DRM is a “failed dead-end”, says EA exec, claims they didn’t force it into SimCity

SimCity

By on March 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm

EA Labels bossman Frank Gibeau has ruled out the idea that they forced Maxis to adopt always-online DRM for SimCity, claiming in a recent interview with GamesIndustry that they wouldn’t do such a thing because “DRM is a failed, dead-end strategy”.

“It’s not a viable strategy for the gaming business,” he concluded.

Gibeau also poured water on any conspiracy theories about “evil suits at EA forcing DRM down the throats of Maxis”. “That’s not the case at all,” he said. “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, and when you’re building entertainment you don’t always know what the customer is going to want. You have to innovate and try new things and surprise people and in this particular case that’s what we sought to achieve.”

“If you play an MMO, you don’t demand an offline mode, you just don’t. And in fact, SimCity started out and felt like an MMO more than anything else and it plays like an MMO.”

Gibeau did however say that he was “disappointed” that they didn’t do a good enough job of communicating with consumers about exactly how much like an MMO it was.

Source: GamesIndustry

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30 comments (Leave your own)

Here’s an idea… put something like this on the box
“Make cities with your friends Online, will you help or hinder your friends… make a City of Sin and Depravity and watch as your friends struggle to deal with the criminals from your city running amoke in theirs or will you create a city that helps them when they are down – send Cops or Firemen to help them… Will you be a Mayor to be loved or a Crime Lord to be feared”

 

But the online features are all shit? I have seen better online features in a mobile game. And plays like an MMO? Yeah no.

 

>Calls DRM a failed strategy
>Implements always online DRM in SimCity

Seems legit.

Also, you should’ve added “DRM” to the article tags.

 

So why is it that every time the offline mode thing comes up, it’s apparently the consumers fault for not expecting it to be a so-called MMO?

 

Frank Gibeau says… “It’s not a viable strategy for the gaming business,” he concluded.

So will we see less games with crippling always-online DRM I wonder?

Gibeau also said… “If you play an MMO, you don’t demand an offline mode, you just don’t. And in fact, SimCity started out and felt like an MMO more than anything else and it plays like an MMO.”

Yes, fair enough an MMO by it’s nature requires the player to be on-line.

Is taking a long established title, with a long history behind it and changing it’s fundemental basis (namely, single player city builder to a city building MMO) innovation?

SimCity has always been *NOT* an MMO, many of the long-time loyal fans of the series were looking for an updated, new SimCity in the spirit of the four editions before it, not a radical redesign of the core basis upon which the game is played. With so many people asking for a single-player “off-line”, would think there’s grounds for considering it, no? (aka, “give the customer what they want, and you’ll make money”).

 

It’s not that we forced them to add DRM to SimCity, it’s more that we told them without the expected piracy protection we’d have to cancel the project.

 

PalZer0:
Also, you should’ve added “DRM” to the article tags.

Would this be of interest to literally anybody other than you?

Generally our tags are reserved for concrete things such as game titles, company names or article types like ‘legal opinion’ or ‘friday tech roundup’ etc.

 

While I fully believe Maxis are capable of making a(nother) terrible game on their own… it’s a bit difficult to swallow that EA weren’t the driving force behind the basic direction Sim City took.

 

Even if EA provided entire corporate documents detailing it was the Maxis branch entirely on their own that made it an online game, people would still just blame EA.

Haters gonna hate.

 

wolfie:
Is taking a long established title, with a long history behind it and changing it’s fundemental basis (namely, single player city builder to a city building MMO) innovation?

SimCity has always been *NOT* an MMO, many of the long-time loyal fans of the series were looking for an updated, new SimCity in the spirit of the four editions before it, not a radical redesign of the core basis upon which the game is played.With so many people asking for a single-player “off-line”, would think there’s grounds for considering it, no?(aka, “give the customer what they want, and you’ll make money”).

Yeah, Blizzard should definitely have continued making Warcraft RTS games instead of turning it into an MMO. What were they thinking?

 

PalZer0:
>Calls DRM a failed strategy
>Implements always online DRM in SimCity

Seems legit.

Did you read the article? He said it was the idea of maxis not EA.

 

Would have been nice if they’d actually called it an MMO to begin with. I could have accepted that.

 

matty,

Well that obviously means the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doinjg at EA. No real surprises there.

 

It seems they are of the mindset that “If we keep digging, we might eventually find a vein of credibility!”

 

PalZer0,

Step back, take a deep breath and seriously read the article slowly. It was Maxis’ idea to include an online component of the game, and nowhere does it say EA weren’t aware of it.

In simple english: Just because you didn’t come up with the idea, doesn’t mean you aren’t aware of it.

 

I love EA suit speak:
EA do not take credit for DRM.
EA take credit for innovatiom, trying new things and surprising people. Anything good in a game, we take the credit.
They probably had little input for either, but they love to spin PR..

EA failed at public relations, marketing Simcity as a simulation. A suit at EA decides to force the Massively Multiplayer Online public relations scenario, after the massive release failure. Its an MMO and this is not our fault, it is the customers fault for not realising that it is now marketed as an MMO.

 

shuth,

Difference is that Blizzard didn’t call it Warcraft 4 and try to get away with it being an MMO. If Maxis had called it something like “Simcity Online” or “World of SimCity” nobody would’ve batted an eyelid. You know, make it a spinoff rather than part of the main franchise, so SimCity 5 comes out as a standard SimCity instead.

 

How is it an MMO?

There’s hardly any online features, I just play in my own region like I would in Sim City 4.

If we had the option to run the game offline I would. I don’t want region sharing, rankings and meaningless achievements.

As for cloud saves, they’re far more trouble than they’re worth. If I really needed to access my save file from a different computer I’d just put it on Dropbox or something.

 

I hate when devs say stuff like this and treat us like idiots more than i hate it when they do stuff like this, atlest have the balls to admit you were wrong don’t try telling us “o the developers chose to make it this way” because we’re not stupid and we have read article after article of “ea shoe horns multi-player into SP game because that’s where the money is !

 

vcatkiller,

SIM CITY ONLINE..I agree completely with you.

 
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