E3 2013: Sony Is Allowing Third-Party Publishers To Decide On Used Games DRM
Following an interview with Sony CEO Jack Tretton and a resulting press release shortly afterwards, Sony have confirmed that third-party publishers will have the final say on whether or not they choose to implement used games DRM on their titles.
In an interview with Game Trailers’ Geoff Keighley, Tretton was asked about reason behind Sony’s rejection of used games DRM.
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“If the consumer pays x amount of dollars for a game and they don’t have the flexibility to get some additional value out of it, it changes the way the perceive the value of the game and it takes dollars out of their pocket to buy a new game… We just want to give the consumer flexibility.”
Following on from that, Tretton was asked about whether third-party developers would be given the right to enforce their own version of DRM, to which Tretton replied:
“We create the platform. We’ve certainly stated with our first party games, we’re not going to be doing that. But we welcome publishers and their business models to our platforms. There’s going to be free-to-play; there’s going to be every potential business model on there and again that’s up to their relationship with the consumer and what they think is going to put them in the best stead. So we’re not going to dictate that. We’re going to give them a platform to publish on.”
“The DRM decision is going to have to be in the hands of the third parties. That’s not something that we’re going to dictate or mandate or control or implement.”
No, as you can expect, most of this was taken incorrectly and twisted in teh vortex known as the internet, prompting a clearer and more concise response from Sony officially.
The Online Pass program for PlayStation first-party games will not continue on PlayStation 4. Similar to PS3, we will not dictate the online used game strategy (the ability to play used games online) of its publishing partners. As announced last night, PS4 will not have any gating restrictions for used disc-based games. When a gamer buys a PS4 disc they have right to use that copy of the game, so they can trade-in the game at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever.
So while the PS4 does not feature any console specific software that aims to aid this restriction of used games, Sony has stated that they won’t infringe on publishers that chose to implement their own form of DRM. In the past this included Online Passes and similar code based systems, so it’s still a mystery as to whether publishers will continue with this stance or choose to invest in more restrictive policies.
At least first-party titles won’t be affected in the slightest.