It was something I probably should have tuned into more. It was a corporate decision to go with DRM on Spore. They had a plan and the parameters, but now we're allowing more authentications and working with players to de-authenticate which makes it more in line like an iTunes. I think one of the most valid concerns about it was you could only install it so many times. For most players it's not an issue, it's a pretty small percentage, but some people do like wiping their hard disk and installing it 20 times or they want to play it 10 years later.
When asked where to go from here, The Sims mastermind thinks that the dynamic of game commerce will eventually shift entirely online.
I think it's an interim solution to an interim problem. You have games like Battlefield Heroes coming out where the idea is you give away the game and sell upgrades, which works more in the Asian markets where you need to monetize it over the Internet. I think we're in this uncomfortable spot in going from what's primarily a brink and motor shrink-wrapped product to what eventually will become more of an online monetization model.
Meanwhile, EA CEO John Riccitiello is concerned with here and now. With his company's profits in mind, he defends EA's aggressive DRM as necessary in the fight against piracy, even though he conceded, "I personally don't like [it]."