Double Buffered

A Programmer’s View of Game Design, Development, and Culture

EA Does Something Right

Posted by Ben Zeigler on May 9, 2008

As an update to my earlier post on Mass Effect and Spore DRM, EA has changed it’s mind. The new scheme for both games is online activation when you first play, and activation when you go online for new content or community features. This is a reasonable scheme, although they’re keeping the 3 activation limit. They claim to solve this with: “EA customer service is on hand to supply any additional authorizations that are warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by contacting customer support.” So it’s not as good as Steam, but it’s at least moderately acceptable.

The actually interesting bit is that EA changed their mind on this. My theory is that BioWare wasn’t particularly happy with the DRM, so started talking about it as soon as possible, knowing there would be this backlash. BioShock’s DRM wasn’t talked about before launch, and they sort of tried to sneak it in, while this is the opposite. So, seeing the reaction of the internet, Penny Arcade included, BioWare had some leverage to push back on the EA corporate/legal masters to try and get a more reasonable DRM scheme in place. The needs of our armed forces were specifically mentioned (they often go overseas with no internet for months at a time). Anyway, the system isn’t perfect, but it does show that publishers are responsive to customer complaints. We as consumers need to keep up the complaints, and not let publishers get away with this kind of shit. This proves we can do something about it.

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2 Responses to “EA Does Something Right”

  1. Noah said

    The scheme for Spore seemed pretty decent to me for a semi-online game. Hopefully they won’t screw it up of course.

  2. Bobby said

    So funny that someone would figure it took a rant from Penny Arcade to change an EA suits mind on online content issues. Sounds like this was written by a fanboy. My guess is that EA has a lot of smart people in place and simply saw a problem and did their best to fix it in the time they had. Not sure why everyone views EA like some big evil company, pretty sure their goal is to make good games like everyone else

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