How to fit a customer into a spreadsheet

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Any gamer who missed the collosal SimCity always-on-maybe-DRM bust-up over the past week must have been living under a virtual rock. It was big news, and it spoke as much about Software As A Service and DRM in any mediums, as it did about the admittedly unique future of gaming.

Super Meat Boy developer and owner Tommy Refenes this week wrote a heartfelt description of why DRM, piracy and all that they entail aren’t quite as simple when you think about the humans involved.

Highlighting what are concerns in the VOD and music world, this article and the SimCity incident - as it will now be called - showed that consumer frustration at being told what their rights are goes a long way to messing up a few executive’s weeks. Officially it was entirely unrelated, but John Riccitiello’s departure spoke volumes of EA’s failure to monetise content using rights management such as microtransactions and call-us-cynical SimCity always-on DRM.

I don’t think it would be controversial to say that if media companies ensured they were balancing their customers as well as their books, they might be a little less wobbly.

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