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Op Ed

All Aspect Warfare developer blog #14 - The DRM Minefield.
The key to DRM for developers/publishers is that the longer it takes for hackers to break the game, the more chances you have of actually making some additional money on the game. There is no such thing as a casual pirate anymore. At least not since everyone discovered the Internet and Google. So DRM implementation is not about preventing uncle Tom from making a copy of your game for your cousin Harry. Tom doesn’t need to crack your game in order to make that copy for Harry when he can just go online and get it from someone who already has done the job for him. Heck, Harry can probably do it all by himself. Casual piracy is no farther than a trip to a search engine.

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18. Re: Op Ed Jul 14, 2009, 23:17 zee
As much as I am generally against DRM. That is a pretty reasonable approach. As long as the developer can ensure that DRM causes:
1. No Hardware and Software incompatibilities. (e.g. it won't run on this DVD drive -- or -- it won't start if you have Visual Studio installed)
2. It doesn't slow down the game with checks.
3. It doesn't slow down the computer or disable functionality when I am not playing the game. (e.g. just because Nero can be used to copy DVDs doesn't mean you should disable it when I want to burn my pictures to a DVD.)
4. It doesn't suddenly stop working because I reinstalled the game or my internet connection went down.

The fundamental reason why most people hate DRM is because it is usually slapped on at the last minute and significantly increases the risk of things not working properly for absolutely no benefit whatsoever for the gamer. Sure 9 out of 10 everything works dandy. But having to go to a hacker's site to get a game working properly, leaves the distinct impression that the hackers are providing the higher quality product.

It would be actually an interesting experiment to sell two version of the same game one with and one without DRM at let say a 8 dollar difference and see how many people by the cheaper DRM version on how many the more expensive without. This put a dollar figure of how much DRM reduces the actual perceived value of the product.
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