Always On DRM is a Game that Nobody Can Win

Hello everyone. Yes it’s been a while but I’ll be getting back to regular posting soon, as I have an awesome new project to tell you all about!

But until then, I thought I’d weigh in on this growing gamer concern of “Always-On DRM,” where basically in order to play a game, or in Microsoft’s case, use a console, you have to be always connected not just to the internet, but to their company servers.

The following is a response to this opinion article published on The Motley Fool: http://beta.fool.com/joekurtz/2013/04/24/should-investors-worry-about-always-on-drm/32378/

He talks about the facts about it, but goes on to say that investors should not worry about this issue and that the gamers speaking out against it are a “vocal minority.” …Yeah, I’m not kidding, read for yourself. He also misspells Adam Orth’s name multiple times as Adam Orthy. How cute.  Anyway, here’s what I think about his position.

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While gamers who cry out against always on DRM may be a “minority” as you put it right now, (I dare you to find a gamer who actually thinks that’s a good idea.) when it gets deployed on a large scale, more and more gamers will realize how unusable it is.

The thing is, EA knew full well how always on DRM would work after Blizzard’s Diablo III launch debacle. They knew of the many gamers who were flabbergasted to find out they couldn’t play a game they just payed full price for… yet they did it anyway, and saw the exact same things happen to them.

Now Microsoft is considering doing the same, not just for one game, but for its entire console. Now that we’ve seen how this plays out not once, but twice, how else could this possibly work? Gamers will wait in line on launch night, to finally get one, and take it home only to realize it won’t work.

If a company wants to have always on DRM, they also need to make a server infrastructure that is always on, one that can handle millions of users at once, and (here’s the kicker) it will need to always be running for the rest of human existence. Why? Because that’s how long that someone out there is going to want to go back and play it.

Without this, the new XBOX, and anything else that uses always on DRM, will eventually become a useless, functionless, brick whenever the companies decide to end support. Meanwhile, all our older consoles, such as the current XBOX 360, the Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast, and many more consoles that a lot of gamers still play to this day, will still work.

In short, always-on DRM requires a whole lot more from the game company’s end. Otherwise it will end up as consumer punishment, and with enough punishment, gamers will go elsewhere, like to the PS4 or Wii U, that doesn’t have such crippling features, leaving Microsoft, and its investors, with little to spare.

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Agree/Disagree/Just want to chat? Leave a comment below.

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One thought on “Always On DRM is a Game that Nobody Can Win

  1. Pingback: Xbox One: The Sequel! …wait what? | Sma Man's Rambling Expirations of his Unconscious!

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