In a move that is sure to make many gamers angry, GSC Game World studio head Sergey Grigorovich has revealed that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will require a constant internet connection in order to facilitate an always-on DRM (Digital Rights Management).
Most of the content for the game will be hosted on the game’s servers and thus require a constant internet connection for downloading purposes as the player progresses through the game. But mostly, the constant connection is to combat against piracy.
Sergey Grigorovich had this to say:
“Protection from piracy? Part of the content will be located on the server and downloaded as the game progresses. Permanent internet access is required. Text information, code and quests will be loaded through that connection. Software piracy is an issue for us, we try to fight it, but within reason.
If people can not afford a licensed version, it is to our advantage if they download a pirated copy, and then want to buy a license. In Ukraine, there are different products that people love so much that they buy a license in principle. We want to create just such a product.”
It seems like GSC Game World are simply using the fact that much of the game content is stored online as a front to pretend it’s not just about piracy. And his argument that people playing an incomplete pirated copy will want to buy a licensed copy in order to truly play the game? I highly doubt that’s how it will work. The pirate will probably just get frustrated and say, “Well forget that game.”
And for everyone who buys the licensed versions, having to be constantly connected to the internet in order to play will simply be one big inconvenience.
Update: It seems that GSC Game World has been liquefied. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is most likely dead in the water. We’ll have more details as this develops.
Update: GSC Game World has asked its fans to not lose hope. The developers are still working on the game and will continue to try to shop it to potential publishers for console and PC release. A PC release alone would not give GSC Game World the sales that it requires to call the game a success.