Sims 3 Goes Back to DRM Basics

By  |  Friday, March 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm

thesims3Electronic Arts, architects of possibly the biggest Digital Rights Management disaster in PC gaming, are abandoning their wicked ways and going back to a less intrusive copy protection process.

The Sims 3 will use a simple, disc-based authentication system, similar to the one used in The Sims 2. Players won’t have to go online to validate their copy of the game, so presumably there won’t be any control over the number of installs.

A letter from Rod Humble, Executive VP of EA’s Sims Label, says the company has heard the requests from customers. “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,” he said.

Humble doesn’t make specific mention of Spore’s DRM, but anyone who followed that fiasco could perceive a reference. The game originally came with three installs and no easy way to deauthorize computers, but EA eventually caved to the outcry and added two more installs and a deauthorization process. Meanwhile, angry players launched an Amazon bomb, and software pirates helped make Spore the most illegally downloaded game in history.

Obviously, this demonstrated that even the most DRM-shackled games can and will be pirated, and as publishers go to greater lengths to stop it, customers will only get more irate. That’s a sad reality, but at least EA is no longer taking it out on legitimate copy owners.

One more thing: The move by EA is part of what seems like a wave of anti-DRM sentiment among publishers. Earlier this week, Microsoft and Steam introduced less burdensome authentication processes, and yesterday Ubisoft released a batch of old games to the Web site Good Old Games without any DRM at all. Perhaps the days of punishing the consumer for pirates’ transgressions are slowly coming to an end.

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  1. Gaming News March 28, 2009 : GamingFever Says:

    […] Sims 3 Goes Back to DRM Basics […]