GAMING BLEND

Former EA CEO: PS4, Xbox One Always-On DRM Will Not Succeed Long-Term

By William Usher 2013-05-25 15:13:59 discussion comments
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It might be somewhat surprising reading a guest article from former Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello (haven't typed his name since he resigned) and actually agreeing on some points. He tiptoes over a few issues, but still makes it known that the long-term effects of always-on DRM will not make for long-term success.

Destructoid spotted the article on Kotaku which has already gained some measure of notoriety.

Cutting through the typical business marketing jargon and jumping right to the meat and potatoes of the dish, Riccitiello wrote that...
The question of the always-on connection is one that causes some gamers’ blood to boil. Gamers will want, and learn to love, the good parts of consoles being more connected to our digital lives than was possible with the machines launched eight years ago.

Some gamers fear the new consoles could be more about a DRM-walled garden than about enabling new types of connected gameplay. More about squashing second-sale (used games) than allowing us to play the games we own at our friends houses, in dorms or at home, without having to bring the disk with us. I don’t believe consoles managed as walled-gardens will succeed longer term.

I don't ever see the corest of core gamers conceding to an “always-connected” digital society. Heck, I'll be fighting against always-on DRM straight into my grave, with a keyboard strapped to my hands while being rolled into a coffin to warn the very last of the last freedom fighters about the dangers of an always-connected, always-on infrastructure.

Nevertheless, I can see a lot of casual gamers going for conciliated convenience as opposed to contesting many of these anti-consumer conditions.

Heck, even now there are some gamers shrugging off the Xbox used game fees, daily check-in and Kinect listening just until they can see the games at E3. I mean, really? You're willing to give up all your rights as a consumer, as a product owner, as a gamer just for a glimpse at a few exclusives?

On the up and up, Riccitiello at least makes it equally known that the long-term effects of always-on DRM (or in this case, a used game fee) could be far more damaging to Sony and Microsoft if they don't check and balance their initiatives.

Right now, the polls heavily favor the PlayStation 4 versus the Xbox One, with IGN's poll showing 76% of gamers being disappointed with the Xbox One and GameSpot's global Twitter poll showing 88% of support for the PS4 while only 12% are showing support for the XB1. Heck, even the Wii U saw a boost in sales from the Xbox One's policies being outed.

Whether or not poll results will translate into console sales is a completely different matter, but hopefully Microsoft and Sony actually follow Riccitiello's advice – strange as that might sound – and forfeit any of their long-term goals for DRM and prevention of traditional methods of trading and selling games.
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