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Gripe about the Season DVD Securom!

posted by TextureGlitch on - last edited - Viewed by 3.7K 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.)

90 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • odd to know.. since bone used armadillo I think. But thats just an exe .. well never mind..
    Dunno about the cds to any of the games.. since i downloaded them via the store I never had a reason to open em.. Keeping em in the case with the other telltale stuffs

  • If you don't like the Securom protection, you're welcome to use the downloadable versions which don't require any physical medium.

  • We don't consider SecuRom a scam, thank you kindly, and are aware of all the benefits as well as all the tradeoffs and annoyances present with the copy protection we use ... probably more intimately aware than any of our customers ever will be, since we live with it for months and offer any and all tech support for our products. All that said, for us the benefits outweigh the frustrations. Will we always use copy protection, or securom? I have no idea, but for the time being, and in the forseeable future we'll be securing our games one way or another. We're always looking for less annoying ways to deal with registration/copy protection/etc, and when the Season One discs started being discussed, an informal pestering around the office revealed that most found our current online activation stuff cumbersome and frustrating (we're working on it), but very few people were bothered at all by having to have a disc in the drive to play - it's a pretty standard practice for PC games acquired on a disc (vs acquired through digital distribution). Like with anything, it turns out that some people, we've discovered, are offended beyond our wildest expectations (like yourself), and your feedback is appreciated, and will now stew in peoples brains for months, until the next time we are going to ship something and have a discussion about how to secure a physical copy of one of our games and someone mentions that some people are bugged by SecuRom. So, thanks for that :) In the meantime, sorry you're feeling punished by having to put the disc in the drive to play the game. As Doug said, if you'd like, there is always the online activation versions, which you can re-download whenever you please.

  • Is it really that hard to just put it in the drive? You have to do that for every other game.

  • Why not use the same activation system for the CD ROM as you do with the downloadable version so that people won't need to put the CD ROM in every time they play the game.

  • We're working towards that, or something like it.

    Also, for what it's worth...

    [quote]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.[/quote]

    We made sure to say, as often as we could, something along the lines of "there's no online activation required - you just need the disc in the drive!" People seemed to gloss over the second half of that in their excitement, apparently. :(

  • @tabacco said: If you don't like the Securom protection, you're welcome to use the downloadable versions which don't require any physical medium.

    But the downloadable versions still have SecuROM, with all of the usual restrictions. For example:

    http://www.securom.com/message.asp?m=module&c=5024

    (I'm not allowed to use ProcessExplorer on my PC if I want to play Sam & Max)

    Regards

  • If you download the latest version of Process Explorer, all you have to do is close all actively running versions of the program to play any SecuRom games. You don't have to deal with all that nasty rebooting process. I'm a PE user myself, so it disappoints me as well, but simply closing the program made it a lot more bearable.

  • While you may not consider SecuRom a scam, it is. Your consideration is not required. It is tantamount to hijacking someone's computer. And it is ineffective at preventing people from running pirated copies of your games. Why alienate the fanbase needlessly? The Sam & Max games are, in my opinion, really great games, and I'm rooting for their success, if only because I'm hoping that you'll never stop releasing new episodes! :-)

  • For what it's worth, I completely agree that Securom is a scam. It has never stopped any serious pirating. Cracks for securom games are easy to find. 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. Most of us know how to find pirated games and still choose to buy them. Why would we help someone else do something we wont do?

    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.

    That said, I bought the season one disc and Telltale does let us download the activated versions anytime we want. More over, they have updated season one to the new (and much improved) activation system. These signs of loyalty and customer care mean a lot.

    I loath Securom in principle and in practicality, but not even that will stop me from continuing to buy Telltales Games' games.

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