from the DRM-is-the-devil dept
When we’ve talked about any plans to put in online DRM pings when it comes to console gaming, we’ve typically centered that discussion around the console makers themselves. For older Xbox consoles and, well, all things Nintendo, this has been a particularly annoying problem. Nintendo wanting online checks is just so on brand so as to be only mildly annoying. If you buy Nintendo, you know what you’re getting. Microsoft’s plan to have online checks for the Xbox made less sense. Piracy of console games isn’t nonexistent, but it isn’t exactly a massively huge problem given the technical know-how needed in order to use pirated games on modern consoles. Even for game publishers like Activision Blizzard, which has found itself in the headlines for entirely more significant reasons as of late, DRM was typically only included on PC ports of games, not on the console versions themselves.
Until now, it seems. Owners of Diablo 2 Resurrected have discovered that it has an online check that makes the game unplayable if the game hasn’t checked in within 30 days, even on consoles.
Here’s an interesting turn of events: it seems that those who own Diablo 2 Resurrected, if you don’t log in (online) at least once in 30 days, you cannot play it offline regardless of platform. This was brought to our attention by Twitter user DoesItPlay1, who tweeted that this can be removed with hacks, and servers no real purpose.
You cannot play Diablo 2 resurrected after 30 days of being offline, one of the first console games to feature check in drm.
It serves no real purpose and can be removed with hacks.
Dark times pic.twitter.com/EVnPVhXisD
— Does it play? (@DoesItPlay1) January 17, 2022
This was later confirmed independently. As the post notes, there doesn’t seem to be any real purpose to this. Again, console piracy is not to be equated with PC gaming piracy. Putting this check in place for thousands of legit customers to stave off whatever level of console piracy there is for this Diablo title is essentially solving the math problem wrong. On top of that, for those motivated enough, this online check is easily patched out of the game.
So, annoying paying customers to combat a problem that really isn’t that big a problem via a method that is wildly ineffective. Yup, sounds like DRM to me! As the post notes, this is both an annoyance and a poorly timed one.
Given how much bad publicity Activision and Blizzard Entertainment has been in the past few months, this is probably the last thing gamers want to see from the developers. While I understand that this is a way to combat piracy, why is it activated on consoles too? Or better yet, wasn’t there a better way of implementing it without restricting players who bought it legitimately?
With DRM? Nah, dawg. The only real solution here would be for Activision Blizzard to be more forward-thinking and realizing this online check DRM was fit only for the dumpster to begin with.
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