If they wanted to release a new game that substantially deviated from the form and function of previous editions, they should have given it a different name. By continuing to use the "SimCity" brand, they not only succeeded in driving big $ in presales, but also jacking up player expectations. Further, the tightening of the DRM screws, ignoring quality and playability for moment, made what you get for the big $ worth something less since they effectively destroyed any resale potential the game had. Take that, consumer.
Here are some ideas that might help EA:
- Recognize playability and quality impacts the amount of both paid purchases and piracy for any game, but high quality causes paid purchases to increase at a faster rate.
- Diminishing the playability and quality of your products in an attempt to reduce piracy usually results in a more dramatic impact on paid purchases.
- DRM doesn't cause potential players to switch from being pirates to being paid purchasers.
- Paying customers recognize and resent you for taking away important playability characteristics from the games they enjoy and will think twice before purchasing additional titles from you in the future.
- An important segment of the buying public (i.e. the educated ones) recognize that you are placing more focus on manipulating market behaviors instead of building quality, playable games. The rest just think you are incompetent crooks who took their $60.
The really idiotic part of this is that the way it is written, anyone for any reason can install a rootkit and start collecting unspecified data. Sure, there is the BS about "suspicion", but that's a pretty low bar.
The unwritten part is that the only ones permitted to do this legally will be the content monopolies and, of course, the government(s).
Assuming this sees the light of day, I can't wait for clever citizens to figure out how to intercept, isolate and decrypt the data being collected and start publishing the embarrassing habits of government officials and industry executives.