Rob Pardo has said software piracy is at its worst against single-player games where most publishers turn to a "heavy-handed DRM solution."
He reveals "compelling multiplayer elements" are what have saved Blizzard in the PC market all these years. Battle.net is the "best gaming service on the planet" killing off pirates.
"For many companies, the most compelling part of their product is the single player, or the only part of the product is the single player," said Rob Pardo in an interview with PC Gamer.
"At that point, they’re forced to use some sort of heavy-handed DRM solution. It’s difficult right now for them."
"The reason we’ve been successful on PC is because we offer extremely compelling multiplayer elements to our games, WoW being the most obvious, of course," he said.
"But all of our games, a lot of the longevity in the games are the compelling multiplayer, and if you want to play on Battle.net - which I think is one of, if not the best gaming service on the planet - then you have to have a legitimate CD key, so that just cuts out all the piracy right there. That’s what’s unfortunate about the PC business."
Not all is well in Blizz land though as even the flagship MMO has fallen victim to piracy, though luckily those illegitimate numbers pale in comparison to the huge paying user base for World of Warcraft.
EA has stepped up its inclusion of EA Nation to help try and weed out the pirated copies from participating in online matches. Microsoft having introduced Games for Windows Live also commits to the same strategy but could also block patches and other updates.
Could robust multiplayer have saved Iron Lore's action RPG Titan Quest?