BioWare: DLC, Gamer Loyalty Can Squelch Piracy

In an era in which game piracy prompts formerly PC-exclusive studios to make the leap to consoles, Mass Effect developer BioWare has an alternative strategy to buck piracy: provide add-on content for its games and promote simple consumer loyalty.

"We're doing a lot of post-release downloadable content on all of our PC titles going forward," BioWare co-CEO Ray Muzyka told MTV Multiplayer. "We think it's a good thing to encourage players to make them want to buy a PC title.

"That's ultimately the best, most successful path to prevent piracy—to have players that want your games, want to believe in them and think they're high-quality and realize they're going to get a lot of value out of them as platforms for long time afterwards," Muzyka added.

It appears likely that the studio's next effort Dragon Age—which the studio plans to unveil tomorrow—will feature some sort of built-in copy protection, similar to the recently released PC version of its sci-fi RPG Mass Effect.

While even those games with the most draconian digital rights management protocols are often eventually cracked, the advent of downloadable content and new features delivered via patch updates have made legitimate copies of titles much more attractive to would-be software pirates.