EA Backs Off From Heavy DRM; Goes Old School

It’s been a week filled with PC gaming DRM with companies talking about fancy new systems that aim to make everyone happy.

None of this for the Sims 3None of this for the Sims 3Electronic Arts, while credited with creating one of the largest DRM debacles ever with Spore, is now looking at a DRM solution that’s just plain old school. Rather than try to re-engineer or employ some elaborate scheme, the Sims 3 team is going with the last form of DRM that didn’t hurt legitimate buyers -- the CD key.

“The game will have disc-based copy protection – there is a Serial Code just like The Sims 2,” wrote Rod Humble on the Sims 3 news page. “To play the game there will not be any online authentication needed.”
Humble explained why one of EA’s biggest franchises will be getting such a simple form of protection: “We feel like this is a good, time-proven solution that makes it easy for you to play the game without DRM methods that feel overly invasive or leave you concerned about authorization server access in the distant future.”

Earlier this week, Microsoft, Valve and Stardock recently detailed their own new anti-piracy methods. Microsoft’s aims to stop pre-release games from leaking onto the internet, and Valve’s ensures that only the original owner of the game but no one else can make use of the executable. Stardock’s system appeared to be the best with consideration for resale, but still required a one-time online activation.

[I can't believe EA is agreeing with what I wrote in my story about HDCP. I guess there is hope--Ed.]

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    Top Comments
  • kelbo
    It is very well known that DRM only makes it difficult for the authentic customer.
  • AdamB5000
    I was frustrated with EA's approach with a Battlefield 2 expansion pack. I had to register with EA and register the product on the internet simply to play offline. I quickly entered a never-ending loop of receiving a 'you're already registered' message and then a 'please register' message. After extreme frustration I emailed EA's support. I was pleased to see a quick response and after a couple of email exchanges the person claimed I was good to go. However, I found myself so frustrated with the whole experience that I totally lost interest and to this day have not fired up the game.

    So yeah - don't make it so hard to play a game I paid for.
  • rigaudio
    The power of the internet saves the day.
  • Other Comments
  • rigaudio
    The power of the internet saves the day.
  • kelbo
    It is very well known that DRM only makes it difficult for the authentic customer.