E3 2013: Sony’s DRM terms unchanged, third-party publishers can impose restrictions [UPDATE]
Update: Game Informer received a statement from a Sony representative that said, “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.”
This means that third-party publishers can still create online passes, requiring a user to pay a fee to access the online features of a game, but have no say over licenses or DRM. We’ve corrected the story below.
When Sony America CEO Jack Tretton took the stage during the Sony E3 press conference Monday, he announced that the PlayStation 4 won’t have any new restrictions on used games, in what seemed like a direct response to Microsoft’s confusing used game policies. What he didn’t clarify is that Sony’s policies didn’t change, and that third-party publishers can still enact restrictions as they can today.
First-party PlayStation 4 games have no restrictions, but Sony can’t promise the same for third-party, think Electronic Arts, Activision, and Ubisoft, games. “The DRM decision is going to have to be in the hands of the third-parties,” Tretton told Game Trailers today, “It’s not something that we’re going to dictate, or control, or mandate, or implement.”
That means that third-party publishers can impose used game fees, or require users to input unique serial codes tied to each game like the PC. Similar to Microsoft, Sony has left those decisions to third-party publishers.
EA recently cancelled its $10 online pass program, but if it wants to, it could impose another online pass system on the PlayStation 4. The other publishers could do the same.
I’ve contacted EA, Activision, and Ubisoft about their PlayStation 4 game policies, and I’ll update the post should they respond. None of them commented on their Xbox One policies.
Being a software decision, not a hardware one, Microsoft specifically mentioned that its DRM policies could change at any time. I’ve contacted Sony to see if it says the same thing.
Source: Game Trailers