Who Said DRM Is Necessary For Video Games? Not According To These Execs…
from the how-dare-they! dept
There have been a variety of highly questionable stories over the past few months claiming that piracy was somehow killing the PC gaming industry — even as stats were showing that the industry is actually thriving. A lot of this came to a head over the last month, with the EA Spore fiasco — with folks in the comments still insisting that EA had no choice and that video game companies somehow need to include DRM or they would go out of business. That’s clearly not the case for a variety of reasons: (1) no DRM actually stops piracy so if piracy is costing game companies, the DRM isn’t making much of a difference and (2) companies like Stardock have shown for a long time that you don’t need DRM to be a success. Recently, we heard about execs from two more video game companies hitting back and explaining why DRM isn’t needed.
The business model of putting bits in a box and charging to experience said tasty bits is forever broken. Furthermore, to prevent the copying of bits is futile and ultimately destructive to the goal of any modern digital business, which is to conscript enthusiastic ‘users’, and from them, customers….
Money can’t buy you love, but love can bring you money. In software the only sustainable way to earn money is by first creating love, and then hoping that some folks want to demonstrate that love with their dollars….
DRM takes a big poo on your best customers — the ones who’ve given you money — whilst doing nothing practical to prevent others from ‘stealing’ your precious content juices. Worse, it makes these renegades feel nice and righteous about sticking it to ‘the man’. Stop trying to persuade people to love you more by hitting them a rusty pipe. Put down the pipe, and give up on DRM.
Then, reader Tyler Hipwell alerts us to an interview with the founders of Good Old Games, a video game company that sells old, out-of-print PC games for very low prices… and without DRM. Basically, the company recognizes the marketplace it’s in and doesn’t freak out about DRM or piracy (like so many others in the video game space):
“The games we offer are probably already easy to get on torrent sites, but we believe gamers would prefer to buy their products legitimately than pirate them. They just need a good reason to buy those games and we give them those reasons by selling games at low prices, optimized to run on modern operating systems and adding great bonus materials.”
Not treating your customers as criminals? Giving them reasons to buy? Providing extra reasons to pay? Pricing the games reasonably? According to some video game companies, those are all impossible.