And that is fair enough and something I completely back; it's not the consumers job to agree or justify a developers or publishers choices nor do they need to buy the products they don't feel like supporting. The feedback loop is extremely crucial and criticism is completely fair when we are talking about paid products. However, I was responding to posters ridiculous conspiracy theories and calling generally all developers "cunts, lazy, incompetent and spiteful", which is an accusation I don't take lightly without any proof.
We all know good developers and even publishers with good game. Immunity managers work hard and are not lazy. Sometimes good intentions are met with the greatest of problems from within. Executive decisions, he'll even middle management decisions, can cripple a game when made outside of that feedback loop. I see it everyday in enterprise software engineering and integration products products being purchased by idiots several layers removed from the engineer because someone convinced them with maths they would save money. I am happy you didn't take my post with any percieved disrespect and actually understood exactly how I meant it.
That is a good point; without concrete data consumers don't need to be able justify their opinions regarding DRM. It's unlikely that we'll ever see the research or data (nor will it be completely accurate as you can't A/B-test the world), but I also don't see why it would be hard to see how publishers can justify it, even if it's not necessarily cheap. I also wouldn't say that Steam was begrudgingly adopted, or that the general Jane Consumer on PC even cares about DRM, but that's beside the point.
I am not astonished one bit. I have a suspicion that DRM in any other form other than steam and its ilk actually cost more than it's worth. I am also suspicious that if steam didn't exist the PC gaming wouldn't exist as it does not. By, that I think it probably wouldn't. But that is neither here nor there.
Steam was forced on us. It certainly was met with truckloads of criticism. It really sucked for the longest time in many documented ways. also, I don't think people care about DRM because they don't know how vile it actually is.
Again, completely fair and I have definitely left some titles on the shelf because of an online-only integration that I felt had no value, and would rather spend my money elsewhere. I also have my doubts on the the functionality of individual services (I'm not too concerned about Steam or uPlay or Origin, but that's obviously a risk I'm willing to take) and I care deeply about archival purposes and being able to see our legacy, so yes, the service-based approach definitely has downsides without much direct value (though at least Steam offers some, especially tools like Steam Workshop or marketplace are a good example of how it can add value to the product).
It is all about cost to me and also knowing the risks if a title I can't live without does get some DRM I would normally oppose. Which is why I still buy console games which aren't much better these days. In the PS3 and 360 days I might day one a game if it didn't have a day one patch that prevented a good experience even if I may not play it until months later. Those days seem long gone. PC has been long gone for me since 2010 in regards to full price purchases. I miss out and developers miss out on my support.