Valve has just released an announcement that unveils several new features to the Steam and Steamworks platforms, some of which the Half-Life
developer reckons will make DRM a thing of the past.
Some of the new features that Valve announced for Steam were things we already knew about, like the ability for developers to make downloadable content available through Steam, which Ubisoft is already doing with a new set of weapons and such for Far Cry 2
The other updates though are much more interesting, namely a new anti-piracy feature called CEG that is being incorporated into the Steamworks system. Steamworks is a system of freely available tools for developers and publishers that allow them to make the most out of the Steam platform.
CEG, which stands for Customer Executable Generation, is Valve's latest anti-piracy effort and works by essentially creating a uniquely structured version of a game for each customer. The benefit for publishers and developers is that the game is then pretty hard to copy as it is distinctly identifiable to a specific user, while legitimate customers are able to use their unique copy on as many PCs as they want. No install limits, no SecuROM, no StarForce, no rootkits, no nuthin'.
Valve reckons that CEG is a system that only benefits customers and publishers and has hopes that it'll be adopted by the market quite quickly. Since Steamworks is free for any developer to use, there's no reason why not.
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