S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will use always-on DRM as "protection from piracy," GSC Game World head Sergey Grigorovich said. A permanent internet connection will be required to load information, codes and quests, much like previous DRM systems from Ubisoft.
"Software piracy is an issue for us; we try to fight it, but within reason," Grigorovich said. "If people can not afford a licensed version, it is to our advantage if they download a pirated copy and then want to buy a license. In Ukraine, there are different products that people love so much that they buy a license in principle. We want to create just such a product."
Studios know fans don't enjoy always-on DRM, and their insistence on using it must mean it works in some capacity. We don't think it's the way to create "products that people love so much," but it's definitely great at making fans suspicious and bitter.
[Update] GSC has clarified its intentions via Twitter: "DRM was only mentioned as a possibility, not a choice." GSC also issued a statement to Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "The idea of implementing DRM came in as a possible anti-piracy solution. You know the severe level of commercial piracy we have here in ex-USSR region. This said however, there is no firm decision to go for DRM with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 as of now. Be assured, we do realize how uncomfortable this solution is for the players, so we'll continue looking for most effective, yet acceptable for all, way of protecting the game by the time of its release."