Is There Anything Like Acceptable DRM?
Apparently so, and in the world of computer games no less. Yes I know this confounds previous media coverage, or user experience, with games DRM (e.g. think Spore), but there is strong indication that one company may have come up with something close to acceptable DRM for gamers.
So last Friday I spoke with the CEO and Marketing VP of Byteshield Inc., who confirmed that their award winning, eponymous product had been endorsed by none other than fervent gamers-only DRM watchdog / group, PRISM (or Players Resisting Invasive Security Measures), on their gamer-advocacy website at:www.reclaimyourgame.com. According to an issued statement, they found ByteShield to be “safe, transparent and non-invasive” after extensive testing. So how come you ask?
Well for starters, Byteshield offers protection via an online activation mechanism which works on the principle that only genuine users will be able to activate / access their game via a specific key (purchased with the game) by downloading integral parts of the game code from a secure server. Those that tested it claim it is transparent and non-invasive to the gaming experience, and they would “have no problem recommending it to other gamers”
The few limitations I can think of include platform support (Windows only for now), and connectivity requirements (i.e. probably works best via Broadband). But these are not show-stoppers judging by thenumbers of potential customers who now consider broadband a necessity.
Also although I think this is an effective approach to content control, that might work equally well with video content, I am not so sure it is applicable to high volume, low value content such as music tracks or ring tones, but that remains to be seen.
So there you have it, finally a Technology Protection Mechanism (TPM) that caters for the needs of its key stakeholders, which in this case are the developers, publishers and end-users of the games!
Note: This post was previously published on my BCS DRM Blog, where you can find the original post, and reader comments, in the archives.