Electronic Arts decided today to remove its five on-line activation policies and offer a tool that will de-authorize games released after May 2008. After going through a painful PR disaster called Spore, a game that received numerous number of "1 of 5" stars on on-line stores, sales of the game died down as the marketing campaign stopped. Secondary buyers usually buy the game that is out between 6-12 months old, and they don't care about online reviews.
EA's CEO went as far as stating that "99.8% of gamers don't care about Spore DRM"... but now, half a year later, seeing the secondary sales are ending up in the toilet, it was the right time to eat a piece of humble pie. Thus, Electronic Arts decided to remove the blatantly wrong activation mode and offer de-activation tools.
You have two options, either download a utility that will search your hard drive for EA games and apply de-activation tools itself, or you can download a game-specific utility.
All that I can say is, finally. Now I no longer need to use cracks on my paid Mass Effect, Crysis Warhead and Spore [EA, do you need to see my Best Buy bill?] original games which I installed and cracked. And I considered myself to be an idiot for buying them in the first place. The only question is, is this enough to stop the convienience of online distribution models such as Steam? Steam has no issues with me backing up the game when I am changing systems, for as long as there is only one person logged under my user name.
In the end, the consumer will win. It just depends on at what cost it will come to the companies involved.
UPDATED, April 1st, 2009 20:11 UTC - We received a comment from anonymous EA game developer: f**king finally. It looks like some EA's own employees didn't agree with corporate policies.