Piracy is a major problem for PC gaming, especially for foreign and independent developers. DICE however has said that the impact that piracy can have on Battlefield 3 is pretty much zero. Karl Magnus-Troedsson of DICE said “So far, Battlefield has been unaffected by it because we have a multiplayer online game where you need to be logged in, so we haven’t had any huge problems with it. We’ve had other titles that have been hit hard by it, so piracy is still a problem. I’m not advocating draconian DRM solutions. I don’t believe that’s the best way to do it. I’d rather have people buy our games, direct to consumer through different e-tailer solutions.”
Despite them saying that, Battlefield 3 on the PC requires EA Origin to play the game, which in its own right is a form of DRM as was revealed last month back in mid-august. However, like Steam, Origin creates a universal network among the players of the game allowing for interactions across games and easily organizing games without having to smash skulls over IM clients.
Their stance wont prevent piracy completely however. People set up private servers for all sorts of games all the time in order to play for free, to avoid abusive moderators or even immature/illicit communities. Also, not everyone likes multiplayer for multiple reasons so those who are stuck with singleplayer might not even care that much.
The amount of piracy in the industry has caused developers to port their games to consoles in order to make more sales and use microtransactions in order to maximize their profits, as a game nowadays can have a budget of several million dollars and unless they sell millions they’ll miss out on more funds for the next title. This however means that the only way to avoid piracy is to have games be completely online, which alienates a significant audience.