Under the new “Right to Repair” act established by Congress, DRM can be circumvented in games where servers are no longer active.
The new law states that, “Video games in the form of computer programs embodied in physical or downloaded formats that have been lawfully acquired as complete games, when the copyright owner or its authorized representative has ceased to provide access to an external computer server necessary to facilitate an authentication process to enable gameplay.”
This is big news for games as it grants the ability to mod legally acquired games to be playable if the servers have been shut down. Games modified in such a way cannot earn money, but can be played in a “personal, local, or preservative manner” (PCGamesN).
It could be possible that game developers will make it much harder to circumvent DRM moving forward, and it could also be possible that developers recreate their own servers to earn profit from classic IP.
World of Warcraft Classic could be a result of this ruling as it is very possible Blizzard foresaw this ruling. Still, this is great news for gamers wishing to play games with currently non-existent servers, and very good news considering the ever-growing marketplace for online-only games.