DRM "Essential" Says Square Enix


Controversial digital rights management (DRM) technologies are essential for doing business, Square Enix's senior manager in business and legal affairs, Adam Sullivan, has said.

“The primary benefit to us is the same as with any business: profit,” Sullivan told TorrentFreak. “We have a well-known reputation for being very protective of our IPs, which does deter many would-be pirates." However, he went on to say that the effectiveness of DRM is "notoriously difficult to measure." 

While aimed at preventing piracy, DRM measures are often criticised for interfering with the experience of those who legitimately purchase games. Requirements to always be connected to a network in order to play singleplayer games, as was the case with Maxis' latest SimCity game until recently, have been partcularly controversial. When it was originally announced, Microsoft planned for Xbox One to have an always-online requirement, but changed their stance prior to the system's release due to harsh backlash.

Some developers, like The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red, have taken a strong stance against DRM. Last October, they announced that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on PC will have no DRM of any kind. "We’ve fiddled with DRM in the past (Oh boy! How young and naïve we were;)) and that’s enough. Lesson learned," said Marcin Iwinski, co-founder and joint CEO of CD Projekt Red, at the time.

“The key to DRM is that it can’t interfere with the customer’s ability to play the game,” Sullivan said. “It’s not uncommon for people to get a new computer every few years, or to have multiple computers. Sometimes they don’t have reliable internet connections. There’s no perfect solution yet.”

Despite these problems, DRM is here to stay, according to Sullivan. "I think DRM will be essential for the foreseeable future,” Sullivan said. “So long as we’re concerned about things like data privacy, accounting sharing and hacking, we’ll need some form of DRM."


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Comments Comments (7)

Posted by OriginalSin
On Friday 18 Apr 2014 9:51 AM
*Insert CDPR fanboy post here*

I'm all for developers protecting their assets but some of the ways some of them choose to do it are really obnoxious.
Posted by Durty Driscoll
On Friday 18 Apr 2014 3:22 PM
DRM is never essential. Compelling, well made games are.
Posted by Shoel
On Sunday 20 Apr 2014 10:20 AM
Having DRM is like kicking your paying customers in the teeth. Pirates either bypass the DRM or skip the game, either way pirates don't pay. So why make your paying customers suffer?
Posted by reavers
On Monday 21 Apr 2014 12:40 PM
I do see how annoying it can be, however the issue can be reduced if using (for example) Steam, most people are connected to the internet and has incentives such as 'achievements' etc; but they can still play offline.

TLDR: They just need to find a way that won't make it a pain in the ass for gamers lol
Posted by Goonertron
On Tuesday 22 Apr 2014 8:15 AM
The only DRM that stops pirates is when you store the assets online like Diablo 3 and Sim City. Otherwise you are just delaying eventual cracking of the game by a couple of days. Square should just abandon the PC as next gen hasn't been cracked (yet)
Posted by Goonertron
On Tuesday 22 Apr 2014 8:17 AM
18 April 2014, 09:51 AM Reply to OriginalSin
*Insert CDPR fanboy post here*

I'm all for developers protecting their assets but some of the ways some of them choose to do it are really obnoxious.
It makes sense that CDPR are against DRM because they made their initial riches by illegally translating and selling well known PC games in the 90's.
Posted by Bappernz
On Friday 25 Apr 2014 1:24 PM
i just wish people would stop pirating games, then DRM would go away