Publisher testing always online DRM for PS3
Capcom tries out PC-like DRM on PS3 to curb game sharing
One of the greatest things that console gaming has going for it, is that unlike PC gaming, publishers do not subject console gamers to harsh DRM policies.
Most recently, Ubisoft has taken the lead with its painful DRM, which requires gamers to be online at all times when playing a game, even in single player mode. The inconvenience is further compounded when Ubsifoft’s servers go down, and gamers are not able to play titles like Assassin’s Creed 2, The Settlers 7 and Silent Hunter 5.
We can understand that publishers are simply trying to look after their property and make sure that only paying customers can play their games, but the problem is that the likes of Assassin’s Creed 2 and Silent Hunter 5 eventually get cracked for the pirates and become freely available via torrent sharing networks.
This means that the people who are inconvenienced are those who actually paid money for the game. My copy of the Settlers 7 is often unplayable due to inexplicable difficulties when trying to connect to the Ubisoft servers. These problems seem to be particularly bad in remote regions such as Australia and South Africa.
Thanks to policies like this, many PC gamers are turning to consoles which remain free from such restrictions.
Well, according to IGN, if Capcom has its way, then console gamers may have less to gloat about in the near future. In order to curb game sharing, they are piloting an always online requirement, identical to that which is currently being in some new PC games.
The first game to use it will be Final Fight: Double Impact, a PSN game. The publisher will be monitoring the impact that this DRM has on sales, and make a decision going from there. “We are not committed to do this with all titles moving forward but the only way to evaluate impact was to try it with one title first,” says Capcom. They also point out that this has in fact been done before with Warhawk and SOCOM…both of which happen to be online only games, so the online component is integral to the gameplay.
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