Could EA be behind the Xbox One and PS4 Used Game DRM fiasco?
Soon after the May 21st unveil of Microsoft’s new Xbox One console, rumors began to circulated the internet. Apparently Xbox One will have DRM (Digital Rights Management) which could inhibit or prohibit the ability to play used games. There currently is a type of DRM used with PS3 and Xbox 360 that links the game to the DVD or Blue-ray disk the game is published on. This means your console requires the disk to be in the optical drive for the game to be played. This is true even if the game is installed on the console’s hard drive. This form of DRM allows your purchased disk to be freely traded, sold, or lent to other gamers while protecting the game from being outright copied.
The new DRM method rumored for the Xbox One requires automatic installation of the game to the console’s HDD and a key-code to activate and play the game. Once the key has been used, it may not be used on another console or account unless that account pays a fee (full price) for the game. This in effect will very likely prohibit the trading, selling, or lending of your game to other gamers. A torrent of outrage over the Microsoft and Sony plan is all the buzz on the internet right now. Many gamers have publicly refused to purchase either console if the rumors are true.
So What Does EA Have to Do With This?
Microsoft and Sony have done nothing but fuel the validity of this rumor. Nintendo has publicly said it will NOT implement this new form DRM on the Wii U. Recently EA developers have blasted Nintendo on twitter calling the new console “CRAP.” They’re also saying “Nintendo are walking dead at this point.” Meanwhile, EA has announced special partnerships with Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles, but have stated that “EA has no future plans to develop titles for the Wii U.” Source
Interesting information, huh? EA is the largest Video game publisher in the world. It dwarfs all others including Microsoft (2), Sony (3) and Nintendo (4). I ask you, when is enough, enough? Publishers already rape the consumer with multiple DLC (downloadable Content) for just about every recently published game. Example; a new games retails for about $60 and the DLC will run you about $20 a pop. Think of it this way, publishers in many cases are only selling you half the game for $60. If you want the full experience, they will hit you up for another $100+ in the form of 4 or 5 different DLC for the title. Amazing right? I ask you, with the introduction of several new Indy consoles like the Ouya and Nintendo’s firm stance on DRM and used games, why would Sony and Microsoft weaken themselves? Why be willing lackeys to EA’s greed and in the end stick it to the millions of loyal gamers who love their consoles? I hope Microsoft and Sony think long and hard about their relationship with EA. After all EA likely needs them more than they need EA. Well, unless EA has secretly developed their own console and plan on springing it on the world at E3 2013. Could be – yeah right!