Home Gaming EA Says DRM is a failure, SimCity an MMO

EA Says DRM is a failure, SimCity an MMO

2 min read


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


  1. Ultimo_Cleric_N7

    March 28, 2013 at 09:54

    Allow me to say what we are all thinking: What a crock of S*#t.
    Funny how they go back on what they were saying now that their old boss is gone……


    • Anon A Mouse

      March 28, 2013 at 09:57

      Allow me to do the upvote thing.


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 28, 2013 at 10:04

      Take this upvote, truthmonger cleric who lives on the N7….


    • Gustav Willem Diedericks

      March 29, 2013 at 09:44



  2. Anon A Mouse

    March 28, 2013 at 09:59

    I call BS. Never since SimCity was being developed and demo’s and all those jazz was showed was it mentioned that SimCity will be an MMO. This is just them to safe face from all the back lash because they seemingly have no idea what their customers want and rather go for the one size fits all approach.


  3. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    March 28, 2013 at 10:03

    EA really screwed the pooch on this one, but sometimes what an arrogant publisher needs is a slap through the teeth. What’s so amazing is that they just don’t learn. They already went through a DRM scandal during Spore. They went through another mini-one with Command and Conquer, and yet here we are again…

    EA… the little boy with behavioural problems.


    • Ultimo_Cleric_N7

      March 28, 2013 at 10:06

      More like EA, the primary school bully who just got to highschool. Karma’s a bitch.


  4. Admiral Chief Erwin

    March 28, 2013 at 10:04


  5. Robert Infy Hart

    March 28, 2013 at 10:07

    If it was an MMO then they should have marketed it as one from the start.


  6. Yolanda Green

    March 28, 2013 at 10:11

    Yeah… no.


  7. Sir Captain Rincethis

    March 28, 2013 at 10:15

    EVERY week there is a fresh new excuse from the mouths of EA. The first one smelled like shit, and all preceding have too. It frightens me how they actually expect us to swallow this, week in, week out. MMO? More like LMAO!


  8. silverscorpio

    March 28, 2013 at 10:17

    What nonsense


  9. Tbone187

    March 28, 2013 at 10:33

    We live in the information age of sharing…Everybody has access to info almost anywhere on earth…Roll with the punches and accept that piracy is here to stay…You gotta give to the online community in order to receive. Try to hog it all and you’ll soon be out of business…


  10. CaptainNemo42

    March 28, 2013 at 10:43

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


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 28, 2013 at 11:00

      We could have told them that, they didn’t need to waste millions….


      • CaptainNemo42

        March 28, 2013 at 11:07

        I’m still convinced that DRM is the reason that some people pirate, or they use that as an excuse at least. Most pirates pirate because they can, but some just want that sardine without jumping through all the hoops first. And I can’t say I blame them.


  11. Slade Boender

    March 28, 2013 at 10:44

    Oh its an MMO you say? Whew. Well now I feel better. Also.. Whats this single player fad everyone keeps harping on about?


  12. umar bastra

    March 28, 2013 at 10:44

    If EA had marketed it as an MMO in the start, they would’ve saved themselves a lot of trouble. EA must like playing minecraft, they seem to like digging holes for themselves.


  13. Johan du Preez

    March 28, 2013 at 11:05

    Wonder what new excuse they will come up next week. I am so glad I didn’t buy this.


  14. Skande

    March 28, 2013 at 11:06

    Here is a great video showing that we are on the path to a massive crash … AGAIN


    • OVG

      March 28, 2013 at 11:16

      140 million consoles and only 3% can keep 4-5million sales in order to keep games like Tomb Raider afloat… AFTER A 6 YEAR INSTALL BASE.

      Crash is coming.


      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        March 28, 2013 at 11:21

        The crash is coming…. and it’s not Crash Bandicoot… 😀


        • BeatzByChrisBrown

          March 28, 2013 at 11:49



        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          March 28, 2013 at 12:23

          What!? No crash Bandicoot!?

          How could you destroy my hopes and dreams like that!?


    • Gustav Willem Diedericks

      March 29, 2013 at 10:09

      Wow, awesome video


    • Willem Swanepoel

      April 2, 2013 at 06:20

      to be honest, I wish the gaming industry crash…I am getting sick of the game dev companies’ bullshit


  15. boswald

    March 28, 2013 at 11:08

    I have Simity and the amount of times I have started cities and then lost them because of some server error needing to roll back. I am done with it. R400 down the toilet. Thanks EA for nothing.


  16. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    March 28, 2013 at 11:44

    To EA and Maxis:

    This isn’t a game! This is a toilet seat!

    Wanting to create a game was never once mentioned. We simply wanted something that people could sit on and shit through.

    Thank you for understanding


  17. Admiral Chief Erwin

    March 28, 2013 at 12:02

    Dear EA,





    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      March 28, 2013 at 12:05



    • Kobus Nel

      March 28, 2013 at 13:30

      Have an upvote!


  18. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    March 28, 2013 at 12:19

    Dear EA and Maxis.

    Since this is now an MMO there are a few things I expect. Yearly expansions with substantial content. Regular patching and permanent online support.

    These expansions should not be charged at the full rate of a brand new game as we have already paid for the base client (as is the case with Guild Wars 2). I am assuming this is a free-to-play model as Guild Wars 2 is as we are not paying a monthly subscription fee?

    Do we get options for being a premium subscriber by any chance?

    How about being able to interact with cities out of our region and trade with them? As this is a MMO which means MASSIVE multiplayer online. Will there be future expansions relying on trying to get tourists from all over other regions in to our humble cities?

    Will there be instances in this game? Like some sort of “build off” where one sees if you can outbuild someone else? Will this be team based? I am assuming it will be since this is a massive MULTIPLAYER ONLINE?

    Please don’t treat us like idiots. We aren’t bloody stupid!


  19. matthurstrsa

    March 28, 2013 at 13:29

    Serious question: is anyone still playing Sim City?


    • Kobus Nel

      March 28, 2013 at 13:56

      I still play it. I’m enjoying it, but not as much as I could have. Thanks to the small building area and limited cities per region, one struggles to get stuff going between cities when they’re not online to discuss who does what so we can build a ‘semi stable economy’ and ‘well oiled alliance’ if you will. So the game is fun, but it’s getting stale quick thanks to how they’ve implemented systems that uses and requires this always online shit.


      • matthurstrsa

        March 28, 2013 at 13:58

        Yeah, I was going to buy it when the price drops, but how many players will be left?


  20. Kobus Nel

    March 28, 2013 at 13:46

    Massive Multiplayer Online? It’s online alright. There is not much Multiplayer compared to any other MMO’s out there. Sure you can send some ambulances and stuff to a neighboring city but how’s that gonna help person x on the other corner of the region when it’s NOT CONNECTED TO IT!? And massive? There’s nothing massive about it! The city building area is very small and have space for what, 16 cities on a region? That’s max 16 players. MASSIVE my ASS! This is NOT an MMO, you’re NOT fooling anyone!


    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      March 28, 2013 at 13:49

      Hoor hoor!


  21. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    March 28, 2013 at 14:08

    EA… the sick old man of Gaming… (although to their defence, the whole industry is struggling… )


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