Following on the heels of yesterday’s GOO Announcement, comes a startling one from Electronic Arts.

They’ll be releasing The Sims 3 with key-disk protection only. No online authentication required. I kid you not. That’s official.

I gather from the piece it will be something like the Diablo 2 method: enter a serial number during the install and then have the CD in the drive when you play.

And this from the company which has been reviled in the past for its incredibly heavy-handed (and useless) DRM. Is this the beginning a trend? Is EA slowly moving away from stupidity? Are they beginning to realize that online validation, limited installs, and jumping through hoops is a big mistake that drives away customers?

There’s no way of knowing if this is just special for The Sims, or if they’ll be doing this for other titles in the future. We can only hope it will continue. And that other publishers will start to follow it, as well.

One interesting note: they say “copy protection”, not DRM. How refreshing! It’s been awhile since anyone used the real term for all this.

The Sims 3 Copy Protection