Nasty install limits and online activation aren't in the cards this time says executive producer Rod Humble, there'll be no DRM whatsoever.
All that will stand between you and a virtual neighbourhood is a serial key, which Humble says is a "good, time-proven solution". The Sims 3 is being released on PC this June 2nd.
"The game will have disc-based copy protection – there is a Serial Code just like The Sims 2. To play the game there will not be any online authentication needed," Humble on the official game website.
"We feel like this is a good, time-proven solution that makes it easy for you to play the game without DRM methods that feel overly invasive or leave you concerned about authorization server access in the distant future."
EA and Maxis were in a lot of hot water with the community after Spore carried with it the full muscle of DRM. Many likely expected EA to tone it down for The Sims 3 but not actually chuck the whole system out the window. Kudos.