advertisement

EA Revamping Spore, Crysis Warhead DRM

by Blake Ellison, Sep 19, 2008 12:42pm PDT

EA Games president Frank Gibeau promised to revamp and further loosen the controversial DRM requirements in recent releases Spore (PC) and Crysis Warhead (PC). His statement was not without a few backhanded comments in the direction of the very vocal anti-DRM community.

"We're extremely pleased with the reception Spore has received from critics and consumers but we're disappointed by the misunderstanding surrounding the use of DRM software," Gibeau wrote in the statement on MTV Multiplayer. He also announced that Spore would soon gain the ability to be authorized on five computers instead of three.

Gibeau reminded Multiplayer that the coming deactivation capability is still in the works. It was separately announced today that Crytek's EA-published Crysis Warhead would get the same deactivation program.

"We assumed that consumers understand piracy is a huge problem," continued Gibeau. "We felt that limiting the number of machine authorizations to three wouldn't be a problem ... [and] we assured consumers that if special circumstances warranted more than three machines, they could contact our customer service team."

"And while it's easy to discount the noise from those who only want to post or transfer thousands of copies of the game on the Internet, I believe we need to adapt our policy to accommodate our legitimate consumers," he concluded.

Gibeau's complete statement, reproduced from Multiplayer, follows:

Two weeks ago EA launched SPORE - one of the most innovative games in the history of our industry. We're extremely pleased with the reception SPORE has received from critics and consumers but we're disappointed by the misunderstanding surrounding the use of DRM software and the limitation on the number of machines that are authorized to play a single a copy of the game.

We felt that limiting the number of machine authorizations to three wouldn't be a problem.

- We assumed that consumers understand piracy is a huge problem - and that if games that take 1-4 years to develop are effectively stolen the day they launch, developers and publishers will simply stop investing in PC games.

- We have found that 75 percent of our consumers install and play any particular game on only one machine and less than 1 percent every try to play on more than three different machines.

- We assured consumers that if special circumstances warranted more than three machines, they could contact our customer service team and request additional authorizations.

But we've received complaints from a lot of customers who we recognize and respect. And while it's easy to discount the noise from those who only want to post or transfer thousands of copies of the game on the Internet, I believe we need to adapt our policy to accommodate our legitimate consumers.

Going forward, we will amend the DRM policy on Spore to:

  • Expand the number of eligible machines from three to five.

  • Continue to offer channels to request additional activations where warranted.

  • Expedite our development of a system that will allow consumers to de-authorize machines and move authorizations to new machines. When this system goes online, it will effectively give players direct control to manage their authorizations between an unlimited number of machines.

We're willing to evolve our policy to accommodate our consumers. But we're hoping that everyone understands that DRM policy is essential to the economic structure we use to fund our games and as well as to the rights of people who create them. Without the ability to protect our work from piracy, developers across the entire game industry will eventually stop investing time and money in PC titles.





Comments

See All Comments | 34 Threads | 108 Comments
  • "We assumed that consumers understand piracy is a huge problem... "

    LOL, that is like assuming that content providers understand the fact that every pirated or copyright infringing copy of an IP is a loss of a sale.

    Yes, there are lost sales due to piracy, but not every downloaded game is a lost sale.


    I want to play spore, I want to pay for good games. I am unwilling to download it, but since the cracked copy is superior to the store purchased one, I am tempted to purchase a copy ... then download the game so I can avoid the silly DRM. I doubt I will do that, more then likely I'll just put it off long enough for the hype to die and I will never play the game.