World of Goo creators: DRM is a waste of time

Ron Carmel, co-founder of 2D Boy, speaking at this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco said that the best solution to piracy is to not bother with digital-rights management (DRM) altogether.

Carmel, who spoke about the business decisions made with World of Goo said that there is little reason to use DRM especially when a cracked version of the game will be created anyway. "Don't bother with DRM--it's a waste of time. You just end up giving the DRM provider money. Anything that is of interest gets cracked, and the cracked version ends up having a better user experience than the legit version because you don't have to input in some 32-character serial number. Anybody who wants the game is likely to find it on BitTorrent sites. It's going to get cracked even with DRM, it's going to be available very quickly, so we don't see the point in having DRM. Piracy rates have been released before, and there's no difference between World of Goo and other games."

He continued by saying that developers of other independent video games are better off not getting involved with publishers and sticking to digital distribution. "Retail distribution--which is what publishers are good at--doesn't generate many sales for indie games. Go with digital distribution--you won't need a publisher for this. Self-fund your game--and when you get to retail, go for per-country flat-fee deals."

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Not only is DRM a waste of time, it's meant that I've HAD to crack several of my games (Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath being 2 of them). Both of the above use SafeDisc, and whenever I try to play the uncracked version of these games, CmdLineExt.dll is copied to %SysDir% (C:\Windows\System32) and registered. With this file in place, whenever I right click on an executable file or shortcut or view its properties, Windows Explorer crashes - some shortcuts/executable files worked fine, some as soon as the context menu appears, some as soon as the Properties window is opened. It took me months to work out what the problem was and wasted no end of my time. Windows XP SP2/SP3

The only think I don't like about DRM on games is having to put the darn disc in every time I want to pay it... I installed the darn thing for a reason, so I dont have to have a disc in... Sim City 4 and civilizaton are the games that annoyed me the mose with this

I bought it off Steam for $5. Yes it is worth it but those are the only copies that the game sold.

DRM does what it is supposed to do most the time and that is to stop day 1 cracks however once a game is cracked, it usually runs like crap because of a crappy crack and of course these rumors get started that the game runs like crap and of course some would be buyers do not buy the game because they believe that the game runs like crap. So really, DRM may do more harm than good however, there is no valid case that it is useless.

babyHacker said,
I bought it off Steam for $5. Yes it is worth it but those are the only copies that the game sold..

I did this too, based on positive reviews and the attractive price. Apparently when Team Fortress 2 was on sale for $9.95 during the weekend sale on steam it sold like 500% more than usual (I also bought this). Steam distribution seems to be the future for PC gamers and piracy. It's not like no one has Internet who is a gamer these days, for the mandatory connection that Steam requires.

I avoid all EA games now due to DRM (and the lack of time!) I mean they practically killed 'Spore'.

If your game is smart, it will sell.

I dont like DRM, I was turned off buying games, just pirating them.

But I have to say, buying Half Life 2, was the best purchase I made in about 10 years, especially the free MODS released with Steam.

I bought World of Goo for the Wii and the PC because it's fun. Both of them are copy protected, though.

I don't agree DRM is a waste of time. I do agree the current draconian implementations some companies are using are a waste of time but not DRM itself. The whole reason DRM exists to begin with is because people are not honest, if someone can get something for free they will. While it is true the DRM is gonna get cracked anyway and it usually is the paying customer who suffers for it but I don't think the game industry could survive if all games went suddenly DRM free. Yes, there will be people who will pay for the games but how many will succumb to the temptation of just pirating it? especially if there is nothing stopping you doing it? DRM is what stopped casual piracy and without it I doubt everyone would be honest enough to keep paying. So while yes DRM never stopped the pirates (nothing will) but without it I doubt things will be better, DRM has to exist is some shape or form to keep people in line. They should give up on the pro-pirates but they can still stop casual pirates. I'm sure I'll get flamed for this but I don't care :P this is how I honestly feel in this subject.

Xerxes said,
Especially if there is nothing stopping you doing it?

To be honest there's nothing stopping you from doing it now, pretty much any game out there can be found for free. So that reason holds little water with me. I have pretty much stopped buying pc games all together they are too much hassle to play because of their DRM methods. I have Guild Wars, and then I play some other OSS or Free games, but for the most part, I enjoy my xbox and ps.

some things simply should not be made illegal, pirating music, games... should NOT be a big deal, most folks that pirate games strictly more often than not would of never bought the game, CD or film to begin with, how much money is lost then? zero the casual pirate? those are usuall students, kids who probably can't afford to buy every single one of their favorite games, so again, what money is really lost?

people pirate because its easy, your options are limitless, your copies of games never get lost or get damaged, without DRM and decent prices people would lap up games like they were somebodys favorite candy, think if all games were DRM Free and say 15$ ... even with that huge price cut, the $ would still be made, you would have probably double the retail buys and many more online

restriction of almost anything stifles innovation and f*cks the consumer, i'll add that i no longer buy games... last games i bought were Far Cry and Half-Life, after seeing some of the install processes, i just said screw that, its not even worth it, i dug out an old atari and enjoy that quite a bit :D

its great to see some companies starting to just 'get it'

Xerxes said,
I don't agree DRM is a waste of time. I do agree the current draconian implementations some companies are using are a waste of time but not DRM itself. The whole reason DRM exists to begin with is because people are not honest, if someone can get something for free they will. While it is true the DRM is gonna get cracked anyway and it usually is the paying customer who suffers for it but I don't think the game industry could survive if all games went suddenly DRM free. Yes, there will be people who will pay for the games but how many will succumb to the temptation of just pirating it? especially if there is nothing stopping you doing it? DRM is what stopped casual piracy and without it I doubt everyone would be honest enough to keep paying. So while yes DRM never stopped the pirates (nothing will) but without it I doubt things will be better, DRM has to exist is some shape or form to keep people in line. They should give up on the pro-pirates but they can still stop casual pirates. I'm sure I'll get flamed for this but I don't care :P this is how I honestly feel in this subject.

Look for example at the game Spore creature creator, it is built with a draconian DRM which is very difficult for game crackers to crack this game, it has been very successful.

artfuldodga said,
...

Wait, so because some games have DRM, you think not paying *anything* for stuff is justified?

What an odd world you live in.

@Xerxes: I definitely agree with you. If content has to be protected, it should be protected in a way that doesn't make customers suffer.

That's why I love the Zune Pass that Microsoft offers on Zune Marketplace. Even though it uses DRM, it uses it in a more beneficial way where if you choose to play a flat fee of $15 a month, you can get access to millions of songs very easily, LEGALLY, and not even have to pay millions of dollars to access full-length songs. You also get to keep 10 FREE songs, and they are DRM-FREE of course. Actually, 90% of Zune Marketplace is DRM-free. The Zune Pass is a great way in how DRM doesn't get in the way of consumers. As long as you keep paying the monthly fee (like any subscription you tune into), then it's still there to access. Of course, you could buy songs 'a la carte', but Zune Pass is the best subscription service out there.

An all you can eat game subscription fee sounds cool too, do you think?

People like artfuldodga are the reason why DRM exists. I think the creators should still get paid, and it's not fair if there are idiots that will continue to pirate, just because they're a freeloader.

A great game, and an amazing way to waste time. I also bought this and, indeed, noticed how great it was not to go through any security steps to 'prove' that I actually bought. Because of this, I ended up buying a copy for a younger brother of mine.

A great game, and an amazing way to waste time. I also bought this and, indeed, noticed how great it was not to go through any security steps to 'prove' that I actually bought. Because of this, I ended up buying a copy for a younger brother of mine.