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Paradox: DRM "costs money and makes you lose money"

CEO Fred Wester criticises anti-piracy measures, says Ubisoft's are "2003"

Paradox CEO and co-owner Fred Wester has explained his anti-DRM stance, citing user experience and cost, and argued that for some, it's just a way to cover their backs.

"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," he told GameSpy.

"I know this for a fact, because we tried it eight years ago, and it never worked for us. Two major reasons: it costs money and it makes you lose money, and the other is that it's so inconvenient to customers."

He revealed Paradox hadn't used DRM for around eight years, and argued that for many, the anti-piracy measures are simply a way to please the board.

"If you're a CEO, you need to cover your back. And the people who ask, the board, know nothing about games. They're there because they're some investment company or something, and they ask "So what are you doing to protect our game from pirates?" And then they can reply 'We're buying this solution from Sony.'"

He also thought the current Ubisoft DRM, which requires gamers to maintain an online connection, was "2003."

"People who purchase a game should have just as easy a time as those who pirate the game, otherwise it's a negative incentive to buy a legal copy," he told GameSpy, after explaining his frustrations with Civilization III.

During the interview Wester also shared Paradox's plans regarding the free-to-play business model, admitting it wasn't something that the company had much experience with yet.

"Free-to-play companies analyse the customer. "Well what did this guy buy, and how do we get him to buy the next item?" We don't really have that statistical backend to do that, so I don't think we'd be very successful in the coming year. But after that, it's definitely doable for us, and we're ramping up to do it."

The company is set to publish MMO Salem, set for release in Q3, which will be free-to-play.

Author
Rachel Weber avatar

Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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