DRM Anti-Piracy Measures Are No Longer a Solution, EA Says

SimCity wasn't turned into an online experience to prevent piracy, according to EA

Electronic Arts has publicly dismissed digital rights management (DRM) software, saying that such anti-piracy methods are no longer viable. What's more, the company once again emphasized that it didn't make its recent SimCity an online experience in order to prevent piracy on the PC.

EA has had a troubled relationship with DRM, as it angered lots of gamers by using abusive systems like SecuROM to protect the PC versions of its games.

Nowadays, however, the company's Labels boss, Frank Gibeau, has revealed that DRM programs are no longer viable for the gaming industry and emphasized that EA didn't turn its latest PC-exclusive title, SimCity, into an online experience because it wanted to prevent piracy.

"I was involved in all the meetings," Gibeau told GamesIndustry. "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. DRM is a failed dead-end strategy; it's not a viable strategy for the gaming business."

The main goal with SimCity was to create a great online experience using SimCity as a starting point, according to Gibeau, not to force PC owners to buy the title.

"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 does regret, however, that EA didn't properly communicate the necessity for online in SimCity, and wishes that the company's servers would've been better equipped to handle the sudden rush of fans which, in turn, caused lots of issues for the game in its first few days.

"I'm disappointed that we didn't do a better job communicating that upfront. I'm disappointed that we had a rough first couple of days in terms of underestimating how people were going to play the game and how the server infrastructure was going to hold up, but we responded the best we could, we got people to fix it as fast as we could," he said.

SimCity is now running smoothly, and those who got the game were also able to pick free titles from EA as compensation for their troubles.

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