EA Drops Online DRM in The Sims 3


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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