EA Pondering Offline Mode for SimCity

July 5, 2013 -

When EA launched its online-only, always-connected SimCity game earlier this year, they insisted that the game just wouldn't work without the ability to let the cloud have access to all the game's data and computations. But if that's the case, then why is EA asking people about the possibility of an offline SimCity game?

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Sony's Jack Tretton: Microsoft 'Finally Got The Message' on DRM

July 2, 2013 -

In a recent interview with Up At Noon Sony Computer Entertainment America boss Jack Tretton says that Microsoft 'finally got the message' on DRM. Responding to a question about Microsoft's decision to reverse its DRM policies related to Xbox One, Tretton said, "I guess they got the message" adding that Sony spent a lot of time carefully "listening to the consumers and to developers."

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EA Abandons Darkspore, Steam Pulls Game From Catalog

July 1, 2013 -

UPDATE: Looks like EA has changed its mind.  A new message on the Darkspore forums reads:

"Welcome to the Darkspore forums. Thanks for supporting the game. We recently resolved an issue that was causing some players to not be able to connect to the game. If you any encounter any other issues, please contact help.ea.com for customer support. We will continue to support Darkspore, so feel free to continue to discuss the game here. Thanks – Maxis."

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 57

June 24, 2013 -

In Episode 57 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about several GamePolitics polls, Microsoft's decision to pull a 180 on its various Xbox One policies, Cliff Bleszinski's public comments about the whole thing, and a whole lot more. Download Episode 57 now: SuperPAC Episode 57 (1 hour, 16 minutes) 69.5 MB.

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The Witcher 3 DLC Free on PC

June 18, 2013 -

If you are someone that will buy CD Projekt RED's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and are concerned about all the nonsense associated with DRM and used game sales blocking found on the Xbox One, and you want free DLC (that you likely won't get for free on the PS4), then your best bet seems to be found on the PC.

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Pay-What-You-Want For Vox

June 18, 2013 -

IndieGameStand is offering the cute voxel-based RPG, Vox for $10 or whatever you want to pay. Developer AlwaysGeeky Games describes Vox as a "highly customizable game where you can create, destroy, edit and build anything you desire. The whole world, every item and object within it, and even the characters and inhabitants of Vox are created using a custom 'Voxel Engine.'" The game is currently in the alpha stage but all future updates will be free and frequent, according to the developer.

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GOG's Massive DRM-Free Summer Sale, Torchlight for Free

June 18, 2013 -

Being that we strongly support any company that goes out of its way not to use DRM schemes to give them the false sense that they are somehow protecting their products from unauthorized use (and not impeding the pleasurable use of their products by legitimate consumers), we are happy to report that Good Old Games is offering a "No DRM Summer Sale."

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Cliff Bleszinski Backs Xbox One DRM

June 14, 2013 -

Gears of War designer and former Epic Games developer Cliff Bleszinski has thrown his support behind Microsoft's Xbox One and its new DRM measures that seek to control the use and sale of used game discs. Speaking via Twitter, Bleszinski posted several comments expressing his support of the Xbox One's move towards a DRM-controlled used game market, saying that AAA development costs as they are now cannot be maintained in a marketplace that also supports used games.

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Is EA Seeing the Light on Used Games? It Sure Sounds Like It

June 13, 2013 -

Electronic Arts' President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau says that its online pass system was dumb, that it is dead and that it will never be coming back. EA announced back in May that it would wind down its online pass system. The system required consumers who purchased an EA game to punch a code in to get access to multiplayer and other game extras. If someone purchased that same game used they would then have to pay a small fee - usually around $10.

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Poll: Has Microsoft’s DRM Policies Doomed the Xbox One?

June 12, 2013 -

Last week, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One requires internet access and that used game sales are subject to the whims of publishers.  You will not be able rent or loan your games at launch and there's no guarantee you ever will.  You can give a game to someone else but only if the publisher allows it and even then, the recipient must have been in your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.

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CD Projekt RED in the Dark on Microsoft's Used Games Management System for Xbox One

June 11, 2013 -

As I have indicated multiple times when discussing Microsoft's new system to enable or disable used games on the Xbox One, most publishers don't seem to have a clue about this new tool Microsoft has put in place for its console. At first we simply assumed they were playing dumb to avoid revealing too much prior to E3, but as more developers and publishers talk openly about the topic, it seems that they don't know an awful lot about it.

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Wii U Does Not Provide Publishers the Ability to Block Used Games

June 11, 2013 -

While Playstation 4 gamers will not have to worry about Online Passes for Sony's first-party games, it appears third party publishers are free to employ used game DRM as they see fit.

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Xbox One Answers: Always On, Game Trades, Kinect Privacy

June 6, 2013 -

Got Xbox One questions?

Of course you do.  Microsoft's messaging since its console unveiling has been a confusing mess.  Does Xbox One require an internet connection to play offline?  Does it block used games?  Can the all-seeing eye of the Kinect be turned off?

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 54

June 3, 2013 -

In Episode 54 Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll, what all they would like to see from all the big publishers at E3 next week, and the stance of two publishers on DRM. Download Episode 54 now: SuperPAC Episode 54 (1 hour, 3 minutes) 58.5 MB.

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No DRM For Used Games Movement Targets PS4, Xbox One

June 3, 2013 -

The #PS4NoDRM campaign that bombarded Sony executives with messages on Twitter not to include DRM schemes for used games in the PS4 earlier in the month let us know this morning that they are ramping up for a second and final push of their message on Wednesday, June 5th starting at 8AM EST / 5AM PST/ 1PM GMT.

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GOG: DRM Solves Piracy Like a Bag of Concrete Solves Hunger

May 31, 2013 -

An excellent feature over at Forbes chronicles the DRM-free revolution which has been moved forward in part by popular game portal Good Old Games. While the exhaustive history of the company's push towards software that abandons DRM in favor of a better customer experience is interesting, there's also a great conversation with GOG.com managing director Guillaume Rambourg.

In the article he's pretty blunt about what they think of using DRM over at GOG:

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Microsoft's Major Nelson on DRM: We're Listening

May 30, 2013 -

Earlier in the week Sony fans took to Twitter to urge Sony executives not to include a DRM-scheme on PS4 games similar to what Microsoft has planned for used games on Xbox One. While a number of Sony executives said that they were grateful for the feedback, they were smart enough to not actually talk about this issue.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 53

May 29, 2013 -

If you missed Episode 53 while it was being recorded live on Google +, you can catch it on YouTube now or find it on iTunes. During the show Andrew Eisen, E. Zachary Knight, and James Fudge talked about the latest GamePolitics poll, Nintendo's monetization of "Let's Play" videos on YouTube, the continued trials of Wii U, and Xbox One's various positives and negatives.

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EA Discontinues Online Pass System

May 16, 2013 -

Electronic Arts has decided to do away with its controversial online pass system for used games, the company confirmed with GamesBeat last night.

"Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass," EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg confirmed to GamesBeat in an e-mail. "None of our new EA titles will include that feature."

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Report: Hacking Group Claims it Has Cracked Wii U Copy Protection

April 30, 2013 -

A hacking group is claiming that it has managed to circumvent the copy protection on Nintendo's Wii U. Nintendo is not commenting on the story publicly. According to the group who seems to have no formal group name, they were able to bypass the Wii U's copy protection and play pirated games via USB media. The team claims that it has "completely reversed the Wii U drive authentication, disk encryption, file system, and everything else needed for this next generation key."

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Pirates Feel the Effects of Piracy in Game Dev Tycoon

April 29, 2013 -

Developer Greenheart Games has released a "cracked version" of its $8 PC and Mac title Game Dev Tycoon on torrents that's specifically for pirates. The cracked version of the game causes game development studios in the sim go bankrupt due to rampant in-game piracy. Greenheart claims that the pirated version of the game made up 93 percent of its player base at launch, and caused an outburst from pirates complaining about their in-game titles failing through (ironically) piracy.

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The Witcher 3 Developer: DRM is the Worst Thing in the Games Industry

April 26, 2013 -

The Witcher series developers CD Projekt RED say that the digital rights management schemes are the "worst thing" in the video game industry these days and that it will never include such schemes in its games.

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Ubisoft Montreal CEO: Gamers Ready for Always-Online Consoles

April 15, 2013 -

Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat claims that gamers are ready to embrace a world where your game and console are always online - particularly with the upcoming next-gen consoles from Sony and Nintendo.

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Russian Hackers Exploit uPlay, Download Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

April 9, 2013 -

According to this Gameranx report some hackers in Russia are already playing Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, despite the fact that it isn't quite out yet. Apparently a group of Russian hackers have discovered an exploit in Ubisoft's uPlay digital distribution service that allows them to download the game without paying for it.

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The Catnip Bundle Offers Ten Games For Cheap

April 8, 2013 -

The Catnip Bundle has launched over at Bundle Stars offering PC players 10 instantly downloadable PC games for whatever price they want. The highlighted title in the Catnip Bundle is Pushcat, an arcade game from indie studio Zut Games. Other titles include Metal Drift, Obulis, Avencast: Rise of the Mage, Post Mortem, Wasteland Angel, Chains, Nikopol, and two mystery titles.

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EFF Fights Against DRM Proposal for Future WC3 Web Standards

March 21, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is shining a spotlight on a proposal currently before the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML5 Working Group to put digital rights management (DRM) into the next generation of core Web standards. The proposal in questions is called Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME. The EFF says that adopting EME into core standards would be a "calamitous development."

Putting the technical specifications of the proposal aside, why does the EFF think that certain parties are pushing this EME proposal? Here's their analysis on that:

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Super Meat Boy Developer Argues Against Using DRM

March 19, 2013 -

In a recent blog post Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes argues that using DRM to keep games from being pirated and general apathy ultimately hurts developers. He also notes that applying loss prevention techniques to digital products doesn't work in the space.

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Maxis GM Addresses Decision to Make SimCity Require a Constant Connection

March 15, 2013 -

As much as EA and Maxis want to smooth things over with fans and make them happy, this latest blog post from Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw isn't being received very well, if you believe the comments following the article.

21 comments | Read more

Modder Shows How SimCity Can Be Played Offline

March 14, 2013 -

A new SimCity mod detailed in a YouTube video and later explained in-depth on a Reddit thread reveals that it is possible to play SimCity offline indefinitely with a few important caveats. Despite those caveats the mod shows that the game can easily be transitioned from an "always connected" game to an offline single player game, despite what both EA and Maxis have said. According to modder UKAzzer he was able to do this with a little bit of work and by enabling the game's secret debug mode. This allowed him to turn off the disconnection timer limit.

12 comments | Read more

EA Maxis Furiously Works on SimCity, Offers Free Game to Customers

March 11, 2013 -

EA Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw took to EA's blog for three updates over the weekend to talk about the progress the company has made in making SimCity a bit more stable for players. In her first update on March 8 Bradshaw said that they had increased server capacity by 120 percent and that it had proven to help more people get in and play the game. Bradshaw also said that the number of "disrupted experiences" had dropped by roughly 80 percent."

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james_fudgeNot I, said the fly.08/04/2015 - 4:31pm
Big PermAnyone use an Intel 750?08/04/2015 - 3:40pm
E. Zachary KnightSome great comments about gender diversity in game development from GDC Europe. http://gamasutra.com/view/news/250417/Women_in_the_game_industry_share_stories_of_improving_diversity.php08/04/2015 - 3:11pm
Sora-Chan@EZK: It's kind sad that kind of thing still occurs to this day (and for good reasons...)08/04/2015 - 2:33pm
E. Zachary KnightA woman author shares her experience submitting her manuscript to publishing agents under a man's name. http://jezebel.com/homme-de-plume-what-i-learned-sending-my-novel-out-und-172063762708/04/2015 - 1:21pm
james_fudgeme either. They are rolling it out in phases.08/04/2015 - 12:41pm
Big PermI haven't got my notification yet, even though I reserved it the day the pop up came.08/04/2015 - 12:27pm
james_fudgeThanks Matthew. I have not yet installed Windows 10, but the complaints about it have been minimal.08/04/2015 - 12:19pm
benohawkhttp://goo.gl/6yZ7EO suggests you can kill it all, but I haven't tested it on my system as of yet. And I wouldn't recommend digging in the registry or playing around withdisabling services for most users08/04/2015 - 12:18pm
Matthew Wilsonyes you can turn it off08/04/2015 - 12:15pm
james_fudgeCan you completely disable it though? I think you can minimize what it collects.08/04/2015 - 12:06pm
benohawkThe Win 10 data collection sounds scary, but I think it would be just too much data to be useful08/04/2015 - 11:57am
benohawkNo need to apologize Big Perm08/04/2015 - 11:55am
benohawkThe changing to 0 only being a 1 was local security policy change, not the reghack08/04/2015 - 11:49am
Big PermSorry Beno, it looks like you're right.08/04/2015 - 11:49am
Big PermFrom what I've heard (and obviously I could be wrong here), but I hear even setting it to "0" in the registry will only change to "1" or "Basic" collection. I'll try to find the article I got this from08/04/2015 - 11:40am
benohawkBig Perm, you can disable telemetry, just not through the gui. It's a matter of adding a registry key and disabling a couple services08/04/2015 - 11:34am
Big PermBlazers w/ t-shirts trigger me. This madness must be stopped08/04/2015 - 10:36am
PHX Corphttps://twitter.com/JimSterling Jim Sterling's commentary of the Xbox Gamescom event08/04/2015 - 9:34am
Big PermI'm talking about not being able to fully disable telemetry unless you have Enterprise software. It's just creepy to me08/04/2015 - 9:31am
 

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