The original Borderlands was one of my most beloved games of the last few years so it's awesome to see it get some useful updates. It seems Gearbox pushed an update to Steam to get rid of the SecuRom DRM from the base game and all DLC. They also created a tool that grants you the Steam copy if you purchased the PC version outside Steam.

http://steamcommunity.com/games/8980/announcements/detail/175956536787509775

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 07/30/2014 at 02:33am

...Allows owners of the game a free Steam copy. Thought they were handing out Steam codes to everyone for a second there ;)!

jdodson   Admin   Member   Post Author wrote on 07/30/2014 at 02:34am

Ha yeah, that would be awesome. I kind of want them to hand out Steam keys for people with PS3 and XBox 360 copies, but... Not everyone is Valve and this isn't Portal 2.

jdodson   Admin   Member   Post Author wrote on 07/30/2014 at 02:34am

Still, a Steam copy from any PC version is pretty nice.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 07/30/2014 at 02:42am

The article states that the Granting Tool works with retail discs. Will it work with non-Steam digital copies? Some people commenting are saying you have to have the disc in the drive when using the tool.

jdodson   Admin   Member   Post Author wrote on 07/30/2014 at 02:52am

I am not sure. That said, if you had the retail PC disc I guess you pass it around to your friends for a free copy each?

Travis   Admin   Member wrote on 07/30/2014 at 03:03am

I downloaded the tool to convert to Steam, but I can't get any further in the process because the first step is to verify your disk, but I assume it also requires you to put in a product code later? But it may be so long into the game's life that they don't really mind if you share it with your friends.

Travis   Admin   Member wrote on 07/30/2014 at 03:03am

At any rate, scrypt, yeah it seems like you have to have the game disk. Maybe, if it does key verification later, you can use someone else's disk with your key? Who knows...

Travis   Admin   Member wrote on 07/30/2014 at 03:05am

FINAL COMMENT in this chain, sorry for spamming up the place: based on comments on that Steam topic, it does seem that it requires a key after verifying the disk.

jdodson   Admin   Member   Post Author wrote on 07/30/2014 at 03:07am

Ah. That's good to know. So they have some kind of Gearbox key they verify and then hand out a Steam copy if it all works right. godmode

Travis   Admin   Member wrote on 07/30/2014 at 03:09am

So it seems. It's apparently getting hammered right now though, some people are reporting some issues connecting.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 07/30/2014 at 03:16am

Most retail disc games (all, that I'm aware of...) come with a CD key for registration. I would assume if the tool requires the disc, it would then verify the CD Key, as a two-step proof of ownership. Just glad they moved away from SecuRom!

jdodson   Admin   Member   Post Author wrote on 07/30/2014 at 03:27am

I am glad too, that's why I posted it mainly. I have less of a problem with DRM is the companies remove it at some point. There is a slight usecase for DRM around launch I guess and if they strip it away at some point, it makes the whole concept of it less stupid.

Travis   Admin   Member wrote on 07/30/2014 at 03:33am

Here's something to think about. When the Witcher 2 released, the version that showed up on The Pirate Bay wasn't the DRM-free version from gog.com that would have been trivial to pirate, it was the Steam version with the SecuROM cracked out. People in that scene were just used to doing it that way. That's how trivial it is to crack. DRM only screws with paying customers who want to play fair, having to have the disc in to play, or in some cases having to keep a constant internet connection to the publisher's servers. But if you have to have DRM, Steamworks DRM is the least obtrusive of all of them I've seen. You just have to have Steam open and occasionally connect it to the internet. I suppose Origin is the same way.

jdodson   Admin   Member   Post Author wrote on 07/30/2014 at 03:52am

I agree with you and, for sure, history and is on your side here. It's just that if DRM has a purpose it's only in the run up to the game launch and a bit thereafter. Certainly it isn't useful during a big ass Steam sale where the game costs $5 or in the games 5th year of life.

I guess I am just trying to strike a middle ground somewhere so publishers can feel better and DRM gets removed in some known period.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 07/30/2014 at 04:04am

Excellent point. Another something to think about (or speculate over, as the case may be): Concerning the implementation of DRM, do you think most companies are worried about losing profits, or annoyed that someone is getting something for nothing? Put another way, if all the people that pirate games (or any digital content) lived on some remote island with amazing satellite broadband, but TSA level shipping restrictions, would anyone really care if their product was pirated? Would digital piracy even be an issue at that point?

jdodson   Admin   Member   Post Author wrote on 07/30/2014 at 04:07am

Lost profits) Yes, I think that's the point entirely, with games at least. I think DRM is made to stop people from simply copying files to a friends computer so they can play it for free.

Remote island) Piracy wouldn't be as popular in terms of downloads but in countries with bad internet they have dealers on the street selling DVD's and such. Like life, piracy finds a way. smile

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 07/30/2014 at 04:38am

My point is that pirates will pirate, they won't purchase. As long as they don't sell what they pirate, and the people that purchase content legitimately continue to do so, what harm does piracy do? Transformers 4 grossed $300M worldwide in its first three days. I'll take a presumptuous guess and say that it was pirated at least 100,000 times, which is likely a low figure. If someone steals something from a stockpile of infinite supply, what does it matter if a handful consistently go missing?

Travis   Admin   Member wrote on 07/31/2014 at 02:47am

> My point is that pirates will pirate, they won't purchase.

That's not entirely true. Netflix won over a lot of pirates because there was finally a better product than piracy. Many people chose to pirate the first Assassin's Creed game on PC because of the draconian DRM. Plus it isn't unheard of to pirate a game as a demo and buy it later, but that example is the exception rather than the rule.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 07/31/2014 at 06:07am

I'll amend my hyperbolic statement, and say instead that pirates don't want to purchase. I wasn't thinking so much of the people that dabble in blue moon piracy, as DRM isn't built for these people. Netflix streaming service hasn't offered much in the way of new content in years, and I'll bet that most of those pirates that "converted" are really just ripping Netflix discs as they come in the mail.

Free to Play is an excellent solution to piracy (maybe the only pure solution, as it is essentially legalized piracy), although it doesn't always seem applicable. How would Wolfenstein: New Order work as a Free to Play game? And this is what I was vaguely and sloppily coming around to: Could there be more room to innovate in the Free to Play model? Do you think we might see a big game, like Uncharted 4 or Half-Life 3, released in some F2P hybrid?

jdodson   Admin   Member   Post Author wrote on 07/31/2014 at 04:37pm

> My point is that pirates will pirate, they won't purchase.

I think that scrypt is right for some people. I know this guy that was an avowed pirate, he bragged how little he bought and pirated a ton of content. He lauded that he bought stuff he loved, but I didn't really buy that from him, he wasn't terribly trustworthy as a person anyway. Not saying all pirates are bad people, but he seemed to have the value of "I don't pay for stuff and am happy about it." He had money to buy it, he just didn't want to and was happy to stick it to someone. Games, movies, whatever.

Netflix does offer new films in rotation. I just recently watched The Master, World War Z, Oldboy(Spike Lee remake), Machete Kills, Pain and Gain & Don Juan. Maybe not all triple A movies, but I wanted to see them all and was happy I didn't have to rent. That said, I love films but don't need to see each triple A movie release, waiting or never is fine for me.

I hear from many people that they rip discs from Netflix and Redbox too, that seems to be really common. I think that shows that digital movie pricing is a bit high for some, and i'd tend to agree. I think the only digital pricing that seems to have come to a norm are some ebooks, music and indie games. Everything else needs to catch up to a better model.

Free to play seems to work for multi-player competitive games, but perhaps, not a ton else. Well, Candy Crush works too I guess. That said, Wolf: New Order wouldn't work well in F2P and it doesn't need to because, if memory serves, it sold pretty well.

I hope we don't see games like Half-Life 3 come F2P because it doesn't make a ton of sense to and they'd make enough money through normal sales anyway. Will Valve make more money over time from DoTA 2 than Portal 2? I think so but I hope they still make non F2P games, because I honestly play more of them anyway.

Travis   Admin   Member wrote on 07/31/2014 at 08:52pm

Ugh, you watched the Spike Lee remake? I've heard it's at best OK if you haven't seen the original, and atrocious if you have.

Also, Half-Life 3 could be free-to-play if they gave Gordon tons of hats to wear. It seems to have worked for TF2.

jdodson   Admin   Member   Post Author wrote on 07/31/2014 at 08:59pm

The Oldboy remake was fine but the original one was much better.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 07/31/2014 at 09:53pm

I've heard good things about the original Oldboy. I haven't seen either, though. All consumed with Guardians of the Galaxy coming out this Friday, which, I read on the internet somewhere, will be better than both Oldboys combined.

Say that Gabe sends out a memo to Team Half-Life, stating that he wants the third iteration to be Free to Play. Half Life is a universe serious in tone, and you don't want to throw gimmicks at it to monetize it, and no way in hell will there be ad placement. Beyond the typical Free to Play structures we've seen, how could you go about monetizing a "free" experience, without cheating the player or the story? I apologize if I just keep repeating the same thing in different words. It's fascinating to think about it, and each time I post a comment I feel like I'm close to progressing the conversation with an actual idea, but then I get trapped in my head, thinking about what I'm thinking about, and that turns into a desire for cinnamon rolls, and then I lose the thought.

I'll have something later, I promise!

Travis   Admin   Member wrote on 07/31/2014 at 10:56pm

Well, now *I* have a desire for cinnamon rolls, so thanks. :)

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 08/01/2014 at 12:07am

There is a place here called Ginger Browns and they make amazing cinnamon rolls. Not gooey, or overly cinnamony, but dense and rich and chewy and you pretty much die after eating one. It's ridiculous.

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