Comic Updated September 26, 2008

I don't have a whole lotta love for Electronic Arts. I'll be honest, I don't have anywhere near as much hate for 'em as I used to, either, since John Riccitello took the reins. I aint saying he's some kind of visionary, or even substantially different from his predecessors -- except in one way: he's aware that the company has to make decent games.

Of course, this brings with it a whole new set of problems, because the previous management's hands-on style of operation encouraged crushing the souls out of both their employees, which in turn crushed the souls out of their employees' games, which in turn has necessitated EA's current tactic of buying up other, un-crushed development studios.

And, I gotta say, from what I can tell on the game front, it's working. The stuff EA's putting out now -- by virtue of their captive studios -- is ten times better than what they were putting out even five years ago. If EA can restrain themselves from interfering to an unsuitable degree, it's very likely that these studios will continue to put out high-quality product.

At which point, as is currently evidenced, EA will step in and screw it up via draconian DRM standards.

The issue of DRM is a dicey one to begin with -- its very presence, meant to stem the pirating of games, creates a situation in which the paying customer gets a product that is inferior to the pirated version. You are, in simple terms -- and there's really no other way to spin this -- being punished for your honesty.

Now, add in Securom, EA's DRM software of choice -- a nasty piece of business that installs when you install your PC game, does NOT uninstall when you uninstall your PC game, has been reported to cause numerous hardware and software conflicts, and spies on you, reporting back frequently to head office. Having DRM attached to a game is like buying a cake that you can only eat one slice of per day, up to a maximum of six days. Having Securom be the DRM software is having the cake delivery guy wear a wire and hang around outside your window forever.

More on this later.

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