Paradox Interactive CEO explains why he hates DRM

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.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.