In the most surprising news since Squaresoft and Enix announced their merging into one big RPG Archon, someone at Ubisoft has actually been paying attention to how their DRM has been received and hasn’t deluded themselves into thinking it was a job well done before sitting back in their leather high chair and laughing maniacally while stroking their cat.
Chris Early talked to Eurogamer today and said that he felt the best way to combat piracy was to essentially create more value for their products to entice players to buy their games instead of pirate them. Just give that last sentence a second read through but, this time, keep in mind that this is from the Vice President of Digital Publishing at Ubisoft. As in the guys who put out a DRM system that everyone hated and then called it a success. Despite causing games to be unplayable for legitimate customers, of course.
“The question is, with enough on-going content development, content release, engagement at the community level, can we create that kind of MMO value system? I think we can. As the rest of the game industry continues to evolve, the more you hear about cloud gaming, the more you hear about companion gaming, the less a pirated game should work in all of that environment. So, therefore the value of that pirated content becomes less,” says Early, showing a basic understanding of the industry that seems to have escaped Ubisoft in the past five years.
Even stranger is that he doesn’t regard pirates with the same rabid fervor as the company has been the entire time either. “Will some people still pirate? Yeah, they will. Will the person who really wants that broad experience pirate? We hope not.”
Interestingly, it seems Chris Early has had these views for a while now as he touched on many of these same points back in October 2011 in an interview with Industry Gamers. And that was a month before Anno 2070 was released to much infamy. And he seems like a person who is very much behind the idea of giving the player a great experience.
That’s been the delicate balance that the industry has walked over time. It continues to be one that we grapple with as an industry. How do we create content and receive good value for that, and at the same time, not inconvenience the player who has given us value there?
I really hope this guy ends up running Ubisoft soon.