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Steam DRM declared a success by Football Manager 2012 dev

Though many fans were upset when Football Manager 2012 became the first in the PC sim series to require Steam, developer Sports Interactive has credited the move with helping reduce piracy, seeing FM2012 cracked 15 days later than the games "usually" are.

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Though some fans were upset when Football Manager 2012 became the first in the PC sim series to require Steam, developer Sports Interactive has credited the move with helping reduce piracy. Thanks to a combination of Steam's own DRM and a mysterious other technology, FM2012 was cracked 15 days later than the games "usually" are.

"Certainly in the first 10 days before we were cracked, because we got cracked after 10 days (which is actually 15 days less than normal--normally we're cracked the weekend before release), we've definitely seen a sales upsurge," Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson told Eurogamer, saying that the series is still seeing "double-digit growth" year-on-year.

"Of course it could be because we've got the best game that we've ever released this year and loads of people have rushed out and bought it," he added. "It might be a pure coincidence. But there were definitely people on the forums that were talking about a pirated version of the game who were, after four or five days, posting that, 'I can't wait any more, I'm going out and buying the game.'"

Football Manager 2012 uses Steam's own natural DRM plus an unnamed other tech, which Jacobson describes as "a hardening of Steam sec... that will have caused confusion for the people trying to [crack] it."

Add this to the pool of conflicting opinions on how effective DRM actually is. Only last week, Marcin Iwinski of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings dev CD Projekt RED declared that DRM didn't work. CD Projekt's response to piracy, he explained, was to offer bonuses to encourage people to buy the game, and educated players on piracy.

There does seem to be a general consensus that overly intrusive DRM turns would-be customers away, though. Even Ubisoft, the publisher behind the infamous 'always online' DRM, has toned things down; Assassin's Creed Revelations only required a one-time activation.

If we are to have DRM, then please let's see more wonderful oddities to stymie pirates, such as the deadly immortal scorpion in Serious Sam 3: BFE.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 8, 2011 11:45 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Steam DRM declared a success by Football Manager 2012 dev.

    Though many fans were upset when Football Manager 2012 became the first in the PC sim series to require Steam, developer Sports Interactive has credited the move with helping reduce piracy, seeing FM2012 cracked 15 days later than the games "usually" are.

    • reply
      December 8, 2011 12:49 PM

      It only sold because it had TF2 promos.

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        December 8, 2011 3:39 PM

        Yeah, it's the #3 most popular game on steam at the moment and 56,000 people are playing. Must be the hats.

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      December 8, 2011 1:02 PM

      I still cannot get over how many people post on official forums that they have the pirated copies.

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      December 8, 2011 1:11 PM

      Were previous versions of football manager on Steam but without DRM? Or is this the first version that launched on Steam?

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        December 8, 2011 1:20 PM

        I thought the last two versions used Steam, yeah.

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          December 8, 2011 1:21 PM

          I think this is the first one that *requires* Steam (Steamworks) as opposed to just being a purchase option.

          It's interesting to see what happens when an insular gaming community gets moved to Steam for the first time.

          For example, in the Civilization community they were up in arms about Civ5 needing Steam. Their complaints and fears about Steam sounded just like most people did in 2004 when Valve said it was required for HL2. This is a community of people who almost exclusively play Civ. They were up in arms when Civ4 needed a CD check, because they didn't want to carry around the CD or take the battery hit when the disc drive fired up and they were playing on a laptop on a plane (aka the go-to what if scenario for all DRM). They went out and bought the Civ4 complete DVD-ROM when it was revealed it didn't have a disc check, and then they were up in arms that the last BtS patch removed the DRM anyway. And this is after being up in arms that Civ4 required a 3D accelerator card and they were going to have to upgrade the system they were playing Civ3 on up to this point.

          But they came along for the ride anyway. Same as always. I'm sure some didn't come along and still play Civ4 for these reasons (as opposed to just liking the game more) and I'm sure there's some point at which people wouldn't come along (the Ubisoft DRM would have been a showstopper for a lot of these folks) but eventually they see that Steam isn't the end of the world.

          Then Football Manager 2012 required Steam and now this insular community did the same thing.

          Imagine if Popcap went all Steamworks? I know it's impossible now since they're owned by EA and all but that would be fun to watch.

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          December 8, 2011 1:32 PM

          FM games have had an interesting system. They're Steam supported games, but they allowed stand alone not Steam based installs from retail copies.

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        December 8, 2011 1:31 PM

        They've been on Steam and used their own DRM solution. Which sucked. A friend mine was locked out of his copy of FM2010 for months because the key suddenly wouldn't activate.

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