UPDATE: Square Enix has rolled back the Steam update which left Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster owners unable to play the game offline.
"We are aware of an issue which affected the ability to play FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster in offline environments," wrote SunilG.
"To rectify this, we have removed the latest update with immediate effect, and you can now continue to experience the game as before.
"A new version of the last patch will be available in the near future. We're sorry for any inconvenience caused, and thank you for your patience.
"We hope you continue to enjoy playing FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD Remaster."
All's well that ends well, we guess, although there's probably some clarification needed here on Square Enix's end. It would appear it may have been a simple error rather than deliberately sabotaging their game with DRM, but when the end result is the same it speaks volumes about the intrusiveness of DRM, in particular, its capability to be indistinguishable from a broken game.
Original Story: 26-Mar-2019 - Square Enix Adds Always-Online DRM Requirement to Final Fantasy X and X-2 3 Years After Launch
While Capcom enjoys a resurgent rise, Square Enix feels as if it’s trapped in a dangerous downward spiral of its doing. The latest faux pas is the patching in of always-online DRM to Final Fantasy X and X-2 HD Remasters, some three years after the game launched. Launching the game while offline, or going offline mid-session, now causes it to crash.
The update has actually been live for a while now, Square Enix pushing the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster version 1.0.1 updated on March 7th, 2019. It is the one and only patch for the game since it launched in May 2016, and arrived under the guise of minor bug fixes.
“We’ve been working on fixing some minor bugs and are pleased to report the update is now ready. Thank you for playing Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster!” said Square Enix.
This wasn’t the entire truth though, and Squenix utilised this patch as a trojan horse of sorts, adding DRM that requires an online check-in to continue playing Final Fantasy X.
It’s a really odd move, not least because FFX & X-2 HD Remaster was cracked 869 days ago. That’s two and a half years where a cracked version of this game has been floating around torrent networks. And now, after all this time, Square Enix has decided it’s about time it added an always-online requirement to the legitimate version of an entirely single-player title.
On a small scale, this is actually kind of unimportant. It’s a three-year-old remaster of an old game and one that’s probably not going to rack up many more sales. It sends a negative message to fans that’s far bigger than the game itself though, and it feels like 100% unnecessary negative PR.
There is a fairly convoluted guide for those who want to revert to the previous version of FFX, but it’s not exactly the sort of thing customers should have to go through in order to play a game they own away from a net connection.