Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

id Software on always-on internet debate

Persistent connection "better for everyone".

Famed first-person shooter developer id Software would love to force gamers to connect to the internet while playing its games.

It would be "better for everybody", creative director Tim Willits told Eurogamer at QuakeCon last week.

Blizzard sparked an outpouring of anger when it announced that upcoming PC game Diablo 3 will not be playable offline.

For Willits, who is applying the finishing touches to shooter Rage before its October launch, Blizzard's decision marks an important step in the evolution of the perception of always connected gaming.

"Diablo 3 will make everyone else accept the fact you have to be connected," he said. "If you have a juggernaut, you can make change. I'm all for that. If we could force people to always be connected when you play the game, and then have that be acceptable, awesome."

Explaining his view, Willits said always being online would enable developers to improve games without intruding on the gamer.

"In the end, it's better for everybody," he said. "Imagine picking up a game and it's automatically updated. Or there's something new you didn't know about, and you didn't have to click away. It's all automatically there. But it does take juggernauts like [Diablo 3] to make change.

"I'm a big proponent of always connected. I'm always connected. Our fans are always connected.

"There will be a few people who will resent the fact you have to be online to play a single-player game. But it'll change."

Ubisoft, whose controversial DRM strategy demands a persistent online connection for many of its PC titles, has also drawn criticism.

Last month Ubisoft said its strategy had resulted in "a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection, and from that point of view the requirement is a success".