The music studios finally figured this out. It hurts paying customers. It entertains pirates and gives hackers something to do. So why bother? Yes, something needs to be done about organized piracy, but DRM has zero impact on that.
What DRM does impact is PC gaming. Either people don’t buy stuff, they buy for consoles, or they download it cracked. For example, I didn’t buy Bio Shock or Mass Effect for the PC.
Bio Shock’s activation horror stories just after release convinced me not to bother picking it up for either PC or console.
Mass Effect I already owned for the 360, but I was considering pickign up the PC version both for the UI updates and just to show support for the studio. Then I saw the DRM announcements. No thanks.
I did purchase Spore, but it was because I had pre-ordered from Amazon and my order shipped before the DRM hit the fan. My fault for not researching it first. I’ll admit that I’ve had no problems with the game yet, except for the annoyance of having to disable Process Explorer which I use as a task manager replacement. But my problem is what happens when I build my next gaming rig. I didn’t pay $50 to rent a game. I paid $50 to own a copy. If they want to sell it as a limited 3 installation rental, fine, but they need to knock the price down. Say $30 bucks, or less.
I’m really looking forward to Fallout 3, but you can be sure that my platform choice will be heavily influenced by the DRM attached. So DRM may not kill gaming, but it could kill PC gaming.
Just to clarify, I’m not for piracy and I’m not against DRM. But I don’t like either one. I do think that if you’re going to use it, DRM needs to “just work”, 99.99% of the time. I also think that if a company wants to lock down a game as tightly as EA seems to then they need to be extremely forward about it. A big sticker on the box and a description of the rights and restrictions on the back. It should also uninstall with the game, period.
Studios and developers are entitled must protect their work. But when DRM turns a game purchase into a game rental for the same $, then there’s a problem.
If I want to play a 360 game, I turn on the console and put the disk in. If I want to play a PC game, I’d like to be able to do the same.