The PC variation of Crash Bandicoot 4 introduced solely on Battle.net the other day – and gamers weren’t precisely enjoyed find it’s always-online.
Crash Bandicoot 4, which does not have any online multiplayer, needs a web connection to use PC – as appears to be basic practice with Battle.net video games.
Players have actually reported concerns with this requirement, such as login mistakes that require the video game to close. These login mistakes supposedly provide themselves even when your web drops while playing. It also means that any issues Blizzard experiences with its authentication servers could make the game unplayable.
And then of course there’s the issue of the game’s ongoing playablity in the event of a server shutdown by Activision. As Activision states on Crash Bandicoot 4’s product page on Battle.net: “Activision makes no guarantee regarding the availability of online features and may modify or discontinue those at its discretion without notice.”
Activision’s other Battle.net games, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, have a similar always-online requirement. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, which is available on PC via the Epic Games Store, also has an always-online requirement. But the difference here is Crash Bandicoot 4 is a single-player game whose multiplayer is local play only.
As you’d expect, this hasn’t gone down well with PC gamers, who have expressed their concern on social media and forums.
Imagine trying to play a singleplayer game with always-online DRM during this time… (Crash 4)
— Zachary Carreiro (@ZacharyCarreiro) March 27, 2021
— FunSizeDragon (@FunSizeDragon) March 27, 2021
Crash 4 on PC has always online DRM. This is unacceptable, and only ends up harming legitimate consumers. pic.twitter.com/QKcvkH2lTk
— RibShark (@RibShark) March 26, 2021
I am fucking done with the anti-customer direction of gaming.
When you BUY a game but are unable to play due to bad DRM and always online in a strictly SINGLE PLAYER game.
My rule is to not buy always online single player games. Made an exception for Crash 4.
Was a mistake. pic.twitter.com/dGp8GLMneb
— ItsYoji (@Its_Yoji) March 26, 2021
It seems reasonable to assume Activision included the always-online requirement in a bid to prevent piracy. However, just a day after it came out, Crash Bandicoot 4 has been cracked, which indicates those willing to pirate the video game may have a better experience than legitimate customers.
Curiously, it seems this always-online requirement does not apply to the upcoming Diablo 2: Resurrected. Last month Blizzard confirmed the Battle.internet-exclusive remaster is playable offline.