EA's Frank Gibeau admits that DRM is a 'failed, dead-end strategy'
Chalk up a win for user rights. Well... sort of. Speaking to GamesIndustry International at the Game Developers Conference, EA Games chief Frank Gibeau mused about DRM, SimCity, and what the publisher was trying to achieve, claiming that DRM had "absolutely nothing" to do with the design decisions they made in the game's creation.
"DRM was never brought up once," Gibeau said, referring to the design meeting for SimCity. "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. So what we tried to do is creatively 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."
"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," continued Gibeau, adding that EA probably should have done a beter job in ensuring that the community understood the MMO nature of the title coupled with the need for constant connectivity.
There are a few valuable insights in what Gibeau has said, but ultimately they seem to have fallen flat. Like it or not, what EA did with SimCity was essentially DRM, and basically caused the launch to implode upon itself. Hopefully the publisher realizes this at some point in the near future.
Source: GamesIndustry International
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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