February 2, 2008
The Best Copy Protection? None At All!
I've already expressed my personal anticipation for Stardock and Ironclad's upcoming game, Sins of Solar Empire, but here's another reason to give it a look: it has the simplest copy protection I've seen in a PC game. And how do they do that? By having none at all!
In a dramatic difference from the terrible copy protection implemented into BioShock over the past summer, publisher Stardock is continuing their incredibly simple approach to avoiding piracy: by making it worth your while to actually buy the game. In their blog on ign.com, Stardock writes:
Any system out there will get cracked and distributed. But if you provide reasonable after-release support in the form of free updates that add new content and features that are painless for customers to get, you create a real incentive to be a customer.
After installing the game, you never need the DVD again. The serial number that comes with the box gives you access to updates, extra content, patches, and the ability to download the game should you lose your DVD. Stardock realizes that annoying DRM just aggravates real customers, but that pirates never have a problem stripping away the copy protection.
Stardock included this system on their previous game, Galactic Civilizations II, and never having to worry about the CD, and being able to let my friend try out the game (sans any new updates or patches), was great. He liked the game so much, he bought the gold edition of game himself once it was released, something that couldn't have happened with most any other PC game. I was already excited for this games excellent looking combination of 4X strategy, real time combat, and epic space theme, but this is just icing on the cake. Check out this great interview to learn more.
Posted by Clayton Ashley at 1:30 PM
| Comments (7)
| Posted to PC
Valve's solution, digital distribution with encryption which, prevents pre-release piracy, seems to be working too. A lot of the piracy is being done before the game actually comes out.
I have to say I love GalCiv2 and its implementation. I've reinstalled it several times (system wipes and new machine) and havent used the disk itself since I bought it because the stardock UI allows the direct download of the game once the serial is installed. That coupled with major overhaul patches, far more extensive then most other games, increases my respect for the company 10 fold. I buy all of my games, but I will typically buy new releases of companies I respect rather then waiting until the price drops to the bargin bin. Companies like EA and Microsoft, I will wait until the prices come down simply because of their overall aggressive sales tactics and mediocre quality:price:entertainment ratio as well as the inability to play something as simple as say "the sims" without a dvd in the drive. (Becomes very cumbersome on a laptop to travel with multiple game disks). I do think unique serial registrations are the way to go coupled with digital download installs.
Anyway, I've rambled long enough, but I wanted to drive home the point that companies who limit the protection on their games should be supported in full.
We need more developers like this.
I've found myself playing/buying most of my games these days through Steam and Gametap these days. Its been a long time sense I've touched anything in my fairly extensive PC game library simply because I'm too d***ed lazy to pull out any of those games' disks.
Speaking of discs, another reason I love digital distribution and games that don't need a disc in the drive is that its getting to be almost impossible to keep track of all of the discs games come on these days. I have a huge stack of discs for games that all had 4 or 5 discs and no jewel cases.
Hmm, Even I wouldn't steal a game like that, it's worth the wait!
They are finaly learning!
Oblivion did great with the same concept, inspite of massiv piracy that surly also went on!
Down with starforce and secuRom, had a couple of games that i couldn`t play legaly due to copyprotection, NWN2 had a version of securom that couldn`t accept my DVD, thus not read the disc, almost same thing on Dark messiah but here the securom copyprotection wasn`t compatible with Vista x64.
The game Heroes of annihilated empires uses starforce, which broke my windows due to the forcefull running of the starforcedriver in vistas secure driverlayer...Farcry also uses an old version of securom which has problems accepting some DVD-readers.
The list goes on and on, a legitimate game buyer shouldn`t have to use cracks and other potentialy gamebreaking files!!
From my perspective it seems that the moral of the story is make it interesting enough and they will buy it.
Now, who wants to tell all the other games companies the news?
See if you can tear them away from developing the latest WW2 shooter first.
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