Clarification: Sim City 5 DRM Sucks Slightly Less Than We Thought

Yesterday, we shared with you the news that Sim City 5, despite all signs pointing to it being wonderful, will inexplicably launch with the game-breaking restriction of persistent Internet access required to play. EA insists it’s to give players access to Sim City 5′s online features, but it’s quite obviously a clumsy DRM scheme, one guaranteed to alienate potential customers. Frankly, it’s justification enough for me to never purchase it, and I’m not alone. So many people writing about this news seemed to have expressed a similar POV that EA felt compelled to issue a clarification. In short: it sucks slightly less than we thought.

EA is now saying that Internet is only required to start the game, but you won’t lose access to it if your connection goes out during play. This makes their attempt to frame this as anything other than DRM even less credible. It also doesn’t resolve the biggest problem with the system – whether required full time or at start, the requirement of Internet access shuts out anyone who chooses not to have an Internet connection, cannot afford to have one at home (it happens!), or who simply lose their connection due to technical glitches before starting a game. And it will do literally nothing to stop piracy. Within a week, hackers will locate the DRM files and bootleg copies of Sim City 5 will be on torrents without delay.

So, it won’t add value for gamers, and it won’t stop piracy. But you know what it will do? Prevent gamers from enjoying it longer than EA would like. You see, people are still playing Sim City 4 to this day. Can’t have that, can we? So be warned, Sim City 5 players. If EA doesn’t relent and chuck this restriction, this is what your future looks like.

Via Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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15 Comments on Clarification: Sim City 5 DRM Sucks Slightly Less Than We Thought


On July 19, 2012 at 5:27 am

An incredibly biased, uninformed and misleading article. These are people who are supposed to be the experts in PC gaming. Speechless. Almost (xd).

They have clearly stated in the case of a disconnect you will be able to continue where you left off (similar to other always-online games like Assassin’s Creed 2).

If in 2012 when playing new PC games you have no Internet, I have no sympathies.

Quoting this excuse-for-journalism-of-an-article: “So, it won’t add value for gamers”. Is the reporter deliberately misrepresenting the facts, or has he, on top of his unbiased journalism skills, also abandoned his reading comprehension abilty? There are significant benefits to the online-functionality, as anyone who read the original article would know.

We can all debate about the reasons they implemented these “single-player enchancing online functionalities”, but I think for everyone it is pretty clear it is due to their DRM. Does that really matter, if it makes the game better, and the pirated version worse? For a legit user, it shouldn’t.


On November 18, 2012 at 2:48 am

“If in 2012 when playing new PC games you have no Internet, I have no sympathies.”

EA & Origin executive will too, have no sympathies. At some point beyond the financial tipping point of executive pay versus server costs, the server will be shut down. After which all SimCity (5) will be left with a game they paid for, is either left running, or becomes unplayable. I bought every copy of SimCity except Societies. If SimCity (5) requires a server that isn’t guaranteed up, then its just not worth purchasing.


On November 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

rojimboo@ What kind of idiot are you? There ARE NOT significant benifits for always having to be online. It is more of just a pain in the ass. Just like Mass effect 3, any dlc that you might own wont work without an online conection. You can play the game, just not the dlc you paid good money for, and had already been installed and authenicated. Loads of fun….. NOT!!!!!!
You sound like either your on there payroll, or you want to be. Your arguement has less merit than Casey Hudson trying to justify the ending to ME3. You really want to know what’s really, really sad. Wesker even sounds more intelligent than you. Never thought I’ld ever say that.
Nope, will stay away from e like this, never to infect my beloved computer with it foul essence.


On November 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm


You beat me too it. EA claimed that you’ll only need use Origin once to activate the game is suiously like what we were told about ME3. While this was annoying, it wasn’t any worse than DRM in general, or so they led us to believe. Funny how they left out that the DLC would still need to be “verified” every time. I’ve had instances where the connection to Origin failed so I was blocked from single player content, which makes no sense. It’s on my hard drive already, so where is this supposed benefit of having to connect every time? I might not have to maintain that connection, but I still have to gain it each and every time I want access to something that I paid for and is already on my computer.


On March 5, 2013 at 8:32 am

oh god… stupid article


On March 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Great article, I think online DRM does not get enough press, the internet for the majority of the worlds people is still a slow and frustrating unreliable service, just because a few countries have a better service now does not mean the world does.

Besides that there are many occasions when having to be hooked up to a server causes issues with the game sync and having to run origins is just another program clogging up your already full open program list, slowing your computer down even more.

Again those who have it good feel the need to say there is no problem because “they” have no problem which is ignorant and ish to say the least, they can offer no argument for online DRM other than they do not have an issue with it themselves, which I’m afraid does not take away the issues the majority of people have.

I myself am lucky enough to have a great system and a good internet connection, but I have the brain to realise that many are not as fortunate and I should not be an and think about the other guy when weighing up is online drm a good business model for the majority of customers, it’s sad that EA does not do this.

simcity reviewer

On March 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I’ve been playing this game after buying it at GameStop. I didn’t want to give my financial information to EA’s contractor for an on-line purchase.

The game play has not been smooth. Two hours ago the servers shut down in North America and I’m not able to see the city I started yesterday.

The DRM is clearly not functioning well.

I received a message that the EA servers were going to need to shut down and that I would be logged off. Well, they did it and sure enough the game play froze.

20 years ago, I didn’t need to play this game connected to AOL or Compuserve or the local BBS. What gives with taking $60 out of my pocket and not even having the game ready to play without an error occurring every 15 minutes of game play?


On March 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm

How much did they pay for you to say this. This game is pathetic. They should not have made single player server based, it just makes that many more people frustrated because the servers are overloaded and they were to moronic to play for it properly.


On March 7, 2013 at 11:20 am

Just purchased and downloaded the deluxe digital copy. Can’t play it because of their servers. I can’t believe they would release this hunk of junk. Big fan of SimCity…I want my MONEY BACK!!!! The limited time I got to play it wouldn’t even work properly. COME ON EA! GET YOUR ESS TOGETHER!


On March 7, 2013 at 11:22 am

I was dooped in to buying this game. IT SUCKS!!! Can’t even play IT!

Ross Lincoln

On March 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

“An incredibly biased, uninformed and misleading article. These are people who are supposed to be the experts in PC gaming. Speechless. Almost (xd)..”

Care to change your statement?


On March 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I will not be buying, I will wait for a drm free pirated version that will not require an internet connection to launch. EA has made nearly a thousand dollars from me in my gaming history. Well the buck stops here, I find it invasive and have never downloaded pirated anything, I will make a point to pirate this game as a form of protest against forcing people to have internet to play non multiplayer hard drive based games that you buy physical copies of.


On March 8, 2013 at 7:30 pm

This is the second time now that a game I paid for has been more trouble than fun. Diablo III was the first now Sim City. The point of games is to be relaxing and fun not to bring frustration. This will be my last online activated game.


On March 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm

2 hours of building, 20 min of being disconnected to the server, then the game shut down. So, yes you can play when not connected but it looks like there is a timer that will shut the game down. I lost everything!!!!!!!!!!! Get this crap ware of DRM out of this game. Is it worth EA going down in flames because of being pig headed? How many dollars will be spent getting this fixed when it could have been rolled out as a full game and then give the customer, the customer who paid full price for a game that was never intended to be played on line, the option to join SimCity online if they wanted that type of play. Can not wait for some kind of crack or work around to play this while not on line. BAD EA BAD.


On March 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Not one penny will be spent on this game. Punish me with drm because (somewhat akin to the tsa) I am guilty and a potential criminal that may want to steal this game so you will require me to prove my identity and loyalty each time I wish to play. Not going to happen. Not now, not ever.

When you get down to it, Simcity is just a game. Life will continue with or without it but I will not be held by EA’s management policies.