Tuesday, March 23, 2010

EA not learning from Ubisoft's mistakes

It wasn't that long ago that I was writing about Ubisoft's abysmal DRM scheme, that makes their games unplayable if your internet connection isn't perfect (or if their servers go down). Well, it seems EA isn't learning from that mistake, as Command and Conquer 4 suffers from the same problems, where a hiccup in a network connection in a single-player game causes an expulsion of the game (and associated progress loss).

What is amazing to me is how the EA blogger that broke this news then goes on to justify this, by saying it's not fair to call it a "single-player game" since it's constantly uploading stats and downloading unlocks.

Excuse me? It's not fair to call a game that you play by yourself a "single-player game"? Oh, he thinks we should call it an online-only game, "which it basically is". Yeah, it basically is because of the obnoxious DRM installed with the game.

Oh, but wait. EA has a perfectly logical explanation: It's not DRM. See, it's a service. You can install the game on multiple computers, create multiple "Commander Personas" (save files?), play the same save from any computer, and even run the game without the game disc.

Really? Funny, I can do all of that with, say, Diablo 2 (well, with a "nocd" hack to play without the disc). If I want to play my saved game on another computer, I can copy the save files on a USB stick. No internet connection required.

Yes, EA. If you require me to connect to your server to play the game, that is DRM. You do get points for adding features to the service, but the service is still DRM. You can't just redefine it away.

1 comment:

Chris said...

And, Steam lets you do all that and MORE with Steam Cloud and their simple, unobtrusive Steamworks DRM.

Stupid EA/Ubisoft.