Our new DRM system has probably generated as much debate as anything we have ever done. So, I thought that I should try and dispel some of the myths and rumours that have been going about, and give you some of the positive aspects of the system.
The first and most important issue I would like to address is that no, you do NOT require internet access to install or to play the games, you do not need a disc in your drive, and you do not need to enter in your key or password every time you play. These are all myths. You need to enter a key and password (and optionally your email address) when you install the game, and that is it. You do not need to worry about it again.
Our system uses a policy of ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ which means that you can ALWAYS play your game, unless the system knows for a fact that there is a reason you shouldn’t. This is the opposite to most DRM systems, which assume you do not have the right to, unless you prove you can.
Unfortunately, no system is foolproof, and, yes there is a small chance that a legitimate user could be locked out of their game, but the chance is rather low. It would require that the user lose their key AND to have not set an email address for their game, and are trying to reinstall it. Just forgetting your password is not enough to lose you access to the game, unless you did not set an email address.
We acknowledge that some users dislike ANY DRM, and you know what, so do we, but we have little choice when we have proved that more copies are pirated of our games than purchased. As a small company, we do not do DRM to try and rip people off, we add it because it is going to help keep us in business.
However bear in mind that this DRM works in your favour too. As well as the obvious, helps us keep making games, it also allows us to provide a method to allow you the customer to exert your rights as granted by the LGP license. When you buy any game from any company, you buy a license to install and use the software. The box and disc is just a delivery system. If you lose your copy of a Windows game, good luck getting it replaced for free (or for the cost of time and materials to send you a replacement at the most). But the thing is, you should. We fully believe that as you bought a license, then you have the right to play the game for as long as that license is valid. This is why, using our DRM system, we have now completed a new system that will allow users to get a new downloadable version of any game they have legitimately purchased. So if you lose all of your games somehow, the DRM’d ones will actually be MORE replaceable than the non-DRM’d ones, as they are the ones you can prove you have a license for.
Unlike other DRM systems that pretty much prevent you from selling on your license, the LGP system is set up to allow you to do so. In fact we have devised a system at http://keyserver.linuxgamepublishing.com which allows the seller of a game to transfer their license safely to a new owner, and for a potential buyer to check that a game they are being offered has a valid license key. This means that our DRM offers security for players that they are buying a real game that is playable, rather than with other DRM systems where you can buy a game on Ebay, and find out when it arrives it has a locked out key and the company that licenses the game will not unlock it.
We think that our system provides us with a bit of security, but it also gives you, the customer, benefits that counterbalance the fact we had to add in the DRM in the first place. It is thanks to the discussions we had with the community that we took out the requirement to be online when yiou register, and the requirement to be online when you start the game.
When all is said and done, we tried for years to stop people copying our games by asking nicely and appealing to peoples better natures. That didn’t work, and so we are left with DRM.