10 Ways to Fight Piracy

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

10 Ways to Fight Piracy

If DRM isn't the solution to fighting piracy, what is? Shamus Young provides 10 (relatively) simple ways to fight the problem.

Permalink

You know, these would work... But hey ho, no publisher is going to take any notice of you!*

*Don't take it personal, the industry is full of morons.

remember those silly little plastic lenses from the 8 bit days. the ones you had to hold up to the screen and try and read a code through. stopped the game being pirated also stopped the games being played a lot of the time as you lost the little plastic thing lol.

arkwright:
remember those silly little plastic lenses from the 8 bit days. the ones you had to hold up to the screen and try and read a code through. stopped the game being pirated also stopped the games being played a lot of the time as you lost the little plastic thing lol.

True, but with the advent of the Internet people are likely to get around that.

thatstheguy:

True, but with the advent of the Internet people are likely to get around that.

yeah i suppose but the shear maddnes of the black plastic bendy thingy was enough to put the priates off.

i still think the code on the back of the manuel is the best option but as you say there are peeps out on the interweb who get round these sort of things.

+100. Ten nails in the head.

Shamus Young for EA president!. Down with Riccitiello!

You should have mentioned firehoses.

I don't pay for any video games. Deal with it.

DRM is annoying if you want to play Audiosurf with songs off iTunes. You have to go out of your way to copy it to a CD just to get rid of DRM. Man if devs actually tried to do something productive about piracy we wouldn't need this discussion

paketep:
+100. Ten nails in the head.

Shamus Young for EA president!. Down with Riccitiello!

Agreed!

hopeneverdies:
DRM is annoying if you want to play Audiosurf with songs off iTunes. You have to go out of your way to copy it to a CD just to get rid of DRM. Man if devs actually tried to do something productive about piracy we wouldn't need this discussion

Buy off Amazon instead - better quality, no DRM, and same or less price ;)

Great article as always. Point 8 reminded me of an article from AnandTech about grabbing the mid range market to great success: ATI versus Nvidia

nomercyrules10:
I don't pay for any video games. Deal with it.

If only everyone were of that attitude, then there would be no money to make games to pirate. Sadly, enough of the world still has a concience to pay for games, keeping the game developers afloat so the parasites can continue to leech off them. Regardless of how (or if) the developers spend their resources trying to stop it, it still takes time and money away from making better games, which costs both those who pay, and those who do not.

Sadly, pirates are unavoidable. You can deter some, and make some stop out of frustration, but some will simply refuse to pay, even if that means that they get nothing at all. Others will still continue to strive for a way around it, and distribute it.

Good suggestions though for lowering costs to greater effect. Sadly, the powers that be have hardened their hearts. Reason has fallen on deaf ears.

I know I sound pessimistic, but work for any body of American government for any amount of time (or any large organization for that matter), and you'll understand.

I dislike how people tend to think that if you play games like Sins of a Solar Empire, you're automatically smarter than the guy who prefers to play Crysis. How about inserting taste in the calculation? Yeah, Sins is a far deeper game than Crysis and Crysis is a bad example of the fps genre since it's an empty shell of a game, but just preferring Crysis to Sins doesn't make the user dumber or place him/her lower on the social ladder, it just makes the user more friendly towards the fps genre than the 4X strategy genre. So it's a bit disheartening to see people dissing pirates for not liking Sins and taking a higher stance just due to it, while I, for example, both disliked Cyris AND Sins and I doubt I'm the only one. I would also buy the first Painkiller (a far better example of a stupid yet good game, another one prolly disliked by the gamers equivalent to mensa) over any of them any day.

Not that Shamus surely thinks so, it's just that this isn't the first place I've read stuff like that and so my paranoid-sense starts tingling.

Your proposals make a lot of sense to us gamers, however we are not the ones you need to convince. While I am sure some game developers are avid readers of the Escapist, you should be publishing this sort of stuff to Gamasutra http://gamasutra.com/ if you want to get the eyes of the industry upon you.

I definitely agree with all of your suggestions, as I almost always do.

However, can we have an article that doesn't have to do with piracy once in a while?

Please?

While I agree with most of the points you bring up, the seventh isn't completely correct. I'm sure some copys of games have indeed been leaked by reviewers or the like, but due to the fact physical retail copys are still sold a company can't stop those from being leaked. When they have hundreads of thousands if not more copys of games being shipped around the world at least days before release date it would be very hard I imagine to track down how a game was leaked.

So I was liking this article until this

"Note that Crysis was a tech-heavy game that was notoriously hard to run and offered no demo. It was saddled with install-limit DRM. "

Uhh, what? Crysis DID have a demo, and no install limit. If this guy can't get basic facts like this straight, all of a sudden I'm skeptic of the other things he has said.

I volunteer at soup kitchens and donate to charity on a regular basis. I'd rather give my time and money to people who need it; I really don't care to support the developers. And besides, video games aren't that entertaining most of the time. If the developers didn't release any games I wouldn't be at a loss much. The best part about most games these days is the hype surrounding them.

Epifols:
So I was liking this article until this

"Note that Crysis was a tech-heavy game that was notoriously hard to run and offered no demo. It was saddled with install-limit DRM. "

Uhh, what? Crysis DID have a demo, and no install limit. If this guy can't get basic facts like this straight, all of a sudden I'm skeptic of the other things he has said.

Yeah, I noticed that too. Looking back, while point 9 and point 7 are good points, they don't fit together well, because together they say "Here's how you deal with this part of the problem, but that is in no way my point at all".

I remember at a thing about breaking into the games industy, sombody behind me asked Chris Taylor about how they planned to fight piracy. I was pretty surprised when he said that right before Supreme Commander's launch they filled torrent sites full of junk downloads. I got a few laughs out of that.

nomercyrules10:
I don't pay for any video games. Deal with it.

Its so good to meet someone who gives back to the pastime they enjo- oh wait...

DRM promotes piracy, because who the hell is going to buy a game that they're limited to installs? No one. I hop right to the console version, which oddly I'm wondering if it's their intention in some way. The only game I have with DRM is Farcry 2 which I got free with my video card.

Epifols:
So I was liking this article until this

"Note that Crysis was a tech-heavy game that was notoriously hard to run and offered no demo. It was saddled with install-limit DRM. "

Uhh, what? Crysis DID have a demo, and no install limit. If this guy can't get basic facts like this straight, all of a sudden I'm skeptic of the other things he has said.

Yeah I have crysis and I was confused by that too, there's no DRM, only SecureROM (or some similar medium) to make sure the disc is there.

number one way to combat piracy...
...ninjas

Snotnarok:
DRM promotes piracy, because who the hell is going to buy a game that they're limited to installs? No one.

I wrote a email today asking the same thing. I'm still waiting for EA to realize that they have Crysis Warhead on Steam, but it still comes with limited activations with SecuROM. Seriously, that is the only reason I haven't played that game yet, and they have it on Steam for Christ's sake, isn't that enough?

ROBO_LEADER:

Snotnarok:
DRM promotes piracy, because who the hell is going to buy a game that they're limited to installs? No one.

I wrote a email today asking the same thing. I'm still waiting for EA to realize that they have Crysis Warhead on Steam, but it still comes with limited activations with SecuROM. Seriously, that is the only reason I haven't played that game yet, and they have it on Steam for Christ's sake, isn't that enough?

I think you unintentionally answered the Piracy problem, use steam, because they seem to have it down. Sure their customer service is beyond bad but you get a game, register it and you're good to go, forever. I heard from a friend that they said "if they ever go out of business they will unlock all their games" so hot damn Piracy issue should be solved with them. You can buy games in a store, or off their site and register it with steam, no DRM (of course you should check if Non-valve games have it or not) or any thing of the sort. Oh, and unlike Resident Evil 5, free updates and unlike Gears of War, Halo, other shooters FREE maps and FREE new guns with their games.

I thought this thread was going to be about actual sea-faring pirates. God I'm dumb.

ElephantGuts:
I thought this thread was going to be about actual sea-faring pirates. God I'm dumb.

Well, given what's been happening in Somalia, you can be forgiven.

a few u.s destroyers a few navy seals maybe a nuke if things go bad....

Shamus Young:
I've mentioned before that prices should simply drop during the shelf-life of a game to glean the sales of those lower-tier customers.

That's one thing I wish Xbox Live Marketplace would take to heart.

Instead, they end up proving my fear that digital distribution will keep prices up. Sure, occasionally they'll have a sale, but (1) it tends to be on their better-selling content, not the items that could actually use a price drop to spur sales, and (2) the prices go back up to full price at the end of the sale anyway.

The Arcade games released at the system's launch are still at full price, and there are games you can get on the open market now for a lower price than the DLC for those games on Marketplace. Insane.

Epifols:
So I was liking this article until this

"Note that Crysis was a tech-heavy game that was notoriously hard to run and offered no demo. It was saddled with install-limit DRM. "

Uhh, what? Crysis DID have a demo, and no install limit. If this guy can't get basic facts like this straight, all of a sudden I'm skeptic of the other things he has said.

I didn't buy Crysis myself, and based my statements on what I'd found in Google:

http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=62356

http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=80&threadid=2119254

And now I see that the three install limit is most likely talking about Crysis Warhead:

http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/41635/Crysis-Warhead-Includes-Three-Activation-Spore-Like-DRM

As for "getting the facts straight", this is actually extremely hard to do, because publishers obfuscate their DRM as much as possible. I can't find any official statement from the publishers in places where a customer might expect to find it. (Along side system requirements and such.) Gamers don't REALLY know what the DRM is like until somebody gets the game, peeks under the hood, and announces their findings in a forum. If publishers want accurate reporting on their DRM, they can start by accurately reporting on their DRM. :)

This is in addition to the way they try to re-define DRM. Case in point: The install limit was removed from BioShock, but they left in SecuROM and online activation. Then they announced they were "removing the DRM".

On the Demo: I guess I should have been more explicit. The demo didn't come out until after release:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crysis

But there is indeed a demo out now.

I'll send off a correction & a clarification. Thanks for pointing that out.

Dang. I was wrong on both points. The demo was delayed, but was still apparently out around launch time.

Sigh. TWO corrections.

Shamus Young: Quickly becoming the smartest games commentator on the web.

Number 9 is the argument that makes the most sense to me. I was explaining to my aging father, who has absolutely no drive to care about games (outside of the first Call of Duty game and some old Sierra Entertainment titles), about the piracy issue and what a load of crap the industry makes it's customers jump through every time it releases a game, and that was the first thing he mentioned: Wal-Mart and shrinkage. I think it's a joke that we've come up with a separate title for information theft ("piracy" means so much more than just theft, which is more or less what it is). This isn't a new crime, it's not even a new trend. It's simply an old crime perpetrated via a new medium. It can be easily combated by modifying old tactics for the new medium. Like back in the day, when cars were invented. They were being stolen. So the car companies put locks on the door. They didn't electrify the car, they didn't make it explode, they didn't do anything ridiculous and crazy. They looked at the problem, then they went to the tried and true method, but adapted the locking mechanism for a car. The games industry looked at theft of a product and went "F*** the old way. Let's just shake down our honest customers to send a message to these thieves."

I don't know who came up with "DRM" but he must be a certifiable idiot.

As for demos, damn, GTA IV could have used one, even if it only simulated a small area of the map, just so we could see how an area worked, limit us to 2 stars wanted, 3 or 4 types of cars, and a couple of missions maybe.

I heard of so many people who just flatly wouldn't buy it, as they'd heard it wouldn't run on their PC.

I succumbed to temptation when it got a discount on Steam, only to find out at 640x480, with all settings on 'low' or 'none', I was getting less than one fps.

However, moving onto 'looking after your customers', they later released a patch fixing many issues, and adding more scaling down, and I can now play it at 1024x768 at about 10-15fps, jerky, but vaguely playable at least.

HobbesMkii:
Shamus Young: Quickly becoming the smartest games commentator on the web.

[snip]

I don't know who came up with "DRM" but he must be a certifiable idiot.

No, the person who came up with DRM is a genius, who must have heard the conspiracy theory that viruses are made and released by anti virus companies.He's found a way of selling something hugely expensive that doesn't work, that companies don't need and customers don't want.

They've essentially inflated a problem to sell a fix that doesn't work. I just can't see the mentality in 'We're losing money to pirates, quick, lets lose $200,000 to DRM instead, that way we can lose money and customers and popularity in the business all in go!'

Now taking GTA IV as an example, I probably would have pirated it, but the DRM maybe did hold off on a working copy being available soon, plus the idea of downloading 16gb was putting me off, too. However, I don't believe having to wait a week or two, or in most cases mere days, will persuade a pirate to go buy a real copy.

However, if I'd had the chance to download a demo, I'd have either bought it immediately, or not bought it or pirated it. To add another of his points, I then saw it on a good offer on Steam, and laid out the cash for it, worth the risk I felt, and would push me to upgrade in the future.

Would the money then not have been better spent providing a playable demo and perhaps more quality multiplayer content? You only have to look at things like WOW and TF2 to show that good multiplayer means people will buy to join in. (Lets not have the WOW = good lulz debate again please).

Well, I'm a developer and I'm certainly taking note and of the same thinking. I do think these tips are as useful to developers (especially indie devs who are their own publishers in most cases) as they are to publishers!

i agree with this article. i wish i didnt HAVE to pirate games. hehe actually i usually only do it as a trial of a game

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here