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Magister Lajciak

Almost out of the game market... or just a transition?

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Over the past few years, my participation in the market for games has essentially drawn to a halt. The main reason behind this is the proliferation of online DRM, which I am unwilling to tolerate on the products I purchase. The last Obsidian Entertainment product I have bought, for example, was The Mask of the Betrayer (an awesome game, btw) and I haven't purchased many other companies' games since then either (I have bought King's Bonuty, Dragon Age and maybe a couple of other games). Of course, replaying older games is still a favorite past-time, as are PnP games and game design, but I have practically stopped even following the development of new games, as I can pretty much automatically assume they will have an online DRM system - an instant interest-killer for me.

 

Recently, though, whereas it does seem that the transition to online DRM is pretty much complete among major publishers, smaller developers are working on independent projects that are interesting and online DRM free, so I am wondering if instead of exiting the gaming market altogether, I may be simply transitioning from the mainstream market to more independent projects. Just yesterday, I bought a game again after a long, long time: Torchlight 2 and it seems that a DRM-free Grim Dawn is coming next year from the makers of Titan Quest. Today, I have just learned that Obsidian Entertainment is planning to release a DRM-free game in about two years and even held a Kickstarter for that. So the news is not quite as bleak as I had assumed in computer gaming (I thought I would have to remain content with the games I had purchased in the past). Goof as they were, there might be no more Blizzard or Bioware Games that I can buy, but promising CRPGs without online DRM are still on the horizon. :)

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Look up many kickstarter projects, and I think you will not be disappointed if they keep enough promises alive... the next two years will be definitely interesting...


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My PS Platinums - 19 games so far (my PSN profile)

 

 

1) God of War III - PS3 - 24+ hours

2) Final Fantasy XIII - PS3 - 130+ hours

3) White Knight Chronicles International Edition - PS3 - 525+ hours

4) Hyperdimension Neptunia - PS3 - 80+ hours

5) Final Fantasy XIII-2 - PS3 - 200+ hours

6) Tales of Xillia - PS3 - 135+ hours

7) Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 - PS3 - 152+ hours

8.) Grand Turismo 6 - PS3 - 81+ hours (including Senna Master DLC)

9) Demon's Souls - PS3 - 197+ hours

10) Tales of Graces f - PS3 - 337+ hours

11) Star Ocean: The Last Hope International - PS3 - 750+ hours

12) Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - PS3 - 127+ hours

13) Soulcalibur V - PS3 - 73+ hours

14) Gran Turismo 5 - PS3 - 600+ hours

15) Tales of Xillia 2 - PS3 - 302+ hours

16) Mortal Kombat XL - PS4 - 95+ hours

17) Project CARS Game of the Year Edition - PS4 - 120+ hours

18) Dark Souls - PS3 - 197+ hours

19) Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory - PS3 - 238+ hours

 

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I don't mind a little DRM but I definitely don't like have to be online or have to sign up/install for some extra service to use it. I gave in and use Steam occasionally but if I eventually need 20 different Steam-like thingies to play games (eg, one for every publisher) I'm going to toss my hands up and stick to GoG/old pc games and jigsaw puzzles. :p

 

So yeah, I know how you feel, even if I'm less hardlined about it. But between GoG starting to have more new release indies once in a while and Kickstarter, I have hope that there'll still be no-hassle games around for a while yet. You just have to look a little harder for them.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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I think that if 20 "steam clones" pop up, there'll be 20 other "no DRM" services that equally pop up, to service people like 'us'. I mean, I think Gabe would do away with Steam's DRM all together if a serious competitor showed up that didn't have DRM. GOG just isn't a strong enough player to force Steam's hand just yet.


I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

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I think that if 20 "steam clones" pop up, there'll be 20 other "no DRM" services that equally pop up, to service people like 'us'. I mean, I think Gabe would do away with Steam's DRM all together if a serious competitor showed up that didn't have DRM. GOG just isn't a strong enough player to force Steam's hand just yet.

That would be nice ... let's hope so! :)

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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I've got to admit that i'm sometimes left a little perplexed at the lengths publishers will go to with their drm, it seems almost counter intuitive to the basic sales mantra of getting your product to the customer. Like LadyCrimson and Anubite i'm always left pleasantly surprised when using GOG, it really is a service built to facilitate and please the customer. Still with the massive sales of Diablo 3, one can certainly argue that many don't mind the use of draconian drm, nor having to schedule their leisure time around the servers wobblers.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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One of the reasons I never touch a Ubisoft title again. Not that I wasn't tempted by the original Assassins Creed when it was on sale.

 

I grudgingly caved in and installed Origin (because I already had an EA account from the past), making it the only (inferior) Steam copy so far. Besides Ubisoft titles, anything with GFWL on the sticker gets to stay on the shelf too (Little Lamplight isn't the only reason I didn't bother reinstalling FO3). So yeah, I can understand the sentiment :)

 

The entire idea behind things like Steam and Origin is control and tying the customer to the publisher, so they can target their sales efforts and reap your money through sales and microtransactions. Insidious, but it seems to work.

 

Most of my purchases these days happens through Gamersgate, GoG and Humble Bundle.


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Origin and Steam aren't half as bad as people like to make out. Got to say though, that Uplay is damn annoying.

 

GOG just isn't a strong enough player to force Steam's hand just yet.

 

And won't ever be.


cylon_basestar_eye.gif

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I've hypocritically succumbed to Steam and they have improved non-update / offline mode settings, but I'm just fine with skipping Ubisoft games. Until they release Beyond Good & Evil 2 they're not likely to create anything I want that much, anyway. Same with Origin, seeing as I no longer play Bioware games...

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Speaking personally, the only problem I have with Steam and all the other drm's, is that they're an added layer of complication that I neither need nor want. I do not pirate software, so why am I being targeted by these rather draconian methods. That said with Steam safely sandboxed and offline for months at a time, i'm not too put out by it. I still however do not see the reason for such constant vigilance of ones customers, i'm certainly not that interested in the people employed at Valve, it's a little offputting.

 

Mind you, my own family aren't usually that interested in me so it's also somewhat flattering.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I made a similar transition where a majority of my gaming these days is done via the PS3 instead of the PC simply because of draconian DRM. It's funny because publishers want to blame piracy for fallen Retail sales when in truth that's not it at all in most of the West (though with how rampant piracy is in the East, I could completely see that point of view). In truth, they shot themselves in the foot with their sales by their DRM schemes.

 

Blizzard would disagree however...they've sold what...10 million copies of D3 at this point?

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I don't see what is draconian about steam or how steam spies on customers. I don't use steam a lot, so I've no idea what you two are talking about.

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What's the problem with Steam or other DRM?

 

Well, schemes that need an internet connection all the time to keep playing the game or just launch it is a bit too intrusive and rather flawed - one point of failure and that game you 'own' you can't even use. For Steam, I guess it's that concern as well, I think Steam had an outage on Christmas morning for a couple of hours as an example.


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Blizzard would disagree however...they've sold what...10 million copies of D3 at this point?

Blizzard was in unique position with Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 as they were follow-ups to very popular games.

There is no guarantee that their sequels could push DRM to the extend those 2 titles have.

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This is one of the reasons why I'm backing Kickstarter games and just waiting for publisher released games to come down to below $10.

 

That and every game has to have QTE now, something that can be added to the game without any effort, as if I want control taken away from me every 5 minutes and have to repeatedly press a button that I'm told to, which is obviously for brain dead people who don't want to or can't play games (hello The Walking Dead/Heavy Rain fans). I'm not a conspiracy theorist but someone is definitely buying shares in gamepad manufacturers, because that's the only explanation I have for the amount of games that tell me to repeatedly bash the X button.

 

One of the reasons I never touch a Ubisoft title again. Not that I wasn't tempted by the original Assassins Creed when it was on sale.

 

Assassins Creed is terrible anyway, I could only play it for a couple of hours, it's highly repetitive and the story is filled with as many tired tropes as possible that are pretty idiotic (genetic memory, Templar conspiracy, not again). I installed Assassins Creed II the other day and it launched this Uplay thing, that also installed a plugin in every browser without asking me, so I quickly uninstalled it. Ubisoft are such morons, I'm not going to buy another one of their games until they stop this bull****. GFWL is buggy and game-breaking (Bioshock 2), but when it works (by manually installing it) you just sign in once and forget about it, the same with EA's Dragon Age Origins and Crysis 2, login once, forget, unlike Uplay.

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Kickstarter definitively feels like a step in the right direction, don't think that it will stay strong on the long term. Right now its relatively new and still has momentum from all the hype, once it dies down I wonder if it will have permanence. I do expect someone to come up with a more stable alternative.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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