Read what the EA CEO thinks of us all...

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Initial post: 16 Oct 2008 10:55:01 BDT
From Gamasutra:

EA boss John Riccitiello:

"We implemented a form of DRM and it's something that 99.8 percent of users wouldn't notice. But for the other .2 percent, it became an issue and a number of them launched a cabal online to protest against it." He added, "I personally don't like DRM. It interrupts the user experience. We would like to get around that. But there is this problem called piracy out there."

"I think that, in general, a year and a half ago EA was pretty well hated -- and I think for good reasons," he says. "Today, you'd be hard pressed to go to a forum and not see a lot of people defending EA and its products."

"Everyone gets that we need some level of protection, or we're going to be in business for free," Riccitiello says. But he sees a lack of understanding among "a minority of people that orchestrated a great PR program. They picked the highest-profile game they could find," he says. "I respect them for the success of their movement."

"`I'm guessing that half of them were pirates, and the other half were people caught up in something that they didn't understand," he says. "If I'd had a chance to have a conversation with them, they'd have gotten it."


I'm sorry but this is the last straw for me, as a long time customer of EA I refuse to buy another game no matter how good or over hyped it is. EA is officially dead to me. This CEO doesn't have a clue and just insults the loyal customers, well this is one insult too far.
Problem called piracy? Yes, this is true, but implementing software which so obviously fails is just ridiculous. SPORE was cracked BEFORE the official release.

EA was pretty well hated a year and a half ago but this guy reckons that this has changed and you'd be hard pushed to find a fourm that hates EA??
Yeah the only reason for this is coz EA has got to all the forums, all the game review sites and threaten/paid them off and forced them to delete any EA hating threads.

When will these kind of people in charge actually wake up and realise that the people complaining are not the pirates, they are the once loyal customers outraged by how they are being treated. If i was a pirate do you think i would waste my time posting on forums and writing letters of complaint? No, i wouldn't, seen as the true real pirates can get around the DRM and SecuROM and are playing the game without any resrictions so what do they have to complain about??
But appreantly according to Mr CEO if your not a pirate you have been caught up in something you don't understand.. pfft, excuse me but i fully understand what this hidden software does, where it installs, and what level of rights its allows itself on my own computer system. This is just plain down right insulting to be basically called an idiot.

There is plenty of chance to have a talk with all of us before red alert 3, before sims 3, so why not actually read what people are saying instead of just insulting them?

People, vote with your wallets, DO NOT BUY ANOTHER EA GAME! No point in complaining about DRM and then saying "well, RA3 will be the last game i buy with DRM on it", because that just doesn't get thru to EA, they still have your money at the end of the day and that all they ever wanted, they don't care if if DRM and SecuROM ruins your computer, they don't care if you run out of activations, because they get more money when you call the support number at £1.58 a min and ask for another.
Money is tight these days and EA need to realise that games are not essential items for living.

Boycott EA!!!

PS surely his figures are not right either 99.8% wouldn't notice the DRM? surely the 2600+ just on is more than 0.2%?

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Oct 2008 10:44:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Oct 2008 10:46:52 GMT
Aj Viljoen says:
Maybe if this CEO spoke to us, HE would understand!
Anyway, I'm voting with my wallet - I'm not buying Red Alert 3, no matter how much I was looking forward to it.
EA made their decisions about DRM and about how they are going to treat their once-loyal customers.
I made my decisions about DRM and about how I am willing to be treated.
EA and I are clearly incompatible.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Nov 2008 19:00:28 GMT
3clipse says:
"you'd be hard pressed to go to a forum and not see a lot of people defending EA and its products" Really? That's weird because I don't know anyone over the age of 10 who doesn't utterly despise EA.

EA are a complete joke to 99.8% of gamers and this DRM thing is just the latest in a long long long list of idiotic things they have done.

The sooner people stop buying their butchered games the better.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2008 20:55:25 GMT
T. Millross says:
I was planning on buying this game for my dad for christmas. He would have gone to install it, seen this DRM nonsense, and thrown the game into the bin.
There's no chance that I'm gonna waste my money on it now.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2008 23:15:58 GMT
M. James says:
DRM isnt perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I am curious what all of these people proposing boycots etc. propose as an alternative. iTunes limits your downloads to five machines, but nobody feels that that is an issue, even though you 'rent' the music in exactly the same fashion. Microsoft have software reporting back on usage statisitics etc. but most of the world still use windows. The entire corporate software world works on the basis of licences and installations rather than 'owning' the software.

Piracy in personal, and especially gaming software is an issue, just as it is in music. And at the end of the day, the people who are hit by it are the law abiding, fee paying user. The games company, whether EA or anyone else, has to make a profit, or go out of business, in which case we no longer have any games. Capitalism may be a dirty word, but that's how it is.

Do i believe that the thousands of people complaining about this, on, and other forums, have already had issues with DRM, five instalations etc, or could some of them possibly be jumping on a band wagon here? They are clearly not all inconvenienced here. I mean half the posts are people who have never bought a game because they refuse to as it has this software on it, so how could they have been badly affected? Most people do not install a game more than five times, (no matter who you are, if you havent finished a game by then, you have got bored and moved on, for whatever reason), and if you want to YOU STILL CAN. You just need to confirm to EA that you are a legitimite user. Given that I cant find half the effing licence numbers that i need to install and play my old games, this is not a cause to riot in the streets, or for that matter not to play games which we want to.

I do question the EFFECTIVENESS that this software has in stopping piracy, and that for me is a far greater concern. Statistics on that are few and far between, and I would like to see evidence that this software has reduced piracy. But surely that should be a greater concern for the legitimite user?

Don't buy or not buy a game because some idiot is trying to tell you that anti piracy software is bad. Do it because you like or hate the game. Do it because you dont think that DRM will work with your system. Just in the same way that previous games may have issues with your set up. I can understand that. Dont jump on a bandwagon that is based on really dubious foundations to start with, otherwise you are just cutting your nose to spite your face.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Nov 2008 23:16:55 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 29 Nov 2008 23:17:21 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2008 16:25:54 GMT
i have played each and every version of C & C and was a fan of especially red alert. iwas so excited to buy red alert3 even if it cost me 30 pounds or more but after this drm issue i wont buy this because my friends are against this system. so overall there is no point playing this game alone therefore me and my 15 friends boycott this game unless DRM issue is Solved. not only 15 of us but let me put to your notice that the 3 gaming zones where i am a regular customer has boycotted red alert 3 which comes to a estimate of around 300 fans boycotting red alert.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2008 22:34:10 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Nov 2008 22:34:47 GMT
Tim Haigh says:
Aside from all this anti-piracy stuff, and DRM is the game itself actually any good?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Dec 2008 12:56:33 GMT
I don't care that much about DRM but i'm not going to buy it because they've desecrated the C&C lineage! this has none of the intelligence, subtlety, humour or challenge that Westwood worked hard to establish! Yet another corporate knock-off dumbed down to the level of the intellectually challenged with lots of cleavage and miniskirts added as if to compensate!

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Dec 2008 12:57:07 GMT
no! the game is a travesty to any genuine C&C fan! try the demo!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2009 06:57:09 GMT
grimboj says:
Do you own five PCs? I didn't think so.
DRM has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the game. If you don't want to buy the game just state your real reason, I'd say 1 in 50 million people will own 5 PCs and intend to play the game on all of them. Most people won't own five PCs in their lifetime.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jan 2009 13:21:24 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jan 2009 13:21:42 GMT
I think it's such a shame that many of the people on Amazon are slandering this fine game. For all the people who say "I have been a C & C fan since the very first game, but I won't buy this game because people keep on saying 'DRM is terrible. You're just renting the game at full price. It's wrecked my computer' et cetera et cetera." You must realise that EA have LISTENED to their fans, and in the 1.05 patch, users can now de-authorize their installation of Red ALert 3, for unlimited installs. This game costs only £15! And all this complaining is most likely done by people who want to lend the game to all their friends; well now you can: so stop abusing this game which I have purchased and enjoyed.
And Mr Szynkowski, if you believe that EA wastes its time and money threatening or bribing every single game forum with the words EA in it, it's you, not the CEO who "doesn't have a clue".

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2009 11:55:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2009 11:56:13 GMT
orc crew 8 says:
I agree with Szynkowski far as i'm concerned the pirates are laughing at us thinking us fools.We are not a movement we are the general public speaking out against this dribble .This CEO needs to Brighten up and listen to customers or face the brick wall he is driveing his company into.EA just don't get the basics the customer is everything and without them it fails epic style.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2009 15:38:26 GMT
ReaperDamo says:
DRM stinks. Anyone who can't see that is just living in denial, and would rather play games than think about what future consequences this will have for PC gaming. The fact that they do not indicate its prescence on their packaging should make people sit up and realise that even the gaming companies realise that it is a bit naughty. However, the vast majority of PC users have no idea about how their computer works and what they are installing - especially if they dont even know about it. It shocks me that people are getting upset that consumers are letting people know about hidden programs, when in reality they should be getting upset at the companies who silently alter what comes with their games withouth indicating it to paying customers.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jan 2009 23:50:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jan 2009 00:36:03 GMT
H. Le says:
Mr. W. T. Wildi,

If one uninstall the game and de-authorise it, what about SecuROM ? Does the patch remove the SecuROM that is embedded in the PC once the game is uninstalled and de-authorised ? If EA truly listened to their fans, then what is the explanation for pirates *still* get a better version of the game than the fans do - even after the "de-authorise" patch? Because pirates have already seen to it that the game is already totally "de-authorised" from day one.

In addition, I will not go into the specific details of 'how', but please consider this question: Does the DRM - SecuROM and limited activation in this case - 'really' prevent (in your words) "people who want to lend the game to all their friends" from doing so before the patch was released ? Really ?? Do you mean that there is no other ways for Customers to share this game with friends if they choose to - until EA allows it with the patch ???

As you can see, in the end, all EA and other publishers really have to rely on is the good will of their Customers not to pirate game. Therefore, by releasing a "de-authorise" patch to a game that is already cracked and pirated freely all over the net just a few hours after it hit the store shelves may be a step in the right direction, but it is NOT 'listening to the Customers'; rather, it is simply the act of 'throwing the dog a bone'.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2009 00:07:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jan 2009 00:09:16 GMT
H. Le says:

Yes, I am a sytem builder and do actually own five - yes, five - PCs (am I one in 50.000.000 ?). However by concentrating on the number of PCs, I am afraid you missed the point.

My real reason for boycotting EA: In order to fleece the Customers to increase profit, but not to appear unethical or even illegal, EA is using piracy as a pretext to impose harsh DRM, with the true intention to limit Customers' rights, and to destroy the used game market.

PS. Even though you missed the point, you'd probably be happy to know that I never install the same game on all five PCs at the same time.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Apr 2009 17:48:12 BDT
The issue surrounding DRM and EA has NOTHING to do with reducing or mitigating software piracy. The CEO is not in post to listen to the views of customers; he's not either there to ensure delivery of a good product.

The CEO and, in fact, the entire Board are there to make money - lots of it. They almost certainly knew the impact that DRM would make and figured it was a risk worth taking. Sound familiar - taking unecessary risks??

The CEO of EA and it's Directors are greedy, self-serving, incompetent and arrogant and all have clauses in their contracts of employment which, upon their dismissal from, or the failure of, EA ensures they will be rewarded with huge payments.

If this sounds familiar then it is - it's the same deal as the Executive and Non-Executive Directors of the banks which caused the global 'downturn'.

There's no rationalizing EA's actions - it's just greed, out and out greed.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2009 11:12:47 BDT
M. James says:
DRM isnt perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I am curious what all of these people proposing boycots etc. propose as an alternative. iTunes limits your downloads to five machines, but nobody feels that that is an issue, even though you 'rent' the music in exactly the same fashion.

And that is why I didn't buy an iPod and don't use iTunes. The draconian DRM used in games like this do not stop pirates and hurts legitimate owners more than the pirates. It doesn't achieve it's objective.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 May 2009 23:47:34 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 May 2009 11:55:24 BDT
er .... "99.8% wouldnt notice" and then says 2 lines later "I personally don't like DRM. It interrupts the user experience".

A plain case of if you tell yourself something enough you'll end up beliving it in the end and defend it to your deathbed .... let just hope thats sooner rather than later.

A classic case that DRM doesnt work, just look at sins of a solar empire, massive hit, huge sales and no intrusive DRM / limited installs etc etc etc.

Mr Riccitiell, the reason your sales are S**t is due to releasing unfinished, broken, awful lackluster remakes infested with more spyware/maleware/cripleware than the average p*rn site, not due to piracy.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2009 21:00:48 BDT
H. Le says:
M. James,

Just an update to your post regarding DRM in itune: Apple has dropped DRM from itune.

As to the proposed alternative to overreaching DRM - such as SecuROM and limited activation - that you asked for, here are some of mine:

-Go back to the less restrictive disc check type DRM such as SafeDisc (without limited activation).

- Another alternative is that when Customers activate the DRM'ed game and register the game, the DRM server should also remove the DRM after authentication.

(Of course, all these DRM schemes are still useless anyway; however, I understand that an illusion of security is sometimes necessary in order for the executives and accountants to sleep better at night.)

- The preferred solution is to not waste any money on useless DRM in the first place - since the game will be pirated anyway. Instead, use the money free up from useless DRM to reinvest directly into the game to ensure better game quality. Good games with high production qualities and values will always sell regardless of piracy (StarCraft, Warcraft, Command & Conquer 1st decade, Baldur's Gates, The Sims 2, etc.)

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2009 15:33:06 BDT
R. M. Powell says:
Unfortunately, I think apologists like this seem to think that all people against SecureROM are anti-capitalist. This is far from the truth. What we want as consumers is not to be treated with the automatic assumption that we are criminals. Would you like it if you had a store detective shadow your every move in a supermarket while you were shopping? No, of course not, because their constant presence is insulting because they have automatically assumed you will steal something, and must therefore be followed.

I support artists protecting their intellectual property and resulting profits. As long as there is profit in the sector, it will continue to be supplied. And this is why I don't like pirates, because the more money denied to the business, the less will be invested back into it. However, there are many, many better ways of implementing this. Valve's system, Steam, still has a few bugs, but is harmless to your system and not intrusive. I have no problem with this, because the license is linked with your account, not the PC.

And no, I don't use iTunes much either. I don't like 'renting' music. I buy the CD and rip it to my hardrive, so I know there are no limitations to the file, plus I have the CD. Frankly, it works out cheaper that way, anyway. But even so, at least iTunes does not install software to the boot sector surreptitiously.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2009 15:44:11 BDT
R. M. Powell says:
So you assume that we're all criminals as well. Tut tut. Insulting people is not the way to win an argument.

My 'real' reason is simply I do not like malware on my PC. Go ahead and use it yourself, but don't cry about it after you have problems with it. As I haver mentioned before, Steam does the same thing without restricting you to activation limits, or placing software into your boot sector.

And as for the number of PCs? Remember, as far as these things are concerned, the hardrive IS the PC, and those things are prone to mechanical failure. I've had three in my PC over the past two years (and I suspect at least 1 failure to have been caused by SecureROM). If I install the game on every time, it won't take too long to exceed the activation limit. Then you have to go and prove you have bought it legitimately, and pay for it via a premium rate telephone number. In that respect, I've had more than 5 PCs since I bought C&C Generals, and I still play that occasionally.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2009 15:48:13 BDT
R. M. Powell says:
I don't think people are generally slandering the game, just the DRM method they have chosen.

EA listened to their fans? Very, very grudginly, and the minor change they made does not address the main issue people have with the software.

I agree that the original poster does make too much of the conspiracy theory, but EA have removed posts about this from their own forums, so they are not encouraging discussion on the matter in that respect.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2009 15:51:59 BDT
R. M. Powell says:
Have you tried Steam? That DRM works in a much better way.

Posted on 6 Apr 2011 13:33:07 BDT
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Initial post:  16 Oct 2008
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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (PC DVD)
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (PC DVD) by Electronic Arts (Windows Vista / XP)
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