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SimCity – EA and Maxis
If we want to talk about a game that has brought DRM back into more recent headlines, SimCity is your obvious first choice. When the game was in development, both players and designers alike had huge plans for the revival of this much beloved series. Thanks to the integration of new multiplayer features, gamers would now not only be able to create the city of their dreams, but they could also share it with the world through online interaction. It was said that if you wanted to you would have the ability to both rival and support neighboring cities with supplies while those around you could do the same. This all sounded pretty epic until EA informed the public that being connected to the network was absolutely mandatory to play the game. That’s when things got out of hand.
If you’ve been playing SimCity for decades, you know that it’s always been a hugely single player affair. The multiplayer stuff is pretty interesting, but it shouldn’t really be mandatory right? In this case, folks with more knowledge on these matters started to smell something fishy? Could it be that they want us online just so they can monitor for illegal activity? That seems to be the general consensus these days. EA fired back by saying the game engine was so advanced that it needed to use the internet to process the additional data, but in almost all scenarios that has already proven to be false. The very worst part is that because so many people must be logged in to play, there are many that still haven’t been able to get online due to the large demand. Not to mention EA isn’t too keen on refunds either. The company still denies DRM as a purpose for this mandatory connection ploy, but as intelligent folk, we all know better.
SimCity hasn’t been the only recent release to suffer this fate. Most of you will remember having problems with this heavy hitter from Blizzard too.