Square Enix sure knows how to rustle our jimmies. The recent instigator is Adam Sullivan, Square Enix America's Senior Manager of Business and Legal Affairs. In a discussion with TorrentFreak, Sullivant mentioned his beliefs on the incredibly controversial practice of Digital Rights Management (DRM) in video games.
We have a well-known reputation for being very protective of our IPs, which does deter many would-be pirates. However, effectiveness is notoriously difficult to measure — in short, we rely on the data available to us through our sales teams and various vendors, along with consumer feedback.
Sounds innocent enough, right? Sullivan wants his company to make money and when people download games without paying for them, the publishers lose out on possible sales. "The key to DRM is that it can't interfere with the customer's ability to play the game," he added.
There's only one problem with that, though: there many cases where DRM has interfered with the customer's ability to play the game. Whether its an always-online mode, routine internet checks, or other various methods of DRM, gamers have often cried foul, most recently with SimCity. It's still a little troubling to hear Sullivan say that DRM is here to stay, but hopefully he doesn't mean in the sense of "you're going to always have to be online for this single-player game and if you can't that's too damn bad" kind of manner.
Or you could, you know, make a game that's so good people will rush out to purcahse in order to support those who worked on it.