Stardock, publishers of the upcoming co-op game Demigod, have unleashed a few details of their newest version of their digital distribution client. Famous for their "we don't treat our customers like criminals" line - Stardock's Impulse Reactor service will be very fair in terms of DRM.
Of course the first step to any successful method is getting the publishers to buy in.
...developers who use the next version of Impulse Reactor can include a small DLL that will allow developers to use Stardock servers for registration and updates. For example people who install a game with Impulse Reactor for the first time might be asked for a CD Key and an email address. Once that's done the game is registered with Impulse Reactor servers.
Great news for developers. DRM management servers are removed from their equation as something they are responsible for. Sow how does this help the gamers?
if a gamer wants to install the game again on a new PC, all he or she has to do is sign on again with just their email address. Impulse Reactor's servers will then recognize the user and allow the game to install and be played on the new PC with no fuss. Wardell told us that the Impulse Reactor software does not require the actual Impulse store client software to be installed (unlike games that use or are downloaded from Steam which do require that the entire Steam client run in the background). That should please brick-and-mortar stores that might be concerned that a competitor's software might be installed in a PC game they sell in their retail locations.
This is good news for folks that like to game on the go. Your software isn't tied to a PC, but to an account. As we've seen in the past, DRM can go woefully wrong, and usually ends up punishing those customers who purchase your products legitly. Lets hope more companies come up with solutions like Stardock's.