Does any portal do *Anything* about piracy

Discussion in 'Development & Distribution' started by cliffski, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. papillon

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    ... are you seriously that incapable of imagining other situations than your own? :)

    It's entirely possible for people to post to a forum using an office machine, a netcafe, a library computer, etc, and still not have a home internet connection. It's entirely possible for people to post to a forum using dialup that they only connect for an hour a day. In both of these situations, no, they would not have enough bandwidth to activate their single-player game every single time they wanted to play it. (With dialup you can easily activate it on INSTALL.)

    Stretch your head a little.
     
  2. tagged

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    You said that even a third world country can get BB for under $50. I simply corrected you by stating that my first world country can't get that. Hence the sarcastic 'fourth world'.

    I don't live in a rural area, Indeed I am in a (unofficial) capital city. But this same problem has happened to me in cities that have an excess of a million people. In two different cities on three separate occasions. Just because you have a good experience in getting broadband, doesn't automatically make it so for everyone else. I'm not sure who "many people" are, but being in a city doesn't automagically grant you broadband access, there's simply too many factors to determine that... Maybe when WiMax spreads it's wings, and if it works, broadband will become alot more common. It's currently being done in Australia with an expected availability date of 2009, so I can't really comment on it until then :)

    Note I'm not against online activations, I use steam and really enjoy it... Well I did enjoy it, and hope to once again when my broadband arrives. :( Install activations are no problems, but I'm personally not for the whole "each launch" thing that just takes it a little too far imo.
     
  3. Jack Norton

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    You can like or not online activation, or "worse" online play, as a player.
    From a developer point of view though, it makes sense. A lot of sense actually. There are millions of WOW players. With 0% piracy, bandwidth wasted, etc.
    Reducing the piracy to 0% chances, with a right product, can easly lead to 10x sales (or more).
    And personally I wouldn't worry too much about those who don't have internet access - Blizzard/Sony/Microsoft doesn't seem to go so bad with their MMO/MMORPG... same for Guild Wars ;)
    I can foresee lot of portals starting to do online activation or online play in the near future, increasing their sales exponentially.
     
  4. cliffski

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    online activation annoys a lot of people, but if a product the size of bioshock does it, with the huge huge backlash, mostly fuelled by pirates who are still to this day gutted they cant play it, then one assumes the publisher did the math and realised the lower piracy easily outweighed the bad PR and the few people for whom it prevented a proper sale.

    Nopbody *wants* to do online activation. but the huge popularity of software theft means we are being forced to at least consider it.
     
  5. tagged

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    Sorry to nitpick but that isn't entirely correct. Server emulation does enable player's to download and play MMO's, granted it's usually a sub par experience it's still piracy. I've not gone too far into the "scene", but it did interest me from the reverse-engineering side, and as the game ages the server's do get better. While I don't use/play on them, I have heard that Ultima and Lineage 2 have some rather decent free-to-play servers (I do recall a Lineage 2 server emulation bust in the news awhile ago, so this may not be the case?).

    In closing, it's still not 100% fool-proof to use online activation, but it does beat a cd-check :D
     
  6. electronicStar

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    There are some hoops people are ready to jump through in order to play Bioshock or Wow, but that doesn't mean they will accept it when it comes from a small low-quality game downloaded off the internet.
     
  7. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    This thread is a little odd. It's got quite a lot of pointless statements in it. If you think online activation every time you install or play will reduce piracy and not harm your sales then just put it in. Nothing is stopping you from doing that right now. Do it carefull enough then at least you'll have some figures to back statements up like "a 10x increase in sales (or more)" and "everyone can get broadband".
     
  8. Nikos Beck

    Nikos Beck New Member

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    There are still plenty of people who use dial-up so connecting each time they play a game is a hassle. Also, some people have DSL but it's not 24/7. It's possible to buy a 50-hour package where you have DSL speed for fifty hours but no longer. I have to agree that the scale of the game makes a big difference. I wouldn't mind connecting to the internet to play Bioshock but to connect to the internet to play Bejewelled? That's overkill. Some players will get the impression that it's spyware or you're sending their personal information to your server. Sure, you have a privacy policy but where is their proof it's enforced?

    If you're that concerned about activation each time the game is run you'll need to offer an international toll-free number so that if someone doesn't have internet, they can still activate using a phone. Microsoft has a worldwide set of phone numbers for activation of Windows XP.

    Customers want their purchase to work like it does when they buy something from the store. They pay for it and use it when they want. I don't need to connect to the internet every time I turn on the TV. My cable company doesn't require me to confirm my identity to make sure I'm not pirating a signal.
     
  9. papillon

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    It's not like software piracy is a new thing that only the most recent of game developers have to worry about. My *parents* gave me pirated games to play *twenty years ago*. Sure, I was the only kid I knew who knew what a BBS was to have access to this 'black market software' (iirc that was the term of choice at the time rather than pirating) but I was also the only kid I knew who had a computer in her bedroom.

    Which is why I look askance at 'we absolutely must move to online activation of all games or the industry will collapse!!!!' Piracy is a problem, sure. But it's not an OMG NO ONE CAN SELL GAMES ANYMORE! problem. I mean - most of us are seling games without each-play online activation, are we not? :)

    Of course, the ideal for me would be if there were sufficient big-name anti-piracy actions and prosecutions to make the pirates STFU and go underground and trade very quietly where only the elite few could find them, in order to avoid being caught and prosecuted, so that the rest of us could just play games without having to be treated like criminals. Googling game-name + warez should not be able to return a working warez link, because anyone that stupid ought to be catchable and punishable. In my ideal. :)

    As for the portals moving to online-activation-every-play ... since they're not bothering to do anything about a standardised protection system with easily available cracks for it as it is, why would they bother to do something huge like that and cut off many of their customers in exchange for nothing but annoying some warez kiddies, the majority of whom would never have purchased anyway? (Your hardcore pirate d00d might buy BioShock because he can't get a warez copy, but I doubt he'll buy Bejeweled.)
     
  10. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    That's a good point. What do you do when your validation server goes down? Suddenly you've got dozens (or more) players trying to get in touch with you to get the game that they've paid for working (I'm talking validation every time they play a game here). Will you put your home phone number on there? Or force them to just email you? Or pay for a worldwide free phone number?
     
  11. bignobody

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    I don't think the backlash was the online activation so much as the "you can only activate twice" (though now I hear it's been upped to 5 times)...
     
  12. cliffski

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    its 5 at the same time. so you can uninstall, then reinstall and you still have 5. effectively you can install it on 5 PCs. That's really not bad at all, but the whining slashdot / digg generation just wanted an excuse to complain and justify piracy...
     
  13. papillon

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    Except that it originally *did not work that way*.

    '5 at the same time' is a very different concept than '2 installs ever', which should explain to you why a lot of people were upset. :) I don't think anybody can really argue they need more than 5 active installs on one disc.

    With the changes in story that have come out over time I have calmed down and am no longer opposed to their tactics, but the initial launch was a mess (the combination of tight restrictions, bad information, and server crash) and a very negative message. And clearly the backlash at the initial launch was enough for them to change their tune and negotiate to a much more workable position.
     
  14. luggage

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    Didn't the "whining" only start when you the limit was 2? As far as I knew the limit was only upped after a lot of complaints and I don't think uninstalling actually removed an activation originally as far as I'm aware - could be wrong though.
     
  15. cliffski

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    I thought it was always an at the same time restriction? but its tricky to cut through the fud on this to get the facts. The word rootkit was used constantly despite it being totally innacurate, for example.
     
  16. papillon

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    As best as I can tell the game developers intended it to be 2 at the same time from the beginning, but didn't actually code it that way. And when people asked SecureROM about it, they were told that no, uninstalling would not allow them to install it again somewhere else, where on earth did they get that idea?

    There was apparently some miscommunication going on between the developers and securerom in general (each one telling customers to contact the other one for info) and it all got messed up, thus there was panic. And yes, huge amounts of screaming and lying too. from the comments, the slashdotters who RTFA were pretty annoyed about the false rootkit claims being trumpeted for attention too.

    All I'm saying was that there were reasons other than "wah, I can't pirate the game" that people were getting upset. As far as I can tell it's pretty much settled down now. However, my husband just blew up another graphics card (oops) so we're not getting the demo to test just yet. :)
     
  17. tagged

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    There was plenty of mistakes on 2K's part, those who reached the install limits and already wiped the game couldn't use the revoke program they bought out (after it was discovered the uninstall didn't revoke the activation). After figuring out the real 2K support number, people were told to call SecruROM who in turn told them to call 2K support :confused:

    The activation server being down for a few hours, and the overloading of requests that require anywhere from 2 to a dozen re-tries also didn't help. Typical first day hiccups for any online product, Half-Life 2 anyone? Personally the activation doesn't bother me, it's the SecruROM exploiting the OS, and the only reason I won't be buying it. Once that's gone, I'll probably go and get the Steam version since it's cheaper and I don't care for boxes/manuals :cool:
     
  18. the gamer

    the gamer New Member

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    But there are REAL LEGIT people who sell games on ebay to get there site more common among people, after having the approval of their affiliate of course. But you can't mark out EVERYONE WHO SELLS ON EBAY I bought a game from there once and the installer and everything was TOTALLY legit.
     
  19. ChrisP

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    Nobody was suggesting that all Ebay sellers of games are dodgy. Just the ones that are selling cracked copies (which is probably most of them ;)).
     
  20. U-Brothers

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    So guys,

    This topic is really interesting and serious, but in the end..is there something that can be done - that we (creators of their products) can do, to "force" portals to care about piracy more and do something against it?
     

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