Midianian's Blog / DRM Sucks
September 11, 2008, 05:58 PM
When are companies going to realize that using any form of DRM is a losing battle? DRM doesn't prevent piracy, it only delays it. With the bigger games this might only be a matter of days. The simple fact is that anything that can be played can be cracked. Once it's cracked, the DRM is just dead weight.
The inconvenience DRM brings is much bigger than the effect it has on piracy. Inconvenience for the users who bought the game and just want to play it. A good example of this is that many modern games simply cannot be played without an internet connection, even if the game itself doesn't require one.
EA on the DRM of Red Alert 3:
"The game will only need to be authenticated online once after installation, according to a developer post on the official forums, and can be reinstalled up to five times."
Wow. That's, like, so cool. A game I've paid for, that I can only install a limited number of times! If I buy a game, I also want to be able to sell it, which the limited number of installs hinders. Or maybe get it half-price. Either way is fine with me, but don't make me pay full price for a crippled product.
Also, any kind of piracy statistics and the "losses" calculated from those are horribly skewed. I don't think I've ever seen any of them that take into account the following:
They don't buy games because it's easier. Copy protection hassles are often worse for non-pirated software than for pirated software. The simplest example is the requirement of having the CD/DVD in the drive while playing.
They don't buy games because of the delay to crack it. On more popular titles, the delay might be only a couple of days, or the game might even be illegally available before the official release.
They buy games because they like the game, and want to support the company that made it. These are the people the companies should be thinking about. These are the people who get pissed off about horrible DRM.
Yeah, there are some companies that get some of these things right, but I don't think there's one that gets all of this.
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