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Gripe about the Season DVD Securom!

posted by TextureGlitch on - last edited - Viewed by 6.3K users
It pains me to have to point this out, because I love you guys and the work you do (which is why I keep buying it). But you've really hit a nerve here and hopefully if enough people complain about this, you'll listen to us.

The other day I was in the mood to replay season one to remind myself of all the details before the next season begins. Having uninstalled all of the episodes previously, I installed them all from the DVD for the first time.
As promised on the forum boards earlier this year, the DVD didn't have the activation protection that the downloaded episodes do, and -- naive as I am -- I thought this meant no digital rights management (read: customer annoyance) at all.

Imagine my surprise when the Season DVD turns out to be protected with Securom, which means that every customer who has paid for your game is now being punished for their honesty. I have to go find the DVD and put it in the drive now every single time I want to play. That is, presuming I'm not running something else that randomly breaks Securom. Not even your online activation was this annoying.
I don't want to dig out the DVD whenever I play the game, for exactly the same reason that I have a bunch of mp3s on my hard drive instead of just going to get the CDs from the shelf every single time I'm in the mood for music.

Honestly, why are you giving your money to Sony for empty digital promises? This isn't the 90s anymore, the kid next door who wants to play my new game doesn't get a copy of the CD, he downloads it from bittorrent himself.
Securom doesn't just appear on games by accident, it costs money and you willfully put it there, so I have to ask, what exactly are you trying to accomplish? Who convinced you this was a good idea?

Every episode of Sam & Max was on bittorrent a week after they were released, they're all cracked and work without 'protection'. You've put a lock on a chest that has a hole in the bottom. You haven't prevented a single person who wanted to steal your game from doing so. In fact, you've given them a good reason to do so: The cracked version works better.
You haven't swayed any minds, earned more money than you otherwise would have, or forced anyone to do anything.

Well, that's not entirely true, you've forced me to do a little dance and jump through some hoops whenever I want to play your game, you've installed a dubious piece of software on my computer that prevents me from using it the way I want to, and you've decided what other software programs I am allowed to run on my own computer.

All you've done is annoy me and other paying customers, you've created a myriad of new support problems for yourself regarding a piece of 3rd party software over which you have no control, and finally you've fed the copy protection companies who make billions each year selling people like you the completely unsubstantiated idea that your revenue will go up if you just install malware on your customers' computers that make sure they can't run certain programs and they have the disc in.

It's like selling someone a car and telling them they can only drive it if they put a large block of cement in the trunk and if they don't already own a motorcycle.
This copy protection idea is infesting the competitive gaming industry so much that small independent game studios have actually started making it a selling point that their games are DRM-free. They can't prevent pirates from copying their games anyway, so they might as well make their customers happier and attract more of them.

Now, it's your money and your game and ultimately your decision, of course. Heck, if you wanted to you could just say that everybody who wanted to play Sam & Max had to come to your office and use a certain computer. That'd be pretty darn effective copy protection. You just have to frisk everybody to make sure they haven't brought a copy device.
Of course, you might make a bit less money on the international market than you are now, but it's the same basic idea.

Anyway, I just wanted to make my voice heard and let you know my honest opinion about this Securom scam you've been suckered into. Hope you'll get wiser :)

(As a sidenote, the EULA on the Season DVD doesn't mention 3rd party copy protection at all, and it also seems to be copy-pasted from the Ep1 Culture Shock one, and does not seem to cover the actual product on the DVD.)
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  • I largely agree with bpages comment (it's similar to the one I raised earlier) however, a few comments:
    bpage;53739 said:
    The arguement that copy protection of games stops casual pirating is one that always confused me. Those of us that still buy PC games are unlikely to give copies to our friends.
    Well, not give copies maybe, but I do borrow games from friends (or lend them out) every once of a while. In my opinion, this is fair use. Note that the Securom DVD allows this kind of use, while the download with internet does not (or more accurate: it only works as long as Telltale explicitly allows it) which is why I'm much less opposed to the Securom protected disc than the activation-protected download. I don't need to be able to copy the cd if I can transfer my physical copy to other people without needing to ask Telltale's permission to do so.
    Most frustrating, though, are the unrealistic restrictions Securom places on your computer. No process explorer and no disc emulation software!? I have a tablet computer with no disc drive (it's in the docking station). It shipped from Lenovo with disc emulation software installed on it. So, Securom games will not work with an new-in-box Lenovo tablet pc.
    It's annoying and I agree with you, but on the pragmatic side: I've been running Daemon Tools with the Securom-protected DVD without problems.

    Finally I still think it makes much more sense to protect the downloadable episodes than the final DVD. The games are probably available illegally cracked and all before the DVD is shipped out, which makes protecting the DVD content rather pointless (the bonus content is, ironically, not protected). However, when a new episode is released there is a lot of anticipation, and I imagine a lot of people are willing to open their wallet if they can have the game earlier (as opposed to waiting for a cracked version). So I definitely see the advantage of copy-protection there.
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    Jake Telltale Alumni
    For what it's worth, you can "lend" a downloadable copy to your friend, they just need to be a real enough friend that you trust them enough to not abuse your My Telltale login information.
  • I just wanted to throw in my two cents. I almost composed an e-mail about this very topic. While I understand the desire to keep your games as secure as possible, it also should be understood that whenever these attempts start to cut into your customers enjoyment that should be a bigger concern. So far your copy-protections have seemed relatively fair but forcing me to play with the DVD in the drive was rather irritating. I just uninstalled the whole thing after finishing the first episode and downloaded all the episodes to play them that way. I purchased Season 1 with the idea of playing them off the DVD. I don't like the idea of digital downloads very much and prefer to have physical copies. It's somewhat ironic to me that I waited so long for the disc and I ended up downloading them so I could play them.

    It's not yet reached a point for me where I'd threaten to stop buying your products. Far from it. I've loved Sam and Max and I just purchased Season 2. I try to convince everyone I know to buy your products as well, however this is something that does seem to alienate your customers a bit. It's not a huge deal, but when you're almost accused of being a criminal by a game you purchased it's going to rub some people the wrong way. It reminds me a bit of the resistance online music stores found from people refusing to buy DRM files. That seems to be why iTunes and most other major online stores are focusing on DRM-free MP3s. There's little incentive to keep your customers honest if they can pirate, steal or copy your work with fewer hassles than those of us who are honest. Like I said, putting a disc in a drive is not the worst thing in the world. But, I did have the thought that this "protection" seemed like a hassle to the people buying your software and something those stealing it wouldn't even have to deal with. Putting a disc in a drive isn't enough to turn me to a life of crime, but I can see how things like this could keep those already down that path from turning back.

    Keep up the good work and hopefully a DVD serial can be worked out for the Season 2 release. Once again, I'm waiting for the DVD. Now I'm off to try and get the sound working in Season 1 again. Keep up the great work guys, I love these games.
  • I just read an article by the people at Stardock who make Galactic Civilization 1 and 2. The article is about gaming and piracy, you guys might want to check it out. They don't put any copy protection on their games and this article explains why.
  • That's how I see it too.
  • Honestly (I know this thread is about 2 months unreplied, but this is important), WHO CARES WHAT SECUROM DOES? My brother installed S1 through my DVD, SecuROM doesn't break ANYTHING on his own computer, that thing's running Vista, fer' crying out loud! Even stuff that's gone digitally unsigned isn't broken by SecuROM. In fact, only game SecuROM's ever given me trouble with is BioShock (2K might've modified that version of SecuROM 7.x). TellTale's made the right decision with SecuROM, it's not leaving any loopholes in your system like Safedisk and other copy protections do. That's the exact reason Maxis switched from Safedisk to SecuROM 7.x for The Sims 2. It doesn't leave any security holes.
    These guys, and most of these guys, me, the people who didn't buy the game because they don't want to willingly install malware on their computers, the people who use their computer for other things than playing Sam & Max.

    Copy protection is perfectly reasonable way to protect against piracy, that doesn't mean we (as customers) have to be happy about it. If the decrease in piracy leads to more sales or not (or less) is something that isn't really established (unless you think that one pirated copy = one less sale).

    What copy protection does is make it less convenient to pirate games, the downside is that it also makes it less convenient to be a paying customer. So in short, I understand the reasoning behind using copy protection, but as a customer, it lessens the value of the product for me.
  • Our SecuRom doesn't actually install anything on your computer.
  • Exactly my point. That's why Telltale's my favorite game company. They actually care about their customers with quality support.
  • The first thing I did when i was confronted with secuRom was go onto the net and download a hacked version of the game. it was easy to find, a quick goggle search and a bittorrent dl and I had a copy of the game with no protection. I would say securom only stops people who don't have highspeed internet and are somewhat computer illiterate, Maybe there are enough of those people buying the disks to make it worth your while protecting them...I don't know but I'm going to guess there are.

    ok so why did i need to get around securom? funny story... I was borrowing the DVD version from a friend of mine. It wouldn't have been an issue at all if I hadn't decided it would be awesome to play on my Fujitsu p1610 (It is, this game is BEGGING to be played on a touch screen computer) It has no cd drive so i have to use emulation software and thats how I got here..

    This wont be a problem for season 2 as I plan to download them them from the net as soon as I get back home to my highspeed. Right now I don't know if it will be from bittorrent or from the legit place. it really depends what kind of hassle the legit place gives me. Honestly I think it would be easiest if I buy the CD, put in on the shelf and then download the hacked versions.
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