Questions about DRM


#1

I have a few questions about DRM.

One, if Stonehearth won’t have any DRM, how will Team Radiant prevent pirates from pirating the game?

Two, this one is about DRM in general. How come many people hate DRM? DRM is suppose to prevent piracy. If software developers use DRM to prevent piracy, how come many people hate it?


#2

They won’t.

DRM for the most part can be intrusive, annoying, and restrict your usage of content - it comes in different shapes and sizes.

The strictest form really comes across as though you don’t own the game but rather a license for the game; understandably it causes a lot of annoyances, and ultimately it doesn’t completely stop piracy.


#3

No DRM. Your kickstarter rewards like the baby mammoth will require a one time activation to redeem, but the game will ship DRM free. No DRM.

Source

Of course, the Steam version has Steam as DRM but that’s not really evil.

Well, I don’t understand why people oppose ticket checks in public transport in general. How comes so many people hate it? It’s supposed to prevent fare dodging. If the controller is using a chainsaw to see if there’s a stowaway hidden in your stomach, how come so many people oppose it?

A bad analogy but it goes like this: DRM does not prevent piracy. Period. If anything, it prevents sales. Software cannot be made uncrackable. The very second somebody has your program (or parts of it) on his or her computer, he can analyse and work around it. All you can achieve is that this progress takes longer or gets more complicated for less experienced users.

By doing that, however, you often end up with DRM that either breaks for legally paying customers (activation servers that don’t work/are no longer available/crashes their system/is incompatible/becomes incompatible), severely limits what freedoms you have (you may install this program on 1.5 computers once every decade) or more. In the end, it’s a waste of money and time - for both the developer and the customer.

This isn’t real goods we’re talking about here. If somebody pirated a game, statistics show that it’s unlikely he would have ever bought it in the first place. This isn’t like stealing because nobody loses money. It’s all about losing potential money, the same way I could say I’m losing two billion dollars per day because I can’t sell air for a grand per litre.


#5

@EpicDwarf I remember that Greenheart Games, of Game Dev Tycoon fame, sent out a fake copy to torrent sites that had a game-breaking “pirating” scene in the middle of the game. Basically, the games that you were making started getting pirated and you stopped making money. A few game-months later, your company failed and your character died of starvation (that part was made up :P). I thought that was pretty cool, and I hope that Radiant tries to do that as a bit of a lesson to the piraters.


#6

Heh heh. Reminds me of this FPS game callled Serious Sam 3 where if you pirated the game, a red scorpion monster thing spawned and will kill you instantly if it gets you, preventing you from playing the game correctly.


#7

What if the current AI issues aren’t issues at all but DRM tests…?


#8

What are you talking about?


#9

i like you… you say funny things…

as for DRM… it really comes down to a balance between protecting ones assets, and inconveniencing ones customers… if a developer provides a solid enough product, it will sell itself, and folks will purchase the game out of respect for the work they know was poured into the game…


#10

Y’know, I’m pretty sure the best replacement for DRM is a one time online/phone activation process, or is online/phone activation just another form of DRM, because online/phone activation seems like a worthy replacement for DRM.


#11
  • Your device, or just its memory breaks: You have no longer access to the product.
  • You buy a new device and destroy the old one: See above.
  • The company declares bankruptcy and there is nobody that could answer your phone/answer the program’s activation request: You no longer have access to the product.

#12

Well, it seems reasonable to do what I said, because not every component of software will work 100% of the time, but yes, those could definitly happen and could cripple your product.


#13

It’s not reasonable at all. These are all factors that you couldn’t do in the business world (although DRM becomes a thing there too). Nobody is going to buy your product if they are aware that they might be unable to use it in five, ten years for reasons completely out of their control.

Yet when you take the average computer user, it’s alright and piracy and protect the children.


#14

Anyone who makes software cannot prevent piracy. They can however offer services of better quality than what the consumer would get with a pirated copy.
There will always be kids with no money who will pirate anyway but someone who can choose, I’m pretty sure they would choose a legit copy if it was worth it. Such as access to official servers, better update system or mod support and similar.

Generally what people hate are unreliable servers, slow launchers and buggy distribution platforms. Ubisoft and EA come to mind first, while Origin is quite alright, Uplay is bad. If you need to connect to servers and let the game check for updates every time you run it, the servers need to be good and if they’re bad - you’ll be better off with a pirated copy.

What would be best for Stonehearth is to offer a magnificent Mod hub and organized online servers, all linked to one account. People will always be able to create a server of their own and do whatever they want with whomever they want but if the official servers are professional and fun, a lot of people might actually buy the game just for that.


#15

I see you haven’t used Steam (extensively or at all). Origin is beyond bad - and it’s kind of sad to see the biggest publisher struggle to carbon copy the leading distribution platform.


#16

Origin as a platform is not bad, just EA’s games are bad. I don’t count Steam cause Gaben is god and its pointless to even compare.
And to add, I’ve used Steam as much as Origin and Uplay so I like to think that I’ve seen enough to form a decent opinion about all of them :smiley: