DRM/Steam – the devil in software form

So Dawn of War 2 has finally been released in South Africa, I’ve been after this game for ages and when I went down to the local video game vendor in my area I discovered that a) it costs R400 (about 41 USD) which is extremely expensive for a PC game (not too long ago it was half that amount) and b) it requires Internet access for activation.

So basically you need to have PC Live (XBOX live PC version) and Steam, a digital distribution platform to activate the product.  In this fashion Steam would act as a form of DRM for Dawn of War 2.  Not only so you can play multiplayer matches online, oh no, even if you just want to play a single player skirmish game you need to access Steam, that’s right, you need to have Internet access in order to play a single player game!   There seems to be a bit of a debate over whether or not Steam is required for initial activation or for subsequent plays although John Capozzi of Relic Entertainment issued a statement that read:

“The only time you NEED to connect to Steam is the first time, to activate the game and download the initial patch.  After that you never need to connect again, if you just want to play alone.  Keep in mind that you still need the Steam client running, it just doesn’t have to be connected.”

Here are some wonderful responses to that statement I found at http://www.techgoondu.com:

CavitySearch UNITED STATES Said,
March 24th, 2009 @5:18 am

“Its terrible that a game that I spent my hard earned cash for can tell me its not ready to play in offline mode… I had this problem with DoW II just like I did years ago with Half Life 2 (I’m on 26k dial-up so patching is nearly impossible). It’s nice to see that Steam is still as restrictive and backwards as it was all those years ago.  Relics deal with the devil has cost me the privilege of playing one of their great games… at least I still have the box to look at.”

ironmarshal667 AUSTRALIA Said,
March 11th, 2009 @6:10 pm

Hi John

I loved dow 1 ,bought originals all of them.  I thought i buy original dow2 as the company did a good job of previous games it deserves the support.  I was wrong.  I installed dow2 was very excited . Could not play unable to login to server for activation.

Day 2 – activated DOW2 , wait there is more 4 1/2 hrs download for a patch.

Day 3 – finally able to play all good, week later want to play but no internet connection . Put steam off line , message game not ready to play. cant play.  Go to friends place log in.  Guess what,  patch waiting 1 1/2 hrs.My internet speed is 512k.  I know you want anti-piracy but this is wrong.
There has to be a better way .  I liked the company , but not anymore .  I told my friends about this issue , they told me I’m not the only one out there with this problem.  This is my opinion.

Wow, that’s great I only NEED to connect one time in order to play a game I paid money for, I have internet so its cool right? All the other fans who don’t have access just get fucked over.

Do companies who use Steam and other DRM apps enjoy treating their customers like criminals, because that’s what they are doing.  I mean you purchase the game legally and you get bogged down by all this fucking ‘anti-piracy’ shit which detracts from one enjoying the game!  Here’s a news flash, regardless of what anti-piracy software gets developed some one will ALWAYS find a way around it, millions of dollars gets wasted developing this software that invariably damages your operating system installation at some point.  Much like Sony’s piece of shit root kit that was released some time back.

And what about the millions of people around the world (yes America, there are millions of non-Americans living on Earth) that DO NOT HAVE a high-speed Internet infrastructure in their country or Internet to begin with?  Isn’t it strange that the ‘pirates’ are the ones enjoying DRM-free versions that can be played offline?  The PC gaming market is suffering as it is with console revenue being about 8 times more then PC games worldwide and people wonder why.  Do you really want to alienate the legitimate PC gamers you stupid fuckheads?!  If this sort of crap keeps up PC gamers will begin migrating to consoles in order to play ‘hassle-free’ games that don’t require having spiked-dildos rammed up one’s ass.