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Why even pay for software? A declaration against poorly implemented DRM

with 37 comments

I’m guessing you wouldn’t usually expect me to make a post like this, but seriously, where is the incentive to pay for software these days? Yes, it is unfortunate how millions of people pirate software nowadays, but by now it has to be clear that there is little to nothing that can be done about it.

Those that can afford to buy software generally do pay for it, but I have found the hard way that it isn’t always worth it, and this is becoming truer as time goes on thanks to poorly implemented DRM (Digital Rights Management).

When Microsoft released Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit it was rather pricey, but I still went out and purchased two copies right away – one for me and one for testing. Although I have paid for the software I’m extremely tempted to avoid the genuine activation and simply crack it. But why would I do such a thing for software that I have paid good money for? Well, it’s simple. Because of the large number of people that pirate Windows, Microsoft has felt compelled to punish the suckers that actually buy it.

Hateful DRM practices jeopardize the end-user experience

Hateful DRM practices jeopardize the end-user experience

Every time I change a major piece of hardware I end up with a warning message informing me that I have two days to reactivate my copy of Windows. Okay, that’s not so bad. Just click re-activate then shall we. Hang on, that didn’t work, and now I have to ring the Microsoft support center based on India and try to communicate a 60+ digit code to someone I can barely understand. After that process is done I can finally use my computer again. Yay! Well… at least until I need to change/upgrade something again.

The alternative is to run a 20 second patch that removes the Microsoft activation altogether, meaning that I will never be inconvenienced again when upgrading, an inconvenience I apparently paid good money for. Again, the options: to pay for software that is going to have you pulling your hair out every time you change something, or get it for free without any of the catches.

Over the years the countless re-activations of my computers has not only improved my Indian accent, but also simply become a way of life.


Windows activation reminder

Windows activation reminder


While I have learned to live with this, just recently the world of pirated software has started to make sense once again.

Although I spend much of my time testing out new and exciting graphics cards in the latest games, I rarely get to actually play the games themselves extensively. I’m a huge fan of real-time strategy games and I love the Command & Conquer series. The good old days when Westwood was still around…

Anyway, the recent release of C&C: Red Alert 3 allowed me to get back into the RTS scene and play a few games in-between testing new graphics cards. Unfortunately, having finally stopped and taken the time to enjoy a video game, the experience was far from enjoyable, at least so far.

The first thing I did upon receiving my fresh new copy of Red Alert 3 was to install it on one of my desktop PCs, I chose my work computer since it was powerful enough and I spend most of my time on it. This turned out to be a bad move since EA doesn’t support 64-bit operating systems, at least with RA3 anyway. The game would crash to the desktop after 15 – 20 min of gameplay without fail.

Before discovering that it was an incompatibility issue with the 64-bit operating system I uninstalled the game and then re-installed it on the same system to no avail. The crashes to the desktop persisted and I was forced to play on another computer. I got another hard drive, installed Windows XP on it, and re-installed RA3 once again. It worked, and flawlessly too, which was all good news. I spent much of my spare time over the next few weeks playing it online.

Red Alert 3 is one EA titles that uses DRM

C&C: Red Alert 3 is one many current EA titles that uses SecuROM DRM

The computer that I had installed it on needed a motherboard change (testing related issue) so I swapped out the board for a new one. Windows XP booted up, I installed the new drivers and away I went without an issue, at least until I tried to fire up RA3 again. Other games like Far Cry 2 worked like a charm. Not Red Alert 3, though. Instead the game pretended to load and then hit me with an error explaining that the game had been installed too many times.

Despite the fact that I had not re-installed the game on this PC and had only changed the motherboard, it refused to load. Therefore I had to sign up for EA support, which was a pain in the arse, and just another one of those inconveniences you shouldn’t have to go through when paying full price for software. Anyway, EA got back to me, slowly, and once I sent them all my details they informed me that I had been given 1 more activation and after that it was pretty much all over, even if I uninstalled the game.

So here I am, with a game that I paid $60 for ($95 AUD), and if anything goes wrong with the hardware in my current system or I want to upgrade it in a year’s time, I may have to purchase another copy if I want to continue playing.

I have been reading about these kinds of DRM problems for some time now, but had never encountered them myself other than the Vista activation shenanigans. So, I understand that this is nothing new and probably something that many of you have already been dealing with, but it is still a load of BS!

Anti-DRM logo by Alfredo Rezinovsky.

Written by Julio Franco

February 6th, 2009 at 3:41 am

37 Comments so far

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  1. I had hoped the Spore DRM epidemic would have caused some change in the way software publishers punish law-abiding citizens for supporting them, but comments since have pretty much made it clear that it has not. EA and other groups are defiant and still plan to use DRM to limit the legal use of software. The only way their CUSTOMERS will be able to use their products when they get to a certain point is to go find the crack that is indubitably out there waiting to make their lives easier. They’re PUSHING their customers toward that which they want to prevent. In the end, I suspect it’s going to take some kind of lawsuit win or a congressional bill to kill such limitations. So sad.

    In the meantime, for gamers, all I can say is, where possible, don’t support the vendors and publishers who foist this sort of trash on us. Be pro-active. Read about the product before you buy; it’s rarely a small investment anymore, in this age of $50-60 titles, and if there’s DRM to be found on a planned product, there’s no doubt there’ll be someone bitching about it online.

    Skout

    6 Feb 09 at 8:17 am

  2. I have been boycotting EA for over a year now. Join the ranks. EA is the #1 arse of the software industry.

    Mr772

    6 Feb 09 at 9:15 am

  3. I feel exactly the way you felt while writing this Steve. I have several legit games I’ve purchased that I don’t even play anymore just because of this – and a few I’ve just given up and applied yummy patches for. It hurts a bit because I tell my friends that I don’t mess with that scene, but then to have to go there just to make software I’ve purchased usable for me… it’s a shame.

    I tell people at work all the time when I’m struggling to distribute a piece of software at work that it’s so much easier for the piraters. They usually laugh but I just keep a straight face to let them know I’m completely serious.

    LNCPapa

    6 Feb 09 at 9:20 am

  4. I recently bought Dark Messiah legitimately, despite having played the cracked version all the way through several times.

    The purchased version gave a securom error.

    This is disabling technology – why would anyone want that.

    Ian

    6 Feb 09 at 10:10 am

  5. I’ve gotten to the point where I will buy a game, then download the crack to make it more user friendly.

    Spyder Canopus

    6 Feb 09 at 12:02 pm

  6. I had the same problem with Gears of War for the PC. I got it through Microsoft’s Digital Locker. Well, that’s going away and I could no longer activate it. Of course, now with the expired certificate, it’s REALLY a complete fubar case going on.

    So, I can crack the game to avoid the activation, which I feel is my right SINCE I paid the $40 for it, or else, flush my money down the tube.

    This has also happened on another game I purchased digitally, Escape from Butcher Bay. I haven’t played it in about a year (I bought it just over a year ago) and now, I cannot activate it at all! It’s frustrating!

    DRM sucks, pure and simple.

    Ivan

    6 Feb 09 at 12:19 pm

  7. You reminded me of an earlier time when “protection” became so difficult to live with I dumped some pretty expensive software. So dump Windows.

    I’m not anti-MS whatsoever, but rather than stealing something that is designed to make your life difficult, dump it. There are other OS choices.

    And a word to Microsoft: That software I dumped back in the day? Out of business, every last one of ‘em. Take the hint.

    JDoors

    6 Feb 09 at 12:19 pm

  8. I think what makes M$ most pathetic in my eyes:

    They have never grasped getting 32-bit software backwards compatibility at an even reasonable level with any 64-bit flavor of windows.

    What are these morans doing day to day?
    Their future OS’s are NOT WORTHY of a penny if I’m already content with XP until that issue is resolved .

    I agree all these protection schemes are only really good for the companies that make them and license their use, but us consumers really foot the bill and no advantages for us.

    Badfinger

    6 Feb 09 at 12:40 pm

  9. “Yes, it is unfortunate how millions of people pirate software nowadays, but by now it has to be clear that there is little to nothing that can be done about it.”

    Frankly, I find that statement a cop-out “argument” to steal. I’ll agree with your poorly implemented DRM comments, but I also believe every company has a right to protect their product from theft.

    Rather than complain that DRM is ruining your world, how about coming up with ideas to prevent the theft?

    Jim

    6 Feb 09 at 1:36 pm

  10. “Yes, it is unfortunate how millions of people pirate software nowadays, but by now it has to be clear that there is little to nothing that can be done about it.”

    Frankly, I find that statement a cop-out to steal. I’ll agree with your poorly implemented DRM comments, but I also believe every company has a right to protect their product from theft.

    Rather than complain that DRM is ruining your world, how about collectively working together to come up with ideas to prevent the theft?

    TomSEA

    6 Feb 09 at 1:39 pm

  11. @Spyder Canopus I think that the best thing anyone can do, at least that’s the way I always do with software, you just bought the software you want to support but if you find some DRM hell just find the crack for it…

    [LordAnubiS]

    6 Feb 09 at 1:49 pm

  12. @Jim/TomSEA That paragraph when taken within context refers to the fact that piracy is already widespread.

    Then we go to argue why most of the DRM countermeasures used today are flawed and how they are discouraging the paying customer (including ourselves) from buying software that is protected again.

    Although admittedly for some cases (like with Windows) it’s something we may have to live with anyway.

    Julio Franco

    6 Feb 09 at 3:10 pm

  13. These arguments are as old as the PC industry itself and have not changed much over the years.

    You can argue that you “own” the software you paid for but if you look closely at most EULAs they typically indicate you have paid for the “right to use”. You don’t actually own anything. Additionally there will be a line item that states that they can revoke your “right to use” their software whenever they want.

    As usual software developers will claim that piracy = lost revenue.

    Pirated software is usually distributed and acquired over the Internet. This costs the company nothing so no lost revenue results from people downloading the torrent. They would also need to prove that every person that pirates their software would in fact “buy it” legitimately if a 100% fool-proof method of protection were used that no one could crack. The reality is the majority of people who pirate software most likely never intended to buy it in the first place so no lost revenue there.

    However the companies do lose measurable quantities of revenue to developing, implementing and then subsequently supporting and troubleshooting their chosen methods of protection.

    After 2 decades things haven’t changed much. Every form of protection can and has been eventually cracked. People will continue to crack and pirate software. In my opinion software companies should go back to simple CD-key methods of protection and enjoy the increased profits from not having to develop and support ever increasingly complex and restrictive methods of protection which as most agree, only inconvenience the people who legitimately purchase the software… not the pirates.

    coldFuSion

    6 Feb 09 at 3:16 pm

  14. DRM is just a joke the pirates crack it the day it comes out and the people that pay for legit copies suffer. The music industry has finally stopped forcing DRM on people since it clearly does nothing to stop piracy. I can only hope other industries catch on.

    DRMisDUM

    6 Feb 09 at 6:40 pm

  15. For me it was splinter cell double agent. The first, only, and last game I ever buy online. I had the same problem with activating the game after a reinstall of my OS. Had to send an e-mail then wait a few days for a response before I could play it. A really crappy game by the way. A series killer for splinter cell. As for MS with a major hardware change, the cyber-bimbo now asks if you made a major change and reactivates without having to talk to the script kiddies in Bombay. As for them, when asked “may I ask why you are reinstalling the software today?”, my response is either because “I’m bored”, or that “I live in Watts and yesterday there was a drive by shooting that went through my wall and through my head and into my hard drive so I had to buy a new one today.” My favorite though is that “they took me again last night and told me I would have to reinstall my OS without anti virus protection so they could put me on their alien bot-net. And if I didn’t they would take me back to the mother ship and use the alien butt probe thing on me again, so you see? I had to do it!” I have reinstalled this copy of XP about 30 times at least (I do it every month or so to keep it fresh) and although the call to Redmond is a PITA it only takes a few minutes either way. So I may as well amuse myself. Right?

    angryhippy

    6 Feb 09 at 8:48 pm

  16. I was repairing a computer for a middle-aged woman on disability pension. She had bought a computer with XP in it, so when I installed my copt as a repair & went to activate it, microsoft said NO WAY!! I shut off the computer. I opened it the next day & the bios was all screwed up, AND I could not restore it, PLUS, my
    D-Link router was shot. Thank you Microsoft ( Big Brother?? )

    Al Smith

    6 Feb 09 at 8:49 pm

  17. I agree with all his points here, DRM is obviously not the solution to stopping crackers(people who crack software, not white ppl lol) and pirates. The only way is to start cracking down on people who share alot and pirate alot, limit their bandwidth, threat to cut their service, ban them for a couple months, anything that will get them to take a couple steps back. I’ll admit i’ve arggged a couple things from time to time, but i still feel compelled to buy it if i like it that much, otherwise i don’t keep it. Since they passed that new bill getting rid of the riaa or w/e so they don’t have to legally it out in court, service providers need to start finding their p2p customers and giving them warnings to stop or else, then the order will be restored.

    Ben Hallock

    7 Feb 09 at 7:46 am

  18. Quote: “The only way is to start cracking down on people who share alot and pirate alot, limit their bandwidth, threat to cut their service, ban them for a couple months, anything that will get them to take a couple steps back.”

    Then you run into the same problem. People who buy fast connections to download movies and large files become the ones being penalized unjustly. Why not just make all internet connections dial-up? That way everyone will get screwed over evenly. If I pay for a 6Mbps connection I should be able to run and download programs at that speed for 24/7/365. I am paying for it. Throttling cheats me (or would if I ever reached that level which I don’t, which doesn’t make it acceptable any more or less). And Dia-RIAA now expecting the ISP’s to do their dirty work is just gonna drive costs up for access…

    angryhippy

    7 Feb 09 at 4:13 pm

  19. I wish these sorts of great blogs weren’t relegated to the endless sea of internet chatter on the subject. A spotlight needs to be shined on this issue and something has to be done about it. Oblivion, Fallout 3, and COD4, just to name a few, are among the most popular and best-selling PC titles in the era of the DRM, yet nothing compelled the publishers of those games to punish the customer. I bought those titles and i feel good for supporting those companies. Meanwhile EA just reported a $641 million loss. Serves them right for ruining great titles like Mass Effect and Crysis. As for M$, I will never buy their product for as long as they keep charging Average Joe hundreds of dollars for some software. Its called price gouging and I won’t let myself be subjected to it. They make enough money from the fact that every single business on the planet uses Windows. The fact that they have the nerve to charge a home user over $500 dollars for the supposedly Ultimate version of a new OS makes me proud to pirate their product.

    Dmtrii Filatov

    7 Feb 09 at 5:01 pm

  20. hahahah

    Came to download msn live 8.5 and got curious and read this article… don’t usualy post but I enjoyed this imensly.

    I started with coomputers in 1985 back in those days the software was simple but the good stuff was written in asembler. I thought my 1200bps modem was the bomb! Back on target… software, well it sold back than for prices like $49-69-99-129.

    The thing was there was no demand. These prices are almost similar now and the demand is 100,000 times larger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    These companies went from nothing to trading on the stock market and being major players in the economy! They made riches one could never imagine. How else can one go from having nothing to being the richest man in the world (or close to) in 15-20 years?

    As the demand for product increased the price never changed. Instead the makers thought of better ways of making profit… send all the jobs to India. Tons of workers became millionairs just becasue of the stocks! The money was imense.

    Now they buy lawyers with that money to whip the rest of you!

    Ok, so my solution is simple. $10 for new releases, $3.99 for old ones by the bin close to the checkout. That way I will not waste my bandwidth, hardrive space or DVD media on this stuff,

    BASF made a great company selling media with small markup. The demand was large. Coca-cola made a nice company with a small mark up…. still a great business here.

    Sure it doesn’t allow you to send you basterd kid you had with a hooker to a vacation in space, but hey life isn’t perfect.

    (sorry for grammer and spelling, off to steal some software… damn proud to, I wrote half of it)

    Sam Hopkins

    7 Feb 09 at 8:45 pm

  21. *DRM is just a joke the pirates crack it the day it comes out and the people that pay for legit copies suffer. The music industry has finally stopped forcing DRM on people since it clearly does nothing to stop piracy. I can only hope other industries catch on.*

    well… most of it any way… iTunes still clings to it dearly…
    i find it annoying to not be able to have mp3 copies of my music. so, I download my stuff from them, legit, and then use tunebite to get an mp3 copy. so in case of something going wrong, I’ll still have my songs.

    as to DRM in general, it’ll never work. and no method protection will ever work for that matter. if it exists in 1’s and 0’s, it’ll be cracked, hacked, hijacked, etc. as soon as it becomes available.
    While I do not support cracking things such as games and other software titles, it is sometimes necessary. like with Ivan, you bought you GoW legit, and now you can’t use it. it’s not like microsoft is discontinuing the game, they are just taking away your rights to use it because they don’t feel like supporting the DL service you got it from (by the way, I think you may actually have a court case. class action. you should look into it). EA had a similar deal. the shut down the EA download manager service, and if you had DLed anything from here, you would lose right to it (I had DLed the BF2142 booster pack: Northern Strike). and when a bunch of peopled complained, they kept the service running, they just discontinued any new DLs, so you could at least keep your stuff running.
    so,
    you lose access to software you bought because company locks down service over something stupid (like they don’t feel like running the service anymore, or you updated your system) and you can’t fix it. then go crack it
    you want to have a back up copy, crack it.
    you want free stuff, shame on you.

    Pr0m3th3us

    7 Feb 09 at 10:51 pm

  22. Actualy DRM is easily bypassed you purchased the right to use the program you never agreed to the head aches and to be stiffed over and over. i buy programs and crack all every byte of DRM they deny me the right to use i’ll sue them. I have the time an the money. DRM was a poor attempt at copywright protection every body knows it they don’t change cause 60% of consumers are revolveing doors. crack the DRM or DL the crack and they stop profiting off DRM thats the only way DRM goes away. Pirateing issue ok 90% of hackers bought it to hack it. 70% of the downloaders would never of bought it anyways. 65% of them can’t use it right screw up instal and delet it. programers are out 15%-20% tops and thats covered in their 600% overpriced product anyways,plus the 60% revolving purchaser who gets screwed by DRM= they eatin steak every night. Pirateing bigest impact is Hollywood and music and sad to say they are not hurting for money, I wont crack their junk because most music and movies nowdays not worth the cost of a blank disc anyways. Just my opinion. They cry about a issue that is not killing their profit margins. i think the DRM guys are pullin a Norten. Wrote a realy good antivirus program , then created the fires to sale it. Do not fuel the DRM fire hack the DRM out.

    yrseeder

    7 Feb 09 at 10:54 pm

  23. This DRM Crap really messed up X64 xp so much so that it wouldn’t boot up…..

    BoSs

    8 Feb 09 at 4:46 am

  24. “Frankly, I find that statement a cop-out “argument” to steal. I’ll agree with your poorly implemented DRM comments, but I also believe every company has a right to protect their product from theft.”

    Sorry Jim, but while I agree that they have the right, the ONLY people the DRM affects is the people who buy it. The pirates have no problems whatsoever because they disable the “sophisticated” DRM measures. So the OP is right. DRM is only hurting people who pay.

    SC

    8 Feb 09 at 5:17 pm

  25. “The reality is the majority of people who pirate software most likely never intended to buy it in the first place so no lost revenue there.”

    Yea so? Even if your expert analysis is correct, their “revenue” is none of your damn business, they requested payment for their product, R-E-S-P-E-C-T that! And then go play minesweeper or solitaire, they probably came free with Windows, and then you won’t be infringing on any copyrights (unless your copy of Windows has not been properly licensed).

    Boshem

    8 Feb 09 at 11:20 pm

  26. “Yea so? Even if your expert analysis is correct, their “revenue” is none of your damn business, they requested payment for their product, R-E-S-P-E-C-T that! And then go play minesweeper or solitaire, they probably came free with Windows, and then you won’t be infringing on any copyrights (unless your copy of Windows has not been properly licensed).”

    Noone is saying they don’t deserve respect. I don’t blame the programmers. I blame the higher-ups (CEOs, etc) that are so far removed from the product that they don’t understand what problems DRM causes.

    Regardless of whether or not I “own” it or have been granted a “license” to use it, it still ends up punishing the consumer. For my case, I cannot play Gears of War anymore. For some reason, the activation server is no longer up. I never once received any kind of email on this and Microsoft tells me to contact the owners of the activation servers, which is not them. I barely had the game for a year (I ordered it around August of 2008) and now, without cracking it, I cannot play it because I cannot activate it.

    Is it “right” that the company got my $50 and now, less than a year later, I cannot play my legally purchased software?

    The same goes for my copy of Escape from Butcher Bay. The activation servers are no longer up and I cannot play the game anymore. I’m not as ticked off about this because it was $20, but still, I’m the one that got shafted. I was being honest and I got screwed.

    So who is really the worse offender here? The pirates or the companies? I’m not condoning the pirates, but here a company willingly accepted my payment and now, I’m screwed. I did nothing wrong but support the company and they basically shat in my face.

    Ivan

    9 Feb 09 at 12:05 pm

  27. I think it is pretty clear that an alternate solution is needed. This one is clearly a bad one because it doesn’t stop pirates at all (which is not what the PR machine wants to tell you).

    SC

    9 Feb 09 at 4:12 pm

  28. I bought Flight Simulator X and downloaded the crack so I could install in MY other 3 computers. What companies are doing with their ‘protective software’ is just ridiculous.

    BN

    9 Feb 09 at 5:55 pm

  29. Sorry for not responding more timely , major dental work in progress . Boshem , Your the reason why company’s use DRM. a honest an true computer programmer wouldn’t enter lines of garbage like that junk in one of their programs. DRM is sold by a seprate company added after the “”real programmers”” worked their magic. DRM is neither sophisticated, nor does it protect the program itself. It’s sole intent was to increase “” CORPORATE PROFOT””. You can disagree all day an forever with me,it’s America that’s your God Given Right. It’s my God given right to spend 500 100 or even 50 dollars for software that works . If DRM is causing the fault THE BELIEVE YOU ME I’LL FIX IT. If you not smart enough an the value of your hard earned money is so low that you do not mind being corporate Americas “”Revolving Consumer”” be my guest I feel sorry for you. For those of you who legally purchase programs an have have DRM issues a stroll down Googel lane a nice torrent file manager , a little bit of reading a few quik patches an you protected your investment. I do not advise the windows cracks. unless you can do your own . Personally i do not need to resort to that when it comes to windows basic everyday pc stuff i use a cheap disposable dell. For all my games main programs and office utilities i wrote my own operating system and make my own drivers and patches. As for Mine sweep I love it . I can Clear 27 expert games in under 7 minutes. I’m just sick an tired of the American ingenuity that built are great country being repressed for 5 decades over corporate brown nosing monkeys and blind main stream media sheep. Long gone are the days of Pride in your work . Not in my home. I teach my sons how to hack and “”Why”” I buy it it’s mine. I buy to use it not be jiped. All you people crying about me being a pirate or a thief or i have no respect . BULL. If the program was not worth a flip i would never have it on my PC in the first place. as a consumer you owe it to yourself to research and be a smart shopper. Googel a product read forums . Know what your buying. DRM is not part of the working program it is added on trash that rips off the consumer and the music industry found out that it was a””BIG BLACK MONEY HOLE””. I see why now Kids are better consumers then adults. your so worried about screwing corporate America, you can’t even tell your getting screwed. Maybe you like it.sorry for my rambling. I had all upper teeth wisdom -wisdom removed for Dentures. fought my wife for years . she won. Seriously only informed an product educated consumers will change anything. as long as we feed them they just gonna keep getting more hungry an this saddens me that our great country’s evolution, even the worlds evolution strayed from quality an pride . To see who can screw the most the longest. very sad .Boshem your not a idiot , if i come off that way i apologize. I ‘m serious why I appeal to you to research your products more.Then again you may have almost No DRM experiance.

    yrseeder

    9 Feb 09 at 7:36 pm

  30. I bought S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky around the time the Win7 beta was opened to general public. So obviously, I tried playing in under Win7. But the problem was, the TAGES protection is not compatible with Win7. It has too much OS dependence. It just gave me “please insert original DVD” which was inserted. So instead of playing patch 1.5.0.8 (release a few days after the purchase), I was forced to play 1.5.0.7 because this is the latest one that had a crack.
    In conclusion, I have 2 points
    1.Protections only make life worse for good customers, not pirates. I don’t know of any good seller game which was not cracked in at most 1 month.
    2.Who can guarantee that a game purchased today will work on whatever windows will be in 5-6 years. But then, considering the quality of current games, i doubt someone will still be playing them.

    Mathew7

    12 Feb 09 at 2:48 am

  31. Game set match . An I get called the pirate for stripping the protection of my legally purchased programs. Sorry their the pirates. Their are some really good games out their but you probably don’t like their platform. EVE is space based an has multi platform OS support as are all your monthly subscription pay to play no cd required games. Dark age of Camelot and WoW and War hammer if you like cartoons. no real first person shooters though . you first person shoot guys in the long run pay about as much or more as monthly subscription plat forms but we have way less headaches lol

    yrseeder

    12 Feb 09 at 3:16 am

  32. “I bought S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky around the time the Win7 beta was opened to general public. So obviously, I tried playing in under Win7. But the problem was, the TAGES protection is not compatible with Win7. It has too much OS dependence. It just gave me “please insert original DVD” which was inserted. So instead of playing patch 1.5.0.8 (release a few days after the purchase), I was forced to play 1.5.0.7 because this is the latest one that had a crack.”
    Yeah go DRM! Another satisfied customer!

    SC

    12 Feb 09 at 4:21 pm

  33. wow, thats really bad. the only software i paid for and had major problems with (that caused it not to run) i was able to take back to the store (thanks eb games u rock!)

    andy

    16 May 09 at 11:40 pm

  34. As you can tell from the other 30 or so posts above me you are not alone. The DRM problem is beginning to turn into an epidemic. These access control technologies that the hardware manufacturers are imposing on content limitation is getting out of hand. Piracy is definitely an issue, more or less in the music/video downloading market. It is too bad that people who rightfully purchase computer games face issues like the one at hand.

  35. Well, I finally contacted Microsoft Marketplace support about my issue with Gears of War. I sent them my key that was used to authorize the software and they are going to send me the CD itself.

    Still, this is a pain. I haven’t been able to play the game for months and having to get a new CD is just not right.

    Ivan Samuelson

    5 Nov 09 at 1:50 pm

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