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The Witcher 3 and Projekt Red's DRM-Free Stand

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the do-you-swear-to-give-the-whole-game-and-nothing-but-the-game dept.

Piracy 115

An anonymous reader writes "This article goes into the making of upcoming fantasy title The Witcher 3. The studio, CD Projekt Red, reveals that, unusually, it'll be releasing the game as a DRM-free download. 'We believe that DRM does more harm to legit gamers than good for the gaming industry, that's why the game will also be completely DRM-free,' says the game's level designer, Miles Tost. The game will build on the strengths of The Witcher 2 while attempting to broaden its scope. 'We want to combine the strong pull of closed-world RPGs story-wise, with a world where you can go anywhere and do anything you want.'"

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Linky? (1)

HuguesT (84078) | about 8 months ago | (#46827837)

Hello, anything more substantial than this nice summary one can read somewhere ?

Re:Linky? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46827857)

It's contained within the talk linked here. [vg247.com]

Hey, new witcher out? (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 8 months ago | (#46832123)

Buying it! Especially since it's DRM free. 10+ points CD Projekt!

Re:Linky? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46827915)

Hello, anything more substantial than this nice summary one can read somewhere ?

The link was removed due to EA not approving of this message.

Re:Linky? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46829979)

It was from the article http://www.redbull.com/en/games/stories/1331646865514/the-witcher-3-next-gen-skyrim-arrives (not VG247)

Which article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46827847)

Which article? Please link.

What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46827867)

What kind of DRM? There's the Steam-type which let's be honest very few people complain about then there's the draconian 3 activations and you can't activate it again type. People hate that shit.

Re:What kind? (4, Insightful)

seebs (15766) | about 8 months ago | (#46827935)

So far as I can tell, DRM-free means "no DRM".

FWIW, I actually find Steam really annoying. I usually use a couple of computers at once, and I sometimes have a slow-paced game on one and want to play something faster on another while, say, waiting for turns to process or something. I can do this with even the most draconian DRM schemes, but not with Steam. Yes, I'm aware of Offline Mode. Valve Support has told me that it is in fact prohibited to use Offline Mode to run another copy of Steam, even if I'm using it to play a different game.

Re:What kind? (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 8 months ago | (#46828113)

It's an acceptable tradeoff for me. Though I have loathed it since its inception, I have warmed up to Steam over the years, mostly because the huge discounts offered through sales have resulted in a vast library of games that the Steam client organizes pretty neatly for me. It also does away with any sort of installation hassle. I do not miss having to hunt one or more patches on a publisher's site to apply to my 1.0 version. I also don't miss physical media being subject to damage, having to search for a CD or no-CD patches or paying more than U$5 for a game.

It's not that I actively like Steam DRM, it's that, in light of the benefits it provides and in how is doesn't affect my usage pattern, I don't mind it. It's only when compared to activation limits, mandatory connection for single player and other aberrations that is shines in a benign light.

Re:What kind? (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 8 months ago | (#46828131)

It's only when compared to activation limits, mandatory connection for single player and other aberrations that is shines in a benign light.

If your only argument in favor of something is "It's better than other bad things.", you may have a problem on your hands. Well, you said you don't actively like Steam DRM, but continuing to use Steam only ensures that it'll never change.

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828177)

There are DRM-free games on Steam. It's used for the download, it's stored in the Steam folder, but you can play it without Steam running. You can do everything you can with a DRM-free game purchased elsewhere. Make copies if you like, very useful for mods.

Re:What kind? (3, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#46828339)

. Well, you said you don't actively like Steam DRM, but continuing to use Steam only ensures that it'll never change.

He likes stuff like disc based securom drm even less.

If he refuses to use everything he doesn't like, he won't play very many games at all.

but continuing to use Steam only ensures that it'll never change

Steam has added family accounts, and now family library sharing features. These don't solve the problem yet, but they are baby steps forwards towards solving some the biggest complaints most people have about steam's drm.

Re:What kind? (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 8 months ago | (#46828549)

If he refuses to use everything he doesn't like, he won't play very many games at all.

Well, that's what I do. I still play Doom (with source ports) and other old games (many sold on GOG), and I have no problems.

Steam has added family accounts, and now family library sharing features. These don't solve the problem yet, but they are baby steps forwards towards solving some the biggest complaints most people have about steam's drm.

My complaint is that Valve itself supports DRM at all. If it were just a problem of the developers, it wouldn't be Valve's problem at all.

Re:What kind? (1)

BiIl_the_Engineer (3618863) | about 8 months ago | (#46828559)

Well, that's what I do. I still play Doom (with source ports) and other old games (many sold on GOG), and I have no problems.

Of course, people who have to play all the latest games might not like this. But it's not like DRM-free games don't exist; there are many.

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46831391)

If he refuses to use everything he doesn't like, he won't play very many games at all.

Sure, that is what I do, it saves a lot of time.

There is nothing that forces me to play games and if I have to install something like Steam to play I always go for the option of doing something else.
Not that I think that my money makes much difference when it comes to the policies of the large companies but at least I don't have to be part of it. (Heck, from what I have seen they are willing to reduce the player experience at a loss if they think the buzzwords sounds nice.)

Re:What kind? (1)

bored (40072) | about 8 months ago | (#46828167)

See GOG.com (where I purchased witcher 2, which I have yet to play). Same basic idea, lots of discounts, nice organization, etc.. Only no DRM! None at all!

The selection though is a little more limited, For me though I tend to enjoy old games just as much as new ones. The combination of GOG, humble indy bundles, and a couple other similar sources keeps me well stocked with DRM free games.

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828345)

lol, ok so i don't fee bad for buying w2 and not playing it. i bought it to support their drm free model.

Re:What kind? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#46828479)

The selection though is a little more limited,

A lot more limited, but they also have one of the best and largest old game libraries. I love gog for old games.

My 'beef' with GoG for indy games though was Linux support. I buy a cross platform indy game on steam and I get pc+mac+linux. On GoG I only got PC+Mac downloads.

Recently GoG has announced a committment to support linux, and I couldn't be happier to hear this!

Another quirk with GoG's model is that its a bit at odds with paid expansions. For old games, all the expansions that are are ever going to come out have come out, but what about expansions / paid DLC for current still in production indy games. -- And I believe I read its one of the main reasons AI War, for example, is not on GoG. I'm not sure what the solution here is.

Re:What kind? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 8 months ago | (#46831773)

Another quirk with GoG's model is that its a bit at odds with paid expansions. For old games, all the expansions that are are ever going to come out have come out, but what about expansions / paid DLC for current still in production indy games. -- And I believe I read its one of the main reasons AI War, for example, is not on GoG. I'm not sure what the solution here is.

How so? GOG already has a number of DLCs and both free and paid expansions (I've only bothered committing the new Shadowrun expansion to memory, though). Where's the issue between that and the No DRM policy?

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46833001)

A dev from Arcen Games said that GOG doesn't want games with DLC content.
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,14861.msg164412.html#msg164412

According to the same dev., you can play their games without Steam even if you got the game from Steam.
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,14861.msg165746.html#msg165746

Re:What kind? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 8 months ago | (#46835193)

That's odd. I'm going to bring that up on the GOG forums, but I suspect there's some BS going on at some layer.

Did a quick check: There are several games on GOG with DLC.

Shadowrun (mentioned before)
Sword of the Stars: The Pit
Omerta: City of Gangsters
Strike Suit Zero
Blackguards
Democracy 3
Divinity: Dragon Commander

So I'm not sure where they got that...

Re:What kind? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 8 months ago | (#46828643)

See GOG.com (where I purchased witcher 2, which I have yet to play). Same basic idea, lots of discounts, nice organization, etc.. Only no DRM! None at all!

Witcher 2 was a bad example.

Every version of The Witcher 2 sold on services that weren't sold through GOG had DRM when the game launched. This included retail copies, which had SecuRom.

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828681)

Still, you had to have a laugh going onto the usual crack sites and seeing: Witcher 2 Fixed-EXE; cracked by gog

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828923)

If I remember correctly, the most popular torrent version of the witcher 2 was actually one that wasn't from gog, wouldn't surprise me since a cracking group would have no interest in cracking something without DRM. And people often do like to download from a cracking group that made themselves a name rather than a random crack somewhere.

Re:What kind? (2)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about 8 months ago | (#46831065)

Did retail copies bought in Poland have SecuROM, or any DRM at all? Those are the only copies that were published by CD-Projekt. In North America Atari had publishing rights (later, Warner Bros. took over), Europe and Australia had Bandai Namco, and Japan had CyberFront. It was the other publishers, not CD-Projekt, who added DRM to retail copies. CD-Projekt responded by arranging it so that if you bought The Witcher 2 from anywhere then you could go here [gog.com] and get the game DRM-free from GOG at no additional cost.

So I think The Witcher 2 is an excellent example of the lengths they'd go to against DRM.

Re:What kind? (2)

Warma (1220342) | about 8 months ago | (#46831555)

I bought the game from GoG, but loved to hear about that when it happened. CD-Projekt are true bros and one of the studios I really want to support.

I was about to say that I'd buy their games even if they weren't as good as they are, but you could actually do quite a bit worse than Witcher 2 and still have a game worth playing.

Re:What kind? (1)

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) | about 8 months ago | (#46831539)

GOG is nice but I personally wish they had a proper client. Sure, it's not like many of the games on GOG receive updates and hence need some of the features provided by Steam but I personally enjoy the organisation aspects of Steam.

Re:What kind? (4, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46828451)

There is no requirement for DRM on Steam. It's a distribution platform first and formaost, and there are DRM-free games on Steam. Steam also has DRM that publishers can use (and which really isn't that bad or intrusive). Steam also distributes games with all the worst DRM: horrible, horrible stuff.

Contrast this with Good Old Games, owned by the very same CD Projekt Red. There you get a promise of "no DRM of any kind ever". They distribute many games which originally had DRM in some cracked (but licensed) form, so stuff like "look up this word in the manual" is bypassed. They're just as good as Steam at patch management.

Steam is tolerable. It's good points outweigh its problems. But GOG is great. It's made of win and awesome. It's like the best pirate BBS from back in the day, where every game worked better thanks to the cracks, except it's all legal and licensed, and reasonably priced. Naturally, they're having a hard time attracting publishers, but the financial success of the Witcher titles might get some notice.

Re:What kind? (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | about 8 months ago | (#46829593)

There is no requirement for DRM on Steam. It's a distribution platform first and formaost, and there are DRM-free games on Steam. Steam also has DRM that publishers can use (and which really isn't that bad or intrusive). Steam also distributes games with all the worst DRM: horrible, horrible stuff.

Contrast this with Good Old Games, owned by the very same CD Projekt Red. There you get a promise of "no DRM of any kind ever". They distribute many games which originally had DRM in some cracked (but licensed) form, so stuff like "look up this word in the manual" is bypassed. They're just as good as Steam at patch management.

Steam is tolerable. It's good points outweigh its problems. But GOG is great. It's made of win and awesome. It's like the best pirate BBS from back in the day, where every game worked better thanks to the cracks, except it's all legal and licensed, and reasonably priced. Naturally, they're having a hard time attracting publishers, but the financial success of the Witcher titles might get some notice.

GoG: No linux :(

Re:What kind? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46829811)

I wonder how hard it would be for all the older games that run in DOSbox?

Re:What kind? (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about 8 months ago | (#46831075)

Fairly easy - the hard part is getting the game out of the installer. You'd need to use something like innoextract or WINE. But fortunately GOG is busy working on adding Linux support right now, so sometime in the near future it should be as easy on Linux as it is in Windows.

Re:What kind? (1)

the_arrow (171557) | about 8 months ago | (#46831807)

I wonder how hard it would be for all the older games that run in DOSbox?

Doesn't many old DOS-era games from gog.com come with DOSBox? Shouldn't be too hard to move from one DOSBox installation to another?

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46829993)

" GoG: No linux :( "

This is no loonger correct. GOG started offering Linux versions of many games a month or so ago.

GoG on linux (was Re:What kind?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46830823)

GoG: No linux :(

GoG recently announced that they will support Linux:
http://www.gog.com/news/gogcom_soon_on_more_platforms

Can we change your comment to:
GoG: On Linux :-)

Re:GoG on linux (was Re:What kind?) (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#46831115)

Most of their Mac games use DOSBox or WINE, so it probably wasn't too much effort for them to get Linux support working for most of them. Even before they announced Mac support, I ran quite a few of their games with WINE and DOSBox on OS X (their older games use DOSBox on Windows too), but it's a lot less hassle to get their configs (although they tend to be quite pessimistic about visual quality, and you can improve some of the older adventure games a lot by changing the scaling mode to hq3x in the DOSBox config that they ship).

I'm very happy with GOG - there are typically 5-10 games on my shelf that I haven't got around to playing yet. I got The Witcher 1 and 2 as a bundle and enjoyed them both, although I enjoyed the first one a lot more. They're DRM-free and let you redownload games, often with significant updates (e.g. I bought Dungeon Keeper, and they later added the expansion pack. FTL is now FTL: Advanced Edition).

Re:What kind? (1)

phorm (591458) | about 8 months ago | (#46834063)

Yet. But from the request page [gog.com] and then this notice [gog.com] , it is coming...

Re:What kind? (1)

ponos (122721) | about 8 months ago | (#46834979)

They have recently announced their intention to support ubuntu/mint.

See http://www.gog.com/news/gogcom... [gog.com]

It shouldn't be that hard. Anyway, wine is also a viable solution for many older games, although I haven't tried it myself. For the adventurous types, many games from GoG can be played under linux. Here is a quick list:

http://www.gog.com/mix/linux_n... [gog.com]

Re:What kind? (1)

gonnagetya (3580051) | about 8 months ago | (#46830259)

You're correct in that Steam doesn't mandate DRM for games sold on it. But it has two distinct problems:

1. Steam doesn't indicate on a game's store page if said game is DRM-free. You have to search for this information elsewhere and hope someone has the correct info. Sometime Steam will indicate if a game uses extra DRM apart from regular Steam-DRM, but I've never seen it advertise a game as DRM-free unless the developer/publisher has specifically put that info somewhere in the game's description. However, everything from GOG is DRM-free so they don't have to say anything because it's already a given.

2. Steam mandates use of a client. Even if you want to run the game outside of the client, you need the Steam client for downloading as well as updates. GOG has a client but you can easily download everything from a game's landing page once purchased. You then have an installer you can backup and the game runs via your regular desktop/Start menu shortcut. Much cleaner I think as I can then download and organize files in the way I want without dealing with the problems that can arise by using an unnecessary client.

What pisses me off the most about Steam is that its DRM is NOT EVEN NECESSARY. It doesn't stop pirating - I downloaded BioShock Infinite and Episode 2 (which contained the previous episode, all other DLC and the latest patch), installed them, copied over the modified steam_api files and ran it perfectly fine (even quicker than steam, since no client needs to be launched first and there's no "preparing" dialog window beforehand). It doesn't stop jack shit in terms of pirating, yet it's there because archaic publishers still believe that some protection is better than nothing even if that DRM has the potential to hider paying customers.

Re:What kind? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 8 months ago | (#46830347)

>Steam doesn't indicate on a game's store page if said game is DRM-free

If you get the Enhanced Steam addon for Firefox, it will tag any game you look at with if it has bonus DRM or not. Or shit like UPlay.

It also shows you historic price data for every game, so you know you're paying three times the Spring Sale price, or twice the GOG price or if you're getting a good deal.

>Steam mandates use of a client. Even if you want to run the game outside of the client, you need the Steam client for downloading as well as updates. GOG has a client but you can easily download everything from a game's landing page once purchased. You then have an installer you can backup and the game runs via your regular desktop/Start menu shortcut. Much cleaner I think as I can then download and organize files in the way I want without dealing with the problems that can arise by using an unnecessary client.

I actually prefer installing things on Steam, rather than going through the tedious InstallShield process for each and every game I download. The only annoying thing about Steam is that it reinstalls DirectX every time you install a game, but even that is hidden from the user. Uninstalling is also easier. I can see if my saves are backed up to the Steam cloud (so I don't need to hunt around for my Save Games location and manually back them up), and then one click uninstall them.

As the GP said, the weakness in Steam is when you're trying to play two games at once, but they've actually got a solution for this now (http://store.steampowered.com/sharing/). My wife can play Oblivion while I play Payday 2, for example, using their Family Share plan.

Re:What kind? (1)

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) | about 8 months ago | (#46831551)

Agreed. Steam makes it a lot easier for me to manage my game collection.

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46831245)

I wish there were an obvious way to know before hand which games have BS DRM other than looking at the publisher.
I hate buying a game on steam and finding out it's some ubisoft or EA piece of shit where I need to make an account for their DRM system.

Re:What kind? (1)

Yunzil (181064) | about 8 months ago | (#46834161)

But GOG is great. It's made of win and awesome.

Apart from not having any games I want to play.

Re:What kind? (1)

ponos (122721) | about 8 months ago | (#46835109)

But GOG is great. It's made of win and awesome.

Apart from not having any games I want to play.

My impression is that there is a higher percentage of GOG games worth playing than Steam games worth playing. Obviously, Steam is a much bigger platform with thousands of games, but still, games on GOG have generally stood the test of time. Anyway, if you've never tried some of the best old games, you could be pleasantly surprised.

Re:What kind? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828153)

Steam isn't the problem, developers are. You can get genuine DRM-free games on Steam, meaning it'll handle downloads/updates/mods for you, but you can also run the game from it's own folder, copy the folder to another PC, run it from there without Steam, etc. It really isn't the one holding you back. If you want more DRM-free options, ask the people who make the games.

Re:What kind? (1)

Degats (1506137) | about 8 months ago | (#46828189)

I usually use a couple of computers at once, and I sometimes have a slow-paced game on one and want to play something faster on another while, say, waiting for turns to process or something. I can do this with even the most draconian DRM schemes, but not with Steam..

If a Steam game is DRM-free, you can still load the executable directly without Steam running at all, no need to mess around with offline mode.

Steam doesn't force any kind of DRM on games - I have several genuinely DRM-free games on Steam.

Re:What kind? (1)

seebs (15766) | about 8 months ago | (#46828275)

Interesting! I wasn't aware that this was an option. I will have to investigate that. Thanks!

Re:What kind? (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 8 months ago | (#46828395)

If a Steam game is DRM-free, you can still load the executable directly without Steam running at all,

Its not quite as simple as that. If the game supports steam achievements, workshop, trading cards, cloud saves, etc then its not necessarily steam "DRM" that is causing a reliance on being logged into steam.

There are lots of genuinely drm free games that 'like' being tied to steam... not for the drm, but for the other steam features.

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46831151)

It's worth noting, however, that it's not Steamworks or Steam itself that causes a game to be reliant on Steam. It's actually a deliberate decision on the part of the game developer. A developer would need to use Steamworks to detect whether Steam is available and abort the game if it isn't, like this:

if (!steam_is_available) panic();

This can also be extended to check, not only that Steam is running, but also that the game actually is on that account. But if a game does anything to force itself to be dependent on Steam then, by definition, isn't DRM-free at all.

A game can still use all those Steam features you mentioned without requiring Steam at all by changing the code to something more like this:

if (steam_is_available) use_steamworks = true;
else use_steamworks = false;

The consequence would be that achievements are tracked only when you are connected to Steam, but otherwise you get all the functionality without any of the dependence. But the game developer can still track the achievements earned and sync those up next time the game starts while it is connected to Steam. There are many games that are DRM-free on Steam and work perfectly with or without Steam running with no loss of functionality.

The only thing is that your time isn't tracked by Steam while Steam isn't running, and trading cards don't drop either, since they're managed by Steam's time tracker rather than by the games themselves.

So basically, GP is right: if a Steam game is DRM-free, you can still load the executable directly without Steam running at all. If you can't load the executable directly without Steam running at all then it isn't DRM-free at all (at best, it's using Steam's API as a makeshift DRM).

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46832241)

if (steam_is_available) use_steamworks = true;
else use_steamworks = false;


Why do people write sh*tty code like that?

use_steamworks = steam_is_available;

Done.

Re:What kind? (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | about 8 months ago | (#46832445)

I installed Neverwinter from Steam and later installed the Arc client for promotional freebees and some how the Arc client found Neverwinter buried in the steam folder. When I launch Neverwinter from Arc this play time doesn't register with Steam...

Re:What kind? (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 8 months ago | (#46828369)

Valve tries to push Steam as the friendly DRM, luvvable and plushy and not that evil kind that the competition uses.

Check out gog.com instead, and get some of the same games as Steam but DRM free and cheaper than Steam sales.

Re:What kind? (1)

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) | about 8 months ago | (#46831563)

"Some" of the same games is about right.

GOG is great for old games and the odd indy title but there catalog simply does not compare.

I love old games, but I also enjoy playing games made this century and in this regard GOG is simply nowhere close to the depth of Steam.

Re:What kind? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 8 months ago | (#46834455)

True. But whenever people start gushing about great deals they can get on Steam these are usually titles also on GOG, whereas the games I want to get on Steam tend to be high priced in the $50-$60 range.

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828457)

I've been using the family share to allow me to maintain my games (as best I can, there are some restrictions) on other machines while still having access to my library.

Re: What kind? (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 8 months ago | (#46828711)

I find this comment absurd as a person playing games in both PC and console worlds. Your complaint isn't even aimed at Steam really, as it is a general attack on all bound-by-account DRM schemes (Is there one out there better than Steam?). Did you never try having two accounts as a solution to your problem, if simultaneous gameplay is that important? In my view, Steam is insanely friendly, making multiplayer a cinch, allowing use on any number of platforms at no extra cost, offering a fantastic library of titles for PC, Mac, and Linux (!!) for really low prices, etc. And yet, it still can't escape Slashdot whining. Good grief...

Re: What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46829639)

Two accounts is a pain in the ass, and note that occasionally a game will attempt to tie itself to another game (eg. Steam Achievements that cause unlocks in a different game).

I personally prefer Steam to playing with DVDs the majority of the time. Simultaneous play comes into account when eg. my nephews are over and want to each play Monkey Island while the adults are busy preparing dinner.

I still think it's worth it, don't get me wrong, but it's not as though Steam has 0 downsides, even if you don't care about them.

Re:What kind? (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 8 months ago | (#46829367)

I usually use a couple of computers at once, and I sometimes have a slow-paced game on one and want to play something faster on another while, say, waiting for turns to process or something.

Waiting for turns to process?

Are you playing on a PDP-11?

Yes, I'm aware of Offline Mode.

So what you're saying is you know very well it's technically possible to do what you want on Steam, but because some customer service rep tells you they don't want you to, you find the whole platform "really annoying".

Bah.

When a platform comes along that gives developers a sense of security and reason to invest in games and gives users the ability to install their games on more than one machine and when that machine goes belly up, to install them automatically on another machine (something you can't do on the old "X number of serial number uses is the limit" games), I would say it's pretty much a win-win.

Valve has done a pretty good job of being really friendly to gamers. They create a whole ecosystem of games and forums and support and communication to the dev community that never existed before, but you find it "really annoying" because you can't play some turn-based abomination that takes long enough between turns that you can go over to a second machine and play another game without the psychic pain of knowing Bob @ Phone Support said you shouldn't even though you could do it if you wanted.

Did I mention, "Bah"?

Re: Re: What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46830607)

Waiting for turns to process?
Are you playing on a PDP-11?

Multiplayer in Civilization games can be pretty slow... Have five other players and sequential moves, so if you wait about 10 minutes for your round again, it can get boring.

So what you're saying is you know very well it's technically possible to do what you want on Steam, but because some customer service rep tells you they don't want you to, you find the whole platform "really annoying".

Well, and what if he/I wants to play this way two games online? No way how to play Portal 2 and Civ5 at the same time.

Yes, there are much worse things (do I remember a DRM, which allowed only few activations and then you have to call to a hotline?). But "there are worse" is not the same as "it is great". Some people kill children, but this is not making good people from those, who "just" beat them. ;-)

Re:What kind? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 8 months ago | (#46831679)

When a platform comes along that gives developers a sense of security and reason to invest in games and gives users the ability to install their games on more than one machine and when that machine goes belly up, to install them automatically on another machine

To be fair, that has existed before....on consoles.

Valve has done a pretty good job of being really friendly to gamers. They create a whole ecosystem of games and forums and support and communication to the dev community that never existed before.

That never existed before on the PC....consoles are a different story. We've had that sort of thing since the PSone days.

Re:What kind? (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 8 months ago | (#46835277)

That never existed before on the PC....consoles are a different story. We've had that sort of thing since the PSone days.

Yeah, but that's a console, which by its very nature is a less preferable method of gaming, meant mainly for children and the developmentally disabled.

There may well be other features of console gaming that once presented some advantage. I can't think of any, but theoretically it's possible that they exist, for gamers willing to degrade themselves by playing on a console.

Re:What kind? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 8 months ago | (#46829389)

Also, do you know about the new "family accounts"? Maybe you should give Bob @ Phone Support another call to ease your suffering.

Re:What kind? (1)

PortaDiFerro (1719902) | about 8 months ago | (#46830565)

I have been getting bit by the Steam DRM problem too now that I have a family. Over the years I've gathered over 200 games in Steam without thinking about it, but now if somebody else in my family is playing on Steam, I can't play any of the other games at the same time. Fortunately they added the family share option, so I made separate accounts for everybody and from now on try to spread the games more so can at least play something. The problem is still that the big bulk of the games are on my account, but I suppose it gets better over time as I buy more games and perhaps duplicates too to the other accounts.

Re:What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46833507)

So far as I can tell, DRM-free means "no DRM".

FWIW, I actually find Steam really annoying. I usually use a couple of computers at once, and I sometimes have a slow-paced game on one and want to play something faster on another while, say, waiting for turns to process or something. I can do this with even the most draconian DRM schemes, but not with Steam. Yes, I'm aware of Offline Mode. Valve Support has told me that it is in fact prohibited to use Offline Mode to run another copy of Steam, even if I'm using it to play a different game.

Steam has a feature called Steam Family Sharing that will allow others to 'borrow' games in your library as long as you are not currently playing them.

Multiple accounts /w shared games (1)

phorm (591458) | about 8 months ago | (#46834023)

One thing I've noticed is that the "family mode" allows one to play games from "Account B" on "Account A" (after an additional step to authorize the secondary machine/account). I can't remember if I've done this while logged into both accounts, but perhaps that might work for you?

I've got one account on the "family PC" that does auto-login, and is authorized to play games from my main account.

Re:What kind? (-1)

Arker (91948) | about 8 months ago | (#46830905)

"There's the Steam-type which let's be honest very few people complain about"

Bugger off with your kool-aid, mate. Just because a large number of you jack-asses drunk up and like to validate each others failure does not change facts. DRM is DRM and Steam is DRM and you either wear your masters collar or you do not.

At any rate, a new 'Witcher' game with no DRM? If true, I will happily buy it without any dickering. I will confess I am skeptical though. Too many of you idiots out there happy to buy DRM and try to pretend otherwise makes it very tempting for the publishers to simply lie and take your money, you know.

Re:What kind? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#46831137)

The Witcher 1 and 2 were both DRM free. I grabbed both from GOG a while ago and they're just executables that run on any machine and don't have any need to phone home or similar.

Link to Article (1)

Cruciform (42896) | about 8 months ago | (#46827883)

Re:Link to Article (2)

Cruciform (42896) | about 8 months ago | (#46827905)

Actually, scratch that. This is a better link to the source:

http://www.redbull.com/en/game... [redbull.com]

Link (1)

MatthiasF (1853064) | about 8 months ago | (#46827893)

I am guessing they mean this article from yesterday. Interview about DRM, photos and videos:

http://www.redbull.com/en/game... [redbull.com]

A new advance on not RTFA (4, Funny)

Pop69 (700500) | about 8 months ago | (#46827913)

Just don't post the link in the first place !

Good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46827967)

I'm glad they learned from their past mistakes and wish them luck. I enjoyed Witcher 2 and might consider picking this one up.

Re:Good news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828039)

Mistakes? Even on Witcher 1 CD Projeckt Red removed the DRM after it was made completely useless.

The Witcher 2 (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 8 months ago | (#46827973)

The Witcher 2 was also released without DRM on gog.com.

Beta Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828589)

It's also worth noting that the DRM-infected CD version had been cracked and uploaded to pirate sites before the DRM-free version became available on gog.com (AFAIR the CD version was released a week or two earlier). So the DRM was worthless anyway.

Re:Beta Sucks (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 8 months ago | (#46828641)

Wasn't it up on gog.com on release day? If I recall correctly, it was one of the few "big" games that gog did get right away.

Re:Beta Sucks (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 8 months ago | (#46828663)

Duh, stupid me. Of course it was on gog.com on day one. gog.com is a service run by the makers of The Witcher series.

Re:Beta Sucks (1)

Cruciform (42896) | about 8 months ago | (#46828691)

Yup. It was.

Re:Beta Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46829179)

Uh, no, it wasn't. The Polish CD version was available a few days before the GOG version, and pirated before you could buy it on GOG. Not sure about any other markets.

Re:Beta Sucks (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 8 months ago | (#46829605)

I can't find any information to support your claim.

Re:Beta Sucks (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 8 months ago | (#46830309)

Right here. [wikipedia.org] It's a subsidiary of CDProjecktRed.

Re:Beta Sucks (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 8 months ago | (#46833693)

That isn't in dispute. As far as I can see, The Witcher 2 was being sold through gog.com since release day.

Witcher series has historically been DRM-free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46829015)

Agreed. Also, the first game in the series has been made available as a DRM-free version of the game, freely available at gog.com for anyone owning any copy of the game. Even people who purchased a DRM'ed copy (e.g. via Steam) qualified to get a DRM-free copy from gog.com at no cost.
gog.com/witcher/backup
(Steam users may not need their product key to play the game in Steam, but they can get it anyway, by looking at the game's properties. That key may then be used at the gog.com website.)
So when this article's summary says "unusually", that must be referring to the game industry. This is not behavior that is considered unusual for the Witcher series.

Re:Witcher series has historically been DRM-free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46830187)

its also been free of fun or story, its really a meh click n slash game with bad control and slow gameplay

Re:Witcher series has historically been DRM-free (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#46831161)

The first or the second? I really enjoyed the first, but about the only improvement in the second was the graphics (and my laptop could only handle the lowest detail at a playable rate anyway). The combat was a lot better in the first one and the characters seemed more interesting.

It's a difficult balance in this kind of game between making it open (so the player feels in control of what's happening) and providing a story (because part of the reason for buying the game like this is to be told a story). The first one seemed to get the balance right, but the sequel felt too scripted to me - I was just running from one plot element to the next and then making the four token decisions. There were lots of side-quests in the first one that impacted the story later on and interactions with characters that told you interesting things.

I think the sequel also got off to a bad start, because it let you import your save game from the first one, but after being given a silver sword by a Goddess and a steel sword by a king and finding some legendary armour exploring a tomb, I discovered that the first person I killed had a better sword than me. More importantly, swords and armour made a significant difference in the second. One thing that always annoys me in fantasy games is when the equipment makes more of a difference in fights than the skill. In The Witcher, the difference between a crappy sword stolen from a low-paid henchman and the amazing sword forged for the kind was about 10-20%. Enough to give you a slight edge, but not enough to make a real difference unless a fight was very close. The difference between Geralt at the start and Geralt after he'd (re)learned a load of fighting skills was significant. In contrast, in The Witcher 2, you can get a really good sword and then be easily able to beat monsters that would kill you easily with a less-good sword, without learning any new skills.

Re:Witcher series has historically been DRM-free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46831703)

Agreed. The first Witcher was one of the best CRPG's ever. The second one sucked balls.

They get it! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828785)

DRM is pointless there is no need for anything past a cd key because it's going to be cracked no matter what you do.

DRM:
It's a challenge
It's reputation
It's curiosity
It's self enlightenment
It's testing your limits

Adobe - has one of the most diehard DRM setups ever created costing millions to make and it was completely fucking destroyed in four hours.

Re: They get it! (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 8 months ago | (#46828843)

You're assuming the objective of DRM is to prevent everyone from getting ahold of content royalty-free, as opposed to simply preventing most people from doing so.

Re: They get it! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#46831185)

You're assuming that everyone who wants to get an illegal copy needs to crack the DRM. That's not how it works. One person cracks it then releases it on file-sharing sites / networks and everyone copies it. It may prevent casual copying (e.g. I lend a friend the CD), but these days it's easier to give someone a link to a .torrent file than to lend them a CD anyway. More importantly, if someone doesn't know about things like BitTorrent then when they try to copy their game and find that they can't, they're going to ask their favourite search engine and discover that they can get games that they can copy for free. With something like GOG, you get all of the convenience of illegal downloads (actually more - the downloads are a lot faster and they always work), and I get to support the companies that are releasing the games in a way that I want.

Re: They get it! (1)

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) | about 8 months ago | (#46831591)

Buying, installing and playing a game with Steam is just easier than downloading it from some torrent tracker, applying a crack and then struggling to find cracked patches as time goes by.

I don't pirate PC games any more. I can afford to pay for them, I feel good about spending the money on them and I don't feel like I'm jumping through hoops to get what I want.

For me, Steam is good enough that I wish a similar solution was available for TV and Movies (Unfortunately, due to the various network and studio deals this will never happen but you can always dream...)

Re: They get it! (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 8 months ago | (#46831695)

lend a friend the CD), but these days it's easier to give someone a link to a .torrent file than to lend them a CD anyway.

1999 called, it want's it's disc-based game distribution medium back. You mean "DVD" or perhaps "BD-ROM"

Another thing Projekt Red gets right... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828873)

Is that when they eventually release a director's cut version of the game several months or a year after release, they don't make you purchase it separately if you bought the game previously. You get the full version update for free.

      Now if only Capcom would do that with the PC version of games like Street Fighter 4, which only has 3 or 4 different versions now.

Hope it lives up to the books this time. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46828985)

Try reading the Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski. They really 'transcend the genre' - much like Patrick O'Brian's Master & Commander series. If Sapowski was writing in English he'd be a far bigger deal than George R.R. Martin or any of the other current fantasy hacks.

Most titles are DRM free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46830079)

What now they want a pat on the back for something they SHOULD be doing?

Is this a lie like last time? (0)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about 8 months ago | (#46830369)

With Witcher 2, they said it would be DRM free, but then they said, "Oh, it actually has DRM in it, which you can totally remove. A week later, after it's already infected your machine and left behind traces of shit everywhere." Yeah, fuck these guys. They had a chance to do this before and reneged.

Re:Is this a lie like last time? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 months ago | (#46831191)

They did release it DRM free if you bought it from them. If you bought it via another publisher then you got some extra crap and had to go back to them to get the DRM-free version. How about next time giving money directly to the company that sells DRM-free games, instead of to a company whose only contribution was to add some DRM crap and put it in a box?

Hmmm (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 8 months ago | (#46830791)

Oh gee, I wonder where they got such a great idea from. OH THAT'S RIGHT, the original The Witcher was a category 5 DRM shitstorm that blew up in their faces when it failed to work properly on Windows 7 and screwed over all their customers. Wow, how selfless and progressive of them

Re:Hmmm (1)

cheetah_spottycat (106624) | about 8 months ago | (#46831285)

You do realize you're talking about CD Project RED ... who run the biggest distribution system for DRM-Free games on the planet? So, yeah, obviously the original Witcher was a learning experience for them. That was fucking 7 years ago. Get over it. These people are the good guys that brought us gog.com and are just about to release a Triple-A-Title without DRM or copy protection. I mean, what the fuck are you complaining about? That they're not a charity, but an actual company of people who want to earn a living with this?

Not only did they do away with DRM, but... (1)

Warma (1220342) | about 8 months ago | (#46831621)

CD-Projekt actually gave away all of the DLC they made for the game, and allowed you to download it through the game configurator. Even better, after you downloaded the game, the DLC menu allowed you to download voice acting in any of the languages you wanted.

I really have to recommend the original polish voice acting. I'm not polish and I do not understand the language, but I truly enjoyed the work they had done. I'd say most voices were a better match than in the english version (especially in Witcher 1).

And oh yeah, almost forgot about this. About year or two after they had released the game and expanded it with an enhanced edition, they made the enhanced edition completely free for any purchasers of the original.

Couldn't care less about DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46834051)

For me, it's all about price. I haven't spent more than $20 on the past half-dozen AAA titles I've bought because I waited until long after release when they go on sale on Steam or GOG. The reason so much piracy happens is because people around the world are dirt poor. Who wants to pay $60 for a game that they're going to beat in a day or two and more often than not has very little replay value?

I think they call that "open"? (1)

Qwertie (797303) | about 8 months ago | (#46835305)

combine the strong pull of closed-world RPGs story-wise, with a world where you can go anywhere and do anything you want

I think they have a name for that already: "open-world RPG".

(What did I miss?)

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