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LGP Introduces Linux Game Copy Protection

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  • When you go to LGP's site, it's like the man is running a charity.
    Good point, the whole image could do with a going over. Take the startup of any game, all the companies involved have big, bold logo's flashing up that scream 'were great', then along comes LGP's ninja, kill-bill tux animation ending in 'LGP' burned on the screen in big, bold letters...
    LGP's games aren't top of the line but just looking like your worth a million dollars has a big affect.

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    • Just an unrelated side comment. When they put the LGP splash screen in a game, it always sounds like a person just had constipation.

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      • Originally posted by niniendowarrior View Post
        Just an unrelated side comment. When they put the LGP splash screen in a game, it always sounds like a person just had constipation.

        Arrrgh...

        Must...

        Not...

        Comment...


        Comment


        • Originally posted by miles View Post
          (Let's change a bit the mood of the discussion - and yes, I share your views of piracy - and talk about the lack of sales without running into the age old apology of free loading like we've seen enough.)

          The problem is that you - and apparently LGP - are thinking this like developers. You're not salesmen. It's not your job, and you could have insane programming skills, but still you just can't sell the goods, because it's not the job you're good at.

          You're saying the price can't come down, and for you it ends the problem. If your job is to sell goods, that's never going to stop you, and I'll try to detail why :

          Imagine the game has to sell for 40£ to make a profit (yeah, LGP doesn't advertise their goods in any other currency, and that just show how they want to make sure they sell the less amount as possible). Now you still want to drive the sales, not just sit idle on your chair hoping nobody notices you've got something to sell. So what do you do?

          First, you could make a special 1 month pre-release deal. For 5£ in advance, you'll get the game 5£ cheaper. Oh, but - thinking like a developer, it won't work because you need to sell the game for 40£ to make a profit. n00b. You price the game 45£ or even 50, and you still sell the game for the amount you wanted to sell it. More important, 5£ is below any impulse level, so you'll get people signing up that would never have bought the game for a boring 40£. You get more customers, you realise you could sell the game for 30£ and still break even, but for the time you could save up the 10£ free profit to pay for the rights of a next game, a bigger one.

          Now, when a game has been on sale for 2 years and you notice only 5 people a year buy the title, are you going to stick there with your head in the sand keeping your game at the price you need to break even? n00b. Slash the price by at least 50%, sell it for 20£ or less, or create a bundle with two games at 30£ each. Then please, do ADVERTISE. Pus banners on your site. Make it a special offer for a limited time only. Send notice of this to all Linux web sites and publications - bargain sale at LGP, limited offer, get it before it runs out! Most, if not all linux magazines, and all Linux websites are run from fans, and they'd like Linux gaming to be successful as much as you do. If you're even half as skilled in human relationship as Torvalds is , you'd get them to inform their readers for free - it's their job, and they'll be helping their readers save money.

          Now, to go back about LGP's (lack of) advertising - the man couldn't sell whiskey to an alcoholic. I had to come back to Phoronics looking for reviews of the HD 4850 to remember that X3 was still being ported to Linux.

          Isn't it symptomatic of a problem? The game is supposed to be released in a few month, yet nobody's doing previews, nobody's sending daily screenshots to Linux sites, no one sent the beta to each Linux journalist and their mom (same for at lest one or two people in big distributions like Fedora, Ubuntu, Mandriva...), no one's running monthly interviews of the developers... What? Are they afraid people might think of buying the game? We're not talking about having to fork money to buy a few pages of advertising, we're talking about things that wouldn't cost LGP a dime.

          When you go to LGP's site, it's like the man is running a charity. Yeah, even if you don't plan to play the game, give us some money to support gaming in Linux. Sorry, but if I've got 40£ to throw somewhere, I give them to real charities, people needing water, food, medication, teaching... (and before you ask, yes that's what I do), NOT to save Linux gaming, because yes, there's a sense of decency somehow, and a life is a tad more important than an agenda.

          So, except for a few person, people will only give money for games (or software, or anything else) when they know they're getting a value out of it. Yet what value do you get from someone that doesn't even behave like what he's selling is of any interest for the Linux community?

          I'm not saying putting DRM in the games are or aren't going to help him sell a few more games. It's his call, and that's his problem. However, I (and I'm not the only one) have got some gripes with the way the man is running his business.

          Look at X3: Reunion - Special Edition.



          Yeah... Can't even be bothered to tell me WHO wrote the freaking book, or what's the story about, or if it's even remotely related to the game? For what we now, it could be the perfect book to help you start a career in gardening, or another illustrated story with Winnie the Pooh and his friends. The T-shirt? Could be any cheap quality fluo pink ultrathin polyester with a 5mm≤ logo in front, where you could only barely distinguish enough to be sure you're telling everybody you're into X meetings... and what, nothing about a manual or an irreplaceable map of the X3 universe?

          The man may have done a lot for Linux gaming, but wouldn't you expect him to try selling the goods he's sitting on?

          Edit :

          Now, to the man's defense, he's running his soceity like a developer would like his goods be sold. Don't ask people to sell a kidney to buy the goods, price it at an amount that pays for the development (+ the royalties) and no more, so you can keep doing the job you like.

          Fair and nice, but we don't live in such a world. And LGP is selling somebody's IP, an IP that has needed the efforts of dozens of developers and artists for a few years. Sorry, but a village's general store mentality isn't giving them any respect. Moreover, selling selling games for a premium after they've been on sale for years isn't really giving the consumers any respect either, however "fair and nice" one wants to be. Doing a better job selling the goods, making it desirable enough, selling it for more than what you'd say is fair at the beginning but giving people real value for this money (the value isn't in the box only, it's in the sale, the shop, the site, the buzz, the community, the interaction with the company and the devs, the informations you get bit by bit and the dreams you're allowed to have), then having covered your expenses enough to offer the games at bargain price for those that fancy retro gaming (after 2 years of LGP sales, and considering the games were released on Windows 2 years at least before LGP delivered the Linux port, yes, you're selling games to retro-gaming fans, not any gamers) - that's proving developers & clients alike due respect. If you're a salesman, then doing your job well is as important as for any other job.
          I couldn't have said it better.

          Edit:
          Originally posted by stan.distortion View Post
          Good point, the whole image could do with a going over. Take the startup of any game, all the companies involved have big, bold logo's flashing up that scream 'were great', then along comes LGP's ninja, kill-bill tux animation ending in 'LGP' burned on the screen in big, bold letters...
          LGP's games aren't top of the line but just looking like your worth a million dollars has a big affect.
          Rumor has it, that LGP eventually overhaul there website:
          Michael Simms: comrad: hehe, no, no hints just yet, but its a new site that we hope will make things better for linux gamers, open and closed source.
          Whatever that means
          Last edited by M1AU; 06-26-2008, 07:49 PM.

          Comment


          • Article does not say it but... LGP has opened it's own mailing list for the copyright things.

            http://linuxgamepublishing.com/mailm...gp-copyprotect

            so go there and say if you are going to pay for their new DRM enforced games.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by M1AU View Post
              Rumor has it, that LGP eventually overhaul there website
              About time. Maybe they'll also fix the blatant XSS vulnerabilities on the current one, which I informed them about a week ago or so... *sigh*

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              • On the mailing list, there's an interesting quote that explains the copy protection thing a bit better. One just wonders why they didn't want to say it in the first place - I guess Michael really wants to make sure he doesn't sell any games, break even or, heaven forbid! make money !

                According to what Michael said in an earlier email....

                Quoting:
                ++++++++++++++++++++
                As it stands, you never need an internet connection ever. It tries to
                use one, it tries to see if youve been sneaky and blocked out our
                server, it tries to get round the blockage to connect to us, but if it
                cant, it cant and it carries on.

                It does still use internal checks to make sure the key you have is a
                valid key, if it cant connect.

                The only time you NEED an internet connection, is if you have had one
                previously and the game found it was an invalid copy. If that happens,
                nothing will make it start unless you have connected to the server again
                to prove you should be allowed to.

                On the OLD system
                It wouldnt require a connection for install, but it would complain if it
                couldnt verify that key after a while.
                ++++++++++++++++++++

                Seems pretty clear to me. Innocent until proven guilty.

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                • Hehe, I guess the next "game" LGP is porting to Linux is WGA

                  Puns aside, as Linux gamers, it is in our best interest to support Linux gaming and that "innocent until proven guilty" and "never need an internet connection ever" isn't too bad.

                  I just worry where this will lead I'm leaving Windows because of DRM for crying out loud

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by miles View Post
                    Even harder, but a hudge potential :

                    Civilization IV. The game is so huge and online, would last hundred of hours and sell like hot cakes in Linux. But it's true there's not much chances for this one.
                    Thanks for bringing up this title. This is one of those games I would buy IMMEDIATELY if only it was available for Linux. Can you elaborate why there's not much chances for this one? I've been wondering why we get only pretty old stuff (for pretty ridiculous prices in many cases).

                    As for the copy protection - I think it's a bad move. I will really think twice before placing my order for a game with this "feature". There are reasons we moved to Linux, you know... But in any case, I won't download a pirated version either (frankly, I don't even use p2p) - but I wouldn't blame legitimate users downloading cracks to disable this copy protection in their legally purchased products.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by krzta View Post
                      Thanks for bringing up this title. This is one of those games I would buy IMMEDIATELY if only it was available for Linux. Can you elaborate why there's not much chances for this one? I've been wondering why we get only pretty old stuff (for pretty ridiculous prices in many cases).

                      As for the copy protection - I think it's a bad move. I will really think twice before placing my order for a game with this "feature". There are reasons we moved to Linux, you know... But in any case, I won't download a pirated version either (frankly, I don't even use p2p) - but I wouldn't blame legitimate users downloading cracks to disable this copy protection in their legally purchased products.
                      the prices really arent so ridicoules when you think about it.

                      some original studio/publisher releases a game for winblows, and some time later you can purchase it for $5-10, but for LGP to get to release the game, not only must they pay the studio/publisher probably a relatively big sum just to get permission to port it, then they probably have to pay ATLEAST $5-10 for each copy they sell. And then they ofcourse have to actually pay themselves to do the actual port.

                      People dont work for free, and for those reasons, an LGP title costs more than the winblows version..

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                      • Originally posted by Redeeman View Post
                        the prices really arent so ridicoules when you think about it.

                        some original studio/publisher releases a game for winblows, and some time later you can purchase it for $5-10, but for LGP to get to release the game, not only must they pay the studio/publisher probably a relatively big sum just to get permission to port it, then they probably have to pay ATLEAST $5-10 for each copy they sell. And then they ofcourse have to actually pay themselves to do the actual port.

                        People dont work for free, and for those reasons, an LGP title costs more than the winblows version..
                        Well, I'm talking about games e.g. published in 1998 (win) and sold in 2008 (lin) for $38. If you think that's a reasonable price, then I tend to disagree.
                        $50 for Sacred Gold is acceptable, IMHO.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by krzta View Post
                          Thanks for bringing up this title. This is one of those games I would buy IMMEDIATELY if only it was available for Linux. Can you elaborate why there's not much chances for this one? I've been wondering why we get only pretty old stuff (for pretty ridiculous prices in many cases).

                          As for the copy protection - I think it's a bad move. I will really think twice before placing my order for a game with this "feature". There are reasons we moved to Linux, you know... But in any case, I won't download a pirated version either (frankly, I don't even use p2p) - but I wouldn't blame legitimate users downloading cracks to disable this copy protection in their legally purchased products.
                          People (the big industries, EA, etc) see big money to be made in brand new, cutting edge technology on new games, and see that theres lots of high stakes on the title. Then they see linux and it's community, tech for the sake of tech and no artificial restrictions on it, and get nervous. It's a big risk to them, the way they see it. Thats why every new windows release has more digital locks on it than the previous one, why HD video is encrypted, and why bluray won the HD format wars.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by xav1r View Post
                            People (the big industries, EA, etc) see big money to be made in brand new, cutting edge technology on new games, and see that theres lots of high stakes on the title. Then they see linux and it's community, tech for the sake of tech and no artificial restrictions on it, and get nervous. It's a big risk to them, the way they see it. Thats why every new windows release has more digital locks on it than the previous one, why HD video is encrypted, and why bluray won the HD format wars.
                            I'll be nervous as well if I had invested in the work of 40 people during 5 years for making a cutting edge game that I could then download over p2p just a few days after it's out.
                            UT3 for example (see our previous post on that topic xav1r :-)) is about 3 or 4 years of intensive work. I have worked on IT projects and I can easily understand that they want a copy protection.
                            On other hand, I can understand that such copy protection must not deprecate the freedom of the end-user.
                            Would it possible that open-source community develop some open-source copy protection for softwares, eventually with a server connection to check the validity of the copy being used, so everyone is happy : the studios that are sure that their game can't be massively copied and the linux community because that protection software is open-source and therefore has no particular security holes and doesn't introduce spywares and so on...

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                            • Originally posted by Fixxer_Linux View Post
                              Would it possible that open-source community develop some open-source copy protection for softwares, eventually with a server connection to check the validity of the copy being used, so everyone is happy : the studios that are sure that their game can't be massively copied and the linux community because that protection software is open-source and therefore has no particular security holes and doesn't introduce spywares and so on...
                              No. A huge part of the point of Free Software and Open Source is that it ensures that the software is not controlled by any single entity; the (technical) purpose of copy protection is precisely to give the publisher control over the software. You can't have it both ways.

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                              • Originally posted by Fixxer_Linux View Post
                                Would it possible that open-source community develop some open-source copy protection for softwares, eventually with a server connection to check the validity of the copy being used, so everyone is happy
                                The big problem with that, for me, is the server connection. Online games are one thing (you're connecting to a server anyway, not hard to just check then), but offline single player games have no bussiness connecting to remote servers, IMO.

                                While one-time *optional* connections are (barely) tolerable, they should not be trying to connect all the time (eg. every start, every few days, etc) and should not assume an illegit copy if it can't verify.

                                Of course, by then, anyone trying to play an illegal copy can do so with little trouble (just go offline, or otherwise prevent connecting to the server). Only way to stop that is to not allow playing at all without an internet connection, but to me, that is intolerable for a game that can be played offline.

                                Besides, I think it's more important to have a foolproof method for even detecting a legit copy from an illegit one, of which there isn't one AFAIK. Verifying a CD key doesn't work because they can be stolen without the legit owner's knowledge. As can passwords. Lost passwords and CD keys can, in turn, prevent a legit owner from using the product. IMHO, the foremost important part for any anti-piracy measure is to never disallow a legit owner from using the product, under any circumstance (sans losing the media and all legal backups).

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