CD Projekt Red are not the only company that thinks DRM is bad for the industry, Ubisoft also shares a similar opinion. The Witcher 3 devs recently stated that gamers “are not criminals and they do not need DRM.” Now Ubisoft steps forth and says that digital rights management are punishing paying players while also admitting that this system will not stop games from being pirated. The company’s Vice President of digital publishing Chris Early had a conversation with Gamespot in which these important aspects were discussed.
“What becomes key for us is making sure we’re delivering an experience to paying players that is quality,” Early explains. “I don’t want us in a position where we’re punishing a paying player for what a pirate can get around. Anything is going to be able to pirated given enough time and enough effort to get in there. So the question becomes, what do we create as services, or as benefits, and the quality of the game, that will just have people want to pay for it?” He followed by saying that “I think it’s much more important for us to focus on making a great game and delivering good services. The reality is, the more service there is in a game, pirates don’t get that. So when it’s a good game and there’s good services around it, you’re incentivized to not pirate the game to get the full experience.”
A few years ago Ubisoft had a terrible reputation for having the worst DRM system in the industry. The company dropped the old system back in 2012 and now has a new policy that only requires you to go online when you first install one of their games. Coincidence or not, Ubisoft started to become much more popular since then and are now getting the respect they deserve from gamers. Not that they didn’t deserve it before, but there were certainly a lot of mixed feelings because of the whole DRM thing. Hopefully more and more companies will come the conclusion that punishing paying customers for something that pirates do isn’t a solution. Furthermore, things like digital rights management provide a challenge to crackers and systems such as these only provide more practice to them at the end of the day.
Companies like CD Projekt Red and Ubisoft are learning to deal with this issue in creative ways and it’s definitely paying off so let’s hope that others can learn from them as well.