Like any good geek, I like computer games. I’m not obsessed by them (the image of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons serves as a powerful deterrent) but I do enjoy the occasional play. And I certainly have the disposable income to buy a new title when it comes out.
Except that I haven’t bought a new game in years. Ubisoft’s official explanation about their “always on” digital rights management system is a good example why. A company that needs to know every time I am playing, a game that kicks me out of my Internet connection drops momentarily… why would I want to pay good money for that? Come to think of it, why would I even want something like that for free on my computer?
The answer is, I don’t.
I have no statistics to prove it, but I think DRM does far more harm than good. It may (or may not) deter piracy. On the other hand, I bet that the number of customers alienated and put off by DRM far exceeds the number of those who suddenly see the light and, as a result of DRM, start paying for stuff they previously stole. So the net result may very well be a decrease in sales.
Perhaps one of these days, software, especially game software companies will come to their senses again and realize this. Until then, I’ll just enjoy the occasional shootout with some heavily pixelated aliens in Duke Nukem.