New Steamworks Feature 'Makes DRM Obsolete'

Shortly after Microsoft revealed new features for their Games for Windows Live service, Valve counters with new Steamworks features, including in-game downloadable content, robust matchmaking, and new technology they claim "makes DRM obsolete."

We've already heard about the new downloadable content support for Steam, and the matchmaking is the same we've seen in the PC version of Left 4 Dead, now available to publishers and developers worldwide. The most interesting new feature is Steamworks new anti-piracy technology, Customer Executable Generation, or CEG. CEG basically creates a unique copy of a game for each customer, which can then be played on any compatible PC without install limits or root kits. You buy a copy, and that is your copy, completely unique to you. A simple and elegant solution to PC game piracy that manages to benefit both publishers and the consumer at the same time.

With new publishers flocking to the service every day and innovative new features like these regularly added, it's hard to imagine anyone toppling Steam from the top of the digital delivery heap anytime soon.


    One thing Steam does do is reduce the price of games. Taking out the middle men (exporter, importer, distributer and retailer). The maximum profit is then returned to the developer and the buys is then getting a product at a more reasonable price. Having to pay AUD$120 for game at a retailer versus ~AUD$40 via steam, I can tell you which way I will be purchasing games. Plus I can always download the game if I lose or damage the media.

    What you're actually paying is the US price. Over there new release games cost $50-60 tops. We've already seen with some publishers who dislike international customers getting the discount either a price increase on Steam (Call of Duty and another one or two got bumped up to $90 after a couple of weeks) or a complete removal of stock for Australian customers (THQ and the Dawn of War games come to mind.)

    It's not so much intentional discounting because they want to pass the savings of digital delivery over brick and mortar shops onto us as it is they just haven't gone and changed the pricing scheme for regions yet.

    As far as I know it, anyway.

    Anthony who Posted on March 25, 2009 10:20 AM

    when was the last time you saw a steam game cheaper than retailer? last year the prices have been virtually the same, in some cases more expensive (empire total war anyone?) almost 100 bucks on steam, 79 in jb hifi

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