Paradox CEO Smashes DRM

The CEO of Paradox Interactive - the developer behind the Magicka games, has hit out at DRM, saying that as well as costing developers and publishers money, it generates loses it for them too.

Mr Fred Wester made these comments during an interview with Gamespy, where he began by saying he was surprised any companies used DRM anymore. "We haven't done that for seven or eight years, and the reason is that it doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense from a gamer perspective - I hated it."

This isn't just empty speculation either, as Mr Wester says, he is a gamer himself. "I bought Civilization III when it first came out, and for the first three days I couldn't play it. It installed some other software, and it just shut down. I had to contact Atari support three times before I even got help. And that experience is terrible."

He followed this up with the statement that nobody who buys a game should be stopped from playing it because of DRM. Compatibility issues and similar were understandable - though distasteful - but DRM shouldn't impact a legitimate purchaser's gaming experience. "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. And I know this for a fact, because we tried it eight years ago, and it never worked for us."

He also said that "it [DRM] costs money and it makes you lose money, and the other is that it's so inconvenient to customers."

Mr Wester then echoes thoughts of the CEO at CD Projekt, saying that DRM is most likely a way for executives to cover their asses. If an investor comes and asks "what are you doing to protect our software against piracy?" they can respond, "we're buying this solution from X". The Paradox CEO did add the caveat that being the head of his firm as well as a half-owner, he can essentially run things how he wants. It's different if you're working for a giant developer or publisher.

However, he did finish up discussing DRM by saying that it still doesn't make much sense in a modern world. "I think it's been a way to cover your back, previously. Now, I see no reasonable explanation for why people keep on adding it. Especially the kind where you have to be online all the time, like Ubisoft. I think that's, to me that's 2003."

For Mount and Blade fans out there, he also mentioned a new title in the same vein known as War of the Roses. It features some brutal medieval combat in a similar fashion with "extra polish." I for one am quite excited about this, especially since I know it won't come with awful DRM additions.