Arkham Asylum Pirates Get a Gimpy Batman

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CantFaketheFunk:
Arkham Asylum Pirates Get a Gimpy Batman

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Did you illegally download a cracked version of Arkham Asylum for the PC? Hope you enjoy playing with a Batman who has conveniently forgotten some of his moveset, rendering the game unbeatable.

Do you know what I love? Creative DRM. Any developer can throw in a mandated online check, or give you a limited number of installs, or something boring like that, but then you have developers with a cruel sense of humor who make it so that pirates have their genitals attacked by ill-tempered ferrets, and the ferrets are on fire. That's going above the call of duty right there.

Apparently, one of said developers is Rocksteady Studios, creators of critical darling Batman: Arkham Asylum. Pirates who have illegally acquired the PC version of the game will find themselves playing the game with a Batman who has apparently forgotten how to use his moves, notably the glide-jump. In an amusing little thread on the Eidos forums, one pirate came to innocently report a bug, claiming that instead of gliding when the appropriate input was given, the Dark Knight would instead just spread his wings and fall to his death in poison gas.

Quoth an Eidos admin in response:

The problem you have encountered is a hook in the copy protection, to catch out people who try and download cracked versions of the game for free.

It's not a bug in the game's code, it's a bug in your moral code.

Since its acquisition of Rocksteady parent Eidos, Square-Enix has announced plans to use similar DRM in its upcoming Final Fantasy XIII, where any attempt to use magic will always result in summoning a rampaging horde of Chocobos to crush the party, the player, and anyone they've ever loved.

Permalink

Do you ever stop making awesome news reports? You are sort of raising the bar here for other people here.

Awesome post. Although i would like to note that I hate Batman, but still, awesome post.

That is actually amazing. Rocksteady, you have my respect. Please any developers reading this, take note. Do this, but make it funny, like the chocobo idea from Square-Enix

ChromeAlchemist:
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Why can't more devs do this?

Terramax:
It shouldn't take long for a pirate to re-program it to include all the original moves.

I do agree with this unfortunately, however it does waste your average pirates time, so all is well for now.

Also

CantFaketheFunk:

Since its acquisition of Rocksteady parent Eidos, Square-Enix has announced plans to use similar DRM in its upcoming Final Fantasy XIII, where any attempt to use magic will always result in summoning a rampaging horde of Chocobos to crush the party, the player, and anyone they've ever loved.

Hilarious. Though wait, what does this mean? DRM for console titles? Because there's no PC version...right?

Exactly Irony at its best for pirates

Absolutely perfect. Hilarious to boot, the boys at rocksteady must really hate them some hackers. And the intro to the story about ferrets, fire and genitals was a nice addition.

That's fantastic!

Bravo!

Rockstar did this with GTA IV, if your game was detected as pirated, any car you hopped into was instantly nearly completely wrecked, could not brake, and would continuously accelerate, on top of that you also were given the drunk camera instead of the regular one.

Their work was slightly undermined that pirates almost immediately had a fix for it, but still they also did it.

I love this idea and the comment written by the admin so much ^__^ It just seems like poetic justice to me, perfect and hilarious justice

williebaz:
awesome, I want this pirating crap to stop

Then make sure you do what really helped and make excellent games.

Fixing this sort of issue is childsplay. But I wouldn't pirate Arkham Asylum, it is just too damn good.

Just like I didn't pirate World of Goo or Evil Genius. They have a quality to them that just draws me in and makes me feel like the worlds biggest asshole if I don't buy them (which I end up doing pretty swiftly).

EVIL but COOL.

A buddy of mine in the US just bought the PC game(it doesn't release in Europe until friday), and guess what? Physx, the thing they delayed the game for, the thing that was in the demo, the thing that could be enabled via ini editing in the gimped version.. it's not in the full game. It will be released as a patch tomorrow. Also editing the ini to enable it in the full original retail causes a big fat crash.
I'm all for treating people who pirate games like crap, but treating people who buy the game the same way, that's just acting like a jerk, something publishers will always do. Keep in mind, if the game won't sell didly on the PC, it will be because of this stunt, and God knows what they did with it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some timbers to shiver.

ChromeAlchemist:
image

Why can't more devs do this?

Terramax:
It shouldn't take long for a pirate to re-program it to include all the original moves.

I do agree with this unfortunately, however it does waste your average pirates time, so all is well for now.

Also

CantFaketheFunk:

Since its acquisition of Rocksteady parent Eidos, Square-Enix has announced plans to use similar DRM in its upcoming Final Fantasy XIII, where any attempt to use magic will always result in summoning a rampaging horde of Chocobos to crush the party, the player, and anyone they've ever loved.

Hilarious. Though wait, what does this mean? DRM for console titles? Because there's no PC version...right?

To be honest, I'd LOVE to actually see that happen xD A horde of Chocobo's...BWEH! X3

So here's a new joke.

What do DRM and Bane have in common?
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They both cripple Batman.

stampeded by a horde of chocobo's. truly amazing if it's true

I don't understand this, how is this good? Is this why the PC version was delayed so they could waste their time and money on this. What worries me most with a counter measure like this is a false positive. What if my purchased copy is somehow seen as a pirated copy?

I just don't think it does anything but make the headlines on all the gaming websites and reminds people a pirated version is available. No what I did right after reading this article, I went to mininova to download it. I played it all weekend with no issue (a full crack is available which bypasses this little waste of time). I think the game is great and I like to support great developers so I bought a copy from Steam, but most would not do this.

Just put the smallest cheapest basic DRM in to stop casual copying and move on. Pirates will always pirate, stop wasting money trying to stop the impossible.

We likely already know that these new methods won't eliminate piracy but a couple of key functions are performed here:

1) A time advantage is awarded to the developer - This is absolutely critical for any developer but moreso for the smaller houses (who just happen to make most of the games I prefer). I like to fantasize that if piracy was all-but eliminated, the cost of gaming software would drop substantially but I know it to be utterly delusional. The sin of greed is synonymous with almost every publisher I can think of.

2) This system will only target the users of pirated software. Therefore, everyone that has had a gut full of being treated as guilty until proven innocent may soon rejoice. If multiple instances of this protection is introduced per title, all other verification methods could be excluded - back to the days of install, place disc back into disc case, hit .exe and play. Bliss.

Reminds me of what they did for Earthbound, where the creators made it so that the Pirated version was made so difficult it was unfun via metric buttloads of encounters and the game crashing at the final boss.

Wow, that was full of epic win. Both the DRM and the Mod's response.

Just a brilliant way to make sure no one steals their games. Brilliant.

Instead of releasing fake, buggy copies as the pirated versions, they should release viruses that destroy the computer as the pirated versions. If the pirated versions were viruses enough times, then people would be too afraid to pirate games.

From trusted sources, I heard this "bug" has actually been overcome already :)
Fail to Eidos xD

hahaha wow, ok first awesome DRM. second the pirate was stupid! why would he go to the company he just ripped off (before the game was released mind you) to report a bug? haha steal something and you have to deal with the shit.

VanityGirl:
I want to buy a pirated FF just to see that bug.

That's really good what the devs did. I like also what they said to one of the pirates. lol.
Good for them

"I want to BUY a PIRATED FF... if you're buying stuff that you've stolen, you're a pretty awful pirate

"It's a bug in your country's economy! Hawhaw!"

Haha, hilarous :)

oh snap, someone's clever in the games industry

Bahahaha, that's freaking awesome.

Terramax:
It shouldn't take long for a pirate to re-program it to include all the original moves.

Well, maybe. But if a "pirate" really has that kind of skill, they'd be making actual money doing something really technically worthy of pay instead of ripping off game companies, regardless of their "view" of capitalism e.g. lol

That's really cool, but does that mean if I buy the game then crack it, I lose my glide jump? Cause I crack most of my games, since I have a laptop, so I don't have to bother switching out for my 10 - 15 games. And it's easier when I go places to not take all my games as well.

This can backfire if not done correctly.

nonW00t:

Terramax:
It shouldn't take long for a pirate to re-program it to include all the original moves.

Well, maybe. But if a "pirate" really has that kind of skill, they'd be making actual money doing something really technically worthy of pay instead of ripping off game companies, regardless of their "view" of capitalism e.g. lol

Well, I don't know these pirates personally. I don't know whether they're hackers living in ghettos or millionaires with nothing better to do. Presumably you do... e.g. lol

That's brilliant, more game developers should do that.

The horrible part of this thread is that it makes me feel a bit old. I should grow a beard and stroke it.

First of all, since you seem to be unaware of the field, the specific term for the people who break copy protection is "crackers" (as in safe crackers; it refers to the art of disarming locks). They're not a cohesive group of people; I can't speak for their motivations or employment. As far as I know they range from young to old, hobbiest to veteran, student to millionaire. (This is, however, the exact same skill you need to analyse the most advanced malware. Which uses almost exactly the same techniques.) But hey, some people just like making and solving puzzles--and that's been going on for three decades now. Frankly it has little to do with piracy; it's a problem firmly in the security arena.

Secondly, this basic technique is, of course, older than dirt. Captain Blood's shaky hand. Going to prison because you didn't know the manual code, four hours in. You can't open the door without the codewheel in the box. You didn't know what to do next because that one item wasn't there. The lever puzzle is actually unsolvable. There's a million of these, and I know gamers from my generation might recognise one or two of those.

Rob Northen did a lot of the ones I remember most fondly; those, and bizarre disk formats. Honestly there's a certain charm to them. (I particularly liked the one in Introversion's sublime "Uplink", which deliberately includes a black-on-black code table in a sort of retro nod to them. Bonus points if you recognised on sight the opcodes and ASCII in the table and figure out it's actually from the program itself. Very meta!) Except maybe word-from-the-manual protection; we're all very glad that one died. *shudder*

And what are they, deep down? To paraphrase Admiral Ackbar: it's a trap. A checksum. A "logic bomb". They call it a "hook" because it's an internal callback to the otherwise-external copy-protection routines that make up 99% of all the DRM you see nowadays. Some of them are obvious. Some are subtle. Some can be downright nasty.

From what I hear, the 'Scene' culture made it into a race; not about the content, but about who gets to smash it first, who gets to distribute it first, who's fastest uploading on whatever it is they use nowadays. (From what I gather, they definitely do not distribute to the public; it actually leaks to the various public sites afterwards, without their consent. That may be a bit out of date though, I don't make an effort to keep current on this stuff.) I'd say whoever tripped over this checksum lost this 'race' however, as it's a bit like running into the hurdles when you're supposed to jump over them. (It's been alluded to above that it's been done properly now; I'm not surprised if that is the case.)

The problem you're going to get with all of these traps, is the same problem you had with these techniques in the 80s; DRM false positives. False positives are in inevitability in any test and sometimes a very serious problem, and the more sensitive, paranoid and hair-triggered the copy-protection scheme, the more likely those are. Got a double-sided drive on that Atari ST? Then a certain few early games are going to think you copied them even if they're originals.

And with a trap like this, you're not going to know right away until the game acts a little buggy.

It's not really ethical to put traps like this in your code, to be honest with you; you'vre putting bugs in your code on purpose, and the trouble with intentional bugs is if you get bugs in the bits that make the traps fire, they become altogether unintentional again.

In fact, I don't think I've ever actually seen a copy-protection scheme that hasn't--sooner or later--developed a false positive or two. History is rarely very kind to them. They have no idea what you're going to try and run them on now let alone in 10 years, but they're probably not going to like it much. As a result, and because copy protected disks had (and have) a tendency to degrade much quicker than standard ones, a lot of these older games have only survived and been preserved in their cracked forms (which sucks for those who'd like to teach a little security lesson in historical reverse-engineering; what good's a puzzle someone already solved?). In these publishers' rush to protect the work they've invested in (I can recognise their motivation, although I don't personally agree with their actions), are they guaranteeing it won't see future generations? What happens when the activation servers go dark on your fancy DRM scheme? What happens when the publisher goes bust?

So it's best not to rely on these things as foolproof, considering how little control anyone has over the platform they're run on. Real computers are full of surprises, and not very controlled at all. Overclock a little too much (as some gamers do) and you'll be surprised how many of these little checksums you might fail because of a single bit error in the wrong place. Perhaps the moderator shouldn't be so sure of himself. He might well be right in this circumstance (he probably is), but I've also seen this exact kind of thing turn around and bite people a lot when it turned out subtle traps were causing serious bugs for legitimate users; for example, one memorable instance in the 80s-90s where a CAD application dongle (naming no names but it begins with an A) started to malfunction, causing the lines to be a bit out in the drawings, but not enough for anyone to notice (until they built the things, they didn't work, and then they went back to the drawing board and found the drawing board had been deliberately and subtly tampered with by the software because it wrongly thought they were unlicensed...).

Let me conjure up the image of a hypothetical game, being released with an infamous number bugs in it, but it turns out in time that many of those bugs are in fact copy protection hooks, and what is really happening is that the copy protection is bugging out and failing original copies, whereas the cracked copies worked just fine because the logic bombs were disarmed. Does this sound like an unlikely scenario? Would you, as a legitimate customer, be a bit peeved about that? In fact, do you think you may have already seen that?

Quoth the above:

they should release viruses that destroy the computer as the pirated versions

I've personally seen one pretty legendary trap that unleashed a bootsector virus if the checksum failed. Really. Yes, it's not a myth, someone actually did do that once, long ago. And that same bootsector virus became rather widespread because there was a bug in the checksum routine that caused it to run anyway sometimes. Heh. So much for the "pirate trap".

You'd go to prison if you pulled a stunt like that today. It was a terrible idea then, and it's a terrible idea now.

What delicious comedy is this? A true punishment for those too cheap to actually buy the game? Outstanding! THIS is how you crack down on pirates.

But soon enough someone will figure out how to patch it and everything will return to the status quo.

the audacity of the guy that actually complained after downloading a pirate copy is funny as hell

... the reply was win XD

John Funk:
Arkham Asylum Pirates Get a Gimpy Batman

image

Did you illegally download a cracked version of Arkham Asylum for the PC? Hope you enjoy playing with a Batman who has conveniently forgotten some of his moveset, rendering the game unbeatable.

Do you know what I love? Creative DRM. Any developer can throw in a mandated online check, or give you a limited number of installs, or something boring like that, but then you have developers with a cruel sense of humor who make it so that pirates have their genitals attacked by ill-tempered ferrets, and the ferrets are on fire. That's going above the call of duty right there.

Apparently, one of said developers is Rocksteady Studios, creators of critical darling Batman: Arkham Asylum. Pirates who have illegally acquired the PC version of the game will find themselves playing the game with a Batman who has apparently forgotten how to use his moves, notably the glide-jump. In an amusing little thread on the Eidos forums, one pirate came to innocently report a bug, claiming that instead of gliding when the appropriate input was given, the Dark Knight would instead just spread his wings and fall to his death in poison gas.

Quoth an Eidos admin in response:

The problem you have encountered is a hook in the copy protection, to catch out people who try and download cracked versions of the game for free.

It's not a bug in the game's code, it's a bug in your moral code.

Since its acquisition of Rocksteady parent Eidos, Square-Enix has announced plans to use similar DRM in its upcoming Final Fantasy XIII, where any attempt to use magic will always result in summoning a rampaging horde of Chocobos to crush the party, the player, and anyone they've ever loved.

Permalink

awsome thats is all I can say

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