How To Fail At Business The Square Enix Way!

Always, always make sure your product is less desirable and useful to your customers than one they can get free with minimal effort and risk. Make sure it runs worse, isn’t portable to another computer when the customer buys a new one, will cease working if they have no network connection or if your company decides to stop supporting the product. Especially make sure that your product is crippled in these ways while at the same time pirated versions of the product face none of these hurdles.

The problem, and I hate to keep repeating this, is that facing a problem by attacking your paying customers is really, really dumb.* They’re your allies, they’re the people paying your salaries. Don’t make life harder on them! Don’t encourage them to seek out other ways to get what you’re selling. Don’t punish them for paying you especially if your efforts to fight piracy are wholly ineffective. DRM is no more than a speed bump to a software pirate.

I get that Square Enix doesn’t want people stealing their games. I don’t want people stealing their games. I live in hope that someday Square Enix will make another game as good as FFX, although that hope diminishes with each new release. I’m just disappointed that they seem to be stubbornly clinging to a model that doesn’t actually stop people from stealing their games, but does make things worse for the paying customer.

* This is known as “The Metallica Business Model”

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