Paradox Interactive CEO explains why he hates DRM

Andy Chalk

Just about everyone has an opinion about DRM. Most gamers don't like it, unless it's Steam, in which case they love it; CD Projekt and GOG have spoken out against it for years, while Square Enix recently said DRM is "essential for the foreseeable future." Now Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester has waded into the fray, saying he believes that the only effective way to prevent piracy is to make legal copies of games a better option.

A nasty storm knocked my internet out for an hour or so last week, so I decided to spend some time with my newly-acquired (and yes, free ) copy of Peggle. But I couldn't do it: No internet meant no connection to Origin, and no Origin meant no game. It was a very on-point example of how DRM can "punish players who actually bought the game," as Wester put it to GameSpot , relating his own tale of copy protection hassles installing Civilization III.

"If I had pirated it from anywhere, I would have gotten it much faster, more convenient," he said. "So we don't want to put barriers on convenience for the gamers. It should be more convenient, you should get more content, it should be easier for you to install if you buy the legal copy."

Wester said he doesn't know what the piracy rates of Paradox games are, nor is he particularly interested in finding out. "What we want to do is provide people who bought the game legally a better service. With frequent updates; good and convenient services; that's how we fight piracy," he said. "I hope it works. I keep my fingers crossed."

The system does appear to work: He said Paradox Interactive, which specializes in large-scale strategy games like Hearts of Iron and Europa Universalis , is a "high profitable" company as it is, and so undertaking a new anti-piracy effort just wouldn't make any sense.

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