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Square Enix justifies use of DRM in games

by William Schwartz

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DRM has become somewhat of a hotspot for gamers, with games such as Assassin’s Creed 2 or SimCity being known for their overburdening DRM, and outlets such as Origin or even Steam being criticized as nothing more than DRM. This has lead to many developers to either go light on DRM or, in the case of CD Projekt Red, forgo it completely. However, one such company that still uses DRM is Square, and they have their own reasons for it.

Speaking to TorrentFreak, Adam Sullivan, Square Enix America’s Senior Manager of Business and Legal Affairs, went on to explain the reasoning for Square’s usage of DRM. Their biggest reason? “The primary benefit to us is the same as with any business: profit.”

When asked if he felt that DRM was successful in deterring would-be pirates, Sullivan responded, “We have a well-known reputation for being very protective of our IPs, which does deter many would-be pirates. However, effectiveness is notoriously difficult to measure — in short, we rely on the data available to us through our sales team and various vendors, along with consumer feedback.”

I think DRM will be essential for the foreseeable future

When asked about recent outrages over implementation of DRM, such as the Xbox One or SimCity, Sullivan acknowledged that there is “no perfect solution yet” but said that it was here to stay. “This depends on your definition of DRM, but generally yes — I think DRM will be essential for the foreseeable future.”

As an example of why DRM will be here to stay, Sullivan pointed towards free-to-play developers who have still gotten pirated from. “When F2P [free-to-play] began trending, lots of people thought it would be the death of DRM. I remember talking with one F2P developer who couldn’t imagine why hackers would want to attack his game, since it was free and all. Two months later they were barraged with several hacks.”

Adam Sullivan will be a guest speaker at the Los Angeles Anti-Piracy and Content Protection Summit this summer, where he will share more of his thoughts regarding digital rights management.

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