EA’s launch this week of the game has turned out to be more disastrous than any calamity that could befall your in game creations. Ongoing server issues are continuing to prevent an awful lot of people from playing a game that can retail for around £45 or $65 and now it has temporarily been pulled by Amazon because there has been so much negative feedback. The question is was it really necessary to include this always online component for a game where people would be content to engage in the single player experience? Also, after last years debacle over the Diablo 3 launch surely this weeks events could and should have been foreseen?
I was one of the many last year who pre- bought Diablo, I swore at the time that I would never hand over any more money to the Blizzard corporation or pre-purchase any other title again, especially one with always online DRM.
So I suppose the question arises, how do these companies protect their investment from piracy and not punish the paying customers in the process? I think my favourite (PC) game of the past six months, Dark Souls struck a good balance. In giving players the option of the traditional offline mode they have no doubt made it as easy to pirate as any other single player offline title is. However, much of the joy and the greatest mechanic of the game are the abilities and opportunities to interact with other players around the world even though they are all more or less playing their own solo campaign. The added value this brings makes the customer want to be online and happy to pay for this enhanced experience. If the game’s server or your internet goes down as mine occasionally does, then you can make do with offline as a better than nothing option.
Regardless of what the solution may be, EA’s already dubious reputation has taken such a hammering this week that I don’t think it has been worth all of the potential lost earnings!