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View Full Version : Valve's Steam, Half-Life2 and the purchase of used games


John Lewis
September 12th 03, 09:03 PM
With the upcoming release of Half-Life 2 by Valve and the
incorporation of Steam into that product, plus the release of the
production version of Steam with CS1.6 today, there seems to
be an important issue that arises concerning the purchase of
USED RETAIL games if they are "Steam-powered". Quite a
few developers have "signed-on" to use Steam.

A lot of the current discussion with regard to Steam's
potential impact on computer-game distribution is centered
on the issues of Steam-enabled broadband download vs
retail sales for NEWLY-PURCHASED games.

However, the implication of Steam for the retail USED-games market
seems to be far more extreme, since Steam will be incorporated
into the Retail versions of games as well as the downloaded
versions. Half-Life 2 being the best current example.

Since Steam issues a unique user-ID for each CD-key for on-line
play (and upgrade download ) it seems to me that it would be
impossible to buy, for example, a used retail copy of the full version
of Half-Life 2 and guarantee full usage, since the original owner
would still have knowledge of the CD-Key and the User-ID.

I doubt that Steam checks for the actual presence of a CD in
the PC to validate the installation, (since Steam's ultimate intent is
broadband distribution) And if the User-ID contains any info
uniquely linked to the actual original owner (such as name, date of
birth, etc ), then the used-games purchaser might never be
able to activate a new user-ID on an existing CD-Key.............

Remember that Steam (beta) has been used up to now for
FREE access and not for key-validation. The free access will still
persist with CS but will change with HL2 ........and future
Steam-powered games........

Seems to me that the free Steam/CSbeta-activities by Valve
may have been 'softening up the suckers' for the real-thing...........


Comments from those technically knowledgeable about Steam
and its "copy-protection" mechanisms with regard to RETAIL
versions of games would be appreciated. Am I just crying
"Wolf, wolf........... ?

BTW, my personal interest is that I buy 60% of my PC games
"used" and 30% discounted-new. I am normally in no hurry
to be the "first"......... I also do not condone piracy..........

John Lewis

Derek Wildstar
September 12th 03, 09:11 PM
"John Lewis" > wrote in message
...
>
> Comments from those technically knowledgeable about Steam
> and its "copy-protection" mechanisms with regard to RETAIL
> versions of games would be appreciated. Am I just crying
> "Wolf, wolf........... ?


This is not a new paradigm, Blizzard, through Battle.net has issued unique
B.net keys which are not transferable though matters other than trust. Since
only one key can be active on b.net at one time.

This has not stopped Blizzard, nor b.net from being the leader in sales, nor
in the popularity of it's products. The technical robustness of this method
has been vetted over time, and the buying public has adopted it.

The used game market, with respect to on-line play as a primary motivation,
is weak due to this reason and the wisdom of wholesale pricing of
established products to encourage purchase through those channels, rather
than end user reselling.

You are not crying wolf, but you are behind the curve. :)

The Chronic
September 13th 03, 04:34 AM
"Derek Wildstar" > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> "John Lewis" > wrote in message
> ...
> >
> > Comments from those technically knowledgeable about Steam
> > and its "copy-protection" mechanisms with regard to RETAIL
> > versions of games would be appreciated. Am I just crying
> > "Wolf, wolf........... ?
>
>
> This is not a new paradigm, Blizzard, through Battle.net has issued unique
> B.net keys which are not transferable though matters other than trust.
Since
> only one key can be active on b.net at one time.

It is legally transferable, and the matter of trust is no different than in
any other contract.
I sold my used copy of Warcraft 3 on eBay for $35 USD.
The buyer expects to get the full product with a valid CD key no longer in
use, which he did.
The buyer may be at risk because it is possible to copy the game and keep
using the CD key, but that is no different than the risk of receiving a
defective product, or one which is not as advertised.

JC
September 13th 03, 07:37 PM
Same with UT2k3

JC

"juha" > wrote in message
...
> On Fri, 12 Sep 2003 20:03:30 GMT, (John Lewis)
> wrote:
>
> >Since Steam issues a unique user-ID for each CD-key for on-line
> >play (and upgrade download ) it seems to me that it would be
> >impossible to buy, for example, a used retail copy of the full version
> >of Half-Life 2 and guarantee full usage, since the original owner
> >would still have knowledge of the CD-Key and the User-ID.
>
> Wasn't this already an issue with lots of online games, including
> original Half-life? Diablo 2 at least is one as well.
>
>

Lenny
September 13th 03, 09:42 PM
> Same with UT2k3

Heck, same with Quake3 too and that game came out YONKS ago, I don't hear
anyone whining about that.

I think people are whining because of Valve's involvement with ATi, trying
to find something to nitpick about.