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March 4th, 2008, 01:40
It is extremely refreshing hearing someone inside the industry really speak his mind unfiltered by the need to market one game or another, although the occasion is a sad one. I played both Titan Quest and Immortal Throne and loved it; infact I still listen to the musical score occasionally. However, since I did not buy the game until several months after release, not being too fond of the hack&slash genre at the time, I did not notice any of the original troubles.

One thing that strikes me as odd is the copy protection issue mentioned. I wonder whether it was intentional to crash the game at the copyright checkpoints instead of terminating the program graciously with an error message for the user? I guess this would make hacking the game easier, but is a functional hack not better than a hack that only appears to be functional and makes the game look unstable?

Maybe this is something for the developers to learn, being less paranoid about their users. Although I have little sympathy for people pirating games, I have even less for companies with underhanded programming styles. Although not directly related to PC game piracy, I suspect that companies like Sony BMG were very successful in erasing any bad conscience people downloading mp3s for free might have had, thus aggravating the issue even more.

If the crash was only caused by an incompetent cracker, however, which seems just as likely, the most important thing is probably to communicate this to the potential players efficently. The cause of the crashes should be brought to the attention of people through highly frequented websites, not an obscure message board as is usually done, since most gamers scared away by rumors of crashes are not likely to visit the official message boards looking for the few developers comments on the issue! If things get lucky, they might take a look at the official website of the game.

As mentioned above, I do not know how Iron Lore handled things at the time. Maybe they really did handle the situation as well as possible, maybe they made some mistakes. In either case, I hope Michael's post is read by as many people as possible, in particular those in a habit of obtaining games for free. It might help return some of the bad conscience scared away by the more consumer hostile companies around.
Last edited by coyote; March 4th, 2008 at 01:48.
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