The video game industry continues to find new and creative ways to stick it to PC gamers.
In the latest example, EA has announced that the much-anticipated Command & Conquer 4 will require players to constantly be connected to the Internet, even for single-player campaigns.
That requirement, however, violates one of the basic tenets of the Gamer's Bill of Rights, a document released at PAX 08 by Stardock CEO Brad Wardell and Gas Powered Games CEO Chris Taylor. EA, however, is not a signatory to the Bill of Rights. No surprise there.
Specifically, the C&C4 requirement violates this point:
Gamers shall have the right to demand that a single-player game not force them to be connected to the Internet every time they wish to play.
Ars Technica reports comments on the connection requirement made by EA Community Leader "APOC":
As of right now, you need to be online all the time to play C&C 4. This is primarily due to our 'player progression' feature so everything can be tracked. C&C 4 is not an MMO in the sense of World of Warcraft, but conceptually it has similar principles for being online all the time.
While some may be taken aback by this, we've been testing this feature internally with all of our world-wide markets. We wanted to make sure it wouldn't take away any significant market or territory from playing the game. We have not found or seen any results that have made us think otherwise...
GP: This smells like backdoor DRM from here. Even if it's not, what if you're on a laptop? What if you're on an airplane? What if your Internet connection is down?
As a longtime PC gamer who has owned every version of the C&C and Red Alert games, this just sucks.
There is perhaps a glimmer of hope in APOC's comments. We note that he starts off with "As of right now..." Does that mean that this gamer-unfriendly policy is subject to change?
It's time for PC gamers to make some noise about this nonsense.