Christofer Sundberg, the founder of Avalanche Studios -- the studio behind the Just Cause series -- had some interesting things to say about the state of DRM, used games and battling piracy. While no one who has worked hard on a project wants to see their product pirated without seeing any returns, one thing that Sundberg believes is that DRM is almost worse by crippling gamers and making developers looking greedy in the process.
In an interview with Gamingbolt, Sundberg was asked a number of questions and his most interesting revolved aroudn the current trends of gaming, talking about DRM amidst the current SimCity scandal, saying...
“DRM solutions which limit the game experience should not exist. That’s my honest opinion,” ...“They make us look greedy, which we are not. It treats our fans like criminals, which they are not. With that said, I think that we deserve getting paid for years of hard work and I think piracy is hurting our ability to make great games.”
No arguments from me on that.
Sundberg goes on to further discredit all the greedy publishers out there who have been badgering the used game market...a market where gamers were at first led to believe that it was hurting their beloved developers. But it turns out that used games have no effect on all the development studios that have closed up shop over the years.
According to Sundberg...
“I’m actually really happy to see Just Cause 2 on the used-games shelves as it’s a rarity – hard to come by! Games are often returned to the stores, not because they are bad, but because they are too short, offer very little or no player autonomy and does not encourage exploration.
Right on, brother.
Now it's just too bad that other publishers just can't get the hint or refuse to look at things this way because the shareholders have their gonads twisted in a vice grip. It means that games like Tomb Raider get force-fed a shoehorned multiplayer mode that does nothing to add any value to the game whatsoever.
Sundberg is on the right track though with just about every other core gamer out there when it comes to the state of the game industry, noting that a fall is imminent if things keep up with their current direction...
“Nobody wins in the end; the developer can’t make the great experience that they want to, the publisher doesn’t get its money back and the consumer is disappointed. I am convinced that this mentality contributes to the downfall of the industry.”
Activision and EA might want to whip out the pad and pen for that, but I fear it may be too late if SimCity is any indication of EA's future releases for both PC and home consoles.