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EA Label Boss: DRM "Not Viable For The Gaming Business"

If you're not a fan of DRM (Digital Rights Management), don't worry; Electronic Arts doesn't like it, either.

Speaking to GamesIndustry International at this week's Game Developer's Conference, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau said bluntly that DRM is a "failed, dead-end strategy" and it's "not viable for the gaming business." Many gamers would agree.

This came in response to a question about whether or not SimCity's always-online requirement was indeed a form of DRM. Gibeau obviously doesn't see it this way and said that in fact, the idea of DRM wasn't even considered for the game:

"That's not the reality; I was involved in all the meetings. DRM was never even brought up once. 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."

If you weren't aware, SimCity launched earlier this month and immediately encountered massive server issues, which resulted in much gamer ire. Even so, the game sold 1.1 million copies in only two weeks, which is the best start in the franchise's long history.

Tags: electronic arts, ea, drm, digital rights media, gaming industry

3/27/2013 9:22:41 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (8 posts)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 10:30:31 PM

EA is not a fan of DRM? Could have fooled me....

They are probably the biggest user of DRM but say something like this?!
Hopefully it means they want to change

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 11:03:19 PM

I hope he's right, but to say always-on isn't a form of DRM is a dubious claim at best.

The good news is DRM is something that gamers are unlikely to allow without a vigorous fight. We still have enough power to make games with corporate overreach inside a failure, if we didn't then the new consoles would disallow used games already. A certain amount of it will always be stuck with us though, and we may have to allow more in as things go all-digital. I for one am still pissed I can only put my PSN account on 2 systems after it was once 5.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013 @ 11:42:57 PM

That's like being a serial killer and confessing that you don't believe in murder.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 2:40:09 AM

If SimCity's online only play isn't DRM, then exactly what the hell is it supposed to be?

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 6:53:21 AM

WOW, the irony, coming out of EA of all companies!

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Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 7:54:10 AM

If DRM was never brought up, then the game would not require Origin, besides all the other crap.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 11:01:59 AM

Another huge lie from EA. Always online is DRM, in fact the always online for Simcity did nothing but screw customers into not being able to play for several days.

Always online IS DRM, Origin IS DRM, they are just playing with semantics by saying that it isn't.

Diablo 3s always online isn't DRM right EA? What a load.

Also for anyone who didn't know people already hacked Simcity and proved the claim that computers couldn't handle the processing of the huge cities(which are smaller than any Simcity to date btw) is just false. People had the game running perfectly fine offline until the game tried to find the servers after which it said you have been disconnected. I even think some people have it working perfectly offline now.

The only reason for this always online was the same reason Diablo 3 had always online. It was so they could implement micros without the risk of people hacking them. Features that most gamers DONT want, yet are forced upon us.

Anyway this guy is just a liar no if ands or buts.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 8:50:57 PM

There have been so many lies surrounding this game it's ridiculous, after that disastrous launch they kept coming up with new excuses why the game "had" to have the always-online requirement.

They said a lot of the "advanced processing" was done on remote servers, not surprisingly some hacker proved them wrong, being able to perfectly play the game offline in some hidden debug mode (there's a video on youtube), which also enabled lots of other features like larger areas that "for some reason" anyone who just plays the regular purchased game can't do.

So if the always online isn't DRM, what the heck is it? There are only two options here: Either EA are 100% evil, or just 100% stupid... honestly I don't really care which.

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