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hipposexxxy

to Steam or not to Steam ? DRM is the question

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Note: I'm not quite sure if you're merely speaking up for the DRM-free group here, in the camp who can't use Steam for internet connection reasons, or simply won't use it out of personal conviction, so if you're not in the latter of the three, please don't take this as being directed at you:

See, I would agree with you that it would be obnoxious of me to say that if you didn't have the same privileges as we do. But you do, you just choose not to use them. This isn't DF's fault for singling you out, this is your fault for singling yourself out. So this isn't a supremacist thing, it's a separatist thing. And not one DF should be responsible for (they could if they wanted to and that would be awesome of them). Just because we don't mind Steam and you do doesn't mean that we're getting preferential treatment. It just happens to be fortunate for us and unfortunate for you. It would certainly be the fair thing if we were all in the same boat and all had the same convictions about DRM, but we don't. The people without internet connections can't help it, but the people who take a stubborn stance against Steam can, they just won't. So if DF caters to people who refuse to use Steam due to personal convictions, that IS NOT fair to the rest of us. That reasoning is at least as valid as yours. You can paint me as a supremacist for that just as much as I can paint you as a stubborn radical activist. The fact is that we all ARE on equal ground and have the same privileges. The fact that you choose not to use them for even reasonable reasons, like being against DRM, doesn't make you special and in need of compensation at the expense of DF's time, energy, money and everyone else's patience. THAT'S obnoxious. Past DF statements don't apply here as ammunition for your cause until DF clarifies/overrules them. That makes this your problem not DF's.......yet. Remember, this is a temporary arrangement. An unfortunate one yes, but it is temporary.

Luckily people in the no-Steam camp have a chance (and more of a moral standing) to have their way since there are people with legitimate reasons why they CAN'T use Steam. THAT I support. It's painless, temporary, and free to use Steam with Act I and there's no excuse other than blind stubbornness not to use it if you're not in that camp. You're not "supporting" DRM or Steam itself by using it for a free product and neither is Double-Fine (yes it is free, because you're getting both a Steam key and a DRM-free version for the same price). If Broken Age ended up only being on Steam, I'd be right there with you asking for a DRM-free version on principle, but it just isn't the case. This is a temporary situation which makes it completely different. People who choose not to use Steam should just be waiting until the full game comes out. It sucks, but that's the consequence of their decision. You can either wait until Act II is released, or you can break down and use Steam. Either way, you are not entitled to a DRM-free release like you say you are.

But as I said, this is all null and void because there are legitimate claims for a DRM-free Act I. But even then, someone can install Steam and Act I once on their system and then go on playing it offline. The game is only 3-4 hours long so it's not like you'll run out of whatever offline time limit Steam might have (a few weeks to a month or something before it asks you to log in again). That's little comfort I realize, but it's possible. Logistically not easy, but possible. And unfortunate.

I really appreciate it that you make a polite post - it helps me to remember that not all people here are like SHODANFreeman.

Although I have to disagree with its content:

See if I just say "meh, if they don't do DRM-free than I just use the version with DRM" - than that is (imo seriously) threatening that what I believe. If DF would says: "Mh, they just use Steam anyway, so why don't wee skip the DRM-free version entirely." or "Mh, they have no problem to wait longer, so why don't we ship the DRM-free complete game a year later than public release", I would have somewhat no right to complain about that (in the first case I could argue that they promised me a DRM-free complete game - but for me using the words "DRM free on PC, Mac, and Linux, or via Steam for PC and Mac," implies that all version are treated equally, so I think we have the right to get a DRM-free Act 1 release alongside Steam).

And what the worst thing is, that other developers might see this at "they can skip on DRM-free, so we can that, too". And if I (or others who care about it) don't say that they have a problem with that - than nobody in a position who can do anything knows about it!

I don't know if you (or anybody else for that matter), think it is comparable or not, but I'm just saying it anyway now: I love to read a book from time to time. And since a year or so I have switched my reading habits to nearly ebook-only. And that's fine. But since all major ebook-publishers are forcing me to deal with their stupid DRM, I don't buy from them - and I'm ok with that (It sucks to don't be able to buy any bestsellers and that I can only read more or less indie-books, but if I really need some bestseller I can buy a dead-tree-version. But there are at least one or two books I would buy if I could buy a DRM-free version, but there isn't even a dead-tree-version available, so I'm missing it out completely instead).

The problem is I think nobody (who can do anything about the current circumstances) is hearing my opinion. I don't think I'm the only one who is more or less "silently protesting" this way - but it just doesn't show that there is a problem [and honestly I don't even know where I should address my concerns. I could mail a bunch of ebook-selling platforms, a bunch of publishers and/or a bunch of authors. But I don't think it would be really nice to write to them all]. Then there are those who perhaps would prefer it to be DRM-free, but are "ok" with the way it is right now. For example the Music-industry has (at least from what I see) nearly completely discarded any kind of DRM (I think there is some on most Streaming-services), it is really hard to buy a music file with DRM. I would like to see a future where the same is true for the Gaming-industry (same for books, videos, etc...). So if I think that the DRM-free version is treated badly, I voice my opinion about it (especially if it is something for which I already paid for! So I can't even do my normal form - aka not buying it - of responding to that).

I would really like to just contact DF about a refund because of it - but in this case this is rather complicated: I really enjoyed the 2PP-commentary and so I really want that (and the download for it). So I can't just discard my pledge without discarding the commentary. If they would be an option of "allocate all my funds to 2PP" I would totally check that right now. Because sometimes I have the feeling that money is the only language that is understood. (And even that really badly)

And yes I contacted DF about the problem here yesterday (I wrote an Email to support@doublefine.com ). If I don't hear back I will try the info@doublefine.com .

@SHODANFreeman:

To my post:

You know what?

I've backed/supported/payed for a game two years before its release - for a game I'm told that it will be released for my platform.

Two weeks before the public release of the first part, I get told - without any reason - that the first part will not released for my platform. I get told that I need to wait until the second part is finished (however long that takes) and the first part will only be released for other platforms.

I state my disappointment about it / enquiry about why that is so / say that I'm upset about it [all in a reasonable tone].

And what to I get for that?

People, who belittle my position.

People, who say I should stop whining/crying about why I don't get what I have paid for.

People, who say I should get over with whatever problems I have and just go use another platform because the platform they use is far superior than mine anyway.

AND I'M JUST SICK OF THAT!

You are at least as involved in ruining this game for me than the decision DF made. And I have at least the hope that that decision might even change. But if I get involved with people like you I would like to just dismiss this whole gaming community as a group of shitheads - despite knowing that that normally isn't the case.

you replayed with

I'm an entitled baby that doesn't understand how expensive game development is or any of the completely logical reasons why they would delay multi-platform releases until the game is actually finished. I expect special treatment because of my own choices and inability to understand what I am purchasing, and will lash out at anyone who tells me I am being unreasonable.

I agree with this completely.

I don't know what you do normally to insult people, but that is one of the most insulting responses I have read for quite some time.

For me it illustrates exactly what I talk in my post - so maybe I should just thank you for proving my point?

But the only way I can see it that you thought "Yeah, someone used bold markup with caps - I can just insult him for it and have enough time to insult some more!"

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

Thanks for at least stating that you are aware of the problem!

Although - to be honest - I don't really know how you think about it:

Does this mean Act 1 = Beta? And if so why do you sell this Beta through a public release on Steam at the end of January without even mentioning it there, that this is in fact only a Beta-release? Because if that is the case you should clearly state that this is a Beta-release and not as Act 1 of 2 [because otherwise I would say you are making pretty serious shenanigans with those people buying a Beta without knowing it].

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

Thanks for your feedback greg, and as enigma said, the steam exclusive beta is not a problem, we're aware of the "easy to update" advantage of steam and we don't ask for a DRM-free version right now, we're just talking about a DRM-free version of the final Act 1, once this beta is over and most of the bugs are fixed (yes, we want to be sure we're understood correctly :) ).

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we don't ask for a DRM-free version right now, we're just talking about a DRM-free version of the final Act 1, once this beta is over and most of the bugs are fixed (yes, we want to be sure we're understood correctly :) ).

And how are they supposed to know when they no longer need to update the first act?

Well, don't worry, game developpers know what i'm talking about, "beta, release, master candidate, bugs", it's our really secret language

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we don't ask for a DRM-free version right now, we're just talking about a DRM-free version of the final Act 1, once this beta is over and most of the bugs are fixed (yes, we want to be sure we're understood correctly :) ).

And how are they supposed to know when they no longer need to update the first act?

So with that argument we should accept an indefinite delay to the complete game, too? ...

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

I appreciate the consideration a lot.

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

Thanks, man. Your answer is apreciated.

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There was far too much to quote and the forum kept truncating my post, so I'll just respond in general. I'm glad I didn't come off as hostile and that everyone saw my attempts towards a polite debate. I was worried it might not come off that way, so thank you for noticing, and you're welcome.

igguk made some good points from a game developer's point of view regarding number of owners of a game on Steam and the decisions developers make surrounding those numbers. I agree with the fact that a variety of platforms is more beneficial for the industry. I'm actually a strong advocate for DRM-freedom. I just think this instance is a special scenario. In a perfect world releasing this as DRM-free would be trivial. But there were a lot of fast decisions that were made and had to be made because things weren't panning out as expected. It's less realistic to expect them to provide a DRM-free version of half the game when that was never the plan. When this was considered "early-access" or "beta" I doubt as many would have made such a case for this. Yes, in a way DF put themselves in this position but again I still feel that I must defend them by saying we should be understanding of their current predicament, which is probably very nerve-racking and tense, and be a little easier on them. It may not be possible to accommodate this request. I understand the plea, but I also see where DF is coming from. I don't believe DF are taking advantage of anybody by keeping it Steam-exclusive for a time, at least not intentionally.

I also concede to the points ChristianST made about not supporting Steam for fear of DF delaying all DRM-free releases to later because "nobody cares" or that other developers might do the same, however I believe that to be a highly unlikely scenario. I believe DF are doing everything in their power to accommodate everybody their chosen platforms (including non-Steam). If they weren't they wouldn't have been offering all those multiple platforms in the first place. I don't think that danger is very high.

I also appreciate the points in the analogy to books and eBooks. As I've said, I'm an advocate of DRM-freedom and it needs to be more prevalent in the game industry and all industries, as it is in the music industry. I'm sorry that you feel that you might need to request a refund for your pledge, which I think is highly unnecessary and inappropriate in this case. After all, you weren't paying for a game, you were paying for somebody to make the game first and foremost. I'm not sure of the actual legalities regarding the gray areas of what that really means when pledged and how much of your pledge was towards development of the game and/or documentary and how much was for your copy of each, or whether you even can collect a refund on your pledge as per your contract as a Kickstarter backer in the first place, I have no idea. That's the way I look at it, though. But as I said, I understand the position. I would just hope that you can understand DF's position and be a little forgiving in light of it. If you can't do that, well, I'm sorry you feel that way. This isn't the most fortunate circumstance for everybody.

I'm glad Greg responded at least. Hopefully the official statement on this issue will work for everyone.

But you do understand that people of all three mentioned trains of thought, as a way to escape those industry chains, back on Kickstarter, see ‘DRM free’ explicitly advertised and absolutely expect that they’d never be penalized in comparison to the other backers?

I do. I would also expect that they understand that they're not being intentionally penalized and that it might not be possible for them to have their way. It's a very unfortunate circumstance. One that is definitely DF's fault, in that they set their goals higher, needed more money, required more time, and made decisions that necessitated the outcome of the current state of events that we're now in. But it wasn't done to take advantage of anybody. I'm sure if they could they would release a DRM-free Act I in a heartbeat if the situation were different, it's just probably not that easy to do at this stage. Not because they don't care about DRM.

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@MusicallyInspired: It is good to have someone to discuss this with reasonable, even if you don't have exactly the same side on the topic.

[Yeah, it was rather hard to get my last post into the character limit ... *g*]

If it is not possible to release a DRM-free Act 1, I at least would like to now why that is the case. But the way I imagine it it shouldn't be that hard (just put some installers, which should exist or be rather easy to made, of the final Act 1 build and put them online somewhere. They have worked in the past with Humble Bundle, so that shouldn't be that hard to use Humble Bundle for it. But since I have no experience in Game Developing, I can only speculate about it.).

The only answer we have heard why it isn't happening is "the Beta is Steam-only because of frequent updates and such" - which is an argument that is perfectly valid and understandable (I think it could be possible to Beta without Steam, but that isn't the topic here), but that is only valid for the Beta, and nobody here is complaining about not getting the Beta.

And yes, I now that the situation is rather special (Crowdfunding games is rather new, splitting them in multiple releases I haven't heard from before), so yes, that is something that has to be considered. I also really don't think DF will do any of the scenarios regarding DRM-free Act 2, especially since I think they released a bunch of their games through Humble Bundle. (I'm not so sure on the "other developer" stuff, though). But since I have experienced some other DRM/Kickstarter related stuff myself [shadowrun Returns from Harebrained Schemes, I go into details later], I'm a bit more cautious about this.

Also it might be not as easy to change that now than maybe half a year ago (I have no clue what lead to that decision and when it was made). But this update was the earliest moment I heard about this situation. If I would have noticed earlier (and I'm not sure I was able to), I would have acted earlier (when it maybe where a bit easier to react). That they have now really important stuff to do (getting the Beta finished for Steam Release, helping other backers with Humble Bundle keys) isn't helpful either.

To the "refund": As I said (maybe I didn't make that clear), I'm not going to do that (unless it means that I get heard - but I think DF is aware of this now - so no need to). I also have absolutely no clue if there are legal contracts in work (and on what levels to what consequences, especially since I'm not a US-backer). The only thing I would to if I wanted a refund would ask DF if I can have a refund. If they say no I wouldn't do anything more [other than maybe being a bit more grumpy at them - but right now I'm way more confident that this will be resolved anyway].

On Shadowrun Returns: I also backed Shadowrun Returns. Way before the release (some three and a half months) they announced that a DRM-free general release is not going to happen (due to licensing with Microsoft). They still could (and did on launch day) release a DRM-free version for backers. Also the first update/addon, which was also part of the initial game on KS (so maybe a split into two parts isn't unprecedented at all?) was announced to be available DRM-free for backers only (Still waiting on it - which should be coming this month :) ). But any further add-ons/content/DLC was announced as non-DRM-free only. Which is especially bad, when you consider that one key feature to SRR is that you can share user created content... (which naturally might require certain add-ons/content/DLC).

I - and many others - where heavily upset by this news (the two corresponding updates on KS together generated nearly 2000 comments. The DF update generated less than 300; and DF has more than double the number of backers than SRR). After that I did ask for a refund for my pledge (Technically you can certainly say that they did plan to deliver everything as promised through the KS-text). Harebrained Schemes did grant me that refund.

Some time had passed since that (the game released since that happened), but one day HBS announced that they have newly negotiated with Microsoft and are now ably to offer DRM-free version of SRR and all future content. After that I contacted HBS that I want to 'cancel' my refund [unfortunately that was only partial possible. My original level was for physical rewards. I could only restore my pledge to the $50 digital level]. It took one month after that, but it is possible to buy a DRM-free version of SRR on GOG now, and they are working to get it to the Humble store.

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

Greg! Not the beta!

It's entirely clear that the beta will be on steam. But when you are done "pushing frequent patches" (you don't want to do that for all eternity, do you? -- you need to work on Act II!), then this is a thing. That's what the conversation is about.

Thanks, Greg, I think your acknowledgement will go a long way, and I actually assume you understand we're not talking about the beta based on your response, but I see how one might want more specificity in what has been, so far, a very confused discussion.

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@ChristianST: That's too bad that happened with Shadowrun Returns. That is quite a mess! I'm confused, though. If the game was Kickstarted, why were there any licensing issues with Microsoft in the first place? Did Microsoft own the IP to the game? It's a shame you didn't get your physical rewards, but at least you got something. A testament to that team's ability to oblige their fans and (ex-)backers!

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@ChristianST: That's too bad that happened with Shadowrun Returns. That is quite a mess! I'm confused, though. If the game was Kickstarted, why were there any licensing issues with Microsoft in the first place? Did Microsoft own the IP to the game? It's a shame you didn't get your physical rewards, but at least you got something. A testament to that team's ability to oblige their fans and (ex-)backers!

Jordan Weisman is the original creator of Shadowrun, but the rights for all Shadowrun games had looong since been in the hands of Microsoft. To make Shadowrun Returns, he had to compensate and obey rights holder Microsoft. THAT should have been made clear from the beginning, but was hardly mentioned on the Kickstarter. The letter of the tiers promised a DRM free version for backers, so, tadah, I backed. For more than a year, I waited.

Then, less than a month before the game released, Weisman tells people that he had only just managed to negotiate with Microsoft that there can ACTUALLY be the promised DRM free version for backers. Of course, it wouldn't play future DLCs, because Microsoft forbade it. And the game would be a Steam exclusive for all future customers, because Microsoft said so. But, guess what, Weisman thought that didn't really matter much because everyone would get a Steam key anyway, quote: "the best solution for everyone". The situation in the forums was such that many backers still thought any kind of critique of the game and Hairebrained Schemes would be directed against their "achievement" of crowd funding, so, quite opposed to this forum, there was a fricking war going on back there.

"You get everything you were promised" and "why would anyone not use Steam?" were the central arguments of the HBS apologists.

The situation right now is that after half a year, the game surprisingly DID get to gog.com. Backers of the game, however, are still stuck with a DRM free version of the game that won't play future DLC. Happy Kickstarting, everyone. I'd be completely mad of course, but thankfully, Shadowrun Returns was meh at best.

The Shadowrun desaster is the sole reason why I wouldn't back a Ron Gilbert Monkey Island Kickstarter. The same doubtful legal control over his own brainchild would apply.

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@ChristianST: That's too bad that happened with Shadowrun Returns. That is quite a mess! I'm confused, though. If the game was Kickstarted, why were there any licensing issues with Microsoft in the first place? Did Microsoft own the IP to the game? It's a shame you didn't get your physical rewards, but at least you got something. A testament to that team's ability to oblige their fans and (ex-)backers!

I'm not sure what exactly is going around with that Shadowrun License (I believe it is a rather complicated story - and I don't really want to derail this thread, so I make only this one post on this topic), but from what I know (and looked at Wikipedia), basically Jordan Weisman grounded FASA and published Shadowrun there back in 1989 (the P&P-version/IP). Somehow FASA (and all their right, at least for digital games, I don't know/think they have the rights on the P&P version, but I have honestly zero clue how it works anyway) got bought by Microsoft. And some time later Harebrained Schemes (with Jordan Weisman) licensed it through Microsoft before the KS. So it is possible that the DRM-topic was cleared beforehand, but since I don't know how that is handled, and I don't just want to blame someone for it [although I'm not a fan of Microsoft, so if I had to pick someone, I know who I would choose ;)] I can't say anything about (and it is quite likely that such things are rather complicated anyway).

But to make it short: Currently Microsoft holds the IP (or at least for the digital games) to Shadowrun and HBS has only licensed it.

There is a rather funny text + interesting picture on it on the SRR KS-page:

It is strange to be required to license your own game in order to make a new version of it but that’s what can happen when you’re old and keep changing companies. Here's the fast-forward version:

bc3acc4b52132e5145279e707ce35a91_large.jpg?1381462013

And so, our favorite game has come full circle and Jordan is again leading the development of a world he started oh, so many years ago.

And yes, I'm very glad that it did work out. And yes, kudos to HBS for it! I would have preferred not to get in all this mess in the first place, but I really appreciate it how HBS has dealt with it! :) - and I really hope it will work out with Broken Age, too. [Though at least the currently planned scenario truly isn't the worst possibly case]

At least such licensing shenanigans shouldn't happen with Broken Age :)

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

Thanks Greg!

For what it is worth, I have steam so it is a non issue for me, but I would have just waited to play the full thing when part II was released if not for the spoilers in the documentary piece of this whole equation. I get so much enjoyment out of the documentary that I can totally understand why those who, for whatever reason, need the non steam option, would be upset. It isn't about just having to wait for the game, it is that you have to also stop watching the documentary as well.

In a way, I'm going to be really sad when the game is finally completely finished, because one of my favorite "shows" is going to be finished. :)

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The situation right now is that after half a year, the game surprisingly DID get to gog.com. Backers of the game, however, are still stuck with a DRM free version of the game that won't play future DLC. Happy Kickstarting, everyone. I'd be completely mad of course, but thankfully, Shadowrun Returns was meh at best.

I don't think this is true. Update #68 basically outlines that the DRM free version will be fully updated/patched and is available to kickstarter backers. Unless I missed it in this thread and you consider GOG and Humble non acceptable sources of DRM free games?

Just fyi.

*Edit to add: Looks like Update 66 implies even the non GOG version is supposed to be updated/patched, unless I'm reading that wrong.

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All of that blow-back that MS received about the Xbone having to be online when they vaguely said stuff about it around the announcement of the console, and what they've done to correct the course since then has definatly benefited us PC gamers that basically need or prefer DRM-free. Shortly thereafter, I noticed games that MS published like Dust:AET and Mark of the Ninja started appearing with DRM-free versions available. I'd almost bet that if someone here from DF asked MS if they could start selling DRM-free versions of Iron Brigade as well, they might be able to get the okay to if they wanted. Of course, the difference in that case might be the amount MS funded the development. On the other hand, it's more avenues available to make money from.

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Hey all, thanks for the feedback here. As people have stated before me, we were clear from the start that we would need to leverage Steam during the beta to help push frequent patches. However, we are not taking lightly your requests for a DRM free version. There are a lot of moving parts surrounding this conversation, but we're doing our best to figure out a solution that will please everyone. We'll get you more info when we can!

Thanks Greg. We really appreciate that you guys are taking the time to see if something can be worked out.

Whilst I'm sad to see that user downloadable/installable patches have become a thing of the past in recent years, I think that most users of DRM free software from Humble are comfortable with the idea of downloading entire builds when there's an update. I wouldn't worry too much about that aspect once things are considered ready enough for a public release.

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Obviously the Humble Libraries aren't set up to handle patches the same way GOG is. But why not just set up a support page and/or thread here on the DF website/forums with the patches like what used to be the way everyone did things?

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I see the Steam release as good for the backers. If DF put out a DRM free version of the beta to the backers, then you can be sure that some airhead backer would upload it to piratebay within minutes. And then the 2 week backer exclusive playing would be lost.

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Broken Age is not on Steam to prevent piracy. It's there to allow automatic updates.

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Broken Age is not on Steam to prevent piracy. It's there to allow automatic updates.

Also because games on steam easily sell more copies than years worth of being on other platforms in a few hours.

Being on steam AND other platforms sells even more copies.

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Being on steam AND other platforms sells even more copies.

There's not enough statistical data to support this opinion, quite unfortunately. For some developers, in fact, Steam exclusivity seems to be the thing that actually sells most copies, which in my opinion exemplifies the friendly yet adamant grip the hosting service has on the industry and the reason why softening this grip considerably is key to the survival of the PC as a gaming platform.

When, for example, Tom Francis released his game Gunpoint, he begged customers not to buy on his website, but from Steam directly. Only that way would the game rise in Steam's ranking system – and as soon as it would pop up in the top 10, Steam customers would notice it and sales would go through the roof. More sales on Steam begets more sales on Steam, it seems - a circle which deserves to be called 'vicious'. :(

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Being on steam AND other platforms sells even more copies.

There's not enough statistical data to support this opinion, quite unfortunately. For some developers, in fact, Steam exclusivity seems to be the thing that actually sells most copies, which in my opinion exemplifies the friendly yet adamant grip the hosting service has on the industry and the reason why softening this grip considerably is key to the survival of the PC as a gaming platform.

When, for example, Tom Francis released his game Gunpoint, he begged customers not to buy on his website, but from Steam directly. Only that way would the game rise in Steam's ranking system – and as soon as it would pop up in the top 10, Steam customers would notice it and sales would go through the roof. More sales on Steam begets more sales on Steam, it seems - a circle which deserves to be called 'vicious'. :(

Why is it 'viscous' to have a platform that promotes games equally? Many small devs I've talked to say they would not be making the LIVING they have if it were not for Steam. It's really the thing that saved PC gaming and helps prevents piracy. Not because of DRM but because it gives the convenience to consumers that something like piracy would give.

It's not perfect and if you want your raw-ass .exe you should have it. But let's not act like not getting into the Steam ecosystem is some sort of moral argument and that it is somehow hurting pc gaming in any way.

EDIT:

Also looking at the broken age torrent page, it seems like it's just straight up a virus that someone is sending.

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Most importantly, let's not start that "what-is-Steam"-debate here. I really wish someone would go make a Steam debate thread in off-topic, and then I would stay the f!ck out of it. What @Vainamoinen meant was that it's not "a platform" but "THE platform" (the monopoly argument), and he'd also contest the "equally", I'm sure.

There, all cleared up. No need to respond :(

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At the end of the day, when Act 1 is released, there should be a Steam version out, and a DRM-free version out. Steam may be the bigger fish, but a lot of little fish contributed as well. The little fish don't want to screw over the big fish. They just want what they feel they are owed.

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At the end of the day, when Act 1 is released, there should be a Steam version out, and a DRM-free version out. Steam may be the bigger fish, but a lot of little fish contributed as well. The little fish don't want to screw over the big fish. They just want what they feel they are owed.

The problem is that they feel they are owed something that was never promised, nor should they even have expected in the first place. The game is Steam exclusive until there is a final release build, which may well be after both parts of the game are 100% complete. DF are well within their own terms if they don't release the DRM-free version until then.

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I'm not sure if this has been said yet but on OSX, the game will not launch outside of Steam. Obviously, it won't launch once you remove Steam either. People were mentioning this earlier.

So, that's not cool. I completely understand the people who are disappointed by this. I hate DRM and I hate not being able to re-sell my games.

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At the end of the day, when Act 1 is released, there should be a Steam version out, and a DRM-free version out. Steam may be the bigger fish, but a lot of little fish contributed as well. The little fish don't want to screw over the big fish. They just want what they feel they are owed.

I believe the problem is that new circumstances that nobody predicted forced new decisions to be made which caused a new outcome of those decisions which turned out to be at odds with the previously stated agreement, at best. DF doesn't owe the backers a DRM-free Act I, but neither should backers expect DF not to have to address this issue as things as they are do not lie in perfect harmony with what was initially agreed. A new decision must be made to accommodate this new scenario that pleases everybody and is best for the game. I do not envy DF in this decision. But then maybe they have some geniuses there that can work a miracle. Obviously, the best possible scenario would be that DF releases a DRM-free Act I and also somehow manages to manage fixing bugs and releasing new Act I builds via Steam's automatic updates and patches for the DRM-free builds, while at the same time staying on schedule to develop and release Act II, and all in an efficient and timely manner.

This is a delicate situation and seeing as we aren't publishers looking out for our businesses but rather human beings who believed in a cause that DF were trying to bring about for us, I would think that we are in more of a position to show a little decency and understanding, regardless of what we may or may not be "owed".

So, that's not cool. I completely understand the people who are disappointed by this. I hate DRM and I hate not being able to re-sell my games.

How exactly would you resell a DRM-free digital download of a game?

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