Titanfall No Longer Up for Pre-Load, Microsoft Admits Error - Update

Titanfall No Longer Up for Pre-Load, Microsoft Admits Error - Update

Titanfall Mech

Were you hoping to download all 15.88 gigs of Titanfall ahead of time? I'm afraid Microsoft has some bad news for you.

Update 3: The Escapist just received an email from Microsoft similar to Polygon's, adding that pre-orders for retail copies of Titanfall are still available.

Update 2: Microsoft apparently posted Titanfall's pre-load option in error, according to a statement issued to Polygon. Earlier today, an option on Xbox.com appeared allowing players to buy the Xbox One version of the title and install it ahead of the official release. Now it turns out that's not the case.

"The pre-purchase offer page was posted in error. We apologize for any confusion," the Microsoft rep told Polygon.

"We believe in digital distribution, and are proud to give gamers a variety of ways to purchase and experience their games. However, pre-purchase and pre-download for Titanfall for Xbox One will not be available from Xbox Store. We'll continue to strike a balance between digital distribution and its benefits, while supporting physical games purchase through our retail partners."

Source: Polygon

Update: The page on Xbox.com listing this feature has been taken down. We have sent an email to Microsoft on the matter and will provide further updates as they become available. The original story continues below:

Titanfall has been getting some pretty great coverage with its recent beta. Now, fans who have decided they're willing to take the full plunge into Respawn's game of battling giant robots can be the first ones into the Xbox One version if they pre-load the title from Xbox Live.

On the Xbox website, Microsoft states that Xbox One owners who pre-purchase the $59.99 title via their online service can download the entire 15.88 gigabyte game ahead of its release date. Just don't expect to be able to actually play the game before 12:01 a.m., March 11, when Titanfall officially releases.

When a game is so praised that a studio has to deny paying for the good press, there are probably a few people who will want in as soon as the game launches. Just make sure you set the better part of a day aside for the download.

Source: Xbox.com

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So who's running the books for how soon the game will really be available? My money's on about eight hours after the preload goes live.

Agayek:
So who's running the books for how soon the game will really be available? My money's on about eight hours after the preload goes live.

My money's that someone will hack the system to allow full access and will fully play the game. I mean seriously, this feels like giving a child his birthday present and then saying "okay, now you can't open that until 1 month from now." Especially since this game is the killer app that the Xbox One is getting and a lot of people bought Xbox One's mainly for this game, so the temptation will definitely be there.
As for the time it takes to go fully live, I say 6 and a half hours, at most a day.

Agayek:
So who's running the books for how soon the game will really be available? My money's on about eight hours after the preload goes live.

Wouldn't they need the servers up to play anyway though? I doubt the devs would leave the standard servers up for access if no one is playing it right now.

Anyway, to be expected I guess. It was supposed to be that "Xbox One exclusive" after all. I don't mind going second really. I just hope my local gamestop has a physical copy I can buy, or else my $10 off coupon can't be used. I suppose I could just buy a cheap $10 PS3 game at that point...

Heh, I wonder if they'll pull a Dark Souls and make it so that if anyone tries to crack it and get on early they will be fifteen different aim bots ready to take them down.

Neronium:
My money's that someone will hack the system to allow full access and will fully play the game. I mean seriously, this feels like giving a child his birthday present and then saying "okay, now you can't open that until 1 month from now." Especially since this game is the killer app that the Xbox One is getting and a lot of people bought Xbox One's mainly for this game, so the temptation will definitely be there.
As for the time it takes to go fully live, I say 6 and a half hours, at most a day.

That's what I meant :P

I'm gonna laugh when Respawn and/or Microsoft get all pissy about people cracking the pre-load and playing the game over a week before the game launches. Expecting anything else to happen is an exercise in futility and disappointment.

AnthrSolidSnake:

Wouldn't they need the servers up to play anyway though? I doubt the devs would leave the standard servers up for access if no one is playing it right now.

They could just spend 6-12 hours playing the game's training modules. If they're quick they may even complete them all!

AnthrSolidSnake:
Wouldn't they need the servers up to play anyway though? I doubt the devs would leave the standard servers up for access if no one is playing it right now.

Depends entirely on their netcode. If they went with a player-hosting system like CoD, it would likely work. If dedicated servers, then it wouldn't.

That said, if the pirates don't find some work around to that issue in short order, I'd be kinda surprised.

Agayek:

If dedicated servers, then it wouldn't.

Well the game is being published by EA, and with how some of their games have played in the past they don't seem to believe in "dedicated" servers. XD

Either way some people will probably create their own servers some way, I mean heck they do it all the time for the old Phantasy Star games on the Dreamcast even though SEGA shutdown those servers ages ago.

I don't get it. They're trying to encourage digital sales, right? Why don't they release it early assuming their servers are all ready? It would be a great incentive to buy it digital.

Agayek:
So who's running the books for how soon the game will really be available? My money's on about eight hours after the preload goes live.

Given EA and Microsoft's history on such things, people will gleefully crack the download, then less gleefully be informed that their system and XBL account have been banned.

If they're lucky it'll be Microsoft style and they'll just be banned until release day, if they're unlucky EA will simply close their account and keep the sixty bucks.

Having said that, after EA's releases of the last 24 months anyone who pre-orders deserves every heartbreak they get.

Agayek:
If dedicated servers, then it wouldn't.

The game runs on 'cloud servers' as Respawn put it, so not P2P, Source games don't like P2P anyway. Not that it will stop anyone spoofing a connection to an imaginary 'server' as has been done with other always on games.

What time zone is that 12:01 AM? Also: where is my PC preload?
EDIT:

Neronium:

Agayek:
So who's running the books for how soon the game will really be available? My money's on about eight hours after the preload goes live.

My money's that someone will hack the system to allow full access and will fully play the game. I mean seriously, this feels like giving a child his birthday present and then saying "okay, now you can't open that until 1 month from now." Especially since this game is the killer app that the Xbox One is getting and a lot of people bought Xbox One's mainly for this game, so the temptation will definitely be there.
As for the time it takes to go fully live, I say 6 and a half hours, at most a day.

This. Except there are about a million children. And a large percentage is a computer nerd/hacker (Oh shutup, you know what I mean). And they have paid their own present.

Arnoxthe1:
I don't get it. They're trying to encourage digital sales, right? Why don't they release it early assuming their servers are all ready? It would be a great incentive to buy it digital.

That's a good point actually, why don't they just do that. I mean heck, Nintendo has done that a few times already, the one that comes to mind the most being Wind Waker HD releasing digitally 2 weeks before the physical copy of it can. It'd also be a good test to see how the servers can handle a bunch of people, since not everyone will be buying it digitally, and in case there are any bugs they can work on them and fix them before the physical release arrives so that the larger influx of users coming in won't have the same problem.

fix-the-spade:
...people will gleefully crack the download...

Really? It would be so easy to make this essentially unfeasible. A large, true-random key, and holding back the decryption algorithm until release would pretty much do it, but even if that didn't work, withholding a few important megabytes would ("Haha I can look at all the textures! But where's the executable?"). It would probably be easier to hack Origin.

Pyrian:

fix-the-spade:
...people will gleefully crack the download...

Really? It would be so easy to make this essentially unfeasible. A large, true-random key, and holding back the decryption algorithm until release would pretty much do it, but even if that didn't work, withholding a few important megabytes would ("Haha I can look at all the textures! But where's the executable?"). It would probably be easier to hack Origin.

you assume crackers are not ingenious in their own right.

the whole SimCity debacle with EA saying "It's impossible to play the game offline!" and then shortly after..... the game was made able to be played offline by a modder.

given everything but the executable would mean Titanfall would be ready to play in less than a day right now. Of course this assumes cracking groups would actually want to put time into doing Xbone games, from what I've seen there is a second interest in last gen games.

Kalezian:
you assume crackers are not ingenious in their own right.

No, I assume they cannot break extreme encryption, nor rewrite the bulk of the codebase even if they somehow get past the former obstacle.

Kalezian:
the whole SimCity debacle with EA saying "It's impossible to play the game offline!" and then shortly after..... the game was made able to be played offline by a modder.

But that wasn't because the modder accomplished what EA could not, it was because the modder accomplished what EA would not and EA was lying about. This SimCity mod was relatively easy; it was mostly a matter of disabling checks, not adding server-side code back in. That's also why it was scandalous.

Kalezian:
given everything but the executable would mean Titanfall would be ready to play in less than a day right now.

Nonsense. Even if they somehow wrote an executable, it would never be the same.

So, Microsoft are sabotaging their own product launches again; is this really news?

Also, to everyone thinking the game could be cracked by then, I really don't see it. Seeing as it can only be played online, and the AI characters are apparently powered by "the cloud", even if someone COULD get the game running, they presumably wouldn't be able to play against anyone. Plus, just holding back/tweaking a few important files would presumably make the game unplayable unless someone figured out what was missing and how to fix it, a process that would take more than a few weeks.

erttheking:
Heh, I wonder if they'll pull a Dark Souls and make it so that if anyone tries to crack it and get on early they will be fifteen different aim bots ready to take them down.

That was fucking hilarious. I loved From Soft's reaction to those people. 99 stat across the board Black Phantoms fucking up all their days lol

pre-downloading files with your slow internet so you can play on launch day? what is this sorcery, we must remove it!
way to go microsoft. you know steam offer this for years now right? And while you admit an error (wow i havent seen that in a lnog time) you still get to be a dick by claiming that its asslicking of retailers that made you take it down? really? can you be more up retailers ass microsoft?

Agayek:
So who's running the books for how soon the game will really be available? My money's on about eight hours after the preload goes live.

my bet is usually around 2 days for preloaded games. its likely some files are missing and as such the hackers need to trick the game into launching without them.

AnthrSolidSnake:

Wouldn't they need the servers up to play anyway though? I doubt the devs would leave the standard servers up for access if no one is playing it right now.

Anyway, to be expected I guess. It was supposed to be that "Xbox One exclusive" after all. I don't mind going second really. I just hope my local gamestop has a physical copy I can buy, or else my $10 off coupon can't be used. I suppose I could just buy a cheap $10 PS3 game at that point...

Anyone can run a server on his PC. any game worth its salt and even those that are not will easily connect to servers you tell them to connect. that is only as much a problem as possibly needing to code your servert software to worok on titanfall, so i give it a week till somone releases a server on the internets.

Or you could buy it on PC 10 dollars off?

Neronium:

That's a good point actually, why don't they just do that.

Because with retailers its their way or the highway. You either get up thier ass or they refuse to stock you at all (and still resell your games used btw).

Pyrian:
No, I assume they cannot break extreme encryption, nor rewrite the bulk of the codebase even if they somehow get past the former obstacle.

Then your assumtion is wrong. Hackers wrote their own MMO servers to play said MMOs. surely they can write some of the missing code. And encryption is only as good as you dont have the decryptor software in there ( i mean the game has to rdecrypt it somehow on launch day).

Nonsense. Even if they somehow wrote an executable, it would never be the same.

Same? no. Played by millions? surely.

Strazdas:
Hackers wrote their own MMO servers to play said MMOs. surely they can write some of the missing code. And encryption is only as good as you dont have the decryptor software in there ( i mean the game has to rdecrypt it somehow on launch day).

Impossible.

You're working under the assumption they would have a complete game to "write some code in". If any of the people at Respawn know what they're doing that won't be the case. All they'll have is either a complete but RSA-encrypted game (which I assume they'd release the key for on release day) or a nearly complete game with 50-100 megs of executable code or key assets missing. In the former case you have unbreachable data and in the latter you have crucial data so incomplete it would take far longer to complete it than to just wait for release day, even if that could be accomplished.

Note I'm assuming the game would need an internet connection to unlock it. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Respawn would take that approach if that demographic was able to download 15 gigs of game data in the first place. In any case, this is not like reverse engineering Assassin's Creed's DRM, where said hackers had some base to work off. Here they'd have to either break RSA (impossible) or reconstruct a significant portion of the game from nothing, rather than just modifying what they already have.

These hypothetical hackers don't actually have a game remember, they have unusable gibberish data. A complete game is much easier to work off.

QuadFish:

You're working under the assumption they would have a complete game to "write some code in". If any of the people at Respawn know what they're doing that won't be the case. All they'll have is either a complete but RSA-encrypted game (which I assume they'd release the key for on release day) or a nearly complete game with 50-100 megs of executable code or key assets missing. In the former case you have unbreachable data and in the latter you have crucial data so incomplete it would take far longer to complete it than to just wait for release day, even if that could be accomplished.

Note I'm assuming the game would need an internet connection to unlock it. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Respawn would take that approach if that demographic was able to download 15 gigs of game data in the first place. In any case, this is not like reverse engineering Assassin's Creed's DRM, where said hackers had some base to work off. Here they'd have to either break RSA (impossible) or reconstruct a significant portion of the game from nothing, rather than just modifying what they already have.

These hypothetical hackers don't actually have a game remember, they have unusable gibberish data. A complete game is much easier to work off.

see, your assumming Respawn did all the proper security. Its worth remmembering that this pre-loading was a mistake that was never intended to be, and as such could have been set to go live on actual release date without needing these kind of securities and thus they may not be implemented.

The reason of pre-loading games exist is that even people with 100kbps internet can download it before launch and play on launch day, so constant internet connection may not be required. however considering the game is primary multiplayer (they did promise some sort of singleplayer didnt they?) the activation could very well be a onjline one.
Actually, AC is a bad example, considering that hackers actually broke into Ubisoft servers and stole the servercode for that. so its not some workaround there but actual server emulation. at least in AC2.

you do have a point that if proper security is implemented it can be protected this way, which is how Steam preloading doesnt always gets on the internet before the release. But that sometimes lead to problems such as GameDev tycoon missing the exe from actual game and the only way to play your bought copy is to download an exe from the comments section.

Strazdas:

QuadFish:
snippety snip

see, your assumming Respawn did all the proper security. Its worth remmembering that this pre-loading was a mistake that was never intended to be, and as such could have been set to go live on actual release date without needing these kind of securities and thus they may not be implemented.

The reason of pre-loading games exist is that even people with 100kbps internet can download it before launch and play on launch day, so constant internet connection may not be required. however considering the game is primary multiplayer (they did promise some sort of singleplayer didnt they?) the activation could very well be a onjline one.
Actually, AC is a bad example, considering that hackers actually broke into Ubisoft servers and stole the servercode for that. so its not some workaround there but actual server emulation. at least in AC2.

you do have a point that if proper security is implemented it can be protected this way, which is how Steam preloading doesnt always gets on the internet before the release. But that sometimes lead to problems such as GameDev tycoon missing the exe from actual game and the only way to play your bought copy is to download an exe from the comments section.

Ah. My understanding for AC was they had to spoof a server connection to convince the game it was connected. I'll admit I'm not an expert on these content locks in particular, but if it was done properly it should be nearly impenetrable, since they can do whatever the want to the data if none of their consumers need it to work yet.

It's true though, not too many big companies are that good at online security in general, but honestly EA has had enough practice by now. I still don't see it being likely to happen for Titanfall without some serious luck and hacker ingenuity.

QuadFish:

Ah. My understanding for AC was they had to spoof a server connection to convince the game it was connected. I'll admit I'm not an expert on these content locks in particular, but if it was done properly it should be nearly impenetrable, since they can do whatever the want to the data if none of their consumers need it to work yet.

It's true though, not too many big companies are that good at online security in general, but honestly EA has had enough practice by now. I still don't see it being likely to happen for Titanfall without some serious luck and hacker ingenuity.

I am not certain how they emulated the other ACs, but the 2nd (at least the one i saw for download and judging by what i read since i dont download them myself, but the local pirates community here is probably the best forum in my country so i hang around there) one was running emulated spoof of the server based on stolen data from actual ubi servers. and from what i hear they used same stolen files in other games but im nto sure how they worked that much. Though you are correct that most online checks are simply spoofed for cracking purposes or simply checks removed from the game. For example gta4 automatically went into "offline mode" when cracked, which was funny when somoene had a legal key and wanted to play multiplayer but the crack wouldnt allow him since the program though you have no internet. crackers get imaginative just as the anticrackers do.

Its true you CAN make it impenetrable, but whether accidental preloading is so remains to be seen (there was no leaked version on one website i visit that i mentioned before, not sure if its anywhere else, being local community they usually get things 2-3 days late here anyway since they dont use upload bots with one exception)

If past is any proof EA is awful at their network security stuff. at least from perspective of how games easily get their "Required" network connection "fixed". especially with stories like this http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/11/14/ea-origin-accounts-hacked-time-change-your-passwords/ (granted rather old article but i can remember reading something similar this month as well with massive emails asking to change passwords. Could be a different service though)
Then again there is always a chance they learnt. will have to wait and see it seems.

 

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