With Steamworks' new CEG technology preparing to make DRM obsolete, Stardock has unveiled their own three-letter acronym answer to digital rights management: Goo.
What is Goo? Goo stands for Game Object Obfuscation. What it does is allow game publishers to encapsulate their game's executable file together with Stardock's Impulse Reactor virtual platform in a single encrypted file. When the player starts the game for the first time they enter their email address and serial number and that's it. The game is tied to that person, as opposed to being locked to any one piece of hardware.
How does this help?
For one, it allows players to validate their game on any service that supports that particular title. It also allows players to resell their PC games, as they'll be able to voluntarily deassign the game, allowing someone else to sign up with their email and the serial number. In effect, you actually have a product with real value outside of your computer.
"One of our primary goals for Impulse Reactor is to create a solution that will appeal to game developers while adhering to the Gamers Bill of Rights," said Brad Wardell, president & CEO of Stardock. "Publishers want to be able to sell their games in as many channels as possible but don't want to have to implement a half-dozen 'copy protection' schemes. Game Object Obfuscation lets the developer have a single game build that can be distributed everywhere while letting gamers potentially be able to re-download their game later from any digital service. Plus, it finally makes possible a way for gamers and publishers to transfer game licenses to players in a secure and reliable fashion."
Stardock will launch Goo on April 7th as part of the phase 3 release of their Impulse digital delivery platform. They expect to announce publishers taking advantage of the Goo technology next month.