Civilization V to use Steamworks

May 6, 2010 -

2K Games and Valve have inked an agreement use to use Steamworks on PC versions of Sid Meier's Civilization V. In addition, 2K Games plans to release a Sid Meier's Civilization V Digital Deluxe Edition exclusively on Steam this fall, as well as a pre-order deal that gives early adopters of the game an exclusive map for free. The Digital Deluxe Edition will include the usual assortment of insider and behind the scenes content including a "Behind the Scenes at Firaxis with Civilization V" video feature, as well as the game's soundtrack.

According to 2K Games, Civ V will benefit from Steamworks' various features including auto-updating, Steam Achievements, support for future downloadable content, multiplayer matchmaking and more. Naturally Steamworks will provide a layer of protection against piracy including DRM and CEG.

What kind of DRM does Steamworks include? From the Steamworks API Overview page:

Steamworks Digital Rights Management wraps your game's compiled executable and checks to make sure that it is running under an authenticated instance of Steam. This DRM solution is the same as the one used to protect games like Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source. Steamworks DRM has been heavily road-tested and is customer-friendly.

In addition to DRM solutions, Steamworks also offers protection for game through day one release by shipping encrypted media to stores worldwide. There's no worry that your game will leak early from the manufacturing path, because your game stays encrypted until the moment you decide to release it. This protection can be added to your game simply by handing us finished bits or a gold master.

The Steamworks CEG [editor's note: Custom Executable Generation] system generates a custom binary for each customer. When you link your application with the Steamworks CEG, we provide you with several tools that you use to generate metadata about your executable file. This metadata is stored on the Steam 3 DRMS Server. When a user installs your game, the DRMS server collects information from the customer's computer that uniquely identifies it. The collected information is used in combination with the metadata regarding your executable file to generate a custom binary, that checks that it is running on the user's computer. If the user changes the configuration of their computer such that the CEG checks would fail to identify the computer, the CEG system will automatically generate a new executable file for the user, and update their game installation. These checks occur whenever your game is run, regardless of whether the computer is connected to the Internet or not. In addition to examining the user's computer, the CEG system will detect tampering with the executable file, and will conceal its workings from reverse engineering.

Some argue that the Steamworks CEG is just another layer of DRM.. Civ V will be released this fall.

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Comments

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

If I have to have DRM, I'll take Steam. It's solid, and it doesn't muck up my computer. Plus I like being able to download my games anywhere as long as I have an Internet connection. Definitely be keeping an eye on Civ V.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Not to nit pick, but why does the article say "PC versions of Civilization V". That seems to imply there would be console versions, which is interesting...

I could see them doing a Civilization:Revolution style version of the game on the console market though.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Well, don't forget there's also the mac, and steam is coming to the mac, supposidly with steamworks. So, maybe they're thinking about that but don't want to make a full announcement yet?

 

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Certainly that's a possibility. It'll mostly depend on how much of the game's multi-player infrastructure will be based around Steam.

Though already other companies are actively deprecating their online components for older games. EA Sports has been shutting down their old Madden servers. Halo/Halo2 support is dropping of the Xbox Live. The irony is that I recall that many were pissed when Counter Strike's servers when from Sierra's WON service to Steam.

Though I think it's not worth the effort to speculate. Steam could go belly up next year for some unknown reason. But so far its current track record indicates it has strong support and will be here for quite awhile.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Valve would likely at least try to put out a patch so you can burn your games to disc and run them without Steam. Would be the right thing to do at least.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

a)You can already back-up your game to disks and

b)There already is a crack to remove the protection that supposedly use the kill-switch Valve themselves put in there.

Soooo, mission accomplished?

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Given the lifespan of Civ games, this will be something to watch closely.   Civ players will often go back to earlier versions (SMAC from 1999 still has a pretty active player base) so concerns about 'what if the server goes away or drops support?' are even more of a concern then usual.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Now this is a DRM that I can get behind. Never had a prolem with steamworks.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Some argue that the Steamworks CEG is just another layer of DRM

Considering that is exactly what it is. Anything that attempts to verify the legality of software is DRM. Doesn't matter what it does or how it does it as long as that goal is the same.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Steam is DRM, but its DRM done right, steam adds value to the product, not remove it.

A pirated game has less features then a legit one, and steam is painless to use (especially for those like me who already buy all their games through it)

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

"Steam is DRM, but its DRM done right, steam adds value to the product, not remove it."

When it works. When it doesn't you won't be able to play any of the games you've purchased through Steam. Also, if you issue a chargeback for a game (because it won't run on your computer), you'll likely end up being denied access to any of your games when your account is banned because of it.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Actually, you can play your steam games without a connection, just switch to offline mode and you're good to go.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Actually, only if you are lucky.

I used steam a lot, I spent lots of money on it, and now I cannot use it anymore... Because my internet is crappy, and steam fails to update, and it refuses to go to offline mode, unless you log-in, update, restart steam, log-in again, update the games you want to play, and finally, select the "go to off-line" button. That will restart steam again. If it crashes during the restart (like happened to me more than once), or if you connection fails in the process, you have to use control+alt+del to close it, open it again, log-in again, and try again pressing the offline buttom.

In short: It is 3 months already that I cannot play Steam games. :( Lots of money locked :(

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

I think you should try re-installing Steam.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

And that's why you don't issue chargeback, you ask their tech support for reimbursment. And yes, they do, when it's proper they do. But you'd better meet minimum specs, or it's on your head. Chargeback after buying a product at Bestbuy would get you into trouble as well. You have to return it. Take it to court if you have problems. But just issuing a chargeback will draw a lot of bad will and for a good reason, you basically took a product and ran with it without paying.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

How would it get you in trouble at Best Buy, provided you actually return the product in question? Chargebacks are there for when the vendor refuses to refund you voluntarily.

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Only if he should have legally refunded. If not, it's theft, even if you want to return the product (I didn't like the movie.)

Re: Civilization V to use Steamworks

Certainly when Steam launched there were significant issues with the service. But you'd be hard pressed to find any recent wide scale issues with Steam. When was the last time you heard the entire Team Fortress 2 or Counter Strike Source ecosystem went to hell in a handbasket because of Steam. If you don't like DRM that's fine, but you have to admit that at least Steam has a robust and reliable infrastructure in place, and can be considered best-of-breed in the current marketplace.

No DRM would of course be better. But Steam's implementation is at least fair to consumers, provides significant value, and still gives some measure of protection for game developers.

 
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