Epic fail: Gears of War publisher violates customers with a steamroller.

January 30th, 2009 by Jarmo Puskala

Gears of War designer CliffyB demonstrates Epic customer service.

Gears of War designer CliffyB demonstrates Epic customer service.

You might have already heard the news about the pc version of Gears of War. However stupidity of this magnitude deserves every bit of bad publicity it can get.

All legally bought copies of PC’s Gears of War stopped working today. This is because a certificate that the copy protection system uses expired. Now those who have bought the game are unable to play it until the publisher releases a patch – however everyone who has illegally downloaded the game can still play, because the DRM system is cracked in the pirated version.

This is just completely unacceptable. People who support DRM want digital products to have the kind of security physical products have, but they obiously aren’t bothered to carry the same responsibilities that sellers of physical goods have.

Imagine you buy a new coffeemaker – for couple of months you happily make your morning coffees and one morning it just refuses to turn on. You take it back to the shop and want a working one. “Well, sorry”, the clerk says “the anti-theft mechanism was accidentlly triggered in all the coffee makers. We can’t replace it, but just take it home and somebody will come and fix it sometime”. Now that wouldn’t happen would it? When you buy something you expect that the seller doesn’t turn it off in a couple of months because it might have been stolen. You would take it back and if all the other coffee makers were broken as well they’d have no option to give you your money back. And I would bet you’d never buy that brand of coffee maker again.

So in pretty much any other field of commerce a seller that screws it’s customers over this bad would suffer huge losses and go out of business. However you can do this with computer software and just expect the people to take it and buy the sequel too.

And some people want DRM to be applied for movies as well. Soon you might be in the situation that if you want to pay for a movie you can’t expect to actually watch it. You get the license to watch it if the DRM system works, if the publisher doesn’t go out of business and if they don’t think there were more than two people in the living room watching it.

The bottom line:This is just is stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, oh it hurts, stupid, stupid, please make the stupid stop, stupid, stupid, stupid. And did I mention this is stupid?

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4 Responses to “Epic fail: Gears of War publisher violates customers with a steamroller.”

  1. OK, so DRM doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, but hey, that’s no reason not to use it. Incidentally, “Yahtzee” Croshaw murders Gears of War 2 on Zero Punctuation this week: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/525-Gears-of-War-2

  2. Janos says:

    Now, everybody, repeat the mantra: “DRM ADDS VALUE FOR THE CUSTOMER!”

  3. Samuli Torssonen says:

    From their forum:

    “I bought this game thinking there was no DRM on it, as nothing was mentioned on the box. Dissapointing, Epic… “

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