Monday, September 15, 2008

Ironically, piracy control has itself gotten out of control

Not a long article, I know. Wednesday may bring something more substantial.

I just don't see what Electronic Arts was thinking. I can understand that a company would want to protect sales of their software by adding layers upon layers of anti-piracy measurements, but this recent implementation of Digital Rights Management is hurting everybody but the pirates.

For those who don't know, digital rights management (DRM for short) is a new security feature integrated into Will Wright's brainchild Spore. Basically, DRM limits how many times a particular copy of a game can be installed to three. That may work fine for some people, but imagine you have a habit of uninstalling software when you're done with it, then re-installing it later to play it over again. Well, Spore and DRM are here to throw a wrench into those plans. In order to install it a fourth time, you'll have to contact Electronic Arts directly, verify that you bought the game (That should be fun), and then get a new verification code in order to once again play a game you've already payed for. All this messing around with the enjoyment of honest, paying customers just to stop some pirates.

Well, it isn't working. In fact, Spore is ironically becoming the most pirated game in history. People are so upset with this whole DRM fiasco that, instead of going through all the legal channels, are just downloading the game illegally. It's easier, it's faster, and it's more reliable. Of course, I want you all to know I in no way condone piracy. On the other hand, though, I don't at all support what Electronic Arts is doing, either. It's wrong on both ends of the spectrum.

Since DRM seems to be doing nothing but increasing piracy, I have a shocking idea on how to fight back: Go back to the good ol' CD keys, and nothing more. That way everyone can legally enjoy the game easily and quickly. Sure, it won't stop piracy, but it will surely light up the Pirate Bay servers a whole lot less. Besides, I'd like to play my games, not endlessly fuss about registering them. Thanks.

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Kyle said...

Wow, that's pretty ridiculous...

Unknown said...

I wonder if you still have access to all the online content though, cause if you don't, it kinda takes the soul out of the game.