An article on GamePro.com uses the controversy of Assassin's Creed II's PC copy-protection requirements to discuss the ceaseless debate over Digital Rights Management. Simple question: What would the perfect DRM be? That would make everyone happy?
I grow tired of being told that Steam is the ideal DRM scheme when, for all of its vaunted features, it's really just window dressing for one of the most restrictive schemes out there. I shouldn't have to connect to the internet, ever, to install and play a piece of software I have a physical copy of. No, never. If a developer wants to offer me a service that integrates my identity and game library into a social networking application that also allows me to manage my games, keep up with patches, chat while playing, and whatever else steam does, that's great. If I login to the service I'm perfectly ok with it running some kind of check to make sure the copy(ies) of the software I'm running is(are) legit before it gives me access to this service (but not with it changing anything on my machine.) I'm not ok with that check being required to play the game. I don't have dedicated internet on every machine I want to play games on and even if I did, what if the internet in my area is down on launch day? What if one of dozens of other hypothetical situations that results in a service denial for a product I’ve already paid for?
If the features of steam are so great then this model should make no difference to the devs one way or the other since, obviously, users could pirate but they wouldn't have access to one of the best things about a steam network game so none of them will. That is if steam itself really is a good thing, if it's just an inconvenience we tolerate because it's a little nicer to us while it invades our private space, well, then they have something to worry about. For the record I’d still want to use steam even if I didn’t have to. It is a nice service.