Author Topic: Stopping Video Game Piracy  (Read 5992 times)

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Offline FlamingCobra

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Stopping Video Game Piracy
If video game companies want to stop piracy, why not just use disc technology that the public doesn't have access to? They don't even make HD DVDs anymore. Why not go with that?

There's probably a really simple answer to this question, but I just don't know what it is.

HVDs would be even better, but they'd be prohibitively expensive. But you could get some damnnnnnnnnn good graphics with those. On the other hand, you could go with regular graphics and make a really game. But it'd be goddamn expensive.

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
...because if the discs can't be read by existing hardware, then people won't buy them at all.
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Offline BloodEagle

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
If video game companies want to stop piracy, why not just use disc technology that the public doesn't have access to? They don't even make HD DVDs anymore. Why not go with that?

There's probably a really simple answer to this question, but I just don't know what it is.

Didn't work for the Dreamcast, won't work for anyone else.

HVDs would be even better, but they'd be prohibitively expensive. But you could get some damnnnnnnnnn good graphics with those. On the other hand, you could go with regular graphics and make a really game. But it'd be goddamn expensive.

....  :banghead:

 

Offline headdie

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
there are only 2 sure fire ways to stop piracy.

1. stop charging for games

2. remove theft from the law books
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Offline The E

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
If video game companies want to stop piracy, why not just use disc technology that the public doesn't have access to? They don't even make HD DVDs anymore. Why not go with that?

There's probably a really simple answer to this question, but I just don't know what it is.

HVDs would be even better, but they'd be prohibitively expensive. But you could get some damnnnnnnnnn good graphics with those. On the other hand, you could go with regular graphics and make a really game. But it'd be goddamn expensive.

I'm sorry, but only someone who has literally no clue whatsoever could post something like that.

Here's the problem with all DRM schemes: At some point, they have to give the customer access to the encrypted content. Meaning that the content will be accessible. If you have DRM'ed music, you can grab the audio via an analog recording device, for example. Games need to be decrypted before they can be played, given that decryption takes an amount of time you simply do not have when rendering a frame every 30 milliseconds.

That said, there are DRM schemes that are more effective than others, Steam for example is the best one currently available. That's not because it's hard to break (it isn't), but because Steam offers an easy way to turn my money into games, while adding a few services on top (Cloud saving of savegames, cross-game instant messaging, easy multiplayer setup).

In closing, I would say that as long as there are people who do not want to pay for something, there will always be piracy.
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Offline Starman01

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
Quote
In closing, I would say that as long as there are people who do not want to pay for something, there will always be piracy.

This is exactly the point. And to make it even worse, all the DRM and copy protections are getting so evil, that they pain honest buyers, while people who wanted to pirate games in the first place doesn't affect, because they, well, go pirate it. But those silly DRM's drive even more people to piracy.

Theoretically, all DRM measurements can be seized completly. Honest buyers will continue to buy, but will not face problems with DRM anymore, while thiefs will steal further. The thievery can't be stopped, you can only try not to scare to many honest people away.

BTW, remember the good old days, when a copy protection consists of fat handbooks with code layouts ? Like the ones in Zak Mc Cracken ? Of course, today that wouldn't work either, because it can be easily duplicated today. Everyone has a scanner and Internet, but the days back, not everyone had a copy machine :D

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Offline SypheDMar

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
BTW, remember the good old days, when a copy protection consists of fat handbooks with code layouts ? Like the ones in Zak Mc Cracken ? Of course, today that wouldn't work either, because it can be easily duplicated today. Everyone has a scanner and Internet, but the days back, not everyone had a copy machine :D
I must've been extremely well-off. :nervous:

 

Offline Davros

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
Publishers decisions on DRM really bug me
I have a drm scheme for sale, not only is it just as ineffective as other drm schemes but it is also cheaper
and yet publishers will not license it

 

Offline Starman01

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
Quote
I must've been extremely well-off. :nervous:

Pretty much  :D  I played that game on my first PC, it was a X386 sx 25.....   something about 20 years back in the past (man, I'm grown shocking old  :lol: ) Every handy today is much superior than this thing.

But regarding DRM, i see no sense in it at all. The hackergroups "skidrow" and "reloaded" and what else are doing tournaments who cracks games faster. Each new game, no matter how good the DRM is that is praised, will be available for download within latest 24 hours.

Also look at steam. Didn't it just start as some DRM system that FORCES players to use it ? Seriously, 90% of the Steam Users are forced to use it still. Just because it's now grown to an online shop doesn't makes it better. Look at skyrim. The first Exe allowed to game to start it without Steam. Now it has been patched out extremly fast, so that people are forced to start over steam again. Luckily, I saved my original exe. But latest with the new patch, I will be forced to use Steam again. And I hate it being forced to do something, I don't want, in order to play something that I want.  :hopping:

Same goes for the new "Spysoftware" that EA Games is now using. It's just another reason, that makes you think to start pirating stuff. All this stuff is totally pointless.  :banghead:
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Offline Aardwolf

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
there are only 2 sure fire ways to stop piracy.

1. stop charging for games

2. remove theft from the law books

I'ma go with something closer to #2; intellectual property law has gotten ridiculous, and ought to be re-written from scratch. As I see it, here's how it should be:
  • Protection against plagiarism. I mean willful misrepresentation of the origin of a creative work, not trivial stuff like forgetting to cite a source. Get an injunction, maybe a fine.
  • If somebody sells your work (with attribution), you would be at most entitled to how much profit they made.

 

Offline FlamingCobra

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
...because if the discs can't be read by existing hardware, then people won't buy them at all.

I was talking about next generation console hardware.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 04:41:33 pm by FlamingCobra »

 
Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
Console piracy simply isn't a high priority for the manufacturers.  If was "20 pirated copies for every purchased copy" like you'll encounter on some PC titles, it would be a higher priority - but it's just not.

Absorbing the extra costs involved in using non-standard media thus doesn't make a lot of economic sense.  Too many extra production costs, and if you allow hard drive installs (necessary for downloadable full games) the media becomes totally irrelevant anyway.

Then you factor in the possibility of using technological means of piracy control that would also impair the second hand market, and it makes no sense to try to stop piracy in that manner.  Poor return on investment.  Much much better to focus on downloadable full versions and use technological means to protect that.   That way the console makers don't spend extra money on manufacturing, plus they get the share of profit that used to go to retailers, plus they get to remove the second hand market as a competitor. 

 

Offline The E

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
...because if the discs can't be read by existing hardware, then people won't buy them at all.

I was talking about next generation console hardware.

Again you are showing your cluelessness. Console piracy simply isn't that much of a problem, because console hardware is pretty well locked down. Just look at all the trouble people have to go through in order to pirate PS3 games; given that modern consoles (excluding the Wii) are rather expensive things, it's not like there's a high incentive to mess with your hardware. Not to mention that hacked consoles can and will be bricked remotely, which means that you will lose some functionality if you do do a hardware hack.
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Offline Ghostavo

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
One would think it would be much better to focus on other revenue models, such as micro transactions and ads, than it is to focus on anti-piracy measures.
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Offline The E

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
Except that microtransactions and ingame advertisement are pretty annoying by themselves. Avoiding the "Free to play, pay to win" model is rather hard, while the revenue from ingame ads is pretty small.

In the end, I think the only thing that can work is for the game publishers to stop making live harder for people who legitimately buy products, while stopping to worry about piracy so much. I mean, CD Projekt are doing pretty well with their "No DRM" approach.

But then, at the heart of the matter is the failure of game publishers (not game developers, necessarily) to understand the modern marketplace. While they have adapted better than, say, the movie and music industries, there's still executives around who think that the clock can be turned back to the early 1990s, where piracy was something that happened via word-of-mouth and discs sent around via snail mail.
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Offline Ghostavo

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
Yeah, but those models are still in their infancy, hence why they are still in their annoying phase.

For example, movies are just starting to get the hang of it, managing product placement without you even realizing it, so why can't games do non intrusive ads? It's a matter of experience.
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
Game publishers need to come to the realization that pricing is always going to factor into piracy.  You can classify game consumers in three categories:
1.  People who will always pay for the game because of the legality and their morality.
2.  Pragmatists, who will generally pay for something if convenient for them and they are convinced it is both the best and easiest course available, and
3.  Pirates - those who will virtually always pirate software except in very specific circumstances.

Groups 1 and 2 are much larger than group 3.  Right now, most publishers implement DRM to stop group 3 and more-or-less ignore groups 1 (who they know will always pay), and 2 (who they figure are really just group 3 members in disguise).

Thing is, 2 is the largest group of the bunch. Publishers piss off people who would otherwise buy their games through outrageous pricing and draconian DRM.  Why should we pay large amounts of our disposable income, Group 2 asks, for your software when you make us jump through hoops and put up with terrible DRM, but we can get games WITHOUT the hoops, DRM, or cost simply by pirating your software?

Game publishers don't get that... or most don't.  I suspect the sad fact is how many people making the decisions concerning DRM don't have technical understanding of how ineffective it is (given that every major release is cracked within 24 hrs of release), and don't understand their behaviour is actively encouraging piracy.

Valve is one of the brighter publishers with Steam, as they've turned their DRM scheme into a content-delivery, social networking, and multi-game platform.  EA is stepping into the game with their new platform.  Steam has shown that many people are willing to put up with mildly intrusive DRM if there is a net benefit to the service.  Other publishers would do well to learn that lesson.  Valve has also shown that you can reduce the price point of games on your content-system and actually increase your profits because of the effect that has on sales (Robin Walker gave a good presentation on that subject when talking about why Steam runs such massive and frequent sales a few years back.  This is partially why TF2 still has such an enormous online following, which was bolstered even more by making it free to play).

Piracy is not something that will ever be 100% preventable, but publishers could make it irrelevant by targeting their marketing and technical limits to Group 2, instead of focusing on hardened pirates, against whom their efforts are usually ineffective anyway.

TL;DR:  The solution to piracy is innovation in marketing and public relations, not technical counter-piracy measures.
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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
You missed a few groups really (subsets of group 3 you could argue but not really truly so);
Those that refuse to pay full price and pirate waiting for reasonable price drops to buy the game later.
Those that pirate the games to try them out and buy the ones they enjoy/play a fair amount/wish to see more of.

The latter in my experience, spends more on games, and more on different kinds of games than the others.
I certainly bounce between groups depending on my disposable income, I generally tend to be in group 2, I'd certainly be in that group a bit more often if games weren't more than triple the price they were when I started gaming.
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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
You missed a few groups really (subsets of group 3 you could argue but not really truly so);
Those that refuse to pay full price and pirate waiting for reasonable price drops to buy the game later.
Those that pirate the games to try them out and buy the ones they enjoy/play a fair amount/wish to see more of.

I'd say the two groups you named are part of group 2 - pragmatists influenced by price and convenience.  What you've named is their rationale for basing their decisions on price and convenience.  Three groups covers it all - the strictly-legal payers, the strict pirates, and everyone else.  The trouble is that game publishers (and the music and movie industries) have this false belief that there isn't an 'everyone else', and if you aren't a strict payer then you are always a pirate, which obviously isn't the case.

The only reason I belong to group 1 and don't vote with the combined power of my wallet and a BitTorrent client is the legality aspect.  In my profession, less-than-legal behaviour is frowned upon, but that doesn't mean I support the bull**** that publishers do to consumers and I do find other ways to express my displeasure.  There are a fair number of gamers out there like me, too, but "everyone else" is still the largest bunch, and if pissed off enough they will wreak havoc on title sales and publishers.  Look at what happened during the StarForce debacle with UbiSoft.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 10:58:48 pm by MP-Ryan »
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Offline Nuke

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Re: Stopping Video Game Piracy
Yeah, but those models are still in their infancy, hence why they are still in their annoying phase.

For example, movies are just starting to get the hang of it, managing product placement without you even realizing it, so why can't games do non intrusive ads? It's a matter of experience.

product placement in movies ruins the immersion, id hate to see what it does in games. i could see you warping in at the beginning of into the lions den, diving and hitting your burners only to see a floating space billboard with a penis enlargement ad. no thank you. it might work in some games, like racing and sports games, where you would normally see a bunch of fake ads anyway. place a modern add in a futuristic sci-fi game, i dont think that would work very well.

games are rather large these days, and im capped at 20 gigs a month. so for the most part pirating games is not an option for me. likewise neither do services like steam do me any good. i also prefer to have some kind of media that says i own this game. though these days i have doubts of being able to play some of the newer games in the long term. i often pull out a game i haven't played in 10 years and give it a spin, sometimes they work, and sometimes they dont because of forward compatibility issues. but id hate to see games not work because the publisher decided to decommission the activation server. i kinda a game should become public domain the second the publisher decides to stop supporting it.

there are only 2 sure fire ways to stop piracy.

1. stop charging for games

2. remove theft from the law books

I'ma go with something closer to #2; intellectual property law has gotten ridiculous, and ought to be re-written from scratch. As I see it, here's how it should be:
  • Protection against plagiarism. I mean willful misrepresentation of the origin of a creative work, not trivial stuff like forgetting to cite a source. Get an injunction, maybe a fine.
  • If somebody sells your work (with attribution), you would be at most entitled to how much profit they made.


this. the only kind of piracy you need to stop is that done by organized crime. busting poor kids downloading games aint going to do anything, and adding drm will just **** your customer base. im none too happy with the way corporations have been pissing all over their customers as of late. and while i dont pirate anymore do to the size of the games, i do give salute to the hackers and pirates that do, because someone has to **** back.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 11:17:02 pm by Nuke »
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