In a refreshing break from the standard video game industry propaganda, a pair of maverick PC developers offer some straight talk on DRM to Gamasutra’s Paul Hyman.
Ron Carmel of 2D Boy (World of Goo) believes that the major publishers are beginning to back off on the use of DRM following consumer outrage over its use in games like Spore:
I definitely believe this is all the result of a change in the public perception of DRM, a sort of grass roots uprising. Gamers are much more vocal about it than they used to be, perhaps because they are so accustomed to downloading music without too many restrictions.
But Carmel also relates DRM to the battle over used game sales currently being waged between video game publishers and retailers:
Publishers aren’t stupid. They know that DRM doesn’t work against piracy. What they’re trying to do is stop people from going to GameStop to buy $50 games for $35, none of which goes into the publishers’ pockets. If DRM permits only a few installs, that minimizes the number of times a game can be resold.
Although, to be fair, there doesn’t appear to be much of a secondary market for PC games among retailers. Consumer-to-consumer channels like Ebay may be a different story. Brad Wardell of Stardock added:
Spore was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. Someone who buys software does not want to be made to feel like a chump for buying it.
Not surprisingly, the Entertainment Software Association, which lobbies on behalf of publishers, argued in support of DRM. VP Ric Hirsch told Gamasutra:
DRM is a reasonable response to high piracy rates… There is little doubt that piracy would be far more widespread without game publishers’ use of DRM.