It seems like the geniuses at the game companies are still following the erroneous assumption that people who pirate games would actually be customers and buy them if they make the DRM (Digital Rights Management) onerous enough. In that vein, this article on ShackNews.com details the announcement that the PC versions of Mass Effect and more importantly the eagerly-awaited Spore will indeed have DRM that likes to “phone home” relatively often.
I’ve written in the past about companies who treat their customers like criminals. I don’t think game publishers are in touch with reality here. They are still laboring under the false pretense that everyone who pirates their game would have bought it, and are trying to count all those unhatched chickens.
I can save them a whole lot of trouble.
Right down the street from my office in Austin is a game studio. It’s Bioware Austin, and it’s super secret mission is, well, super secret. Really the only thing they have told us is that they are working on an MMO. Then, a couple of days ago, Bioware and Lucasarts announced that they are working together to create “an interactive entertainment product” that “will push the boundaries of the gaming market.” Slow down, marketing people.
So what IS this fabulous product? Is it already in production?
There has been speculation for a long time that Bioware was working on some sort of Star Wars MMO. If that is the case, why didn’t they announce that in this press release?
Now there is speculation that the LucasArts announcement has nothing to do with the Bioware MMO project, and that it is either a new iteration of the Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) IP, or it’s another new IP that has not yet been marketed.
I’m hoping that it’s the MMO. For me, one of the best possible properties for an MMO is Star Wars. In spite of the bungled attempt by SOE to capitalize on this property, Branyanu and I both enjoyed that game quite a bit. We still miss that clunky, incomplete, and goofy game more than almost any other game out there. Given the chance, we’d be right back there playing again.
Now, I am not under the illusion that any Bioware MMO would be anything like SWG, but there is so much appeal in the IP for so many people that I can’t help but think that a skillfully implemented MMO of that property would resonate with a reasonably good amount of people. Add the KOTOR cache and you have a good start at a successful MMO.
I’m afraid I am wrong on this one, and they won’t let me in the front door, so I may have to get back to you all on this one. I can’t wait to see what they are cooking up though.