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Magicka publisher: DRM is "a waste of money"

Paradox boss stands up for paying customers.

Anti-piracy DRM measures are a waste of money that only serve to alienate paying customers, so says the CEO of PC-centric Magicka publisher Paradox Interactive.

Speaking in an interview with GameSpy, Fred Wester explained why it hasn't use DRM in its games for the past eight years.

"If you take something like Sony's DRM, SecuROM - it's a waste of money. It will keep you protected for three days, it will create a lot of technical support, and it will not increase sales," he said.

"I know this for a fact, because we tried it eight years ago, and it never worked for us. Two major reasons: it costs money and it makes you lose money, and the other is that it's so inconvenient to customers."

He went on to suggest that those companies who do employ anti-piracy systems often only do so to keep investors happy.

"If you're a CEO, you need to cover your back. And the people who ask, the board, know nothing about games. They're there because they're some investment company or something, and they ask 'So what are you doing to protect our game from pirates?' And then they can reply 'We're buying this solution from Sony.'"

Wester also had a pop at Ubisoft's widely condemned DRM that demands gamers maintain an active internet connect at all times while playing, describing the approach as "2003".

"People who purchase a game should have just as easy a time as those who pirate the game, otherwise it's a negative incentive to buy a legal copy," he added.

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.