Developer Speaks Out on DRM, Piracy, and Retailers

Redditor Narc_Cop33, who claims to be a developer and will not reveal his true identity for obvious reasons, decided to "explain to the masses" why the current state of gaming has DLC, DRM, and pre-order bonuses. This is essentially an unedited repost of what he says, because frankly, all of it is important.

DRM exists because people pirate games. I'm sorry if that answer upsets you or in turn causes you to pirate more games, but that's the way it is. As developers, we would rather DRM didn't exist because it's an extra hurdle to get through before a game can be released. I've spoken to others in the industry, and it's a foregone conclusion that we are moving towards a cloud based system where very little of the game will reside on your hard drive. Retail stores used to fight this idea, but with how PC game sales are trending towards digital distribution, it's really not a question of if but when.

The only reason why you see certain members of the industry speak out in favor of piracy, is they are trying to gain popularity and encourage you to buy their game. It's the same reason why musicians do it, and the same reason why certain actors/actresses defend their work being downloaded illegally.

You are correct in assuming that most DLC is created before the game is finished. More often than not, we are approached 50-60 percent into the development cycle of a game and asked how we want to handle content post production. This has become more and more common the last five-six years, and it is a direct result of several evolving changes in the industry.

To be blunt, you can blame Gamestop and other retail stores that encourage buying used games more than new ones. Someone is less likely to sell back their title if they know more content is on the way, and with the fact that some games now can be finished in a day playing time, we have to move fast with DLC announcements.

Yes, you are caught in a bit of a war between distributors and publishers. I'm sorry...

...DLC promises and Pre Order bonuses increase sales. Again, I'm sorry if those facts upset you, but we aren't an industry of upholding some false ethical code. Over the last several years, the consumer has eaten up both of these business practices and shown us that we can and will benefit from using them.

Do I think what EA is doing is bullshit? Yes, I do. Are they getting away with it? Yes, they are...

My advice to /gaming/ before I leave

  • Digitally Download your games. The sooner retail stores are mostly out of the equation, the sooner some of these aspects of the industry might dissipate.

  • Stop pirating. Seriously though, stop. If you don't think that there is a correlation between DRM and piracy numbers, then you are not doing it right. If you are going to pirate, then please buy the games you do download.

  • The best advice I can give. Follow through with your boycott. Follow through with every boycott. Companies can ignore verbal insults, but they cannot ignore explaining to the shareholders why profits are down. If a boycott works, then it is quite effective. Key word is IF.

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