We all know that SimCity’s greatest downfall was the always-online policy that was enforced with it. Well, it seems that EA is pinky-swearing once again that the requirement of an internet connection didn’t have anything to do with DRM. EA’s Frank Gibeau on the topic:
It started with the team at Maxis that had a creative vision for a multiplayer, connected, collaborative SimCity experience where your city and my city and others’ were [working together]. The lead designers and the producers and the programmers felt like they wanted to tell us a multiplayer, cooperative city story around SimCity.
At no point in time did anybody say ‘you must make this online. 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.
DRM is a failed dead-end strategy; it’s not a viable strategy for the gaming business. So what we tried to do creatively is build an online service in the SimCity universe and that’s what we sought to achieve. 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.
Now, it’s easy to say that this is a radical shift from his stance back in 2008 when he claimed that DRM in Spore and Crysis Warhead was “essential to the economic structure we use to fund our games”, but one must remember that a lot can change in 5 years, even a massive company like EA’s policies.
Aside from questioning the truth of his statement, it’s pretty clear that DRM isn’t a very effective form of protection from piracy. Most games’ DRM is cracked before the game is even out, and the people who are going to pirate the game are going to pirate it regardless of whether it has got ‘protection’ or not.
Source: Games Industry International