FNG Logo created by Nick Serr

19 June 2013

Wins in the War Against DRM - Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One

After unveiling the Xbox One in May, Microsoft announced some lame DRM policies that are like unto the ones that have driven PC gamers nuts for quite some time now..

Sony answered at E3 by announcing they will NOT require a constant internet connection or periodic authentication and does NOT restrict used games.

IGN annoucned today that Microsoft reversed their Xbox One DRM policies.

Did Sony's announcement have anything to do with today's announcement?  Probably so, but it doesn't matter... as long as they're listening to the industry and the consumers.

I have yet to see hard data that proves that DRM has ever worked for a company by turning a new profit... the games still get pirated (I think the crackers and hackers out there find it an even more fun challenge to break the DRM.)  The paying customers are always the ones hurt by it, and it's a waste of the game company's hard-earned money to write the crappy DRM software, then support and maintain it, then support and maintain the countless paying customers that can't play their game because they can't get past the DRM.

But oh yeah, the pirates still play for free and still steal your games.  Since you can't get around it, don't punish the paying customers; because they'll stop paying.  Pirates who want to steal your games have no intention to pay for your game.  If they did, they would.. And even if you figured out the ultimate system to stop them from stealing it; they will just move on to something else they can play without paying for... they're not going to magically change their mind and go pay for your game.

So, I'm glad Sony and Microsoft are "getting it" -- and I REALLY REALLY hope PC game producers/publishers will start "getting it" too.  Drop the failing mindset that DRM works and direct your resources to making great quality content worth buying.

Kudos to Sony and Microsoft for keeping some fun in gaming.

NOTE: I'm not an advocate of piracy... in fact, those who know me realize it's quite the opposite.  However, I've worked for companies where I've had to build DRM and maintain it, and most of the defects in our products are either because of it, or directly tied to it.  Not being required to develop it or maintain it frees precious developer resources to focusing on adding quality content to your games which will keep the paying clientele coming back for more.

1 comment:

That One Guy said...

I also forget to mention that Microsoft, Blizzard and others have always tried to paint "Always Connected" DRM policies as some benefit to their customers; saying things like "Content providers can be continually evolving your gaming world even when you're not playing."

I've got news for you... they can do that anyway; and the update can get pushed when we need it and are connected.

Please don't insult our intelligence. No excuse for forcing a constant live internet connection is ever justified or acceptable. The only exception are games that you only play online like an MMORPG, but even those should only be required to be connected while playing.