Avalanche: “If a DRM system constantly needs to be defended, something must be wrong”

Tuesday, 6 September 2011 16:55 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg isn’t a big fan of always-on DRM solutions for PC, and feels that if a publisher is going to incorporate such a system, it needs to reward the players in turn.

Speaking in an interview with EDGE, Sunderberg agreed piracy is a problem, but feels there are better ways to go about combating it than by forcing players to remain online at all times for authentication purposes.

“If a DRM system constantly needs to be defended, something must be wrong,” he said. “As a developer you will never win over any fans if you constantly let everyone know how much it costs to develop a game and how much money you lose.

“I don’t like always-on DRM solutions at all, since they offer nothing to the consumer. If you continuously give something extra for registering and being online, and award them for actually paying for and playing your game, it’d be different, but always-on DRM only says: ‘Thank you for buying our game, we trust you as far as we can throw you.’

“My solution to the problem is to start designing games for the PC player, and award PC players for being part of the community of your game and for staying connected to you – not forcing them. If you continuously tell the player that you care about their opinions, and appreciate their investment, you will lower the amount of bootleg copies.”

Sunderberg said it is usually the publisher that makes the DRM decisions, especially if it owns the IP, but that Avalanche would “go down screaming before anything like this ends up,” in one of its games.

“I would have a hard time explaining to my team why we would have to implement it…there is certainly a studio-wide opinion that DRM is a threat to the entertaining experience we want our players to have,” he said.

Avalanche Studios is currently working on Renegade Ops which is slated for a mid-month release on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.