Those who bought Final Fight:Double Impact on the Playstation Network found some heavy laced DRM underneath all that old school nostalgia.
Double Impact cannot be played at all without a constant internet connection. That includes both the single and multiplayer portions of the game. The player needs a constant connection tothe Playstation Network for authentication. The game completely quits if the connection is lost. These restrictions are only for the Playstation 3 version.
The game also cannot be played by a different user within a 24 hour period, even if it’s on the same system.
Capcom will not be removing the DRM but working with Sony to warn potential buyers of the need for the constant PSN connection. It’s rumored the DRM is a way to combat PSN gamesharing.They issued an apology:
Capcom would like to formally apologize for the issues consumers are having with the PS3 version of Final Fight: Double Impact,” the company said. “Typically, the notification for a required PlayStation Network connection appears in the full game description when a game is downloaded from the PlayStation Store. Unfortunately when populating this content this detail was overlooked and wasn’t included in the versions of the game that released in North America and Asia.
Capcom also said this type of DRM has been implemented in previous games in the Playstation Store, but wouldn’t say which ones.
This specific DRM is garbage. Is gamesharing really that big a threat to Capcom’s sales? It’s hard to imagine gamesharing is sucking their profits dry to the point where they need to implement such restrictive DRM.
It’s incredibly shady that they didn’t announce this DRM is in Double Impact. They only acknowledged it after a huge backlash.
As usual, this hugely important detail was “overlooked” by those at Capcom. Go figure. Sounds like somebody didn’t want this info becoming widely known. That’s not a detail that just happens to be forgotten.
We aren’t at the point yet where this type of DRM can be properly implemented. Even if we get to that point, it shouldn’t be put into place. Console gaming needs to stay DRM free.
Not everyone has an amazing internet connection, and even if they do, things go wrong.
What happens when your internet goes out due to things out of your control, like bad weather, a power outage, or that brief moment when it randomly disconnects for a few seconds? Internet connections aren’t 100% reliable. If I want to a play my game, I should be able to, not only when my internet is working properly.
What happens when PSN eventually shuts down, much like the original Xbox Live? After the original Xbox Live shutdown about two weeks ago, you can no longer play any original Xbox titles online, You also can’t redownload DLC if you’re system dies, or hard drive breaks, or any other malfunction.
The content is gone forever. Content that you paid for can no longer be used. How can you play games with this type of DRM if this iteration of PSN one day no longer exists?
Much like Ubisoft’s attempt with the PC version of Assassin’s Creed 2, a completely single player game, Double Impact is riddled with similar DRM. With Assassin’s Creed 2, the player needed to be constantly connected to Ubisoft’s servers to work. I doubt those servers will be up five or ten years from now.
Back in March, the Ubisoft servers actually went down for a bit, making Assassin’s Creed 2 unplayable. That’s right. Completely unplayable.
What if it’s the same for Final Fight: Double Impact, or other console games in the future? Do we need Capcom’s servers up and running in order to play? Who gets to decide when the servers will be cut? What’s stopping them and from companies implementing something similar down the line?
You’d be a fool to think that companies aren’t looking at this or something similar for full-fledged console games. From the looks of it, it’s already starting with downloadable games.
When it comes to digital distribution and console DRM, the industry is already setting precedents with the above mentioned Xbox Live shutdown and the latest being Double Impact. They aren’t good ones either.
More and more, digital distribution is becoming anti-consumer. The companies already have your money. What do they care if you can’t use your game when you want, or no longer use it at all?
We are slowly getting to a point where we can only play our games when some bigwig gives us the green light. You are basically paying for a long rental. Once the service is cut, there goes your rental.
Gamers can vote with their wallets, but we all know that will never happen. They will still buy these games, sending the message that money can still be made even with these types of restrictions. Worst of all, it’ll ultimately be sending the message that gamers don’t care.
If this is what the industry is evolving into, it needs to be quickly and carefully reexamined before both feet are in the grave.
- Release Date: 4/15/2010
- Price: $9.99 / 1200 Microsoft Points
- System: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
[photos by Capcom]