Is this a step forward?

13 08 2010

by AngryPanda

I’m pretty sure it is but it might still be in the wrong direction. Or just moving in circles. The issue of DRM has been saturated with soe much stupidity that it is almost impossible to apply coherent rational thought to the matter. It’s a bit like trying to apply logic to the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy only way less fun and way more retarded. Anyway, the news first:

Ubisoft will distribute their new game R.U.S.E. through Steamworks and use the integrated protection instead of their own system*

*For those who missed it: “Their own system” in this case means that you can only play while online and if you ask them nicely. Maybe. If they’re in a good mood.

This is how you make me feel every time I pay you dear publishers.

It hasn’t been explicitly said but for now this doesn’t mean their own system is off the table. Even if it is, the fact remains that while Steam does provide some good service it is also still a DRM system that is very invasive and this decision would force you to buy from them. Considering Steam’s price policy over different countries and their horribly focus in IP-Related distribution that doesn’t exactly sound like christmas came early. I wrote about Steam before and by now it is on the “I would almost use it” list. And even that only if they’d drop that localized IP cabbage. So basically Ubisoft upgraded from “I wouldn’t get their game if I got paid for it” too “I would almost get it. But no thanks.”. So they worked their way to a less intense harassment. This should not be considered progress but sadly it is. I guess by now you have to be thankful if you are punched in the face for giving a publisher money, instead of a kick in the balls.

In the end the game is a first person shooter and I don’t play those anyways but it’s really hard to even make decisions on how to treat such companies by now. In theory you can vote with your wallet but it doesn’t look like they can gain any kind of useful data out of that. PC-Gaming is hard at is. Just look at my gaming setup. That’s enough cash just in input hardware to buy a console before you even got a computer. There’s driver issues, system requirements and flat-out weird bugs to deal with. You don’t need to make that harder. A popular solution is to get a console for these games and it is one I’m considering myself right now. But what do they take from that? More console sales. That means more people on the PC are pirates. That means they need more restrictive DRM. Even if the fact they have that is a reason for even higher console sales.

Another example directly from my life would be Starcraft II. Like everyone else and their mom I got it for myself but it was a hard decision. The new Battlenet is as bad as Steam and I absolutely do not want to support that. I’m also mostly interested in the single player campaign and as such would have no problem at all using a pirated copy. I love Starcraft and of course I want to pay for it (seriously, I don’t play too many games. If I pirate something it is purely for convenience. I have more money than spare time). So what will they take from that? We all bought it so obviously we are ok with their scheme. But I’m not. Next time I will probably decide differently. Not that it will help. It will only convince them that

  • A: they need more draconian measures or
  • B: people don’t care for that sort of game.

There’s just no way to act right then confronted with madmen. No matter what they see, if they are set on drawing the wrong conclusions, they will. It seems that the only logical actions are to either hit harder or withdraw from that market. The only hope is that it somehow blows up in their faces and I’m not even sure that would help.  I’ve talked to less extreme religious fanatics. This time I have bought the game and this should be morally right. So if it is why do I feel like I’ve let them fuck me in the ass and told them I like it?

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