Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
21 January 2009
Retail stores require DRM?
From Inside Mac Games News' quote of Sports Interactive's Miles Jacobson from an interview at

Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson recently spoke with about the problem of game piracy.
'I don't know whether there is a proper cure for piracy without a change in society, to be honest. There needs to be some kind of copy protection in your product otherwise retail aren't going to stock your product, so we do have to take some measures.'

That's the sentence from IMG's liberal quote that struck me the hardest. Is that accurate? Will stores not stock games without DRM? I wonder why this hasn't come up more during conversations about iTunes and DRM.

When asked about the 90 per cent piracy rate that Beautiful Game Studios has confirmed rival product Championship Manager suffers, Jacobson replied: 'It sounds about right to me.'

Wow. I mean, I know I played more pirated games than paid when I had a C=64, but I keep ignoring how bad the issue must be. I wonder what games would have WoW like sales if the DRM was as slick as theirs (ie, keep crucial portions of the game on the server, which is easier to protect -- and yes, like Steam).


--ruffin at 11:01
Comment [ 3 ]

Comments on this post:

You could get a pretty good guide to what sells in the (comparitive) absence of piracy by looking at console sales.

Also worth noting that despite the ready available of a piracy device for the DS, the largest current-gen console install base, DS game sales are extremely healthy across the board. Possibly because solid state DRM doesn't damage your hardware, report personal information, require online activation or interfere with your continued ownership of the product?

By Blogger Greg Tannahill, at 21 January, 2009 19:43  

You could get a pretty good guide to what sells in the (comparitive) absence of piracy by looking at console sales.

Perhaps, though I wonder if that wouldn't overcount the losses somewhat. The same as we have to ask ourselves how many pirated copies of the PC versions actually represent potential sales and how many are folk trying games because they're free, etc, yada yada, I wonder if the gaming community isn't more serious about games from the start.

Which is to inelegantly say that just as counting pirated copies of games as sales overcounts, so might counting console sales overcount, but there because you have people who have expressly purchased computers (their consoles) to play games?

DRM comments well said. ;^)

By Blogger ruffin, at 21 January, 2009 21:56  

I'd have no problem with online only games as long as the concept behind them was sound, i.e. if it is priced correctly for the limitations that would impose.

Say I guy God of War 3 for my PS3, but its only works while I'm online. That’s fine with me as long as they charge me $40 ONLY, not $60. There are all sorts of fair ways to do this, but it has to be fair to consumer too.

I just had a PS3 stolen. It would be awesome if the downloadable single player games I bough for that system were DISABLED for the idiot who robbed me. Hell, it would be awesome if I could BRICK that system for any use the second it appears online again. My point here is that even the consumer can get something out of”tighter” restrictions and more oversight. This doesn't just have to be something the corporations get something out of when it is in place. Hell I'd love to LOCK save files or even lock games so that other people like roommates don't screw up my saves or mess up my games.

And, you know what the honest person in me would actually find a great deal of satisfaction in games that cannot be pirated. The statistician who finds the NPD numbers interesting would also like to see REAL sales, real interest, and real player ship in game. That is one thing that I think these restrictions should bring: transparency. I’d like to know what Valves Steam service is selling. If I’m part of those statistics and Valve is using my data make then I want to know the results or if Steam wants to sell it PAY ME for allowing you to have that data. I’m not telling Valve not to profit off that data...but if they do share that with me they guy contributing.

By Blogger Lincoln, at 24 January, 2009 17:02  

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