It seems that EA has brought a new layer of DRM (digital rights management) for the recently announced FIFA 22 on PC. Now it is unclear (due to the wording) if this is a one-time activation, where you can not use the game on any other PC and / or motherboard, or if this is a one time at a time activation where you are free to use it on other PC systems, but require deactivation of the other first.
The image that can be seen on the game’s store page says “1 machine activation limit” which is a bit vague.
We assume that it is the latter, because if not, there is a big limitation on the part of EA, as you will be asked to buy back the game on PC if you want to play it on another system. This even includes upgrading your motherboard, since the key would most likely be associated with it. For example, Microsoft uses this when it comes to the Windows operating system, otherwise users will be able to upload windows to as many PCs as they want.
This form of DRM is obviously there to limit usable sharing where a license can be used on multiple computers, but still for legitimate users that can be a bit annoying to deal with, especially with games where problem-solving support is harder to go through.
EA had a similar situation with game activation back in 2008 when Spore was released, although activation was limited to three instead of one. EA eventually expanded with this, with former game label president Frank Gibran on this:
We have received complaints from many customers that we recognize and respect. And while it’s easy to reduce the noise from those who just want to post or upload thousands of copies of the game online, I think we need to adjust our policy to accommodate our legitimate consumers.
We are willing to develop our guidelines to accommodate our consumers. But we hope that everyone understands that DRM policy is important for the economic structure we use to finance our games, and also for the rights of the people who make them.
We have contacted EA about this and will update the story if we get an answer back.
Thanks, MrPartyPancake, DANNYonPC!