. .


Why DRM Sucks

April 14, 2011 15:31:58.000

Yet another example in the "What could possibly go wrong" files for DRM:

Thanks to a combination of DRM idiocy and technical and communications failures on the part of EA and Bioware, I (along with thousands of fellow EA/Bioware customers) spent my free time this past weekend needlessly trapped in troubleshooting hell, in a vain attempt to get my single-player game to load. The problem, it turns out, was the Bioware's DRM authorization servers, and as of Tuesday afternoon, the situation still is not resolved. For four days now, those of us who made the mistake of shelling out for Dragon Age:Origins (especially the Ultimate Edition) have been unable to play the single-player game that we paid for. And the unlucky souls who bought the game on Friday haven't yet seen it work properly.

DRM is a fairly complex scheme that makes a number of assumptions about how things should work. If anything breaks down along the way, you just get locked out of stuff you have a legal right to use. In my exercise room, I ended up setting up an ancient PC in order to share a connection with my XBox (the Wifi adaptor for the 360 is priced really stupidly). Why did I do this? Because a few months back, when I was playing ME2, I noticed that the game started demanding a connection in order to authorize DLC (and thus let me play).

THis all leads to very fragile systems, with end customers being on the short, irritated end of the stick. And for what, really? Go google for cracked versions of games, and you'll discover that they are easy enough to find. All DRM does is stand in the way of legitimate users. The people willing to steal are doing that anyway.

I should note that this specific DRM issue was fixed by EA, and DAO apparently works again. That doesn't change the facts though.

posted by James Robertson

 Share Tweet This