What I don't understand is why the publisher would want to have all purchasers on a central server with the attendant management and cost implications. I have to assume that the publisher has a self-interest reason for taking on the additional load when it would be easier simply to distribute through downloads.
What is the reason?
It's very simple really. CONTROL
. It seems to be all the rage nowadays in big business. Take the customer's money, give them something, but retain control
over it. Copyright control. License control. Persistent connection control.
Imagine if you bought a new Escape and found that you didn't actually buy
it. You licensed
it. So you're driving your car to grandma's house and turn onto the gravel road that goes her way, and the car slows down to 5mph. It won't go faster. what the? Call the dealer. "You're not allowed to drive on gravel roads. proceed immediately to a paved road." no? It's MY CAR. "No it's not. And the license you agreed to specifically states you are not allowed to drive on gravel roads. The car will slow to 5mph until you return to a paved surface."
Oh, and if you give them your credit card and pay $500, they'll sell you an "offroad license" so the car stops driving slow on gravel. It's a digital download even. Better decide quick, that potroast is gonna get cold.
Ain't licenses just great
? Maintaining many models in your product line is expensive. Imagine if Ford could manufacture ONE model of car. Just one. And sell it with a variety of different specs. Some have more horsepower. Or higher top speed. Or advanced traction control. Or auto park. You could order it a'la'carte. The "problem" here is that, what if you "hack your car". Buy the cheap model, and get in there and turn on features you didn't buy? That would be a huge problem
. (for Ford) So.... the solition is simple. Don't sell you the car. License
it. That way, they stay in control
of it. Not physically. legally
. And if you "hack your car" they will pull a DMCA or some such nonsense on you.
It's all about control. Control that helps them get more money from you.
Anyway, it's not that tinfoil-hatish. They already do it with software. 15 years ago the above scenario for software would appear just as absurd as the Ford example appears to you now. Just as intolerable. Just today I read that EA bigwigs were quote as saying "the public is 'ready' for always-on". What he really
means is "the public has finally grown tolerant enough of it for us to get away with and start implementing on a large scale".
and oh, my Ford example is preposterous? no one would tolerate that? We already do! It's called a "car lease"! (blow your mind did I?)