The devs of Conan Exiles upload the game to Steam without any protection

Conan Exiles debuted on Steam earlier this week and very quickly ended up cracked and pirated. It was supposed to be secured by Denuvo, the famous anti-piracy software that took a while to crack. Except that it wasn't. The game developer Funcom says that this was entirely an employee error, somebody uploaded the game without any protection to Steam. "Denuvo was temporarily removed due to an error in the build process." Conan Exiles lets players run their own servers so the game is really popular among pirates. However, this is just an Early Access release so we can assume that the game will be developed further and improved from here. People with the pirated version are going to be left behind eventually. It kind of looks like they've decided to advertise the game that way, especially after reading that statement: "There is unfortunately not much we can do about those who choose to download and play unauthorized copies, but we hope they make the jump to the official version so they can stay up to date with the latest patches and improvements,"... "Being an Early Access title, there will be a lot of updates going forward!" Some people actually say it's a really good…

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The Witcher 3 sold almost 10 million copies worldwide!

CD Projekt RED’s CEO, Marcin Iwiński revealed during infoShare 2016 that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has sold nearly 10 million copies worldwide! Here is what Marcin said: “We were totally overwhelmed because, honestly, we were not expecting such a degree of success. But sales-wise, The Witcher series has sold over 20 million worldwide, out of which almost half of it is from The Witcher 3. So we practically doubled the sales of the series.  Generally I think with The Witcher 3, and it was the case with The Witcher 2 as well, we released our game without any copy protection. So on day-one you could download the game from GOG and give it to a friend – enemy as well – but give it to a friend, on a memory stick, it works. And still we sold near to 10 million copies across all three platforms.” Congrats to these guys! I still play The Witcher 3 since it came out and I love it. All of the big companies should learn from them, you don't need a bad ass copy protection to earn millions, your game just has to be good.

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Maxis insider: SimCity servers not necessary!

As you all know SimCity have suffered massive server issues since launch.
While players have been begging for an offline mode, EA representatives have been abundantly clear that this simply isn’t possible. Maxis’ studio head, Lucy Bradshaw, has told both Polygon and Kotaku that they “offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers”, and that it would take “a significant amount of engineering work from our team to rewrite the game” for single player.

A SimCity developer has got in touch with RPS to tell them that at least the first of these statements is not true. He claimed that the server is not handling calculations for non-social aspects of running the game, and that engineering a single-player mode would require minimal effort.

(more…)

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PlayStation 4 officially announced

Check out the stream of what they are showing here. So far no optical drive announced, couple of cool features like DDR5 RAM on board (for system and graphics, shared) 8GB which is enough for the current games. They showed the new Killzone, inFAMOUS and a few more. The system UI looks slick, you can stream games to your friends, record them on the fly and the new Dualshock 4 looks pretty good (touchpad and a redesign).

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Ubisoft Scrapping Always-On DRM For PC Games

In an interview on RPS today, Ubisoft tells us that they will no longer use their controversial “always-on” DRM. In fact, they quietly scrapped it months ago, but haven’t made that official until now. In what is a really remarkable turnaround, the publisher pledges that from now on they will only require a single online activation after installing, with no activation limits, nor limits on how many PCs it may be activated. Ubisoft’s worldwide director for online games, Stephanie Perotti, explained that always-on has actually been gone for quite a while. “We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline.” Ubisoft’s DRM had previously meant that you could not launch games without an internet connection, and if your connection dropped at any point the game you were playing would instantly stop, often losing progress you may have made. It was widely derided, and the bane of many gamers, but Ubisoft seemed defiant in response. Until now. Clarifying the new position, Perotti summarises it, using Assassin’s Creed…

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Uplay as vessel for malicious software

I usually like titles with a pun or something on those lines, attempting to find a funny side even in a disaster. Not this time. Not when the threat is so dangerous and imminent. According to this article there's a huge hole in Uplay's browsers plugin which lets anybody run potentially anything on the victim's computer. I haven't tested it personally having never installed Ubisoft's Uplay and never planned to do so, but my second hand informations tell me it's scary how easy and smooth is to manipulate Uplay customers through this exploit. Not that I needed some more proof that any DRM system is the Bane (I haven't watched latest Batman yet, I just liked the pop culture reference) of legit customers, but do you now?   Below here is the list of the game which are most vulnerable to this and which you should immediately uninstall before this exploit really goes out of hand.   Assassin's Creed II Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy Assassin's Creed Revelations Assassin's Creed III Beowulf: The Game Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 Call of Juarez: The Cartel Driver: San Francisco Heroes of Might and Magic VI Just Dance 3 Prince of…

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Apple DRM update breaks apps

  Simple as that: the latest FairPlay* update made several different apps impossible to use. Also, first help from Apple, "delete, reinstall and it will work fine", was of no use.   Has the problem been tracked down? Solved maybe? I don't care. The money I spend always works, never needs a patch or an authentication to be used. Once again, a DRM does nothing but getting in the way of legit customers.   *: FairPlay is a digital rights management (DRM) technology created by Apple Inc. FairPlay? Calling a DRM "FairPlay" is like calling "Sweet Caress of Tenderness" a kick in the nuts. This aside, at least they've been honest, calling thing a thing, instead of "ZOMG! Our new thingie is definitely the latest frontier in digital delivery, social networks and technobabble". Yes Origin and UPlay, I'm talking to you.     Source: Guardian

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Ubisoft’s idiotic DRM strikes again!

If you were planning to buy Anno 2070, you should know that it is limited to only 3 activations and if you replace your, say, graphics card more than thrice, you can say goodbye to the game. What exactly is Ubisoft’s thought process behind such a strategy for the PC market? Yes, we know they have been talking about how piracy is rampant, and how almost “95% of the PC gamers would pirate it” anyway, and other nonsense. This to us, shows an utter lack of respect for the PC market, and while plenty of publishers are affected by piracy, they have shown us that there is a way to succeed and gain a lot of goodwill in the process. Guru3D found out about Anno 2070′s DRM, Ubisoft’s response to that was… well, terrible. They said: “Sorry to disappoint you – the game is indeed restricted to 3 hardware changes and there simply is no way to bypass that. We also do not have 7 copies of the game for you.” Source: GamingBolt

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Origin to power Wii U online

Electronic Arts is helping Nintendo in development of the Wii Uonline service, according to reports, and is bidding to make its Origin service a key part of the upcoming console's online offering. According to an EA intern, speaking to WiiUGo, the console's online service will offer voice and video chat, leaderboards and friends lists. Nintendo has previously said its approach to Wii U online will be "much more flexible," which the source claims is a deliberate attempt to differentiate the service from Xbox Live. "Many publishers are happy with Xbox Live's features, but they aren't happy with how strict Microsoft's guidelines are," said the source. "Nintendo went with an open, flexible approach to online because when it asked developers and publishers what they wanted in an online service, that was the number one thing they asked for." The prospect of EA powering Wii U online apparently appeals to Nintendo, too, with the source claiming the company sees it "as an opportunity to rebuild relationships with western gamers because they feel that only a massive western company such as EA understands what is needed to make an online service attractive to western gamers." Valve is also apparently bidding to make Steam…

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Capcom tries to kill used video game sales with the one-save game

The punishing legal users seem never to stop. This is another idiotic idea how to piss off users who really buy games. Introducing – one save per game! Only one play through, one save. Want to play one more time? Go and buy new one! Praise the Capcom gods! Fortunately it applies currently only to Nintendo 3DS game Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D.   Read more here: Buying used video games is great for gamers who don't want to pay full price for the latest hits. You know who doesn't like used video games? Game publishers. In a very sad twist, Capcom's fighting back against the second-hand game market with a game that can only support one save file — for life. It's been confirmed that Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D for the Nintendo 3DS is a game that once finished, cannot be reset for complete replay. According to both the U.S. and U.K. game's instruction manual "saved data on this software cannot be reset." Basically what Capcom has done is make Mercenaries 3D a one-time play affair. Once you've unlocked all the goodies and played the entire game, you will not be able to erase the game's save data and start…

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Non-steam Dragon Age II PC DRM has online check

Sad news, all non-Steam versions of Dragon Age II on PC will require an online check "after a select period of days".  But how many days you'll be allowed to play offline before being locked out, BioWare hasn't decided. "We'll have more info on this closer to release," posted BioWare producer Fernando Melo on the official forums. "Not trying to avoid the question, we honestly have not settled on this yet - but also did not want to further delay getting the rest of the information out to you." These bespoke anti-piracy measures don't do a game-disc check and there's no limit on total game installations. You won't be able to start and play Dragon Age II on more than five PCs during 24 hours, though - as if you possibly could. Each time you install Dragon Age II you'll need to log into your EA account to verify game ownership. BioWare forum members are automatically EA account holders. "The login checks are light," Melo added. "It would not be a problem on dial-up, and should not hog up bandwidth or create a noticeable impact on an connection that has a limit imposed by your ISP. You are likely using…

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R.U.S.E. will not utilize Ubisoft PC DRM

Good news, the PC version of R.U.S.E. will not use Ubisoft's 24/7 always online DRM, instead it will use Steamworks. Aymeric Evennou, Ubisoft senior community developer, stated on the official R.U.S.E. forums: "When R.U.S.E. is released in September, it will benefit from Valve’s Steamworks API to offer the best community experience to players. Consequently, a Steam account and Internet connection will be required to activate the game, as per Steam policy. For this reason, R.U.S.E. will not use the Ubisoft protection. Single player can be played offline." Hopefully Ubisoft will patch all their old games to no longer use their DRM.

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In Brazil, users can break the DRM

Brazil just changed it’s approach to DRM. Under the law recently passed the content provider may not use mechanisms to block access to files, which you can dispose by so-called fair use. The rules in Brazil are very different from the rules applicable in such countries like the USA. Americans in contrast to the Brazilians may be convicted for breaching security each time in some way to circumvent the DRM locks. Even if the song, software or the book is its author. Meanwhile in Brazil everyone can purchase their music or book or software, do whatever they want - of course if they does not break the Brazilian law. It is possible to break the DRM and other activities to which you are entitled under fair use. Moreover, the publisher, who by the use of DRM restricts users to their right to dispose of the purchased asset, may incur a fine. Now we can only hope that other countries are going to take an example from Brazil and modify their law in such a way. Source: boingboing

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