Game publishers have been wracking their collective think tanks trying to dream up ways to prevent piracy of their games. One of the more popular new ways of doing that is DRM software that ships with the actual games, requiring players to be online while playing the game. DRM is annoying for gamers that legitimately purchase the game because if their connection drops unexpectedly they’ll lose all progress. Also, they can’t play unless their online and that usually requires signing up for a special account, usernames, passwords, larger digital footprint, etc. Ubisoft has been shipping all of their PC games with DRM since last year, frustrating their legitimate customers while hackers easily cracked the copyright code. They even left a message, “Next time focus on the game and not on the DRM.”
Wired.com reported on comments made by Gabe Newell, CEO of game publisher Valve, to a tech conference last week, who said, “The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates.” In other words, focus on the game service, and not the DRM. Newell says that gamers pirate out of convenience, not finance. If publishers make their games more inconvenient, like Ubisoft has with its PC DRM, they’re more likely to be pirated. Case in point, 90% of people playing Ubisoft’s games are playing cracked pirated copies.