We have been playing video games since 1958, the gaming industry is getting even bigger and bigger every day, faster platforms, better graphics, smarter gameplay and control systems. But yet, we still struggle with the same problem we faced in the beginning, how to protect a game against unauthorized copying and distribution.
Back in the days in 1986 one of the first computer viruses ever was created as an attempt to protect against unauthorized copying. As if that was not a disaster per-say, developers kept on experimenting with different protection methods each of which was compromised sooner or later.
Today, 24 years later, we are still living the same struggle, and just until recently we didn’t care, but we are starting to get mad as recent DRM (Digital rights Management) systems started inconveniencing rightful owners of games, by insisting on a permanent Internet connection to some unstable servers to play offline games?
Coming to think about it, why are they even still trying? It has been like 24 years people, and not a single game got away without being cracked ( Don’t count PS3 games, but it’s coming for them as PS3 is starting the smile after being tickled for so long).
See, I believe there are 4 kinds of gamers, lets call them, the Buyers, The Testers, the leeches , and the Cheaps.
1. The Buyers.
There is actually two types of these, some just have very strong moral values who believe that sharing is stealing, and the other type is the paranoids who believe that all cracks contain viruses and Trojans. Buyers will buy the game if they want to play it, or even try it. This type of gamers is what is keeping all crappy game developers around
2. The Testers:
These doesn’t mind downloading something to try it before they buy it. Or even to play it a little until it is released where they live.If the game sucks, they won’t buy it. and that’s that. Thanks to these, the world still have good games to play, as they are the ones feeding developers (with the Buyers) to keep the gaming wheel rolling.
3. The Leeches.
These are the lamest of all gamers, the ones who can buy a game, but they do it, only if they can’t get it for free in some other way. These are the reason why game developers still struggle with their protection systems.
4. The Cheaps.
Or the homeless, these are the ones that can’t buy a game even if they wanted to, because they can’t find it where they live, or just can’t pay for it. But they still get their gaming fix by downloading cracked games. These are mostly kids in the third world countries.
Developers can only get money from the first three types, if the game gets cracked they lose the Leeches, If there game sucks, they lose the Testers and many of the buyers.
The Cheaps do not count, if you hypothetically created an uncrackable game, then they just won’t play it, and that is supposed to make you feel good? I don’t think so.
The Leeches are the reason why we have DRM systems, they are the reason why we have to jump loops to install a game. These should be exterminated to make the world a better place.
Finally my theory is that it is just zeros and ones, as long as you are giving it to us, you should expect someone to reverse engineer it, find out what you did to protect it, disable it, and then put it back. it is so fun that we created a competition out of it. Hacker groups crack games just for the challenge against developers, and other hackers.
No body is getting any money out of those who can’t give it. Your protection is gonna get cracked sooner or later, and the more you spend on it is your own loss.
I wait to see a real game published and distributed by Torrent, without any protection what so ever, it is going to be broken right? Just a small message saying that you should pay before you play, and that stealing is bad karma will have the same effect as a state of art DRM system with all the bells and whistles.
What do you think? What kind of gamer are you? what would be a message that would make you free willingly pay for a game?