Tomb Raider, Square Enix’s latest title and a considerably successful reboot, appears to come with some kind of DRM (Digital Rights Management) when you buy it from the PlayStation Network in the US. According to the description on the Store [via] it can only be used by one PS3 system every 24 hours (something we’ve seen before), can’t be used by any other account and – get this – requires you to sign into the PSN before it’ll work.
“No more than one activated PS3 system within a 24 hour period. Content may not be used by any other account. You must sign in to PSN each time you start the game,” lists the small print.
Chances are if you’re buying it digitally you’re going to always have an internet connection, but what if you want to take the PS3 to a friend’s? You’ll have to set up the network settings each time. And what if the PSN goes down (as it did this week) and you can’t connect at all?
Capcom tried doing something similar with Final Fight back in 2010 – that game also required a PSN connection and it also locked out other accounts on the same console. An admin at Capcom said this was “employed to combat the rampant ‘PSN Sharing’ that has been going on” and Tomb Raider does seem to fall under the same protective umbrella.
There’re a few other games that also used this method of DRM.
Yesterday Polygon changed their review for EA’s brand new Sim City (from a 9.5 to an 8) after network issues meant that the single player game was effectively unplayable, something that didn’t sit well with everyone in the industry afterwards. Sim City uses an “always-on” method of DRM, more restrictive than Tomb Raider but a similar kind of principle.
Tomb Raider is out this week, and is likely to employ the same methods in its European PSN release. We’ll find out today when the PSN Store updates.
Update: Square Enix have issued a statement on this, saying the DRM references were in error.