Epic Fail? – Epic’s New Title May Have ‘Always-On’ DRM

When will people learn? This ‘always-on’ lark just doesn’t work and never proves to be all that popular.

A failure on both counts then, but what was actually said and why would Fortnite, the new game in question, need this type of DRM?

To help you care about this, it’s important to know what Fortnite is. It appears that it’s a co-op survival game, where you’ve got to put up with evil monsters trying to kill you every night. Luckily, to help you in your mission of ‘not dying’, there’s plenty of materials you can find to create safe houses (forts maybe?). Also worth noting is the fact that this is the first game confirmed to be using the Unreal Engine 4. So whilst you may think the video at the top of the post is rendered, odds are, it’s real-time.

When speaking to RockPaperShotgun Tanya Jessen, the producer of Epic’s Fortnite, was asked about online DRM. Her answer?

“That’s something we don’t know yet, it’s gonna be really dependent on gameplay, and it’s also dependent on platform – the method of getting updates and stuff like that. So I can’t say for sure today one way or another [whether or not we’re going to use it].”

Whilst that’s neither a positive ‘yes’ or ‘no’, this has got people worried as recent attempts at the ‘always-on’ DRM model have failed pretty hard. Diablo 3 has had several stories on this blog and all thanks to its terrible attempts at halting piracy.

Speaking of which, Diablo 3’s latest attempt at halting those nasty pirates, those that threaten the wonderfully lucrative auction house, involved restricting new players to low levels for 3 days. You know, to stop people doing… stuff. Well, that was back-peddled on.

What’s also been receiving the negative peddling treatment is the fact that the internet authentication process is now being recognised as DRM, with Mike Morhaime, the co-founder of Blizzard, stating that;

“While we’ve never said that this requirement guarantees that there will be no cheating or game cracks, it does help us battle those problems (we have not found any fully functional cracks).”

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for DRM, but when the ‘paying’ customer ends up being treated like a criminal, having to prove their innocence every time they want to play, you’ve got a problem. So let’s hope that Fortnite gets it right, whatever it ends up doing.

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