Copy protection: training users to not buy or pirate games

I buy my PC/console/etc games, largely because I know that as the world’s constructed, the people who produce games I want to play need money now, in the same way I know that if I don’t buy some band’s album, or go to their concerts — yeah. I feel good that I have my NOLF boxes kicking around, and Full Throttle, and whatever.

The problem with this is that it totally sucks, especially on the PC. You get stuck with Star Force or whatever installed, and when I run a game I bought, sometimes they scan my system and complain about other programs… it’s a hassle, and it makes me not want to buy them.

I pre-ordered Bioshock, for example, and it asked for the serial number. and it kept rejecting my serial number. I had to go through and figure out which ambiguously printed letter/number was which. What kind of total crap is that, when they can’t forsake 0/O I/1 or at least print them so that they’re easy to differentiate?

Plus, it includes SecureRom, which means it fucks up my machine generally. AWESOME. THANKS.

Meanwhile, there’s a ton of pirated versions already out there. So the choice I’m presented with each time I consider buying a PC game, really, is:
– Buy, have to install malware with the game, figure out what software I have on my computer doesn’t work with that species of malware, probably tweak my anti-virus/firewall software, get treated like a criminal, or
– Be a criminal and pirate it

Really? That’s the choice you want me to be making? Seriously, they’re training legitimate buyers to go online, find the cracks, and use them on software they bought. Did they think that through? That all the people who go through that will make the same decision next time, instead of thinking “As long as I’m downloading the pirated version anyway, maybe I should get it first…”

Crazy. It’s just crazy. The game’s pretty sweet, if you’re curious, though it’s super important to get a high frame rate and update to the beta drivers if you’ve got an nVidia card: it’s way, way too hard to play otherwise, to the point where it’s not even fun.

One thought on “Copy protection: training users to not buy or pirate games

  1. kenshin

    arrgghh….this sucks. My computer is only 2 years old and I don’t think it has the horses to run bioshock. 1 gig of ram? dual core processing? Ungodly video card? These are the reasons I hate PC gaming.

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