Well gee, how about their practice of releasing games that have absolutely no copy-protection on the disc, and don't even require the disc to be in the drive when you're playing? On top of that, they create massive updates for their games, then release them for free. And I've heard nothing but praise for their digital distribution system.
"Gamers want to know that when they purchase a game, it's theirs - forever," according to Stardock president and CEO Brad Wardell. "They don't want to have to worry whether the company they purchased from is still around three years from now. They don't want to have to worry about losing serial numbers or whether they can install it on their new computer."And you whine about having to register. Yeesh.
Ahh, I see, you bought into the hype about the lack of copy protection too?
That's why I went and bought GalCiv, but then I discovered you had to enter some ridiculously long key AND register AND activate it to get any patches, which you need if you want a non-buggy game - To *me*, this is even more intrusive than CD-based copy protections, which can at least be bypassed, and only slightly better than Steam.
That's what hacked me off about them; I consider their claims about no copy protection deceptive at best.
I suppose its true in a sense - There is no copy protection on the CD - but you can probably say that about the Half-Life 2 Retail DVD, and Valve don't go around claiming that!
But what happens when Steam/Valve/Whoever unlocks or activates your game no longer exists? I guess down the road when I'm looking for something nostalgic to play, it probably won't be HL2, but it's still the thought. I think the Stardock president guy hit the nail on the head:
"Gamers want to know that when they purchase a game, it's theirs - forever,"
But that's the irony - With GalCiv2 it *isn't* - If you ever need to re-install the game, esp. on different hardware, you NEED to activate it across the 'net again to patch the game. Again, the needless third-party interaction which is my main gripe with Steam, WinXP, Serif etc.
Now, to be fair, if you're just re-installing on the EXACT SAME machine, you can just copy the encrypted keyfile over, but like XP, you change stuff and BLAM you have to type in the key again!
My favourite developers right now are Introversion and Rake in Grass - I can buy Darwinia in a store and it has NO copy protection at all. I DON'T need to register and activate the game and I DON'T need to activate patches before I can install them (Which is what I hate about GalCiv2.). Unfortunately they moved their digital distribution to Steam, but I guess you can't win them all...
But it's the same deal with Jets'n'Guns - I bought it from RiG online, and that's it! No registration, not even a CD key and nothing that would get in the way of me re-installing it at a later date.
I guess those two companies have spoiled me, but that's the current yard stick by which I measure these things. I figure, if my DSL router died, would I still be able to re-install the stuff on my machine and patch it up?
(GalCiv2 is a good game 'tho so I don't hate them that much
I just wish they hadn't been so deceptive about the copy protection part...