Digital Restrictions Management

September 12, 2008

A topic that has come under a lot of scrutiny recently is that of Digital Rights Management (DRM) in PC games, also referred to by some as Digital Restrictions Management. The most prominent titles featuring DRM are BioShock, Mass Effect, and, most recently, Spore.

The sad thing is, DRM hinders the legitimate users without stopping the pirates at all. In the case of Spore, the DRM was cracked and the game was torrented a day before it released. Countless people have complained over the overly Draconian policies, such as you’re only allowed to install the game a total of 3 times anywhere (even if you uninstall it), and you have to have the CD-ROM in the drive to play.

The fan backlash to this has been incredible. So incredible, in fact, that over 2000 people have given Spore a review of 1 star out of 5 on Amazon. As of this writing, 2005 out of 2202 reviews are 1 star.

Spore reviews on

I hope this really sends a message to EA: we don’t want Digital Restrictions Management, and we’re going to hit you in the wallet for it. A small number of people boycotting the game for DRM will hardly make a dent in EA’s bottom lime, but a loud presence on Amazon certainly will. I, for one, am not buying Spore because of its DRM.

Here are two polls about DRM:

The ZDNet poll is obviously very biased, since the article in which it appears is strongly critical of DRM. On the other hand, I think the GameFAQs poll paints a very good picture of the situation: most PC gamers have been somewhat inconvenienced by DRM or outright hate it. Where do you stand?

One Response to “Digital Restrictions Management”

  1. Interestingly, I hear the devs hate DRM and the marketing guys force them to put it in.