For boys who like boys who like joysticks!

Archives:

« Weekly XBLA Update - 9/8/2009 | Main | PAX 09: Shank Hands On »

Batman Fights Piracy Like A True Crimefighter

batman piracy.jpg

Developers putting anti-piracy measures into their games isn't anything new. But sometimes a developer goes above and beyond DRM and SecuROM and does something that really spits in the face of pirates. Fittingly, the developers of Batman: Arkham Asylum have taken the latter route and put some sneaky copy-protection into the stellar crime fighting game.

A poster on the Eidos forums decided to report a bug in the game where Batman would, instead of gliding on his cape as the instructions said, fall to his death in the poison gas below. This would be a game-breaking glitch if Batman were not able to use one of his more basic moves in the game. But something was suspicious about his post. For example, the fact that he was reporting a bug in the PC version which doesn't release until September 15th. An Eidos admin stepped in to inform us on the real issue, and it's quite possibly the best company response I've ever seen.

The problem you have encountered is a hook in the copy protection, to catch out people who try and download cracked versions of the game for free.

It's not a bug in the game's code, it's a bug in your moral code.

Simply brilliant! I really wish more games took this route for copy-protection, where pirated copies activate code to make the game unplayable. DRM and limiting the number of installs for games usually inspires more piracy than it stops, but this method lets people who buy the game enjoy it as much as they want. And those who don't buy it and download illegal copies, they die in a pit of poison gas. If you were thinking of downloading an early illegal copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum, well, you're going to get what you deserve.

Besides, and this is just between you and me, but Batman: Arkham Asylum is one of the best games this year, and the developers at Rocksteady deserve to be rewarded with our wallets.

12 Comments

Royalchaos2 said:

Very cool. It sounds much better than what they've been doing with PC games.

DeadRobot said:

There's still DRM wrapped around the game, though? One computer install and all that?

FlamingGamer said:

This reminds me of the old PC games that used to require you to enter a code or something that was only in the game guide that came with it. Like Quest for Glory 4 and the formulas in the book. I miss that.

FlamingGamer said:

This reminds me of the old PC games that used to require you to enter a code or something that was only in the game guide that came with it. Like Quest for Glory 4 and the formulas in the book. I miss that.

Decompiled said:

Metal Gear Solid for the PC had something similar. If you had a cracked version then a door at the very end to where the key card slots where wouldn't open.

iNerd said:

There have been several games that used this as copy protection and quite frankly it's often a stupid thing to do. There have been several situations where something designed to do this ahs abckfired and adversely affected legitimate players of the game. I can't remember off the top of my head the specific example I'm after (mech warrior?) but it has lead to people labeling a game 'buggy' and adversely affecting real sales.

While I'm not a fan of piracy, being deliberately malitious is a slippery slope to take. What next, does a game that detects piracy erase any partition it's installed on? Stardock seems to have proven that you can have a sane marketing strategy with a basic serial system and still make money. With a game like Arkham Asylum they're hardly an indy title struggling to be seen...

Greg said:

Unfortunately, they still work around this stuff. The pirates put out a glide patch 7 days ago.

Jake T said:

Are we still doing copy-protection? That's so 1989.

Also: copying a video game is theft the same way that reading a library book is theft. I am SO over the self-serving moralistic propaganda coming from the big media mega-corps.

Mike said:

Give me a break, Jake T. This isn't "the big media mega-corps" we're talking about, it's a smaller video game development house. I suspect they aren't making it rich, they're just making livings.

Unless you're willing to make that distinction, you're just using "fight the man rhetoric" to justify being lazy.

And copying a game would only be like taking a book from a library if you never brought the book back - or stopped using the game after two weeks (which, by the way, is called shareware, not pirating).

JeffreyOSU said:

The library analogy is way off the mark. When you borrow a book from the library, that book is unavailable to everyone else until you bring it back. Copying a game is more like photocopying an entire book. Which, by the way, is also illegal.

Copying a game increases the number of instances of the game in existence (for which the hundreds of people usually involved in its production get no further compensation), whereas borrowing from a library does not increase the number of copies of that book.

And, Mike... I would go one step further with your point... just stopping to use the game after two weeks isn't quite the same. He would have to "return" the game so that someone else could then use it and he could not.

Tacoma said:

Regardless of morality, this is still silly DRM that pirates will get around. The only way I can see this coming about is if the company deliberately leaked a "cracked" copy that included a game-stopping bug. Knowing it would have been cracked days after release anyway, they're able to forestall other hackers from cracking a bug-free version of the game or creating a bugfix because the hackers think a cracked version is already out.

Of course, as has already been said, it's more of a little jab than a clever victory since there's a patch for the buggy leaked version.

So to sum up, this was just a little scrap of garbage. Nothing important or noteworthy. Companies are still putting out malware DRM and hackers are still removing it.

Andrew said:

This post is like being excited after you have matched 3 numbers on your lottery ticket, you won, but only like a dollar. Let's analyze the situation here, shall we? Big titles nowadays rarely get leaked out before release anymore, the fact that this game was leaked already smells fishy. It's either they are lax on security (MOLE MOLE MOLEEEEE!), and the pirates just happen to run into the developer's "trap", or, the company leaked the "trapped" copy intentionally, with the latter being a lot more likely. Once the legit copies are released, there ain't no stopping the piracy either way, so it is all but a minor moral victory for the developers, who will now mask their true pain of lost dollars with this insignificant event, have a laugh or two in break room and go home and cry at the thousands of torrents each with thousands of leeches.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

Twitter Feed

Recent Comments

Andrew on Batman Fights Piracy Like A True Crimefighter: This post is like being excited after you have matched 3 numbers on your lottery ticket, you won, but only...

Tacoma on Batman Fights Piracy Like A True Crimefighter: Regardless of morality, this is still silly DRM that pirates will get around. The only way I can see this...

JeffreyOSU on Batman Fights Piracy Like A True Crimefighter: The library analogy is way off the mark. When you borrow a book from the library, that book is unavailable...

Mike on Batman Fights Piracy Like A True Crimefighter: Give me a break, Jake T. This isn't "the big media mega-corps" we're talking about, it's a smaller video game...

Jake T on Batman Fights Piracy Like A True Crimefighter: Are we still doing copy-protection? That's so 1989. Also: copying a video game is theft the same way that reading...

GGP Mailing List

Are you gay and working in the games industry? If you are interested in networking with other folks like you within the industry, try joining the Gay Game-Industry Professionals mailing list. Click here for all the details!

Links

The GayGamer Store

  • Help support GayGamer by purchasing your items through our store!

All rights reserved © 2006-2010 FAD Media, Inc.