Day by day, as time goes by, we are heading deeper and deeper into the digital age. In this age, physical media such as DVD or Blu-Ray’s will be obsolete. And with this comes a great burden to the consumer.
Yesterday, Final Fantasy VII was re-released for PC and it’s only available on the Square Enix store as a digital download. I rushed home after work, made my purchase and installed my game. Everything seemed all fine and dandy. I launched the game and was hit with this:
WTF!? In order to play a 15-year-old game, I need an internet connection?? I wasn’t aware I bought Final Fantasy VII the MMO.
Fine, It needs to verify that it’s an official copy, but I’m tired of companies of using DRM as an excuse to fight piracy. It hurts the consumer more than the company.
After trying for about 20 minutes, I was finally able to connect. However, I was then hit with another brick wall. I was having log in issues. After another 20 minutes, I gave up. Later on, I had to surf the FFVII forums at www.square-enix.com for the answer and it wasn’t till then I was able to finally play. Other than to battle piracy, there is no other reason why Final Fantasy VII, a game that is 15-years-old, should require an internet connection. Good luck to those who want to play it on the go.
This isn’t the only time a digital distributed game has caused problems for the consumer.
With the release of Diablo 3, a constant internet connection is needed to play it. Even if you have no desire to play co-op online, you need to be connected to the net. With the first few days of the release, gamers were unable to play due to the servers being hammered by those trying to connect.
This issue isn’t limit to just the PC side of gaming, the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 are big culprits as well. If you buy a game or DLC through Xbox Live, you should be fine just as long as you are playing on the console you purchased it on. God forbid your console red ringed and you forgot to do a DRM transfer. You will be shit out of luck if you do not have access to the internet. This has happened to me before. For the Playstation 3, quite a few PSN titles require you to be connected to their network.
Physical copies of games are also being affected by this. The biggest case is Capcom’s Street Fighter x Tekken. Even though you purchased a physical copy of the game, there is content that you don’t have access to unless you waste more money. If you buy a game second-hand, you are forced to pay on a one time fee if you want to play online.
In my opinion, all this isn’t really to fight piracy, but more for the company to a bigger cut from the money pie. All this makes one ask, do we really own our games or are we paying just for the privilege to play them?
Written by: Fermbiz