Copy protection that requires PC gamers to remain online at all times has already garnered criticism from both users and the press. But now, an executive from one of the big publishers implementing such a digital rights management scheme has spoken out, and he doesn't sound too thrilled, either.
EA.com editor in chief Jeff Green posted several Twitter updates to express his disappointment with the DRM in EA's Command & Conquer 4. Just like recent Ubisoft titles, this EA game boots players off if their Internet connection happens to go down—something Green didn't much care for after his DSL started acting up. Here are some of his Tweets in chronological order:
Booted twice--and progress lost--on my single-player C&C4 game because my DSL connection blinked. DRM fail. We need new solutions.
5:25 PM Mar 20th via web
Yeah, Steam's ability to have off-line play is the clear, better model when talking about SP games.
5:33 PM Mar 20th via web
However, C&C4 experiments w/what a "single-player game" is--given it's constantly uploading progress/stats for unlocks. It's complicated.
5:37 PM Mar 20th via web
I think if we think of C&C4 as an "online-only" game--which it basically is--then maybe we'd adjust our expectations accordingly.
5:48 PM Mar 20th via web
Welp. I've tried to be open-minded. But my 'net connection is finicky--and the constant disruption of my C&C4 SP game makes this unplayable.
2:03 AM Mar 21st via web
Green may have a point about Steam. Though Valve's service does tie games to online accounts, it includes an offline mode and doesn't pester users if their connection happens to drop mid-game. Some third-party games distributed through Steam, like Infinity Ward and Activision's Modern Warfare 2, have adopted Steam's built-in copy protection scheme. A good number of other titles distributed through Steam impose an extra layer of DRM usually intended for physical copies. (Thanks to CrunchGear for the tip.)