New Deux Ex game for iOS hobbles gameplay if device is jailbroken

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Gamers looking to play the first-person shooter Deus Ex are in for a surprise if they download the game on a jailbroken device: its developer has hobbled their copies in order to make sure they can't fully run.

in excelsis


Released on Wednesday, the new Deus Ex game for iOS is already receiving some complaints from users that have jailbroken their devices and paid for the game. Square Enix's product page for the game doesn't warn users that they will not fully be able to play the game if their devices are jailbroken, and the title has a number of negative reviews pointing out this fact.

After the game's initial cutscenes and a movement tutorial, jailbreakers will encounter a screen informing them that they cannot fire their weapons since they are on jailbroken devices. Jailbreaking is legal, but it may void a user's warranty, and game and app publishers are wary of jailbroken machines since the process makes it possible to side-load pirated apps without paying for them.

One hallmark of the Deux Ex series is the flexibility in play style enabled by the games' design. It is conceivable that a player could stealthily move throughout the whole game without firing weapon, but only if the player can make it past the first stage, which appears to require the use of at least one weapon.

Non-jailbroken users can download Deus Ex: The Fall from the iTunes App Store for $7. The 1.6GB game requires an iPad 3 or above, iPad mini, iPhone 4S or above, or an iPod touch 5 or above. Square Enix notes that iPad 2 and iPhone 4 support is coming soon.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 81
    jblongzjblongz Posts: 146member
    Awesome protection technique. Hope other developers catch on.
  • Reply 2 of 81
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JBlongz View Post



    Awesome protection technique. Hope other developers catch on.


    I like it but they really do need to put a notice on the product page. That would prevent negative reviews because then anyone who complains will just be pointing out how stupid they are for not reading the requirements before buying it.

  • Reply 3 of 81
    Given that jailbroken devices are completely unsupported by Apple, this is a good move by software developers. I can see two benefits from this. One, cutting down on piracy, and two, cutting down on the developers' support costs for people running even legitimately purchased apps on compromised devices.
  • Reply 4 of 81
    Yeah, App Store ratings are sometimes skewed by angry mobs. I usually don't rate apps when they just do what they're supposed to.
  • Reply 5 of 81
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member


    What a load of crap.  DRM that screws paying customers should not be supported.

  • Reply 6 of 81
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    People aren't doing anything illegal by jailbreaking. It's really poor form not to warn people.
  • Reply 7 of 81
    totemstotems Posts: 17member
    No doubt to be patched or quick fixed by some member of the jailbreak community. I don't really agree with removing features because of a jailbroken host. If the user has legitimately paid for the game, jailbroken or not, the game should just work. Piracy is another issue altogether.

    Basically, just because one chooses to jailbreak their phone, that does not mean by default that they're a piracy advocate in anyway.
  • Reply 8 of 81
    planktonplankton Posts: 105member


    While Apple might not like it, there is nothing illegal about jailbreaking a phone—I have done it since the iPhone 3G and have NEVER downloaded a pirate app. Many people jb for valid reasons—in my case, my carrier SoftBank refuses to support IMEI unlocks even on out-of-contract iPhones, so I am forced to jb and unlock so I can use other carriers' SIMs when I travel abroad to avoid SoftBank's outrageous roaming charges.  While the developer is fully within its rights to hobble a game on a jailbroken phone, they should inform people of this limitation before purchase and offer a full refund for people caught with a hobbled game because of the omitted warning.

  • Reply 9 of 81
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post



    People aren't doing anything illegal by jailbreaking. It's really poor form not to warn people.


     


    Not true.  Jailbreaking is illegal if you jailbreak for purposes that are themselves illegal.  The number one reason for jailbreaking today remains the downloading of stolen copies of games, which is obviously what this is intended to protect against.  


     


    The number of folks that jailbroke their device so they could use some obscure settings app and then *legally* bought this game and were stymied by the protection is going to be so tiny as to be not worth bothering about. Add to that the very low popularity of jailbreaking in the first place and it's easy to see that almost everyone that is being hit by this popup is almost certainly going to be a thief.  


     


    That being said I agree with others that there should be notification on the page where you buy the game, that this is a restriction.  I would bet that there probably is actually since most of those complaining wouldn't have actually purchased it from the app store in the first place.  Also, anyone who legally purchased the game will certainly be able to get a refund.  


     


    Again, I would bet that this will amount to five bucks or so of refunds. image

  • Reply 10 of 81
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by plankton View Post


    While Apple might not like it, there is nothing illegal about jailbreaking a phone—I have done it since the iPhone 3G and have NEVER downloaded a pirate app...



     


    But a lot of people do. Huge numbers of people are playing pirated games, and jailbreaking is how they do it. At some point, devs have to try and fund some kind of solution.

  • Reply 11 of 81
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,502member
    Just checked, the App Store does not tell in the description that it will not play fully on a Jailbroken Device.
  • Reply 12 of 81
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    plankton wrote: »
    Many people jb for valid reasons—in my case, my carrier SoftBank refuses to support IMEI unlocks even on out-of-contract iPhones, so I am forced to jb and unlock so I can use other carriers' SIMs when I travel abroad

    Unlocking is a separate thing from jailbreaking. You can buy unlocked iPhones without them being jailbroken.

    Regardless of what individuals use jailbreaking for, the very fact that it's jailbroken allows the user to install a stolen copy of the game and this is an easy way of protecting against it.

    The game looks pretty good:


    [VIDEO]


    Some Android users are upset that they can't play it yet:

    http://kotaku.com/sorry-console-pc-gamers-but-the-mobile-deus-ex-is-damn-736609646

    "No need to apologize to us, they'll be more than sorry for all of us when they see the sales numbers. Deus Ex isn't big enough to be a big mover on a limited platform. MAYBE if it was on Android, Windows Phone, Vita and or 3DS."

    "It's coming to Andriod devices "soon", if you'll care to take a look at the end of the article."

    "That's actually my bad. it was originally announced as only an iPhone game. I guess we'll see then. It might not do too badly then. I just couldn't see it doing very well on just one mobile market vs. The majority of the market (Android and Apple combined.)"

    Yeah, it'll do much better in sales once it reaches all those laggy Android devices in about 6 months once they get it to work properly on all the different models and then just end up supporting the Samsung Galaxy. It's funny how the Android crowd is sort of like the Windows crowd but this time round, they bitch about Apple because they're the only one getting good software support. It used to be Windows users put down Apple's computers because of a lack of software support.

    They haven't even said a timeframe for the Android version. It would be funny if they end up cancelling their plans to port it over like many developers before them. The internet rage will be unbearable. Funny though.

    On the bright side, they can play with a Deus Ex theme until then:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ramazor.theme.freedea&hl=en

    It's a shame the iOS controllers aren't out yet. This would have been a great title to launch with them. Same with Knights of the Old Republic (another iOS exclusive).
    gazoobee wrote:
    Also, anyone who legally purchased the game will certainly be able to get a refund.

    Very true, most reviews seem to be positive so far.

    PS for anyone who doesn't know already, the Steam Summer Sale has started. They have 700+ Mac games in there.
  • Reply 13 of 81
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I can see the need to use unpleasant measures to protect a game that depends on servers, since pirates can sometimes destroy such a game and put it out of business. This game is single-player, though.

    But I can understand why they did it. Jailbreakers are a vocal minority, but a minority nonetheless--and many (most I'd assume) are honest, but a lot of them ARE pirates. (More than will to admit it: what's even easier than piracy? Lying about piracy!)

    Would have been nice to give them advance warning all the same.

    JB at your own risk...
  • Reply 14 of 81
    I don't mind any app developer doing this, it is their own choice. If a person wants to pirate it, they will. Someone will crack this within 24 hours just to have their name next to the .ipa download. If letting a user get further in a game bogs their servers, then let them prevent users that may possibly be stealing the game and causing more financial losses from using the game.

    That being said, if it doesn't bog their servers, what does this solve?

    Do you really believe that a bunch of users are going to return their jailbroken iPhones to stock to play this game? That is more of a hassle than to wait for the crack, and you are only upsetting users who actually purchased the game.

    I know many people pirate apps with a jailbreak, or some only pirate for a short bit and then purchase the same games after a cellular upgrade or ios update or so (I'm guilty of this) and don't even play half the games they ever pirated. I generally just do it for tweaks such as navigate with tomtom, browser chooser, tetherme(Saves damn $30 a month for the same data!), and torch. SBS settings, grabby, and other small tweaks are awesome, but I believe those 3 tweaks make some simple things extremely pleasant to do.


  • Reply 15 of 81
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


     


    Not true.  Jailbreaking is illegal if you jailbreak for purposes that are themselves illegal.  The number one reason for jailbreaking today remains the downloading of stolen copies of games, which is obviously what this is intended to protect against.  



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    The number of folks that jailbroke their device so they could use some obscure settings app and then *legally* bought this game and were stymied by the protection is going to be so tiny as to be not worth bothering about. Add to that the very low popularity of jailbreaking in the first place and it's easy to see that almost everyone that is being hit by this popup is almost certainly going to be a thief.  



     


    Do you have any data to back up that claim? I've jailbroken my iPhone in the past to use a tethering app but I have no idea about other people's behavior. 

  • Reply 16 of 81
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    and the garden gets smaller and smaller...
  • Reply 17 of 81
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post


     


    But a lot of people do. Huge numbers of people are playing pirated games, and jailbreaking is how they do it. At some point, devs have to try and fund some kind of solution.



    There are a number of ways to combat piracy. An easy non-DRM solution is to merely release frequently useful patches that makes it annoying for the pirate to wait for a new update to become available in back channels and manually update. Even cheesier is to avoid updates through the App Store by downloading smaller data files and assets online requiring a login account. You can do frequent ninja updates while the game is launching which will make a pain in the rear for pirates, but legit users will hardly notice anything aside from a one-time cached login (plus account creation).

  • Reply 18 of 81
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,209moderator
    rain wrote: »
    and the garden gets smaller and smaller...

    It just looks small because of all the good games in it. Android is like a deserted wasteland - wide open but nothing fun to do except talk about this spec and that spec and how many minutes have passed since it got all laggy and had to be rebooted or rooted or replaced or which task killer is the best to save the battery dying in a couple of hours.
  • Reply 19 of 81
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    negafox wrote: »
    There are a number of ways to combat piracy. An easy non-DRM solution is to merely release frequently useful patches that makes it annoying for the pirate to wait for a new update to become available in back channels and manually update. Even cheesier is to avoid updates through the App Store by downloading smaller data files and assets online requiring a login account. You can do frequent ninja updates while the game is launching which will make a pain in the rear for pirates, but legit users will hardly notice anything aside from a one-time cached login (plus account creation).

    That solution does not stop pirates. If the game is functional why should not having the latest version bother a pirate to the point of not playing the game? Further, how do you figure that the game contacting a server with a login isn't a DRM solution?

    Also, I'm pretty sure Apple does not allow apps to update outside the App Store. That would be essentially side loading apps.
  • Reply 20 of 81
    negafoxnegafox Posts: 480member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post





    That solution does not stop pirates. If the game is functional why should not having the latest version bother a pirate to the point of not playing the game? Further, how do you figure that the game contacting a server with a login isn't a DRM solution?



    Also, I'm pretty sure Apple does not allow apps to update outside the App Store. That would be essentially side loading apps.


    My former solution was non-DRM. And you would be surprised, pirates tend to be obsessed with wanting the latest version. Think Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Office pirates. They tend to go to great lengths at times to get their software patched that it is almost not worth the time and effort. Patching in small features is a common tactic with game companies to combat piracy. My later example is DRM, you are correct.


     


    You can update data files like assets, but you cannot update the binary.

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