DRM is a “failed dead end”, says EA executive

By Brenna Hillier
27 March 2013 22:57 GMT

EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau says DRM isn’t something EA is interested in anymore, and therefore not the reason SimCity has an always-on Internet requirement.

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.”

Giubeau said he’s “disappointed” that EA didin’t better communicate that SimCity was an MMO before launch, leaving some customers unhappy.

Thanks, CVG.

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