Command & Conquer 4 ALWAYS Needs to Be Online: Even in Single Player

Command and Conquer, the popular military based strategic game for PC, is nearing its fourth release, and fans are all over it [that being myself as well]. However, one new enhancement in the game is causing a lot of worry and outcry.

Command and Conquer 3

It seems that the game will use a World of Warcraft-like scorecard. That is, everything you do is tracked, monitored, and recorded. The only problem is that this is done even throughout single player mode, and that means you HAVE to be connected to the internet to play this game. I know people [including I] usually play PC games around the house, but that PC [really a MacBook here] is all I have, and a lot of people carry laptops as their main computers now. That means you can’t go anywhere that doesn’t have internet, and attempt to play the game. Want to use LAN? (local area network) Too bad, because you need some internet to go with that. Essentially, the game is never really yours and yours alone. Here’s what EA (Electronic Arts, the developer of the Command and Conquer series) had to say:

“As of right now, you need to be online all the time to play C&C 4. This is primarily due to our ‘player progression’ feature so everything can be tracked. C&C 4 is not an MMO in the sense of World of Warcraft, but conceptually it has similar principles for being online all the time,” Community Leader APOC wrote. No matter what mode you’re playing, no matter what you’re doing, if you want to play Command and Conquer 4, you’re going to need to have a working Internet connection.”

Music is done with DRM, it’s time for games to be too. It’s comparable to this: if I buy a song on iTunes, then it’s mine, and I can do what I want with it short of profiting from it or making it available illegally. That means I can use it on however many iPods, computers, whatever.

Or if I buy a sofa, it’s mine, and I can do anything with it, short of copying it to make profit.

So why is it when I buy a PC game I have to always keep connected, and only install it on so many machines? Why not offer a digital download FOR FREE? FOR BOTH PLATFORMS? (Mac and PC, if available). I just don’t understand. Especially considering how much games are now. I just can’t afford to shell out $50 or $6o for every new game!

And don’t even get me started on companies who force developers to charge store price for a digital download (a.k.a Wall-mart against Sony on digital downloads of full console games)


12 responses to “Command & Conquer 4 ALWAYS Needs to Be Online: Even in Single Player

  1. DRM is the future, blame Sony, all those people who bought into “Blue Ray” they secretly upped the markets move towards pressing DRM. If you think your safe by not playing games, think again all new Microsoft Windows are DRM protected.

    Hell I even have DRM on my shitty “Samsung j706” maybe next they will install DRM in our heads or make it state law!!

  2. Don’t worry too much about it, I’d say. Yes, they may want it to be played solely online. And what are the odds that someone won’t crack the game so that you can play it singleplayer offline anywho? Pretty much a nill value. So, essentially, if they try to screw the players over like this, then all they get back is the middle finger, and the fact that half their customers will break the law to play the game that they BOUGHT, because the designers are too STUPID to comprehend the uselessness behind their own design.
    Or because the coompanies behind them are too greedy to pass the chance. That may more likely be it.

  3. Didn’t these game developers learn anything from the Modern Warfare 2 release? When you mess with a system that works, has been around for years, and that the community loves, you lose your fanbase.

  4. Seriously, I don’t know why they are doing such a thing. I always wondered why people hate EA for the way they make games, but now I am starting to understand.

  5. Well, if you are worried about expending 50 or 60 or whatever it costs every game, then i recommend you a mental especialist. The prime objective of games is recreational, and in extreme cases you should be buying one game per month. And if you don´t like this “always connected system” just don´t buy it. End of problem.

  6. shouldnt of let the jews buyout the company……

  7. I’m connected to the internet always, so I don’t care as long as it doesn’t interrupt/annoy me or my computer (like StarForce, Securom, Windows LIVE or the like.)
    They have to protect themselves against SW pirates, and if doesn’t make more trouble for paying costumers than pirates, who probably just install a crack patch, it’s fine by me.

  8. Well now we are asked as user not to buy such games. EA is anyhow know to spoil good ideas and make bad games out of it. On CC3 that came out 2000 (yes I know that EA mixed up the numbering, but not me) the game was from Westwood. A nice company that produced great games. I was top 20 gamer in the time of cc3 and it is still the best balanced game. But EA wants that we stop playing after 4 month and buy another game. This is why their games sucks.

    Since EA exists I do not play their games and thanks to cracker I was able to try their games. All very badly made, needing patches all over. For me its clear…. I do not buy a single game from them and if we are all smart and don’t do it, they will simply stop doing such bull shit….

    WHO ist the boss? Its us… the consumer with the money in the pockets. And those nerds will not tell us how we have to play!

  9. Don’t worry about the DRM. If they persist with it, they’ll protect themselves outta business. Various attempts at making data distribution paid for in this way have been failing for over a decade now, and no company, or even alliance of companies, has the market power to force a thing such as DRM onto the whole market permanently.

    Once the saturation of the market with this sort of practices gets high enough, a new player (or an old one with a new philosophy) will emerge and push these coots outta the positions they so tenaciously hold on to.

    I’d be really surprised if not, ’cause it’s sort of a law of economics that when you can’t defend your position through normal competition, it gets taken from you eventually. And DRM isn’t normal competition. More like a forced, protectionist attempt at a monopoly.

    That may work in areas such as energy distribution (depending what country you’re from, in mine for example, energy is heavily monopolized and the arrangement stands for quite a few years already), but everything IT in general are very liquid markets, meaning the effect I described above is strong enough to dominate any monopolistic tendencies.

    Also, so far, all attempts at reducing the liquidity of data markets have met with spectacular failure. Say, they wanna make the entire internet paid for? Okay, within three years, nobody’s using the internet per today’s definition anymore, ’cause everyone’s migrated to a new, free network called, say, the PirateNet. It’s not very hard to connect your existing hardware to different hardlines using a different protocol…

    And this goes about the same way for smaller-scale attempts at squeezing money out of people.

    Maybe, if game price wasn’t 60 bucks, but 10, which is closer to its actual value, it wouldn’t be worth the trouble to steal it, and the companies wouldn’t be having a piracy problem… Why they never tried it is anyone’s guess.

  10. i want to know more about this game.

  11. I guess the always online thing is fine, just so long as their servers can handle the load! Maybe wait a few days before the release day to start playing to avoid any massive waiting times early doors!

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