S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, Complete With Online DRM?

Taking a page from Ubisoft's apparently successful adventures with always-on DRM, GSC Game World plans to implement a similar feature in the follow-up to its spooky 2007 shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl.

In a recent open Q&A, Studio Director Sergey Grigorovich mentions the move, stating that "Software piracy is an issue for us, we try to fight it, but within reason." The full quote is below:

Protection from piracy? Part of the content will be located on the server and downloaded as the game progresses. Permanent internet access is required. Text information, code and quests will be loaded through that connection.

The answer came off the back of a direct question from site Gameru.net regarding the game's "security system".

[KP via GSC Game forums]


Comments

    If this is within reason, one wonders what falls OUTSIDE reason

      Probably not until they require constant connection to an IV connected to the computer which will continuously sample your DNA to check if the person playing it is a registered user.

        New keyboards and mice with fingerprint scanners on every key and mouse button to make sure the registered user is the operating the game!

          Don't forget the retinal scans and implanted RFID chips

            And if the perfect infallible internet drops out your RFID implant will EXPLODE!

    Ehhh doesn't bother me that much, whenever computer is on its connected to the internet, some might not be so lucky though

      I'm more worrried about the server end - Ubisoft can't maintain a stable service, let alone smaller outfits.

    I really, really like STALKER but I won't be buying this until/unless the online requirement is removed.

    I'm sure it won't cause me too many problems for the time being, but with so much stuff residing on a server elsewhere there's no guarantee I'll be able to play it into the future.

    That bothers me. A lot (likewise for any other games requiring online activation/permanent connection etc.)

    i dont think these guys understand that most hackers/IT professionals are mostly all gamers and that since always online is hated by many they are going to find away to stop this and release a free drm free version and ultimately they are going to lose out on quite a bit of sales.

      Reading the post, it actually seems to suggest, if you don't like it buy it and pirate it

    Its like they havent learnt how cracking works... they are just going to obtain the missing files and release them and in the end pirates win again.

      +1

      i feel the same about all DRM, it's pointless? They must be so naive to think that this is going to stop pirating.. someone will just have to finish the game, then upload the required files, the game will be cracked within a week im guessing.. gg ubisoft

    Anti piracy should be handled through platforms like Origin and Steam...not through the god damned single player campaign of a game.

    I would be happy with this if they lowered the price of the game. But if they continue to charge full price (or full price+, also known as $60USD) and enforce these restrictions on us I will continue to not play their games.

    So let me get this right.... you get to buy half the game and the other half is kept on the company servers and downloaded as you play basically?

    Guys... what happens when you go out of business? And you eventually WILL?

      Your telling me your still going to be keen to play this game in ten years time?

        That's not the point. The point is that we are paying money to own these games, we have the right to be able to play them whenever.

          You didn't read the fine print of that contract you agreed to after you purchased the product, did you?

          You are paying for the right to play the game at the publisher's pleasure, they can remove that right at any time, yada yada you don't own anything and you have no rights. Please click here to agree.

        Because yeah, nobody would ever want to play a game made 10 years previous. Like how these games were released 10 years ago-

        Final Fantasy IX
        Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
        Silent Hill 2
        Ico
        Grand Theft Auto III
        Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
        Halo: Combat Evolved
        Final Fantasy X

        Yep, nobody would ever want to play those games again...

          This. So much this.

          It's far too early in the DRM game to tell what will happen in these cases. The games that have online activation and the like are too recent to really tell what companies will do in the future with regards to patching out DRM so we can play them in the future.

          I'm not willing to spend my money until I see proof, in the form of taking action, that publishers mean it when they always tell us that these methods are temporary and will be removed once 'demand has died down' or something to that effect.

          It's happened in a few cases, but 2007's Bioshock still can't be played without connecting to a server during installation (well, apart from hacking, obviously). Is the risk of piracy still that high 4 years later?

            It's a little different mate, most of those games are iconic. STALKER 2 is likely to be a good, but not great game, going on previous efforts.

              What's that got to do with it? This may be someone's favourite game of all time, and it's pretty crappy if it comes to them not being able to play it in the future because of short-sighted DRM schemes.

              Personally, I do a lot of research before I buy games. At the risk of sounding weird, the games I own all mean something to me in their own way, and I'd be very upset not to be able to play them in the future.

              Having said that, I think the concept is the main problem, not whether or not I want to play this specific game in the future. Games are becoming increasingly like services rather than products, meaning our ability to play them is less and less in our hands. Now I realise most EULAs probably have some clause in them saying that our ability to play the game can be revoked at any time, but in practice this hasn't been the case in the past. The advent of permanent high-speed internet connections has allowed them to take measures such as this. I've paid a lot of money for my game, I don't believe it should be provided on a temporary basis. (I avoid games which do this).

              It may not mean much to people who trade in games after they finish them, but I keep all my games and having an unplayable disc on my shelf would annoy me greatly.

              irrelevant i still play the original stalker once a year.

        The entire quite successful business model of GOG.com is based on the assumption that people will want to (well not this SPECIFIC game but old games in general)

      I actually think this is worse than Ubisoft's DRM.

      At least Ubisoft generally the whole game is on your computer, parts of the puzzles need to synch with the online servers but that's about it.

      This you could have to wait 5-30minutes everytime you hit a segment of the game you don't have.

      And then there's question 2. If once i have finished the game once. Does that mean that all the data is now actually on my computer, or are you going to purge it as we go.

      Also i can't help but feel that the associated servers and the like required to actually deliver this system in a way that it doesn't break during the first month when it sees the most traffic.

      Would between the server cost and the people that are going to be turned away from your product, cost more than the piracy rates your going to have anyways.

      I got to play Driver:SF the other day it was fun, but so long as ubisoft always online is their i shan't be buying it

        This IS indeed worse. Ubi actually said at one point when they stop supporting a game and switch off the drm servers, they'll patch it out so the DRM is irrelevant, which is decent I suppose, in a bitchslap to the face way and a hug and a kiss and a sorry five years later kinda way.

        This way, if the company goes under, how the hell do you play half a game???

        Oh wait, we did, Assassins Creed.

    Here's a bigger concern.
    How the hell is the game supposed to be modded like this? One of the biggest appeal of the original games is the huge number of mods for them, and honestly, Shadow of Chernobyl and Clear Sky were damn near unplayable without mods to improve them.

    For dedicated PC developers, I expected better of GSC. I knew there'd be some issues when they said STALKER 2 would come to consoles but I never expected something as utterly ridiculous as this.

    Well, that game's gone from 'essential' to 'Hey, enjoy having none of my money, ****heads!'

    Soon, the only PC games that will treat you with any respect will be (a) Old games (b) indies or (c) MAME.

    And the AAAs will complain even more that they don't sell enough on PC.
    Funny that.

    Singleplayer Experience requiring always online connection

    Get Stuffed.

    I have bought stalker multiple times(normal 2x and all on steam) in the past couple of years, and played plenty of mods for it. But this, is enough to make me never want to play the game again.

    So can you pay for the first half of the game and then slowly pay them the rest of the money as you receive the rest?

    Might just buy the PS3 version then, or wait until it gets cracked.

    "DRM piracy is an issue for me, I try to fight it, but within reason."

    As such, I'm buy games that use Steam as their DRM, but it needs to be a mighty good game to get my money for Ubi/GSC DRM. I rather go without, which is what I'll do with Stalker2.

    Cough. Im gonna pirate it for this reason, cause my internet isn't always on or if i have a road trip.
    They are stupid for punishing the customers, they are telling us that they dont trust us to buy their game, well fine i wont buy the game but i want to play it. Treat me like i am a customer not some form of evil.

    Also heard of download limits? how big are these files gonna be?

    I prefer the system used in games such as Black and White II, when it was pirated online the children could NOT mature and you would have loads of kids around your town.
    See thats clever its like with Batman and unable to jump. That is the best way to counter piracy.

      While I also like this anti-piracy system, there are problems with it too. For a start it will get fixed by pirates eventually, and then there's also the risk of making somebody with a pirate copy think that the game itself (not their pirate copy)is broken and unplayable, then they definitely won't consider buying or even recommending it to anybody.

    I was disappointed when I booted up the BF3 demo, and it asked me to provide an origin account login to play Or to sign up. Problem was, there was no option to sign up from where I was sitting. I uninstalled it.

    STALKER is phenomenally atmospheric and Call of Pripyat really was excellent.

    But really, always-online DRM is simply impractical and unfair.

    There are plenty of ways to prevent piracy without treating legitimate buyers as if they were criminals.

    Steam and online activation are completely acceptable. Persistent-Connection-Required is not.

      To be fair, the most effective methods are hated by the gaming community.

      The second someone can find a method that is both effective and liked is the second we get a permanent solution.

        "The second someone can find a method that is both effective and liked is the second we get a permanent solution."

        There is no effective method liked by the community. There is no effective method to date as it is. I'm sick of this piracy crap. I pay for my games and i shouldn't have to be inconvenienced with this crap when the pirates don't have to put up with it.

          Then your problem is with pirates, not the developers.

            No his problem is with the developers as he said and the developers problems are with the pirates.

              Look at it this way:

              If it wasn't for pirates, we wouldn't have DRM.

              If it wasn't for developers, we wouldn't have games.

                If it wasn't for the high prices of games set by developers, we wouldn't have pirates...

                It's the circle of life really

                  High prices do not, in any way, legitimise crime.

                  Besides, people pirate the humble indie bundles. Because those are so expensive.

    How about *less* intrusive DRM that would make people *less* likely to pirate? What a concept, huh?

    What a garbage protection. Will be cracked anyway. Why do they even bother.
    Pirates will play it for free anyway and without stupid always online conditions. The paying customers get screwed not the pirates. When will the industry learn?!

    Okay, well that's just one more future title off the list of things to get.

    I'm unphased and they're unpaid. Can't play everything anyway, and they made the decision that much easier.

    What a bunch of idiots, stalker is my favorite game series and to think I won't own the game without connection is stupid. Also I played soc this year its still a awesome game. What's wrong with a little modding and piracy ill buy the game if it's on cd or steam but not like this.

    don't devs ever listen, gamers don't like restrictive DRM

    Despite all that, it will still get cracked and still get pirated.

    Try something else.

    Yes, it will be pirated. This is the wrong way to go about it. Like my recent experience with EA's antichrist, Origin, online DRM needs to being value to the consumer. Only then will it actually work. Examples of this are currently only Blizzard games.

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