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Explanation (lengthy one)
09/11/2013, 08:08:14

    Istrebitel writes:

    Basically, nowadays most companies will require you to install a "client" usually called just DRM (digital rights management) to play their games. This client (Steam, Uplay, Origin...) will be something of a shop + social network, you will have to create an account with them, you will have to launch it if you want to play any game, it will by default insist on showing you "overlays" (like YOU GOT AN ACHIEVEMENT! or YOUR FRIEND IS ONLINE!) in the games (which can look out of place or even create problems).

    I think you understand the downsides already (having to turn off all those undersireable features, and having to deal with extra application fighting for your attention and trying to market new games to you constantly, people inviting you to groups and communities, having to update the software constantly), but historicaly it also required an internet connection to play any game! Like, if you aren't connected to the intenet, you can't log into your client, so you can't play even singleplayer games!

    They changed it since (because player outcry whas massive when their servers were maulfunctioning), but the way it works right now is still far from ideal. You can go in "offline" mode, after which you can launch the application without connection to the internet and play your games that don't require internet. However, the application will complain about how you're missing out by being offline, and if that isn't enough, it can bug out (like, stored credentials are corrupted please go online to refresh them). So you're still not safe from trying to play once and not getting to play your single player game, because of your internet provider or this program's prodvider fked up.

    This DRM also obviously complicates the matters when you have to use more than one of such programs, since they fight for market and obviously, some companies won't sell their games on their rival's systems (like, you can't buy Valve games not on Steam, nor you cannot buy EA games not on Origin). Also, it just becomes harder to use your games - like, you cannot just copy a game to your other PC, you have to install the DRM client there, log in to interent from it, authorise the game etc.

    Even worse, if you ever get into legal quarrel with them (like they charge your for service you didn't want, or you buy a game which is a total mess and want moneyback but they won't agree), you lose access to ALL YOUR GAMES! Since your account is banned, you can no longer use any of the games attached to it! See the problem?

    And what if they go out of business? Valve (owner of Steam) promised they would release a patch to allow people to play their games if they ever go bankrupt or have to shut down Steam, but they aren't legally tied to doing so. You can never be sure. You no longer own any of your games, you only purchase rights to use em.

    Naturally, all this BS makes people upset. Effectively, it is now better to buy the game and then pirate it and use pirated version instead! No fuss, no hassle, you OWN the game, and you don't have to put up with "connect to internet because I want you to" crap.

    However, there are positives to DRM as well. For example, you can pre-load games, meaning when the game is released, you get to play it immediately (well, after several minutes, since it decrypts the archive) instead of having to downlonad gigabytes or go to the shop and stay in queue. This is obviously impossible unless the DRM sofwtare on your PC controls your access to the game. Also, they have huge discounts (like 80% off on AAA titles), because they can be sure you won't resell your copy later when discount period is over. Finally, they're trying to add stuff that makes you involved and some people like it, for example you gain "trading cards" for playing the game (like, theoretically, if you play Might and Magic VII for Y hours, you get three cards, like "Crag Hack" or "Ressurecta" or something), you can exchange those cards with other players, gather sets of them and so on and so forth. Also, naturally, it's easier to find people to play with when you have friend lists. So they try to give you benefits for using their stuff, but since it's mandatory to use anyway, often benefits still aren't enough to offsed the fact you're forced to install their crap on your system and deal with it "spying" on you and owning your games.

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