Bohemia Interactive, the developers behind the ArmA series amongst others, have revealed a somewhat worrying statistic that for every 3 legitimate players they view jumping into their multiplayer games, there are 100 attempts from pirated copies.
'Our statistics from multiplayer show that for every three legitimate buyers playing their game in multiplayer, there are 100 (failed) attempts to play with a pirated version,' said Španěl. 'This indicates that piracy is an extremely widespread problem on PC, and it's also really worrying for us as a mid-sized, independent, PC-oriented developer. We do not have any such data for single-player, but I'm afraid there the ratio of pirates to legitimate gamers is undoubtedly much worse.'
But Bohemia do incorporate a form of DRM into their games, including the popular ArmA series, utilising a system called DEGRADE which does not affect the experience of paying consumers at all, but rather negatively impacts on that of pirated versions. Copies purchased through the online store are DRM-free.
'In the ARMA series, players with pirated copies have lower accuracy with automatic weapons in both single player and multiplayer, and occasionally turn into a bird with the words 'Good birds do not fly away from this game, you have only yourself to blame.' While we know we will never stop piracy, we use this as a way to make our stand that piracy is not right, that it has a serious negative impact on PC games developers.'
This form of unorthodox DRM was a conscientious decision on the part of Bohemia to try and reduce alienation whilst still appealing to distributors and publishers. [PC Gamer]