Under normal circumstances, I buy games legitimately. Between my brothers and I, we own legit copies of thousands of PC games on CD as well as dozens to hundreds of games for each of the consoles we own (depending on which console you ask about). My Steam account currently has 242 little icons in it’s games list, including the original Bioshock, but not counting mods, demos and others.
But I’m seriously tempted to just pirate Bioshock 2. Because of this. Limited installations? Okay, we don’t own that many different gaming rigs right now. GfWL for multiplayer? Well I was buying the game for singleplayer anyway. Having to be logged into GFWL to save my single-player game…
Let me explain something: If you must be a jackass and include DRM in your game, you better make it invisible. Completely invisible. I put up with the DRM included in Spore and Overlord because when I bought them the DRM had been cut back to be mild and unobtrusive. If I had known the multiplayer in W40K: DoW2 required a GFWL account for the Steam version, I would have thought twice about buying it, and I think it’s a big reason why I haven’t played it much. As for UT3, I just play with bots.
But this is a whole step beyond anything previously: needing to be logged into GFWL just to save my single-player game I (would have) bought on Steam? No. No, that’s not something I am going to pay for.
I am not going to pay for a single player game that requires an internet connection through a server to another server just to save my progress. That’s like praying that I’ll be playing through the game and suddenly can’t save because of a problem with one or more connections. It’s one thing to be mildly inconvenienced on the rare occasions a Valve multiplayer game glitches and I get kicked from a server or can’t access my inventory for a few minutes or whatever. It’s an entirely different thing to require the same kind of connection to save a single-player game. It’s just plain stupid.
I bought the original Bioshock after the DRM was trimmed down to be essentially invisible. I may buy Bioshock 2 eventually, or I might just pirate it. If they cut back on the DRM before launch, it probably won’t be quite enough incentive to pre-order, and I’ll probably wait for a sale. I have over two hundred games in my Steam account, but Bioshock 2 is not going to be one of them for quite a while. Or I might just pirate it.
It’s a pity, really. I was that close to pre-ordering it…
EDIT (a few days later): Okay, I definitely won’t actually be pirating it. It’d be 12 Gigs to store the pirate version, plus another 12 gigs for the installed files, so that’s at least 24 gigs total. So meh to that. But you get my point.
Even if disk space wasn’t an issue, once I calmed down I probably would have made the same decision. I really liked the original game, but if they’re going to pull the same crap of horrible DRM at release, pissing off everyone who bought it early, then later reducing the DRM while reducing the price, they’ll probably do it with Bioshock 3 (or whatever’s next) as well. Frankly, I figure the only way to get the message across is to boycott BS2 entirely until… well it depends on the post-release reviews.
If it turns out to be another GTA4PC situation, then forget it forever. I’ll just pretend BS2 doesn’t exist. Which is a pity. Because I want to play it, but customer abuse must never be tolerated.