EA Says DRM is a Failure
In the wake of SimCity’s catastrophic launch, EA president Frank Gibeau has come forward to say something that none of us expected. Apparently, EA is anti-DRM. In other news, flying pigs have been spotted over Chicago and Hell has organized its first official snowball fight.
“DRM is a failed dead-end strategy;” Gibeau said to GamesIndustry. “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.”
Gibeau went on to compare SimCity to an MMO. Supposedly, the creative team developed SimCity to be an online only experience from the start. DRM apparently never entered into the picture.
“At no point in time did anybody say ‘you must make this online’,” Gibeau said. “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.”
“I was involved in all the meetings. DRM was never even brought up once. 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 went on to say the real reason for SimCity’s troubles, outside of the fact that the servers didn’t respond in the first few days, was that the company did not stress that the game was an online only experience. Perhaps if the game was billed as an MMO, then SimCity would have gotten the same leeway that other new MMOs do on the first days of their launch.