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.