The disastrous launch of Maxis/EA’s latest game in the highly popular Sim City series has raised a lot of questions regarding the future of how games will be released and the use of ‘DRM and always online features’ to releasing a product that people could not play immediately after splashing a large sum of money to get their hands on.
Not even the offer of a free game as an apology should cover this. The attempt at stopping piracy has ended up hitting customers square in the face and this is definitely not good for business or especially for us, the consumers. It begs even a scarier thought if video game developers see this ‘always online’ feature as the future of gaming. While it may be slightly understandable for a PC game, but for a game console like the next-Xbox lets say, it could have terrible results for Microsoft. The company are currently doing their best to alienate the core gaming crowd by trying to sell the next console as an entertainment centre rather than a gaming console. If they introduce this feature, it could well work to Sony’s advantage (and I say this as an avid Xbox user and would even consider switching).
Sim City’s launch should serve as a cautionary tale to companies who in their battle against piracy are hitting loyal customers more than the actual illegal sector. Is DRM and the always online feature the future of gaming (both PC and console based)? Let us know and we will keep you up-to-date with the latest developments in the Sim City launch.