Monday, September 8

on drm aka spore failed

I've read all kinds of rants online about Digital Rights Management, or DRM for short. Two things I got impressed about regarding this, were a slashdot signature (that said DRM is managing your digital rights in the same way a jail manages your freedom) and the idea that DRM is basically an anti-feature (concept best explained here).
More than that, vendors endorsing it risk burning themselves by quietly selling DRM-embedded products, as potential customers automatically vote against it, with their wallets. You can bet your customers will not make an informed decision, but that only works for short-term gains, as customers have a long memory.

Today it's the first time I've seen an expression of the second part of that, in the amazon comments page for the game Spore; Spore was a much awaited game, promising the kind of game-play change brought forth by Black & White or Doom. Unfortunately, it comes with a DRM saying the game is not yours; you pay 50$ for it, then are allowed to reinstall it three times, before they pull the plug on you.

In short, you RENT it for up to three uses, for 50$. to give a comparison term, I bought The Orange Box online, through Steam, for less. That comprised three games, all of them excellent, that I'm still enjoying. More than that, I've reinstalled my system a few times, and whenever I reinstall Steam, the games are available to me (and already payed for).

On Amazon's page for the game, all comments I've read state clearly that paying 50$ for basically renting the game is not worth it, especially when you have no control over the renting agreement.

There may be comments I haven't read on the site, but still, the message is pretty clear:

EA, stop treating potential customers as pirates!

First, you will loose sales.

Second, locks are there to keep honest people out. Using the DRM conditions you use, is just bringing pain to potential customers.

If you really want to use an online distribution platform, for heaven's sake, use Steam (or something similar).

Third, if you're hell-bent on renting the game instead of selling it, state so clearly on the box.

I'm tired ranting ... back to work :)

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