Please Describe The Ideal DRM


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    A code on the disk that detects if it is being burnt or copied in any way and sends a signal to a nearby roost of falcons that will fly down and gouge out one of the pirates eyes. You get two strikes.

      I'm happy with Steam DRM, but really what DRM hasn't been cracked before? Why to publishers spend so much money on DRM you know isn't a magic bullet and ultimately isn't going to work. It's just sad when the pirates get a hassle-free product without paying anything and the paying customers get bogged down with stupid restrictions. It's like living in a world where cheap chinese knock-offs are the superior product.

    Easy, like Sins of a Solar Empire.

    No DRM on the game but DRM on the patches.

    Or like Steam.

    But both with a EULA that states that if the service is ever shut down they will release the DRM free copys.

    None, GOG are still providing new "Good old games" with no DRM, and they're surviving.

    Off the cuff answer:

    Having thought a little about this in relation to the music industry previous, I have a little suggestion. First thing is that DRM will not work. You can't forcibly stop people from stealing/copying virtual goods. Computers are simply too good at copying data, and people are too good at finding creative ways around it, so stop trying.

    The solution is essentially iTunes. Apple have made it as easy to get a song legally as it is to get it illegally (maybe even easier since you can be so sure of what you're downloading from iTunes where you couldn't be sure with Kazaa or Napster), and only slightly more expensive. So, essentially, Steam is the answer.

    Make it so easy to buy things legally, and significantly cheaper than it is now, and you might actually curb piracy some without losing so many sales. So take the money you save on DRM and physical goods, and put it into savings for the end-user on a Steam-like service. Its ridiculous how many games people are willing to buy on Steam...

      What you have described is almost exactly Steam, minus the "cheaper" part. They need to work on that.

      Regional pricing is discrimination, Valve.

        To be fair, I don't have a problem with the pricing of the Valve games on Steam. Its the Activision ones mainly.

        Wake up guys, you can't charge MORE for a download-only copy of the game... GG.

    Regular and awesome updates. Most hackers get bored hacking a game after a short period but many gamers want extra maps, extra units and whatnot.

    The free DLC stuff associated with project ten dollar is kind of what I mean. Except that project ten dollars aim was to combat something entirely different.

    I as going to suggest a USB dongle but the reality is any game that is suppleid in a playable state to a computer will be hacked to keep it in that playable state (yep even Ubisofts new 100% internet one).

    i dont care as long as it prevents Piracy. i like this one for AC2 Granted it wont last long. but it helps stump pirates for a while

      Then what? The pirates crack it, and then the only one who suffers is the rightful customers.

      The only DRM I want to see is one that doesn't get in my way. Take that Arkham Asylum thing: pirates could play through to one point where they physically can't go further because the game somehow knew it was pirated.

    Ideally it would be no DRM, but since that is not possible, a system that would do what it was supposed to do without interfering with a gamer's play through of the game or require a constant internet connection. Haven't really given any thought to the specifics though.

    Encrypted DVD. With CD-key entry at install that embeds itself and a specific password onto the DVD. Obviously, the files would also have something so you need the original DVD. :P

    That way, it is hard enough to just decode the files; let alone pirate it. Yet still easily playable.

    The ideal DRM is a non-existent one. Spore, which had pretty extreme DRM was one of the most pirated games of 2008. If the past is any indication a pirated version of Assassin's Creed 2 will be available in torrent form within a week of release (if not before the street release). In short, DRM in any form seen so far has been ineffective. In addition, the idea of DRM with limited installs or having to stay connected to a server discourages people from buying the game. Personally, I think it's a waste of developers time to worry about DRM. The people that pirate games won't be stopped by DRM.

    This being said, developers like Bioware have the right idea. Instead of punishing everyone they're offering free DLCs for new purchases (e.g. Stone Prisoner for Dragon Age and Cerberus Network for Mass Effect 2).

    Personally, I don't bother with games with DRM and luckily most of my gaming is console based.

      Bioware's 'new copy' DLC efforts are part of 'project ten dollars', in order to curb second-hand sales of games (from which the developers see no profit), rather than as a DRM alternative...

    Encrypted data files on the disc. Decrypted upon install using server contact + CD key (aka: steam pre-load).
    [optional] Main exe is decrypted such that only the current PC configuration can play the game. New hardware means you have to reconnect to the server once (aka: Windows).

    Install servers would have to be absolutely bullet proof, ESPECIALLY at launch. If a single key is used to unlock the game from many different IP addresses with different hardware in a short span of time, then the key gets locked... original customer has to call customer support (probably for a NEW key).

    Disc should NEVER be required to play.

    Alternative to the hardware configuration lock; is lock it to a user account (again: like steam). If a user account is logged into from many different locations to activate the same game, it gets locked.

    Basically, steams most basic level of DRM is all that should ever be necessary. Yes it can be cracked, but so can every other method they've ever tried (including dongle based ones). Using server decryption makes it more difficult for the game to leak before release date, and that is the only thing DRM really aims to (and can aim to) stop anyway.

    Whilst I would prefer the freedom to play any game I purchased without invasive DRM programs running in the background, I think Steam's system hits that happy middle ground.

    no DRM? Its all going to be cracked at release anyway, so what is the point. You are ONLY affecting LEGITIMATE customers.

    Well this is easy: None. No DRM. Encourage people to buy software by adding value to the product. Include bonuses as standard. We need incentives, we need excellent customer support, and we need to be not treated like criminals. Spend the money otherwise spent on licensing DRM on little extras and it'll go a long way to turning PC culture around.

    We do need DRM. I can't remember the last PC game I purchased (Think it was a $10 version of Cossacks: 2).

    We need DRM to stop people like me.

    I think the most unintrusive way of DRM is requiring to have the CD/DVD to play. But, Daemon gets around this.

    The other unintrusive way of DRM I remember from an old Formula 1 game by Microprose. To boot the game up you needed to enter a specific word from the instruction manual (which was huge). So it would say "Page 120 Paragraph 3 Line 2 Word 10".

    The problem with these methods is that they simply don't work nowadays.

    I don't have a problem with having to enable software on the internet. But, there also has to be a contingency for people who don't have access to the internet. This is done in Football Manager games, which are again hacked through disconnecting from the internet.

    Something where you have to be connected to the internet, I'm not sure if I have a problem with it. So long as it would only be checking, say, every five minutes or so, and it didn't take up much bandwidth at all. I know a few people still with Dial-up because they can't get broadband at their house.

      Except that DRM doesn't stop people like you. Hasn't so far, has it?

    I'd doubt perfect DRM exists on a PC, I don't think it ever will. I think the idea of DRM is flawed and needs to be dropped.

    I think DRM can be scaled right back if publishers actually try to offer decent service to their customers. Current DRM assumes you are trying to pirate the game, where as the anyone who's pirated it has already had the DRM removed. So DRM only serves to hurt paying customers.

    I'll hark back to Steam and Gabe Newell's comment's that the service they offer beats what the pirates provide. I'm sure others have had problems with Steam but for me and the vast majority of people Steam just works, I boot my PC and double click my game and it launches, with the latest patch already applied, and rather than trying to bleed every dollar out of me, the ongoing sales Valve continue to see have fueled plenty of free content and have made me feel a valued customer and the playing field not one of who can afford the most DLC.

    The additional benefits are I can see when my mates are playing games and I can join them with two or three clicks. As far as convenience goes it can't be beat and you can add store bought titles if downloading isn't an option. It even keeps release dates for publishers by not unlocking until the release date.

    My Mass Effect 1 had been installed and reinstalled too many times on my different laptops and PC's so that I had to get in contact with bioware to get a new key ... it had taken me a month if abit longer to obtain a new key. Seriously I purchased the game and had pre-ordered ME2 but needed new save games so I wanted to play ME1. I was a returning customer a legitimate customer but I was being punished for 1) purchasing new PC equipment 2) wanting to replay a game so many times on so many machines. DRM is sadly dated unless you're going to use one of those pass key's WoW sells now I don't see it working.

    The ideal DRM system is more than just a DRM system That's why Steam is so well accepted and little else is - it benefits me the player as much as the publishers.

    Steam, in addition to being a DRM service, is also a convenient and well-stocked purchasing/download service, a patch and update manager, a server manager and has useful community/friend features. That's why I gladly log in to play Steam games.

    i think the best and most effective DRM would be something like what DJ Max Trilogy had.

    http://au.gamespot.com/users/N3MO/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=m-100-25602839

    i don't know why more people are using this method XD

    Seems like everyone already agrees, and my thoughts have already been voiced. I would vote for a system put onto discs to make it more difficult to burn or make images of them, even though people will find ways around them, they will find ways around every form of DRM, they see it as a challenge. Ideally no DRM would be the best, even if you required some form of registration for patches and expansions.

    Steam. i like steam, it is perfect.

      This.

      Oh, and stop price gouging, especially in Australia please.

    NO DRM! (with the exception of Steam)

    It only causes trouble for the consumers and pirates can crack whatever they wan't if they try.

    DRM also causes problems for the developer, increases piracy rates for their games (eg. SPORE).

    "None" is the only good way. Anything more will only affect paying consumers while the pirates continue to get around it anyway.

    While I'm not much of a PC gamer these days, I would have to say either the USB Profile Key as Denz pointed out (which would be perfect these days considering how small USB devices are getting), or Steam. There really isn't any other way to go about it without making it too easy to pirate, or making it too damn annoying for customers. Reminds me of the stupid anti-piracy crap you get when you buy movies, and yet all of the pirates get nice clean copies that they can just play right from the word go.

    I like how people that think Ubisoft's system will ruin every game they make if the service shuts down and they'll loose the ability to play their games, when in reality Ubisoft has actually said they will patch the games if the service is to be discontinued where as Steam has never taken any obligation to provide the same service (in the less likely event) that Steam would shut down.

    One of my major gripes with Steam is the so-called 'Offline Mode', which requires me to have Internet access to activate. I'm usually connected to the Internet, but in the event that I become disconnected I will have no warning. Therefore I would never have time to put Steam INTO offline mode, and I would not be able to use the service until my connection is restored. I know Ubisoft's DRM does not provide an offline service, but I'd hardly say Steam does either.

      um what? I recently had the exact situation you describe occur to me prior to moving (several days without internet and a sudden disconnection), and I could play my Steam games just fine. The next time I ran Steam it noticed there was no connection and asked if I wanted to use offline mode. I wasn't locked out from my games in anyway because I was offline, well expect for my multiplayer only games.

      Offline mode works.

      As long as your games are up to date and activated you can play these games offline without the need to manually setup online mode.

    (Please append to my previous post)

    Also, DLC is not a viable way to curb piracy, since the packages are just as easily pirated as the game itself. And more people are likely to pirate the DLC rather than the game itself because
    micro transactions require a credit card and are not possible for people who do not own a credit card who do have the ability to purchase retail games in stores (and would also have the ability to purchase DLC in stores if it was provided there).

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