Posted on March 29, 2012, Ross Lincoln 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.