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This Week In Game
What are ye buyin'?
Well this is interesting: GOG.com, the digital retailer best known for selling old games without DRM, is branching out into film and TV. The folks at GOG are pushing hard on the “DRM-free” angle here too, promising that nothing they sell will be saddled with the copyright restrictions you might get while buying a TV show on iTunes or Amazon.
Digital rights management (known by its more villainous acronym “DRM”) isn’t quite the same topic it used to be when most of our games came on CDs and DVDs. Instead, they’ve been replaced with always-online requirements or the need to run titles through clients such as EA’s Origin or Uplay from Ubisoft if you want to enjoy features such as multiplayer. The latter killed its DRM “solution” a few years back after “listening to feedback” and now maintains the stance that DRM is not the answer to piracy.
Video game petitions have a very long and mostly pointless history. As I’ve said several times, an internet petition is worth the paper it is printed on. But I’ll give a little publicity to this thing, because it’s the most ridiculous one I’ve seen yet (that includes this).
On May 26, two weeks before E3, a man named Pete Dodd started a thread on the message board NeoGAF. Microsoft had just announced their next-gen console, the Xbox One, and with it, customer-unfriendly policies like used game restrictions and a mandatory 24-hour Internet check-in. Meanwhile, Sony was staying quiet about their own possible plans for digital-rights management (DRM) on the PlayStation 4.
Microsoft just announced that its much-maligned DRM policies won’t look at all like they had originally been described. They’re going to more relaxed, sort of like the PS3′s. Good news, you say? No. Bad news. The Xbox One just got worse.
Few major developers could be as publicly anti-DRM as CD Projekt Red, makers of the Witcher series. Yet there they were with The Witcher 3, getting a good five minutes of stage time with the Xbox One, the face of console DRM going forward. The studio is committed to releasing on Xbox One but none too happy about being in such a bind.