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In context it's understandable, though with the benefit of hindsight given the complexities of the licencing model it's obviously something that should have been cleared up during the campaign. Also raises the question of whether it would be possible to, within the constraints they have, provide an alternate DRMed version which has one-time activation but is not linked to a Steam/Steam-like client.

 

Aside, this bit was weird: "These updates will require Backers to re-download the game from the Harebrained Account Website, since it will not include auto-patching functionality." I hope that means directly downloading a patch file and not the entire package....


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If that is the case, unfortunately no sale for HBS :/

 

I am ****ing dissapointed...

 

Why is that?  You can still back the game and get a DRM free version, as well as the expansion, all patches, and even mods.

 

By doing so you aren't supporting DRM in any way, quite the opposite, you are directly supporting the developer and allowing them to circumvent what Microsoft really wants them to do. 

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If that is the case, unfortunately no sale for HBS :/

 

I am ****ing dissapointed...

 

Why is that?  You can still back the game and get a DRM free version, as well as the expansion, all patches, and even mods.

 

By doing so you aren't supporting DRM in any way, quite the opposite, you are directly supporting the developer and allowing them to circumvent what Microsoft really wants them to do. 

I think the implication is he didn't back during the actual KS campaign and thus will not be officially given access to the DRM-free version. Did the previous version of the pre-order page state specifically that you'd only be getting a Steam key? It does now.

 

There's a little bit of a gotcha too there I guess, since I assume that previously there'd be an assumption that the pre-order with the dog tags USB key would have the non-Steam game on it.

Edited by Humanoid

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If that is the case, unfortunately no sale for HBS :/

 

I am ****ing dissapointed...

 

Why is that?  You can still back the game and get a DRM free version, as well as the expansion, all patches, and even mods.

 

By doing so you aren't supporting DRM in any way, quite the opposite, you are directly supporting the developer and allowing them to circumvent what Microsoft really wants them to do. 

 

Because HBS is now only offering Pre-Orders and not anything like slacker-backer stuff... I will not risk my 75USD for the collector's edition I wanted, just to find out, that it will be Steam only...

 

I have also written an email directly to HBS informing them about my dissatisfaction and lost sale...

 

EDIT: @Humanoid... It was not stated in pre-orders few weeks ago, that you are getting only Steam key... Fortunately for me, I spent to much money on tabletop gaming in March, so I decided to wait for my next paycheck... I ended up very disappointed, but at least I saved 75USD...

Edited by Mamoulian War

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You'd probably be better served contacting Microsoft, as by the sounds of it there is nothing that HBS can do about it.  I suppose they can forward your email on.

 

The only other real recourse is "what constitutes acceptable DRM for Microsoft" since one could argue a CD Key is DRM.

Edited by alanschu

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Maybe you are right, but I do not believe my mail to Microsoft would had been read by the responsible person for this deal... HBS is smaller company, so there is bigger chance, the right people will see it...


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Things like this will end up pretty awkward logistically too. I mean, I get three copies of the game out of this, nominally the boxed copy, the dogtag copy (even though it's blank it counts as a copy), and the base digital copy. This is confirmed by me getting three Steam keys for the game. But it terms of giving away copies, if the receiving party wanted DRM-free then I'd have to give them access to my HBS website account, or otherwise resort to, ahem, unofficial channels.


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Things like this will end up pretty awkward logistically too. I mean, I get three copies of the game out of this, nominally the boxed copy, the dogtag copy (even though it's blank it counts as a copy), and the base digital copy. This is confirmed by me getting three Steam keys for the game. But it terms of giving away copies, if the receiving party wanted DRM-free then I'd have to give them access to my HBS website account, or otherwise resort to, ahem, unofficial channels.

 

Heh, no such thing as a DRM free lunch.

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Maybe you are right, but I do not believe my mail to Microsoft would had been read by the responsible person for this deal... HBS is smaller company, so there is bigger chance, the right people will see it...

 

Fair enough.

 

The only real issue I have here is that they could have (and maybe should have) disclosed the terms of the license arrangement.  I wonder if there's an oversight on their part where they either felt that they'd be able to convince MS that DRM wasn't necessary, or that they didn't fully realize that the DRM free option only applied to backers.

 

 

Though more generally, as far as DRM-free people are concerned it sounds like the product is roughly equivalent to "a game that gets made and released, and has no post release content."

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I just hope Microsoft DRM for future DLC content doesn't mean <horrific Microsoft "service" that shall not be named>.  

 

/shudders

 

If so, that means no future DLC content for me.

:wacko:

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Non-DRM version will be patched, editor and fan content will be supported. HBS really needed to tell people this with the campaign, their excuses are not satisfactory, I'm fine with a small company choosing platforms for practical reasons but they knew full well that they were going to have to release DLC with DRM from a decree from a publisher but chose not to tell anyone. I wouldn't blame people that don't want to use Steam if they pirated all the DLC, and Microsoft Studios will have to "deal with it". I guess this is what happens when publishers get involved in KickStarter.

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It's not a Publisher getting involved with Kickstarter.

 

It's a developer licensing some IP to make a game out of it.  In fact, I doubt this could even remotely be considered a Publisher-Developer model, because I doubt that MS is offering any sort of compensation towards HBS.

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Other way around, I would think. Else there's no point for MS in licensing it and it might as well stay in the IP vault or be sold outright.

 

HBS really needed to tell people this with the campaign, their excuses are not satisfactory

 

I agree- I don't like steam, but I didn't complain about something like Carmaggedon when it was steam key only; nor PE, except for saying I wouldn't contribute to a steam only project. Because both were honest about it. This requirement* is clearly something that was written into their contract and they were- or should have been- aware of at the time of the KS but told nobody about. Had they done so the issue would not have come up at all, in some ways this explanation is actually worse than the alternative.

 

Not to mention what would have happened had they not got onto steam.

 

*Which is interesting in itself, I guess it explains why AOE2HD won't be on GOG and makes it unlikely that any MS stuff ever will be.

Edited by Zoraptor

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This requirement* is clearly something that was written into their contract and they were- or should have been- aware of at the time of the KS but told nobody about.

It seems highly unlikely that it actually said "you have the right to make a game using Shadowrun IP, but must not release it without DRM" in so many words. Microsoft's ability to insist on DRM is far more probably granted by some obscure term of the license that doesn't directly reference DRM at all.

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Yeah, I'd tend to assume that it's sort of a boilerplate global requirement when any studio, KS-backed or not, deals with Microsoft Games. But it does indicate negligence in any case, either failure to read fine print, or a misinformed (or overconfident) assumption about how far their exemption went. We'll discount malice for now. :p

 

Random tangent: This week, after seeing the poor reception for AoE2HD, I went ahead and bought a budget disc re-release of the CE (AoE1+2+expansions) for a tenner. The rerelease was published by Ubisoft for whatever reason. UserPatch 1.2 works great by the way.


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Other way around, I would think. Else there's no point for MS in licensing it and it might as well stay in the IP vault or be sold outright.

 

For sure, this arrangement is definitely HBS giving MS money, rather than MS publishing the title themselves.

 

 

 

This requirement* is clearly something that was written into their contract and they were- or should have been- aware of at the time of the KS but told nobody about. Had they done so the issue would not have come up at all, in some ways this explanation is actually worse than the alternative.

 

I'd like to give it some benefit of the doubt that they misunderstood what level the DRM free would actually cover, but I am just guessing.  I do agree that it's them dropping the ball here regardless.

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Regardless of what was written in contracts, they stated in the update that they knew this was a requirement, and that they had to go ask for an exemption for the KickStarter rewards. I don't see how this isn't deceit through omission, and of course malice by Microsoft Studios which is to be expected.

It's not a Publisher getting involved with Kickstarter.

They clearly are involved, I didn't mean they decided to be involved, but their corrupting influence is there nevertheless.

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Regardless of what was written in contracts, they stated in the update that they knew this was a requirement, and that they had to go ask for an exemption for the KickStarter rewards.

It doesn't say they knew all along, though; I would expect that Microsoft contacted them after the kickstarter saying "what's all this about DRM-free versions of the game? You can't do that!" "But there's nothing about DRM in the contract!" "Ah, but [500 pages of legal mumbo jumbo]." "Oh... but we've already promised DRM-free to all our backers!" "Oh, alright, we'll let you fulfil the letter of that promise, but not a byte more."

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Well, that would require a final approval clause or similar, if DRM wasn't spelt out. That is still both something that should have been mentioned and something where they should have sought clarification before making their offer. No one forced them to say 'DRM free', they chose to do it.

 

I wouldn't call it malice by MS, they could have sat on the licence and they're within their rights to make whatever stipulations they like when licensing. That's true for anyone- if Valve were to licence Half Life or one of their other properties I'd fully expect them to write steam integration into the contract, even if it were for a KS. That is an inherent factor when it comes to using licensed properties, and there is no evidence that MS is being unreasonable here, quite the opposite given that their policy has been waived at least partly.

 

OTOH I find it very difficult to envisage a situation where Harebrained are not either incompetent (not reading their contract properly) or malicious (reading it properly but not being upfront about it). Neither alternative is very edifying.

Edited by Zoraptor

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This all seems to be about DLC, was that even really something talked about in the early part of this campaign?

 

To be honest, I rarely touch DLC anyways, so even if I was against Steam, I don't see how this would be a huge issue for me.

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It doesn't say they knew all along, though; I would expect that Microsoft contacted them after the kickstarter saying "what's all this about DRM-free versions of the game? You can't do that!" "But there's nothing about DRM in the contract!" "Ah, but [500 pages of legal mumbo jumbo]." "Oh... but we've already promised DRM-free to all our backers!" "Oh, alright, we'll let you fulfil the letter of that promise, but not a byte more."

 

Eh, it's possible.  I think it's a bit easy to just lump the blame on big bad Microsoft.  I'd be more willing to ascribe this to be an oversight due to enthusiasm that they seemed to be getting their opportunity, coupled with the idea that DLC aspects may have been overlooked as well.

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Regardless of what was written in contracts, they stated in the update that they knew this was a requirement, and that they had to go ask for an exemption for the KickStarter rewards.

It doesn't say they knew all along, though; I would expect that Microsoft contacted them after the kickstarter saying "what's all this about DRM-free versions of the game? You can't do that!" "But there's nothing about DRM in the contract!" "Ah, but [500 pages of legal mumbo jumbo]." "Oh... but we've already promised DRM-free to all our backers!" "Oh, alright, we'll let you fulfil the letter of that promise, but not a byte more."

 

 

It does say that. It states that they asked for a exemption for the KickStarter rewards, implying they knew, and they knew the limits of the exemption. Edited by AwesomeOcelot

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This all seems to be about DLC, was that even really something talked about in the early part of this campaign?

 

To be honest, I rarely touch DLC anyways, so even if I was against Steam, I don't see how this would be a huge issue for me.

 

Personally, I don't care about clothing or portrait packs or probably most of the stuff they will put out as DLC but they also hope to add more cities, stories, campaigns and the like and that is something I do care about. If they call it DLC or expansion pack it doesn't matter as all future content will be on Steam or possible other DRM platform (dunno what that would be but they said it). I'm not going to lie and say that I wouldn't have backed it if they would have been upfront about the DRM requirement but I definitely would have backed it for a lot less. I'm still happy to be getting the game but all this drama has kind of put a damper on it all, it's hard for me to explain. So yeah, I'll probably switch sides like Anakin and start using the Steam version when the post Berlin stuff starts rolling out because my love of Shadowrun (like half the posts in thread are mine) overrides my aversion of Steam 


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It does say that. It states that they asked for a exemption for the KickStarter rewards, implying they knew, and they knew the limits of the exemption.

It does not explicitly say when they asked, and "This didn’t come up earlier" strongly implies that they didn't know till after the conclusion of the kickstarter. It would be quite a stretch to read it as saying they asked for the exemption before the Kickstarter; apart from anything else, why would MS grant such an exemption in advance?

OTOH I find it very difficult to envisage a situation where Harebrained are not either incompetent (not reading their contract properly)

Interpretation of contracts can be a very complex matter.

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