Command & Conquer 4 "has no DRM," except for Internet-required DRM.
It's no secret that Ubisoft's latest DRM scheme isn't one that's garnering any fans. The requirement for a constant and stable internet connection constantly for one to play Silent Hunter 5 or Assassin's Creed II or the upcoming Splinter Cell Conviction means that gameplay can be halted with any break in connection or fault on Ubisoft's end.
Despite the public backlash over this system, it seems that it is gaining some popularity over at EA. In a forum post by a C&C Community Manager Apoc, it was revealed that Command & Conquer 4 "has no DRM," but gamers must be connected to the internet. Check out the post below. (Emphasis added by Tom's Hardware.)
First thing to be clear about, Command & Conquer 4 has NO DRM. Zip, zero, zilch, none. We already made this clear.
Second, you do not need the disc in the machine to play Command & Conquer 4, however the following is how it works:
-AFTER you install Command & Conquer 4 with the disc on your machine, when you try to LOGIN at the Launcher for the first time, it will ask you for your serial key. You will enter in your serial key to activate your Master EA Account. The serial key, like in our past games, can only be activated for 1 master account. You cannot install multiple EA Master accounts on one serial key. You can create multiple Commander Personas however, so if you and your brothers each want your own Persona account with experience, etc, you can do that. Just has to be under the same Master EA account as in our past games.
-You can install the game from the disc as many times as you want on any machine. Re-install, etc.
-You do not need the disc in your machine to play. Your EA account just needs to have been activated by your serial key. After that, you can play Command & Conquer 4 on ANY MACHINE that has it installed. All you need to do is login.
-To play Command & Conquer 4, the computer needs to be connected to the internet. We've always made that clear as well.
So there ya go, no DRM, no disc in the drive necessary, just activate your account with your serial key and presto, you're ready to go. It's actually much easier than before.
It does appear that the internet connection is required to authenticate upon program launch, so it's possible that the game can continue being played even if the master server or your internet connection dies. We've contacted EA for clarification.