Serious Sam 3 Shows The Correct Way To DRM


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Digital rights management is still a concept of contention, which only gets exacerbated when companies like EA decide to block a consumer's access to games they've already purchased. Yes, content developers and their publishers should have some level of control over the digital files being offered to the public, but when DRM gets abused, it easy to see why users are soured on the idea.

That's why video game developer Croteam and their approach to DRM regarding the Serious Sam 3 sequel/prequel is so awesome. Instead of cutting off access to previously-purchased files, if the game has been pirated, the person playing the pirated copy is going to have some DRM issues to deal with, but it won't be like any DRM enforcement that's been seen before.

Instead of denying access to the pirated copy, the game-playing pirate is going have to deal with an indestructible enemy that chases them around for as long as they are playing their unlawful copy. There's even video of the DRM enemy in action, and besides looking very effective, the enemy itself is a creepy looking arachnid/scorpion and it moves very, very quickly:

Unfortunately, there's very little information on Croteam's -- the game's developers -- site, but rest assured, the video is not a fake, and their version of DRM really exists. How the game figures out it's a pirated copy is also not explained by any officials, but some comments over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun shed some light. All of the [sic]s remain intact.

First, a reader who goes by pakoito says:

That happens the third time you reload because the cracked game crashes every 5 minutes, o’clock.

User Ascense offers this perspective:

I’m guessing the game code adds the scorpion to the game by default, and the file checks disable the scorpion. When the game gets cracked, most likely it’s done by changing all file checks to no-ops, in witch case the code that prevents the scorpion from spawning, is also removed. So unless you modify the executable by removing the drm-check code, you won’t have any issues wrt the scorpion...

Aside from that, however, there idea of an indestructible DRM monster has some people wanting to try to the pirated copy, just for a chance to fight the creature. Just ask reader ninjapirate:

Perhaps they could sell the pirated version as a collector’s edition?

What about you? Do you think this is an effective way to police your digital files, or is EA's "slash and burn all access" the way to go? Let us know what you think.