Nope, Steam is not immune to DRM problems. According to a report on Shacknews, there was major foul-up during Steam’s holiday sale.

The games affected were S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky and X3: Terran Conflict. Many who bought either of those games found it impossible to activate them during December 26th-31st.

Apparently, the problem was caused by the inclusion of TAGES, a third-party DRM that was slapped on both games in addition to Steam’s regular activation. TAGES was a requirement of the publishers (not Steam).

I suspect that there was a large influx of would-be players trying to access the servers, which added to the mess. Still, it seems ridiculous to me that a distribution system with its own DRM would need yet another one. Even Electronic Arts decided to forego extra CP on its Steam-enabled titles.

What good does it do? No doubt, both games were on the torrents before they came to Steam. So why bother with a totally irrelevant DRM in the first place? Stupidity? Paranoia? Perhaps after this, Steam may think twice about third-party DRM on their offerings.

DRM Issues Spoil Steam Holiday Sale at shacknews