Civilization V to use Steamworks

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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