#1 Posted by NinjaTard (151 posts) -

Long story short I have a technical writing class and we're supposed to pretend we work for a company and we're writing a recommendation report about something. I picked a scenario of being in a smallish indie game developer and being assigned the task of looking into the various forms of DRM in games and how they work as far as preventing or reducing piracy, as well as how they are received on a fan level, critical level, and on a sales level.

Its kind of a big topic and I'm just getting started so I'm not sure exactly what questions to ask yet (it's due in 2 months) but I know DRM is a hot button issue and is, I believe, generally regarded poorly by gamers. I'm a console gamer myself so I don't pay it much mind other than those single use codes like they put in Saints Row 3 and Assassins Creed: Revelations.

Things that I'd like the community to think about and post for me here:

1)Have you ever found any type of DRM that you weren't infuriated by (Always on connection, online use codes, etc.)?

2) Is there a kind of DRM you wish someone would use (i.e. got a better idea)? .

3) Have you ever honestly NOT bought something because of DRM that you were planning to buy anyway?

4) Do you feel like it helps at all?

So there you go, that's what I'm looking for, or if you have any other information that might be helpful as I'm beginning my quest for the truth behind DRM on behalf of an imaginary boss I made up trying to get an A researching something I have a genuine interest in. THANKS BOMBERS you rule!

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (34618 posts) -

I don't think I have too strong an opinion on it, since I haven't been affected by it personally. Steam has good DRM, as far as I know.

#3 Edited by Gargantuan (1877 posts) -

1: Yes, it's sometimes annoying, most times the DRM doesn't matter.
2: Developers should use nothing, CD-keys or Steamworks.
3: Nope
4: Nope

#4 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

1)Have you ever found any type of DRM that you weren't infuriated by (Always on connection, online use codes, etc.)? 
The always-connected DRM never bothered me. I bought Assassin's Creed 2 day 1 as well as Conviction, beat them and didn't have a single problem. The DRM that pisses me off is the one that installs shitty fucking programs on my PC and gives me driver bullshit. 
2) Is there a kind of DRM you wish someone would use (i.e. got a better idea)? . 
Yes, the DRM that I never noticed. Use that. 
3) Have you ever honestly NOT bought something because of DRM that you were planning to buy anyway? 
Hmm.. I kept postponing buying The Witcher because I heard it had some shitty DRM until I got the DRM-free GOG.com version. 
4) Do you feel like it helps at all? 
It usually makes me pirate the game if I get too much trouble trying to  install the legit version, since the nice pirates offer me trouble-free software.

#5 Posted by BeachThunder (11265 posts) -

1)Have you ever found any type of DRM that you weren't infuriated by (Always on connection, online use codes, etc.)?

Steam is fine.

2) Is there a kind of DRM you wish someone would use (i.e. got a better idea)?

Anything that doesn't involve jumping through pointless hoops in order to play something.

3) Have you ever honestly NOT bought something because of DRM that you were planning to buy anyway?


4) Do you feel like it helps at all?

Maybe? However, I'd say that if someone's intent on not acquiring the game legally, then chances are that's what they'll do.

#6 Posted by MysteriousBob (6273 posts) -

I've never been bothered by it.

#7 Edited by MonetaryDread (1955 posts) -

1. Nope. I live in an area where I don't have easy access to the internet. Hell, it took me till 2010 to play the Orange Box because I couldn't install the game I purchased. I actually had to resort to asking my parents to pirate the game, then mail me the disk. All so I could play the game that I purchased. (Note: Even now I am living in an area where I only have access to dial-up that costs near $80 a month)

2. I hate the very idea of DRM. So my answer is no.

3. Lots of times. I won't buy any disk that requires Steam (whats the point of buying a disk where it forces you to be connected to the internet, if I had the internet i would just log onto steam and download the title), I won't purchase UbiSoft titles (wich is a shame, because I enjoyed Assasins Creed 1 a lot more on PC than 360, yet, after that DRM fiasco, then UbiSoft picking up DRM that requires an always on connection and now I won't even think about the PC version of that series anymore.

4. Nope. Every pirate I have met in real life says that they pirate because they can't afford it in the first place. The amount of poor people out there in comparison to wealthy Americans (even your poor live richer lives than most other countries) means that as long as people can pirate, there will be people pirating software. Then there is the fact that there will always be more crackers / hackers / pirates out there than there are paid jobs to prevent cracking and you have a bunch of factors that will keep piracy alive forever (no matter what legislation the government imposes). All DRM has ever accomplished is infuriating the legit customers while providing an excuse for pirates that they are in the right.

#8 Posted by iam3green (14388 posts) -

1)  really any kind of DRM. i don't like it too much.

2) kind that doesn't screw up the computer.

3)  yeah, i almost bought spore until i found out that it had DRM in it. i ended up pirating it, the game didn't work. i said i'm happy that i didn't spend the money on this game, it wasn't that good. 
4) no,i don't feel like DRM helps at all. in the end people end up finding a way to pirate it.

#9 Posted by Fajita_Jim (1463 posts) -

1. I don't mind Steam at all. Even if Steam weren't a DRM I'd probably still buy all my games from it.

2. I don't know, haven't thought about it.

3. Yup, X3 (Starforce)

4. Not for single-player games, maybe for multiplayer. Even then, it depends...

#10 Edited by Branthog (7332 posts) -

The only purpose for DRM is to strip the rights of the consumer away from them and treat every legitimate customer like an assumed criminal under the premise that without limited me to three installations over my entire life time or without preventing me from making a backup or without allowing me the right to resale (as per the First Sale Doctrine), under the assertion that if I have the right to do those things with something I own, families will end up starving on the streets and schools full of children will be raped.

DRM isn't necessary to be successful. Look at the Humble Indie Bundle. Look at GoG. Look at Jonathan Coulton. Look at O'Reilly press. Look at iTunes and Amazon MP3. Look at Louis C.K. Look at Cory Doctorow. DRM is only necessary to help maintain the status quo in an industry that doesn't want to compete with the changing times and the changing ways of business. It's the same reason they spend billions lobbying for absurd copyright laws that infringe on people's rights -- to use it as a tool (as much against competition as anything else) against competition and to preserve their way of business. Anything to avoid moving into the 21st century. Some companies, like Kodak, don't have a business model that works in the new century. In a world that turned digital, there was no place for a business who operated on wide margins provided by selling and processing film. So they fail and die. The old model of publisher, distributor, marketing, and all the other middle-men that make products expensive and leave the creators of the product with only a small percentage of what's left are less relevant each year, when creative people in every avenue of media can build an audience, become famous, distribute their product, and accept payment all over the internet and on their own. But, instead of finding a new business model or dying, they use their massive political and financial power to lobby copyright into becoming an indefinite thing, instead of a short-term thing to allow a creator to make some money off their creation or they use it to ram unnecessary DRM down people's throats (they also like to tell you that you're buying a license, when that is convenient, but tell you that you're buying a physical good when that is more convenient for them).

They're annoying and destructive, today, but if they don't evolve and wise-up, they're still eventually going to wither and die. But, again, others have gone into this with far more detail and explanation long before me. Go read Cory Doctorow, Clay Shirky, Jonathan Coulton, Tim O'Reilly, etc.