Published on March 25, 2009 By Island Dog In Personal Computing

Stardock announced today that the forthcoming update to its digital distribution platform, Impulse, will include a new technology aimed to pave the way to solving some of the common complaints of digital distribution.

The new technology, known as Game Object Obfuscation (Goo), is a tool that allows developers to encapsulate their game executable into a container that includes the original executable plus Impulse Reactor, Stardock’s virtual platform, into a single encrypted file.

When a player runs the game for the first time, the Goo’d program lets the user enter in their email address and serial number which associates their game to that person as opposed to a piece of hardware like most activation systems do. Once validated, the game never needs to connect to the Internet again.

Goo has a number of unique advantages that developer Stardock believes both gamers and developers will appreciate:

  1. There is no third-party client required. This means a developer can use this as a universal solution since it is not tied to any particular digital distributor.

  2. It paves the way to letting users validate their game on any digital distribution service that supports that game. One common concern of gamers is if the company they purchased a game from exits the market, their game library may disappear too.  Games that use Goo would be able to be validated anywhere.

  3. It opens the door to gamers being able to resell their games because users can voluntarily disable their game access and transfer their license ownership to another user.

“One of our primary goals for Impulse Reactor is to create a solution that will appeal to game developers while adhering to the Gamers Bill of Rights,” said Brad Wardell, president & CEO of Stardock. “Publishers want to be able to sell their games in as many channels as possible but don’t want to have to implement a half-dozen ‘copy protection’ schemes. Game Object Obfuscation lets the developer have a single game build that can be distributed everywhere while letting gamers potentially be able to re-download their game later from any digital service. Plus, it finally makes possible a way for gamers and publishers to transfer game licenses to players in a secure and reliable fashion.”

Because Goo ties the game to a user’s account instead of the hardware, gamers can install their game to multiple computers without hassle.

Goo will be released on April 7 as part of the upcoming Impulse: Phase 3 release. Stardock also expects to be able to announce multiple major publishers making use of Goo in April as well as adding their libraries to Impulse.

Impulse is poised to exceed one million customers in the next week despite only being launched nine months ago.

To learn more about Impulse, visit www.impulsedriven.com .


Comments (Page 2)
on Mar 25, 2009

Ubisoft

Have you noticed how some recent Ubi releases are DRM free? Prince of Persia, HAWX, EndWar PC versions have 0 protection.

Probably because it's mostly a secondary market for them since the games were primarily made for console, but nonetheless.

on Mar 25, 2009

I love you, Stardock.

on Mar 25, 2009

The article on the main news page has some mistakes :

http://www.impulsedriven.com/news/1214_Stardock_throws_GOO_on_DRM

on Mar 25, 2009

This does sound good in theory. If this works you could download from any distributer; Best Buy, Amazon, Impulse. This would be great.

Seems like the competition is heating up. Steam announced their new CEG system too.

http://store.steampowered.com/news/2372/

 

on Mar 25, 2009

Have you noticed how some recent Ubi releases are DRM free? Prince of Persia, HAWX, EndWar PC versions have 0 protection.

 

No, I've ignored them as of late :3

All I see is Ubisoft and to me that means AVOID if buying a PC game. And Far Cry 2 did have Securom

on Mar 26, 2009

Ah, satire. For someone that keeps claiming Steam isn't the be all and end all of digital distribution, you sure go out of your way to comment on them.

on Mar 26, 2009

Oh, I'm assuming this is what they're responding to.

 

http://store.steampowered.com/news/2372/

on Mar 26, 2009

Oh. Somebody already saw that. Shoulda read page 2 first...

 

Why does this forum never work right under Firefox. With adblock. And noscript. (standard internet operating procedure for those that care). Can't edit my comments or I wouldn't be spamming. Sigh.

on Mar 26, 2009

This forum seems to barely work under IE!

I think it is going through an overhaul though, so we have to wait...since it isn't high on priority atm.

on Mar 26, 2009

Frightlever
Ah, satire. For someone that keeps claiming Steam isn't the be all and end all of digital distribution, you sure go out of your way to comment on them.

I think it's coincidence, more than anything, especially given that the GDC is going on, which is the time to "announce" stuff for a whole lot of companies. SD at least has been working on their protection solution for many months probably without knowing about Steam's (it hasn't been widely publicized that Steamworks was changing, at least).

So yeah, I'm chalking it up to coincidence.

 

on Mar 26, 2009

If I copy an activated game to a different computer with no internet connection, what happen?

- If I need to be online so it is activated again (or ask the DRM vendor to generate an authorisation code from a machine hash), it's DRM as usual being rebranded. Nothing new to see here, move along.

- If the game works, it's a watermark, and I don't really see how efficient it is against piracy, while exposing me to serious legal threats if my copy get stolen for whatever reason.

on Mar 26, 2009
I've always had issues with the whole DRM problem. This is genius! I was actually thinking of a game with this type of security... too bad (for me) you figured it out before I could release it... Excellent job!
on Mar 26, 2009

 Sounds nice!!!  

-Teal

 

on Mar 27, 2009

If I copy an activated game to a different computer with no internet connection, what happen?

- If I need to be online so it is activated again (or ask the DRM vendor to generate an authorisation code from a machine hash), it's DRM as usual being rebranded. Nothing new to see here, move along.

- If the game works, it's a watermark, and I don't really see how efficient it is against piracy, while exposing me to serious legal threats if my copy get stolen for whatever reason.

It would be unusual considering how you got the game in the first place and activated it. Stardock(or which ever company you bought the software from) would expect the customer to be installing the software on their own computers and would seem weird to not have internet on all of them if you have internet of at least 1.

on Mar 27, 2009

It would be unusual considering how you got the game in the first place and activated it. Stardock(or which ever company you bought the software from) would expect the customer to be installing the software on their own computers and would seem weird to not have internet on all of them if you have internet of at least 1.

Why do you think Stardock will release Impulse Anywhere, allowing to download the game on one computer with High speed in order to install the game on a gaming rig that isn't connected to Internet?

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