Stardock introduces non-traditional DRM solution

By Justin Mann on March 26, 2009, 1:37 PM
A recent summit held by the FTC has brought the topic of DRM up this week, with the intention of clarifying where the industry is going. Some aren't content to wait and see what the outcome will be, however, and instead are looking to change DRM technology on their own. One such company is Stardock, the same company that proposed the Gamers Bill of Rights framework last year.

Stardock has announced today that they have been preparing a new type of DRM, which they claim will solve many issues that both developers and players face. Dubbed Game Object Obfuscation, in short, the new system puts entire games into a container format alongside Stardock's own “Impulse Reactor” virtual platform. When this file is launched for the first time it prompts for certain information like email addresses and a serial number. The end result is that, once activated, the game is permanently tied to that account as opposed to a piece of hardware like most activation systems do.

The advantage that Stardock plays up with this technique is that a permanent Internet connection is no longer required to keep content active. It also lets users validate games on any digital distribution service that supports them, alleviating concerns that if a publisher goes out of business people will lose access to their purchased titles. Further, users can install their games to multiple computers without hassle and could even self-invalidate their license to resell it or simply transfer it to someone else.

Some weak points and downsides to this technology come to mind, though. Could games be pirated just by sharing account details? Is it possible for a company to invalidate someone's license on their own? Little of the “negative” details were provided, so we'll have to just wait and see how “GOO” turns out.

User Comments: 8

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TomSEA said:
At least someone is thinking outside of the current DRM box. Be interesting to see how well it pans out....
Rick said:
[b]Originally posted by TomSEA:[/b][quote]At least someone is thinking outside of the current DRM box. Be interesting to see how well it pans out....[/quote]You can add Valve to your list, as well. [url]
tengeta said:
That thing about Steam is a joke, its just DRM with a new name.
gingerbill said:
personally i like steam , if i didnt need to use it for valve game's i still would , it's very handy and excellent for online games . I can see how people without the internet wouldnt be happy with it , that's fair enough .
x darthmonkey x said:
Steam is the most complete AND the most fair DRM Scheme on the market... by leaps, bounds and short airplane flights. it's no surprise that it's also one of the most effective, and the only DRM that I've never heard any complaint about.
anguis said:
Even Steam is far from perfect, but it is good. Steam/Valve also have the good idea of making their games relatively cheap when bundled together. The deal for $99.99 is amazing (when you consider L4D is still like 50 bucks XBox)
siiix said:
i do not like this solution eigterit was near perfect how it was about 5 years backthe serial number is yours and not attached to anything, but only usable by 1 at the same time, there is no way to cheat that system and its fairas for off line, why bother,, all programs will be hacked anyhow the 1st day, no point of even trying such things
Badfinger said:
Just eliminate DRM entirely, a games sales is more about promotion than anything else.Sales dip when a game stinks, via word of mouth, which the internet helps spread like wildfire.Consumers should be the winners, you know how many crappy games (or ones I didn't like) I have bought, but could not return? Far too many! I recall a few a games that were broken at release and never really fixed.Several games I bought, didn't allow play in Windowed mode, that's a pet peeve.
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