Blizzard: Fighting Piracy with DRM 'A Losing Battle'

By Jeff Mattas, May 27, 2010 6:00pm PDT StarCraft II is still on track for its July 27 release on PC, but unlike some other developers, Blizzard isn't planning on gumming up the works with any draconian digital rights management software--it's taking a different approach.

In fact, according to a recent interview conducted with StarCraft II producer and Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce, fighting pirates with DRM is a "losing battle." Pearce states that it's due to the disparity in size between development teams "and the number of people out there that want to try to counteract that technology, whether it's because they want to pirate the game or just because it's a curiosity for them."

Pearce says that Blizzard is focused on other ways to discourage piracy that are antithetical to recent DRM initiatives from companies like Ubisoft, and the problems they can create for paying customers. "The best approach from our perspective is to make sure that you've got a full-featured platform that people want to play on, where their friends are, where the community is," he explained.

That's not to say that StarCraft II will be free of protection. Players will still need to register an account with and use a one-off activation code to play. Once their copy is activated, players won't need to be connected to the internet to play the single-player campaign, though Blizzard is also banking on the hope that the the connection to friends, achievements, and multiplayer offered by an improved service will compel potential pirates to make a purchase instead. On a related note, it's already known that LAN support won't be included in StarCraft II due to piracy and other concerns, much to the chagrin of some hardcore fans of the series.

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22 Threads | 116 Comments
  • DRM, SecurRom, Safedisc etc....

    All a waste of time and Resources that hurt the legitimate buyer more than the "Pirate" anyhow...

    A unique CDKey (that will boot you offline if it's in use by another user) and some kind of attractive online features (decent multiplayer, or even just a login server) are the only things a game really needs for copyright/security protection.

    There are anti-piracy protocols that can cause programs to not work at all if you have even the most basic of cd-copying software programs on your PC (Even legitimately purchased licensed copies of said software). The only workaround for a user that actually buys a game with this tech, is to download a crack or fix for the game. The average user may not even have a clue how to do this.

    Anyone remember Starforce? It actually installed drivers on your computer which could PHYSICALLY DAMAGE your hardware...

    If someone wants to pirate the game/software, they're going to do it. It's just a matter of time. Companies need to focus on making 'legitimate play' more attractive, rather than wasting resources trying to 'combat piracy'.

    FREE DLC on New Games, Robust online communities, Interactive Stat-Tracking, these are the TRUE anti-Piracy tactics of today.

  • Latest Ubisoft title "Starcraft II" will only be multiplayer through UbiNet(TM), Ubisoft's online game service provider. The game has been stripped of any local area or independent internet network capabilities, citing piracy issues.

    "We understand that frequent calling-home behaviour of our other titles has caused much grief, so we decided to force you to be connected all the time to our server to play multiplayer. We trust that after an initial activation requiring an internet connection, that players will be much more satisfied without constantly calling home, and instead just requiring a persistent connection to our servers," said the head of Ubisoft's DRM group.

  • Starcraft 2 will feature offline singleplayer - i know this for a fact because when battle-net goes down for the beta sometimes you get a box with play offline button (greyed out for the beta)

    And seriously LAN while nice is obsolete - people are ignoring the good things about BNet.
    -creates a large community not fragmented clans that play by themselves
    -keeps all games up to date and deters hacks
    -bugs and fixes are identifeid quicker

    Now to what sucks
    -fragmented global servers (US< Eu < asia)
    -NO PRIVACY controls (everybody can see my frieds, my build orders etc.)