EA Drops Online DRM in The Sims 3

EA Drops Online DRM in The Sims 3

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Electronic Arts has revealed that it will not be using online authentication DRM in the upcoming release of The Sims 3.

Let me say it again: Electronic Arts - the company that brought you Spore - will not be using online authentication in the latest version of the massively popular Sims series. The game will use the same kind of disc-check as The Sims 2 and that, apparently, is all.

"The game will have disc-based copy protection - there is a Serial Code just like The Sims 2. To play the game there will not be any online authentication needed," Sims Label Chief Rod Humble wrote in a message on The Sims 3 website. "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."

My first reaction to this news is a very understandable, "What happened to the EA we used to know and hate?" It's hard to be perpetually angry at a company, even one with a reputation as deeply-entrenched as EA's, when it actually begins to respond to customer feedback. The infamous Spore DRM fiasco led to a torrent of angry forum posts but didn't appear to negatively impact sales to any great extent and The Sims 3 is going to sell millions of copies regardless of what it uses. Doing away with its traditional, intrusive methods of copy protection wasn't necessary in the strictest sense, yet it's happening anyway.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of it but it's getting increasingly difficult to argue that EA isn't making an honest attempt to be less evil. I hope it's a trend that continues. The Sims 3 comes out on June 2 for the PC, Mac, iPod Touch and other devices.

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NO forgiveness till they give me a game i want without it

This screams "We dont want to see the sales of The Sims 3 being hurt cause it has DRM.".

But lets hope they get rid of their DRM. If they feel compelled to use DRM at least use one that works and is less intrusive.

They're finally realising that to make more money you have to actually please your customers, and not inconvenience them at every possible oppertunity.

Good on them.

I don’t know I half expect them to have some trick up their sleeve.

Like there is only a serial code and CD check, but to get the serial code you must first decrypt a series of puzzles that give you a map that leads you to the guru of DRM who resides with in a Tibetan monastery where you must present him with your disc, receipt, computer and first born child. After which DRM guru installs the game for you tattoos the code on your child and sends you home alone, keeping the child in case you ever need to install the game again.

Sorry got a little carried away there.

scarbunny:
I don’t know I half expect them to have some trick up their sleeve.

Like there is only a serial code and CD check, but to get the serial code you must first decrypt a series of puzzles that give you a map that leads you to the guru of DRM who resides with in a Tibetan monastery where you must present him with your disc, receipt, computer and first born child. After which DRM guru installs the game for you tattoos the code on your child and sends you home alone, keeping the child in case you ever need to install the game again.

Sorry got a little carried away there.

At least you get to see Tibet. xD

Now, is this "Exactly like Sims2", or actually the new SecuROM 7 version that still limits installs and fucks with your computer? As much as I hate CD Keys, they are the one AND ONLY form of DRM I am willing to accept. And if that's all they are going to subject me to, I finally have hope for being able to buy games again.

Seriously, since EA went SecuROM 7 and much of everything else went Valve-Steam, I haven't been able to buy PC games. Last new game I bought was Crysis.

Well I guess EA woke up and smelled the foul stench that was the shit they keep making with stunts like online authentification.

i think that they will either issue some other form of copy write protection software or this is some sort of passing facade that the company has employed in order to try and demonstrate the ineffectiveness of non-DRM marketing strategies on consumers. assuming that the latter is the case, we ill inevitably see a drastic change in the companies demeanor and policies as it attempts to use its past altruistic endeavors failure as vindication for future action. i truly fear that this is the case and that a company with EAs background is incapable of this sort of fundamental change in marketing policy over such a short period of time.

If this game doesn't get pirated any more than other games, it will be strong proof to the developers that DRM doesn't protect them and pisses all of us off.

And yes, I am amazed that a company, EA in particular, is listening and responding to the consumers. If they keep this up, I might actually start to like them.

*cries*

EA is growing up!

Khell_Sennet:
Now, is this "Exactly like Sims2", or actually the new SecuROM 7 version that still limits installs and fucks with your computer?

The later Sims2 Expansions ("Bon Voyage" on), and any recent releases of Sims2 Deluxe, all have SecuROM 7 on them -- no install limits, but yes, the version of SecuROM that installs itself deeply enough into your OS that it can watch for "emulation software" (which in SecuROM's program includes certain kinds of optical drives and dvd burning software) and in some rare cases, breaks DVD/CD drives.

Someone pre-ordered a copy of Sims 3 from EA and got a warning that SecuROM would be installed on their computer (which is at least WAAAY more up front about it than EA used to be): http://bbs.thesims2.ea.com/community/bbs/messages.php?&openItemID=item.225,item.43,item.61,item.104,item.41,item.127,item.23&threadID=45c7dea96eab97b9626f8606338cc6dc&directoryID=225&startRow=1#b670a9a2cd4c92491629abd5991c6833

So while the "no activation" limits news IS good news, it looks like the actual SecuROM 7 copy protection software is still going to come with the game.

Seriously, since EA went SecuROM 7 and much of everything else went Valve-Steam, I haven't been able to buy PC games. Last new game I bought was Crysis.

There's always Stardock and indie games.

It's strange to think we live in a world where EA are no longer the bad guys. I always knew where I stood with EA, but the last year or so...it's become less black & white.

last i heard of EA was they released the new prince of persia with no copy protection whatsoever as a tester to see if downloads was actually hurting sales. Does anyone know how that worked out for them?

acutally feel free to ignore that it was ubisoft no EA. DRM still represents suckage though. I remember a day when mates could feel free to lend each other games without having to resort to cd key generators and cracks. I mean i can lend someone a 360 game without a problem, but a PC game? No! Death will follow! You Fiend!

I didn't buy many of the expansions for The Sims 2, so I don't know if anyone had this same problem: The DRM on the 1st one with expansion packs was a nightmare. "Put in the original disc. Now put in the new disc. Let me see the original Sims disc again." And God help you if you installed them in the wrong order...

I'm not sure how just good Sims 3 is going to be; I always enjoy the Sims games, but I just feel like they're milking it a little bit too early.

I can't help but think this may be more of a response to the rumblings coming out of the FTC rather than user feedback. (Though I'm sure the PR nightmare is a part of it.)

In case you missed it- the Federal Trade Commission is making noises that there will be legal repercussions for companies that do not properly maintain their authentication servers into the future. (Ars Article: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/03/ftc-well-come-calling-about-deceptive-drm.ars)

EA may have started to realize that by requiring online DRM, they're biting off more than they prefer to chew. Even if unlikely, there's a chance that the law may develop such a way in the next few years as to require companies to maintain servers for products decades after they would have preferred to abandon them. If I were a game developer, I'd prefer not to take the risk.

wooo sims3 loses its online DRM & is released just after I finished my 2nd year exams. Dissertation research be damned im gonna be plugging myself into that this summer xD

Gods, please let this not be a trick... ok, it's not April first, that's a good sign... I might be able to get this game after all!

Wow...they must have learned their lesson. I fully expected The Sims 3 to be loaded with as many invasive and restrictive DRM features as possible. I can't believe I'm saying this, but way to go EA.

I have always been an Activision fan and always hated EA, but recently the spectrum has been turning. One more point for EA. Activison, don't take Blizzard down with you.

Kudos to EA, I wish them good sales for that game.

K'. Thanks, EA.

Ten bucks says they release on Steam as well, and I'd rather buy it there. If you want a case of EA finally starting to "get it", look at the fact that you can buy Spore on Steam right now (not that you'd want to---Spore still sucks, DRM or no.)

I think The Sims 3 should not be released yet. The Sims 2 still has life in it, and the first one lasted a long time just on its expansion packs very successfully.

 

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