Refenes wrote a well thought-out post on his personal blog comparing the effects of piracy and DRM. He's of the mindset that implementing DRM is nothing more than a surefire way for publishers and developers to shoot themselves in the foot.
"Companies try to combat piracy of their software with DRM but if loss due to pirated software is not calculable to an accurate amount does the implementation of DRM provide a return on investment? It is impossible to say yes to this statement."
He went on to state: "the reality of our current software age is the internet is more efficient at breaking things than companies are at creating them. A company will spend massive amounts of money on DRM and the internet will break it in a matter of days in most cases. When the DRM is broken is it worth the money spent to implement it? Did the week of unbroken DRM for your game gain you any sales from potential pirates due to the inability to pirate at launch? Again, there is no way of telling and as such cannot be used as an accurate justification for spending money."
Rather, Refenes feels that the key to mitigating piracy lies within the game makers themselves.
"Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do to actively stop their game from being pirated. I do believe people are less likely to pirate your software if the software is easy to buy, easy to run, and does what is advertised. You can’t force a person to buy your software no more than you can prevent a person from stealing it. People have to WANT to buy your software, people have to WANT to support you."
Refenes ended his post with some sage-like advice: "Respect your customers and they may in turn respect your efforts enough to purchase your game instead of pirating it."
Hope you were taking notes, EA.
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