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The Pros And Cons of Using Digital Rights Management With Video Games

The Pros and Cons of Using Digital Rights Management With Video Gamesdigital-rights

Digital rights management, also more commonly shortened to DRM, is defined as “a class of technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders, and individuals with the intent to control the use of digital content and devices after sale.” This is accomplished through the use of code inserted into the media, restricting access to only the person who has purchased it.

Online and cloud gaming currently utilize digital rights management in a big way, when games are purchased over the internet. This comes in the form of persistent online authorization, a limited number of game installs and even protection against tampering with the game’s code.

So is digital rights management the best way to control video games? Is it something that will last into the foreseeable future? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons to using digital rights management in the video gaming industry.


Content Protection: This reason is the main driving force behind using digital rights management. Video games using digital rights management are subjected to the aforementioned restrictions, making the possibility to sell or give unauthorized copies much more difficult.

Content Availability: With digital rights management protection in place, more companies are willing to put high-end content up for sale on the internet. This is due to a much decreased worry of having the content illegally copied and sold.

Trials: One of the most effective marketing strategies when it comes to video games is allowing the player to try before they buy. In the past, this was only able to be accomplished by releasing two separate versions, one a trial and one full. Using digital rights management, a time limit can be set on how long the full version of the game can be played before payment is required.


Restrictive: Video games that use digital rights management contain a number of restrictions that can adversely affect a player’s experience. These can include the need for a constant internet connection and the inability to make backup copies of games that you own.

Privacy: Digital rights management safeguards are linked to the specific person who purchased the video game, usually by way of a signup or registration process. This provides an easy way for companies to track which content a person purchases, potentially trampling on individual privacy rights.

Server Problems: While cloud gaming is defined by how it is conducted solely over the internet, traditional gaming is not always restricted by these parameters. However, with digital rights management, no matter what game you are playing, a connection with the internet is mandatory. Thus, if there is any problems on the server side, you would be unable to play the game you purchased.

The argument over whether or not digital rights management should be used in the coming future is a hot one. What is your opinion on the usage of digital rights management? Let us know in the Comments section below!

By Joe Pellicone

About Joe Pellicone

In 2011, Joe launched his writing career, dealing primarily with the tech topics he is so familiar with (Tech & Gaming). Today, Joe uses his experience and talent to create quality and enjoyable pieces on everything from gaming hardware and software, to individual games and gaming companies.