In a blog post on the official The Sims 3 website executive producer Rod Humble has announced that the next outing of the franchise will be reverting to less intrusive forms of copy protection:
Hello everyone I wanted to share news with you regarding our copy protection plans for The Sims 3.
We’ll have more information for you as we get closer to launch about everything we’ll have to offer on TheSims3.com and The Sims 3 Store, but we have heard your requests over the past months and here is our plan for The Sims 3.
The game will have disc-based copy protection – there is a Serial Code just like The Sims 2. To play the game there will not be any online authentication needed.
We feel like this is a good, time-proven solution that makes it easy for you to play the game without DRM methods that feel overly invasive or leave you concerned about authorization server access in the distant future.
We’re really excited to bring you the game for the PC and Mac starting June 2, 2009. The extra time we’ve taken to polish the game has resulted in an even better game experience for you to enjoy and we can’t wait for you to see for yourself!
Thanks for your passion and your loyalty.
This is certainly good news as I was looking forward to the new iteration, but I’m concerned by the fact that they don’t specifically state which copy protection system they’re using. A lot of video game blogs are reporting this as though EA are not using SecuROM, but there’s nothing in the way of evidence that that’s a correct assumption. SecuROM has varying levels of restrictions and it’s entirely possible to use it as just a simple disc-based serial number protection system. Given the ridiculous level of system modification SecuROM engages in, even when not using all of its features, it would still stop me from buying the game if it were present. I’ve asked a couple of the bigger blogs to follow up and ask which copy protection scheme EA does plan to use.
Still, this is a step in the right direction at least. It won’t stop the game from being pirated, but at least it won’t be too intrusive on the legitimate users. EA certainly seems to have learned a lesson from the release of Spore which continues to be one of the most heavily pirated games of all time which many attribute to being a direct response to the use of SecuROM and the installation limits.