Tim Willits, from id, have high hopes that Diablo 3 proves successful with its “always online” DRM. And, as much as Blizzard, he doesn’t address the point directly, citing “always updated” games as a nice thing.
Obviously, he ignores that Steam provides nice updates and doesn’t require the user to be always online.
It’s obvious that what Tim expects is that Diablo 3 proves to be a huge success, so other companies can use the “always online” excuse over and over again to put more and more DRM around. And we, customers, will be locked in this, under the hopes that our free time will never coincide with the company maintenance time or our ISP maintenance time or that, someday long in the future, when we decide to play that old game again and find that the company decided it wasn’t profitable to keep servers running with a low population and, thus, we can’t play anymore ‘cause the game can’t connect in the server anymore, or suddenly Anonymous/LulzSec decide to attack the server, leaving us with no option to play the game (Anonymous did attack World of Warcraft login servers with a small part of its force and brought the service down for a couple of hours).
And the sad fact is that, in the end, for more that some people understand that there are too many variables to make this a long time, fool proof system, a lot of people will buy the game and give people like Tim Willits the perfect excuse to add more and more lockdowns.
I just wish, deep down, that Anonymous and/or LulzSec go full force into Battle.net servers once this game is launched. But I pretty much doubt anything like that would happen.
PS: I know how much I sound like I sound a lot like “DOWN WITH DRM! THEY MAKE MY GAMES HARDER TO PIRATE!”, I’m actually not against DRM. I understand that they exist for a reason and it’s valid: companies spend piles of money to bring games to life and they deserve to get their rewards in the end. What I am against is this kind of DRM, which prevents customers enjoying the game ‘cause it requires something completely alien to the experience (in this case, the single player game which requires an online connection when you don’t use anything that really requires online play). Besides, as I pointed over and over again, “always online” DRM have too many variables and its prone to several failure points.