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.
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)