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DRM in games and angry pirates

TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,016
edited August 2016 in General Gaming
Is it fair to assume most of the moaning over DRM heavy games come from people who would just otherwise pirate a game? They claim it messes with their systems, causes vulnerabilities, allows companies to "spy" on them or steal data, bit coin mine ect ect yet most other gamers seem happy or have no issues with these games. Is it just a vocal minority of butthurt pirates? What is going on here? 

A good example of such use of technology and unjustified anger it seems to be causing is the Steam launch of  ABZÛ which apparently contains
Denuvo, an anti theft technology that is integrated into the game (which by the way, other than the claims from a few vocal people you have no real way of knowing it's even there). I have never once heard of Denuvo until this game title.

Another example is of course Uplay by Ubisoft. I have never once had issues with Uplay, yet time and time again anytime Ubisoft launches a title the forums are filled with angry anit-Uplay rants. Maybe I'm old school or maybe it's because I'm not cheap, or maybe it's just a generational thing (gen X'r here), but I have no issues with purchasing games legitimately. I know I have heard of people pirating as a form of "trial" and I think this is partially why Steam created the refund system for games, but it honesty leaves me feeling a bit like maybe it's not just the "industry" that sucks, but the players as well. It's like some secret war going on I must be completely oblivious too. Am I wrong about this?


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Comments

  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 11,826
    I know Denuvo seems to be working and helping to cut back on pirated PC games. I for one am glad for it. I have many a friend in the industry and they are some of the hardest working people I have ever known.

    거북이는 목을 내밀 때 안 움직입니다












  • laxielaxie Member RarePosts: 1,047
    I think it's important to distinguish two types of DRM.

    1. Offline DRM - where you need to "activate" a game, but then can play without any server communication.
    2. Always Online DRM - where your game needs contact with the DRM server.

    In the case of offline DRM, I agree with the OP argument completely. Activating a game once is no hassle what-so-ever.

    In the case of online DRM, it may be a much greyer area. Let's say the game is not generating any new revenue in 3 years time. The developer may simply pull the plug on the DRM server and you'll never be able to play again.

    MMORPG closure is a sad event for all fans - quite frankly, it always sucks. This is something single player games did not have to worry about. Once you bought a game, you could always play it. That is, until the recent emergence of these "online" single player games. A poorly coded DRM adds this unnecessary caveat to single player games.

    Poor online DRMs may also cause disconnections mid-game, inability to play on launch due to heavy traffic and may lead to platform locking games. I recall several game launches, where legal owners of games could not play due to DRM, while pirates were happily enjoying the game with the DRM removed.

    That said, I'm not sure how many players actually realise these flaws with online DRM. From what I've read on Steam forums, many are simply throwing words around, without really caring about the flaws of DRM at all. Gamers, especially those on Steam forums, are quick to find a scapegoat and beat it to death.
  • Mtibbs1989Mtibbs1989 Member UncommonPosts: 3,140
    edited August 2016
    I don't pirate games.

    However, if a company is putting in code that could potentially ruin my experience, crash my system, and/or spy on me. Then we have a problem and by we, I mean myself and the company I purchased the game from. Don't assume that everyone is okay with it.

    image

    Somebody, somewhere has better skills as you have, more experience as you have, is smarter than you, has more friends as you do and can stay online longer. Just pray he's not out to get you.
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,790
    edited August 2016
    A game I bought at full price didn't work because of DRM.

    2K games didn't even bother to answer my support requests.

    In the end pirating it got the game to work.

    I can understand the need for DRM, but even one experience where I have to pirate copy my own game is one experience too many.
     
  • barasawabarasawa Member UncommonPosts: 591
    edited August 2016
    DRM is a hate hate relationship to gamers. It's either complete innocuous and you have no idea it's there, or it's screwing something up. So when gamers notice it, they hate it. 
    I'll give you some examples I've personally encountered over the years. 

    Back in the 8bit days, somebody came up with a new copy protection that prevented us from making backups of our floppies. And yes, backups were necessary as the floppies were far from a perfect long term storage. (Our modern hard drives are better, but not by a whole lot. Check the MTBF to find out what I'm talking about.) 
    If that wasn't bad enough, peoples floppy drives started dying, especially for the hard core players of that game. Sure, it was a small percentage, but it was abnormal, and those drives were hundreds of dollars back them. I guess in modern times, that would be close to a $1000 equivalent. (Wild guess on my part, but prices have significantly changed as well as the buying power of your money.) 
    We finally figured it out, and successfully duplicated it and also found out why our drives were failing. The bastards had poked a pinhole through a certain part of the disk itself. When the drive head went over that bump created by the poking of the hole, it bounced and created a rather unique type of detectable error. Of course, the head was never supposed to bounce like that, and it was damaging drives!  

    Years later I encountered another one on a hot new game. I could run the game alright, but it was constantly pinging my floppy drive and was driving me nuts! (Not to mention greatly adding to the wear and tear on the drive). Now my box was top of the line homebuilt bleeding edge stuff in those days, and my friends just had damn good gaming boxs. They complained they couldn't play the game, it was way too freaking slow!  I took a look, and sure enough, it was slower than crud, maybe 3-6 fps on an overhead isometic sprite based game. That was beyond suck!  They kind of gave up for a while, and I was sick of the drive pinging, so I went out and found a pirate patch that killed the DRM. (The DRM was creating the drive pinging by constantly checking that the drive had the original floppy in it.) That not only cured the drive pinging, but my game suddenly went from playable normally, to on warp speed crack!  I had my friends install the pirate patch, and sure enough, their games were suddenly playable as well !  It was the DRM that was F'ing up the gameplay!
    It was about 6 months later, if I recall the timeline properly, that the company that made the game, and had been denying the problem the whole time, released an official patch that removed the DRM and made the game playable for everyone else that wasn't clued in enough to get the pirate patch.  Loved that game back them, at least when it was playable. 

    Another company also screwed things up, but since writable cd drives weren't too terribly common among the average gamer at the time, a lot of them didn't encounter the issue. Basically the DRM they used caused the failure rate of writing CDs to go WAY up!  Mine was boosted to around a 90+% failure rate no matter what I did. At least until I used a pirate program to remove their rooted and always on DRM program they'd secretly installed with their game. Of course, that company denied their DRM causing problems, and refused to do anything about it, claiming they'd never found any issues with it. Of course they did tell us they would be willing to look into it on one of our machines with the issue, but their terms were INSANE !!! 
    They wanted someone affected with the issue to send them their machine, with the owner paying for all shipping, even if it was overseas. (They were in Europe, while I'm in the USA.) On top of that, they wouldn't guarantee they'd find/fix/or admit to the problem, and they would NOT be sending you back your computer! 
    So the affected game would have to give up his box forever, and pay for the privilege, and from a company that gave all the impressions that it was only trying to sweep the issue under the rug!  Yeah, like that happened. These days, and on the wiki article on the issue, they claim they never got a machine that had the issue, so they doubt it existed. (Maybe it's changed in the last few years, but that's the last time I looked at it.) 
    Well, I'm one of the affected people, and I can guarantee it was real, and that it went away when I removed their evil DRM. 

    On the more modern vein of DRM b.s., do I really have to go on about the games that are essentially offline games, but require a constant online connection to play? And that if you lose the connection, even for a moment, your game is over and you can't save or anything? No? Then you already know why people despise the mothership DRM, or any other derogatory nickname it's referred to with. 

    There are lots of other nightmares of DRM out there, but I only talked about the ones I've personally dealt with, that were rather obvious. Over the years I've made a habit of getting pirate patches to kill DRM as a matter of course. It's kind of a preventative measure. Also, if you care, that habit of mine has actually helped out frame rates and performance on several modern games as well, which is always a plus. 

    Just a note. I find long and convoluted keys an annoyance, but it it's put it in once, and then the game works forever, and offline (if it's not an online game of course), then I don't mind too much. After all, that's a one time deal, and not a constant issue for my box and me.

    Yes, I have avoided naming names, and that's intentional. If you're really interested, I'm sure you won't have too much trouble googling that stuff up and finding out exactly who the offending softwares, companies, and DRMs were.

    Lost my mind, now trying to lose yours...

  • BurntvetBurntvet Member RarePosts: 3,465
    I buy legit copies of everything these days and have for many years.

    But if a company has super heavy PITA DRM with their games, I simply do not buy their products.

    I am looking at you Ubisoft.


    A Steam activation/verification should be enough.

  • LokeroLokero Member RarePosts: 1,514
    DRM in games has largely been hated far more over the years by legit consumers than pirateers.  Up until Denuvo, at least, pirates have never had any trouble pirating games, and yet DRM was hated long before that.

    DRM over the years has always just been an irritant and a hassle to everyone(except the actual pirates).  It's the "one bad apple" scenario and always has been.
  • KahrekKahrek Member UncommonPosts: 66
    I remember one case where pirating the game was my only solution.

    Doom 3 simply refused to run if you had daemon tools installed. As back then part of my job was making CD images for in house software it meant I could choose to either not work from home, get another desktop for work, not play Doom 3 or download a pirated copy and enjoy hassle free gaming. I will give you one good guess as to my course of action.

    My problem with DRM is not when it works it is when it works against you.

    Cheers,
  • madazzmadazz Member RarePosts: 1,990
    Some forms of DRM have been known to mess with peoples computers. Look up what Sony did. There were many other ones that gave users issues of different sorts too. Thats when the hatred started. /thread
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Witcher 3, awesome game, sold a ton of copies, doesn't have DRM.
    The problems with DRM are that they tend to hurt the legitimate consumer more than they do those who pirate games, its perhaps no surprise that a number of people who have bought a copy of a game, will sometimes turn to 'piracy' to make the game work properly.
    There are also forms of DRM out there that are so intrusive, that i actually avoided purchasing a game because of it. :o

  • ArkudelArkudel Member UncommonPosts: 32
    Tiller said:

    Another example is of course Uplay by Ubisoft. I have never once had issues with Uplay, yet time and time again anytime Ubisoft launches a title the forums are filled with angry anit-Uplay rants. Maybe I'm old school or maybe it's because I'm not cheap, or maybe it's just a generational thing (gen X'r here), but I have no issues with purchasing games legitimately. I know I have heard of people pirating as a form of "trial" and I think this is partially why Steam created the refund system for games, but it honesty leaves me feeling a bit like maybe it's not just the "industry" that sucks, but the players as well. It's like some secret war going on I must be completely oblivious too. Am I wrong about this?

         Maybe you've never had an issue with Uplay, but that doesn't mean other people haven't. I remember the mess of HoMM 6 and that the connection issues with Uplay resulted in me simply no longer being able to continue my campaign (I'd get dropped in the single-player game and lose large chunks of progress) to the point where I had to just give up -- I'm talking about being dropped every 60 to 90 seconds and this issue lasted for days until I just moved on. To that end, I'll never buy a Uplay game again. It doesn't mean that it's okay to pirate the game, but as a self-proclaimed gen X'r, I find it somewhat tragic that you never learned to consider things from perspectives other than your own egocentric worldview.
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Should the title of this discussion really be DRM in games and angry consumers? because it seems the pirates are the only ones laughing.
  • Thomas2006Thomas2006 Member RarePosts: 1,131
    edited August 2016
    DRM really does nothing more then slow down games. There is not a single DRM out that hasn't been cracked and the sad thing is that most of the time the DRM cracked game runs better with the DRM cracked then it does with the DRM still working.

    The Witcher 2 is a great example where if you have a great solid game then it will sell regradless if it has DRM or not. Most of the games that toss heavy DRM in is nothing more then to hide a shody product. Pirates buy games just like regular people. Difference being they don't have to buy the crap that is sholved out where people that pay good money for same said game gets screwed when they find out the game is crap.

    Atleast steam has taken the 2 hour refund approach and that is a great step forward.

    And Abzu has already been cracked from the looks of it the same exact day it was released.  So much for that DRM working.
  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,054
    There are 2 things I despise in games, DRMs and anti-cheat programs that install root kits. The last game I pirated was in 2002 over Kazaa. The only reason for these root kits is to peek at other games you have on your system since you obviously bought the game. Yet for this, they leave your system vulnerable to unattended viruses and hack attempts. For instance if I embedded a virus in an ad and had it access the system through a root kit Ubisoft installed on a system, it would go through automatically on those systems and Ubisoft EULA'd there way out of liability.
    They obviously have not curbed the problem and only punished legitimate users. They have been less effective than using the Steam platform and authentication.
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,442
    FYI Doom 2016 still not cracked - that's because it uses a live active protection (I think MGSV uses the same tech, I could be wrong).

    I bought Rocksmith 2014 (on Steam) but no place here was selling the p10-usb cable that comes in the box. So I had to crack the game so I could use the mic input of my PC (with p10-p2 cable).

    The old DRM's hurts only the consumers, people who pirates don't deal with them - the people doing cracks and custom .dll's are the ones dealing with it. Consumers just get it, follow the instructions and play.

    I had to stop buying Ubisoft titles because of the ubiplay activation requirement. I had to wait weeks when I bought Heroes of Might and Magic because Ubiplay was not working and the support wasn't doing anything about it.

    I'm against one time activation. Because it doesn't solve anything in regards of pirate copy. It's just a step, its pure useless bureaucracy. 

    I had problems in the past when moving my place had no internet for a certain time so I though in buying a game to play on my pc... Nice, they all had DRM. One less consumer, congratulations.
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade Member EpicPosts: 4,713
    edited August 2016
    I've never had a single issue with DRM. That being said... some apparently did, and pirates don't really care about it anyway. They always find a way around it and have a good laugh at the devs.

    The only way to really stick it to pirates is by doing what Blizzard did with Diablo 3. Require going online to connect to some server in order to play. It MAY not stop them indefinitely, but you can bet they won't be ruining your game launch by releasing a crack on the very same day.

    I had a good laugh at the expense of someone who's always going "Haha, suckers. Buying games... I pirate everything." and he was completely out of luck when Diablo 3 launched, to the point of giving in and just buying the game after a week of being green with envy at everyone who was actually playing it. :chuffed:

    Much harder to steal things when you don't have access to a good part of the code. (The part that's server side) Which is also the reason emulating an MMO takes a long time to pull off as well.

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

    https://www.ashesofcreation.com/ref/Callaron/

  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,016
    Arkudel said:
    Tiller said:

    Another example is of course Uplay by Ubisoft. I have never once had issues with Uplay, yet time and time again anytime Ubisoft launches a title the forums are filled with angry anit-Uplay rants. Maybe I'm old school or maybe it's because I'm not cheap, or maybe it's just a generational thing (gen X'r here), but I have no issues with purchasing games legitimately. I know I have heard of people pirating as a form of "trial" and I think this is partially why Steam created the refund system for games, but it honesty leaves me feeling a bit like maybe it's not just the "industry" that sucks, but the players as well. It's like some secret war going on I must be completely oblivious too. Am I wrong about this?

         Maybe you've never had an issue with Uplay, but that doesn't mean other people haven't. I remember the mess of HoMM 6 and that the connection issues with Uplay resulted in me simply no longer being able to continue my campaign (I'd get dropped in the single-player game and lose large chunks of progress) to the point where I had to just give up -- I'm talking about being dropped every 60 to 90 seconds and this issue lasted for days until I just moved on. To that end, I'll never buy a Uplay game again. It doesn't mean that it's okay to pirate the game, but as a self-proclaimed gen X'r, I find it somewhat tragic that you never learned to consider things from perspectives other than your own egocentric worldview.
    naw, not really, other than Anno 2070, that was kind of a pain since you had to enter serial codes for all the dlc in a particular fashion.


  • scorpex-xscorpex-x Member RarePosts: 1,030
    edited August 2016
    I guarantee you that Denuvo is made by ex hackers, who have lots of contacts and are paying the people they know can hack it..not to.

    Under normal circumstances this would of been hacked long ago, the fact they not only publicly gave up (this is totally against the whole mindset of hackers) but also said they would not attempt to hack it for a few years to see how the market is without them shows what it is.

    >make the hacking scene much, much bigger
    >do this incredibly skilled job for free, giving the content away
    >make contacts within the biggest hacking groups
    >create the solution and you all get incredibly rich

    It's basically a protection racket, this system costs a huge amount of money to add to your games.

    Regardless, yes most of the complaints are because people are mad it's basically taken games completely of the free scene.

    Having said that, the argument of "the games cost so much because of piracy" was always nonsense, prices will not fall (if anything they will increase).  Most people who pirate, do so because they can't afford these games at all so there is no loss in sales and any actual boost in sales is offset by the incredibly cost of adding Denuvo anyway. 

    Witcher 3 had zero copy protection at all and was a massive seller, games like just cause 3 were pretty much a flop with Denuvo.


  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 21,220
    edited August 2016
    Denuvo has been cracked by Chinese and Russian hackers already.

    http://segmentnext.com/2016/06/30/russian-hackers-cracked-denuvo/

    Also Abzu mentioned by OP was cracked by the Chinese within 24 hours. 
  • rpmcmurphyrpmcmurphy Member EpicPosts: 3,259
    If it was only pirates that disliked DRM then why would places like GOG be so successful.

    Lots of people simply got fed up with the more draconian stances publishers were taking, limited re-installs, only being able to install on 1 PC and so on.
    A lot of people believe that when they have made a purchase they should have the right to do what they want with that purchase and as long as that doesn't mean duplication then they are correct.


  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,724
    Tiller said:
    Is it fair to assume most of the moaning over DRM heavy games come from people who would just otherwise pirate a game?
    Nope.
    Phry said:
    Should the title of this discussion really be DRM in games and angry consumers? because it seems the pirates are the only ones laughing.
    This, and
    If it was only pirates that disliked DRM then why would places like GOG be so successful.
    this.
    DRM is not about the holy crusade against the evil nasty pirates, not for a long time now. (and on a sidenote, the published numbers about the "damages" are just as fake as the music and movie industy numbers)

    GOG is just the main example, but there are also smaller ones, to disprove that theory. DRM-free releases are just as profitable, and also much more user-friendly on the side, since DRM of nowadays is more just a "leash", a tool in the publisher's hand for track and control the customers.

    Funny thing is, GOG could rightfully charge even more than the other publishers (easier use, convenient, or even drop in the "pirate card" with compensating the lost income because those nasty pirates pirating the DRM-free release), and nope, they're even cheaper. And profitable. With a big fanbase.

    So yep, "Is it fair to assume etc etc" sure, it is "fair" to assume anything. But the assumption is failed nevertheless. :lol:
  • DMKanoDMKano Member LegendaryPosts: 21,220
    If it was only pirates that disliked DRM then why would places like GOG be so successful.

    Lots of people simply got fed up with the more draconian stances publishers were taking, limited re-installs, only being able to install on 1 PC and so on.
    A lot of people believe that when they have made a purchase they should have the right to do what they want with that purchase and as long as that doesn't mean duplication then they are correct.



    Installing the game on your laptop, home PC and work PC could be duplication though as let's say your friend comes over and uses your PC while you play on your laptop.
  • rpmcmurphyrpmcmurphy Member EpicPosts: 3,259
    DMKano said:
    Installing the game on your laptop, home PC and work PC could be duplication though as let's say your friend comes over and uses your PC while you play on your laptop.

    That's technically correct, I was thinking more along the lines of duplicating and selling/giving a copy to someone else. I don't see any real problem with the example though, not only do the PC and laptop belong to the same person, but is it really world breaking to let a friend play at the same time, they might enjoy it enough that they go and buy their own copy.

    The worst bit about DRM is that it works on the assumption that everyone would simply steal if it didn't exist.

  • filmoretfilmoret Member EpicPosts: 4,906
    Gaming companies have the right to protect their games.  In some countries pirates have the right to steal the games.  Sadly the legal battle is still being fought.  If gaming companies were smarter they would stop pirating.  Its their fault really.  Playstation and Xbox don't have pirate problems.  Why?  Because every time a pirate raises his little head they chop it off.  When it comes to PC every time a pirate raises his little head they have to first fight a stupid legal battle.  Pirates will cry and fight for their right to be a thief.

    Farcry Primal never got cracked.
    Fallout 4 took them almost a year to get a working crack and even now that is all messed up.

    Pirates have to work hard to steal their games now.  Makes you wonder why they just don't work a job and buy the games.
    Are you onto something or just on something?
  • gerousgerous Member UncommonPosts: 12
    edited August 2016
    Tiller said:
    Another example is of course Uplay by Ubisoft. I have never once had issues with Uplay, yet time and time again anytime Ubisoft launches a title the forums are filled with angry anit-Uplay rants. Maybe I'm old school or maybe it's because I'm not cheap, or maybe it's just a generational thing (gen X'r here), but I have no issues with purchasing games legitimately. 
    Gen X here as well, I do not ever "complain" about DRM as a general rule. I can't recall ever mentioning it on a forum before. BUT I will say this, Uplay effectively stopped my ability to play Heroes of Might and Magic 6 when I bought a legit copy of it. I spent days going back and forth with Uplay support until they metaphorically shrugged their shoulders at me say there is nothing they can do. Effectively I could not play the game in on-line mode crippling some of the game content so I just gave up. I was super bummed, more cause I have been a fan of the series since HoMM2 and wanted to play the game. 

    Of course the ultimate irony was I didn't pirate the game cause I loved the old 3D0 franchise and wanted to support it with a purchase.

    So I think you might be generalising a little to aim all the angst at Pirates.

    Edit: I am guilty of not reading the whole thread here and I just realised I might have met my doppleganger, they already posted the EXACT same thing with HoMM6. Not sure if it's a good thing to know I was not alone, I think I'd rather just have had a game that worked as promised.
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