Posts Tagged: ‘piracy’

DRM Is Evil. Game Maker Has Horrible DRM. Game Maker Is Evil.

November 28, 2012 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Game Maker DRM is EvilCross Posted from Divine Knight Gaming.

I will never understand why companies continue to insist on using DRM. It makes absolutely no sense to punch your paying customers in the gut, call them pirates and tell them to stop stealing your stuff. These are your paying customers. They paid you. Why would you insist on treating them like thieves?

DRM is absolutely one of the most evil inventions in software. If you read anything I write here or elsewhere, you will know how I feel about DRM and companies that use it. I will never use it in any game I develop nor would I be willing to deal with DRM as a consumer. As a Linux user, I have to deal with the fallout from DRM on a most everyday basis. I am not legally allowed to watch DVDs on my computer. I couldn’t until recently watch Netflix on my computer. (I only can because some very clever developers not affiliated with Netflix made it possible.) And many games will not run properly even through Wine because the DRM is incompatible. All these things have soured me to any company that uses it.

That is why the recent news of Game Maker’s absolutely disgusting DRM implementation has me gagging. YoYo games go so far beyond what most companies do with DRM that they are beyond redemption. This company has designed their software that if it so much as gets a hint of you being a pirate, they will permanently vandalize your game. Seriously. They will force images of the Jolly Roger onto all your sprites in a bid to shame you into… what… paying? Paying for software you already paid for? That is the kicker. The people getting hit by this “retribution” paid for the software. They are not pirates.

The problems with this DRM seem to be so bad that the only way to recover from it is to completely uninstall Game Maker, delete every last trace of the program from your computer and reinstall. That is absolutely unacceptable. So not only is the developer out the time it take to clean up their computer and reinstall the software, they also have to spend days possibly weeks restoring their artwork. For what? They privilege of paying? I am sorry. That is evil.

To make matters worse, according to one former paying customer, they have absolutely horrid customer service that will at the earliest possible moment, accuse you of piracy. Then they will treat you like crap and silence you if you try to complain. No. That is wrong on every level.

I had long ago made the decision to not use Game Maker in my game development work. Primarily because it lacks support for Linux. But this seals the deal for me. I will never recommend this tool for any game developer, ever. I will never willingly submit anyone to such destructive and abusive developers. No one deserves to have their hard work destroyed in that way.

It doesn’t even matter that YoYo has promised to strip out that particular action from the DRM. Why? Because they will continue to rely on other just as bad if passive attacks on you the paying customers. It is time that this company felt the pains that come with such tactics. They need to lose business. Those using the tool, need to stop. There are plenty of other great tools available that you could use. I have talked about several. There are many more that I have not talked about.

We just need to stop supporting DRM using companies altogether. If they insist on treating paying customers like trash and thieves, they do not deserve our business. They deserve to fail. That is all there is to it.

Indie Game Developer Posts Game on Pirate Bay, Sees Positive Results

September 14, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

This post was originally published on Techdirt.

While many large game development and publishing houses complain about and attempt to fight piracy and torrents of their games, smaller, more flexible studios are attempting to use such avenues to their advantage. Such is the case with No Time To Explain developers tinyBuild.

TorrentFreak points out that tinyBuild saw an opportunity with the Pirate Bay to spread word of their game. The developers posted their game to the popular torrent site after adding pirate hats to all the game characters. A lot of people laughed and ended up buying the game. As tinyBuild told TorrentFreak:

We thought it’d be funny to leak a pirate version ourselves which is literally all about pirates and pirate hats. I mean, some people are going to torrent it either way, we might as well make something funny out of it.We saw very positive WTF REALLY feedback from users, and saw reactions that people bought it simply because they liked the joke. So we don’t see it hurting sales in any way.

While such a move might not work for everyone, it does show that if a developer is willing to connect with fans, they can garner a lot of good will and possibly some extra sales. Even if that connection happens on one of those dirty pirate websites.

[Updated] With No Legal Options, The Only Options Are Illegal

August 2, 2011 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Sanctuary LogoTwo years ago, my wife and I found the Syfy series Sanctuary on Netflix. The first 2 seasons were available and we watched all of it. We loved the show. We were really excited about catching the third season this past year. However, we do not subscribe to cable or satellite television and were unable to catch the new episodes as they aired. So we turned to Hulu.com. This was great because Sanctuary season two ended on quite a cliff hanger.

Sadly, we were very disappointed with the news that after episode 2, new episodes would have to wait a full month before they would be available for streaming either on Hulu or Syfy’s own website. We ended up forgetting about the show and missing several episodes before we remembered. This is where another poor policy stepped in. Syfy only allows the last 5 episodes to stream. By the time we remembered to start watching, 2 or 3 episodes were already knocked off the internet. This made us upset and we just stopped watching.

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Of Betamax and Mod Chips

June 29, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Throughout the games industry there is a big debate on the legality of Mod Chips, those nifty little circuit boards and cartridges that allow for people to do things with video game consoles that the manufacturers did not intend. We all know what they are capable of doing, pirating games being the most hotly debated. What we may not realize is that they have a lot in common with another device that has become a home staple, the VCR.

Back in the 70s, Sony introduced their entry in the home video cassette format war, Betamax. Betamax, much like VHS, allowed for the recording and playback of television broadcasts. Some companies in the entertainment business were not happy as they felt that the ability for home viewers to record shows and movies and play them back at later times constituted copyright infringement and that Sony should be held liable for providing the tools that made it so easy.

So what did these entertainment companies do? They sued Sony. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States and became known as Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. (http://supreme.justia.com/us/464/417/case.htm) (more…)

What Can Be Done about the Used Games Market?

June 29, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Here are some interesting thoughts. The used game market is complained about by the suppliers of games more than any entertainment market out there. There are stores that sell used music, used videos, used books, used comics, used toys etc. Very few individuals from those industries complain about their used market and any that do are not as vocal as those from the games industry. So why does the games industry complain so much and so loudly? What can be done to alleviate their concerns? Let’s talk.

First, Why do they complain? Well the first reason I can think of is that the used game market does not add any money directly in the pockets of those who create them. This can be concerning for those who are struggling to profit or are barely breaking even. From what I have read and heard, the used game market is often put on the same level as piracy. After all, if you are not putting money in the pockets of the developers you are essentially stealing. At least that is what they want you to think. (more…)