So yesterday, I posted that the 75% percent off Borderlands GOTY Edition sale was kinda broken, and I have some bad news and good news to report.
Good news: Everyone should have their codes for Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot. On the bad news, apparently everyone's codes for The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned have suddenly vanished. Looking on the steam forums, no one has gotten a response from steam support regarding this, but this seems like something that shouldn't be a problem to anyone who already entered their key for the Zombie Island DLC. (Let me know If I'm wrong though.)
See, this is why activation codes for a game on steam seem redundant. I already bought the game from the steam store, why do I have to prove that it is legit when I already bought it from a legitimate source? I don't see any other companies,or at least, ones that strive to have a good reputation toward their customers (EA, I'm looking at you, and giving a glance to Ubisoft's direction) trying this. Things like these highlight the central problem in distribution of media in general, be it retail or digital.
No one trusts their customers.
Legitimate consumers have to go through more hoops than pirates, paying for the game, signing up for an acount for some service just for that one company's games, activation codes, online passes, pre-order DLC, going though EULAs, and I'm sure more. Pirates just have to find a torrent for their game and download it. While Steam is a step in the right direction towards simplifing this process for consumers in digital format, I'm sure there are ways to make it better. I saw in my last post a comment from pedrovey2003 saying:
"This is why people will have to pry my physical, retail games from my cold, dead hands."
I'd argue that retail is just as bad, if not, worse in this case. they typically get even more codes they have to enter, and may have some ungodly forms of DRM on the disc. If their authentication servers ever shut down or if the company goes under, unless you can crack that copy, you have a nice little paperweight. If you lose the codes, and you need to install that disc on another computer, you're also out of luck. This is even starting to bleed into retail, single player console games, most infamously Batman: Arkham City. You'd miss an entire piece of the game if you didn't enter the "online" pass.
Whatever happened to the days where you could just put a disc or cart in and play? has the rise of the Internet damned us with these problems, or were they bound to happen anyway? Why would companies add in these safeguards thinking that they combat piracy, when it turn s out the opposite is true? That's not for me to answer, but maybe we'll get an answer one of these days.