EA Labels president Frank Gibeau stated that Sim City’s persistent internet connection requirement was never meant as a form of DRM, simply because DRM is a “failed dead-end strategy.”
“I was involved in all the meetings,” he affirmed. “DRM was never even brought up once. You don't build an MMO because you're thinking of DRM - you're building a massively multiplayer experience, that's what you're building.”
"At no point in time did anybody say 'you must make this online'. It was the creative people on the team that thought it was best to create a multiplayer collaborative experience"
"DRM is a failed dead-end strategy,” asserted Gibeau. “It's not a viable strategy for the gaming business. So what we tried to do creatively is build an online service in the SimCity universe and that's what we sought to achieve. For the folks who have conspiracy theories about evil suits at EA forcing DRM down the throats of Maxis, that's not the case at all."
Gibeau acknowledged that EA failed in communicating the MMO nature to gamers before launch, but he noted that Sim City sold over 1.1 million copies in its first two weeks, making it “the fastest-selling and biggest SimCity we've ever built.”