DRM “Is A Dead End” – EA
Oh it’s always wonderful to watch someone eat their own words. Partially because I’m not a nice person and partially because, well it’s still too early in the day for second excuses. EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau has spoken out against DRM systems which most notably caused the recent SimCity fiasco.
Gibeau claims EA is no longer interested in DRM and therefore it is not the reason why SimCity has an always-on connection. So it really is just for those online features? Those features that not everybody wants? There’s a chance that this is just EA blowing some steam to cover up their mistakes.
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Speaking with GamesIndustry, Gibeau said Maxis wasn’t asked to put DRM in SimCity to counter possible piracy.
“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 went so far as to confirm what independent companies like CD projekt RED have been saying for years about anti-piracy measures.
“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 essentially it’s all Maxis’ fault? Convenient. While he sounds somewhat sincere, as sincere as one can plausibly sound in text, I’m still not buying this statement just yet. Not without someone from Maxis speaking up.