From the comments of people who have gotten the game, it sounds like Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, the Penny Arcade game, has pretty much the same DRM scheme as is being used in Mass Effect: Online activation, limited to three different machines, with more being given on “a case by case basis”.
It’s slightly less risible here because the title is a digitally distributed budget title, but in the end you still have to ask Hothead games if you can play. I just assumed that there wouldn’t be any DRM. I mean this is
Gabe and Tycho Mike and Jerry we’re talking about here. Being ex-PC gamers themselves,I would imagine they would recognize the futility of the system. Why go to all the trouble of developing their own digital distribution system if it’s just going to be another implementation of the same stupid thing everyone else is using?
(By “everyone else”, I mean everyone besides Stardock. Bless them. A few weeks ago, I bought Sins of a Solar Empire. They mailed me the game, but let me download it as well. An hour after I made my purchase I had the thing installed and ready to go. No DRM fuss, no mess. I did have to type in a CD key, but I can do that as many times as I like. It was beautiful. I still have Collector’s Edition box sitting here, unopened. Like a present I’m saving for later.)
I actually object to the activation less in this case. I consider RSPOD to be a more or less “disposable” game. Play it once, and forget about it. It’s a budget title, and probably not something I’ll want to repeat five years from now. But still, the principle of the thing is the same, and the very idea of asking permission just rubs me raw.
I don’t know if I’ll skip the game over this or not. I’m certainly not going to run out and buy it right away.
Sigh. My hope that publishers will come to their senses over this is waning fast.
EDIT: Thinking about this the next day, I don’t know why I was so eager to give them a break. I guess because they are “indie” and I have a soft spot for indies. But my soft spot for indies comes from the fact they they don’t act like the big publishers. If I’m going to miss out on Mass Effect and Spore then I’m sure not going to indulge Hothead games in the same scheme.
The quote, from their forums: (Thanks to DaveMc for finding this.)
To hell with them. They should know better.
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