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    AgentBJ got a reaction from Tangogorilla in Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM   
    "If DRM was forced by Steam, those games wouldn't exist in their DRM-free form." - Crucial oversight here: You're ignoring games that, even when purchased elsewhere, have to be registered with Steam. I.E., you have no choice but to use the client to access what you just bought, even if just for downloading the data. So there is dependency at play in many cases. The instances of leniency don't excuse the necessity of activations and subsequent account-locking.
    "The only reasons it can feel DRM-like is because of the choices made by developers and publishers." - Then, frankly, Steamworks and Steam both deserved to be called DRM, because abuse and dependency exists with both of them. Let's also not forget that Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics were DRM-free on GOG before Bethesda got their hands on the IP, and they're still not being sold on that service despite being restored on Steam. So, don't excuse the service as a whole when there are examples of companies forcing it to be used as DRM. That makes it sound as if Valve never made the tools these devs are using the way they are. Steamworks had to come from somewhere after all.
    "In conclusion, you can't call Steam, the platform, a type of DRM." - Actually, yes you can, and you should, because every game that requires Steam must be attached to an account to be accessed. Even if said game is DRM-free once you attach it to your account, you had to use Steam to get it versus use a DRM-free download from the site/client you bought it through. Amazon, GamersGate, GreenManGaming, etc. And let's not forget that no one can sell the games they attach to their Steam accounts, even though what is often sold on other sites are access keys, not data. So, for a multitude of reasons beyond executable wrappers and Steamworks, Steam as a platform is DRM. 
    Never forget the "Rights" portion of the DRM acronym.
  2. Like
    AgentBJ got a reaction from Expack3 in Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM   
    #1 - Too broad of a claim, and your examples are fallacious/hyperbolic to boot.
    - Browsers don't ask you for a log-in, except Chrome for Google content and even then, optional.
    - E-mail can be retrieved on browsers and clients. Bad example.
    - Skype? Also a bad example because of how many options we now have for voice-chatting and text-messaging, even on smart-phones.
    - Torrent data access isn't limited by which one you have. Another bad example. 
    - Twitch is a preferred live-streaming service for games thanks to fewer hurdles related to copyrights versus YouTube, among other things. The smartphone/tablet apps for it are also numerous and meant to get around how poorly the service would stream on a smartphone/tablet browser. Still optional but there you go.
    As for Steam, it's an exclusive content provider for a considerable amount of purchased content in one entertainment sector, which is the key here: Purchased content. Steam's actually very similar to Amazon's video content in that regard, even more so since you have to download a piece of software and access your account through it to authorize and process your downloads, as I've had to do with the TV episodes I've bought from Amazon. (By the by, Pause Download exists on both services and GamersGate's download system, so moot point about the downloading thing unless you're on a slow connection like me but aren't very patient.) And as I'll say in #3... 
    #2 - Never said it was a problem by itself, way back here: http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/topic/1075-analysis-why-steam-isnt-drm/?p=4896. Reselling? Less of an issue with me than refunds for unfit-for-purpose games, also stated in this post: http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/topic/1075-analysis-why-steam-isnt-drm/?p=4910, and lending to friends, both of which I can do with GOG purchases. (I've yet to run across a game I wanted a refund for with GOG, but still nice to know they're that confident in their products/game offerings.) Valve however doesn't have refunds as a company policy, despite how much they make in sales alongside how many broken-at-launch games they allow to be sold through their service. Yes, that's a fault of the devs/publishers, but it wasn't their personal approval that got them on Steam. That was Valve's decision.
    #3 - Actually, they are. In Steam's case, you have to use the client you claim to be not-DRM to download anything purchased from the service on your account, DRM-free or not. This isn't true with Desura, nor GamersGate, nor Amazon's game downloads but it is with the Origin and uPlay clients, both of which are considered DRM here. (Steam also asks for approval of a new system to access your games, which I didn't have to do with Origin between my systems.)
    If Steam's client isn't DRM, or an extension of/part of another, considering CEG and Steamworks, it should not be the only way to get your game data from the service, nor should it, at any time, be able to keep games from being launched without a log-in. 
    #4 - Yeah, you're ignoring something here: Many of these access changes are made months or years after the other versions were on sale in other storefronts along with Steam. That kind of business decision makes no sense to me, so it can't be for market penetration reasons. Likely consolidation ones. 
    If Steam isn't DRM, what prompts that kind of change?
    I'll make my response short: If Valve allows direct downloads from their website like Desura, GOG and GamersGate, and the client is only necessary for things related to multiplayer netcode or the Steam DRM, I'll agree that it isn't DRM. Much of what Valve doesn't allow that I've focused on are things their competitors have done.
  3. Like
    AgentBJ got a reaction from Expack3 in Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM   
    'Evil' is an excessive label here, as is 'anti-consumer.' However, that comment about FTP servers? Bad analogy because there are hundreds of those on the Internet. PC gaming? We've got around seven major names (Steam, Origin, uPlay, GOG, GamersGate, Humble and Desura), with Valve being the majority holder of data access.
    That's not 'penalties of the times' as much as consolidation to one, or very few, services in one entertainment sector. And as some of these companies have shown, they'll change your ability to access games you bought on other sites, on their whims, usually for little to no foreseeable reason. See also: Bethesda, Creative Assembly and Paradox Interactive. (In GOG's case with the Fallout series, I'd already purchased the games before Bethesda stepped in, and my proof of ownership hasn't been taken or altered. Not so in GamersGate's case with my Medieval II: Total War purchase, which also took my CD Key record.)
    As for, "I don't consider a special client required for games to be downloaded as a DRM," okay then why did you say further down that there's no other step when Steam validates your install during the first usage of any game's .exe file? Without that step, which takes the client being active and your account logged into, your game won't run. Further, if the client is required downloading game data and yet does nothing without an active log-in to your Steam account, how does that mean it isn't DRM?  
    The client handles a lot of aspects of your account that the website doesn't, let's not forget.
    I may not have mentioned Origin and uPlay very often, but don't take that as me not being aware of that fact. (I use both for 5 and 2 games respectively.) What separates GOG and Steam is the requirement of a program that is useless by itself without an active log-in, but which you have to have to fully use, or access, your games. (I'm assuming you don't have a Desura account because that's a false claim about the client.) 
    As for your 'trust' comment, keep in mind that in Valve's TOS, it says this in Section 10, Part B: "You may cease use of a Subscription at any time or, if you choose, you may request that we terminate your access to a Subscription. However, Subscriptions are not transferable, and even if your access to a Subscription for a particular game or application is terminated, the original activation key will not be able to be registered to any other account, even if the game or application was purchased in a retail store." The use of 'subscriptions' rather than 'purchased games' is the worrying part; the amount of business being moved to Steam with those terms detailing what you buy from them says to me that game ownership is still a foreign concept to sellers versus buyers. Gabe's statements about Valve wanting to turn Steam into a self-publishing platform notwithstanding, but very much considered.
    As I said back here, - http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/topic/1075-analysis-why-steam-isnt-drm/?p=4975 - if ease-of-use and market penetration were the main reasons for this move to Steam, then there's no reason to load retail disks with Steam-locked installers, to say on the boxes "Steam Account and Online Verification Required", or to restrict a buyer's ability to access the game to one client/service.
  4. Like
    AgentBJ got a reaction from Expack3 in Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM   
    To put it mildly, and I never said what you're claiming in the second line. Only that the program can keep you from playing games, I.E. other software, on your system without an active log-in. That's a DRM quality: Post-sale control and or restriction of software use. (Steam scans your software and hardware as well if you allow it to, let's not forget.)
    As for why I consider Steam's client to be DRM, and why I think it should always be considered such: Without it, it's impossible to get access to, or download, your legal purchases, DRM-free or not. And unless I'm mistaken, Steam games, once downloaded, have to have their installations finalized.
    However you look at it, being a Steam user means being dependent on the client for something, usually something related to your account and the games recorded as purchased on it. I've yet to see Desura demand this of me for my purchases, which is part of why I don't consider that client DRM like Steam; I say that also because Desura's developers have not made tools exclusively for it that can function as DRM. It is strictly a content delivery system, and once that is done, how much you wish to use it is up to you.
    If the Steam client never was DRM by its lonesome, it has been made into a host for such systems thanks to Valve's creation of Steam DRM and CEG. 
  5. Like
    AgentBJ got a reaction from Expack3 in Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM   
    And yet in a majority of cases, including DRM-free games like Crusader Kings II, you're funneled to the service to get what you paid for. Until that changes, Valve's client is very much DRM by itself.
    More so because, in cases like Crusader Kings II and Medieval II: Total War, the respective publishers have retroactively forced sellers to change the game listings to Steam-only, even though the games are DRM-free otherwise.
    Certainly not, like I said back here: http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/topic/1075-analysis-why-steam-isnt-drm/?p=4896 - " The account-locking alone is not enough to call something DRM in my view." It's when your choice of how to get what you buy is restricted to a single client, when the game is DRM-free otherwise. (The FAQs from Steam don't help your case here because the exclusivity is put in place by devs/publishers, hence they're making the Steam client, and your account, into DRM.)
    I make that case for Steam and not for GOG precisely because GOG's installers and data can be stored offline, recovered at any time if stored this way, and access post-install is never limited by a client account log-in. Also posted back here was my reasoning for saying that: http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/topic/1075-analysis-why-steam-isnt-drm/?p=4910
    Considering I used to work for Gamestop, we made exceptions very rarely in terms of PC game returns, but I worked for them from 2008 onwards, when you could make that case about software returns more easily. Thing is, that was before Steam was a standard on PC game releases, and after we had stopped taking PC game trades. (They didn't sell very well, even if they only needed the CD Key, so we stopped taking trades of them.) 
    As I've said multiple times already, if Steam is the only way to get access to what you buy in a majority of cases, regardless of how much DRM there is in the data you get, the client itself is DRM. It may not be Valve's doing, but it is someone's and that makes the client a form of DRM.
    Before you respond further, think about this: Let's say both Steam and GOG are to shut down in a week. Now, considering that, which service lets you keep the full installers of the games you bought from them somewhere offline? Not data packets. Installers. 
    That distinction matters because when you are dependent on Steam, which loads data for you in specific locations as a form of installation, for a majority of your games, that means you're dependent on them for access to your legal purchases every time a new install is requested. If Steam were to shut down, it would be very difficult to move your games to another system, because the way you got them was with a piece of software Valve made that did the installs, not the installer that came with the game itself.
    And I've yet to see them address that fact, which is very worrying with how much money they pull in with that service.
  6. Like
    AgentBJ got a reaction from Expack3 in Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM   
    Considering the hysteria (or is it?) you let your post run wild with, a response more in-depth than this would be a waste of time: 
  7. Like
    AgentBJ got a reaction from Marioysikax in Analysis: Why Steam isn't DRM   
    Three things here.
    #1 - When you double-click on a game executable from GOG and one from Steam, which one opens a client?
    #2 - If your respective GOG/Steam account log-ins are not active, which one blocks you from playing the games installed on your personal hard drive until it is entered?
    #3 - Which service allows you to store installers and data offline?
    GOG is only needed when you need data or the community features. Steam requires it nearly all the time, even after you've installed a game on your hard drive. Hence, GOGs offerings are DRM-free versus Steam's client, or Origin's, or uPlay.
    The account-locking alone is not enough to call something DRM in my view. Every GOG game you buy can be freely offered to one or more friends, but not your Steam games, unless your friends have your log-in info and you've allowed their IP addresses and computers to download your games. Of course, if they're logged in, you can't also be.
    GOG also has a refund policy in place for malfunctioning games, something Valve is unwilling to impliment officially, despite how much money they pull in from everything their service charges you for. They are a retailer, like Gamestop, Amazon and etc., so if you bought something unfit for purpose from them, they should honor a refund for it.
    The only area where GOG lags against Steam is multiplayer, which is why I'm interested to see Galaxy come more into use. If it does allow cross-client play, as they claim, I'll be very pleased.
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