‘It’s not a viable strategy for the gaming business”
It’s no secret that EA’s actions over the past years have earned them the reputation of being the epitome of a money hungry publisher who gorges at its consumer base. May it be the attempts to rob some established franchises of its identities (cough *Dead Space* cough), or the implementation of harsh and nonfunctional DRM in some of its game, EA has only managed to mashal the ire of fans.
Its most recent debacle, SimCity, was one of the most disastrous launches in the history of video games. The DRM blighted what is otherwise a great game, rendering the game unplayable to many. EA Labels boss explains that DRM was never a main priority among them, and was not implemented in Sim City just to combat piracy.
“That’s not the reality; I was involved in all the meetings. DRM was never even brought up once,” said Frank in an interview with GamesIndustry.
“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.”
Frank assures us that DRM was not rammed down the throats by the executives, and that it was a part of the developers vision of the game.
“DRM is a failed dead-end strategy; it’s not a viable strategy for the gaming business,” he added.
“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,”
“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.”
SimCity was unanimously bashed for its strict implementation of DRM which forced owners into waiting queues which lasted anywhere between 30 mins to an hour, just to play the game. We highly doubt that EA would repeat the same mistake after that backslash.