IGN: Diablo 3, Simcity are warnings to others

Games & Technology
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/03/08/simcity-burning-a-warning-to-microsoft-sony-and-all-publishers-on-the-dangers-of-always-online-drm

You, the publishers, might think that it'll be different when you try it – that you'll get it right where others failed, and the fancy new proprietary always-online DRM technology you've invested in is foolproof. Here's the reality, reinforced by this week's events: you will almost certainly fail, and the payoff of zero piracy isn't worth the cost. In PC gaming, publishing giants Ubisoft, Blizzard (and by extension Activision), and now EA have all attempted it, and all have completely botched the launches of some of their most highly anticipated games. While you might eventually stabilize your servers after the initial spike in demand and get things humming along, constant login queues and downtime have turned many of your greatest allies into your worst enemies. You'll have hamstrung your own momentum.

Yes, MMORPGs and most free-to-play games will always have this problem, because being online is an integral part of their design. It's what the O in MMO stands for, in fact. But games like Diablo III and SimCity are not MMOs. They don't need to be connected to be enjoyed – I know, as I've played both primarily in single-player thus far. In SimCity's case it's especially ridiculous, as you're not even playing with others in real-time. Despite Maxis' insistence that it was built from the ground up to be a multiplayer game, its designers' best efforts couldn't shoehorn essential multiplayer into a game that is inherently single-player. Certainly nothing that's worth not being able to play at all because a server's down. Not to us.

We don't need to add the unfortunate downsides of MMORPGs to games that don't have or need the upsides which come with that necessary evil. Piracy is awful, and most gamers can only imagine how it feels to have to watch as your expensively produced product is stolen with impunity. But this is an overreaction that runs a very serious risk of doing far more harm than good.


Couldn't have said it better myself. EA is reaping today what Blizzard reaped last year... and sadly, I doubt that either of them have learned their lesson.

Online-only DRM doesn't work, it causes more harm than help.
couldn' t have said it better myself, single player games and multiplayer games shouldn't really need this. MMO well you have a persistent world, different category altogether.

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