Demigod Piracy Running High

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Demigod Piracy Running High

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Gamers have expressed their appreciation and thanks for Stardock's liberal, gamer-centric approach to DRM by pirating its new game Demigod to such high levels that the studio's network infrastructure was brought to its knees.

In yesterday's Day One Status Report, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell revealed that the company's network was clobbered by a heavy influx of users anxious to get online with Demigod, the vast majority of whom were running illegitimate copies. "The system works pretty well if you have a few thousand people online at once. The system works... less well if there are tens of thousands of people online at once," he wrote. "And if there are over 100,000 people, well, you get horrific results such as the game being incredibly unresponsive due to simple web service calls that were considered pretty benign during the beta that suddenly start to bring down firewalls and such due to the sheer massive number of calls that are being made."

"Sadly, most of the ~120,000 connections are not customers but via warez," he continued. "About 18,000 are legitimate. So anyway, we spent a lot of time today trying to isolate out the warez users from the legitimate users (it would require a lot of surgery to actually break them and even if we did, there'd be no friendly 'ha ha pirate' message which would result in people just saying the game is buggy)." Wardell said Stardock was trying to "shuffle off the warez users" so legitimate customers will have a better opportunity to connect and play the game.

Along with at least one sub-par review, Wardell said the sheer number of people trying to connect to the system also resulted in some "weird secondary issues" popping up, such as the discovery of an older network card that simply couldn't handle the huge volume of tiny packets being sent out at once. "Before the game shipped, I wrote a scary email to our team saying how disastrous things would be and predicted doom for us and GPG if there were problems with multiplayer," he wrote. "At the time, my worry was about things like disconnects and CVP. It didn't occur to me that we'd have near MMO user connections to throw in."

via: VE3D

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This makes me very, very sad.

GOGO PIRATES!

CantFaketheFunk:
This makes me very, very sad.

Me to.

This is just the fuel DRM companies and advocates need, they can hold Demigod up and say "look no DRM and a piracy rate of around 5 times the purchase rate"

Im not that bothered when things like Spore or Bioshock get ripped off as you end up getting the shitty end of the stick if you buy the game, but when a company is trying to do whats best for the consumer it takes several types of piss.

No surprises about the extreme piracy.

CantFaketheFunk:
This makes me very, very sad.

No freaking joke!

There goes that 'We pirate to protest' argument.
This is just disgusting.

A good company with respect for the consumer leaves itself open and get slammed because people are selfish pricks.
THIS is why there is DRM.
THIS is why there is copy protection that pisses people off.

Because people are too damn selfish and/or cheap to actually support the companies.

EDIT:

Kangol:
GOGO PIRATES!

You're a douchebag.

It's hard to justify purchasing this game, at least during this stage of its life. First, there is no campaign...at all. That leaves you with skirmishes against AI and playing online. Since I haven't played it, I can't tell you if the old "this is really just meant to be played online only" approach works for it. Aside from the piracy problem, it is my understanding that they set up a P2P system that's largely dysfunctional.

I'm not advocating its piracy, but I think it is a little short of being ready for sale at this stage. Adding in a campaign for proper single player, fixing the online setup, or pumping out some extra content would help right now. They should have just hosted servers and required a CD Key like every other smart company ever.

All this has happened before...

...but does it have to happen again?

This game was so bland, I really don't mind seeing it fail. If you have any interest whatsoever in this type of game, go play DotA instead (get wc3 and the expansion back for like $30) or, if you don't like DotA, wait for League of Legends.

I think it's about time Developers think of a new way to hinder piracy without affecting their honest customers.

Bring out the MMO-tactics, meaning having to stay online/connected to actually play a game. A log-in interface to their network to be able to access and play the game content; you probably shouldn't be able to stay online to be able to play the game, but you still need to validate your account with the system to get access to the game itself.

I think lots of people are missing the point. How many of the pirate copies would actually ever become legit copies if there was DRM? I'm betting very few, they'd just break the DRM first.

Pirating it? Okay, not nice but i could live with that.
Clogging up the networks and not letting people who actually bought it not being able to play online? Now thats being a grade A asshole.

Even if assuming the game's shit (or lacks content or whatever other excuse), this still sucks and isn't good for the DRM free advocates.

A simply online check for allowing access to legit customers only would have be wise though, but that ratio is ridiculous!

I'd like to think this was one of those instances of piracy where people want to try the game before buying it. That's probably just my little shreds of optimism, but there wasn't any demo for this game... pirates sometimes will steal a game just to see if it's worth the money.

scarbunny:

CantFaketheFunk:
This makes me very, very sad.

Me to.

This is just the fuel DRM companies and advocates need, they can hold Demigod up and say "look no DRM and a piracy rate of around 5 times the purchase rate"

Im not that bothered when things like Spore or Bioshock get ripped off as you end up getting the shitty end of the stick if you buy the game, but when a company is trying to do whats best for the consumer it takes several types of piss.

Agreed. Bloody pirates.

Sad...

Is the game any good anyways?

I'd be curious as to how bad the piracy would be if it had DRM like EA and Atari have been using. I'd bet it would be at similar levels, but there is just no way to test that. Regardless, pirating something like this, where the publisher is trying to be fair to the customer, is so wrong I can't even find the words for it. Jackasses.

This is annoying as hell to read. WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS!!! These folks have gladly given their product out free of DRM in order to support the gaming public's protest against the system, and what do all these people do? They pirate it! This also happened to the guy that made World of Goo. A 90% piracy rate on that game, but the man still says that he hates DRM.

Shelling out money to the people that DON'T have DRM is the only way to get rid of it. Pirating Spore is acceptable in my mind, but this? This is an outrage. Anyone who pirated this, please turn in your testicles, along with all cred you possess as a gamer. You clearly deserve neither.

The point isn't how good the game is, but the company's stand on DRM. And I don't need to hear more people parroting "DOTA DOTA DOTA". Who cares about DOTA when Blizzard makes tons of money all the time? As a gaming public against DRM, we need to support companies with like ideals.

EDIT: Apologies for sounding all pissy. It's just that DRM invokes the worst rage in me that you can get.

I'm not going to point to this as a reason to get DRM, but I will point to it to shoot down all those high-and-mighty claims about piracy being ethical and harmless... certainly it knocks giant holes in the argument that removing DRM would reduce piracy.

-- Steve

Poor GPG SupCom is a good game.

CantFaketheFunk:
This makes me very, very sad.

Agreed, this is borderline disgusting. Out of curiosity I wonder how much of this is a result of Gamestop breaking the release date and people then copying and pirating those copies of the game. Could this have been not as bad if Gamestop had "stuck to the program"?

Man this game is really out of luck.

First gamestop sells the game before it comes out, then the games gets pirated to hell and finally the pirated copys fill up the servers keeping legit costumers from not buying.

Damn. Although I personally do highly endorse trying out games before you spend money on them it does suck when this shit happens to decent companies. Especially when its coupled with those pricks Gamestop screwing them over. Hopefully this will only last a couple weeks before people decide its worth spending money on.

.....so EA is actually justified?

ReSpawn:
All this has happened before...

...but does it have to happen again?

That's the question, isn't it?

Personally I'm going with Six's opinion, but still.

BleachedBlind:
It's hard to justify purchasing this game, at least during this stage of its life. First, there is no campaign...at all. That leaves you with skirmishes against AI and playing online. Since I haven't played it, I can't tell you if the old "this is really just meant to be played online only" approach works for it. Aside from the piracy problem, it is my understanding that they set up a P2P system that's largely dysfunctional.

I'm not advocating its piracy, but I think it is a little short of being ready for sale at this stage. Adding in a campaign for proper single player, fixing the online setup, or pumping out some extra content would help right now. They should have just hosted servers and required a CD Key like every other smart company ever.

So, you're justifying the pirate's actions? They can release the alpha version, and it wouldn't be ok. Trying to justify piracy (Regardless of your advocacy) just makes you look odd. DRM is not the answer, but I hope the industry finds it soon.

Edit: And please, let's not use such inflammatory headlines as "PC gamers are showing their gratitude for Stardock's approach by pirating it up the wazoo". That doesn't help the cause, and is also misleading. I expected better of the Escapist.

While this is obviously a terrible event and saddening to see happen, let's just keep in mind what Stardock's CEO, Rob Wardell, had to say regarding the subject, before we all bust a nut over how pirates kill/will kill/killed Demigod (mind you it's been just 2 days since launch):

http://draginol.joeuser.com/article/303512/Piracy_PC_Gaming

Now, I don't like piracy at all. It really bugs me when I see my game up on some torrent site just on the principle of the matter. And piracy certainly does cost sales. But arguing that piracy is the primary factor in lower sales of well made games? I don't think so. People who never buy software aren't lost sales.

Now, obviously some of what he said should be applied to the game on a case-by-case basis. Sins has a very strong singleplayer mode and doesn't rely on online-only play as much as Demigod does. Also, Gamestop released early, which also meant that some of their network architecture wasn't quite ready, in addition to the glut of illegitimate users clogging up the network.

He also posted on his blog recently (March 3) about the very subject:

http://frogboy.impulsedriven.net/article/302494/PC_game_piracy_hurts_us_all

I don't like DRM. But the pirates are ensuring that our future is going to be full of it because at the end of the day, the people who make stuff are going to protect themselves. It's only a question of when and how intensive the DRM will get. And that's something only the pirates can change -- if you're using a pirated piece of software, either stop using it or buy it.

Obviously, Stardock makes its games with this in mind. A game with no copy protection is sure to be pirated to some degree, but does a game WITH terribly invasive DRM avoid getting pirated? So far the answer is a resounding no. Piracy DOES hurt, and DOES encourage the use of DRM, but DRM still isn't the answer, and Stardock knows it.

Was Demigod hurt by this? Clearly yes, given the way it was designed (i.e. multiplayer-dependent). Should it have been designed differently with this in mind? That's up for debate. It still has a strong offline component, also. Sins has no campaign, either, and it was one of the best-selling and most profitable titles of 2008.

So what I'm saying is "don't jump on the bandwagon just yet". There are a lot of things that factor into determining a game's success or failure, and piracy is almost never the PRIMARY factor.

Am I justifying piracy? No. Does what I've just said mark me as a dirty pirate trying to rationalize? That's up to you to decide. All I know is that I'm happily playing my copy of Demigod, which I bought off of Impulse, but am staying off the servers until it works out, which it will.

couldnt they have just made u have to register ur game to use the multiplayer, thereby rendering all illegal copies unable to use it? As opposed as I am to piracy; putting everything on the table & saying "its all here, please take responsibly" knowing most ppl wont is just asking for trouble.

The_Oracle:

ReSpawn:
All this has happened before...

...but does it have to happen again?

That's the question, isn't it?

Personally I'm going with Six's opinion, but still.

My god, staring into that tiny dancing robot's eyes...

We're doomed.

This is sad. Not only completely dispelling most pirates argument of well if it didn't have drm we wouldn't pirate it. But also the people who did pay the price for the game end up getting a worse experience because of those same pirates.

Where is the win for anyone other then the pirates

Developers loose money of people that would have bought it just to try it. Servers get hammered by people that didn't pay for the game which keeps people that did pay from actually playing. Pirates experience is lowered because of all the other pirates which then releases bad reviews or forum posts and causes more people to stray away from the game. There is absolutely no winning when people think pirating a game is ok.

The whole demo thing is getting old too. If you really want a demo released write the company and express your opinion. I have some friends that pirate games with these excuses and maybe have actually bought 1 or 2 out of the slew of games that they downloaded although it is funny how many of those "demos" they actually complete the full game on.

GPG barely hangs on as it is.

Bad news :/

Not putting nazi-DRM like install limits and online activation in your game: Good.

Not putting in a basic cd-key validation to keep pirates off official servers: Moronic.

scotth266:
Anyone who pirated this, please turn in your testicles, along with all cred you possess as a gamer. You clearly deserve neither.

Well, that works for the guys, but I think the women need to be sterlized too.

scotth266:
And I don't need to hear more people parroting "DOTA DOTA DOTA". Who cares about DOTA when Blizzard makes tons of money all the time? As a gaming public against DRM, we need to support companies with like ideals.

EDIT: Apologies for sounding all pissy. It's just that DRM invokes the worst rage in me that you can get.

Agreed, I don't even know what DotA is.

Doug:

scotth266:
Anyone who pirated this, please turn in your testicles, along with all cred you possess as a gamer. You clearly deserve neither.

Well, that works for the guys, but I think the women need to be sterlized too.

scotth266:
And I don't need to hear more people parroting "DOTA DOTA DOTA". Who cares about DOTA when Blizzard makes tons of money all the time? As a gaming public against DRM, we need to support companies with like ideals.

EDIT: Apologies for sounding all pissy. It's just that DRM invokes the worst rage in me that you can get.

Agreed, I don't even know what DotA is.

Defense of the Ancients. Its a WC3 multiplayer mode/map thingie...it fails too.

ReSpawn:

The_Oracle:

ReSpawn:
All this has happened before...

...but does it have to happen again?

That's the question, isn't it?

Personally I'm going with Six's opinion, but still.

My god, staring into that tiny dancing robot's eyes...

We're doomed.

Cavil shall reign supreme.

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