Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mass DRM Effect

IGN just reported that Bioware will be forcing mandatory re-registration every 5 days (with an extra 5 day grace period) for their upcoming release of Mass Effect on the PC later this month.


I’m not a fan of DRM or protection for the sake of protection (read: Bioshock, Battlefield 2142, Sony Rootkits) and if you have been reading in my previous posts, I do mod my consoles.  Does that mean I don’t buy games?  Absolutely not.  I probably spend upwards of $200 a month on games and accessories alone.  That’s probably more than the average gamer would spend in a month, let alone a pirate that downloads their games.  The whole industry and calculations of projected loss is so fragmented and subjective that it borderlines science fiction.  How do you calculate what you “would” have sold had there not been pirated copies?  GTA (sorry to bring that up again) is on its way to selling $400 Million worth of copies in its first week worldwide.  That game has been floating on the net for 2 weeks prior to release for the PAL version and a week for the NTSC version.  Did that hurt sales?  Did the fact that most torrent sites are showing huge amounts of lechers reduce the amount of sales the game had?  I would say that those who choose to download probably wouldn’t have purchased this game to begin with and those that will would buy it after its release. 


I was personally going to be purchasing Mass Effect for the PC because of the greater control, better graphics, and better organization than the 360 version but now with the announcement of copy protection, I think I will pass.  I won’t even be buying this at all.  So what if the story is amazing for a video game, I’ll read a book.  Game play can be had on other titles without copy protection (Sins of a Solar Empire for example) and closed platforms like consoles. 


For a developer to be asking $60+ per video game is seriously gouging the consumer, and then to penalize those purchasing the item with ridiculous DRM, that’s just a slap in the face.  Thanks EA (because I’m sure Bioware doesn’t make policy now), you just lost $60 BECAUSE of your DRM.

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