Is EA's DRM killing PC gaming?

As the controversy following the release of Spore and its DRM software races across the Net, two gameplayer editors have taken completely different stances on EA's anti-piracy tactics. In this article they debate its existence and what it means for the future of PC gaming.

"EA has been up to a few dirty tricks in recent years as it looks to regain its place at the top of the gaming food chain, and we can't say they've gone down to well with consumers. From buying cheats in Tiger Woods, to attempting to hold back weapons in Battlefield: Bad Company as DLC through to the particularly ugly feature of purchasing car modifications in Need for Speed: ProStreet with real money, it has been almost a constant probing at the ethical guidelines surrounding our beloved industry. The latest games to be used on the frontline of bad taste are Mass Effect and Spore on PC."

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RememberThe3573746d ago

Is it just me or does this seem a little over blown?

N4G Member3746d ago

It is not overblown when after you install the game a 3rd time that you have to contact their customer service everytime you want to install the game again.

There are many reasons to have to reinstall a game. I plan to not buy any EA products after hearing this news.

orakga3746d ago (Edited 3746d ago )

A few things that I'd like to add:

1) They keep mentioning that the Console space is insulated from piracy. I don't know if that's ignorance or denial that tells them so, but that is in fact far from the truth.

The fact of the matter is, the most popular platform ALWAYS gets hacked. The SNES had the UFO, the PS1 had the modchip/disc-swaps, the PS2 had modchips, and the XBox had OS hacks, and the 360 currently has a firmware hack. In ALL of these cases, once you hack your SYSTEM, you can play EVERY SINGLE GAME on that console for free.

OTOH, in the PC world, you still need to rely on hackers to hack each and every game for you. And there's always that chance that the program will contain malware/viruses.

2) The "Chris" dude has many good points. These uptight "piracy protection" methods are DRIVING people toward piracy. This is particularly true for entertainment intellectual properties. If the product is perceived as being unfairly priced (and a draconian DRM certainly has that effect), people are tempted not to spend their cash. Movies, Music, Manga, Anime, Videogames... they ALL go through this.

The BM guy mentions how Blizzard is one of the few companies that make money and that's because they rely on subscriptions. Yes, factually that is correct, but he overlooked some crucial issues:

- Blizzard makes GOOD GAMES: People CAN'T STOP playing their games! This is hardly true for other games.
- Blizzard STOLE YOUR CUSTOMERS: Again, because people are playing their games non-stop, they don't have time to play inferior games from companies like EA. How about making a game that will force these people to stop playing WoW? (or Starcraft? Or WC3?... the list goes on)
- Blizzard does not have a PRICING ISSUE: Sure, they make a killing off their consumers. They make about $180 PER customer PER year from WoW alone. But that is STILL a better deal than what EA offers. They offer you a game that offers about 30 hours of gameplay and charge you $60 (BTW isn't Spore $80?). That's equivalent to FOUR MONTHS of WoW subscriptin. See the difference? Price it right, and people will EMBRACE your products.

3) The 3-install limit... yes, it may seem odd to many people, but I have a collection of games that I keep in my CD case. I still own TWO copies of starcraft, and I know for a fact that I installed them on at least 5 different computers; ALL MINE. You see... if the game is good enough, 3 installs is NOT going to be enough. And if you are buying a PHYSICAL COPY of a game, you don't want it to suddenly EXPIRE on your ass. It's like buying a DVD and only being able to watch it three times! What's the point of buying it in the first place then?

The long and short of all of this is... like Chris said, the game publishers are taking out their anger and punishing the LEGIT consumers out of paranoia. Yes, we get it. Piracy hurts you. But you are hurting the consumers, and the consumers are going to turn on you. And you are only creating a vicious cycle because you are too afraid to give the legit consumers a chance to support you.

And to answer the question, yes, EA is killing gaming. Not just PC gaming. ALL OF IT.

Thank you,

cpuchess3746d ago

Everytime you need to install it? I can't imagine why anyone would need to install it more than 2 times. Even if you needed to, it's really isn't to much effort to make a phone call.

hotrider123746d ago

yeah i like the ea icon saying EA sucks so what else is new???

anh_duong3746d ago

i think piracy is killing pc gaming

Majors3746d ago

Its the companies that add the protection to their games that screw up everyones computers. That should be made illegal and they should be held responsible for any repair costs the customer should incur while installing the software they paid for legally. Im not approving piracy as i does affect the production of new games in some way, but we also shouldn't have to pay £40 for utter rubbish with is released every year ie fifa, madden etc.. They should provide a demo for evey game TBA and not just give 3 mins on it give a whole level which isnt edited so it looks and plays great but a real level from the game so you can get a good feel of it.

anh_duong3746d ago (Edited 3746d ago )

EA DRM fiasco has just come out so how can it kill pc gaming? the title should be "will EA's DRM kill PC Gaming?" and not "Is EA's DRM killing PC gaming?"

v1c1ous3746d ago

why would you reinstall a game more than 3 times?

yeah i know some people like to take it to a new pc (cpl of years get a new pc?), you make space for other stuff and want to reinstall (500 gigs is not enough), or murphy's law (**** happens).

but let's be really really honest here. those are often isolated cases. you would have to reinstall a game, maybe 2-3 times maximun over its use.

the thought that DRM is killing pc gaming is a pirate's excuse as to why they can'ts sign up their downloaded copy and register it to use the online features w/o getting banned.

no i'm not defending EA, or even DRM practices. but come on. i'm a gamer. i downloaded a few things i admit. but i'm not gonna be a hypocrite and say that companies trying to protect their property because piracy is effectively killing a large % of their potential sales is the reason for the decline in pc sales.

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