How DRM destroys the gaming industry

Mana Pool: DRM has been an incredibly controversial topic the past years. Several large gaming publishers are employing more aggressive DRM methods which in several cases have left gamers who paid for a copy unable to play their legally purchased games. So why do publishers insist on such draconian DRM methods? What is this actually doing to the gaming industry and how does it affect all of us? Here’s our take on it.

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30sec3737d ago

Of course the hackers aren't destroying the industry...The DRM used to protect a companies IP is destroying it. Not the hacker making DRM necessary.

Ducky3737d ago (Edited 3737d ago )

Try reading point #1 on the article.
Same goes for you Warprincess.

That being said, well written article. Good stuff.

Ryudo3737d ago (Edited 3737d ago )

30sec you would at least have some ground to stand of if you at least knew what you where talking about since you don't allow me to fill you in a little.

1) There are some forms of successful DRM arguable Steam is one. But next to steam I can't think of any that actually work well enough to be considered successful.

2) DRM outside of steam doesn't even effect pirates, pirates simply remove it from the game giving the pirates a superior copy of whatever software they decide to download.

Which also leads to the legitimate buyers getting the inferior one and being treated like criminals when they decided to install it on more then one or two computers.

3) As stated above DRM only makes Piracy more relevant, some consumers simply won't but with bully tactics from huge corporations. I can respect there simply trying to protect there software but treating the public like criminals doesn't help them towards that goal.

As such even general public will take the superior pirate version if they generally feel there being unfairly treated, Spore is a prime example of this DRM basically killed that game stone dead. It would of been more successful and less pirated it there wasn't any protection at all.

4) there are plenty of ways to protect your software without the need for DRM, look at MMORPG's there clients are freely available but because you have to be online to effectively play the game it doesn't need any sort of DRM.

DRM is a stain on the industry and it's a completely backwards approach to getting your consumers on board. Piracy will always exists it's part of are society, and as game developers are possibly the least hit by the recession I seriously wouldn't be worrying about there pockets.

Instead you should be worrying about the pockets of the countless gamers out there, they have far less money then the Game dev's and there millions the last thing they need is to be getting ripped of by backwards idea's like DRM.

Christopher3737d ago

***It would of been more successful and less pirated it there wasn't any protection at all. ***

That's my primary contention with the whole argument of DRM or no DRM.

There's absolutely no way anyone can say that a game would have sold better or not if it didn't have DRM. The only thing that supports software sales is the quality/demand of the game, not the presence of DRM.

Christopher3737d ago

***# All DRM can be cracked, thereby ultimately defeating the purpose.***

All software can be cracked, period. But, the point is to limit availability of pirated software to those who know where and how to get the needed cracks/mods.

***The more draconian the DRM methods, the fewer people buy the game.***

Look at Steam sales and try telling me that again.

***Games are too expensive these days***

Actually, they're not. They used to cost a lot more and didn't cost as much to produce in the first place.

Ducky3737d ago (Edited 3737d ago )

Steam's success lies in its social features (and it's sale prices) while not being cumbersome with DRM.

Some people will only buy a game if it has steam integration because they like the features steam offers and prefer everything being in one hub instead of using something like xfire. Kinda weird, but shows how the image of DRM can be turned around from a negative into a positive.

There's people that are waiting/hoping for Minecraft to come to steam in order to buy it.
Those same people wouldn't buy the game if it had GFWL or TAGES or most other forms of DRM.

Also, games are becoming expensive on PC. Some publishers hike the price to $60 for new games, while at the same time, games seem to be thinner on content. Then there's the DLC.
More attention seems to go into fancy visual tapestry and advertisement than actual gameplay.

Christopher3737d ago

Steam's success doesn't matter. It's a sign of DRM working. People who don't utilize Steam's community features still buy games with DRM.

And only the people who can get away with charging $60 for a game do as such, specifically Activision and the Call of Duty games. They know that no matter what they charge that isn't "unreasonable", people will pay for it. Look at 2010s sales of their ridiculously overpriced CEs and you tell me what business would turn down not getting a bit more profit from consumers they know are going to be buying their game this year. Proven by their record sales this year even.

Regardless, I payed more for a video game in the early 90s than I do now. It cost even more in the 80s. And that's not even bringing inflation into the equation.

There was a boom in the development of video games in the 5th generation that lead to competitive pricing and increased sales. It also lead to a lot of companies quickly folding under and never being heard of again and major companies buying up all the small fish to strengthen their IP portfolio.

Going from $40 to $50/60 in one generation with the much more costly need to develop for 3 platforms (PC/360/PS3) with graphics rendering a ton more polygons and more advanced AI/lighting/physics processing, there's going to be an increase in the cost no matter how you look at it.

And, of course, I get disagrees when people want the next generation to exponentially grow on the graphical capabilities and I say I'm fine with the quality stuff being put out this generation. Nothing says the need for increasing the price of video games like increasing the asset costs to make them.

Warprincess1163737d ago

Well if you PC gamers don't pirate games, then there wouldn't be DRM in the first place.

EvilTactician3737d ago

And I suppose you don't consider all the console kiddies who get a chip in their console to be pirating?

Pirating is just as much an issue on consoles as it is on the PC, so please get to know the subject before making such sweeping comments.

Kon3737d ago

Oh what dumb statement. Now you're going to say that piracy is inexistent on consoles. When i see your comments i want to jump off a bridge. Seriously, GTFO.

Warprincess1163737d ago

PC gamers pirate more than console gamers. That a fact. Yes, there are people who pirate on console but alot more pirate on PC. You guys know it so don't try to deny it.

BlackTar1873737d ago

way more pirates on PC. That should not even be a discussion point

EvilTactician3737d ago

@Warprincess116: January 24th, 2011 "The Association of UK Interactive Entertainment has claimed that the rise in illegal copies of video games and modified games consoles cost £1.45 billion in sales losses in 2010." Source:

Jacobite3737d ago

Not all PC gamers pirate, some do yes but thats a minority. I've heard that some of DRM games play better with a crack cant say myself as I dont pirate or others I know that game on the PC "Hello Steam" or retail.

Dark_Overlord3737d ago

Near enough every PC game plays better with a cracked exe, most of those DRM's require system resources and are performing constant checks within the game (Just check up about Starforce)

Pandamobile3737d ago

I crack all my games that require a disk to start. It's a pain in the ass having to dig around for a disk just to play a game.

30sec3737d ago (Edited 3737d ago )

What do you do when you can't find your car keys? Hotwire? When did gamers get soooooo lazy?

Pandamobile3737d ago

When I'm trying to find my car keys I just find them.

When I want to play a game, I'd like for it to just happen, and not have to open my drawer, get a disk and put it in my disk tray, then wait 15 seconds for it to spin up and launch.

It's not hart to figure out why I and many others don't like disks.

Kon3737d ago

Agree, i crack my games too. It is more convenient.

mrv3213737d ago

At 30sec.

You do realize on computers the disk IS only a transfer medium, nothing else. So instead of burning up your drive, or worse still stratching your disc wouldn't you ratherjust play the game which is 100% on your hard drive?

Your metaphor is wrong, the keys are a safety device, it'd be like have a car with a fingerprint reader but not allowing you do open your car unless you have a key.

teething3737d ago (Edited 3737d ago )

I understand people's points with the convenience of no-disk backups and minimizing scratch risks...

... but, a large number of people who crack the DRM on a game to make it disk-free... also load games too and from programs like torrent. For every one "honest" person backing up a game, there are many who are pirating. My own brother pirates games because it is easy, and once you know you can get a game for free, the temptation is too big.

Disks are not a pain in the ass. I organize mine alphabetically on a shelf (no digging around), and I keep games in cases when not in use (I have had consoles for years and NOT ONE SINGLE SCRATCHED DISK).

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3737d ago
teething3737d ago (Edited 3737d ago )

Although the article makes one or two good points, overall there is little evidence that DRM is really bad to the honest gamer who buys games. DRM is really only bad for hackers/pirates.

The hackers on both the PC and consoles that are to blame for DRM. If people did not, or could not pirate games, there would be no DRM. Simple. Game developers have been pushed to add DRM, and increasingly invasive DRM to minimize losses on new games.

I also can't disagree with recent strategies that only allow new copies of the game (or people willing to pay an extra fee if they have a used game) to download "extra" content, or even access multiplayer.

I just have no sympathy for people who are upset when someone else prevents them from ripping them off. It is like a robber getting angry at a homeowner for locking his door at night... and then turning around and saying that by stealing your TV, he is doing good because his friends will want the same TV also. The reality is, those same friends will probably just steal a TV too...

If you want games cheap, do what I do: Buy a select few games new, and buy the rest new 6-12mths post release. They always drop in price. I can't tell you the number of AAA titles I got for 20$.

Zinc3737d ago (Edited 3737d ago )

I honestly think that spending resources on DRM is mostly a loss-loss proposition. It generally does not actually stop die-hard pirates and it never will. I suppose if you think that you are recouping enough of your expense either creating and implementing DRM or paying for another company to do it for you, by converting a percentage of the people who would pirate your game, to paying customers, by all means. But, in all candor, it probably is not doing that. It is a useless expense and is used mostly to placate a board of directors.

I would stress the best way to deal with piracy, is the same way you would deal with people not buying your product in the first place, by simply making it better. The better you make something, the more people will buy it. Don't worry about the people who don't, because really you are not out anything.

In business, you look at the bottom line. If you feel your bottom line is best served by combating something that probably never even contibuted to it in the first place, than you are not cut out for business in the 21st century and should think of another line of work.

A lot of this has to do with the way business is done today and how the consumer purchases and gets their information. Things are changing. Simply change with the times, that's what good business is all about.

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