Thursday, February 25, 2010

Games for Windows Live DRM Confusion

I was doing some shopping on Amazon this morning and was thinking about ordering BioShock 2 for the Personal Computer. I was very surprised to see that the game was rated very poorly by the community there because of its supposedly invasive Digital Rights Management scheme. The funny thing about this is that it is apparent that the people who were hounding the game's DRM methods were not very educated about what's really going on with the game. BioShock 2 does use SecuRom - well, just saying that will enrage a lot of PC gamers - but it's only used for a disc-check if you choose to buy the retail version of the game. This can be avoided by buying it straight from the Games on Demand service or other direct download companies. A majority of the complaints however seem to revolve around the Games for Windows Live implementation and that it's a major hassle to sign up and that there's no logic behind online activation of the game.

Yes, Rhino dear. It's called read the instruction manual.
How long have you been playing PC games? Never heard of post-launch patches?

What people failed to realize is that GFWL is hardly invasive and it is not mandatory to sign up for the "Customer Experience" program that sends periodic data report to Microsoft. Games that use this platform has no "real" activation limits: you can pretty much download the game you purchased - as long as you have the activation key with you - on any computer but you can only go online from one location because you have to sign on to the Live network. I believe there is a limit on how many different PCs you can install the game on per month but realistically speaking, why would you activate a game 100 times a month? Game developers need to make their money too and if one person could have their games shared and duplicated on an entire town's machines, then say goodbye to any hope of future PC game developments. Also, if the player hates the Live network so much (I don't know why since it's free for PC owners), that very player can always just play the game with an offline profile. If people really want to go after bad DRM implementations, they should really spend their energy on Ubisoft's treatment of the upcoming Assassin's Creed II for the PC. For that game, you have to stay connected to the Ubisoft server every single moment you play the game! It sounds like a joke but it's true. If you lose your internet connection even for a brief moment, you will have to start off from your last save! I have a feeling that Ubisoft is going to snap under pressure but maybe they are just doing it for the shock value to teach many of these fools the real meaning of a restrictive DRM.

No, I won't add you to the anti-DRM list. I will, however, add you to the idiot list.

No comments: