GOG.com’s Trevor Longino is concerned about saving gaming for history, but, because games like Diablo III require a constant online connection, we could one day lose that game.
“I would say one of the downsides that is going to be really bad for games that have an always online requirement is that unless at some future date the person who made that game removes that constantly online requirement you won’t be able to have a service like GOG selling that game”, Trevor Longino has told games™ talking about how part of GOG.com’s mission is to preserve gaming history. Games like Diablo III with bespoke constantly online DRM, Longino goes on to explain, could be lost to gaming culture at large if for any reason the games publisher or developer stops supporting that infrastructure. “So when you lose that online connection, “ explains Longino,” you lose a chunk of gaming history.”
Besides GOG.com, the maligned pirates are also helping to preserve older games. Still, without help from the original developers, it can still prove to be a problem.
As far as I’m concerned, once the publisher stops selling the game, it’s no longer a matter of piracy. There is no further argument about lost sales. If it’s not available for sale, then morality or ethics shouldn’t even be considered except to say that it is morally correct to save the game. This is particularly true as many games are now unplayable on their original cartridges or discs due to age, misuse, and/or improper storage.
For those that still do not understand, Diablo III is not an “online-only” game in the sense that you need an internet connection to play. You do not have the complete game on your computer. Your computer is the local client that renders the game and has some code. With normal online-only games, you can, eventually, figure out a hack so you don’t have to connect online. With Diablo III’s online-only, you don’t have access to the game on your own computer.
This puts the onus on Blizzard to preserve their own game indefinitely, which is unlikely to happen. If games like Diablo III are to be preserved, then there will have to come a point where Blizzard would stop selling the game and release the source code for that to happen.