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Stardock announces flexible DRM system, Goo

Stardock announces flexible DRM system, Goo

According to Stardock, Goo is such a flexible DRM solution that it can only benefit consumers.

DRM is a difficult subject for any publisher or developer to broach, but GDC this year has seen a number of developers announce new anti-piracy solutions for the PC market, such as Valve's CEG system yesterday. New today is Stardock's attempt at digital rights management, dubbed Goo.

Short for Game Object Obfuscation, Goo is a new client-free DRM solution that Stardock hopes could make the PC a much more viable PC gaming market in the eyes of sceptical publishers.

Eschewing the usual system of third-party verification systems, Goo is a DRM system that's built directly into each copy of the game and which is activated directly by the user. Upon buying the game customers link the game to an email address using the unique serial number. After that the game can be installed and played on as many PCs as you want and no further online validation is required.

What makes Goo so interesting though is that players can still sell games on if they want by choosing to de-couple the game from the email address and transferring the ownership to someone else. Enabling second hand sales in this way makes it more difficult for retail stores to profit without publishers, but actually makes it easier for players to sell their games on directly. As Joystiq points out, were Goo to become successful then it could actually create an entirely new type of market for second hand PC game sales.

Stardock is hoping that Goo should serve to complement the existing Impulse digital distribution platform and will be launching the system alongside Impulse Reactor, the new virtual platform library, on April 7th.

What's your take on DRM and anti-piracy measures? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

11 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Moriarty 26th March 2009, 13:06 Quote
If it works just as you've described it, that sounds pretty smashing.
UrbanMarine 26th March 2009, 13:17 Quote
Who determines the resale value?
UncertainGod 26th March 2009, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMarine
Who determines the resale value?

You do, from my understanding all you have to do to sell it on like any other product is to decouple it from yourself and then sell it with your code.
UrbanMarine 26th March 2009, 13:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
You do, from my understanding all you have to do to sell it on like any other product is to decouple it from yourself and then sell it with your code.

Nice. I figured they might of thrown in a resale fee that goes to the publisher bypassing the corporate store (which keeps all profits).
mclean007 26th March 2009, 13:53 Quote
I don't see how it protects the game from piracy though - if you just have to tether the serial number to an e-mail address and can then install it as many times as you like (presumably validating each install through a code or link sent by e-mail?) then people will just create a freebie e-mail address and share that along with the game, won't they? Also, it must phone home occasionally to see if you have decoupled the e-mail address with which a particular install was validated, so it can be deactivated, right?
cjmUK 26th March 2009, 14:34 Quote
If it works, it's a great idea. Kudos to StarDock for trying to find a 'third way' without screwing themselves or anyone else.
knyghtryda 26th March 2009, 14:41 Quote
this is a more flexible version of steam, and I can actually warm up to it. As long as Stardock can keep the benefits of their service (updates, matchmaking, etc) then I think most poeple won't mind this DRM at all. Being able to decouple and give/sell your account is HUGE.
kylew 26th March 2009, 14:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMarine
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
You do, from my understanding all you have to do to sell it on like any other product is to decouple it from yourself and then sell it with your code.

Nice. I figured they might of thrown in a resale fee that goes to the publisher bypassing the corporate store (which keeps all profits).
The publisher or devs should NEVER get any money from second hand software. They've made their sale already. The face that some devs expect more fees or complain is beyond any comprehension.

It's like selling a house and the previous owner expecting some of the money. What reason would there be to give over any more money to them?

What makes it even worse is that they attempt to compare seccond hand games to piracy. They're going crazy with greed. Though I'm describing Epic(fail) really.
C-Sniper 26th March 2009, 15:13 Quote
Kudos to Stardock. This sounds like a move in the right direction for non-binding DRM and DRM in general.
wuyanxu 26th March 2009, 15:32 Quote
this sounds extremely like Sins of Solar Empire's activation thing since patch 1.15 and Entrenchment.
slipkid69 25th July 2010, 17:52 Quote
I think this platform would be a great idea, being able to sell on games and use the again under a new account you cant do this with STEAM, and this is exactly a problem with a game I am having, read this.

This is my post, i contacted STEAM support they said cant do this as STEAM rules wont allow it, so I posted this on the forums, read it.

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1378249
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