The epic train wreck that was the launch of the SimCity reboot earlier this year is fairly well documented. But for those of you living under a rock: it forced a persistent online connection, even though the game is mostly a single player affair.
And because EA's servers were not up to snuff, people who had paid for the game in full were not able to play for days, even weeks. As for the folks that such wacky DRM was intended for, hackers and pirates, they were able to find workarounds. As they always do.
Has the publisher learned its lesson? It would appear so. According to an interview with GamesBeat, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau noted the backlash that ensued and how it had led to changes pertaining to the upcoming The Sims 4.
The funnies part is how it comes up when answering the question "How do you feel about EA being voted Worst Company In America?":
"We take it very seriously and want to see it change.
In the last few months, we have started making changes to the business practices that gamers clearly don’t like. In the spring, we dropped our online pass program for consoles — both next-generation and current-generation. We listened to the feedback on SimCity and decided that The Sims 4 would be built as a single-player, offline experience. We announced some new intellectual properties at E3 and will unveil more new games in the months ahead."
Gibeau also notes that the only reason why EA was able to get away with what they did with SimCity is because the franchise has such an intensely loyal fan-base. He also notes that they are making significant strides across the board, like getting rid of online passes on consoles. So progress is still being made.
Though if EA has yet to revoke mandatory online access for SimCity, so some work remains to be done nonetheless.