Half-Life 2 goes to the extreme to prevent pre-release piracy

I just posted the article Half-Life 2 goes to the extreme to prevent pre-release piracy.

  Like  movie industry, the game industry has its own major piracy issue of games  getting leaked before their official release.  Either games get leaked out  during the Journalist review...
Read the full article here:  [http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/9430-Half-Life-2-goes-to-the-extreme-to-prevent-pre-release-piracy.html](http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/9430-Half-Life-2-goes-to-the-extreme-to-prevent-pre-release-piracy.html)

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Too bad for those without a net-connectio I guess, but yeah, there can’t be too many of them playing HL2. Pretty good way to do it really, however I wouldn’t really call it genius, just brave. I think a lot of companies would’ve done it earlier hadn’t it been for the fear of loosing cash due to people not being able to activate.

Not to sure about needing the internet to be able to play the game (but most people use the interent, so i guess its not a biggie). But i really do like the fact it comes out everywhere on the same day. I always thought it was lame when stuff came out in on place but not in the other. Like the man says it gets really tempting to pirate things, when you can’t get them where you live.

I agree…If the game is availabile to everyone at the same time, it also increases the impulse buy factor, someone says its cool so i gotta have it now. If its not available to buy, of course they are gonna try and download a pirate copy. This will never stop the “die hard” pirates though, and i dont think that anything ever will.

George Lucas is doing something similar with Star Wars Episode III, worldwide release on May the 4th and paying top dollar to make sure it happens. G-Collections has done the same thing with their latest Bishojo game Let’s Meow Meow, you need a valid serial to create an online account, a-la Steam, and you must connect to the net each time you want to play it! So it’s not a ‘new’ concept but a good way to prevent piracy! My HL2 pre-load is on 94% but no play till Tuesday is just asking for someone to crack the online activation if they have the whole game downloaded. Look at CS: S, that got cracked! So HL2 crackers have 3 days to sort it :slight_smile:
[edited by Web-Junkie on 13.11.2004 03:13]

OK, so most people wouldn’t be able to pirate the game until the official release date. What about afterwards?

Half-Life 2 already in some gamers’ hands Looks like some stores are breaking their NDA’s and are selling Half-Life 2 earlier than the Official released date of 16th of November! But it still can’t be played as it still needs to be unlocked at the moment. http://www.gamerankings.com/itemrankings/launchnews.asp?newsid=143634 http://www.warp2search.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=20759

hmmm… i pre-ordered mine from amazon, they will despach it on the 15th, so it gets to me on the proper relase date. i guess (as i worked out it would take post people about 2 days to download it) that aslong as it isnt leaked tomorrow (13th) they are ok. but my question is, if some people have allready ogt it, why isnt it on the net yet? i will be honest, i have occasionaly downloaded a game before its release date, but only if i have allready paid for it preordered, that way the company arnt losing any money, i think the main thing that will stop piracy of Half Life 2, is the size, its about 3500MB! by the time most peope had downlaoded it it would have allready be out. ben :slight_smile:

Size is surely going to be one barrier against piracy even if there were no locks present. With dual-layer DVD-dual holding up to 8GB, a good anti-piracy measure would be for the game manufacturer to make use of all the capacity such as using less compression on its textures, using redundant code, etc. While there may be pirates tempting to copy the disc, at least this measure should significanlty reduce online piracy. For example, even if this game can be successfully made available online, not only would it take at least 5 times longer than a typical MPEG4 movie, but will also put about 5 times more strain on the uploader’s bandwidth potentically bringing the download time to 25 times longer than a typical movie. :stuck_out_tongue:

that would help… but alot of dvd burners are now dual layer, and even with blanks at 10 bux a head, its still cheaper then the 50 or 60 that the game goes for. Not to mention you could take an image of the file and mount it as another drive on your computer and install it that way. I don’t think download times bug people as much anymore. Which is why this theory that if they release it everywhere at the same time, they’ll sell more copies. If it comes out someplace 2 weeks before here. It would be all over the internet. Who would care if it took 8 hours to download if you still got it 13 days early. So i think the direction of entirely using dual layer dvd’s isnt’ a good one (not to mention how much hard drive space you would now reuire to support the uncompressed files). I think they’re new idea has merit, assuming a a hacker doesn’t get a hold of a copy well in advance so he can hack the mechanism that doesn’t allow it to be played until its release date.

So if the game has to be activated to work, what happens a few years down the road when Valve gets STEAM rollered like many development houses and doesn’t support the game anymore. Does that mean that I’ll have a $50 coaster to add to my collection? It’s the same concern I had with XP when it first came out. MS addressed it by saying that they’d basically put out a patch to disable activation once XP’s lifecycle’s run its course. Don’t know if they’ll actually do it (as it basically constitutes putting out a crack for their own product), but at least they’re thinking about it. Valve has been very dismissive about such inquiries.

I think Valve still didn’t understand that warez cracks hl2 not for money but to show public some one knows how to crack.

Mcheu, the game only needs to be activated ONCE through Steam. Not each time you play it. So if it’s activated when you buy it in a weeks time, you can still play it 5 years down the track reguardless if Valve is still around.

How can that ease his concern? I am sure it needs to be activated each time it is installed on a new PC, or do they simply give you a serial after validating your copy. If that is the case then you still have the potential to llose the serial and be SOL if Valve tanks
[edited by DinZy on 14.11.2004 01:21]

i’m sure someone will hack it so it doesn’t need to be authenticated. I think they are just doing this to buy themselves a little time. Keep the pirates out for a few weeks and it should boost their sales.

im not sure, i keep looking across the p2p networks at the moment for half life 2 warez, there isnt any, and most games of this hype should be on there days or even weeks ago. ben :slight_smile:

@bcn_246 You’re wrong. For a good while now, the majority of software - be it games, apps or whatever have only been appearing upto a maximum of about 2 days before the official release dates. Ususally (but not always) this is becuase most of the groups get copies from a store source which is dumped and passed onto them for scracking. therefore, you can only expect the programs when the stores get them… It’s a long way off from the old days when you’d have the games litterally a week or two before the stores did…

All’s I know is Valve gives you a LOT for the money to entice more to buy rather than wait for a crack. You get the whole slew of Valve games from the original HL onward. PLUS the original Half Life rendered with the new improved graphics, plus Day of Defeat in the new code, plus pre-play ability with Counter Strike: Source (which is worth having early), and Valve has a bunch of lag-free servers for CS: source (so internet play is more tempting). All for $60, instant download from fast servers. Its almost 8GB for all that stuff, but I got it all in less than an hour. Yes… their servers are FAST! And since there is no installation after download, you just play, its faster than going to the store and installing. :g

ok i buy the game dont like itfinish it and want to sell it on how is this possible with activation…

I have no problem with paying for the game, but want no part of steam.