Modern DRM

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve just gotten back into computer gaming after many years absence. This means that I’ve had my first proper experience with modern DRM… and that was not positive.

For anyone who doesn’t know: DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and in the context of gaming it means various software that is installed along with a game to ensure that it is not copied or pirated. Sounds good, right? Sounds fair? … Well… not so much.

I’ll be one of the first people to say that developers have a right to protect their products from being stolen (which is what piracy is) and I always buy legitimate products when and where I can, but the way companies are handling DRM is broken. It’s horrible, and here’s why:

Every game you buy these days has to authenticate itself online through whatever portal the developer is associated with (Steam, Orgin, Windows Live, etc.) and by itself that would be fine… but all these portal programs need to be updated and then the game itself needs to be patched (often on the day it releases). The net effect of all this is that (in South Africa at least) it takes hours (literally hours) before you can play a game that you bought.

As a case in point, a while ago a few friends and I bought copies of Kingdoms of Amalur and we all got together to play it. Here’s the catch… three of us bought legal copies and one went down to the flea market and got a pirated copy at half price.

For those of us who bought it legit, it took 5 hours (5 Fraking hours!) to get the client and game to install, update and play. The guy who pirated it was playing it in half and hour.

So this is what I don’t get: Why are games developers making it more difficult (and expensive) to buy legal copies of their games than it is to get pirated ones? I could understand if all this DRM had stopped people pirating games… but it hasn’t. You can find them all over PirateBay or at any flea market you care to explore.

Now there are reports that Sony will block used games in their next console. What madness is this? It’s like they’re going out of their way to push people into piracy.

The world is mad, getting madder and we’re all doomed… Doomed it tell you! Doomed!

-Odd

“Humans make illogical decisions” -Spock

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