This is not advocacy or slander on those who pirate. Far from it. This is simply a look at how one company seems to have averted the typical issue of avoiding piracy, which maxamises the legal-digital sales and retail sales of their AAA title. There is one way in particular that they have done this, which I will address in the next paragraph. The interesting thing though about this method of avoiding piracy is what it could mean for the future of video games.
Diablo III has been in the making for a long time. So long in fact, that many fans of the original games had started to doubt that it would ever see the light of day. Projects whose development cycles normally take this long face developmental issues with the advancing of the platform they are made for, licensing issues or internal studio issues which prevent them from coming to full fruition. So when this game is realeased, the fact that they implement an 'online play' only condition in order to play the game, people go mad. They lose their sh*t and start raving and ranting about their rights as human beings and gamers, and how it just the 'suits' behind these companies maximising their profits.
'Hack and Slash your way to VICTORY'
Shut up, I say to those people. If people are out there stealing your work for nothing, after spending so much money to create the product in the first place, I say that you should feel free to undermine their efforts, as long as it does not go to far (DRM). What Blizzard has done, is keep a whole load of game assests server side, which forces the player to connect to that server in order to play the game. It also forces the player to use a legitimate Key Code to access that server, insuring that each player has a unique, purchased copy of the game. Unless someone goes through the massive effort to emulate a server, then the system works.
The consesus is that Diablo III is a brilliant game. It has recieved glowing reviews and many people are lauding it (in May which is not even half way through the year) as GOTY. So one could argue that by creating such an emmersive experience, the purchaser could sacrafice a little bandwith to play the game and help Blizzard keep the pirates at bay (DOES ANYONE SEE WHAT I DID THERE).
'This picture is the man you just made richer. Didn't he deserve it?'
Now, this is not to say that every game could employ these methods. A game with a linear single player that could quite resonably have all their assests on the disk should, in my opinion, be playable offline (See Ubisoft). Yes, pirates can work their 'crack' magic on them, but if the game is good enough then it will sell legally also. OR make your games for the consoles which are harder to pirate for (I'm waiting to be flamed now). However, there are games such as Diablo III that can justify having a dedicated server, which can use their online assests to make it almost impossible to pirate the game. If you head over to a torrent site (WHICH I AM NOT SUGGESTING) and look up a Diablo III torrent, you'll see a lot of trolling in the comments over people begging for a crack!
To wrap up in short summary, if you don't want piracy, then incorporate online elements into your game which means you can have server side assests!
Your friendly neighbourhood,
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