EA Says DRM is a failure, SimCity an MMO

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MMObunnies

DRM is terrible; failing completely at its primary purpose; It does pretty much nothing to stop piracy, instead giving paying customers the shaft. EA’s SimCity requires a perpetual online connection, which many gamers see as a form of DRM – but that’s just not the case, says EA labels boss Frank Gibeau. In fact, EA’s not interested in DRM anymore, he claims.

Speaking to GI, Gibeau affirmed that the city-builder’s always online requirement isn’t DRM at all, because SimCity is an MMO; Maxis was never forced by corporate types in suits to include DRM.

“That’s not the reality; I was involved in all the meetings. DRM was never even brought up once,” he said. “You don’t build an MMO because you’re thinking of DRM – you’re building a massively multiplayer experience, that’s what you’re building.”

Gibeau even added that DRM is essentially useless, echoing the sentiments of developers like Team Meat and CD Projekt.

“DRM is a failed dead-end strategy; it’s not a viable strategy for the gaming business,” he said.

“For the folks who have conspiracy theories about evil suits at EA forcing DRM down the throats of Maxis, that’s not the case at all,” he added.

“At no point in time did anybody say ‘you must make this online’. It was the creative people on the team that thought it was best to create a multiplayer collaborative experience, and when you’re building entertainment you don’t always know what the customer is going to want. You have to innovate and try new things and surprise people and in this particular case that’s what we sought to achieve.

“If you play an MMO, you don’t demand an offline mode, you just don’t. And in fact, SimCity started out and felt like an MMO more than anything else and it plays like an MMO.”

So DRM doesn’t work; unfortunately for EA and Maxis, for a while after launch, neither did SimCity. do you buy this whole “SimCity is an MMO, guys!” thing, or are you still hating on EA for forcing always-on DRM in your single-player game?

Last Updated: March 28, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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