DRM, SecuROM, An Open Letter to Cyanide Studio

If you have been in the gaming scene for a decade or two, you are aware of the different DRM being used by game developer companies. You probably discovered it after you tried to create a back-up of your game installers and it just failed.

That’s DRM alright, it is a copy protection program that prevents you from ripping or duplicating the CD/DVD you bought. The most popular in the gaming world are: SecuROM and SafeDisc.

And it’s not everyday that you read someone writing a good letter explaining and sharing his experience as to the (huge) disadvantage using a DRM gave him. Lachlan said, “It is a sad thing when a pirated copy ends up being a better copy than the actual purchased product”, he went on that it is “a terrible way to encourage people to purchase your product”.

Here is his letter to Cyanide Studio, creator of Blood Bowl

Follow up:

To Whomsoever at Cyanide Studio this concerns,

I’ve just finally finished my Steam download and am really disappointed to find the inclusion of an install-limited version of Securom. I know that I should have seen it whilst purchasing the game – or more precisely, preventing me from purchasing the game, but now I feel really very ripped off, and just a little violated.

Given how secure SteamWorks as a non intrusive, account limited DRM is, are there any plans at all to release a DRM removal patch or switch it across to SteamWorks in the future? If not, could I please beg of you to consider it. Blood Bowl is past its peak of sales, and removal of the overly strict DRM in favour of a non-limited one (such as SteamWorks) could only possibly increase future sales – any quick search over the internet quickly reveals people unwilling to even buy the product at 80% off due to the limited activations of Securom.

As somebody who barely plays multiplayer games, I feel like I’m getting a worse quality product then if I pirated it. Which is really disappointing, because it looks like a fascinating game that I’m looking forward to playing – only, with my consistent reformats as a minor game developer myself, it looks like I won’t be able to play it long. I understand that there is a de-activation/uninstallation tool, however I don’t understand why it is necessary to treat me like a thief when I do the right thing and purchase your game. And I shouldn’t have to do a full restart because I’m running some tools I use to develop that happen to be detected by SecuROM – your game isn’t the only thing I use my system for.

I’ve seen various people state that you care about customer feedback – and I beg of you to consider this piece of it. Until you remove SecuROM, I won’t be purchasing any more of your games – which is disappointing because you seem to have some original games. I’ll simply have to go without.

Yours legally and legitimately

Lachlan Kingsford

Source: Nerdy Gentleman Games, Lachlan’s blog.

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