SimCity always-online decision made for the game’s sake, say EA: “DRM was never even brought up once.”


SimCity SimCity’s always-online requirement was necessary because Maxis dreamed up the game as an MMO, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau has said. It certainly wasn’t conceived as an ill-advised form of DRM – which he deems a “failed dead-end strategy”.

DRM wasn’t ever a consideration for SimCity’s required connection, Gibeau told GamesIndustry. Moreover, it’s simply “not a viable strategy for the gaming business”.

“DRM was never even brought up once,” he said. “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.

“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.”

Like all bosses, however, Gibeau has a weak spot, and GamesIndustry eventually managed to poke through his carapace and elicit an acknowledgement of failure on EA’s part. Gibeau admitted that the publisher wasn’t able to effectively communicate what the game was before launch, and that the implosion of Origin servers in the event of SimCity’s release was “unacceptable”.

He did highlight the efforts the company was making to fix things, however – that free game, for instance, and Maxis’ ongoing support of SimCity.

Whether you’re into region play or not, it’s highly questionable whether its features constitute the interconnected internetiness one might be forgiven for expecting from an ‘MMO’. What do you think of that word’s use alongside SimCity?

Thanks, PC Gamer.