Digital rights management technologies have been a contentious topic for some time now. Although nearly abolished in the music world – at least in any form that significantly affects paying customers – when it comes to video games many publishers still favor bundling heavy-handed solutions with titles to fight piracy. Among those is Namco, which recently called Ubisoft's controversial always-on DRM scheme a good strategy "at the moment," for lack of a better alternative.
Thankfully, others seem to have more forward-thinking views on how to confront this issue. Speaking to VideoGamer.com, Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce called DRM a losing battle and said they'd rather have development teams focused on content and cool features. According to Pearce the best approach is to make sure they've got a full-featured platform that people want to play on, where their friends are and where the community is.
You could say this is the same strategy that Valve has followed for a while quite successfully with Steam. Blizzard hopes its Battle.net service will be attractive enough to convince would-be pirates to buy the game, and there have been rumors that the company is mulling the possibility of licensing the overhauled platform to third parties. As far as StarCraft II is concerned, due out on July 27, the game will require a single online activation after which players will be allowed to play the single-player game, without being forced to have a persistent Internet connection.