EA DRM is a deadend strategy and SimCity doesnt use it

first_imgFrank Gibeau, president of EA Labels has come out to defend the actions of EA and Maxis with regards to the launch of SimCity, and the features it includes. But it’s unlikely SimCity players will walk away any happier after reading what he had to say.According to Gibeau, DRM is now a dead-end strategy for games and one that has already failed. In fact, DRM apparently never even came up in the discussions about SimCity’s development and release. So, as far as EA is concerned, SimCity does not include any form of DRM, but I beg to differ.DRM, as defined by Wikipedia, is “any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that are not desired or intended by the content provider.” Launching a game that requires you always be connected to a server does indeed inhibit the use of the content and therefore counts as a form of DRM in my eyes at least. We’ve seen Ubisoft use just such a method to control access to single player games in the past.But Gibeau isn’t referring to SimCity as a single player game with multiplayer elements during his discussion with GamesIndustry.biz. SimCity is in fact an MMO in the eyes of EA, or an “online service in the SimCity universe.” Gibeau even goes so far as to say the need to always be online was actually the idea of Maxis due to the multiplayer aspects they wanted in the game, not EA.This wouldn’t be anything to get upset about if it wasn’t for the horrendous launch and subsequent details about the game that followed. EA themselves made it clear a connection is only required for the social features in the game, a Maxis developer came out and said servers weren’t actually necessary, and a modder managed to get the game running offline indefinitely. So that pretty muck kills the “this is an MMO” argument.So is SimCity an MMO and therefore requires continuous online access? My opinion is that it isn’t. SimCity is a single player experience, but one where the multiplayer and social aspects have been given priority and therefore require an always connected game in the eyes of the developer. And as a side effect of that, EA gets a form of DRM with which to limit piracy.last_img