More anti-DRM news, this time it comes courtesy of Good Old Games’ MD Guillaume Rambourg, who stated that piracy needs to stop being treated like the enemy and instead needs to be treated like competition. He also had unkindly things to say about DRM in general.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, Rambourg, speaking at the London Games Conference, stated that…
“Your customers hate DRM," ... "DRM is making companies feel safe while they handle some business, they are trying to protect their product and protect their sales, but the reality is very different”…"By putting DRM in your games you are working against your consumers, you are harming those you should cherish. It's only hurting your loyal consumers which is counter-productive."
Guillaume goes on to say that piracy makes it fast and easy to retrieve games digitally, and that’s where e-tailers and publishers should be focusing their efforts: to confront piracy as a competitor and not as an enemy.
The tactic is sound and makes a ton of sense, especially if you’re actually getting something noteworthy for the service. A lot of digital PC games cost $60 on release these days and still come packed with DRM, mostly leaving gamers questioning “What the heck did I just pay for?” especially when pirate groups out there offer the games with anti-DRM solutions that allow gamers to play their games offline or from any PC without the security hassles.
Steam has some decent measures in place that keeps their DRM running on stealth-mode at all times. You can basically download and play your games from any PC, laptop or Steam compatible device. And once you pay for the game, it’s yours to keep. The only thing you have to worry about with digital services are accounts being compromised, like what happened recently with Steam’s forums.
Still, Guillaume believes that the right path is the path of non-DRM. In fact, they’re using The Witcher 2 as an example of a fight against piracy. The GoG version of CD Projekt’s game (without DRM) sold just under 40,000 digital copies, which is more than what the game sold at most other digital services (apart from Steam) combined.
Rambourg wanted to leave publishers to think about this, though…
"You have to be as close to piracy as possible for ease of use for the consumers. Make it simple for them and you can turn the consumers to loyal fans. Protect your brands not your sales. "DRM free works and we know it. You have to create some emotional attachment. We bundle games with wallpapers, soundtracks, manuals, and it doesn't take a lot of your time and it makes consumers happy. “
Maybe all this advocating for anti-DRM measures has paid off already, because Ubisoft has definitely listened to some of the fan complaints and has the always-on DRM feature from Assassin’s Creed: Revelations removed (Cue slow clapping that leads into a standing ovation).