The always controversial DRM. Some gaming companies see it as essential tool to protect their software and their profits from would be pirates. But generally, you only hear about complete disasters that only serve to hurt paying customers, such as the whole debacle with the latest version of Simcity and its always online DRM.
Seems with all the negativity surrounding DRM, most companies would steer clear of it. However, in a recent article on IGN through an interview with TorrentFreak, Adam Sullivan, Square Enix’s senior manager in business and legal affairs, believes DRM is a necessary part of business these days.
“The primary benefit to us is the same as with any business: profit,”
But Sullivan did stress that it DRM shouldn’t interfere with actually playing the game.
“The key to DRM is that it can’t interfere with the customer’s ability to play the game.”
Sullivan does also admit that as of right now, there is no “perfect solution”, but still defends the practice of DRM as an absolute necessity.
“It’s not uncommon for people to get a new computer every few years, or to have multiple computers. Sometimes they don’t have reliable internet connections,” Sullivan remarked on the challenges in consumer-facing anti-piracy solutions. “There’s no perfect solution yet.”
“We have a well-known reputation for being very protective of our IPs, which does deter many would-be pirates,” said Sullivan. “So long as we’re concerned about things like data privacy, accounting sharing and hacking, we’ll need some form of DRM.”
DRM is an incredibly sticky issue, so I’m not 100% sure where to side with this. Piracy costs developers and publishers hundreds of millions and they certainly have a right to protect their property. But as has been repeatedly shown on numerous occasions, DRM seems to hurt the honest paying customer far more often than it truly prevents pirates from getting their hands on the game for free. If it really doesn’t interfere with gameplay, I really don’t have much of an issue with DRM. Sadly, that is rarely the case.
What do you think, Gamesided readers? Is DRM a necessary evil or a waste of time and resources that only hurts honest paying customers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!