Its the end of an era folks.
The Steam client will be required for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion for initial install, updates and Internet multiplayer, regardless of purchase location. You can choose to play in offline mode via the Steam client after initial install, though ICO features and achievements will no longer be available.
4. Gamers shall have the right to have their games not require a third party download manager installed in order for the game to function.
8. Gamers have the right to use their games without being inconvenienced due to copy protection or digital rights management.
Now its debatable whether this news actually goes against the PC gamers bill of rights Stardock pushed forward 3-4 years ago, but it certainly seems an ominous change of pace for the company to me. Are the other Stardock gaming communities concerned? Will other Stardock titles follow suite? Does this symbolically show the finalization of the Steam monopoly, short of the self sufficient EA and Blizzard titles? What does the wider community think, and what can we do about it?