My solution to end PC game piracy forever

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#1 Posted by J4S0N (26 posts) -

So over the recent years it seems like PC gaming has really been declining, and one of the big reasons for that is the amount of piracy it has.  The amount of PC piracy surpasses console piracy by far simply because it is so easy.  But I have a solution that will eliminate the piracy of PC games, and I have to wonder why more developers haven't started doing this already.

Think about it:  Which type of PC game has the least amount of piracy?  MMO's.  And why is that?  The gameplay is managed remotely on a server.  You have to have a valid account to log on to the game servers.  No crack can change that.

My solution is to use that strategy for all games, including single-player games.  Gameplay elements such as AI, object interactions, and NPC interactions would be managed by a remote server.  Without access to the server, the game simply could not work.  Piracy groups could not change that without totally rewriting large portions of a game.

This strategy could lead to cheaper games also.  For example, insead of $49 for Crysis, you could pay $10 for one-month access.

Yes, I know.  Some of you will complain about people on dial-up or computers without Internet access.  But they make up the minority of serious PC gamers.

#2 Posted by LuckyWanderDude (929 posts) -

Piracy should be legal and money should be obtained via ads. Your solution opens doors to corporate control and games that die with the company that goes under.

#3 Posted by J4S0N (26 posts) -
LuckyWanderDude said:
"Piracy should be legal and money should be obtained via ads. Your solution opens doors to corporate control and games that die with the company that goes under.
"
I really do not want my games to be filled with ads (which that's a whole other topic).  But it would not be difficult for the company to release a patch that handles all processing on the local computer rather than the remote server.  That could be done when a game becomes forgotten and doesn't have many sales.
#4 Posted by LuckyWanderDude (929 posts) -
J4S0N said:
"LuckyWanderDude said:
"Piracy should be legal and money should be obtained via ads. Your solution opens doors to corporate control and games that die with the company that goes under.
"
I really do not want my games to be filled with ads (which that's a whole other topic).  But it would not be difficult for the company to release a patch that handles all processing on the local computer rather than the remote server.  That could be done when a game becomes forgotten and doesn't have many sales.
"
I don't mean the game would be filled with ads I mean there'd be a loading screen ad or something.
#5 Posted by VACkillers (1074 posts) -

Its probably the way things will go, having online checks like Mass Effect is/was going to do. The only problem with having games run totally online is that it restricts you, what i mean by that is lag, you can have the best machine in the world, but you'll only be able to run the game as fast as the server will let you. Plus most peoples connections still are'nt that fast yet, its mainly the upload speeds that kill's ya.... not the downloading....  and for me personally, i dont like having to be online to play to a game if i dont want to.

But i think we can expect to see more protections that will be more involved in the online vallidation stuff.

#6 Posted by MOLE (321 posts) -

Off Topic:  Everytime I go onto a thread, it sends me down to the bottom PISSSSS!!!!

#7 Posted by VACkillers (1074 posts) -

lol

#8 Posted by xruntime (1920 posts) -

What if I wanted to play it offline? On my laptop computer while on the train? And I'm not paying for 1 month access.

People have cracked Mass Effect as far as I know, so these schemes DO NOT work. The pirates are just too good.

People don't understand that nothing has ever stumped the pirates (not even World of Warcraft, but you need to pay for the better experience). Piracy is inevitable. The way to stop it is to make easy access to your product and make it convenient (the antithesis of DRM) for the consume to hope that they will buy it, or not develop for the PC at all.

#9 Posted by VACkillers (1074 posts) -

Well, i think the best Anti-Piracy way is to basicly just make an awesome game that everyone just wants to buy anyway...

#10 Posted by TEAMHOLT (437 posts) -

You're basically talking about letting people play the game remotely. Developers would incur server costs, which would cost them money, which defeats the purpose of combating piracy. Also, most gamers won't go for some kind of subscription plan for a single-player game and not all MMO's make money, so it's not really a guranteed way to make money. Though, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone try it anyway. Developers are getting more and more desperate to find ways to combat piracy, and you're right, that would probably work.

I think they should just stop worrying about it. People have their reasons for committing piracy, and the kind of person who steals games without ever intending to pay for them is the same kind of person who probably wouldn't buy your games even if piracy wasn't an option. Anti-piracy methods often only make things harder for the people who actually paid for the game.

#11 Posted by Psynapse (1064 posts) -

Its not the way that things will be done... hopefully.

I'll take my hat off for your idea, its deffinately one thing that could work.

But even though the minority of gamers only have dial up etc.. Alot of people i know dont have the internet at all, but do have really good computers that play their favorite games like warcraft 3, crysis, farcry etc... All those games.

I'm not using my bandwidth for a game which i should be able to play offline. Fair enough MMO and other online games for online, but then you have issues of latency to think about aswell. Imagine playing Crysis in australia on an american server with 200ms+ latency... No thanks.

You can crack xbox/ps3 etc easily, the only downturn is basically online play, which is the same thing for alot of pirated games.

If developers really want to crack down on piracy then they need to give the consumers a REASON not to turn to piracy, such as online play, or extra content etc.

Its a touchy subject and i'm sure it will be an issue for many years to come.

Psy

#12 Posted by VACkillers (1074 posts) -

indeed.

#13 Posted by Duffman (208 posts) -

I would rather pay for a game once to play it as much as I want, for as long as I want, than have to shill out 10 bucks a month, because I know that some games I play for more than 1 month.  I already plunked down 30 bucks for 2 months of WoW, and I'm not looking forward to the next payment required to keep my account online.  Adding this to every game would be a serious drain on the consumer in the long run.

#14 Posted by Shotaro (820 posts) -

Its a good point except that I know people who play cracked versions of WoW on cracked servers.

The people who pirate are just too damn good at it. Take the pirate bay its in sweden where file-sharing is 100% legal and the government has stated explicitly that they have no plans to change that, the guys who run the site have said that if that changes they will simply up and move to a different country.

Piracy is not easily beaten and there will never be a catch-all solution to it, companies are doing the best they can but as long as people are determined to get something for free they will find a way to do so.

#15 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

The only problem is your computer HAS to be connected to the internet in order to play.

#16 Posted by unclejohnny79 (685 posts) -

I like the system of buy a game and its yours forever no worry (unless it breaks)

#17 Posted by sculsoldi3r (1315 posts) -

Great i can get hyped to play crysis but before I have to stare at loreal makeup and bigmacs WHOOPE!!

#18 Posted by VaultBoy (194 posts) -

How about we just toss in a random mix of protection like the code wheels of yore, the finding this word in this paragraph on this page of the manual, requiring online validation of a cd key, validating the cd files (size, names, etc.) are all correct, etc.?

#19 Posted by polarmanda (3 posts) -

If a game is good most people will pay for it.  So people just need to stop making crap games.

#20 Posted by LiquidPrince (16020 posts) -
LuckyWanderDude said:
"Piracy should be legal and money should be obtained via ads. Your solution opens doors to corporate control and games that die with the company that goes under.
"
It wouldn't be piracy anymore if it was legal now would it.
#21 Posted by biggest_loser (219 posts) -

Here's my solution: Just buy the damn games you cheap bastards!

I don't want ads in my games either. I don't want to see "Coke Zero" written on the side of the gravity gun or Lady Croft wearing Nikey....yeesh...

Though a McBritain burger being promoted by Psycho could work...

#22 Posted by Shawn (3825 posts) -

Why don't game company's just make their disc's a little bit smaller?
Kind of like the gamecube but not that small, GC almost completely eliminated piracy by using different sized discs.

#23 Posted by biggest_loser (219 posts) -
Shawn said:
"Why don't game company's just make their disc's a little bit smaller?
Kind of like the gamecube but not that small, GC almost completely eliminated piracy by using different sized discs.
"
You want us to be like the Gamecube?

The GAMECUBE!?
#24 Posted by sculsoldi3r (1315 posts) -
biggest_loser said:
"Shawn said:
"Why don't game company's just make their disc's a little bit smaller?
Kind of like the gamecube but not that small, GC almost completely eliminated piracy by using different sized discs.
"
You want us to be like the Gamecube?

The GAMECUBE!?
"
HAHA, gamecube discs work in pc's... Asfar as i know. Those little discs fit into the tray in there own area.
#25 Posted by biggest_loser (219 posts) -
sculsoldi3r said:
"biggest_loser said:
"Shawn said:
"Why don't game company's just make their disc's a little bit smaller?
Kind of like the gamecube but not that small, GC almost completely eliminated piracy by using different sized discs.
"
You want us to be like the Gamecube?

The GAMECUBE!?
"
HAHA, gamecube discs work in pc's... Asfar as i know. Those little discs fit into the tray in there own area."
Yeah but...

the GAMECUBE!!?
#26 Posted by TheAdmin (713 posts) -

Sorry, but there is no solution to ending piracy.  If companies don't want to lose money to pirates, make a game that everyone really wants to buy and keep it clean of DRM and other piracy schemes.

#27 Edited by KnuckleHead (4 posts) -

"This strategy could lead to cheaper games also.  For example, insead of $49 for Crysis, you could pay $10 for one-month access."

That sounds absolutely aweful.  And games won't be cheaper anyways...it cost SERIOUS money to provide servers that robust and the bandwidth to support it is also very expensive.  All you are doing is ADDING to the cost of developing and supporting games.

Another thing to consider...when a game that is supported by such a infastructure is no longer profitable, they pull the plug on it.  Yup...no more game.  How bad would that suck for a game like Crysis?  Real bad considering you can play it single player.

#28 Posted by y0y0 (106 posts) -

That will never be used because you CANNOT release a single player game but have to be loged into a server at all times, and anways this wont stop it just look at WOW you can just play private server and not have to pay.

#29 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1783 posts) -

Isn't that called Steam?

#30 Posted by xruntime (1920 posts) -
99X said:
"Sorry, but there is no solution to ending piracy.  If companies don't want to lose money to pirates, make a game that everyone really wants to buy and keep it clean of DRM and other piracy schemes.
"
Precisely. Piracy is unsolvable, and DRM does nothing to stop it besides inconvenience honest consumers.

The only way to counter that is to make a good game that people will want to buy. Or develop for the consoles, as many developers have done.
#31 Posted by VACkillers (1074 posts) -
VaultBoy said:
"How about we just toss in a random mix of protection like the code wheels of yore, the finding this word in this paragraph on this page of the manual, requiring online validation of a cd key, validating the cd files (size, names, etc.) are all correct, etc.?
"
This would kinda work.... but it would be more of an anoyance rather then anything to really stop someone, the problem with going back to the find this word on a certain page on a certain line, is that someone will just make a PDF of the manual and you'll easierly be able to get passed that, but it would definitely be a start and would makes things less easy to copy... This used to work really well back in the old days of gaming on floppys, but with robust PCs not so easy now....  But i'd definitely be up for them to bringing this back...
#32 Posted by xruntime (1920 posts) -

VaultBoy, your idea is pretty much an abstraction of a serial code....which hasn't worked.

#33 Posted by Endogene (4741 posts) -

wont work, it's easy to set up a mock server that emulates what the game wants

#34 Posted by OGCartman (4354 posts) -
J4S0N said:
"So over the recent years it seems like PC gaming has really been declining, and one of the big reasons for that is the amount of piracy it has.  The amount of PC piracy surpasses console piracy by far simply because it is so easy.  But I have a solution that will eliminate the piracy of PC games, and I have to wonder why more developers haven't started doing this already.

Think about it:  Which type of PC game has the least amount of piracy?  MMO's.  And why is that?  The gameplay is managed remotely on a server.  You have to have a valid account to log on to the game servers.  No crack can change that.

My solution is to use that strategy for all games, including single-player games.  Gameplay elements such as AI, object interactions, and NPC interactions would be managed by a remote server.  Without access to the server, the game simply could not work.  Piracy groups could not change that without totally rewriting large portions of a game.

This strategy could lead to cheaper games also.  For example, insead of $49 for Crysis, you could pay $10 for one-month access.

Yes, I know.  Some of you will complain about people on dial-up or computers without Internet access.  But they make up the minority of serious PC gamers.
"
Hm, nice thought. Beats my idea
#35 Posted by duffman1990 (45 posts) -

no.

#36 Edited by BiffMcBlumpkin (3720 posts) -

Not going to happen. TO have all those complex things regulated and checked in real time  constantly on a server not only would not happen seamlessly while you were playing some of the time, it would cost the developer a fuck ton f money to maintain the servers and they'd have to charge you, the consumer, an exorbitant monthly fee to play the game, even single player games.

#37 Posted by zeus_gb (595 posts) -
J4S0N said:
This strategy could lead to cheaper games also.  For example, insead of $49 for Crysis, you could pay $10 for one-month access.
Sounds awful.  Why should I have to keep giving them money to play on the game I legally purchased.
#38 Posted by Demilich (2598 posts) -

Blizzard has the best method for anti-piracy.

Create a community you WANT to pay for and you will. Battle.net.

I only pay for PC games for that very reason. But as to what people think about Steam, it's not hard to pirate Steam games.

#39 Posted by albaker (437 posts) -

Piracy will never be beaten not even on consoles, hell there are mod chips for the 360

#40 Posted by Shadow71 (194 posts) -

1. not everyone has internet

2. do you really think companies want to manage all these servers?, it would cost them more then piracy is.

3. no

#41 Edited by Sc00basteve (17 posts) -

I like to own my games. Not rent. Some games do this already. Relic Company of Heros for one does. I dunno about the single player, but you can't play multiplayer at all without an internet affirmation. I got no problem with that but I want my game to be mine.

PC games are better and cheaper already. When you have deals each weekend like Steam's PC gaming is great IMO! Even new games are usually about 10-15 cheaper then there lesser console counterparts. IF you ask me, its console owners who are getting the raw deal, and most don't even know it.

#42 Posted by emnii (198 posts) -

I hate to agree with the PIRACY CANNOT BE BEATEN JUST GIVE UP trolls in this thread but it's a really hard subject to tackle. I rip all my games to ISO because I'm deployed and I'd hate to bring any real discs over here to get ruined by dust and whatnot. Also my internet is spotty as fuck and when I can't get to Steam, half my games are unplayable. I really appreciate publishers like Stardock who release their games DRM free because they know the strength of their games will make people want to own them. The only thing they control with registration is the patches. I won't be buying Mass Effect and I didn't buy Bioshock on PC because of their ridiculous DRM. I'll own both on 360 because I can just toss the disc in and play it and nothing's going to phone home and try to tell me my copy is illegit.

#43 Posted by Xero (159 posts) -
ShadowSkill11 said:
"Isn't that called Steam?
"
I think so
#44 Posted by OGCartman (4354 posts) -

It my never end but it can become better, making less people pirate.
Im not sure, but groups of devs or workers should brainstorm ideas

#45 Posted by Gunde (25 posts) -

Piracy will continue to be widespread as long as the PC platform is as open as it is now, but to change that would simply make it into just another console, thus being a pretty bad idea. Most thoughts about stopping piracy in this thread will never, ever work.

  1. The method of requiring you to be online to play won't work well, as some have pointed out, what if you wanted to play on a laptop without a constant internet-connection, or perhaps you have a bandwidth limit from your ISP? That'll just mean you'll use up your bandwidth just to play a game you legally bought.
    Lastly, the cost to the publishers will be insane, if even a fraction of the calculations done for Crysis are performed on a central server instead of locally that will mean that publishers will need massive investments to cope with it. It won't happen in a mass market way.
  2. DRM has already failed, only some of the bigger companies havn't realised it yet. In the music-marketplace it's already going away, and that'll happen with games as well.
    As long as you can read data, e.g. play the game, it will be cracked. Games with specially troublesome DRM, like starforce, simply create too big annoyances to the legit consumers, while the pirates can neatly bypass it with ready-made tools and written instructions.
    And don't forget the real evidence, namely Sins of a Solar Empire and the Galactic Civilization games. No DRM, big sales.
  3. As for the suggestion of using the old-time copy-protection schemes, that will simply be an even greater hindrance to sales, and equally be an incentive to pirate. Since the safeguards will be either gone, or come with work-arounds.

The companies that successfully create games to the PC market are those who know their consumers. Blizzard sure does, Valve as well, StarDock is also a great example. These developer/publishers create games for the market of potential consumers, not potential players, like Crytek does.
Crysis was a very expensive game to make, and it was made for a very small market of buyers. How many gamers own rigs that can play Crysis compared to the PC bestsellers?

The future for PC-devs will most likely lie in making lower-budgeted games that are made for a big enough market, games like Sins, and some of the offerings on Steam. PC gaming isn't dying, it's just undergoing a bit of a revolution at the moment.


#46 Posted by Tolkienfanatic (99 posts) -

People already bitch about the need for Steam to be connected to the internet, for some reason.

Making it manditory for all games to do the same thing is not a smart idea.

#47 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -

Just make every game a "Games for Windows Live" game. Then if people want to pirate it they need to buy a copy of  Shadowrun.

#48 Edited by Boggs (19 posts) -

The problem with piracy is that you can't stop it. It's simply not possible.

However, you can make obtaining a 'cracked' game hard enough to hinder people so that buying the game becomes a better option. Only the downside is that same DRM can hurt anyone who buys it - remember the Bioshock fiasco? I am all for companies wanting to secure their investment. They spend capital and want assurance. Yet, once they hinder my experience as a paying customer, stealing does not seem so bad.

The two extreme cases in memory are Sony's Rootkits on it's CDs. Which seemes like an invasion of my home - a trojan if you will. On the other side is Stardock with Sins of a Solar Empire which had no DRM. One turned into a PR nightmare and the other was championed by gamers and DRM activists. Both were/are being pirated.

I think the happy medium is the old-fashioned CD-Key. With only one check: entering the CD-kEY. After that the company should trust the user and need not check back. The problem is implementing a truly random key generation and keeping the sever that checks the keys secure. It's going to be cracked, sure, but this way the 'suits' will be happy.

#49 Posted by Gunraidan (216 posts) -
J4S0N said:
"So over the recent years it seems like PC gaming has really been declining,.
"
Who the hell told you this? Nothing could be further from the truth.
#50 Posted by death919 (43 posts) -

I say, if you suspect someone is a pirate, you shoot them in the kneecaps... then search their harddrive... if you find out that they really WERE pirating, then you know you'll have done the right thing by shooting them in the kneecaps. :)

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