Blizzard: DRM is a Losing Battle

Frank Pearce, Blizzard co-founder and executive producer on StarCraft II, recently said in an interview that fighting PC game piracy with DRM is a losing battle. The drama that surrounds restrictive copy protection has been a thorn in gamers' sides for quite some time, some of which has led to unavoidable hard drive formats by legitimate game owners. Ubisoft is one of the more recent DRM enforcers in the spotlight, requiring that both online and offline games maintain an internet connection at all time in order to function.

However Blizzard doesn't want to take that route. If anything, there's some indication that the company wants to follow in Valve's footsteps by providing minimal restrictions on the PC's delicate structure while maintaining IP security by establishing a closed network. In this case, it's the new and improved Battle,net. As with games found on Steam, StarCraft II will require a one-time activation within the user's account and still have the ability to play offline.

"If we've done our job right and implemented in a great way, people will want to be connected while they're playing the single player campaign so they can stay connected to their friends on and earn the achievements on," Frank Pearce said. "The best approach from our perspective is to make sure that you've got a full-featured platform that people want to play on, where their friends are, where the community is."

Pearce believes that this approach will have more success than other invasive DRM methods. "If you start talking about DRM and different technologies to try to manage it, it's really a losing battle for us, because the community is always so much larger, and the number of people out there that want to try to counteract that technology, whether it's because they want to pirate the game or just because it's a curiosity for them, is much larger than our development teams," he added. "We need our development teams focused on content and cool features, not anti-piracy technology."

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is expected to (finally) launch on July 27.

  • IncinX
    Intrusive DRM is a losing battle. Nothing wrong paying for a good game.
  • omnimodis78
    IncinXIntrusive DRM is a losing battle. Nothing wrong paying for a good game.All forms of DRM are intrusive.
  • heman1320
    Good job Blizzard!!
  • culgor
    "DRM is a losing battle" says the company that isn't providing LAN support to their upcoming game.
  • Well least blizzard understands they can't win when it comes to DRM
  • IncinX
    omnimodis78All forms of DRM are intrusive.
    I would not consider Steam intrusive but it does have DRM. In fact, I like how Steam lets me install on any system so I can lose the discs and it's all good. I would go even further to say that Steam with it's DRM is better than buying a game on CD without DRM!

    While I concede that no form of DRM is unstoppable. There should be some level of protection preventing everyone from stealing it willy nilly. People work hard to create good games and unfortunately even the good games will be pirated and played over and over without being paid for. Not everyone believes in paying for things that are worth it.
  • invlem
    Steam is a great example of DRM designed in a way that it actually seen as a positive addition rather than something that detracts from the game experience.

    To get up to that level though, requires a large amount of funds and is much more difficult than say paying a company like securom to toss DRM into your game.
  • rocket_sauce
    As long as I can really own what I pay for (do whatever with I please with it, for however long I decide) I have no problem paying for it. Oh and lets not blame piracy for bad games ;)
  • mattclary
    StarCraft II will require a one-time activation within the user's account,every time you install it

    TFTFY. Phone home = DRM. Give me a simple disk check, or you can keep your freaking game.
  • cryogenic
    culgor"DRM is a losing battle" says the company that isn't providing LAN support to their upcoming game.
    They have nothing personal against you the gamer that wants' to play a LAN game with it's friends, on the contrary.

    The problem is that the LAN feature is used by 3rd party gaming platforms (like G-Arena and others) to offer their own match matching ladders, and they also monetize those services while allowing pirated copies of the game (sometimes the cracked versions are "required" in order to play).

    Blizzard is disallowing LAN in order to stop the huge amount of virtual network services to take over the game.

    Just deal with it, you can play with your friends over battle net too, not just in LAN, and battle net is more fun also, way more fun.