Opinion: If You Hate DRM But Still Bought Diablo III – You’re An Idiot
Like the proverbial turkeys voting for Christmas, many gamers have an infuriating habit of shelling out good money for products that ultimately screw us all over. And the weird thing is, a huge chunk of these people are completely aware they’re doing it too.
Countless individuals who complain about day-one DLC will still download optional, additional content for new games they pick up at release, propelling said content to the top of the download charts in the process. They may grumble as they electronically hand over their cash. They may splutter and rage, and vent spleen at the audacity of it all. But they hand over their money nonetheless.
And how many gamers who hate DRM – and the whole notion of being forced to maintain a constant internet connection while playing a solo experience – still went out and bought Diablo III when it came out earlier this month?
If the figures announced by Blizzard last week are anything to go by, then it must have been a hell of a lot. Despite rampant controversy over initial server failures and the resulting inability of many people to actually play the damn game, Diablo III sold more than 3.5 million copies in its first day on sale and over 6 million in the first week – making it the biggest PC launch of all time.
Now, while I couldn’t have been more vocal in my condemnation of DRM and the like in my recent article on the subject, I am well aware that many people who bought Diablo III think that it is a truly great game, and actually don’t mind the whole ‘always online’ business. Quite a few of these chirpy, positive souls point out that they have personally experienced little in the way of inconvenience, or else believe that getting cut off occasionally or having the odd bit of lag is a “price worth paying” for the privilege of sinking themselves into a tremendous, long-awaited action RPG.
To them, I simply say that I disagree with such acceptance of DRM, but I also respect your opinion and total lack of hypocrisy on the issue.
However, if you actually hate DRM and actively bitch about the introduction of it, yet still went out and bought Diablo III? Well I’m sorry, but you are a complete and utter fool – and you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.
The reason why so many corporate tactics that many find unpalatable are ultimately allowed to flourish and propagate, is that the very people who profess to despise them often end up passively tolerating or even facilitating the very things they claim to dislike. If you don’t want to see DRM become a standard thing of the future, but you bought Diablo III anyway, then congratulations – you just helped the very gaming nightmare you dread come one step closer to fruition.
Diablo III’s stellar commercial success sends out a clear message to both Blizzard and other gaming giants that their audience will absolutely tolerate and swallow restrictive, irritating practices such as DRM if they want games badly enough, paving the way for other companies – who may have had some doubts due to the possibility of a backlash – to follow suit.
Words cannot express my frustration at this debacle. Genuinely, I wouldn’t mind so much if 90 per cent or more of those who shelled-out for Diablo III were happy with DRM being a present measure, yet I strongly suspect that a large proportion of those millions of fans really, really can’t abide the whole practice, and may have well spent time sounding off on the subject previously.
Caving-in so easily ultimately gives game companies license to do whatever the hell they like if they feel their IP is strong enough, and this is to the detriment of all of us as a result.
It’s the reason why Capcom will continue to make Resident Evil more action-oriented despite so much vocal opposition (Raccoon City may have been a mediocre shooter, but millions of people still bought it), and why the likes of day-one DLC are probably here to stay, despite being so universally unpopular.
The solution to this is simple. If you feel so strongly against something, then vote with your wallet – and don’t fuel the very thing you purport to hate. Your cash is probably the greatest weapon you have as a consumer, and if you simply give-in and throw it to the very companies whose practices you disagree with, then you’ve only got yourself to blame when everything goes to hell.