Home Forums General Discussion EA, DRM, and Red Alert 3.

  • This topic has 11 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 12 years ago by Anonymous.
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    • #6923
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Wired are reporting here: http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/09/ea-loosens-red.html

      That EA are still going ahead with SecuROM and a max install of 5 for Red Alert 3.

      At a time when the PC is apparently a "fledgling" platform, is this the right strategy, to frustrate the hell out of your customer base?

      Arguments for piracy aside, is this turning into "here’s a toy, give us your money, now this is how we want you to play with it…" scenario?

      I understand piracy is a huge issue on the PC, but max re-installs? How does this cater for system crashes? new hardware / pc upgrades, or simply 2 years down the line, picking the game up and thinking, "wow, that was a great game…must load that up and give it a go…".

      And it will surely minimise the potential for selling the game on to your mate, etc. But I’m sure that won’t break EA’s heart in the slightest…

      Is there any equivalent tech on any of the current consoles???

      B.

    • #42263
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #42266
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Max reinstalls are one thing but a system where you don’t recover one after an uninstall is quite hard to believe. I can understand where they’re coming from of course however it’s clear that the approach they’re taking isn’t working.

      As for the current consoles, well two out of three current-gen machines have been totally cracked, even the Virtual Console for the Wii. XBLA remains uncracked mainly due to it’s online nature and the PS3 is untouched due to the fact that (afaik) the entire OS runs in an encrypted mode on the Cell. Either way it’s all to do with the hardware on the consoles whereas PC cracking to date revolves around software based workarounds, hence it’s ease.

    • #42267
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ll probably be cursed for saying this but I think, despite the disadvantages, a Steam style solution is best. You can re-install on as many different systems as you wish as long as you have your account data and piracy is difficult if not impossible. The barriers to entry are also lower.

    • #42295
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gizmo

      That’s an interesting point, about the software ease of cracking on a PC. I wonder how long it will take for the heavy-weights to catch on, and require PC gamers to buy, and attach a hardware dongle, complete with firmware updates, etc.

      Imagine. Installing Half-Life 5, "sorry, your hardware dongle is not attached. Please plug in."

      Or worse (better – depending on your alignment), "You must pdate your dongle’s firmware before being able to play this game."

      Taking this Orwellian farce one step further, imagine a pact between Intel and EA, where the dongles are built into the motherboards?

      I guess the workaround will be that people will start hacking the dongles.

      And then we’re back at the start again.

      PC gaming, truly awesome.

      B.

    • #42302
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      jediboy:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Computing
      is what you are talking about.
      Its a bit more involved than a just having a dongle. – really, the whole system needs to be locked down from top to bottom to make that approach work.
      A few years ago, this looked like it might materialise very fast; however there was a lot of bad consumer feeling towards it.

    • #42304
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #42308
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The easiest solution is WoW-like, online, hosted content, subscription based with a (near) free, unencumbered client. Last time I looked the retail WoW client cost a months subscription, with a month free.

      Of course it doesn’t hurt to create a game that people will want to pay for and play, and to allow a trial time (something the casual segment was quick to recognise)

    • #42313
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #42315
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Sorry I should have been more clear with what I meant.

      What I meant to say was that no method is foolproof. There are some good software approaches to anti-piracy and there are software methods to counter them.

      There are hardware approaches to anti-piracy and there are chips or addons to counter them.

      Regardless of the approach taken there will always be a way around it.

      And on my solution, that is of course a supremely-optimistic-never-gonna-happen-ideal. People will always pirate, but what you can do is provide reasons to the average consumer to not want to pirate.

      Wow’s subscription system is an effective one, but there are private servers which run for free.

      You mention Steam and now that I think of it… I haven’t heard of anyone pirating that. Though it does have the (potentially huge) downside of being unplayable offline.

      I know a guy who bought the Orange Box when he was moving house, as something to play whilst waiting for the internet company to install his new broadband. He couldn’t play it without the online validation.

    • #42316
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Sorry I should have been more clear with what I meant.

      What I meant to say was that no method is foolproof. There are some good software approaches to anti-piracy and there are software methods to counter them.

      There are hardware approaches to anti-piracy and there are chips or addons to counter them.

      Regardless of the approach taken there will always be a way around it.
      [/quote:8480c976b9]

      Well, in security we always talk about a whether there is a practical way around things, as opposed to a theoretical way; for example, a bank doesn’t secure it’s vaults against an attack from a nations professional army – they secure them from criminals and thieves, and thus the vault is practically secure. Public private key encryption, bank computer systems, weapons etc, are all secured to a certain level that’s considered good enough – security that is ‘good enough’ in this sense, is perfect security, and generally about as good as it ever gets..

      Now the consoles so far, have always been secured to a level that isn’t quite ‘good enough’ – but, while I do agree with you that there’ll always be away around the console security, given huge resources, I believe that soon enough they’ll have the security good enough to put breaking a console outside the reach of the pirates resources, at least for the duration of a typical console generation.

      I know some people will disagree with me here, and there’s definitely a bunch of really smart people out there that say ‘don’t bother’ – but I think the console manufacturers are getting better at producing copy protection, and I don’t see any definite obstacle to building protection thats good enough to stand for 8 years of a console life cycle – especially with a console thats having firmware updated online regularly.

      I think, in this sense, which I would argue is the only sense that it’s actually practical to talk about, that they will practically solve the problem of console piracy – I’d argue they’ve done a much better job this generation than last generation too.

      And on my solution, that is of course a supremely-optimistic-never-gonna-happen-ideal. People will always pirate, but what you can do is provide reasons to the average consumer to not want to pirate.

      Wow’s subscription system is an effective one, but there are private servers which run for free.

      You mention Steam and now that I think of it… I haven’t heard of anyone pirating that. Though it does have the (potentially huge) downside of being unplayable offline.
      [/quote:8480c976b9]

      Well, I’m pretty sure that a few years ago it was possible that having never bought the game, you could authenticate to the server, and it would stream you the whole content, and let you on the network… but I’m not sure what the current state of play is there; by all accounts it’s certainly not widely pirated.

      I know a guy who bought the Orange Box when he was moving house, as something to play whilst waiting for the internet company to install his new broadband. He couldn’t play it without the online validation.[/quote:8480c976b9]
      Yeah, that’s tough alright – still, doesn’t seem as bad to me as the whole ‘3 reinstalls’ policy EA were hawking, totally alienating their customers – I really look at that and wonder whether they didn’t lean more towards this guys way of thinking:
      http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/ea-exec-warns-against-suing-file-sharers

    • #42317
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      You mention Steam and now that I think of it… I haven’t heard of anyone pirating that. Though it does have the (potentially huge) downside of being unplayable offline.[/quote:7720a81792]

      Steam is a great system, but has certainly been hacked. Also, Steam has an offline mode (File->Go Offline) that allows you to play all your games, so long as your password is saved.

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