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
alexp999
Staff
I didnt know EA games needed gamespy, I have never installed it. Always untick the option.

I have to love steam for the fact you cant loose your games, and there is no CD check.

I always install modded exe's to all my games that require CD checks, it's such as hassle, especially with Crysis, cus my drive doesnt like the disc.
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#2
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: alexp999
I have to love steam for the fact you cant loose your games, and there is no CD check.
When Valve goes bankrupt/servers catch on fire, all your games/information will be lost with no proof you ever owned it in the first place. Their platform is more vulnerable than retail.

How can there be a media check when there is no media? It uses Internet authentication which means keys associated with user accounts. In effect, Steam/Internet access is the check. No Internet means no authentication which means no playing your purchased product(s).


Also, I think it was W1zzard that said games cost several dollars to manufacturer when in fact, they cost mere cents. The only thing that costs a lot is the creation of the die. Once the die is created, disks can be stamped out at a cost little more than the plastics it is pressed upon. Because retail packaging is light, it doesn't cost much to ship either. If you're talking strictly digital vs retail distribution, they are about the same; however, a disk can be used 100+ times without issue while uploading something 100+ times incurs more and more cost in terms of hardware/infrastructure. Short term, digital is cheaper (if everyone only downloaded once); long term, retail is cheaper (if everyone downloaded, say, 5 times, for the lifetime of the media).

The exact figures on prices are a closely held, commercial secret. Like with movies and music, the major costs are incurred prior to distribution (filming, recording, editing, developing, etc.). Distribution is extremely cheap by comparison.
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#3
Steevo
by: FordGT90Concept
When Valve goes bankrupt/servers catch on fire, all your games/information will be lost with no proof you ever owned it in the first place. Their platform is more vulnerable than retail.

How can there be a media check when there is no media? It uses Internet authentication which means keys associated with user accounts. In effect, Steam/Internet access is the check. No Internet means no authentication which means no playing your purchased product(s).


Also, I think it was W1zzard that said games cost several dollars to manufacturer when in fact, they cost mere cents. The only thing that costs a lot is the creation of the die. Once the die is created, disks can be stamped out at a cost little more than the plastics it is pressed upon. Because retail packaging is light, it doesn't cost much to ship either. If you're talking strictly digital vs retail distribution, they are about the same; however, a disk can be used 100+ times without issue while uploading something 100+ times incurs more and more cost in terms of hardware/infrastructure. Short term, digital is cheaper (if everyone only downloaded once); long term, retail is cheaper (if everyone downloaded, say, 5 times, for the lifetime of the media).

The exact figures on prices are a closely held, commercial secret. Like with movies and music, the major costs are incurred prior to distribution (filming, recording, editing, developing, etc.). Distribution is extremely cheap by comparison.
He was referring to the digital distribution, and he said it only cost pennies. A physical copy means trucking, warehousing, packing, unpacking, inventory, display, customer interaction, change makers, theft, loss, damage, and left over inventory. A virtual copy like steam provides means that you still have a CD key, every time I start GTA4 they show me my key. If steams servers all ever burn down.......and metal burns quickly when in a fire protected datacenter, they have promised us physical copies. If Steam/Valve fails I'm sure the massive amount of players would be getting games from the MFG's anyway, unless they want to die a thousand deaths in legal action.

For a great example of a non-steam game, BF2, everyone loved to hate the game, and even had a day without out gaming or some stupid shit. But it did nothing, and they moved on, EA wasn't hurt by no one playing on thier servers, or on private servers.

Anyway this is my last post as I grow weary of trolls.
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#4
Ongaku
yeah, a digi distro only costs pennies, but they only charge $10 less....:mad: Come on....I'm not getting the package, the manual, and the physical disc...should be $20 less.

as for this...meh...I don't care much for Steam except to play TF2 and Age of Chivalry. I'm probably not the only one, but I hate how Steam has become. Remember the good old days when Steam was only for Valve games? Ah, I miss that. Now it's become a big video game store and nearly 3/4 of the games on there are crap and $50.
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#5
ArmoredCavalry
by: Steevo
He was referring to the digital distribution, and he said it only cost pennies. A physical copy means trucking, warehousing, packing, unpacking, inventory, display, customer interaction, change makers, theft, loss, damage, and left over inventory. A virtual copy like steam provides means that you still have a CD key, every time I start GTA4 they show me my key.
Anyway this is my last post as I grow weary of trolls.
Which is why Steam prices are crazy. How is it that I can buy a brand new boxed version of a game w/ Shipping for $35, while it remains $50 on Steam? :shadedshu

Also, I don't think you know the definition of trolls... ;)

by: Ongaku

as for this...meh...I don't care much for Steam except to play TF2 and Age of Chivalry. I'm probably not the only one, but I hate how Steam has become. Remember the good old days when Steam was only for Valve games? Ah, I miss that. Now it's become a big video game store and nearly 3/4 of the games on there are crap and $50.
Yeap, exactly...
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#6
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: Steevo
He was referring to the digital distribution, and he said it only cost pennies. A physical copy means trucking, warehousing, packing, unpacking, inventory, display, customer interaction, change makers, theft, loss, damage, and left over inventory.
My statement still stands. Digital distrobution is only cheaper when the client only downloads the product a few times. The more times they download it, the more costly it becomes.

At least if you have physical items that were stolen, lost, or damaged, they have something to claim as a loss. The tax man isn't going to let you claim a loss if pirates managed to "steal" 50,000 copies of a game off steam because, frankly, how do you prove it was stolen? Uncle Sam always wants proof.
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