BioWare Community Coordinator Chris Priestly said in a post on the Dragon Age: Origins forum that the game will feature only a "basic disk check" for copy protection, foregoing the more heavy-handed DRM methods that Electronic Arts, BioWare's parent company, is infamous for. Priestly didn't touch on the reasons for the decision but it's a safe bet that the public relations debacles caused by the DRM in games like Spore and BioWare's own Mass Effect has something to do with it.
"We're happy to announce that the boxed/retail PC version of Dragon Age: Origins will use only a basic disk check and it will not require online authentication," Priestly wrote. "In other words, the retail PC version of the game won't require you to go online to authenticate the game for offline play. We have chosen not to use SecuROM in any version of Dragon Age that is distributed by EA or BioWare."
The choice was probably made easier by the fact that previous efforts at protecting games from piracy were completely ineffectual and did little except irritate EA's legitimate customers. EA made a similar move in March, when it revealed that The Sims 3, set for release in June, would be dropping online authentication in favor of "disc-based copy protection."
Priestly also announced that the Dragon Age toolset beta has been launched, offering "developer-grade tools" that fans can use to modify and create their own content. "We'll also be supporting the game with a ton of great downloadable content that will be available for purchase after the game's release," he continued. "Together these features will provide some very cool reasons to go online with Dragon Age: Origins."