back to article Ubisoft: 'Vast majority of PC gamers are PIRATES'

Ubisoft reckons just one in ten PC gamers legitimately source games, using the figure as justification for a move towards more free-to-play and web browser-based titles. The French software publisher has eyes set on growing its PC market share - but insists the only way forward is to offer games completely free, dangling the …

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Ludicrous misuse of maths

.87 Million and 0.36 million respectively, I believe that doesn’t include digital sales though (VALVe don’t release steam sales stats)

So 17.4 million retail boxes of anno and 7.2 million PC retail boxes of AssCreedRev they were expecting.

Bear in mind that AssCreedRev shipped (not actually sold at retail, only sold to vendors) only 7 million copies across all platforms, he’s talking out of his arse as Consoles are much less commonly pirated on and bigger markets for derivative sequel-a-year crap

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Re: Ludicrous misuse of maths

Sorry, I copied and pasted that from a comment I made elsewhere....the 0.87 million is sales for Anno 2070 and the 0.36 million is for the Latest Assassin's creed.

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Re: Ludicrous misuse of maths

That almost certainly includes steam sales because obviously publishers get those numbers for their games.

Valve has always said they don't release them but publishers are welcome too. Part of me wonders if that's because the numbers aren't that big.

You can't get rich off making full production games only to have people buy it at iphone game prices at steam.

It's no surprise valve themselves are moving to free to play given than a singlre tf2 hat costs more than tf2 used to cost in sales. Tf2 is much more expensive now if you participate at nearly any level of item purchasing.

And it's not their only game that's f2p. For a company that should be better off than all the other given their steam profits they seem like they want to get off the old business model too.

You guys may be butt hurt about it but there is certainly a lot more truth to what ubisoft says. I guess it does make a difference if you pirate even if you weren't gonna buy it anyway.

F2p games are shit. If this trend continues my pc costs will come down as there will be no need to upgrade nearly as often. I'll just stick with consoles.

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Anonymous Coward

Pay £30 for a game to find it is crap....

Try the game first, if it's good buy it, if not leave it in the shelf.

If the Games they sold were good, people wouldn't mind buying, but generally they are overpriced dross.

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Anonymous Coward

They managed to sell 870,000 copies of Anno 2070? I'm impressed, played the demo, it was terrible.

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Black Helicopters

It's not that, Ubi went overkill with the DRM and nobody wants the bad experience they get from buying their games - it's easier just to pirate. Frankly they're usually broken too so free to play won't help them there either.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ludicrous misuse of maths

I find it impossible to believe over 15 million people have played anno 2070.

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Anonymous Coward

Anno 2070 Demo

Maybe they are referring to the conversion rate for demo's of Anno 2070 downloaded and games sold, can certainly believe over 90% didn't bother buying it after the demo

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Re: toadwarrior

"You can't get rich off making full production games only to have people buy it at iphone game prices at steam."

AAA titles don't launch at $2.99 on Steam...

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overkill?

Interesting that you feel that Ubi went overkill with the D.R.M... Care to explain HOW they "went overkill"?

I've purchased Assassin's Creed Revelations, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and Settlers 7. Only twice have I been unable to play the games - once was because Uplay was being updated (and it was back online within a couple of hours), ans once was my ISP's fault for doing maintenance during off-hours (which is when I prefer to game). True, if I wasn't on a decent ISP with decent uptime, their DRM might pose a small problem, but it hasn't been anywhere near "overboard".

I'd just like to point out that it's genuinely Ironic that one of the related articles is titled something like "Ubisoft say DRM works". In which interview, I wonder, were they talking out their arse?

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@ ceiling cat - Re: overkill?

Yes, it is overkill. I have been a fan of settlers over the years and installed the demo for settlers 7.

But it was immediately uninstalled when I had to sign up to uplay just to play the demo. Yes that's right, DRM on a demo.

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Re: @ ceiling cat - overkill?

The UPLAY account takes less than 5 minutes to make. Hardly a hardship. Your loss.

Not that I'm defending Ubi, mind you. Their attitude in this little spout-fest has left a rather foul taste in my mouth, and they'll likely not wind up seeing another penny from me, at least not for a PC title. Barmy twunts.

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Pirate

Re: overkill?

"Interesting that you feel that Ubi went overkill with the D.R.M... Care to explain HOW they "went overkill"?"

Not really - google it or look at some of the other comments on this page or ubi's forum. They screwed the pooch and now nobody wants to buy their games.

There's an editorial on dvice.com that sums it up nicely also covering this story titled "Dear Ubisoft, please stop releasing PC games" - better out than in because their crappy cluelessness is actively hurting the industry.

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Fuck Ubisoft.

They get no more of my pennies for games.

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Anonymous Coward

"They get no more of my pennies for games."

that is the whole point, they aren't getting those pennies so they are looking for a different way to get them.

your comment is quite ironic!

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Anonymous Coward

Indeed. I had the misfortune of needing to buy Anno 2070 on Steam for research purposes (yeah I'm being serious) before realising it was Ubisoft and therefore came with the standard Ubisoft rootkit. The one that says that not only must you be online to use it but also that you can only install the product 3 (or maybe it was 5) times for the life of the game. Bastards. If I ever (hopefully not) need another of their products I would prefer to give them the money and then install a cracked copy rather than the legit one I'd paid for because at least there's a chance that the cracked one won't be full of malware.

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That's slightly dramatic as it's not a root kit, and even the recent problem with it wasn't a root kit. It is however, shitty software that's yet another wannabe Steam.

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Re: "They get no more of my pennies for games."

<rant>

I agree - Fuck them.

I am just playing my (legitimate, boxed!) copy of Might and Magic Heroes 6 again (I must be one of the 'few' people that pays for pc games and have hundreds, all paid for). I initially lost patience with the game due to having a flaky net connection, which due to their ridiculous DRM made it unplayable.

I am now on a stronger connection, so thought I would try again and although I can now manage to play it, the DRM still pisses me off hugely. It's always patching itself (with an amazingly badly designed script), spends an age 'sycronizing save games' and is generally just... bleurgh.

They won't be getting any more of my money - I'm not saying I will be pirating thier products, I will just buy someone else's game instead. Don't try to blame the pirates either - Valve/Steam manage to balance security and ergonomics. Ubisoft are just alienating their customers and frankly making me wish I HAD pirated their product as I assume a ripped copy would mean I wouldnt have to put up with this crap!

Oh and while I am on my soapbox - Fuck F2P too. I wont play any game where people can just buy success - It makes anything you achieve in the game worthless.

</rant>

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Re: "They get no more of my pennies for games."

F2P does seem to skew the games horribly and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Far better to offer f2p as a trial (time, character level or ingame-currency limted) with the option to buy the full game.

My guess would be that the publishers don't like the PC because the games market forces the prices down for PCs. They want you to "invest" in a console because having done so, you're more likely to spend more on each game. Publishers have to pay to play on consoles, so more console game sales helps amortise those costs. Also, console specs are lower (TV resolution only), more uniform and control systems are intrinsically less precise. PC's make games more difficult to develop and are less profitable.

However, that's probably only true for the big-budget publishers. Portal, Limbo, World of Goo, Frozen Synapse, Defense Grid et al are all great games and rather cheaper and far more satisfying than the over-hyped latter CoD titles.

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FAIL

Once again, Ubisoft display their complete contempt and disrespect for PC gamers. I have over 100 legally purchased game discs in a folder and nearly 200 games purchased on Steam. Ubisoft? They haven't seen a penny from me in years because of stupid comments like this.

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Facepalm

Yup

Someone had better tell Gabe that Steam is doomed to failure because all PC gamers are freeloading bastards.

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Anonymous Coward

Same here, lots of legally purchased games, most recent ones from steam. However if i spot it's from ubisoft I pass, I hear they have additional levels of crap drm and want nothing to do with it.

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Facepalm

Llyander- >100 legally purchased game discs

I find Ubisoft's paranoia hard to believe. I have torrented many games, BUT they are all old games I have legally owned & never sold. Most often I lose of damage the game discs. How can they determine piracy is so extreme? The only Ubisoft title I have is Mass Effect, and that series is finished. No more money from me to them either

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Re: Bill Neal

You don't have to worry about Mass Effect, that's EA...

...oh.

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Re: Bill Neal

Oops, I was thinking BioWare and got confused. I did have the first Assassin's Creed! that is the only one then.

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Hmm

And how much do you want to bet they pulled this figure out of thin air?

I haven't bought a Ubisoft game in years because of shitty drm.

The money has been spent elsewhere, typically on games that don't require an always on internet connection. Curiously indie games have been getting a lot of my money of recent because they don't charge me a stupid sum of money and last me a lot longer. (bought Minecraft ages ago and I still play it like mad)

Also, using their own logic the console piracy rate must be 99.9999% since console games are usually leaked online sooner than their pc counterparts and if you look on a certain bay of pirates you'll see the download numbers are a lot higher for said console versions...

At the end of the day, this is just some whiny suit who has pre-conceived notions of who pc gamers are and what they do. (if he truly was right Valve would have been bankrupt long ago)

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Re: Hmm

With you all the way on Minecraft and indie games.

For me, The Humble Bundle has always delivered quality games (with the emphasis heavy on the gameplay), on lots of platforms, without DRM, for a set-your-own-price fee...and you get more if you pay over the average (£6.50 / $10 always covers it for me). What's not to like?

<-- For Ubisoft, obviously.

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Re: Hmm

Oh yeah, the good old DRM-free indie games that everyone claims to pay for.

http://2dboy.com/2008/11/13/90/

World of Goo for the PC, just looking at straight sales vs IPs comes out to 90% piracy, with a more logical look it's more like 82%.

Reflexive reports 92% piracy

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17350

88% of Demigod users are pirates at peak hours

http://www.shacknews.com/article/58213/roughly-88-of-peak-hour

These aren't megacorporations that hipsters feel the need to rebel against.

People need to realise there is more truth to what Ubisoft is saying and if it continues then PC gaming is going to get to the point where people will pine for the days that they get wank console ports.

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The "always connected" schemes cause me to not buy any games that use that nonsense. Steam is as far as I'll go when it comes to DRM.

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Oh, and I don't touch F2P games either. Just make a half-decent game without horrible DRM, preferably with a reasonable price, and I'll buy it if it interests me. 100% of my games are legal.

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Hear, hear

I have been buying less and less games over the last few years because of this and I see from some reviews that now you need 'always connected' even for the single-player option. How mad is that?

I'll stick with the old games where playability and plotlines were the order of the day rather than maximising revenue through selling online content/kit for the sad-of-life.

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Pft.

T'was Steam and its model of "you're a criminal, prove us wrong" that persuaded me that PC gaming was going down the crapper. Still don't have a Steam account, and will never have one either.

If it's not as simple as "install, play" then I am not interested. Definitely not interested if you want me creating an account with some malware service so I can play with a toy.

Remove shitty DRM, and I might start buying stuff again. Until then, Ubisoft can take their bullshit figures and stuff them where the sun doesn't shine and angels fear to tread.

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Re: Pft.

I sort of see where you're coming from, but Steam has pretty much saved PC gaming from being a tiny niche, and has given new life to PC gaming, no matter how you look at it.

Steam is a good thing, simply because it does in fact allow you to acquire and easily play PC games of every kind for often a very low price.

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Re: Pft.

So I can buy a Steam game on a disk and play it without creating a Steam account and activating it?

Didn't think so.

Valve, Ubisoft, EA.. same shit, different stink. Amazing how the downvotes rack up if you dare criticize the One and Holy DRM System though. Score one for consistency, commentards.

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Happy

Re: Pft.

Well, it's up to you how you play but seriously, Steam is a decent platform for buying games. Some corking deals if you keep your eyes peeled as well.

I speak as someone that endures the abomination that is Origin in order to play BF3. It's like they looked at every feature of Steam and said lets do that, only shit.

Re: original topic, Ubisoft can take a running jump.

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Re: Pft.

So you make a Steam Account. Big F'n deal. You make a similar kind of account to post here to El Reg. Don't want to post your credit card details? They have PayPal for that, or just use an online shopping card. In return, it doesn't really matter which computer you use, just sign on, answer the "new computer" second authentication factor (which uses your e-mail), and you can download and play games just as you did on the other machine. Not a bad tradeoff if you ask me.

As for F2P, some games are better than others. For all the complaints, Team Fortress 2 seems to get it pretty solid. Most of the expensive stuff is cosmetic, but most all the game-related stuff (and a lot of the cosmetic stuff) you can get other ways, and they make a pretty low bar to go from a freetard to an average player (buy something--anything--from their store, and it's not like they make it hard as some of the stuff is damn cheap).

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Re: Pft.

"So you make a Steam Account. Big F'n deal."

No I don't.

"You make a similar kind of account to post here to El Reg."

No, I don't. Now if there was one company that handles logins for virtually every tech site out there, and if you want to post comments on any tech site then you have to deal with that company regardless of how shit their security is, and that company can then delete all of your posts over a server burp... in fact no, it's not even like that. I don't need to create any account to read El Reg. Your example, like the rest of your post, is, to put it politely, flawed.

"Don't want to post your credit card details? They have PayPal for that, or just use an online shopping card."

Why post anything? It's a toy.

"In return, it doesn't really matter which computer you use, just sign on, answer the "new computer" second authentication factor (which uses your e-mail), and you can download and play games just as you did on the other machine."

Or insert the disk, and play the game. DRM prevents me from doing that.

"Not a bad tradeoff if you ask me."

So making things more sucky for me, in return for absolutely no benefit whatsoever, is a good trade-off?

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Stop

Re: Pft.

Do you have any experience of steam to form an opinion of that?

I have never really noticed steam get in the way of my gaming, and I like the benefits it brings over physical discs.

Even if you loan your mate your login and approve the adding of a new machine, it doesn't grumble, and will happily let him install and play any of my games.

So if you are bored, swap logins with a friend and you have a nice library to browse and enjoy - maybe even drum up a few sales if you like one of his games enough.

The prices are also great (If you time the purchase right), with multipacks and such for multiplater - honestly, I just don't get people who hate on steam.

As someone else said though, if BF3 wasn't such an awesome game, I would not tolerate Origin - it is shit.

Jury's still out on F2P though, especially pay-to-win.

I joined the Mechwarrior Online founders program though (ie pre-paying into a F2P) but that was mainly because I have been waiting like 10 years for this game and the only way to play right now is to be part of the founders program. I have to say though, I am not regretting it, I feel like I have gotten $30 worth of fun on it already, despite it still being a pretty early beta.

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Thumb Down

Re: Pft.

You are in a hotel room / visiting friends / wherever, and you have access to a PC.

You install steam and download and play any of your games.

Do you carry all your install disks around with you?

Swings and roundabouts, my friend.

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Facepalm

Re: Pft.

Who gives a fuck about a disc? Discs get lost and ruined. I can't even remember the time I opened up my DVD drive because optical discs are obsolete.

Your fetish is straight-up fucking dumb.

Meanwhile, since I don't try to cheat or some stupid shit (the real reason people bitch about Steam accounts) I could throw my computer off a bridge, buy a new one, and have my whole game collection restored in about a day. I know, I know, you're going to say that I could sit there popping in 200 DVDs instead. Have fun with that shit...

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Meh

Re: Pft.

I'm sorry, but your comments seem to make little sense to me.

Creating an account is hardly a chore, you can set it to remember your username and password so it logs in automatically and on Windows startup if you want, requiring zero effort.

I've you've bought a boxed game that uses Steamworks you simply enter your CD-Key into Steam (rather than entering it during the installation) and it will install from the disc(s). No payments details required there. No DRM on steam prevents you from doing this and the process is no more complicated or convoluted this way than any other PC game installation.

In addition to this, often once a game is installed in this way you don't need to have the disc in to load the game, which is a benefit unless you're a fan of installing no-DVD patches.

Frankly, if you've not used Steam it appears you've formed the basis of your argument on inaccuracies.

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Pint

Re: Pft.

Ignore him, some people have a blind faith in something that is clearly wrong that you cannot reason with.

If he wants to miss out on good deals and a drm system that doesnt want to crap on you each time you use it, let him.

As to their security, at least they admit when they have been compromised, rather than try to cover it up (looking at you Sony)

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Re: Pft.

Steam, unlike most other DRM systems, has a carrot as well as a stick...

Easy access to many games (including some classics like the original X-Com games), great offers, modding community you can get paid for participating in (Steam Workshop), half decent server browser for Valve games like TF2, it seems to get decent speeds on downloads/patches and you can gift games to other Steam users (got my GF a Popcap collection for Valentines day one year, weirdly - she was a bit like "WTF?" at first ... then the Bejewelled addiction kicked in!)... and then there's random fluff like achievements, friends lists, groups and so on... and Steam will let you play your games if your connection has gone down - it has an offline mode.

I'll take Steam over UPlay or Origin any day of the week, thanks.

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Re: Pft.

As I said, score one for consistency, commentards.

It's DRM that means I can't do all the things that people are saying that Steam allows me to do. Somewhat funked-up logic there, to say that being able to install a game on more than one machine is a carrot. Installation media? How big are SD cards these days?

Yawn. More downvotes from clueless fuckwits. Nice fetish of yours! Does that red button feel good? In the meanwhile, games continue to be hacked and pirated, and DRM continues to get in the way of legitimate customers.

Oh, and accuse me of being a cheat as well if you like. And a pirate. Whatever gets you through the day, mateys.

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And at the same time...

...in this fictional hotel with its fictional PC and fictional Internet connection, do you really think this fictional PC will have hard drive space for the games? Do you think I have patience to wait all night and all the next day to download a game when I could install from a DVD or SD card in minutes?

Yes. Fictional. Mythical, even. Certainly not real.

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Re: And at the same time...

If that's really a problem for you, download the games you want, burn your Steam folder to DVD, then just install the client on your laptop, copy across the games folders you want, done. If you want a new game, then buy the DVD, enter the serial code into Steam and install off the DVD.

Do you really think that Steam installs every game you own? The basic client comes with nothing installed, then you choose what to install, and if you don't have enough HDD space for the game from Steam, you don't have enough for the game from DVD.

No internet connection? You need to login long enough to get the game files onto your PC, then just start in offline mode, done.

You're being an idiot about something you've never used, and getting everything wrong. If you really hate Steam that much (when it's actually been designed and worked out pretty damn well, offers great deals on games, fast content delivery, and reasonably good social experience) then don't get any games on it, but there's no doubt that it offers more benefits than problems, unless you're using a computer in an area that is impossible to buy games in anyway.

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Re: And at the same time...

You're right, that's exactly what I did (or rather didn't) do: I have no Steam games, because I have no Steam account, I have no Internet connection that can cope with downloading that much shite, and neither would the mythical hotel wifi connection. If I want a "social experience", I'll go outside.

I'd like to buy lots of games, but unfortunately I can't, due to virtually every game in the shop requiring Valve's malware. What I do find amusing though, is that I have played several Steam games minus Steam, thanks to a friend with a torrent client. No, no I don't download them, partly because I'm not a pirate, and partly for the same reason I wouldn't download them over Steam - but that doesn't extend to friends with 50mbit connections. I'd love to know how Steam is preventing anything except me from buying a lot of peoples' games, there.

"No internet connection? You need to login long enough to get the game files onto your PC, then just start in offline mode, done."

Uhm, with no Internet connection? What part of "this game requires online activation" don't you understand?

Fuck Steam, and fuck anybody who will only release their games with that bilge infecting them. But hey, feel free to go moan about everyone else's DRM component except for Valve's. If my toys are not as simple as "install, play", then they are not fit for purpose and go back to the shop. See that word? Toy. Not nuclear launch code.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pft.

Great if you don't have kids and share an account, only one person per time is a nusiance, especially if you are at the same location/IP adress

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Re: Pft.

"No, I don't. Now if there was one company that handles logins for virtually every tech site out there, and if you want to post comments on any tech site then you have to deal with that company regardless of how shit their security is, and that company can then delete all of your posts over a server burp... in fact no, it's not even like that. I don't need to create any account to read El Reg. Your example, like the rest of your post, is, to put it politely, flawed."

But you're not just reading. You're POSTING. And last I checked, that REQUIRES an account with credentials like an e-mail address. Guess what else requires a few credentials and an e-mail address. I recommend you actually TRY to start a Steam account and walk a virtual mile in my shoes before sneering at Steam's success.

"Why post anything? It's a toy."

Warranties, newsletters, other useful stuff, and even kids get in on this (or else kids magazines wouldn't exist).

"Or insert the disk, and play the game. DRM prevents me from doing that."

Exactly. These days, the DRM's on the DISC, too! Ever heard of activation limits? The Spore controversy? This whole Ubisoft business? These all involved PHYSICAL COPIES. As for easier, how about double-click and run, no need for the blinking disc AT ALL. And before you go off with the whole need an Internet connection thing, two words: OFFLINE MODE.

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