You heard it right. Relic’s Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II will ship without any DRM. Taking a page right out of the Valve’s “How to Protect Your Game and Reward the Consumer at the Same Time” manual, Relic is planning on showering legit owners of the game with jewel encrusted DLC at no extra charge. “So we’re going with the approach that Valve pioneered to just reward the people who actually bought the game with cool stuff,” said Relic lead designer Jonny Ebbert. What that “cool stuff” will be is left to be discovered, but he did say that it would be free and that’s what counts.
2009 may end up being the year that DRM died. First it was Prince of Persia and now another high profile game to ship this year without any DRM. Even though Valve and other companies like Stardock have been on the no DRM train for a while, it’s very refreshing to see other developers jumping on. Hopefully the biggest offender, EA, is feeling pressure to change their position on DRM. I think it is safe to remain skeptical that EA will stop using DRM any time soon, I know we will. However in a tough global economic environment punishing the consumer with malicious DRM could prove to be detrimental to the sale of your game. Is that a risk a company so focused on their bottom line like EA would take? I think 2009 will be the year that will test EA’s DRM position to the maximum.