Funnily enough, the people who are anti-DRM, PC-based and working on the highly anticipated game, Cyberpunk, will be distributing Diablo III in Poland. And if it were up to them, yes they would make an offline mode for Diablo III but since it's not up to them, they'll be distributing Diablo III in all its DRM glory.
In a two-part interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwinski spoke openly about their upcoming cyber-punk RPG called Cyberpunk, as well as how they'll be approaching DRM, especially always-on DRM which is something the industry wants to move forward with.
Ultimately always-on DRM strips gamers of their last rights to own a product. We've seen this implemented in Diablo III and it's also coming to SimCity. Gamers who have an ounce of common sense see this as the end-times for mainstream gaming, because ultimately you'll no longer be able to play games when you feel like it. Instead, you'll only be able to play when corporations allow you to...just like with Diablo III.
Regarding the always-on DRM, Iwinski states that...
With Diablo, we were discussing it a lot internally. Actually, we’re going to be the Polish distributor of Diablo III. We’re launching it soon. And so, with Diablo III, people complain [about DRM] on forums and things, but they still go out and buy it. And I’m one of those people. [laughs]
The real reason Diablo III has always-on is for the Real-Money Auction House. You can't really avoid it properly since it's always there, and whenever you play there will always be the option to auction off some high level gear, assuming you have a Paypal account and an authenticator.
Blizzard's hobo-quality excuse for the always-on was to prevent item duping and hacking, but well, item duping and hacking still happened anyway. For the fanboys who think always-on was to prevent piracy, it didn't matter, the game broke records in PC sales anyway making Blizzard close to half-a-billion dollars in just a month's time. In other words, regardless of pirates Blizzard was making money from people who were already planning on buying the game in the first place.
Circling back around to Iwinski's comments...I tend to find that there's something horribly troubling about the lackadaisical approach to the always-on DRM in Diablo III, especially from a company who was proud about their own DRM-free version of The Witcher 2 being pirated less than the SecuROM version.
But then again, let's not forget that before being all pro-pirate and anti-DRM, CD Projekt was once in the bad PR spotlight for hunting down and trying to sue potential pirates, as reported by Shack News.
Learning from the err of their ways, CD Projekt is now on a pro-consumer path to redemption and are doing a decent job of it by stomping out popular industry misconceptions and prompting for pro-consumer gaming commerce.
Iwinski goes on to say that...
A lot of people in the industry – they want to put their worlds and experiences online because it enhances the life cycle of the product and people spend more time with it. That’s where the industry’s going, and we can already see it at this show. A lot of online games with lots of people talking about DLC.
Well yeah, a lot of people play online, but then a lot of people play offline, too. Herp, derp.
It's like saying "Well, a lot of families watch movies on Netflix, therefore they probably won't want to watch movies on DVD anymore." Just because people like watching movies on Netflix doesn't mean everyone turned into a yuppie with a head full of pink slushy fluid where they no longer want to own movies on DVD or Blu-Ray. In the world of Douchinomics that's how the world operates, but not everyone has a Ph.D in Douchinomics.
Anyways, the entire last couple of paragraphs from Iwinski feels like an apologist's explanation of why Blizzard did what they did and how it's working [for some gamers]. Of course, though, CD Projekt is distributing Diablo III and how could he talk down on a product that's also going to make them a lot of money?
You can read the entire interview over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.