Yes, I know I'm in the minority here, that doesn't make it any less lame or downright insulting to a consumer that the producer assumes that I am complicit in piracy before the software is installed! I don't care how awesome the game is, I wouldn't install an always-on DRM game if you paid me.
I agree with you completely, the moment they announced that SimCity was going to require a constant internet connection to play was the moment they lost my business. But the majority of consumers just don't care about that. I wish it wasn't so, I wish that more people would oppose this transparent attempt to shift power away from the consumer and towards game publishers, but most people just want to play a game and don't care about the back-end stuff.
I'd like to think that the negative PR from the failures of SimCity and Diablo III's launch will encourage gamers to be more cautious about purchasing games with this kind of DRM in the future. But I fear that the next game to try it will just throw millions of dollars into generating hype and this sort of crap will slowly become the norm.
There's already a rumour that the next Xbox will require a constant internet connection to run, and Sony may well do the same if MS decides to.
Robert Maxwell wrote:
The only reason an Internet connection didn't become a requirement sooner was because the financials didn't work out--not enough people had the required connections to make it viable. But now, there is plenty of broadband penetration in the major markets where games are sold, and requiring a connection serves multiple business needs: it thwarts piracy, enables various social features that wouldn't otherwise be possible, permits purchasing of in-game content, and allows the publisher/developer to unilaterally "retire" the game and push people to buy a newer version (or another title entirely.)
There's another big advantage to this system: preventing user mods. Why let people download free mods when you can charge them for DLC instead (and SimCity has a big ad for DLC packs right on the main menu). By making SimCity an online game they can justify banning modders for "hacking". I think it's pretty telling that this SimCity has a global leaderboard, which is weird in a game that's ostensibly about the challenge of designing the city of your dreams, not competing with other players.
EA may not choose to do this with SimCity if players find a way to mod the game. But I have little doubt that this is the direction EA is planning to go long-term.
Cutter John wrote:
That just means a lot of people fell for the initial hype. I'm love to know how many people are still playing it.
But does that matter? Millions of people bought the game and Blizzard made tonnes of money. From a business point of view, it was a huge success.