Developers Sound Off on ‘Always On’ Game Requirements

In what can only be described as an awesome feature, Eurogamer polls developers on games that require a constant connection in order to play. The article, "Error 37: The future of always-online," offers the opinions from several developers on the issue including Chris Delay, founder of Introversion; Jeremiah Slaczka, CEO of 5th Cell; Christofer Sundberg, boss of Avalanche Studios; Alex Hutchinson, creative director of Assassin's Creed 3 at Ubisoft; Chris Lewis, Microsoft's European Xbox chief; Bethesda marketing chief Pete Hines; Ivan Buchta, creative director, Bohemia Interactive; and D Projekt Red marketing chief Michal Platkow-Gilewski.

The general consensus is that games should only require a constant connection if there is a purpose to that connection:

Chris Delay, founder of Darwinia studio Introversion, does not like the idea and thinks Blizzard's Battle.net requirement is all about DRM. 5th Cell CEO Jeremiah Slaczka sees this requirement as a way to put game storage online and as a way to mitigate piracy and cheating. Christofer Sundberg of Avalanche Studios sees the benefits of using this method for offering worlds that continue playing and growing even when you are no longer playing it. Think SimCity. On the other hand he also sees it as an excuse to limit second-hand sales or prevent piracy.

Alex Hutchinson, creative director on Assassin's Creed 3 at Ubisoft thinks the technology is fine if it isn't forced into a product and has some important use related to the game it is being implemented in. Chris Lewis, Microsoft's European Xbox chief believes that there must always be a choice for players to play offline or online. Pete Hines, marketing chief at Bethesda thinks that, unless your game is an MMO, forcing players to be online is a bad idea.

Ivan Buchta, creative director at Bohemia Interactive sees "always on" as a bad idea because the developer in question will be expected to offer connected services that are pretty much flawless. Blizzard learned this lesson first-hand with the launch of Diablo III. Finally, CD Projekt RED marketing chief Michal Platkow-Gilewski repeated what the company has always said about always on and DRM schemes – they are bad for customers.

Ultimately everyone Eurogamer managed to talk to seemed to dislike the idea of always connected games. At the end of the day they all believe that players should always have a choice of playing online or offline and that such a requirement should be limited to games that are played exclusively online.

You can read all of these developer comments at Eurogamer.

Source: Eurogamer

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