JC: The only DRM for your games is a registration code. Do you believe DRM really protects against pirates, or just makes it more difficult for legitimate customers who have to deal with all the measures the pirates simply bypass?
JV: Intrusive and obnoxious DRM systems that punish legitimate customers are a bad thing. They should go away. Period. But let's not overstate the case against DRM.
Like most game developers, I release a demo. Access to the full game requires buying a registration code from us. If someone needs a replacement code, that is free. No online verification. No limits on multiple installs. I think our system is pretty friendly to the customer.
The only alternative is to give everyone the full game immediately and then ask politely for them to stop by our web site and pay us. This would put us out of business in pretty much no time at all.
As I see it, the biggest issue here is not that customers are evil, but that human beings procrastinate. Procrastination is a huge and powerful force. Given the choice between playing my game and going to the web store, ordering, pulling out the credit card, entering personal information, etc., most people will just play the game. Until they finish the game. And then they will move on to another game. Sure, a few honest people will hunt me down to give me money. Not enough to stay in business.
A lot of people are honest enough to pay me for my work, thank goodness. But that doesn't mean they might not need a little nudge.
Some people have seriously told me that I should just release the full game without any limits at all. No. Nonononono! That's crazy! I mean, my god. Show a tiny bit of empathy for the developer! If going out of business is the cost I have to pay to make someone happy, I can't afford to have that person as a customer.