DRM run amok: how BioWare and EA are screwing users right now
is the Ars Technica headline that does not mask the author's frustration at having been locked out of playing Dragon Age: Origins since April 9th because BioWare's authentication servers are failing to let owners of the game play. [H]ard-OCP
notes that the problem (and lack of a solution) is addressed by BioWare in this thread
, where word is: "We're continuing to investigate, both here and at EA. We have some theories about what is occurring but no firm fix at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience and request your patience while our engineers continue working towards a solution." Ars notes that this game has been plagued by authentication problems since its launch, and goes on to express the following frustration:
It's not really upsetting me that much that I can't play DA:O on a weekday—that's probably for the better. And I'm not by any means opposed to DRM for games; indeed, there's an argument to be made that it's a legitimate response to ongoing piracy problems. No, my beef is with buggy, poorly-thought-out DRM schemes that have legit users sniffing around torrent sites to see if they can get their hands on a working copy of the game they paid for. The fact that DA:O has to reauthorize my DLC every time I log into the Bioware server is just nuts, and it sets users up for all sorts of problems. (On the client side, the authorization service that runs under Windows doesn't always start, so even if Bioware's servers are up, users can still face this problem.)
Then there's the fact that, again, EA/Bioware didn't address this issue for three whole days. For three days, users were locked out of a game that they paid for due to these server problems, and there was no notice posted. Not only that, but they either don't monitor the Bioware forums, or they don't care enough to participate in them, because no one from Bioware showed up during this period to even acknowledge the issue informally. This mix of incompetence and malicious neglect is startling to me, but it's apparently par for the course for these two companies.