When a lot of people bought Diablo III the one thing they didn't think about was that they didn't own it, they were only leasing it from Blizzard. Good Old Games (usually referred to as GOG) isn't really feeling Diablo III's DRM because they say that it runs the danger of becoming historically void.
In an interview with UK site Games™, head of marketing and PR at GOG.com, Trevor Longino, speaks out about the dangers of always-on DRM for a single-player title, saying...
“I would say one of the downsides that is going to be really bad for games that have an always online requirement is that unless at some future date the person who made that game removes that constantly online requirement you won’t be able to have a service like GOG selling that game”... “So when you lose that online connection, “...” you lose a chunk of gaming history.”
It's a true-as-the-sky-is-blue fact. The problem is that always-on DRM is common in MMOs, it's something we've come to expect from those games. The service, however, enables players from all over the world to play together in one place. The difference here is that if you plan to play a game by yourself, always-on DRM prevents you from playing at your convenience, it carries with it all the facets, troubles, errors and hiccups associated with a widely popular MMO. What's more is that, as Longino points out, you can no longer sell that experience if the servers for that game are no longer in operation, which is true.
A lot of the games on Good Old Games are timeless classics, even the new titles they have on the site will probably go down in history as timeless classics (i.e., The Witcher 2.) The idea is to preserve a lot of the awesome games that helped shape (and continue to shape) the video game landscape. Embracing history is the best way to appreciate it, but that's not possible if the game is no longer available due to being server-side instead of client-side, as Longino states...
"Part of what GOG does is we preserve some of that history,"..."In ten years will the GOG of 2020 have a hard time trying to release games from 2012 simply because so many of them have an integral built in DRM in their structure?"..."That would be a shame I think."
And let's not just think that Diablo III is a one-off case, there are publishers looking at the success of a video game with a single-player component being sold as a service and not a product and eyeing the possibilities of that very same concept for their games. We're already seeing that with services such as Call of Duty Elite or Electronic Arts renting out multiplayer servers for Battlefield 3. The idea is to slowly strip away ownership rights in place of leasing non-tangible, non-sustainable services.
I truly hope more people become aware of what Diablo III aims to push into the gaming industry and instead of focusing on having fun for now gamers can think about what ownership rights they give up as consumers for the future.