Tuesday, March 24th 2009

Steamworks Makes DRM Obsolete

Valve today announced a new set of advanced features delivered in Steamworks, a complete suite of publishing and development tools that are available free of charge to developers and publishers worldwide.
Headlining the new feature set is the Custom Executable Generation (CEG) technology that compliments the already existing anti-piracy solution offered in Steamworks. A customer friendly approach to anti-piracy, CEG makes unique copies of games for each user allowing them to access the application on multiple machines without install limits and without having to install root kits on their PC.

The new features also include support for in-game downloadable content (DLC) and matchmaking. The in-game DLC support allows developers to deliver new content as they choose (paid or free) from inside the game itself, allowing users to make immediate purchases and experience the new content in the same game session. The Steamworks matchmaking now includes the robust lobby system shipped and tested in Left 4 Dead.

"Delivering this extension of services on Steamworks first anniversary, demonstrates our commitment to continually develop the platform to better serve the community working with these tools," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "As we roll out these features, we continue to look for new ways make PC games easier to create and better for customers to experience."
Steamworks was launched in early 2008 and has already shipped in products distributed at retail and electronically with major PC releases such as Empire: Total War, Dawn of War II, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, and Football Manager 2009.

The Steamworks services are offered free of charge to developers and publishers around the world. In addition to the services added in this spring's extension, Steamworks offers support for Steam Achievements, Steam Community, Auto Updating, Statistics, Steam Cloud and more.
Steamworks is fully integrated with the Steam, a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC games that has grown to reach 20 million accounts throughout the world, up from 15 million accounts just one year ago. Steam now offers over 500 applications to gamers in every country of the world. For more information, please visit steamgames.com
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56 Comments on Steamworks Makes DRM Obsolete

#1
h3llb3nd4
why don't they try getting rid of DRM completely?
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#2
AlienIsGOD
-1 for DRM. At least Steam is trying to go about this the right way IMO.
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#3
ktr
[...]the application on multiple machines without install limits and without having to install root kits on their PC.
And that is why I love steam...
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#4
3870x2
yes, we all know you love steam.:laugh:
Steam is definitely making a name for themselves releasing great deals, releases, games, software, etc.. I have had steam for almost 5 years, and within the last year or so, I actually look forward to starting it up.
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#5
Steevo
This is anti-DRM, they customize your game exe file to matcha specific size, or perhaps use a hardware file to track if this game belongs on this machine.


The only downside that some whiny little bitches might have is you probably hve to be connected to the interwebz for them to "spy" on you when you start the game.
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#6
alexp999
Staff
Doesnt steam have an offline mode?
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#7
ktr
by: alexp999
Doesnt steam have an offline mode?
Yea, but it does need online validation time to time.
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#8
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
Steam is awesome, Valve is a great company, next to Id.:)
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#9
BigBruser13
DRM Obsolete

So if I understand this correctly any game developer is now able to use Steam as an anti piracy solution. If so then I can see every developer getting onboard. And even though I like Steam I would hate to see the ability to try a game before buying it through bit torrent. And game demos are not good enough in my opinion to get the full feel of game before deciding if a game is worth buying. Or am I missing something hear?
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#10
W1zzard
steam is very nice for pirates. it lets them download the games before launch (preload), then they can crack them using the same method every time.

for lots of recent games releases the respective steam versions were used instead of the disc versions which have heavy protection.
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#11
BigBruser13
Steam games are easy to pirate?

So, if I understand you correctly, the download able game versions are easier to pirate because of heavy disc protection. If that is the case why are they touting this (Steam) as an anti piracy solution? Makes no sense to me.
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#12
Steevo
by: W1zzard
steam is very nice for pirates. it lets them download the games before launch (preload), then they can crack them using the same method every time.

for lots of recent games releases the respective steam versions were used instead of the disc versions which have heavy protection.
Shhhhhhhh:slap:
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#13
ArmoredCavalry
How does Steamworks eliminate DRM.... It is DRM, by the very nature of it...

Now this just means, not only will we have DRM on our games, but also, the used PC game market will disappear. (See DOW2/Empire TW)

Not only that, but Steam prices are a joke. You can get a boxed copy with shipping for way cheaper from sites like gogamer.com What happens once Steam decides it doesn't games being released in retail boxes?

Advances in downloadable games/content are great, but not at the cost of Steam creating a monopoly.
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#14
Cheeseball
It's not a monopoly though. There are other alternatives that are just as good, or becoming just as good. (e.g. Direct2Drive, etc.)
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#15
Steevo
by: ArmoredCavalry
How does Steamworks eliminate DRM.... It is DRM, by the very nature of it...

Now this just means, not only will we have DRM on our games, but also, the used PC game market will disappear. (See DOW2/Empire TW)

Not only that, but Steam prices are a joke. You can get a boxed copy with shipping for way cheaper from sites like gogamer.com What happens once Steam decides it doesn't games being released in retail boxes?

Advances in downloadable games/content are great, but not at the cost of Steam creating a monopoly.
Wait for deals + no one can stop you from purchasing hard copies.


If steam is such a horible thing to you, don't use it, and don't complain about it. So your post is trolling. :shadedshu
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#16
ktr
IMO, it cost more money to run and maintain a data center around the clock 24x7x365 (electricity bills, internet cost, labor, etc) than to print a hard copy of a game...
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#17
crazy pyro
You're not taking into account the cost of the shopfloor etc KTR. I love steam when it works, however I've been having really bad experiences with other games like Project origin and Empire.
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#18
ktr
by: crazy pyro
You're not taking into account the cost of the shopfloor etc KTR. I love steam when it works, however I've been having really bad experiences with other games like Project origin and Empire.
I get what your are saying. I know that there is a store to run and employees to pay, but these are retailers expense. The publisher expense is printing the hard copy and shipping it to the stores. And most larger stores use internal freight, so shipping cost is a lot cheaper.

Steam is both the publisher and the retailer. Maintain a data center is like running a store, and then some...
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#19
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Not only is CEG DRM.......

but it sounds like you can't take a backed up game and install it to another account with that same game on it, because of it's digital signature.

How is this user friendly?

Steam's Steamworks Makes DRM Obsolete headline is a lie. Steam has always been about DRM, albeit a better one than the SecuROM crap and ones like it.

Try logging onto your account on one computer, then log onto it again from another. What happens? The first one gets logged out immediately, regardless of what you're doing. This is account-based DRM, nothing less. Don't kid yourselves.

And before I get flamed as an anti-Steam fanboi, I have had an account for years and have many games on it.
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#20
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: h3llb3nd4
why don't they try getting rid of DRM completely?
I love that sig. Nice. :D
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#21
AsRock
TPU addict
by: ArmoredCavalry
How does Steamworks eliminate DRM.... It is DRM, by the very nature of it...

Now this just means, not only will we have DRM on our games, but also, the used PC game market will disappear. (See DOW2/Empire TW)

Not only that, but Steam prices are a joke. You can get a boxed copy with shipping for way cheaper from sites like gogamer.com What happens once Steam decides it doesn't games being released in retail boxes?

Advances in downloadable games/content are great, but not at the cost of Steam creating a monopoly.
Well if you get a box copy of Empire TW you need to install steam still lol.
Posted on Reply
#22
W1zzard
by: BigBruser13
So, if I understand you correctly, the download able game versions are easier to pirate because of heavy disc protection. If that is the case why are they touting this (Steam) as an anti piracy solution? Makes no sense to me.
it is not. this is a marketing bs press release.

someone mentioned the datacenter/delivery cost. one gigabyte of outbound traffic costs you around 2-4 us cents if you run a large scale operation. add about 2 cents for co-location, hardware and power.

a box with dvd + manual etc will at least cost you a few dollars, add shipping and logistics on top of that and profits by the merchants
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#23
Polarman
Sounds good in writing at least.
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#24
ArmoredCavalry
by: Cheeseball
It's not a monopoly though. There are other alternatives that are just as good, or becoming just as good. (e.g. Direct2Drive, etc.)
It is not, yet...

by: Steevo
Wait for deals + no one can stop you from purchasing hard copies.

If steam is such a horible thing to you, don't use it, and don't complain about it. So your post is trolling. :shadedshu
See dow2/empire TW (no choice whether you want to use steam or not if you want to play those).

I don't purchase steam games at full price, I do wait for deals.
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#25
Nyte
Steam is like the Xbox Live to Xbox 360 and PSN to PS3.

If anything, in a few years, PC games will die due to pirates. Not because of companies trying to get rid of pirates.

If pirates were so smart, maybe they should give these companies advice on how to solve the problem. But they can't because there is no other solution currently. And that is the circular problem we're stuck at.

So instead of blaming the companies for implementing DRM, maybe you should be blaming the pirates or (I'm gonna get flamed for this) yourself (because who am I kidding, I'm sure all of you pirate or have pirated games before).

It's easy for a user to complain, but when you actually work at a gaming company putting in 60+ hours a week just to see your revenue get eaten away by pirates, it paints a whole different picture.
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