I, belatedly, just started playing Starcraft 2. I have no real complaints about the game, but I HATE with the fury of the thousand suns the way they force you to register it.
Given my choice in hobbies, I know that pirating is a big deal not just in the video game industry, but in many other technology related industries as well. But surely there must be a better way to protect your game/movie/music/program than forced registration?
For those of you who don’t know, when you buy SC2 and install it, you can’t play it without a Battle.net account. That’s the company’s own website used to link their many games so you can play vs. other people over the internet. It used to be optional. I have the orignal Starcraft, unregistered, with no BNet account and I can play it just fine. However, with SC2, you are not allowed to play the game before you register and add the game to your existing cache of games that you own.
Not only that, but patches are also forced on you, like an MMO. Even if you have no interest in playing against other people, when you start the game, an automatic window appears and forces you to download any new patches that are available for the game. If you don’t want the “fix”, too bad, you are forced to download it anyway! No canceling or postponement option is available either. The only way I’ve found to not be forced into this is when my internet was down and the game, after a loooooooong delay, allowed me to play without connecting to the internet. I wish I could have tested that trick when I installed the game because I don’t really give a shit about Achievements and rather play it offline against the computer.
I remember when something similar happened years ago with another big name game, I think it may have been Half Life 2. There as in SC2, there was a forced registration and online requirement that unlocked the game. It was cracked pretty quick of course, but there was such a huge uprising on the internet that the company bowed to the outcry and stopped doing that shit. No idea if they’ve quietly slipped that back in.
I understand the need the protect a product that you might have spent the last 14 years working on, but I think the forced aspect of registration is too damaging to the product as a whole. Not only are forced patches, server accessibility, and registration a way to combat pirating, but it gives companies seemingly unlimited access to a product that you bought and is yours legally. This isn’t a car where using it has to be registered with the government. This is a private company deciding that they will dictate the terms in which you will use their product after it has left their factories. Maybe some of you think that’s right, but I don’t.
BTW, there’s probably a lot of hacks and mods that I could install to alter this game to get rid of the annoying parts, but my point is that there shouldn’t have to be an illegal backdoor third-party program to let you use a product on it’s own without meddling from the company.