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Piracy causes nightmares for Stardock's Demigod

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 18 Apr 2009 19:47 User comments (10)

Piracy causes nightmares for Stardock's Demigod Despite gaining a good reputation for an anti-DRM stance and a "just ignore it" attitude to piracy, Stardock CEO Brad Wardell has experienced first hand what piracy can mean for your games. He had said that pirates will do what they will do, and should be ignored, but DRM should not be used as it punishes the legitimate customer. However, with the launch of Demigod, piracy showed how it can have adverse effects on game titles.
Firstly, there was a major problem with online play, as the servers were overwhelmed with 120,000 connections to deal with, well beyond the number that had been anticipated in advance. Of the 120,000 connections, about 18,000 were from validated users. As you may have guessed, the system quickly went down, which disrupted gameplay for legitimate customers.

To make matters worse, the problems occurred as reviewers were assessing the new title, and was marked as a reason for GameSpot's 6.5 rating. "Our stress tests had counted on having maybe 50,000 people playing at once at peak and that wouldn’t be reached for a few weeks by which time we would have slowly seen things becoming problematic... So during the day today, people couldn't even log on, and in some cases, the Demigod forums, which use one of the affected databases for some piddly thing were even down," Wardell wrote.

He continued: "Even getting the game running was a pain today because a simple HTTP call to see what the latest version would get hung leaving people looking at a black screen. Stuff of nightmares." He reflected on an e-mail he had sent to staff predicting how disastrous things could be if there were problems with multiplayer.

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10 user comments

118.4.2009 21:12

I think this news report left out the fact that one of the video game stores accidentally started to sell the game early. That puts the 18k legit vs 120k pirated copies into perspective. Do we know how many of those 120k illegal players were just players who already had the game preordered but don't want to wait to play it?

218.4.2009 22:17

Auran CEOs have told me (face to face) just how much they hate piracy, On some of their games they have some stats and they've lost around 1/2 million to it.

People go and download a game and they you get heaps that try it out online etc and yeah the studios can track these silly people basicly.

319.4.2009 7:05

Just goes to show prove the point that the majority of people who pirate material are nothing better than online thieves.
It can be argued until everyone is blue in the face about how it's a stand against the media mafia and how "noble" websites like The Pirate Bay are the "freedom fighters" of the digital age ( despite their massive advertising revenue ) but at the end of the day it boils down to one thing : -
Pirates are cheap , without morals ( like some of the authorities ) and demanding little brats - we want everything YESTERDAY in the HIGHEST QUALITY and we don't want to pay a penny for it. ( yes I am including myself in the above category )

419.4.2009 8:21

Originally posted by bomber991:
I think this news report left out the fact that one of the video game stores accidentally started to sell the game early. That puts the 18k legit vs 120k pirated copies into perspective. Do we know how many of those 120k illegal players were just players who already had the game preordered but don't want to wait to play it?
Ye that's true too that the store date was broken, but I think it's clutching at straws for excuses when assuming that people who obviously knew how to pirate the game and did also had pre-ordered it.... maybe a very small number, but nothing significant.

519.4.2009 10:29

Originally posted by domie:
Just goes to show prove the point that the majority of people who pirate material are nothing better than online thieves.
It can be argued until everyone is blue in the face about how it's a stand against the media mafia and how "noble" websites like The Pirate Bay are the "freedom fighters" of the digital age ( despite their massive advertising revenue ) but at the end of the day it boils down to one thing : -
Pirates are cheap , without morals ( like some of the authorities ) and demanding little brats - we want everything YESTERDAY in the HIGHEST QUALITY and we don't want to pay a penny for it. ( yes I am including myself in the above category )
The way I see it, yes us pirates are not noble people. I pirate because I can. I do feel guilty about pirating from companies/people I respect but I do it because I need to save money. Even when I don't pirate, I buy stuff after prices go down or if it's on the cheap used. I just bought two older games brand new for about the price of a new release. That's my M.O. A good number of my clothes are second-hand as well. So just how much money is the industry losing because of my piracy when I'm not a big spender anyway in the absense of piracy? I'm not a big consumerist and I'm sure these MNCs would want to make my thriftness illegal if they could. These MNCs are no more noble than I am, in fact they have even more dubious morality than pirates. I feel no guilt pirating stuff from companies of dubious morality.

Sure you may say two wrongs don't make a right but I don't care. In a society where people are losing their jobs and going bankrupt because of the reckless actions of MNCs, I've no sympathy for these companies just like they have no sympathy for the employees they fired/exploited *cough*EA*cough* and the customers they screwed over *cough*EA*cough*. If it's a company like Stardock, I feel guilty about piracy but if it's EA, I could only wish my piracy contributes to their bankruptcy. Even if they release some good games, I won't respect companies like them until they start to treat customers with respect.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 Apr 2009 @ 10:38

619.4.2009 16:21

Quote:
Originally posted by domie:
Just goes to show prove the point that the majority of people who pirate material are nothing better than online thieves.
It can be argued until everyone is blue in the face about how it's a stand against the media mafia and how "noble" websites like The Pirate Bay are the "freedom fighters" of the digital age ( despite their massive advertising revenue ) but at the end of the day it boils down to one thing : -
Pirates are cheap , without morals ( like some of the authorities ) and demanding little brats - we want everything YESTERDAY in the HIGHEST QUALITY and we don't want to pay a penny for it. ( yes I am including myself in the above category )
The way I see it, yes us pirates are not noble people. I pirate because I can. I do feel guilty about pirating from companies/people I respect but I do it because I need to save money. Even when I don't pirate, I buy stuff after prices go down or if it's on the cheap used. I just bought two older games brand new for about the price of a new release. That's my M.O. A good number of my clothes are second-hand as well. So just how much money is the industry losing because of my piracy when I'm not a big spender anyway in the absense of piracy? I'm not a big consumerist and I'm sure these MNCs would want to make my thriftness illegal if they could. These MNCs are no more noble than I am, in fact they have even more dubious morality than pirates. I feel no guilt pirating stuff from companies of dubious morality.

Sure you may say two wrongs don't make a right but I don't care. In a society where people are losing their jobs and going bankrupt because of the reckless actions of MNCs, I've no sympathy for these companies just like they have no sympathy for the employees they fired/exploited *cough*EA*cough* and the customers they screwed over *cough*EA*cough*. If it's a company like Stardock, I feel guilty about piracy but if it's EA, I could only wish my piracy contributes to their bankruptcy. Even if they release some good games, I won't respect companies like them until they start to treat customers with respect.

To the first guy, you pretty much hit the nail on the head, all except the part where you say we have no morals. Honor amongst pirat3s is real s33d a little more than you take get that ratio higher, Share and share alike. How is giving what you take immoral? You call it stealing? I call it living in a repressed world where greedy industrialists get fatter by the second with money(even with piracy rampant) they are not losing much compared to what they take in.. Everyone in life has to have a hustle on the side, It is the American way, It is Any persons way! take a nickel and make a dollar gotta love it!
To the second guy.. Are you telling me that you only D/l stuff you would actually buy or go see? I find that a little far fetched.. Unless you are a total recluse you must have some friends who know you do this and ask you for things, Which I am sure, them being your friends you are more than happy to get for them, Unless you are soo cheap that you actually charge them.. I mean cmon man you can't bu11$h!t a bu11$h1t3r. Thick as thieves we all are, Share and share alike, There IS honor amongst thieves and it is called S33DING, SO don't lay that out that shpeel about being a thrifty shopper.. I bet you have a T1 connection strapped into a supercomputer! That my friend is purely speculation and a good guess prolly! Hardware is not cheap.. Even used.. Taking from one is like taking from all, it is still taking without paying.. I bet you are one of those 120,00 people that jacked into their system that day, and I bet you didn't pay for the game..I buy my clothes off of ebay but that is not stopping me from paying on a bmw, I D/l cause I know how to and am addicted to it!! Not cause I am a thrifty shopper!

715.5.2009 15:13

To the pirate guy above....

You make me laugh, excuses like I cant afford to buy games at high street prices and I dont mind ripping off the big conglomorites. What a joke you are. You dont kill EA or whoever by buying pirated games, because its the high street stores that buy the games off EA, you big pr*ck, so you are ripping them off, and us in the long run for starters. And if you think you are not making much of a hole in anyones pockets, you're not, but when you mutliply that buy 1/2 million in the UK alone, then you see what damage you are doing.
Even more to the point, because of people like you, we, the honest buying public have to put up with the likes of Securom and Safedisc, which takes up so much of my time, it actually costs me money. So thanks to you for that.
As to your buccaneering spirit and your support of Pirate Bay and their Ilk, you can shove it up your proverbial "the sun doesnt shine here, but my ego does" hole, and get a "real" life and smell the coffee. I'll try to say this without using too many big words, but here goes...
"Pirated software is killing the PC more now than it ever did. If you think games are too expensive, then go and live in Russia, where hackers love people like you. If you think you are just small fry, in a huge sea of ripped off games, well, thats what the sharks want you to think, so they can keep feeding you and taking your money."
You're so naive, you're base ignorant, but then thats how pirates make their money, off stupid peeps like you. Grow up !!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 May 2009 @ 15:17

815.5.2009 15:54

And if you think you are somwehow innocent, then read this and think again, and think how much you are hurting the small guy.....

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2009/...ake-beating.ars

916.5.2009 5:59

If each copy of Demigod has it's own Stardock's unique serial located in the box than I don't understand in the year 2009 they can't prevent cracked copies from participating in online play. Let's see here-> Server should be able to get serial information and any multiple dupes (like 5+) or non Stardock's serialz get there isp banned.

1016.5.2009 10:36

Good point, but i think it has something to do with the cracked or demo games accessing the servers and hitting the up/download time that has slowed it down and made it impossible to play, which in turn makes the game a bad experience.

So piracy and or hacking can really stuff a Stardock game, which is a shame because of its pedigree ie: no securom crap.

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