some territories.

Games For Windows Live is dead. OR IS IT?

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  1. Meat Circus says:

    To quote Voodoo Lady from Monkey Island 2, “True evil can never be destroyed.”

  2. gschmidl says:

    Amazing. They have learned absolutely nothing.

    • gschmidl says:

      (Microsoft, that is)

      • Perkelnik says:

        Actually, its Remedy who learnt nothing. Once again they let themselves get screwed by MS. And they are loosing fanbase over this

        • RobF says:

          I don’t think that’s entirely fair, really. When they would have signed up for Quantum Break all those years ago, it would have been when MS were still in the lead with consoles and I doubt anyone at management level who would have dealt with these decisions could have foresaw the shitshow that MS would make of just about everything.

          I mean, sure, you could argue that after Alan Wake and all that but *shrugs* businesses and that. I still wouldn’t be comfortable blaming Remedy as a whole, most folks just want to make their videogames.

          • Perkelnik says:

            Alan Wake is exactly the reason why they should have been more careful when signing another deal with MS.

            Thing is, I really like Remedy and their games, which just makes me more sad that they do this :(

        • Hobbes says:

          Yes but Rob, everyone KNEW that the whole Windows 10 locked down app thing was going to be an inherently bad idea. Remedy should have seen this one coming several miles off. The fact that Microsoft made it the worst idea out of all the possible bad ideas is just Microsoft being Microsoft. You just don’t -do- something as inherently insane as set your game up to run with no capability for VSYNC or overlays or streaming or any facilities that people expect in the last ten or so years. That’s a bit like going “Oh hey, I know what sounds like a great idea, VGA graphics, let’s do that!”.

          I’m not talking pixel retro either.

          Making it Win 10 exclusive was silly, making it Windows STORE exclusive and by extension UWP is just shooting yourself in each foot. Then shooting yourself in each foot again for good measure, just in case the first shot wasn’t enough.

          • RobF says:

            Oh, definitely. I think Remedy know that too hence a lot of less than diplomatic “that’s a publisher decision” being thrown around.

            Just when they would have signed, things would have been a lot different. By the time we’re up to Win10-o-geddon, their hands would be tied regardless given the money MS have sunk into it.

  3. karwasz says:

    I broke my Windows Store few months back, can’t get it back to work since. I think I’ll skip QB until it becomes available somewhere else.

  4. Llewyn says:

    I never had any issues with GFWL at all, beyond needing to install it manually on Win8. Of course I’d generally prefer not to have it, but against the array of issues or concerns around other forms of DRM over many years it always seemed relatively benign to me.

    But to borrow from Brian Blessed, “Windows Fucking Store!? I wouldn’t touch it with yours!” And I say this as a happy early adopter of Win8.

    • harcalion says:

      The same for me about GFWL (it still works on Windows 10 for DiRT 3 achievements, for example). I was going to buy QB for Windows, hoping for around 50 €, but it is 70 €, no Alan Wake, download-only, 70 €. That’s 8 € more than the converted UK price, if you think that is expensive.

    • Jokerme says:

      Then you were in the lucky minority. GFWL was broken beyond comprehension.

    • Don Reba says:

      I open up the Store on occasion; confirm it is still a bunch of web page apps, phone games, and useless junk; and close it in disgust. Early Vista and Win10 adopter.

    • TormDK says:

      Never had any issues with G4WL, and don’t have any issues with the Windows Store on Windows 10.

      I don’t consider myself very special in that regard, no one in my circle of friends has encountered any of the issues the internet seems full of.

  5. int says:

    Of course, if you don’t have Windows 10 you can’t even buy the thing in the first place.

    I’m guessing MS had a meeting and the first bullet point was: “What can we do in order to sell as few copies of Quantum Break on PC as possible?”

    • empty_other says:

      MS plan is simple: It has to be a game that might be popular enough to draw customers who otherwise would be unwilling to use the Store, but not popular enough to create too big of a backlash when (not if) the DRM bugs up. And the developers need to be desperate enough for money that they’ll agree to this.

      And it works on me, unfortunately. I loved Max Payne 1-3 (yeah, i know MP3 wasnt Remedy and it showed, but it was still okayish). I loved both Alan Wakes. So even if they had bundled QB with 3 different always-on DRM systems AND every reviewer told me the game was garbage, i would still buy Quantum Break. Haven’t bought it yet, but i will.

      • int says:

        I feel the same. I love Remedy’s games and will, if I have to, ford a veritable river of shit to play. Nevertheless, I’m waiting to see first impressions and reviews before I suffer Windows Store.

      • ludde says:

        I too love Remedy’s games, but haven’t played any since Max Payne 2 because they keep screwing up the releases.

    • TormDK says:

      Just as a FYI in case you missed it.

      Windows 10 is THE MOST USED OS ON STEAM currently.

      Yes, bigger than Windows 7.

      link to store.steampowered.com . So it can make perfect sense to target a Windows 10 only scenario. Microsoft has more than 250 million Windows 10 activations currently.

      • Don Reba says:

        The choice is not “which version to target” but whether to target all of them or just Win10. Win10 might be the most popular, but it’s still only a third of the total.

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        W10 64 36.97%
        W10 1.31%

        W7 64 32.99%
        W7 6.97%

        Still not the most popular.

  6. derbefrier says:

    Hopefully a lot of these Win10 store issues will get worked out by the time Forza releases. I have waited far to long to see Forza on PC. Please don’t fuck it up Microsoft. Fix your shit

    • Llewyn says:

      I love Forza. It has the perfect balance of arcade-with-sim-elements racing that I could play it for hours without getting either bored or tired, plus for years it had a great community. I bought two 360s and several controllers as well as three generations of the game and endless DLC. MS could have had pretty much free reign with my credit card if they’d just brought all that to PC in a timely and easy-to-use manner.

      But the Windows Store? Even I have limits.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Philopoemen says:

    So not only is it Windows Store, but I have to be online, I can only stream the videos, no pre-loading them, and Microsoft decides because I live in Oz that I want to pay AU$100 for the privilege, rather than US$60 (with current exchange rates ~AU$80).

    I think I might wait until the “Ultimate” edition comes out…

    • pepperfez says:

      I can only stream the videos, no pre-loading them

      The cutscenes are streamed? That’s breaking new ground in nonsense, even for Microsoft.

      • Premium User Badge

        Philopoemen says:

        Apparently XBox users can pre-load, but Win 10 users have to stream.

        Because that makes perfect sense.

        • dsch says:

          That is fucked up beyond belief.

          • RobF says:

            It’s OK, there’s only 75GB of them. It’s fine. Nothing to see here. *waves hands*

          • Hobbes says:

            75 gb of streaming *eyetwitch* . I bet America with their nice low data caps are going to be REALLY loving this one.

          • brucethemoose says:


            Yes, yes we will.

            On top of that, our AT&T internet likes to just cut out for 2 minutes after streaming something for too long, like something along the line is overheating.

        • brucethemoose says:

          I think I’m gonna be sick…

      • KenTWOu says:

        You shouldn’t call them cutscenes. That’s misleading.

  8. eraserhead says:

    It’s 70 EUR in Germany, way more than I’m willing to pay for any game, ever. Here’s hoping they’ll release it on Steam once they realise they’re selling only a fraction of what might be…

  9. malkav11 says:

    I really like Remedy but there’s no way I’m going to buy anything that’s exclusive to the Windows Store. Microsoft seem to find new ways to screw up every time they “renew their commitment to PC gaming”.

  10. Premium User Badge

    keefybabe says:

    When they say “renew our commitment to PC gaming”, they nearly always mean, “fuck it as hard as we can until it’s utterly broken”.

    Or, “Oh, look, a wheel! Best reinvent that!”

    • Don Reba says:

      Abuse is the only way it knows how to express its love for PC gaming.

    • pepperfez says:

      “Why did they always make these things round anyway? Triangle is a much better shape!”

      • Hobbes says:

        And instead of rubber, let’s make it from grease, and angry honeybadgers. Because people love that.

    • Perkelnik says:

      I truly believe that Mr. Garrison heads the the PC gaming division in MS and unfortunately sees PC gamers as Canadians…

    • Wisq says:

      Reminds me of when Microsoft was trying to compare Windows favourably to Unix, and one of their supposed advantages was that they redesigned the entire Windows API every few years, while Unix ran on an API (POSIX) that was 30+ years old (at the time).

      It’s like they don’t understand that old approaches that are still in widespread use have stood the test of time. They’re mature, not archaic. But no, gotta be constantly reinventing them. (Ideally badly, so you can fix it incrementally later and look good to people with short attention spans.)

      • Premium User Badge

        keefybabe says:

        Indeed, you’re talking to a linux admin who laughs at the windows team with their pretty pictures and duplo blocks so you’re preaching to the converted there.

      • Don Reba says:

        Actually, Windows API has been very stable since the 16-bit days. And still is.

  11. Neutrino says:

    Clicked on the link just to see how much it was. £50. Thanks, best laugh I’ve had so far this week.

  12. fish99 says:

    £50 and only available on the windows 10 store. I saw some of Lirik playing it yesterday. It looked decent, worth a playthrough, more for the story than gameplay, but I ain’t paying £50 for it.

    Looks like MS aren’t distributing keys to 3rd parties either. It’s a glimpse into a horrible possible future where games could be only available on the windows store and MS sets prices with no competition.

    • Perkelnik says:

      Fortunately, we have Steam. And GoG.

      • TormDK says:

        Yes, because Valve totally doesn’t have any DRM features that would lock down a game, so that it requires Steamworks…

        • UncleLou says:

          If you’ve used both, you’ll know this really isn’t a valid comparison. Different leagues, no, not even the same sport. Google for UWP limitations.

          • TormDK says:

            I’m well aware of the current limitations, I am also well aware of the improvements comming in the next big milestone update.

            We’re talking about DRM and vendor lockin though, something Steam has in spades.

          • ludde says:

            You’re missing the point. Same as with the statistics post above.

            fish99 is saying that a future with vendor lock-in at Microsoft specifically would be horrible. Not vendor lock-in generally.

        • Perkelnik says:

          I dont care about DRM as long as it doesnt bother me, which Steam doesnt. And should that be the case, GoG is the way.

  13. jonahcutter says:

    “Games For Windows Live is dead. OR IS IT?”

    The call is coming from inside the house!

  14. Hilloh says:

    The weirdest thing is that it almost seems that they don’t even promote the game in any way in Windows Store. At least I can’t see it anywhere, unless I search for it. As there are are approximately three worthwhile AAA games available in Windows Store, you would think the newest high budget exclusive title would be all over the banners.

    But nope.

    • TormDK says:

      The Windows store is country specific, so it may be that marketing isn’t happening in your region.

    • UncleLou says:

      Yeah, it’s absolutley absurd. Folks at eurogamer.net told me though that the Xbox/W10 store will come with the anniversary update in July.

      But yeah, it’s insane. The price. The UWP limitations. The presentation in the store.

      It’s all so ridiculously amateurish, it beggars belief.

  15. Monggerel says:

    I remember playing the firs Max Payne and not being sure if I liked it until Max Payne said, in a dead serious monologue, that “My Kung-Fu was Strong” and then I laughed so hard that all was forgiven.

    Then I watched Spoiler Warning play through Alan Wake and decided I didn’t need to love Remedy anymore and that it’s okay to let things go.

  16. nottorp says:

    Windows 10 only… the horror formerly known as GFWL reborn… okay. I won’t get to play this Remedy title. No problem, I have plenty of games.

  17. Don Reba says:

    3.2 stars from users. 55 5-star reviews, 64 1-star, many complaining about performance problems and crashes.