What? A PC Developer Who Actually Understands DRM?

In recent years publishers like Ubisoft, 2K and EA have done a great job pissing off paying customers with systems aimed at preventing piracy. Which, uh, is counter-productive! Especially when PC pirates are able to easily circumvent said measures.

So it's great seeing Christofer Sundberg, from Just Cause developers Avalanche, speak a little common sense. In an interview with Edge, Sundberg said, "If a DRM system constantly needs to be defended, something must be wrong."

"As a developer you will never win over any fans if you constantly let everyone know how much it costs to develop a game and how much money you lose."

"I don't like always-on DRM solutions at all, since they offer nothing to the consumer. If you continuously give something extra for registering and being online, and award them for actually paying for and playing your game, it'd be different, but always-on DRM only says: 'Thank you for buying our game, we trust you as far as we can throw you."

Sundberg's "solution" to PC piracy is an admittance that there never will be a solution. That there's always been piracy on the PC and always will be, and publishers need to work to engage with players instead of punishing them.

Avalanche: DRM helps no one [Edge]


    Developers are almost always against DRM. Publishers are the ones who push it on us.

      That's incredibly unfortunate. I'm in quite a different industry but it's so frustrating when the people on the end don't listen to you, even though you're looking at their plans and going "this is so obviously not right, WTF?!"


    Pretty much. I've had friends buy copies of games then thanks to always-on DRM find out it's hard to actually play them (or because their internet wasn't always on just not be able to play them at all). So what did these friends do? Well they refunded the real copy and picked up a free DLed copy with all the DRM stripped, so they could actually play the game without hassle.

    So yeah, hardcore DRM only punishes you if actually pay for the product. It actually gives people a clear message that if they pirated it they'd have a much easier to use, much more satisfying product. Extremely counter-intuitive.

      And then when people pirate games which have restrictive DRM the publishers contribute low PC sales to low demand. Catch 22.

        That's ok... a slight modification of their procedure for judging demand will fix that - instead of measuring the rate and number of sales... just check the # of leeches on the latest torrent upload of their game...

        Not necessarily!

        See if sales of a NON DRM or at least a less intrusive DRM product is much higher than a DRM heavy game then you can't say that "piracy" lowers the sales.

        Thats why I tend to promote buying products w/ "reasonable" DRM (ie. Steam or one off registrations). If a DRM is non intrusive enough that you barely know its there then i see no issue against it. It's just devs and pubs trying to protect their property.

    They should try looking into something like disabling stat-tracking. I've noticed that many players tend to avoid the objective in order to boost their kill ratio.

    I don't pirate games, but there's quite a few I haven't purchased due to DRM.

    I'm wary that activation servers may get taken down in the future, leaving me with an unplayable game - I'd rather not spend the money at all than buy a game that relies on a server somewhere to stay up forever for me to play it.

    Publishers like to harangue us that we didn't buy "the game" at all but merely a license to use it which is subject to their terms of us. Legally true, but it's a conceit that doesn't reflect reality at all. Consumers - me included - are always going to view the game as theirs and expect it to be always playable.

    See and this is still what irks me about D3.

    Always online 60 bucks(they say it aint DRM

    Path of Exile Free to Play Always online, i'll accept that you make money by being able to actually sell to your customer's hence allowing them to hack offline not cool.(Plus you didn't have 2 offline games and didn't wait till a month or 2 before beta to say online only)

    Torchlight 2, offline and MP. 20 dollars

    I have no problem with always online.

    A) If your clear about it and their is a valid reason. A singleplayer campaign basically means that you have no valid reason(Like Diablo 3 will get cracked, it might take 3 months instead of 1, but when it gets cracked im still not going to recieve a legitimate offline mode)

    B) if your not charging me to buy the game. If i haven't been charged then my default you haven't stopped me from playing a purchased product.

    Only reason I haven't bought JC2 with all the DLC ages ago is because my current system is still XP (Yes there are good reasons. No it's not worth it for this system. Yes I will when I get a new one next year)

    I've seen enough worst-case-scenarios with DRM over the years (even the offline ones) that Ubi and EA's current practices have turned quite a few "buy on release" and "grab during the first sale"s into "never buy ever" and "maybe $20 for a $150 collector's edition in a clearance, IF there's a really neat figurine"

    It's just such a shame it's happening to indie-style games like From Dust and Gatling Gears now because of their distribution partnerships.

    Re: McGarnical - yeah the technicalities of ownership are a real doozy - refunds are apparently not required to be given on digital products because of how they are classed as a 'service' instead of a 'product', even if the 'service' isn't actually being provided!

    And for any console gamers who pop on to complain about PC whingers; try booting up Mercenaries 2 on an Xbox when it's connected to Live (in this scenario it searches for no-longer-existent servers and freezes the console on game startup), and then think of how you'd get it to work if running offline did the same thing.

    I'm also really starting to see the sense of calling copyright infringement 'piracy' - after all some of the seafaring pirates of old were known for treating crew members, and captives in several circumstances, FAR better than any of the navies supposedly policing the waters (but often being paid to harass what would be classed as 'competitors')

    Valve is also a developer/publisher that understands DRM and handles it well with Steamworks...

      Agree... Steam DRM is the only DRM i fully approve of as a consumer...

      There is no gaming down time or constant authentication etc, none of that garbage, simple, you own this game, you play this game...

      THat and Valve offering its games at a single price point WW as well for its digital content...

        Whilst I am pretty sure there is a disparity between WW prices on steam (and a lot of steam groups discussing it), it is pretty bloody fantastic. Anyone that doesn’t embrace it is basically ripping themselves off by not being able to take part in their sales and / or have access to the myriad of indie titles they distribute.

      To elaborate on one of my earlier points; Steam also demonstrates how to address the 'service' aspect of games as 'service' instead of 'product'

    if i buy a game that has DRM i will download a crack for it, and play it. i payed for it, no DRM. stop whining.


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