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John Riccitiello Discusses Spore DRM, EA's Future

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:49 AM

In a keynote address at Monday's Media & Money Conference in New York, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello discussed the present and future of his company. During his address Riccitiello mentioned the internet fervor surrounding the DRM scheme for the recently released Spore, saying those who complained were a vocal but very small percentage of the user base.

"There are more species in Spore today than there are species on the planet Earth," Riccitiello said of the game, in which players raise a creature from a one-cell being into an advanced society. "It's a staggering degree of diversity."

But in an ironic twist, Spore, as ground-breaking as it is in the entertainment world, has been plagued by complaints about the alleged backwardness of its digital rights management system (DRM). Riccitiello said that he personally isn't a fan of DRM, but that the technology isn't there yet to make a game piracy-proof without it. "We chose a particularly aggressive form of DRM, which 99.8 percent of consumers would never notice, but that two-tenths of one percent got incredibly focused and formed an online PR cabal," he claimed. "We can eliminate piracy by essentially blocking the online service from the pirate. That's the future of DRM. The present of DRM isn't quite there yet."

DRM or no DRM, Riccitiello said that Spore is the start of a revolution. "I ultimately believe that a consumer is going to want to be involved with a game that they help build rather than one that they just watch or experience," he said. "Spore is probably the industry's first big step in that direction, and I would encourage you to look out for The Sims 3, which comes out this spring and which is another big step in that direction."
Read all his comments at the page listed below.
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