With the controversy surrounding Spore’s DRM reaching a fever pitch, Edge Online Editor Colin Campbell argues for calm and disputes some of the current theories about the relationship between DRM and piracy:
The anti-DRM crowd. They have a point, but then it gets lost by mob-insanity… They get mad about EA only offering three installs for Spore. I don’t know many people who install games on three computers, but I dare say it’s a few. EA says 1%. OK. That’s a significant number of people, all in all. They ought to be offered some more options…
I agree that the DRM solutions currently in use are often frustrating and damage publishers. They need to be improved. Customers need to be heard. Action needs to be taken. EA needs to address these issues one by one.
But there’s also a nasty sort of relativism going on here, that is weakening the position of those protestors who have a genuine grievance… And this mob-pandering argument that DRM encourages piracy? Please. What encourages piracy is dishonesty. Either you’re the sort of cheap f**k who wants something for nothing, or you’re not.
GP: For my money, Edge Online is among the top tier of video game news sites, but I can’t get behind Colin on this one. In regard to the issue regarding the number of installs, here’s a snippet of something I wrote this week for the Philadelphia Inquirer about my own gaming experience:
If you change PC’s or you are the type who keeps games for a long time and re-installs them periodically, you could be in for trouble. For example, I’m still playing EA’s Battlefield 1942 five years after release. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve deleted and reinstalled the game.