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Linux Gaming DRM Free Promises: Do They Stack Up?
Posted , 25 April 2013 at 6:34 pm UTC / 7004 views
A disturbing announcement from Obsidian Entertainment was made a few weeks ago. The new Project:Eternity game has a native Linux version being made with the Unity engine. However the distribution download options may make it impossible for Linux supporters to get a truly DRM Free version.

It was announced that the distribution would done via Steam or gog.com. (no direct-download option mentioned) Steam clients are a form of DRM (you may be possibly able to surgically remove the installer once downloaded). Now Obsidian may not ADD DRM, but the Steam platform was designed as method of DRM. gog.com is indeed DRM Free (I've done a few tests), but they have never had Linux offerings (they have MacOS) and has no announcements regarding future plans. Could this loophole be used to push Linux fans/users into a DRM platform?

It seems clear that we have to get very specific promises in writing. The magic phrase being: "Do you promise to have a direct-download option available as 3rd party distribution offerings prove unacceptable in regards to platform availability, privacy or DRM-free options?"

What is your view on the obligations of game makers to sure their advertised promises are met?

This article was submitted by a guest, we encourage anyone to submit their own articles.

Comments on this article are now closed.
liamdawe commented on 25 April 2013 at 6:38 pm UTC

Cleaned up the formatting a bit and accepted, it's worth discussing.

Cleaned up the formatting a bit and accepted, it's worth discussing.
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Please read the FAQ commented on 25 April 2013 at 6:43 pm UTC

http://eternity.obsidian.net/ 2nd question in the FAQ section:


QuoteHow will I get my digital copy of the game?

We're busy developing our fulfillment site, where you'll be able to specify how you would like to get the game, as well as provide us with any other details depending on your tier (for example, T-shirt size, or name in the credits, etc.) We support both GOG and Steam for distribution, so if you prefer DRM-free, you can choose the GOG option, and if you prefer achievements, multi-platform play (via Steam Play) and cloud saving capabilities, you'll be able to choose Steam.

If you buy additional copies as add-ons, you'll be able to tell us which one you want per key.

We do not yet have a DRM-free distribution partner for Linux yet, but we expect to have one available as an option by the time we ship for our Linux customers.

[url=http://eternity.obsidian.net/]http://eternity.obsidian.net/[/url] 2nd question in the FAQ section: [quote]How will I get my digital copy of the game? We're busy developing our fulfillment site, where you'll be able to specify how you would like to get the game, as well as provide us with any other details depending on your tier (for example, T-shirt size, or name in the credits, etc.) We support both GOG and Steam for distribution, so if you prefer DRM-free, you can choose the GOG option, and if you prefer achievements, multi-platform play (via Steam Play) and cloud saving capabilities, you'll be able to choose Steam. If you buy additional copies as add-ons, you'll be able to tell us which one you want per key. We do not yet have a DRM-free distribution partner for Linux yet, but we expect to have one available as an option by the time we ship for our Linux customers.[/quote]
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Kame commented on 25 April 2013 at 8:20 pm UTC

"the Steam platform was designed as method of DRM"


Not really, the only "DRM" that steam forces is that the game must be downloaded using the steam client. Meaning all steam can do is cancel your ability to download the game. Exactly like GOG.


Any DRM above and beyond this is completely up to the Developers/Publishers of the game.

"[color=#000000][size=2][font=Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]the Steam platform was designed as method of DRM"[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]Not really, the only "DRM" that steam forces is that the game must be downloaded using the steam client. Meaning all steam can do is cancel your ability to download the game. Exactly like GOG.[/font][/size][/color] [color=#000000][size=2][font=Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif]Any DRM above and beyond this is completely up to the Developers/Publishers of the game.[/font][/size][/color]
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liamdawe commented on 25 April 2013 at 8:24 pm UTC

Actually the difference here is that gog.com's downloaders once downloaded will still work (you could backup your collection).

If Steam went down you don't have that choice since your game downloads are tied directly to their client?

Actually the difference here is that gog.com's downloaders once downloaded will still work (you could backup your collection). If Steam went down you don't have that choice since your game downloads are tied directly to their client?
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FutureSuture commented on 25 April 2013 at 8:28 pm UTC
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I know Liam isn't very fond of GOG due to their stance on Linux, and I myself haven't spent any money with them for months now either, but still, voting can only help.

I know Liam isn't very fond of GOG due to their stance on Linux, and I myself haven't spent any money with them for months now either, but still, [url=http://www.gog.com/wishlist/site#search=Linux]voting can only help[/url].
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liamdawe commented on 25 April 2013 at 8:31 pm UTC

FutureSutureI know Liam isn't very fond of GOG due to their stance on Linux, and I myself haven't spent any money with them for months now either, but still, voting can only help.
By all means vote but yes I don't think very highly of gog.com for their silly stance on Linux (although I do use them for old titles you can't get anywhere else, I actually had 7 games from them - I won't pirate games).

[quote=FutureSuture]I know Liam isn't very fond of GOG due to their stance on Linux, and I myself haven't spent any money with them for months now either, but still, [url=http://www.gog.com/wishlist/site#search=Linux]voting can only help[/url].[/quote] By all means vote but yes I don't think very highly of gog.com for their silly stance on Linux (although I do use them for old titles you can't get anywhere else, I actually had 7 games from them - I won't pirate games).
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Kame commented on 25 April 2013 at 8:38 pm UTC

liamdaweActually the difference here is that gog.com's downloaders once downloaded will still work (you could backup your collection).

If Steam went down you don't have that choice since your game downloads are tied directly to their client?


Not exactly sure what you're saying here? If steam went down you'd still be able to play any games which the devs didn't put drm into.

[quote=liamdawe]Actually the difference here is that gog.com's downloaders once downloaded will still work (you could backup your collection). If Steam went down you don't have that choice since your game downloads are tied directly to their client?[/quote] Not exactly sure what you're saying here? If steam went down you'd still be able to play any games which the devs didn't put drm into.
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liamdawe commented on 25 April 2013 at 8:58 pm UTC

Kame
liamdaweActually the difference here is that gog.com's downloaders once downloaded will still work (you could backup your collection).

If Steam went down you don't have that choice since your game downloads are tied directly to their client?


Not exactly sure what you're saying here? If steam went down you'd still be able to play any games which the devs didn't put drm into.
I don't know about you but I don't have every game I own on Steam downloaded, what would happen if it went down - I wouldn't be able to download my games and play them.

It's a risk we all take and it is a risk.

[quote=Kame][quote=liamdawe]Actually the difference here is that gog.com's downloaders once downloaded will still work (you could backup your collection). If Steam went down you don't have that choice since your game downloads are tied directly to their client?[/quote] Not exactly sure what you're saying here? If steam went down you'd still be able to play any games which the devs didn't put drm into.[/quote] I don't know about you but I don't have every game I own on Steam downloaded, what would happen if it went down - I wouldn't be able to download my games and play them. It's a risk we all take and it is a risk.
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FutureSuture commented on 25 April 2013 at 9:19 pm UTC
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liamdawe
Kame
liamdaweActually the difference here is that gog.com's downloaders once downloaded will still work (you could backup your collection).

If Steam went down you don't have that choice since your game downloads are tied directly to their client?


Not exactly sure what you're saying here? If steam went down you'd still be able to play any games which the devs didn't put drm into.
I don't know about you but I don't have every game I own on Steam downloaded, what would happen if it went down - I wouldn't be able to download my games and play them.

It's a risk we all take and it is a risk.
What I believe he is saying, Liam, is that there are in fact some games which do not require the Steam client to run. I have never tested this, only heard of it, and it's likely only a small minority that benefit from being DRM free.

[quote=liamdawe][quote=Kame][quote=liamdawe]Actually the difference here is that gog.com's downloaders once downloaded will still work (you could backup your collection). If Steam went down you don't have that choice since your game downloads are tied directly to their client?[/quote] Not exactly sure what you're saying here? If steam went down you'd still be able to play any games which the devs didn't put drm into.[/quote] I don't know about you but I don't have every game I own on Steam downloaded, what would happen if it went down - I wouldn't be able to download my games and play them. It's a risk we all take and it is a risk.[/quote] What I believe he is saying, Liam, is that there are in fact some games which do not require the Steam client to run. I have never tested this, only heard of it, and it's likely only a small minority that benefit from being DRM free.
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