The PC version of Crash Bandicoot 4 was launched exclusively on Battle.net yesterday – and gamers were not exactly thrilled to discover that it is always online.
Crash Bandicoot 4, which does not have online multiplayer, requires an Internet connection to be played on a PC – as seems to be common practice with Battle.net games.
Players have reported issues with this requirement, such as login errors that force the game to close. These login errors are reportedly reported even when the internet crashes while you are playing. It also means that any issues Blizzard experiences with the authentication servers may render the game unplayable.
And then of course there is the question of the game’s ongoing playability in the event of server shutdown by Activision. As Activision states on Crash Bandicoot 4’s product page on Battle.net: “Activision makes no warranty as to the availability of online features and may change or terminate them at its sole 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 Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2, which is available on PC via the Epic Games Store, also has an online requirement. But the difference here is Crash Bandicoot 4 is a single player game whose multiplayer is just a local game.
As you might expect, this has not gone well with PC gamers, who have expressed their concern on social media and forums.
Imagine trying to play a single player game with always online DRM during this time … (Crash 4)
– Zachary Carreiro (@ZacharyCarreiro) March 27, 2021
Imagine being in the middle of a very difficult challenge (which is extremely common in Crash 4), and the internet disconnects during a great race. Fun. # CrashBandicoot4 #DRM
– FunSizeDragon (@FunSizeDragon) March 27, 2021
Crash 4 on PC always has online DRM. This is unacceptable and only ends up harming legitimate consumers. pic.twitter.com/QKcvkH2lTk
– RibShark (@RibShark) March 26, 2021
I’m done with the anti-customer’s direction of gaming.
When you buy a game but are unable to play due to poor DRM and are always online in a strictly EASY PLAYER game.
My rule is not to always buy online players. Made an exception for Crash 4.
Was a mistake. pic.twitter.com/dGp8GLMneb
– ItsYoji (@Its_Yoji) March 26, 2021
WHY ??? !!! My connection is good and I have just logged in. From r / crashbandicoot
It seems reasonable to assume that Activision included the always-online requirement in an attempt to prevent piracy. However, just one day after its release, Crash Bandicoot 4 has been cracked, which means that those willing to pirate the game may have a better experience than legitimate customers.
Oddly enough, it seems that this always-online requirement does not apply to the upcoming Diablo 2: Resurrected. Last month, Blizzard confirmed the Battle.net-exclusive remaster is playable offline.