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 Battle.net 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 Battle.net and earn the achievements on Battle.net," 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.