Ubisoft has won no fans with its insistence on using anti-consumer DRM measures in its PC games, but the European publisher doesn't want it to be that way. In fact, digital boss Chris Early thinks DRM's days are numbered, just as soon as PC games offer better value.
Oh, and if you think he means, "Better value for customers so that they buy more games," you're dead wrong. He means better value for his company. DRM will go away when more gamers pay the piper.
"Is it fair for someone to enjoy our content without us receiving some value for that? I think at the core of that is, no," he told Eurogamer. "Otherwise, other than works of charity, there would be few games made. The balance, however, is, how do we do anything about that and not harm the person who is giving us value for that?
"That’s been the delicate balance that the industry has walked over time. It continues to be one that we grapple with as an industry. How do we create content and receive good value for that, and at the same time, not inconvenience the player who has given us value there?"
I think it's hilarious that Ubisoft, the company that has no qualms about selling $13.00 PSN games for $39.99, would complain about value. Or things being fair. Or expecting pity in any way, when it consistently has shown nothing but contempt for its own consumers. Still, Mr. Early believes he's found the "value" in PC gaming, and you can guess what it is, right?
Correct! MMO business models!
"The question is, with enough on-going content development, content release, engagement at the community level, can we create that kind of MMO value system? I think we can. As the rest of the game industry continues to evolve, the more you hear more about cloud gaming, the more you hear about companion gaming, the less a pirated game should work in all of that environment. So, therefore the value of that pirated content becomes less."
I just don't know why Ubisoft bothers. For the past two years, it has both claimed that its DRM works, and complained about massive piracy levels, blissfully unaware of the conflicting nature of those two statements. It doesn't seem to like PC gamers, and some of its port jobs have been pitiful at best.
All told, Ubisoft should just give up on PC development, rather than cynically follow the MMO route like so many other companies that think they'll copy Blizzard and duplicate its success.
Seriously Ubi, just walk away and we'll give you a safe passageway in the wastelands. Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror.