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id Software: 'Always-Connected' DRM Is "Better For Everybody"

Jonathan Lester
DRM, id Software

id Software: 'Always-Connected' DRM Is "Better For Everybody"

Ubisoft's controversial 'always-on' DRM that requires a constant internet connection to the Ubi servers while playing a singleplayer game proved to be singularly unpopular with the gaming populace. Despite the system threatening to make a comeback with Driver: San Fransisco and Blizzard's Diablo III, the general public opinion is that it's a genuine dealbreaker that would put many gamers off a PC purchase.

However, id Software have spoken out to defend the DRM, suggesting that it's "better for everybody" and that they would love to implement a similar system in future titles. We've got the full quotes after the break - and I can't wait to see what you make of it.

Speaking to Eurogamer at Quakecon last week, id Software's Artistic Director Tim Willits suggested that a constant internet connection allows developers to continually update and improve their games, but that it will take many major AAA titles to sway public opinion.

Diablo 3 will make everyone else accept the fact you have to be connected. If you have a juggernaut, you can make change. I'm all for that. If we could force people to always be connected when you play the game, and then have that be acceptable, awesome. In the end, it's better for everybody. Imagine picking up a game and it's automatically updated. Or there's something new you didn't know about, and you didn't have to click away. It's all automatically there. But it does take juggernauts like [Diablo 3] to make change.

I'm a big proponent of always connected. I'm always connected. Our fans are always connected. There will be a few people who will resent the fact you have to be online to play a single-player game. But it'll change.

Willits makes an interesting point about updates and community features - but it's time for you to make yours. Is a constant internet connection the next logical evolution of gaming? Or is it a grossly inconvenient dealbreaker? Have your say in the comments!

Add a comment6 comments
bitethis  Aug. 10, 2011 at 17:37

Dealbreaker when no internet means no single player gaming.
Epic fail - along with thinking Diablo 3 is a "juggernaut"

hurrakan  Aug. 10, 2011 at 17:43

I don't see how it can be "better" for me (the gamer) if my my Internet connection goes down, or I run out of bandwidth (I get 100GB per month for £35).

I already have this problem with Xbox Live Arcade. When you buy an XBL arcade game it is linked to your console (NOT your account). Now half of my games only work if I'm connected to Xbox Live - otherwise they revert to a trial version.

If I've paid for a game I should be able to play it whenever I want - regardless of whether I'm connected to the Internet or not. When I bought the game there was no mention of the fact that an Internet connection would be required!

Yes I know that game licenses can be transferred from one Xbox 360 to another - but many of my XBL games were bought on consoles that I had ages ago but later died. I'm currently onto my 4th or 5th Xbox 360.

Last edited by hurrakan, Aug. 10, 2011 at 17:44
gweem  Aug. 10, 2011 at 17:46

Willits can die in a fire.

Always on DRM is problematic for everyone, its not "better" at all. Internet connections aren't as reliable as what people think, if idiots like willits and ubisoft keep trying to push ahead with it soon enough we will end up having to crack every game to play it when you don't have internet connection.

Don't get me wrong in the case of D3 multi it is pretty important it stays online not for the sake of DRM but for the sake of maintaining online integrity with them selling items for real cash etc. The game lacking a single player like the previous 2 versions is whats sparking the hate which to be fair they have a point.

But for generic fps 9000 or super rpg XIVVIX, etc always online DRM is NOT the answer or magic bullet, I DONT want to be constantly connected to people or whoevers publishing the game, if I wanted that i'd get a facebook account and "like" them on it. If they want more people to go with "always connected" DRM then theyre going to find a lot more people pirating games. Ubisoft certainly found that out despite them calling otherwise.

flusteredpie  Aug. 10, 2011 at 17:50

Yeah, nice spin. Why do I need to be always online to receive auto updates? Surely it could wait until the next time I'm on and perform the update just as quietly? The truth of the matter is that this kind of DRM doesn't benefit the consumer - you're potentially removing my access to something I've paid for.

targetbsp  Aug. 10, 2011 at 18:11

I recently bought a Ubisoft game forgetting it had that DRM. Whilst it may have had issues in the early days, I didn't even notice it. It's no more intrusive than having to logon to ea's server to continue your bioware RPG save games that use DLC!

mightybobbin  Aug. 10, 2011 at 18:57

I'd like always-on internet, where can I get this?

Also @hurrakan: I don't think you need to have access to your old consoles to transfer licences, there's an online tool here. All you need is your new console and your gamertag. I think you're limited to doing it like once a year though, so make sure this is the Xbox you want!


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