Once again, DRM finds a way to primarily punish paying users while pirates manage to get the best forms of the title, without intrusive scans and internet checks.
At the heart of it all is once again Activision, who have Denuvo Anti-Tamper (DAT) ingrained into the newest foray of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 along with the requirements of needing to be online in order to launch the single-player title.
There is no note of this within the EULA nor on the store page (of Epic Games Store, having paid for yet another exclusivity title after Activision removed the title from purchase on Steam); it simply exists without rhyme or reason to stop the ‘evil pirates’ from getting titles for free.
At the moment, you may be considering that all’s fair in dev and distro of the games industry, and the cause for concern could be viewed as exaggerated.
By adding always-online checks to start the game, two massive problems emerge. First and foremost, for those that don’t live in mecca’s of internet and civilization, THPS is dang-near unplayable. Internet is not as wide-scaled as it is often posed, although massive leaps have been made outside of the United States.
Yet the far larger issue here is that this game is, once again, limited in playability.
It’s akin to Nintendo’s bizarre 35th celebration of Super Mario where you can only grab titles for a limited time before they’re entirely removed from storefronts both physical and digital.
Eventually, those servers that THPS needs to contact will go down. It might happen next year, or in two decades; it frankly matters little. It’s a temporary purchase until Activision opt to remove the online checks; once those servers go down, the title will fail to launch, and we’re stuck with yet another Tron where the only users able to play are those that had the foresight (and dastardly intent) to pirate the title.
You’re essentially purchasing a limited title that will inevitably fail to function unless Activision opts to remove the bizarre function that is, again, on top of the already pre-existing DAT; the two are speculated to be separate entities operating in tandem.
This, combined with the Epic exclusivity (after Activision pulled the OG title from Steam) has many users frustrated with the path that Activision has opted to take with the legendary title that many were hoping to experience.
Once again, pirates are going to have a better version of a title than paying customers, and publishers are somehow confused by this paradigm that has been beaten to death and beyond over the past decade because people in suits can’t understand the gaming industry in spite of their education.