Sims 3: No Online Authentication!

He's probably pirating his own game.

Well, this is a pleasant surprise. With EA’s embracing of online-activation culture, you’d have expected to see it turn up in Sims 3. But it’s not to be, as made clear by an announcement by Ruling-Sims-Monarch Rod Humble. “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,” says Rod Humble, “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.” While fans of freedom will be pleased, I was personally hoping for some DRM so prescriptive that it requires one of the developers to be standing behind you, silently watching, for the game to boot up. Man!


  1. Xyzzy says:

    Tbh: I didn’t buy nor pirate Spore. Looks like I worded that weirdly.

  2. lumpi says:

    Bam! That came out of nowhere. I’ve almost given up the battle, but see who won!

    Bye bye, DRM. You won’t be missed.

  3. Ravenger says:

    I’m still waiting for EA to release their games on Steam in the UK.

    I hope this move with The Sims 3 is the first sign of them abandoning all their limited activation based DRM, but I doubt it – after all they still haven’t released a deactivation tool for Mass Effect and that game’s been out over a year.

    I made a promise to myself never to buy another limited activation DRM’d game again, so pull your finger out EA and get your games onto Steam in the UK or remove the DRM so I can purchase them.

  4. pilouuuu says:

    Well, maybe there’s quite a few people who will respect this decision from EA and not pirate it, showing that DRM in fact PROMOTES piracy.

    There’s another kind of people who will pirate it anyway.

    And then there are the casual players who have no idea how to pirate a game and would buy it in anycase and they will benefit from the lack of DRM. They just want to install and play (Don’t we all?).

    In any case The Sims 3 will sell an indecent number of copies and piracy won’t hurt it anyway.

    So my opinion is:

    Spore = DRM = crap
    The Sims 3 = no DRM = most sold PC game ever and 2009 GOTY

    So I guess EA is laughing at Will Wright now: “ROFL, we put DRM on your game and it was heavily pirated and now we won’t put in The Sims 3 and it will sell much more than Spore.

    Oh, wait. It will also help that this game is not shallow or dull. Isn’t it ironic you created the series that will bash your new game? Lol! You probably wish you didn’t made Spore. Oh, c’mon, make a new game that’s any good and we’ll consider if we put DRM on it or not”

  5. sinister agent says:

    The Sims was always hugely pirated, but it also sold hugely.

    This is basically the bottom line here, I think. The Sims 2 is still a phenomonally succesful seller, what, four, five years on? It’s not just the add-ons either. EA are all but guaranteed to sell a trillion copies if they just do as they did before – there’s too little to be gained and too much potential custom to be put off by going nuts with the DRM on this one.

  6. Mr. X says:

    hate to say it, but comments like the one below are proof that some people will never be pleased – yes games are gonna be pirated anyway, which is good for some (tracker sites) and bad for others. But seriously, what do you expect? no DRM? when piracy isnt such a huge issue (because apparently now more than ever its KILLING PC GAMES) maybe it will stop. but who knows. Games that are impossible to pirate may be here soon, or a long time coming.

  7. Pavel says:

    I fucking hate disc checks.I apply cracks when possible, ON MY BOUGHT RETAIL COPIES.

    I will take online Mirror’s Edge DRM without disc check over this shit any day.

  8. redrain85 says:

    Judging by the conspicuous lack of details in this announcement, it sounds like they’re still going to use SecuROM and have merely ditched the online activation aspect.

    It IS a step in the right direction (no more limited installs). But if they’re still using SecuROM, then it still means conflicts with other software and hardware, installing an extra service, and other nuisances. Mind you, they’ll probably do full disclosure this time, instead of hiding this all behind the customer’s back.

    It’s a small victory, at least. But I still think it’s not enough.

    I guess my issue isn’t so much with DRM as a whole, per se, as it is with specific implementations of it. Such as SecuROM. There have always been forms of copy protection, since the earliest days of gaming.

    But systems like Starforce and SecuROM have crossed the line. You don’t limit installs, you don’t interfere with other software or hardware, and you don’t make it difficult to uninstall.

    If EA doesn’t use SecuROM on The Sims 3, after all, then maybe there is reason to celebrate.

  9. Babs says:

    In my opinion this is nothuing to do with ‘a move in the right direction’. They are simply adjusting their implementation to suit their target demographic better.

    The main audience for the Sims 3 is going to be people who have probably never played anything requiring online activation before, may not be tech-savvy, or may not even have an internet. Because this audience is also less likely to pirate games than a ‘serious’ gamer they have concluded that a less restrictive policy is in their overall best interest. No doubt this is also influenced by the bad press they would get in more maintsream media if there were large activation issues.

    I would not expect this to reflect any change in policy regarding more ‘hardcore’ games.

  10. Naurgul says:

    The main thing that concerns me about Steam’s DRM is the fact that I cannot play 2 different games simultaneously. It seems crazy that I cannot play game A on my desktop while my wife or a friend plays game B on the laptop. This hasn’t been a problem so far, since my selection of games on Steam is limited. But in the future it’ll start to become more of an issue.

    oceanclub, what you’re asking is pretty simple to achieve, I think. It goes like this:
    1. Log in to your Steam account on computer #1.
    2. Go offline with computer #1 (either disconnect it from your network or select File -> Go Offline from within Steam).
    3. Log in to your Steam account on computer #2.

  11. Kommissar Nicko says:

    I’m constantly amused by the new meta-layer of games discussion, where the copy protection of the game attracts more attention than the game itself.

  12. PC Monster says:

    While not a fan of DRM per se I find disc-based copy-protection schemes much less annoying than that online activation gubbins, Steam et al. I suffer no sleepless nights from circumventing the necessity of needing the disc in the drive through cracks – I have paid for the game, manual and media it came on, therefore I should be allowed to have it run it on my PC as I see fit – but needing the say-so of another entity before I can play games is, for me, much less appealing.

    Besides, I rather like typing in those 25-character codes before you can start; it’s almost a wee minigame in itself!

  13. Ravenger says:

    Well I’ve just found out that EA have finally got around to sorting out deauthorisation tools for all of their limited activation games, including a tool that can de-auth multiple games. Finally I can de-auth Mass Effect.

    Still not sure I wish to buy any more limited activation games, but at least now I don’t have to worry about Mass Effect, which was the only game I had I couldn’t de-auth.


  14. Ravenger says:

    Sorry, my link didn’t work:
    link to

  15. Ravenger says:

    Shorter link to actual deauthorisation tools:
    link to

  16. Matt Kemp says:

    When did everyone suddenly become manly men that only plays first-person shooters while drunk and grilling a steak? I played the sims. Hell, I went through two copies of the Sims 2.

    While I would prefer no DRM, I prefer simple disc protection to online activation (By the way, when did Steam become the worshipped god of DRM?) as I had such trouble with RA3. As much as you don’t like it, companies will use DRM where they think it will lessen piracy. If you are truly offended by companies trying to protect their property (all information is not free), do the admirable thing and refuse to buy or play it, rather than just pirating it or cracking it.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    I only grill steak while i play because my cpu heat sync gets hot and it’d be a sae to waste the heat.

    The drunkeness is totaly unrelated.

    The sims player in my house doesnt actualy want sims3, she says the ideas of an open city horrifies her. SHE DEMANDS ABSOLOUTE CONTROL!

  18. DMJ says:

    Am I the only one who can’t help noticing that the laptop in the screenshot looks like it was assembled by a monkey which couldn’t tell which way up a keyboard should go?

    Fresh from the Dell factory, perhaps?

    It is so wrong, it’s like splintery wooden stakes being jammed into my eyes.

  19. Jason Moyer says:

    Ugh. I really liked the copy protection in Mass Effect/Dead Space/Mirror’s Edge compared to Steam or Disc-checking stuff. Hopefully this is something they’re doing purely for this title, with the assumption that their target demographic is more capable of dealing with disc protection than having to be online for 5 seconds during the installaton.

    Using my DVD-ROM drive as a dongle is by far the worst copy protection ever, and having to wait forever for people to “fix” my game everytime there’s a new patch is irritating (and in some cases never happens, which is why I’ve never gotten around to playing Far Cry 2 or most Starforce games).

  20. pirate games says:

    I want to get more pirated games. How is it possible?

  21. FuckEA says:

    Bullshit. The game requires access to the internet in order to verify ownership of the game. You can’t start the game without it checking online. They’ve lied before about this with The Sims 2 expansion packs. They’re just spin machines, they pick an easy political target, and distract with disinformation and hype. Like corporate news stations.

  22. chipsy says:

    shit i need key for sims 3 !! can help me anyone …???