Listen to Erathoniel ranting on and on in good ol' conservative Christian fashion.
But not Purchases
Published on June 19, 2008 By erathoniel In Gaming

    Here's a list of ways to stop piracy, but not purchases.

  1. Go DRM-Free: DRM will be cracked, but pirates often steal solely due to DRM, or wouldn't purchase anyways.
  2. Make a Club: If people buy a magazine subscription when they buy the game, at no added charge, they will enjoy it more. Do not restrict play for those not in the club, though, but make special content available only to club members. (plug-ins, not multiplayer, should be the incentive)
  3. Fan Policing: Have fans write letters to distributors of pirate versions of the game, and have your lawyers do so also. Make the fans report back to you about the game, in exchange for an extension of their Club subscription or for credit towards one of your products. (digital only, if you must)
  4. Go Free-To-Play: I'm no big fan of microtransactions, but go free to play, and nobody will pirate. Then put in microtransactions that are fair and balanced. (allow them to be traded to non-payers also)
  5. Provide Good Customer Support (and ask for proof of purchase): This needs fan policing to work, but it works. Ensure that the game works well (with money you would have spent on DRM), and make Customer Support a Club bonus (include Basic customer support, and Club customer support, for those whose Club subscription has expired).
  6. Trust the Customer: If you trust the customer, he will trust you. If he trusts you and is connected to you, he will buy your products.
  7. Befriend the Customer: Have developer blogs and well answered "Ask the Developer" sessions.


  1. DRM-Free: You can have ultra-light (say, limited installs, if unintrusive) DRM, but nothing that hurts the consumer. You do not need a game on more than three computers, and if the person does, they can call for support.
  2. Make a Club: Do not leave people out of the club out of the fun. However, you can provide neat content for those in the club, and they can enjoy it.
  3. Fan Policing: Be sure to make this policy well known
  4. Go Free-To-Play: None of the Disney basic-premium crap. Free-to-Play means no subscription fees, ever. No time expiration, either, that ticks people off. Make it available elsewhere, too.
  5. Provide Good Customer Support: Employee custom-tweaking of configurations (optimization), and legacy patches for experimental/obsolete equipment are key to making the customer support at the Club level worth paying for.
  6. Trust the Customer: I'm not saying to stick your head in the sand, just let them know how everything works.
  7. Befriend the Customer: It's hard, but take a GarageGames style approach. I'd never pirate one of their games, because I have contact (albeit very little, and digitally only) with their employees on the Great Games Experiment site (kinda like social networking for Gamers). Same with Flagship Studio. Give people enough to feel that there are people behind the machine.

on Jun 19, 2008

its a good try but its very flawed. 

its way to big of a change for both the companies and the gamers.piracy will never stop imo  its way to hard to contro. gamers will not tell that so and so is useign a pirated copy. and the whole trust aspect well theres plenty of gamers who are very trust worthy but then others u can not just believe.

the biggest issue we have is PC games. yah we have some things that help played burned games for console and this is jsut the companies fault not beeing bale to see what it is. they are very easy to find all ove the web. so teh console company is purely to blame about that situation.

for PC gameing i haev no clue what they coudl acltually do.

all teh scenarios i can come up with are breakable in one way or another. even with yours it jsut seems like it wouldnt work idk its my opinion.

on Jun 19, 2008

Check your darn grammar and spelling. My eyes are bleeding. It looks like you typed it on a cell phone while driving at 60 miles per hour.

1. Not such a hard change, though.
2. Piracy never will stop, but it can be minimized.
3. They won't report someone they know, but they may report groups or sites that distribute it.
4. But those you couldn't believe would steal it anyways.
5. Console piracy is horribly small, it's also pretty much invincible.
6. PC gaming can switch to giving incentives to buy as opposed to pirate.

It's not the lock-down cure EA wants, but it's the easiest way to keep a large group of buyers and make the pirates lose some sleep.

on Jun 20, 2008

yah i know i need to pay more attention lol.

i am rather bad with those kinds of things . def need to spend a little more time reviewing lol@.@.

1. idk personaly i think it would be a difficult change and interesting to see how they would do it.

2. i agree on this point

3. eh i think majority of people would keep to themselves about this situation. and this really plays out to how strong torrent sites are, roms sites maybe not as much but it would be harder to take down these sites.

skipping 4 and going to 5.  console piracy i think is more controlable becasue of the fact that if companies monitored the internet they could see all these thigns beeing sold and try to stop it themselves.

6. ehh thats more money that they need to put in. i have mixed feelings about DRM but atleast they are trying.  but i think giving some incentives like achievments which they are doing slowly would be nice. especially if they could make something like xbox live that keeps track of everything.

and sorry once again about my spelling and grammar last post, wasn't really awake lol.

on Jun 20, 2008
Here's my list of things that make me not pirate:

1) Multiplayer or Content Restriction. If I like the single player I'll usually buy it to play it online.

2) A good demo. The GC and SOASE time restricted demos didn't cut it for me. I was left feeling like "This sucks so far but I didn't really have time to give it a chance". Demos that only have restricted content work better. GC and SOASE could have benefited from race restrictions, custom race restrictions, map restrictions, or some SLIGHT tech tree restrictions.

The Unreal Series (UT2004, UT3) did this well.

3) Less seen features. No CD required for play (Requiring only a CD-KEY for multiplayer), Internet-based downloading in case you lose the CD (Impulse and Steam), and multi-platform support. It irks me that Galactic Civ crashes often with wine on Linux.

4) Alienating your player base. Steam really fracked over their customers when they froze every steam account that pirated HL2 when it came out early. If I was one of those people I would never buy another Steam product again.

5) Indie developers. I generally support good, single player, indie developers. For instance, I pirated Oblivion (which I still feel bad about because it is an amazing game) but I paid for Aquaria (Bit-Blot games) simply because I want to see more amazing games from them.

I've purchased too many crappy games [that had raving reviews] to buy them without absolutely knowing if they are worth the money or not. Just as an example, I absolutely love GC but I don't like SOASE or Civilization.

Anyone looking for a laugh about the pirating of Galactic Civilizations II, ToA should look here: [link removed by moderator]

This comment especially won't be popular with the SOASE crowd and I REALLY don't care.
on Jun 20, 2008
[link removed by moderator]

Curiosity is killing me.
on Jun 20, 2008
How to Stop Piracy

There are only 2 real solutions to this problem.

1) Make everything free.

2) Stop making software, movies, music and everything else that is pirated.

Obviously neither one will ever happen. And slowing down piracy is like throwing baseballs at a train to slow it down. There is one thing that most people will never understand as to why piracy can never be stopped. This concept applies to everything from DVD's & Cd's (movies, music and software) to digital software not a on a CD or DVD. Every single program, CD or DVD is designed to be accessed to be able to use it. No matter how many programs, tricks and ideas used to stop people from copying CD's and DVDs, from hacking the copy protections they have, people will always find ways to get into them because a way already exist. You may not be able to simply copy a DVD like you copy a file from one hard drive to another due to copy protection software and hardware, but a DVD player can play it, that means the DVD players has something in it that can crack the code (legally) to allow the use of the contents of the DVD. It's a matter of figuring out how the DVD player cracks the code (as an example, there are other ways). The same goes for you CD or DVD drive on a PC. And also the software on your computer to be able to install and use a program you acquired by legal means. For some a serial number can do the trick, others a copy of the original CD to allow the use of the software. On simply needs a copy of the serial or a cracked .exe file that does not request an original CD before use.

For every entrance there is an exit. For every code there is a crack. For every lock there is a key. For every DVD protection created there is a DVD player that will play it. Therefor, there is always a way in, legally or not.
on Jun 20, 2008

I support your first solution. Very much.

I enjoy demos, but I doubt they stop piracy. In fact, I've known people to skip the demos and go right for the pirated version.