As Ubisoft’s recent struggle with DRM technology brings the subject back into the limelight again, the always excellent Ars Technica has an article up exploring how DRM can impact a specific group of gamers—soldiers stationed overseas.
A soldier now stationed in Iraq detailed his experiences with DRM, saying his experiences with the technology have ranged from “annoying to unforgivable,” though he called Valve’s Steam platform “pretty awesome” when it came to working with deployed military personnel in order to ensure that they have access to their games.
The unnamed soldier on his experiences with other companies and services:
I've had hit and miss success with some of the other download companies. Any kind of game that tries to call home, though, is generally more of a problem than it is worth. Especially ones that try to resolve your IP address with your version/purchase location.
On-base Internet connectivity can very spotty and expensive, adding to the headache of playing a game with DRM that phones home constantly. The soldier said that the “government sponsored Internet” features severe bandwidth caps, while civilian Internet is extremely expensive—the soldier pays $150.00 a month for a 192K connection.
Ars added its own thoughts on DRM:
This sort of DRM makes sense for a world where every device is always connected to some magically open and always-on Internet connection. That world is a very long way away, so by requiring an Internet connection at all times to play a game that isn't online itself is simply alienating an audience.