Fallout: New Vegas will use Steam for DRM

By on June 9, 2010, 3:32 PM
A few weeks back Bethesda and Obsidian started taking questions for the next Fallout title. A staff member on Bethesda's forum posted answers to a dozen of those questions yesterday, revealing that Fallout: New Vegas will rely on Steam for DRM. After looking at other options, the developers decided that Steam is the "best, least intrusive experience for PC gamers." The use of Valve's platform is great news, considering the recent string of less-than-cherished always-connected mechanisms from folks like Ubisoft.

Offering his take on Steam, senior producer Jason Bergman said the platform is tightly integrated with New Vegas. Steamworks is implemented in "as light and unobtrusive away possible," and it will be mandatory to play the upcoming Fallout. That said, you can install the game on as many systems as you want, and besides the initial activation, an Internet connection isn't required.


Tight Steam integration also means that New Vegas will rely on the platform for friends lists, storing user preferences in the cloud, achievements and so on. Additionally, you can activate and download the retail boxed versions of the game via Steam, meaning won't have to lay hands on the DVD if that's the way you want to go.

Fallout: New Vegas is due in the third quarter and made our list of 2010's most anticipated PC games. It's a stand-alone installation in the series that follows three years after the events of Fallout 3 and although it shares a similar gameplay experience to the previous entry, there are no reoccurring characters.




User Comments: 72

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Works for me. Even though I've pre-ordered the DVD version of Fallout: New Vegas, I will have zero problems running it through Steam for DRM as I do many games right now.

The Steam model really is the DRM of the future for all PC games methinks....

Sketchy Meister said:

Probably won't be buying this, but I'm glad that their being smart. Hope to see other game developers realize that Steam offers DRM free protection *cough* Ubisoft! And that people are completely okay using it.

Guest said:

It may be better then some of the other DRM out there, but I still do not want to be forced to use a 3rd party to play a game I buy. Bring back the serial number at install.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Should I go finish fallout 2 before I look forward to buying this?

Guest said:

Steam's DRM is actually a lot less intrusive than some of the others. I lost my DSL link for about 48 hours, and was still able to run games that I'd bought via Steam during that time.

I can maybe even understand a DRM scheme which verifies the game on startup (e.g. Mass Effect 2), but one which will quit a single-player game if you suffer a router hiccup or connection failure at any time? The latest Splinter Cell had been on my "check it out" list until I learned about that...

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

Steam's DRM is actually a lot less intrusive than some of the others. I lost my DSL link for about 48 hours, and was still able to run games that I'd bought via Steam during that time.

You're totally right. The offline mode is fantastic. When the internet went down I started playing some Steam games and had no problems.

While I'll admit I had issues with a title or two, overall I'm very pleased with the 30 odd games I've picked up since I joined Steam. Their sales are really amazing,and I've picked up a ton of titles probably for a quarter of the regular price (which was already pretty cheap to begin with).

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

I wish that most companies goes this way for their games ... nice move Bethesda!

cheers!

Docnoq said:

Now I just have to decide whether I want this game on PS3 or PC.. I guess I'll get it on whichever platform offers a sale first :-P

Edit: Funny, as soon as I left this site I went to Steam's site and they have a big banner advertising New Vegas and they also have a huge sale on Fallout 3 GOTY, Oblivion, and Morrowind.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

A bit disappointed they had to go with DRM, but at least Steam is one of the better ones available. Still it does have negative side-effects no matter how friendly it may appear. And personally anything that isn't from Valve irritates me a bit when they choose Steam's DRM. I guess it's better then GFWL in the end though.

Guest said:

WTF I was really looking forward to this game. Now I won't be buying it.

Guest said:

Anyone that has the attitude that "Steam is fine by me" is just pissing their consumer rights away. I won't be buying this one. You should never, ever give a company that much control over your purchased goods, period.

Guest said:

This sucks. There still are some gamers who don't have internet connection. Yeah, that's true and I know one. He is a fanatic Fallout series fan but now he is not going to buy NV as he couldn't play it. Forcing people to have internet connection for single player games is worse than some computer based DRM.

Guest said:

Another FINO* game that I won't be buying. At least it saves my money.

* Fallout In Name Only

Guest said:

I don't understand why Bethesda feels the need to force Steam on people buying New Vegas through retail. Yes, the platform has its positives (unlimited downloads of the game, achievements, etc) but the online activation still is a more restrictive DRM form than what they had on Fallout 3 (simple disc check), which seemed to sell really well. I don't understand why they can't offer the Steam download for anyone who wants to go the digital distribution route while still keeping the simple disc check in the retail version like they did previously.

Hell, if you didn't want to deal with the disc check in the retail version of Fallout 3, you could bypass it by running the Fallout3.exe executable directly and get a completely DRM-free experience (instead of the FalloutLauncher.exe executable that all the shortcuts point to). The fact that Bethesda used a very scaled back DRM scheme played a big reason on why I chose to get Fallout 3. Now, with the forced online activation for New Vegas, I'm not so excited to pick this up anymore.

Too bad, I was definitely looking forward to getting the game before hearing this news. Oh well, guess now I'll be skipping this and spending 50 bucks less come October.

Guest said:

This news really dissapoints me.I have every Fallout game and bought 2 copies of Fallout 3(Collectors Edition and a copy I use for installing}.My games machine has never been online as I choose not to play multiplayer gaming. I do not understand why activation cannot be similar to Windows XP,Vista or Windows 7 which I have all bought and have activated XP and Windows 7 by a simple phone call.Have been buying and playing PC Games since Win 95 and even before that,on consoles(Atari,Megadrive,Nies,C64 and a few others).The Gaming Industry has had quite lot of my hard earned cash and I feel let down by this constant severe and sometimes ludicrous DRM..Perhaps its time for all Gamers know matter what platform the choose to use to say enough is enough..I won't be buying this title and I won't be pushed or bullied into putting software on my computer that I have know use for.(Namely Steam)..From a very old Gamer(Loyalty can not be bought,it has to be earned)..

Guest said:

I have not had Steam on my PC since my last upgrade - I don't use it, things like digital downloads are not viable with my 3GB a month cap on a shitty 384 kb/s line. Being forced to install a 3rd part app simply to use the game I legally purchased is not acceptable. That's one lost sale Bethsoft!

It amazes me that so many are happy to embrace more and more restrictions on their rights as consumers...tying your games to a 3rd party just seems like a foolish idea, unless everyone believes that big business are ultimately philanthropists who 'care about you'. What if their data centres are compromised or DOS'd? What if they go out of business? What if they change their 'benign' access policy in the future so every game insists that you connect at start-up to authorize? etc etc. The whole online authorization thing is not really acceptable- not everyone has access to the internet - yes, even in this day and age - but at least other activation system allow you to phone in. Yes, Ubisoft's system is incredibly dumb,and I have not bought any of their games since they introduced it, but this is still unacceptably intrusive and forces me to install a system I do not want to play a game NOT purchased from Steam.

Guest said:

Steam is like the rapist who uses condoms and lube and pats you on the head afterwards. You still just got assraped.

DRM is the reason I pirate games.

Guest said:

Yep, was really excited about this one.... but I'm one of those gamers who chooses to keep his machine offline, so looks like no NV for me. Same reason I never bought Empire: Total War, even though I had every other game in that series.

I can't imagine DRM does much to actually stop pirating. What it certainly *does* do is alienate people like me who try to do things the right way, by making what should be a simple transaction into a needlessly complex, 3rd-party interaction. I've never pirated anything in my life, but the way the industry keeps putting up roadblocks for lawful users makes me want to reconsider.

Guest said:

I've already had problems and I am NOT happy! I just waited in line for an hour to get my copy. I get home and try to install it and STEAM says I cannot because it is not released yet!!!! WTF!!! What a waste of my time. Now I will be up all night waiting for STEAM to deem me worthy. heh

Guest said:

i agree with the last post, don't they take into consideration the different time zones in the US??

if i would have known i could not get it home and play it, hell install it i would have waited till tomorrow

Guest said:

I am sitting here wishing the folks at steam would die in a fire. Stop penalizing your paying customers or forever lose your right to ***** about piracy. I pre-ordered my copy, received my copy at a legitimate retail store shortly after midnight, and now find I'm SOL because some stupid *** hat forgot to set the clock right. Do it right, or don't bother. Once I am done with New Vegas I will be un-installing Steam, YET AGAIN. I will pay closer attention next time. I will NEVER pay for a game that requires Steam again. I will continue to play said games, let's be clear. I will pay hackers to crack the Steam requirements before they ever see any more money from me. I'm done with you. I've been a PC gamer for nearly 20 years. I hate to see the switch to consoles, but I can't take it out on the consumers for wanting things to work as advertised. Put the disk in, play the game, be happy. Here's to wishing I had ordered the Xbox 360 version...

Guest said:

Yeah this is bullish*t. I cannot activate either. I'm exchanging my copy tomorrow for the Xbox version, and I'm keeping the version on my pc. LOL

Guest said:

I just got back from the store after buying NV. Read the back before I ripped the plastic off. THANK GOODNESS. I did not have a clue this game required STEAM to register. It is going straight back to the store and I guess I will not be playing NV. Shame.

Zilpha Zilpha said:

Steam is like the rapist who uses condoms and lube and pats you on the head afterwards. You still just got assraped.

DRM is the reason I pirate games.

Wow - why are people so up in arms over verifying that they obtained the license legally? I'll tell you what - for companies like Bethesda that consistently produce quality games, I have no problem whatsoever going through an extra step to verify I legally have the right to play them. I don't believe that we are required to pay an additional royalty fee for launching the game, so what is all this nonsense about pissing away our consumer rights?

Whether you agree with it or not, piracy is a big deal and if there are no countermeasures against it, companies will have absolutely no incentive to produce quality entertainment.

You aren't pirating games because of DRM, you are pirating games because you don't feel you should have to compensate the developer. Everyone should just develop things for free, right? Years worth of time and millions of investment dollars isn't worth 60 bucks and a server check in once in a while?

I guess not.

Guest said:

Bullshit is all I can say I am so ****ing pissed right now that I am getting boned in the *** from actually paying for the game. **** any game that has bulltshit DRM like this I WILL not pay for games like this again.

Guest said:

There is an easy answer to this. Steam sucks. I loved it for a few months, bought several games and had one keep crashing. I opened a ticket and was told "contact the publisher". So I did, they (Square) said that Windows 7 was supported but not 64 bit. This was not mentioned on steam. So I added to my ticket, over two weeks Steam failed to respond. I asked for a refund and uninstalled the game, no response. I updated the ticket again, and told them I was doing a charge back, they closed the ticket. I did the charge back.

They locked me out of my account. Every title lost! I reverse a $44.99 charge because the title does not work and no one will support it and Valce blocks my access to $200 worth of software? They refused to even acknowledge the issue.

I eventually yelled loud enough to resolve 80% of it, but they still owe me that money. In the mean time, I won't risk anything steam again. I've been burned once and don't want to rely on a company that might get a whim to say block my access to every game I own.

Guest said:

I completely believe that Obsidian/Bethesda have the right to require activation of their games however they should not make it a requirement that you have internet access. Not everyone in this world has internet at home, me included. A call in activation option for non-internet users should be offered. I hope they see the error of their ways and rectify this.

My solution is to give my PC over to a friend who will connect it to his internet and get the game installed so I can play it.

Guest said:

I have such issues with steam because I also got fallout NV and just like other people have said we cant install it because it hasn't been released yet?! Seriously wtf if i have a legit copy in my hand how the hell hasn't it been released?

Way to fu*k off your eager customers.

Guest said:

Not acceptable. Not even a little bit. Don't ever treat the user like a potential criminal. I don't care if it's better than Ubisoft's DRM, it's still DRM. It's still an insult to the user and an unnecessary restriction.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Not acceptable. Not even a little bit. Don't ever treat the user like a potential criminal. I don't care if it's better than Ubisoft's DRM, it's still DRM. It's still an insult to the user and an unnecessary restriction.

I can only conclude that some of you are about 12 years of age. Its an insult to have to verify who you are and that you own it? ...really? well guess what kiddies. when you grow up, you have to verify who you are and ownership for just about everything but a church dinner.

I suppose then you would not want the bank to "insult the customer" and "treat them like a criminal" by asking Joe blow for verification that they are the owner of the checking account when they walk in and try to withdraw on your account then?...or running around with your credit cards?

Guest said:

I am waiting 1 hour and 15min just to play. It must connect to steam update or whatever? This is about the 5th time I have played. I will never purchase another steam game. This is ridicules to wait over an hour just for the game to load. Never again...

Guest said:

I agree whole heartedly. DRM and a requirement for online activation is a joke and insult. My verification is that I went out and paid for the item with money I earned. Pirates are a problem to the game developers not me I pay the retail price, agree to the EULA at install and do not lend my game to anyone else. I I can see their problem but honestly, its their problem not mine.

Yet my game experience is reduced because I have to deal with 3rd parties and internet connection limits and associated expenses so they can make sure someone else isn't ripping them off. Ultimately it hurts them not me as a gamer, I just buy something else. If they can make it work on X360 without any additional verification then why not PC?

Guest said:

do you work for steam or just own stock? There are hundreds if not thousands of people that not only mind if there's DRM imposed via steam or any other neo-nazi group, realize that it's just greed and it has ruined gaming forever. It's truly amazing to see people think it's ok and worse to think that it's a good idea! What communist / socialist country are you from? You pay full price for a game and then someone else tells you when and if you can play it... But what's more amazing than that is that you were able to type your lame assed thoughts, I guess not everyone who rides the short bus in completely insane...

Guest said:

Its another case of diabolical liberty taken again, If i knew steam was required i wouldnt have bothered. I am a helluva fan of Fallout but this is ridiculous, and this crap about; "Cannot be installed yet because it has not been released yet" is PATHETIC. What in the name of all thats holy is the point of that? to hell with steam and quite possibly Bethesda for selling out to such a company.

vangrat said:

STEAM Phail

So I got my hands on FONV last night, and began installs. Steam freezes, steam crashes, steam locks up. I do a full reinstall of steam, repeat, repeat, repeat. Finally after two hours of trying to get the game to install, steam did not freeze, lock up, or give me the finger. I honestly do not mind having FONV on steam, but they should have allowed it to be installed directly from disc so that people would not have to put up with this crap.

Okay rant done.

Guest said:

You all sound like are a bunch of bloody vaginas queefing in the wind. Boohoo steam! How dare companies try to get paid for their products.

DRM is a way of life now. It is the price legitimate gamers have to pay due to the rampant piracy that has gone on in the last decade. This games are massive. They are huge freaking projects. The quality of these games is constantly improving. It takes more money than you will ever see in your life to get these projects going. Bethsoft deserves to get paid for releasing awesome games. I loved Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls.

I played those games for upwards to 60-80 hours each. I got my money's worth 3 times over. I agree that DRM sucks when it doesn't work correctly. I cursed GFWL for an entire weekend when I bought Fallout 3. Steam is a 1000 times better than GFWL. It looks like Steam is doing a pretty good job to me. Of all my friends that use steam, we have noticed very few issues, and I havn't had a single problem with New Vegas so far.

Consumer rights violation? Grow the F*ck up. If you don't have an internet connection, don't buy a DRM encrypted game. These gaming companies are going to make much more off of the turds who are forced to pay for their game instead of pirating it then they would lose off of a few people living in the 1980s still.

Sincerely,

KelJu

Guest said:

I paid £50 for a pre-ordered Collectors Editioin at my local (u.k.) dealership.

Now i find that I have a box of plastic novelty items and a game I can't play as I don't have an always online connection!

Whoopee! What a bargain...thanks, Steam...and thank you, GAME.

Guest said:

The default steam setup is to download the game even when I have the DVD. Duh! After finding the fix to get around that and installing the game, it won't start. I click on play and nothing happens.

I won't EVER buy another steam activated product.

Guest said:

Nope, its not. That's shitting in the face of two-hundred years of American tradition to complain about all of the self-righteous pricks out there who think its cool to build package deals that fail to acknowledge exactly what is valued. I am not paying for Steam, I don't want Steam, and the simple fact of it is, I would rather pay more not to have it. Too bad that isn't an option.

Now that I think about it, that would be a good, slimy business to get into: charging extra to remove invasive services from products. Reminds me a bit of that Alice in Wonderland anecdote where Alice can either pay a large fee for one egg or a small fee for a dozen eggs. She inquires into the reasoning behind the price scheme and finds out that if she buys the dozen she has to eat them all right then and there.

-The Dr.-

Guest said:

Look folks. STEAM is there only for advertising more games and getting your money that way. Not for stopping piracy. This game was cracked in five hours. ANYONE can just go and download it for free if they want. STEAM is there to make more money. For this reason I ain't buying but giving them the finger ! I ain't playing either. Just not worth it after this trick. Lost respect towards them.

oasis789 said:

i dont see whats wrong with steam. i dont need an internet connection on to play every time, right?

vangrat said:

Look folks. STEAM is there only for advertising more games and getting your money that way. Not for stopping piracy. This game was cracked in five hours. ANYONE can just go and download it for free if they want. STEAM is there to make more money. For this reason I ain't buying but giving them the finger ! I ain't playing either. Just not worth it after this trick. Lost respect towards them.

While I agree, Steam is not a full proof DRM solution. I would rather that companies jump on board with Steam, than some of the other craptastic ideas they have had recently. Yes Steam can be a pain to install with sometimes. But overall, I can learn to live with this.

As for you not buying the game because they use Steam. This sounds to me more as a cop out then any real truth. Just admit that you do not want to pay for the game because you are cheap. Steam is not so bad that it is a deal breaker, and since there are ways around it, what is the big deal for you?

Guest said:

I think this "Steam" thing is a load of rubbish!!! Not only do you pay alot for the game, it does not install, then Steam wants to download 7GB of data even though all the data is on the disk. What a load of absolute SH!T!!!!!!!!! I am so pissed off and disappointed. I really enjoyed Fallout 3. Pity someone had this STUPID idea. Perhaps we should use V.A.T.S and shoot them in the head!!!!

Guest said:

"I can only conclude that some of you are about 12 years of age. Its an insult to have to verify who you are and that you own it? ...really? well guess what kiddies. when you grow up, you have to verify who you are and ownership for just about everything but a church dinner.

I suppose then you would not want the bank to "insult the customer" and "treat them like a criminal" by asking Joe blow for verification that they are the owner of the checking account when they walk in and try to withdraw on your account then?...or running around with your credit cards?"

Wow, you're not even remotely interested in taking what I said into context, are you? This is not a checking account. Your comparison is idiotic at best. It isn't even remotely applicable because verifying your checking account information is about protecting the customer. DRM is about abusing the customer under the guise of protecting the company. No, I'm not 12-years old. Your irrelevant comparison leads me to believe that you may be, though. In fact, I am in favor of freedom from *unnecessary* restrictions. That's why I won't be buying this, but I might buy a few games from Gog.com instead. Older games, but you have freedom.

I just tried Steam to see if it wasn't so bad, and at first I started to change my mind, but I have to say, the guy who said "Steam is like the rapist who uses condoms and lube and pats you on the head afterwards. You still just got assraped." pretty much got it right.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Wow, you're not even remotely interested in taking what I said into context, are you? This is not a checking account. Your comparison is idiotic at best. It isn't even remotely applicable because verifying your checking account information is about protecting the customer. DRM is about abusing the customer under the guise of protecting the company. No, I'm not 12-years old. Your irrelevant comparison leads me to believe that you may be, though. In fact, I am in favor of freedom from *unnecessary* restrictions. That's why I won't be buying this, but I might buy a few games from Gog.com instead. Older games, but you have freedom.

I just tried Steam to see if it wasn't so bad, and at first I started to change my mind, but I have to say, the guy who said "Steam is like the rapist who uses condoms and lube and pats you on the head afterwards. You still just got assraped." pretty much got it right.

assraped"? really? okay ...13 years of age. The fact is bozo, they have a right to protect their work from being ripped off. and as a 12 year old, you come up with "assraped" while being pissed off at the people who are tired of having their product stolen, rather than the people who pirate software and bring the industry to its current form of DRM. If you want to be pissed off, it should be at the people who are stealing the software. BTW, it is about protecting the customer as well. From higher software prices,busy servers, poor customer service, lower profits and less development budget. Theft cost's the PURCHASING consumer. Just like a checking account. What you were bitching about was having to verify ownership and identity, so once more, you have to do that constantly in life...which you will know when you grow up.

Guest said:

screw steam i was wondering if i buy the game whether i could download a crack to to activate it or if theres any other way to bypass steam to activate cause my problem is i use a pay as you go usb so obviously its expensive if i need to to download 7 gbs of data its like approx 40 extra dollars.

aqny ideas??

Guest said:

wont buy this game because of the online activation, there should be more options to varify.

my rig will NOT be put online, thats what the shitty laptop is for.

if i buy a hard copy, single player game i expect to be able to play it "from the box".

never bought a pirate game, might consider it now.

Guest said:

i agree with guest above

Guest said:

online activation for a local game??? WANK!!!

My money is going elsewhere

chew turds Bethesda

Guest said:

Everyone saying that a company has a right to keep its product from being pirated is missing one very important fact: DRM does practically nothing to keep a game from being pirated. There is no DRM that has not been cracked. All that it does is penalize the legitimate customer, and as a result it frequently drives away customers who would have otherwise paid for the product.

At best, DRM keeps the pirates from uploading the game for a day or two (even this is very rare; 95+% of games are cracked within hours of becoming available). This may, admittedly, result in increased sales in some rare cases, as some people who would pirate otherwise can afford to pay for the game and are too impatient to wait an extra day for it, but the vast majority of pirates don't fall into those categories; they are either too poor or too cheap to pay for the game. Moreover, in most cases these day-one sales will be offset by people who don't buy the game (either pirating it or simply not playing it) out of objection to DRM. Fallout 3 sold quite well on PC, and it had very minimal DRM, just a disc check. Do you really think that the number sales would have increased if it had used, say, Starforce or SecuROM for DRM? I doubt it; the bad associations that immediately come to mind for most people who are familiar with them ensure that many would opt not to buy it.

And for those who believe that people are just whining because they don't want to have to pay for the game - which, to reiterate, doesn't make sense because every game since the advent of DRM has been cracked, STEAM games included - I'm almost certainly going to receive Fallout: New Vegas for Christmas. I actually would have bought it a while ago, except that I just finished putting together a new gaming computer and have very few other things to ask from my loved ones for Christmas, and they insist upon getting me something. And when I get it, the first thing I'll do is tuck it away somewhere and start torrenting. Because, believe it or not, there are legitimate customers out there who are simply fed up with DRM and other recent practices among gaming companies, who pay for games whose boxes we'll never open. We torrent games primarily for one of two reasons:

1) It allows us to play the game without dealing with the hassle, invasiveness, or unreliability of DRM. In the case of STEAM, concerns range from being able to play on computers with no Internet access; to the possibility of the server being hacked or going down - temporarily or permanently; to disagreeing with aspects of the subscriber agreement; to concerns about customer service (see the first October 20 poster above for an example); to preferring to have physical copies; to limitations related to other aspects of STEAM such as not being able to roll back to earlier patches in order to use mods incompatible with more recent patches or features that were later removed. (Obviously, not all of these are applicable in the case of FO:NV.)

2) Since companies have an unfortunate tendency not to release demos anymore - I suspect that this is because they've come to realize that demos are likely to result more sales lost than gained, seeing as generally only people who are already interested in the game will use them - we play downloaded copies for a short period in order to make an informed decision about whether to purchase a game. Reviews, no matter how trusted the source, can only tell you so much; only by experiencing the game for yourself can you make a good determination about whether or not it has enjoyable gameplay, will run smoothly and relatively glitch-free on your hardware setup, etc.

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