DRM responsibly.

Because so many companies have done DRM wrong, some people have begun to consider DRM completely evil, and that it should be boycotted out of principle. Now, I’ll be the first to say that DRM such as SecureROM which is only a single patch away from hijacking computers with nothing users can do about it, and Ubisoft’s little ‘must stay online constantly’ program are evil, and should be shunned and probably given the stink eye. Also, burned.

However, not all DRM is bad. If you consider it’s actual intended purpose is not to hurt gamers, but actually to ensure the legitimate sale of a game, DRM such as EA’s and Ubisoft’s are completely unsuccessful as DRM because they guarantee that people will actually pirate the game to avoid the DRM programs.

On the other hand most people don’t have a problem with Steam. In fact, some people might not even notice that it is DRM at all. This is because it implements features rather than invading on your play. It validates your game session exactly one time at the start from what I can tell. It even comes with an offline mode for single player games. (Something Ubisoft needs to figure out)

In exchange for the ‘inconvenience’ of not being able to pirate their games? You get updates through the client. You get a chat client included. Your own profile page, with achievements games and personal stats. You get friends lists and social networking. You get lower prices and friendly customer service.

In fact, the customer service is the best I’ve ever heard of; normally when you hear of a customer service call you hear a horror story about being on hold or idiots, or being on hold, or arguing with managers while trying to fix something. In steam however, it seems to be common they will apologize for your inconveniences by giving you free games, games that would have costed you a lot more than what the inconveniences you suffered were.

They do things right. Its hardly an inconvenience to run steam if you are playing games you got on steam because it includes mainly features that enhance your gaming experience anyway. You don’t even have to worry about not playing games because you have to go somewhere else or move to another computer because the games are available for your account anywhere you go. You do have to download the games if you play on another computer, but you can do so with more ease and convenience than trying to bring disks with you to install the games.

Remember this; especially in the case of Ubisoft. When the pirated game is better than the legitimate copy because of the lack of DRM, you will lose customers to piracy. You want your game to be better than the pirated version, and make your customers feel.. well.. like customers, not potential thieves.

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