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Thread: Activation limits removed on BioShock for the PC

  1. Wink duh, let me set things straight here.... for most people, not all...

    i agree with those few smart people that have seen the truth.

    here's my personal take on the matter:

    they are correct in that "nothing major" was removed. the biggest hurdle for those that know is that you can not install (let alone play) bioshock using the '07 retail disc. for successful completion you require an internet connection. that still stands today. there will never be a patch to bypass that. it's not worth their time or effort - and why should they ? if they did they would loose control. and this is what this "new" drm is about. control. they control how you use the software. they have the ultimate say. and also that bit about turning games into "services" and "leased play time" models. and also it would possibly give the crackers some clues about some "things".

    the reason, i believe, they now, several months later, removed the activation "hassle" is simply to save themselves time and money - and then put a spin on it to make it look/sound as if they did it for "us". oh the humanity. it costs money to keep/maintain/support a securom activation server. (weather in-house or leased) so since the game has gone past it's major sales time frame, the cost to profit ratio of the activation routine vs the sales made has reached an impasse where it's not worth maintaining the activation routine as originally operated. this includes but is not limited to technical support calls which cost money (to pay the person on the phone etc..) so at the very least they did this for their benefit as much as for the consumer. there's no need to grovel at their feet for this "gift". also i wonder why so many people are that happy with this ? if you bought the game, the initial 3 installs should have sufficed the average user. why would it now, several months later, matter to a genuine customer - who would have long ago finished the game and moved on - that they can now install it an unlimited number of times or such ? makes no sense. and like judge judy says:"if it doesn't make sense then it usually isn't true" please don't bother with "my hdd failed 10 times last month" or "i upgrade my pc several times a month" nonsense.. that's unrealistic and would affect less then 1% of users. and even if so, those kind of users, should surely know ways around it, eh ?? i mean if noobs can use torrents (as claimed by the companies themselves when they give reasons why they switch to draconian drm) then a "power" user that upgrades frequently and manually (that is in person) would surely know of "methods" to fix these issues.


    those that keep referring to the protection used on bioshock as "securom" to describe it completely, are wrong. securom is a suite application developed and owned by sony dadc of japan. at this time it has the biggest share of the "mature" and developed commercial copy protection software in the western world of entertainment software. (the 2nd is safedisc advanced by macrovission corporation) what people should be talking about in reference to the "nasty" side of the bioshock copy protection is the online activation module, specifically SecuROM Product Activation - and not the de facto securom disc based portion of it. i know some of the misinformed noobs do mean the whole thing but most of the confusion seems genuine. specifically the moderator who tried to be sarcastic but failed because of his lack of knowledge. when he implied that if you boycott bioshock because of its drm then you might as well boycott most other big companies and games as well because they too used securom. and so you should look at pictures or some sh!t to find waldo or suchlike. yes many games do in fact use securom. these games use the "standard" or disc based version and not the online activation module. big difference. in fact bioshock was the 1st "AAA" game from a major company/distributor in the western world to use securom's online authentication system. again, do not confuse the brand name securom that has multiple variants when talking about protection on bioshock, which uses both. (disc based and online) every other game in the past that used sony's securom (hundreds of them) until bioshock have only ever used the disc based variant. in fact even today there are only three such games as already mentioned. they are bioshock, mass effect and alone in the dark. (spore is not out yet so please shut up ) (even that guy from valve was right - so it's not just me telling you that)

    which brings me to my next point. this one is touted by many fanbois as the ultimate proof that this kind of draconian drm works - or at least works better then the status quo (disc based protection). and that is that it took 2-4 weeks to properly crack bioshock. think about it. the fact is that it did indeed take longer then the usual crack. but also think about why. because it was a new kind of protection - a new mechanism to circumvent. makes sense. once more games use this draconian drm (and it has begun) after some time the cracking "scene" will understand it and get better and better - thus faster and faster. it has always been like this. also like sated before, mass effect (only the 2nd released pc game to use this drm) took even less time. (and yeah the galaxy map "bug" was an oversight on a cracker's zest to be 1st, which was soon rectified. at least they broke the door down much faster then bioshock and were inside the house rummaging when a small booby trap went off.) the more games that use this the more wide spread the knowledge about them will spread. it's only a matter of time. that's what happened with starforce - another subject these noobs like to tout. and with that too, it's the same reason. at that time, for the western world starforce was new. so of course it took some time to "crack" the system of it. in fact try and find games with version 1&2 of starforce in western games and you'd be lucky to find a very few. if at all. why ? because the first two versions were almost exclusively used in russia and some other eastern european countries. in conclusion, the ranting about how bioshock "lasted" 2 weeks (or whatever number) before it was fully cracked and thus is proof that this drm works and will work like that in the future is flawed beyond argument. at this moment in time there are only three released pc games from major western companies that utilize securom's online authentication module. bioshock, mass effect & aitd. if you talk about securom for any other game, then that "securom" is the "kinder" and i believe, accepted disc based variant. so get your facts straight. knowledge is power.

    and a 2nd plausible reason that many people also interpret with this draconian drm is the killing off the 2nd hand market. and i would have to agree. i have no doubts some company executives (EA springs to mind) look at places like ebay and go:"gosh darn it, look at all those copies of game x being resold. how can we get a cut of that huge market or at least put a stop to it since we don't get 2nd helpings". so yes, when using online activation any company that does that can technically limit a products use artificially. these are the starting blocks for them to overturn by proxy the first sale doctrine. <=== read this [knowledge is power] don't be a serf!

    after reading all that if nothing else, for those that were misinformed about securom, don't "hate" securom per se, rather hate the online authentication portion of it. because i have no doubt that most heavy gamers, perhaps without you explicitly knowing, many games you already have use securom already. it's just that it's the "nicer" disc based version that does not require a bloody internet connection and thus you know nothing of it. let's try and keep it that way. i'm happy with disc based protections. at least you have control of said product. they could make a patch that bypasses the intrusive and draconian and obscene installer as mentioned by others and still make it so that the original disc is verified by the disc based securom portion - but they won't. this game was used as a "sacrificial" title to introduce this drm variant. it had to be a "AAA" title so that many people would buy it regardless of controversy - and then execs and bean counters could fall back on the new drm with two reasons. if it flopped they could have blamed the new drm. as it stands they can flout it and say:"see ??? this wonderful new drm was why it sold so well. we better keep using it"


    btw, this is my short version of my usual posting on this matter. to recap and summarize:
    • bioshock still requires an active internet connection to install/play
    • the reason it took "2 weeks" to crack it is simply because it was the 1st game to use this kind of protection. don't laud that as a positive. it's a downward sliding scale based on new technology.
    • subsequent such titles (mass effect & aitd) took considerably less, and they will only get faster. sure sony will update and tweak revisions of securom but then so will the crackers update their methods.
    • in the meantime the consumer gets shafted. (i'm not one of those. - knowledge is power.)
    • the retail BioShock disc is nothing more then a delivery system for the data files. the main executable and some other stuff still gets downloaded from their servers, even today. (17/09/08). as long as that happens you "have" no game.
    Last edited by I know the truth.; 09-16-2008 at 08:19 AM. Reason: added last bullet point and some slight cleanup.

  2. #122
    I know the truth.

    No need to get a new name for the fact of force tokens for a limited time frame to aid sales, the trouble with tokens and activation is the long run when its no longer wroth the cost to keep up or for the consumer it goes belly up and people have software they cannot activate.

    Oh and BTW you still have to activate it just the tokens where removed.

  3. Thumbs down wtf ??

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyDSMlee View Post
    I know the truth.

    No need to get a new name for the fact of force tokens for a limited time frame to aid sales, the trouble with tokens and activation is the long run when its no longer wroth the cost to keep up or for the consumer it goes belly up and people have software they cannot activate.

    Oh and BTW you still have to activate it just the tokens where removed.
    In English please!

  4. #124
    Quote Originally Posted by I know the truth. View Post
    In English please!
    So your long rambling rant was somehow more coherent than my simplified one?

    Its already been posted on the tactic for activation and activation tokens, the time take to crack them, all of this is known fact, my point your preaching more to the choir than the console kiddies, who need all the bwains they can get. ^^

  5. #125
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    Thanks. Lots of people are very happy now.

  6. #126
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    Yes, that is all well and good, but, I still believe the companies who use this form of DRM (or any form, actually) should be required to clearly label their products accordingly.

  7. #127
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    I suppose this is, as others have said, a step in the right direction, but I still will not buy any games with SecuROM installed. Yes, Japester, I know that I'm "missing out" on a lot of games. Meh.

    And I don't like the support for it, either --
    Publisher: "We don't have to tell you it's installed because it's an inherent part of the program."
    Customer to Publisher: "I can't play the game I purchased because SecuROM says it's not the original!"
    Publisher to customer: "That's not our problem, you'll have to talk to SecuROM."
    Customer ot publisher: "But...you said it's an inherent part of YOUR program."
    Publisher to customer: "We just add it in after the game is done. They support their software."
    Customer to publisher: "But...you said it was part of YOUR executable and that's why you didn't need to tell me it was there to begin with! Is it your software or theirs?!"
    Publisher: "..."

    Heck, I'm still amost exclusively playing City of Heroes, anyway.

  8. #128
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    Is the full product available on disc yet? I'm still waiting.

  9. #129
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    Bioshock made easy.

    Is a man not entitled to the game he purchased?
    No says the man at 2K, he may be a thief.
    No says the man at Sony, he may be a pirate.
    No says the pirate, I'll give it to you free...
    I rejected all those answers and did what many should do....
    .... I ...purchased..... a XBOX 360, and never worried again.
    Last edited by b2smoove; 08-20-2008 at 03:29 PM.

  10. #130
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    What is the purpose of Activation/secureROM anyway

    I bought BioShock a while back and played through it completely. I just restarted playing it with the 1.1 patch on a 55" HDTV (I'll never be able to play on a regular screen again). I never uninstalled it under XP, so thankfully I didn't try running it under my dual boot HTPC Vista and run into any activation problems. But I will be upgrading to a new PC in December to get to 1080p resolutions, so I guess I'm glad the activation limit has been retired, because no one I know goes through the trouble of uninstalling all their software before moving to a new PC. They just reinstall what software/hardware they want to continue using and format the old drive before recycling it.

    But I don't "get it". As a legit owner, I have the BioShock DVD in the drive. Your software checks to see that the DVD is present, and then the game starts. No one else can play my copy. What's the point of SecureROM doing anything other than the disk check for those that buy the retail copy with a DVD? Maybe for those who buy the game online need some form of extra protection, but I thought the point of Steam was to play anywhere you can login and it if I don't apply any crack, I should be able to only play it on one PC.

    If someone wanted to play the game illegally without paying for it, then they would go download the cracked exe. So it took 7 or 14 or even 30 days days for the hackers to post a working crack. That just means from 30 days after the release, your DRM was pretty much useless to the pirate community, and a support headache for those who don't want to download the crack but have some hardware change/problem.

    I assume the hackers also figured out how to get around Steam, so I don't see the point for legal users. It boils down to:

    1) Don't install any cracks and use the software with the DVD in the drive or use your Steam login
    2) Install a crack, at which point, what was the point of secureROM doing anything beyond a simple disk check? It got bypassed anyway, and now those with a crack don't even need the DVD.

    Activation is a whole different problem. Why can't I install BioShock on my dual boot HTPC, once under Vista (to see how badly it performs), and still leave it on my XP partition where it works ok, and then on my new PC this December, and just move the DVD to the system I want to play it on? What's not legit about that? It looks like I won't be able to do that for the newer games coming out in the next few months, and that just stinks and drives me to using a crack for my legal game. I'll probably wait until they are cracked before buy a copy, just to make sure I'm not stuck on my soon-to-be-replaced PC. And make sure I have all my new hardware before I activate (instead of buying in stages). So in effect, these game developers will earn less money because by the time I get around to buying and playing these games, they likely will have dropped in price significantly. That is, if I'm still interested in playing them and not some new game that just got released.

    Wasn't Crysis on the PC, which uses this same DRM software, so pirated that Crytek will not make PC-only games anymore? I bought 2 copies (one for me and one for my brother-in-law) the day it came out. What was the point of DRM if Crysis proves it does not prevent piracy? Can the SecureROM folks prove that their solution made even the slightest dent in stopping piracy for Crysis? I buy software to support the developer in making more PC games, and now because the developers bought into the DRM belief but it still failed, they might not make these great games anymore. The developers let fear drive their decision to spend money on some DRM software that really doesn't do anything but cause support issues, lowers customer satisfaction, and creates trust issues. Again, I don't "get it".

    -Brian

    P.S. Sorry for the long post. I hope that doesn't deter you from reading it and giving a thoughtful response.

    BTW, I only made this post because I was looking at buying Spore, but came across these discussions in my research of the game. I think I'll skip buying Spore for now... AND I DON'T CONDONE PIRATING - IT CAUSES DEVELOPERS TO STOP PRODUCING GAMES. IF YOU ARE PIRATING, THEN STOP IT FOR ALL OUR SAKES.
    Last edited by briank2; 09-03-2008 at 09:18 PM.

  11. Why this ? Why that ?
    All good and well, but at the end of the day you purchased this software. Regardless of any excuses or personal opinions, that means that you support this drm software. So as they say, put up or shut up. Here you are, asking questions that infer that you are unhappy with the restrictions placed on you, the consumer, by the copy protection software. So ? Your decision to buy it makes all your points null and void. At the end of the day, EA got your money. What exactly do you want ? Sympathy ? You won't get any from me.

  12. #132
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    I did buy BioShock - the day it came out. Hopefully you could tell from the beginning of the post that I had no idea how bad the DRM was and other people won't until they buy new or upgrade their PC hoping to play their older games with everything on high settings on bigger screens.

    I have not and will not be buying or playing:

    BioShock 2
    Spore
    Mass Effect PC
    Crysis: Warhead
    FarCry 2
    C&C: Red Alert 3

    if they have anything more than a DVD check from now on out. Nor will I even download your demo's anymore. I'm really considering NOT spending the money this x-mas for a new PC, and instead buy a game console, perhaps a WII. In the end, EA and the developers MIGHT get some money out of me, but I will be much more selective about spending even more money buying console games at $60 each. My last console was a SNES and I think in total I bought 4 games. Do these new games on the consoles only work on one game console after I activate it? Can I take it somewhere else and play it on someone else's console? Not that I have ever even thought about doing this with PC software because it deters the developers from making more games, I think reselling a console game is MUCH EASIER because it's tangible goods.

    But NVIDIA, AMD, CREATIV, CORSAIR, and all those PC makers who rely on us PC gamers to buy their high end components just lost at least one long term customer because the PC Game platform is being driven into the ground by DRM and negative sentiment. I'll be letting them know by good old fashion letters their profitable markets are being adversely affected. They need to just focus on making that one game console component and it better be cheap, because the whole console costs less than the video card I was planning on buying. There is no need to buy all this hardware if I'm not playing games on my PC. Surfing the web and using MS Office is not graphics or system intensive!! And my Nvidia 6800GT video card (which costs me $300 when I bought it) works fine for my HTPC to throw streaming video up on the screen from NetFlix, TVTonic, and other legit video sources.

    P.S. I WAS a customer. I still own System Shock 1 & 2, FarCry, BioShock, Crysis, every C&C game, and many more. I never tried making a "backup" of a game and I don't buy the arguments that someone who installed Alcohol or other emulation software isn't using a crack. That's just BS. You fall into the second category in my first post - your just another person installing a crack (even if you bought the game legally). I don't want to be in the second category. Stop driving legal users toward it, and start driving them away from it.

    Sorry, but I am "putting up" my money for PC games and PC hardware.

    BTW, I don't buy the argument that EA got my money and therefore they don't care anymore. The existence of this support forum proves that the developers do care about the gamers and their opinions, before and AFTER they made the purchase!
    Last edited by briank2; 09-04-2008 at 10:01 AM.

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by briank2 View Post
    So it took 7 or 14 or even 30 days days for the hackers to post a working crack. That just means from 30 days after the release, your DRM was pretty much useless to the pirate community, and a support headache for those who don't want to download the crack but have some hardware change/problem.
    Games publishers think that this is worth it. It's that simple.

    There's the basic level of protection against casual friend-to-friend copying that you get with a DVD check. That provides NO extra time, but does keep otherwise honest men from stepping outside the law.

    After that, all these silly extra measures are about buying time in the fight against piracy. And these days ONLY the SILLIEST methods will survive for more than a few hours.

    In the case of Bioshock it was less than 9 days (5 in europe) which is a comparitively long time, and was seen as a success.

    And everything that we've been up against for the YEAR after that break point is a worthless afront to the honest customer.

    Bottom line is: they think it's worth it. Do you?

    Some members of these forums do think that it's worth it. They go to ludicrous lengths to protect the right of 2K to make a buck.

    I say that when you take the fun out of an entertainment product, it ceases to perform its one and only function. Speak to me when it's NOT broken.

    Wasn't Crysis on the PC, which uses this same DRM software, so pirated that Crytek will not make PC-only games anymore? I bought 2 copies (one for me and one for my brother-in-law) the day it came out. What was the point of DRM if Crysis proves it does not prevent piracy?

    Interesting side note: That's what CryTek say. And I'm sure there was a lot of piracy as well. But there's something else to note here - which may have affected the ratio of legitimate consumers:

    Within the gamer community there was actually a tremendous amount of apathy regarding the title.

    Nobody I know wanted to play the game. They just wanted to look at the graphics, because that's the only part of the game they expected to excel. And, from what I've seen, they were right. Honest men made do with the demo. Less honest ones did not. But I know of very few people who were excited enough to play it through on either side of the fence.

    And think about it this way: When you are not interested enough to play a game for free, what are the chances that you will pay for it?

    Note that I do not condone the piracy of the game. Arguably you should make do with the demo, or make do without altogether. But as I've already said, I think that the people who are honest about purchasing games chose to do one of those, rather than buying the game.

    And that's fine of course. There's no moral imperative to buy games, no matter how hard people work on them. You should only buy them if you want them. You shouldn't pirate them, either, of course. But they're not copies of Mao's little red book. You don't HAVE to buy them.

  14. #134
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    I think we can all safely draw the conclusion that DRM (like implemented in Bioshock) is ineffective and cannot prevent piracy.
    Also, I assume that game publishers (notably 2k and EA) know about this all too well. While originally, game publishers tried to fight piracy by initially crude technology, they now have the chance to establish new business models that will be enforced by sophisticated and well-tested (thanks to the customers) DRM.

    You might want to check out the following article. It's about EA and their attitude towards second-hand retailing.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...ical-situation

    In the future, you will probably have to buy a license for the game you like to play. This license then, will expire after you have played a certain amount of time so that you have to pay again and again.
    If I had written this statement a few years before, I would have found it ridiculous. However, looking at the gaming market and well established DRM now, it seems more like a logical step.

    This esentially is the benefit 2k sees in its current DRM scheme. It's all about preparing the market for the next DRM technology. They can't fight piracy, they know that, so they will try to earn as much money through faithful customers as possible.
    Last edited by Paladin; 09-06-2008 at 04:59 AM.

  15. #135
    Quote Originally Posted by Paladin View Post
    I think we can all safely draw the conclusion that DRM (like implemented in Bioshock) is ineffective and cannot prevent piracy.
    Also, I assume that game publishers (notably 2k and EA) know about this all too well. While originally, game publishers tried to fight piracy by initially crude technology, they now have the chance to establish new business models that will be enforced by sophisticated and well-tested (thanks to the customers) DRM.

    You might want to check out the following article. It's about EA and their attitude towards second-hand retailing.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...ical-situation

    In the future, you will probably have to buy a license for the game you like to play. This license then, will expire after you have played a certain amount of time so that you have to pay again and again.
    If I had written this statement a few years before, I would have found it ridiculous. However, looking at the gaming market and well established DRM now, it seems more like a logical step.

    This esentially is the benefit 2k sees in its current DRM scheme. It's all about preparing the market for the next DRM technology. They can't fight piracy, they know that, so they will try to earn as much money through faithful customers as possible.
    DRM even more than disc protection only makes money for itself, and the more games are rushed out the door the more DRM makes games unworkable, a better solution is to go with a full offline install/play mode and then a online/register mode, you have a online account you register the game to in order to make this something people seek to do you give them points on the games they buy or register you sale via the points music,pictures,posters and other stuff.

    You then can buy points with real money in order to get more stuff, you could even sale off maps and real upgrades to the game through the system, patches of course need to be free, but there is a much better way to do this than the online only with install token pants on the head fcktartedness.

  16. #136
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    2K Games take note:

    As of this moment, Spore has a one star rating on Amazon, with 1,117 reviews and 1,035 being 1 star ratings, and nearly all comment about the DRM:

    Amazon Customer Reviews for SPORE

    Paying customers are speaking in volumes. And I didn't even write one of those reviews yet (so just add one to the increasing count). Listen to them.

    -BrianK2

    P.S. The numbers were higher when I previewed my post and checked the URL.

  17. #137
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    Interesting. It looks like this stunt is getting quite a bit of press. I hadn't heard about it until you mentioned it.

    The various articles do point out a few other facts that add to the big picture:
    * Spore currently has a Metacritic rating of 86/100
    * Spore is currently the number #1 top seller among all video game items on Amazon (based on verifiable purchases)
    * product comments can be made by anyone with an Amazon account (so not based on verifiable purchases)
    * Amazon UK has apparently deemed this a stunt and removed all such ratings on their site at least twice already (although no such move has been made by Amazon USA)

    I'll be curious to see if Amazon deems these legitimate and lets them stand.

    Nice to know that the primary complaint in the dozen or so Spore reviews that I read--regarding the 3 install limit--is not an issue for BioShock owners since we have unlimited activations.

  18. #138
    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    Interesting. It looks like this stunt is getting quite a bit of press. I hadn't heard about it until you mentioned it.

    The various articles do point out a few other facts that add to the big picture:
    * Spore currently has a Metacritic rating of 86/100
    * Spore is currently the number #1 top seller among all video game items on Amazon (based on verifiable purchases)
    * product comments can be made by anyone with an Amazon account (so not based on verifiable purchases)
    * Amazon UK has apparently deemed this a stunt and removed all such ratings on their site at least twice already (although no such move has been made by Amazon USA)

    I'll be curious to see if Amazon deems these legitimate and lets them stand.

    Nice to know that the primary complaint in the dozen or so Spore reviews that I read--regarding the 3 install limit--is not an issue for BioShock owners since we have unlimited activations.
    The out cry got them to take the tokens off Mass effect spore might get that treatment sooner rather than later but it seems they have the install/activation issues dealt with for now....

    The trouble with this kind of DRM its begging for bad press when you have a A rated game with thousands of consumers flooding the activation servers. Online only activation is bad, phoning home is bad, install tokens is bad, spying on consumers with DRM is bad.

    The focus needs to change to getting people online to register their game to an account as so the publisher or their partner can sell stuff through it, think steam and live combined only without the online only aspect. Have publishers offer music/pictures/posters and other cheap stuff give points for boxed retail stuff let you charge up points through a Ccard buy downloads for the game, patches need to remain free but you can weed out people with bad keys,lock the game and charge for new keys (50% of the going retail price) focus on gaining profit in front of consumers not from behind with probes....

    And yes this is a non envisage key check system it checks when you are online lock it to account if you got one if not locks the game itself if you are not online it dose not care, the online only aspect of current DRM is silly as its cracked in weeks Bioshock for isntance was cracked in less than month and the patch was cracked a few months befo they decided to remove the activation limit.

    I'l give you some protections work like disc protections they keep the brunt of the masses from copying it, online only DRM only creates bad press and dose not keep those who want it from getting it.

    Switching from disc to online protections when you sign up could be another nice thing to do for consumers, but that is the problem doing things for the consumer not for the hairy 8000LB gorilla butt of the publisher.... altho in the end publishers like hollywood studios will do whatever the cheapest thing is they can get away with on both production and general logic.....

    ggrrrrr now I am pissy *wonders off to play with his monkey.... *

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    Interesting. It looks like this stunt is getting quite a bit of press. I hadn't heard about it until you mentioned it.

    The various articles do point out a few other facts that add to the big picture:
    * Spore currently has a Metacritic rating of 86/100
    * Spore is currently the number #1 top seller among all video game items on Amazon (based on verifiable purchases)
    * product comments can be made by anyone with an Amazon account (so not based on verifiable purchases)
    * Amazon UK has apparently deemed this a stunt and removed all such ratings on their site at least twice already (although no such move has been made by Amazon USA)

    I'll be curious to see if Amazon deems these legitimate and lets them stand.

    Nice to know that the primary complaint in the dozen or so Spore reviews that I read--regarding the 3 install limit--is not an issue for BioShock owners since we have unlimited activations.
    Amazon customers are paying customers. My account has activity, and I have bought from them before (as recently as 2 weeks ago). If Amazon were to pull "reviews" from someone who just signed up an account to post the 1 star review, then it would be interesting to see how many are left. Many reviewers claim to be long term Amazon customers. As far as I know, like me, I'm just one customer who heard about the DRM and got very upset. If you can find a URL dated before Sept 1 that has a decent readership asking people to target Amazon bad reviews, that would give a little more credibility to the stunt claim. Don't let EA's PR spin fool you as a developer. Find out the facts.

    The claim that Spore is the #1 selling game at Amazon may be true, but is also PR spin. If you have access to the information, can you find out how many of those sales were pre-orders submitted over the 3 years the marketing team had advertised for this game, where the buyer was uninformed and the box just shipped anyway. The real story will be in the new purchases, not counting the pre-orders.

    As many people have said, the hackers are too busy to complain because they are playing the game before it was even publicly available, but the people with money are protesting.

    Amazon UK taking down or filtering reviews just makes their whole review system unreliable. I understand filtering for profanity and inflammatory comments, but an opinion is just that - an opinion. I don't have to agree with it. This "stunt" has a secondary benefit in identifying sellers who filter out negative reviews to sell product. I'm taking note of who is filtering and all I will say is that each seller who filters reviews risks alienating their customer base, but it's not appropriate to discuss further here (2K is not involved).

    BTW, I'm glad the game has a high metacritic score. The developers are getting their rating on Amazon and it seems pretty high - it's the "fun" rating just under the reviewers name. However these people chose to rate a games based on the concept, and likely not by actually playing the game. If the DRM gets dropped, and people buy the game, then we should get more accurate reviews.

    I will end on a positive note... I'm real happy about the BioShock activation no longer being limited. It happened just when I was planning on upgrading my hardware. Let's hope future 2K games start with unlimited activation, and not get caught up in DRM. Also, filtering through the DRM comments for Spore, I also see that something is causing the game to only work under 1 login (I assume this is somehow related to the activation scheme). So, currently you cannot have a login for each kid (apparently the profile is online and based on login). Please look into this and if you happen to make games where profiles are tied to an activation account, then the game can handle multiple people in the same house playing the game and keeping individual progress. Most game developers implement profiles, and I don't know why Spore didn't, unless it was heavily tied to the activation scheme.

    -BrianK2
    Last edited by briank2; 09-09-2008 at 07:41 AM.

  20. #140
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    No DRM solution.

    This is exactly why I went console, EULA or not, a customer should not be on his knees begging for another install on something he purchased legally. I understand IP and the dev's right to protect their hard work, but to subject the customer to phone calls, and some not toll free is where I draw the line. Bioshock early on made me go console and I'm totally happy. At times I do miss the mouse and keyboard but not enough to go back to buying incomplete games that require hours of downloading content, outrages hardware specs (Crysis anyone), and forcing software on you that most anti-virus solutions consider to be a threat. NO WAY. More and more gammers are finding the console is the way to go. I have no sympathy for pirates, its stealing plain and simple. But last time I checked, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The DRM just up and says you are a pirate anyway. I loved Bioshock and cant wait for Bioshock2, but no way will I ever buy another PC game. X360 + HDTV=Gamming BLISS.

  21. #141
    I've given up buying PC games.

    Bioshock's DRM - at least at first - seemed more like a rental than a purchase.

    Okay, if that's the way it's got to be, then I'll go for rental instead of purchasing. I signed up with Metaboli a few months ago - it costs me twelve quid a month to access their entire games catalogue. Okay, the games are a few months old at least - and when I stop paying my twelve quid I know can't play the game any more - but at least I know what I'm getting for my money. I think it's an excellent service to be honest.

    I used to spend a lot of money on games too. Thank you 2K for introducing me to the idea of renting games.

  22. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    Interesting. It looks like this stunt is getting quite a bit of press. I hadn't heard about it until you mentioned it.
    When the Bioshock situation hit, we had a lot of trouble getting the message out - and this kind of consumer awareness is a perfectly valid expression. It was just a few of us little guys on the forum, vs all of the hype and 2K's marketing.

    Fiddling the amazon ratings is a bit of a stunt, but since the purpose of the stunt is a valid communication to raise consumer awareness, which it seems to have done, I have a hard time dissapproving.

    I think what I want to say is that just because the method of expression was gaming amazon's ratings, we shouldn't pooh-pooh the message.

    Nice to know that the primary complaint in the dozen or so Spore reviews that I read--regarding the 3 install limit--is not an issue for BioShock owners since we have unlimited activations.
    The bioshock situation is much better NOW. But we must remember that it wasn't always so, and that it took many months before a (nearly) satisfactory situation was reached.

    It will be interesting to see what 2K do with their next release.

  23. #143
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by 2K Elizabeth View Post
    Good news! As promised, all activation restrictions, including install limits, have been removed from BioShock PC as of today. You dont have to patch or install anything for this to go into effect for your copy of BioShock its already done!

    Enjoy your time in Rapture, and thank you for supporting BioShock and the 2K teams.
    Hi 2K Elizabeth.

    Just wanted to say thank you and to let you know that because of this kind gesture, you have now gained yourself a customer here. Now if EA would cop on and pull their heads out of their backsides, I would also buy Spore, but I will be picking up a copy of BioShock in the next couple of days because of this.

    Thank you.

  24. #144
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    I'm happy to report that SecuROM is nowhere to be found in the Steam version of BioShock after my recent install.

  25. #145
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    I am sorry if I am repeating stuff but I don't have time to read the entire thread right now.

    I applaud you (2kgames) for removing said restrictions as promised but I am still left with a foul taste in my mouth.

    You see I bought the game due to high praises from fellow gamers and I have yet to play the game. This is due to the fact that after the installation process I learned of an activation that uses securom and how much evasion/restriction it imposes on me as a user of the game. I am glad to see part of the restriction aspect removed however I am still restricted partly and my system is still being evaded.

    It is a sad day for PC Gaming and for me since PC Gaming is my primary source of entertainment. What you (2kgames) have taught me is to wait until a game is out for a few days and see what low life antics are used in an ill attempt to stop piracy. If no such draconian antics are used I will go buy the game. However in the case of games such as Bioshock and Spore I stay away (or pirate them). I am saddened and frustrated by all of this and I hate to see the push towards console gaming due to this idiotic scenario.

    FYI what would make me happy is to have a "clean" (all forms of DRM removed) copy of bioshock shipped to my door at 2kgames expense. Then I could enjoy the game that I spent my good hard earned money on.

  26. #146
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    If 2K really wants to stop piracy. What they should do is not to use anything like Securom, but include some physical gift which pirate crackers cannot crack. In the case of bioshock, the bioshock needle pen and a medium size poster can satisfy most people I think. For other games, at least include a big poster for every purchase of the normal version(not collector version)

  27. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlorine View Post
    If 2K really wants to stop piracy. What they should do is not to use anything like Securom, but include some physical gift which pirate crackers cannot crack. In the case of bioshock, the bioshock needle pen and a medium size poster can satisfy most people I think. For other games, at least include a big poster for every purchase of the normal version(not collector version)
    That will reduce piracy some but a lot of people don't care about things like that and would prefer digital downloads and no physical medium. I however like your idea though.

  28. #148
    Is it implies on game that is not bought in retail such as direct2drive or steam

  29. #149
    Can you remove the activation limit on bioshock that is purchased from direct2drive
    Last edited by silolauncher; 09-23-2008 at 06:39 AM.

  30. #150
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    spore's torrents have been downloaded over 500,000 times, making it the most torrented game in history. I guess I was right when I said "Treat your customers as customers you make more money. Treat your customers as pirates you make more pirates."

    The DRM didn't do them a bit of good given that the torrent was released almost a week before the game actually came out.

  31. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebelphoenix View Post
    spore's torrents have been downloaded over 500,000 times, making it the most torrented game in history. I guess I was right when I said "Treat your customers as customers you make more money. Treat your customers as pirates you make more pirates."
    How many times would it have been downloaded if there had been no copy protection at all? Is there a link to a statistical model somewhere....? This is such a hot issue, if you've found the proof to lay it to rest I'm all ears.

  32. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    How many times would it have been downloaded if there had been no copy protection at all? Is there a link to a statistical model somewhere....? This is such a hot issue, if you've found the proof to lay it to rest I'm all ears.
    I believe that all you have to do is look on any forum or the amazon spore page to understand sales would have been a hell of a lot higher if it was just a cd in drive, cd key combo.

  33. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebelphoenix View Post
    I believe that all you have to do is look on any forum or the amazon spore page to understand sales would have been a hell of a lot higher if it was just a cd in drive, cd key combo.
    Ah, I see.....

  34. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebelphoenix View Post
    I believe that all you have to do is look on any forum or the amazon spore page to understand sales would have been a hell of a lot higher if it was just a cd in drive, cd key combo.
    Exactly... implement simple copy protection to keep the honest people honest as you will never be able to stop the pirates.

    I wont buy spore or any other EA game now. 2K Games introduced me to this phenomenon and now I have $50 sitting in my closet collecting dust which is sad because everyone rave's about how good bioshock is...

  35. #155
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    I just now found this news. This is great! I've wanted to buy Bioshock for a year but held off due to the activation limit. I'm loading up Steam right now to purchase it! *happy dance*

  36. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by psykoth View Post
    I just now found this news. This is great! I've wanted to buy Bioshock for a year but held off due to the activation limit. I'm loading up Steam right now to purchase it! *happy dance*
    It's a great game, hope you enjoy it.

  37. #157
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    Late

    Sorry for being late to the party, it's good to see some old "war buddies" again! Reason for this short return is not the thread starter though, it's more or less the whole Mass Effect/Spore/Crysis Warhead hullaballoo that got me "into things" again. It will be interesting to see what EA's path will be now that Bioshock has paved the way and provided a nice "case study" for the other companies (1).

    Don't have a lot to say though, as ddave's eloquent post on page 12 of this thread pretty much touches upon the essentials.

    In a nutshell: removal of deactivation limits + Securom uninstaller by Securom(2) + Bioshock being sold for 10 Euros in my store = I just might be bothered to find out what Rapture's all about!

    But wait, the software still doesn't do what I'd like it to do(3)! If the activation servers go down, so does the game! Oh no, what to do?

    2K Elizabeth: "As I promised that the activation limits would go away, I can promise that if we ever stop supporting BioShock in the ways you speak of, we will release a patch so that the game is still playable. I believe, as you seem to, that BioShock will be the kind of game we will want to revisit 5, 10, 15 or more years from now. I want my copy to be playable, just as you do, and so does 2K."

    Oooohhhhh, a promise, just like the other one which took what, only ten months, to become a reality. Question: do I believe you now, 2K Elizabeth? Answer: yes, as much as I did the first time. Question: will I patiently wait until said promise comes true? Answer: I've been patiently waiting so far, so yes!

    Sincerely,
    Destop.

    (1): Don't ask me why, I have the urge to use this smiley for the maximum amount of times the system allows it, minus one! The remainder, I simply have to blow on this:

    (2): Of course, I'll have to dig a little deeper to see whether or not the uninstaller truly removes everything, just like nVidia's driver uninstallers tend to keep some "harmless" files on the HDD. We'll see.

    (3): Namely that I can install the game as many times as I want on as many computers with capable specs as I want, as long as the disc is in working condition (which is, generally speaking, a loooooong time)
    Last edited by Destop; 09-27-2008 at 01:54 AM.

  38. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebelphoenix View Post
    It's a great game, hope you enjoy it.
    Oh man. The reviews did it no justice. This game is incredible! I have to take stress breaks! I've never screamed like this at any game.

  39. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by psykoth View Post
    Oh man. The reviews did it no justice. This game is incredible! I have to take stress breaks! I've never screamed like this at any game.
    I know, it's just too bad 2k decided to go the way they did, as my friends all knew what SecRom was after I got done telling them (read ranting and ****ing) about it, and they said that so long as the game had SecuRom they would not be getting it.

  40. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebelphoenix View Post
    ...my friends all knew what SecRom was after I got done telling them (read ranting and ****ing) about it, and they said that so long as the game had SecuRom they would not be getting it.
    If that's the case, I hope you were thorough and informed them about all the games that use SecuROM, since its a fairly long list of very popular titles. I often wonder how many users have avoided BioShock due to the flap over SecuROM....when all along they already had it on their system because they were playing Neverwinter Nights 2, C&C3: Tiberium Wars, Oblivion (GotY), STALKER, Overlord, Sims, or any number of other titles?

    All I'm saying is to be thorough, if opposing SecuROM is your goal. No point in singling BioShock out when SecuROM is nothing new.

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