The age of DRM?

These days we are seeing more and more developers and publishers stuff DRM into their games to combat piracy, but is it even working? Is it worth it when it takes its toll on both the development budget and customer satisfaction? Popular survey says no, but what can be done?

As a customer we all vote with our money, that’s just how the system works. However small you may feel your contribution may be you will still be a part of a grand pie-chart somewhere in business-world, and so it’s important to spend it somewhere you have faith in. But “Woah” I hear you shout “AAsama, are you trying to tell us where we should spend our hard earned money?” To that I respond with a confident “Maybe” and present you this: GoG.com and CD Projekt.

The reason I feel the need to write this article for you guys is that recently GoG.com and CD Projekt had a joint press conference to reveal some exciting things. If you are a listener to Voice of Crom we have previously praised both companies for their stances on DRM and costumer appreciation, but recently this has gone even further. I will give you the skinny from this ~1 hour presentation:

  • GoG is moving into newer games, such as Assassins Creed and Heroes of Might and Magic 5. Thus dropping “Good old Games” and just sticking with GoG.
  • GoG rewarded their community for making them so big by giving everyone Fallout 1 for free.
  • CD Projekt thanks you for buying The Witcher 2 by giving you Witcher 2 on GoG for free, no matter where you bought it.
  • CD Projekt is releasing The Witcher 2 Enhanced edition for 360 and PC on the 17 of April. But wait, what if you already have Witcher 2? Well then, CD Projekt will roll out a patch that will update your base game to the enhanced edition. 11 Gigs of new content and fixes, for absolutely free.

And everything associated with CD Projekt and GoG.com is completely DRM free.

It’s hard to not fall in love with companies that are clearly doing their best to please their customers. Coming up from the rotten sewers of DRM, of which Ubisoft has made a very noticeable contribution, this truly is a breath of fresh air. By supporting these companies you are voting with your money, you will be part of a grand pie chart that may show something like this:

Amount of fucks given about DRM

In closing, I cannot recommend GoG.com and CD Projekt enough, you can’t help but feel good about buying their games and that is truly rare these days. So be part of the solution, help end the age of DRM.

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Skyrim makes me want to Shout

Last Friday, Skyrim got unlocked on my Steam. As I got home from work i immediately ordered some pizza and booted up the game, nothing would stop me now.

A weekend later, I look at the time. It wasnt Saturday morning, it was Sunday night. My Norwegian weekend passed in a flurry of frost, warhammers and dragons. Also i played Skyrim alot. I think you can tell a game is good if it turns into a time-machine of sorts and you realize this but you dont want to stop. Some call this eCrack, I call it eShutUpMomYouDontUnderstand.

The only thing i can say for certain now, as I sit at work typing this, is that I am nowhere near finished with that game. Not story- nor interest-wise. After a full weekend worth of hours played, I still havent really explored the world truly and I still feel theres tons to be seen and killed in emberassing ways. This could quite possibly be one of my all time favourite games, much like Oblivion except that vikings makes everything better(commerce excluded).

Luckily, I managed to capture some footage of my adventures during the weekend incase anyone is on the fence about this game. accurate simulation of scandinavian way of life.

Now if this hastily compiled video with corrupt clips in between isnt enough to convince you, then-

Uh

Fine.

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Trollradio.com - 24/7 Radio by gamers, for gamers

Thought i would real-talk abit about a project me and a bro are up to these days: TrollRadio.com.
 
TrollRadio is an internet radio station, running 24/7, with various hosts and DJs playing all kinds of music. All of them gamers.
 
Me and this dude called "Gongon" are hosting this show called Voice of Crom there, live every Monday at 12 AM EST(5 PM GMT) and re-runs on wednesdays and saturdays. Also available for podcast download. We pretty much just try to fill the eAirwaves with game-inspired chatter with music in-between, to entertain and possibly even inform people about junk and stuff. Mostly junk.
 
What I would like with this post (besides blatant advertising) is to gather feedback from GiantBombers who are no doubt tuned into what a good gaming podcast is all about(Giant BombCast, duh). We really enjoy doing this and would appreciate any suggestions and tips to help us become better at it. 
 
Thanks for reading this!
 

 PS: Live show today! About 4h 30m from the time of this posting!

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Kinect - Biggest "Meh" this console-generation?

Before Giantbomb's Kinect liveshow I had a picture of it being like a fun wii-like accessory, except YOU ARE THE CONTROLLER/TOOL. With the added bonus of the xbox itself then it seemed like a pretty solid package, "normal" gaming aswell as "hello batman"-ing.
 
The liveshow however made me see what I was truly in for: Unresponsiveness in even the best of conditions(green screen, plenty of light and space) and waggle-based games. Some of this could be excused by the simple fact that "Hey, this thing just got released. Theres plenty of other games coming.", but after having seen a consistent design descision throughout the games I fear that this is just the nature of Kinect. 
 
Its not all bad though, I definately saw the highlights of this accessory with the fitness games(especailly fitness evolved). This seems like something right up Kinects's alley: Not focusing on detailed capturing of hands/feet but the overall movement and placement of your entire body. We all saw that it works fine, at launch. I feel its very important to stress that this is still very early and for it to work as well as it does(granted, in near-optimal conditions) is very impressive. 
 
So where does Kinect go from here? 
 Keep pushing out waggle-games until something sticks? Focus on fitness programs? How many workout "games" do you even NEED?
 
 
We are definately in an interesting time right now. We are right in the middle of either a success or flop that will be noted down in the chronicles of history, just like the console/platform battles of yore. Only question is: Will Kinect be the innovator or the booger on face of Microsoft?

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Videogames and AAsama


Dear blog 
 
Today i realized how much i am looking forwards to Bulletstorm. 
I crave it more than i do Deus Ex, X-Com or even..well..anything. The playtrough and commentary by Cliffy B sealed the deal for me honestly, i cant wait to roast those big fat chicken-eating motherfuckers. I would do a lasso-whips forever and strike down my enemies with the lightning fist of an angry pagan god. 
 
Damnit, gimme my vidyagames.
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