An anonymous gamer wrote in to tell us why he felt justified to illegally download a copy of Red Faction: Guerilla: He bought it on one computer but found the DRM locked him out of re-activating the game on his new computer. When customer service couldn’t help him, he went rogue.
I recently bought a copy of the PC game Red Faction Guerrilla. The game installed fine on my system and I played it for a bit until the hard drive it was on bit the dust.
I replaced the hard drive and reinstalled the game. However, when you try to launch the game it gives you a DRM check where you have to enter your email address and cd-key and it will then connect to its authentication servers to allow you to play the game.
However, when I tried to enter my info and hit ok, it would come back would a general error saying
“There was a problem activating Red Faction Guerrilla. Could not start activation process.”
I tried contacting THQ/Volition the makers/publishers of the game and they could not help and instead told me to contact Games for Windows Live, who apparently runs the online checks as its incorporated into the game with this platform. I spoke to several Windows reps there who knew nothing about how to fix the issue, was hung up on several times, referred back and forth between THQ and then made to run through ridiculous steps to try and fix the issue, and finally told me there’s nothing they can do to help.
What I had to do instead is pretty sad considering I paid for a legit copy- I went to a torrent site and downloaded a cracked exe that let me bypass the security check and play the game the online portion of it.
I could have pirated the game from the start but I chose to be honest and try and support these companies. What good did that do? As a result of paying for this game I was treated like garbage from the companies I bought it from who were unwilling and unable to help, and then had to turn to pirates because the DRM installed with the game prevented me from playing it.
What is the point of paying for these games if you get no support from those you purchased it from and can get a better version for free by pirating it? I am in no way advocating piracy because its wrong and is hurting the industry, but the publishers and developers are in turn treating their paying customers like criminals and are just making them turn to piracy instead.
Do you think the gamer was in the moral right to do what he did?