A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DRM

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A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DRM

Post by mk.2 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:17 pm

Before LoG was released, I had an impression that not many people would buy from Steam since LoG was planned to released DRM-free on GOG as well as from Almost Human.

However, LoG has been a number 1 top-selling game on Steam for several days and even now it still ranked 12th in top-20.
Assuming Steam keys purchased directly from Almost Human do not count toward Sale on Steam platform, that would mean a large numbers of consumers choose to buy only DRMed version.

If that's the case, DRM could probably be less of a factor in people's buying decision than I previously thought.

Personally, for LoG, I couldn't think of any reason why I would choose Steam over DRM-free solution. Beside Achievements, LoG doesn't even support any Steamworks feature (such as Steam Cloud).

So, I wonder whether you could tell us the ratio of LoG buyers between each platform? I especially am interested to know how much percentage of buyers chose to buy only DRMed version (Steam).

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Re: A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DR

Post by Flying Ace » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:20 pm

steam users are more likely to use steam, I guess also its a better type of DRM then Ubisoft
"Oh just your average dungeon explorer and world saver yeah I get that a lot"


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Re: A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DR

Post by Bees » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:30 am

The convenience of Steam can't be understated, and at the 12.50-15.00 range the game is very much in "impulse purchase" territory. Also, I would imagine that seeing LoG featured on Steam's News or Store front page was many buyers' first time exposure to the game. It probably never occurred to them that they could go elsewhere for it.

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Re: A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DR

Post by Callipygous » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:47 am

Current count of games in my Steam library: 13. I started buying games via Steam just about two years ago. I never even think about the DRM when I do so. The only time the DRM comes to mind is when I see it mentioned in threads.

Not that I have spent any kind of time looking into potential issues, but, having never had any issues with Steam I don't get the arguments against Steam.

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Re: A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DR

Post by Eobersig » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:04 am

mk.2 wrote:... So, I wonder whether you could tell us the ratio of LoG buyers between each platform? I especially am interested to know how much percentage of buyers chose to buy only DRMed version (Steam).
Can't say much about Steam because I use the GoG version - but I think it's rather unlikely the developers will say anything about numbers - there was a thread a few days ago that they signed a NDA not to publish the numbers.

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Re: A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DR

Post by oodyboo » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:33 am

Don't make any hasty conclusions about people liking DRM.

I only purchased the game on Steam because an advert popped up while exiting some Steam-only game. I had forgotten about Grimrock after reading about it in December, so when I saw it for $14 or so I just clicked buy.

I regret not having the Stand-alone installer, but in the long run "Steam" DRM only restricts my ability to distribute/resell the game. not play it. I would have purchased it from AH had I known it was an option, but since the product is so reasonably priced, I really don't care. The convenience benefits of Steam generally outweigh the limits on my ability to resell games (something I have never done in 30 years of gaming anyway). I can play it in offline mode unlike Ubisoft's Draconian DRM.

My friend paid $60 for Might and Magic 6 Heroes and could barely even play it because Ubisoft's DRM servers were constantly down, including the entire week between christmas and new years. I pirated a copy and was able to play while my friend who got ripped off could not play. I ended up deleting it after the first campaign section, as it was a terribly designed game and not worth playing even for free.... I won't buy games with this type of DRM on principle.

There are different types of DRM with different types of impacts on customers. But I think the main reason people buy so much on steam is that it's the primary channel they discover the game in, and it's simply so convenient to just click buy.

At $15 it's almost not worth the time to look for outside channels that might be more DRM friendly, especially in this day and age when that's almost always a nearly hopeless exercise.

Game companies have been releasing over-priced bug-ridden crappy remakes dressed up with pretty graphics for years and it's great to see a company like AH that doesn't pass the costs of their paranoia on to customers. I am still amazed at how smooth and bug-free my Grimrock experience was, and, when I saw they offered a DRM-free version it made me happy I bought an extra copy for a friend on steam (also very convenient). My next copies will definitely be straight from AH, and now that I'm aware of the option I will buy future games directly from them.

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Re: A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DR

Post by Marak » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:35 am

As others have said, convenience can and will trump DRM concerns, assuming a few things:
  • * The DRM is "in the background" and reasonably unobtrusive. Basically, it has to do none of the things that UbiSoft does. ;)

    * The price is right. If the item is in the "impulse buy" range (roughly $5-$15 or the equivalent) and not $60, that makes a huge difference to a LOT of people, especially with the way the economy of many countries is right now.

    * The ease of downloading and installing the game when you buy it from the DRM option. In this case, Steam makes it stupid-easy to install and play your game after purchase, usually giving you a "Play Now!" button within 2 minutes (unless the game is enormous and the download takes longer).

    * The Developers don't shove the DRM in your face and harp on and on about the evils of piracy and how they're going to stick it to said pirates by punishing their paying customers. In real life, this only makes the pirates try harder and makes a certain segment of your potential customers reconsider pirating your game vs. buying it.

    * Last, and possibly most important, the relationship of the Devs with their potential customers. Devs that are transparant; that at least appear to listen to reasonable feedback; that actually interact with their community (posting PR Approved Corporate Speak news items that never get followed up is the opposite of this); and that give a feeling of empowerment to the consumer ("It's your money that makes this all possible, thanks a ton you guys!") are the Devs that are going to sell their game.
A lot of people - myself included - make a point of pride to say, "I bought this game because I want to support this company and/or this kind of game." If you make yourself likable and your DRM isn't ludicrous, I'll happily give you my money. On the other hand, the "AAA" industry has garnered so much ill-will from their consumer-punishing actions (Ludicrous DRM, bullshit DLC, treating consumers as throw-away piggybanks, etc) that thoughts of visiting Pirate Bay vs. shelling out $60 for their games - and therefore saying that the shit they are pulling is A-OK - no longer trigger my Guilt Reflex.

On the other hand, pirating a game like Terraria or Bastion or Legend of Grimrock or Defender's Quest is nigh unthinkable, because I know I'd be directly contributing to the possible demise of a company that has built a game (or genre) that no longer gets put out by the AAA industry and, for the most part, caters directly to me.

I'll put up with Steam's DRM if I'm getting some piece of mind out of the deal. And again, convenience counts for a TON.

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Re: A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DR

Post by seebs » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:01 am

I basically won't buy PC games with DRM, although I'll make a bit of an exception for Steam. Simple reason for this: Steam isn't SecuROM or any of those. (Although apparently some Steam games have those, and you have to find out somehow to avoid them.)

Thing is, though, many users don't care much, and use Steam already, so they might as well get stuff through it. Not everything available through Steam is available anywhere else, so people aren't necessarily going to go look to see whether there's another version.

Mostly, though, I think it's just that Steam has been pretty reasonably run, and has generally not screwed customers. By contrast, the last time I got a game with SecuROM, it stopped working for a ton of users, and the devs confirmed that the game was fine on x86_64 systems, but SecuROM had shipped them a patch which crashed on such machines, so absolutely no one with an x86_64 could run the game for a week or so. Aaaand... that was the end of me buying anything with SecuROM in it. Ever.

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Re: A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DR

Post by eternal » Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:51 am

I purchased the GoG version because it was DRM free and I pre-ordered it before I realized they would be selling it here. I didn't want the steam version because I HATE purchasing any game that relies on other software in order to function. A perfect example would be Battlefield 3. Not only do you have the core game but it also runs alongside your browser and is dependent on it. Then you have both those which require Origin to run. I pre-ordered BF3 and I will never pre-order games since. That was till LoG came along (but it was drm free).
I do however have some buyers remorse. I of course would have preferred to purchase directly from here. The GoG version is horrible about updates since they have to do their thing to get it ready, but both versions would be preferable to the steam version.
The OP is making some pretty big assumptions based on DRM and the wants of the community that are just unwarranted and have no basis in reality. I realize they are just thoughts but they are dangerous thoughts. DRM has no place in gaming society, it doesn't work. I take that back, it works on people who legitimately buy the game.
Anyhoo I don't really know where I was going with this. I am just glad that we got LoG with no DRM.

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Re: A question to Devs regarding consumers' behaviour and DR

Post by hansolo » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:06 am

i purchased the gog version, i dont buy any games with drm

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