DRM is one of the worst plagues to hit ever hit consumer goods. To purchase a product and be locked out of it due to draconian DRM is, to me, inexcusable. It was BS when S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky had a five-time activation limit, and it was likewise BS when the much-hyped Spore was partly ruined with its own DRM. Even Keurig of all companies got in on the action at some point – and its products are not even digital! Meanwhile, we see companies continue to find out their efforts are in vain, while others continue to fight the good fight and offer games without DRM as standard.
DRM isn’t likely to impact a regular user as much as someone who spends their life benchmarking, because it’s not common for someone to swap multiple GPUs during their night of gaming. For benchmarkers though, who have limited time to get testing done even in an ideal situation, DRM can downright infuriate.
EA forgot to name Battlefield V in its DRM dialog
It could have been that versions prior to Battlefield 1 had DRM, but it wasn’t until that title that the issue reared its head. If you merely change the graphics card in the PC that has BF 1 or BF V installed, you’ll start to eat away at hidden activations – up to 3 or 4 per day (I’ve never been able to pinpoint for sure, due to how finicky it is).
So, our Radeon VII review is right around the corner, and I have some extra resolutions to catch up on. As I write this, only half of the GPUs have been tested at a certain resolution in BF V so far, because DRM is locking us out from finishing up. We’re done all other testing at this point, but won’t be able to finish up until tomorrow or Thursday due to BF V‘s DRM.
This kind of slap to the face makes me wonder why we even bother testing Battlefield V at all. Sure, it’s a massively popular game, but at what point should we count our losses and just rule out the game that gives us DRM hassles and prevents us from finishing up testing? This morning, I installed a GPU to see if the game would work again, and it didn’t. I just have to play the waiting game – the worst game of all, especially when embargoes get closer.
It’s beyond tempting to never have to deal with BF DRM again. No other game in our lineup gives us DRM hassles, and I quite honestly can’t remember the last time DRM actually prevented us from finishing up testing outside of Battlefield 1.
DRM can be implemented myriad ways, but EA/DICE chose a senseless design that treats a simple GPU swap as an activation, just like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky did 11 years ago. It’s actually hard to believe we’re still dealing with this, especially when games are tied to our own accounts.