on Oct 16, 2008
Yeah. A “little” cumbersome.
Once again a guy who makes millions a year is too clueless to grasp the most basic and obvious principles at work here. (Note that I’m only calling him clueless because I’m too polite to call him a liar. He can cop to either one as it suits him.)
But let me get out the big purple crayon and draw a picture of how this works for the benefit of the information-bankrupt multimillionaire captains of industry that aren’t reading this: DRM isn’t having locks on your car. It’s having locks on your car to which you do not have the key. The key is in the hands of the actual owner of the car, who (you hope) unlocks it for you. And who can stop doing so at any time. And who must actually spend money to be available to unlock your doors when you ask. And who is occasionally unavailable. And who still expects you to pay full price for a car you don’t own, don’t control, and can’t sell.
Are you sure you wanted to go with the car analogy here, John?
Counterpoint: Spore was the most heavily pirated game ever. There is no ignoring the negative backlash over the DRM, which overshadowed the product itself in the news. Yes, some people bought the game. But how many more would have bought it if not for the DRM? Every illegal download is not a lost sale, but every person who refuses to buy because of the DRM is. It’s disingenuous to the point of absurdity to point to the former and ignore the latter.
True to form, John Riccitiello always makes sure to give a backhanded insult to prospective customers whenever he makes any sort of public announcement. When talking about the people who gave Spore a 1-star review during the Amazon review bomb:
At least he admits he’s guessing.
But the insult here is that we’re the ones not listening. Here we have a famous man appearing in the news and complaining about how nobody listens to him.
John Riccitiello: You do have a chance to have a conversation with us. You’re having it right now. And it’s all one way. You talk, and then you cover your ears and scream that we don’t “get it”, as if I’d be happy to let you stomp on my face because someone else ripped you off. I read everything you say publicly, and you have never even made a half-assed case for why you’re bothering with this DRM. I’m not “caught up in something” that I “don’t understand”. I’m looking at the simple facts of the proposed transaction and pointing out that you’re trying to rip me off to no benefit to yourself, and using your fight against piracy as an excuse. That last part is a double insult because your DRM scheme didn’t stop a single pirate. It was cracked
two days out of the gate before release. Which means it didn’t stop a single pirate, anywhere, ever. Everyone who wanted to pirate it, did. But not everyone who wanted to pay for it did.
You can punish your customers all you like, until you don’t have any, if that’s what you really want to do. It’s your ship and you’re the captain and icebergs are free to all. But you have truly risen above the crowd of offensive dolts in this mess by trying to paint yourself as the victim while perpetuating the problem. You can’t possibly hate DRM as much as your customers do. Get rid of it or stop your bellyaching.
I might be your harshest critic, but I am not your worst enemy. I have money sitting here that I would be happy to give you (even in spite of the bland reviews Spore has endured) if you would just be willing to sell me the game. It’s a very simple economic transaction, and all your hopping around and making noises about locks on doors can’t change the fact that you’re the one refusing to do honest business with an honest customer.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.