Reading this topic, I'm convinced that EA is treating their customers like potential thieves because most of you ARE potential thieves.
The problem with the term "potential" is that you can apply it for anything and to everyone. Most people are potential murderers. Does that mean we should pre-emptively treat everyone as such? There is also a different approach. You can treat everyone as potential customers. Even pirates. If your profits fail because of piracy (never happened, by the way, games fail because they're bad games, not because of piracy) then you might ask yourself, ok, what am I doing wrong? Is my pricetag too high? Is the lack of a demo contributing to people being reluctant to fork over cash for something they haven't seen in action (I burned my fingers on that one more than once)? Are my customers deterred from buying the game because of intrusive DRM?
Or you can go "screw 'em, dirty thieves, INCREASE THE DRM VOLTAGE!"
If the DRM pisses you off, don't buy it - but don't pirate it either. You are 1) showing they were right to put DRM on it in the first place, and 2) creating incentive for them to make more intrusive DRM for their next title. There isn't some magic number of pirates out there that will finally convince EA to drop DRM, any change will come from collective action.
The problem here is one of perception. The EA management probably is convinced that the number of pirates deterred and persuaded into buying their games is greater than the number of potential customers which refuse to buy the title because of DRM. They are quite mistaken in this, but its a numbers spin with a typical corporate lack of long-term vision. In other words, they are making a bad name for themselves, never a good business move.
Ideally, EA could cut their prices in half and make more money, but only if every current pirate bought all the games they now steal.
As I said earlier, pirates are not a factor. Some people will pirate a game just because they can or because they really do not want to buy that game. You CANNOT sell your game to them - they won't buy it! So they are not a factor, they do not exist as far as your sales go. Forget them.
But, if you lower the prices, you bring your product to a wider audience. Even to people who might not have bought your game but now decide to give it a try because the price is affordable. Furthermore, you allow people to buy more than one or two games a month. Most kids have enough spending money to purchase one game. Only adults have that kind of cash, and they tend not to have as much free time or interest in games as kids do. This creates a fierce competition between publishers, and if your game isn't on top, you lose money. If you lower the price of your product, you stand to gain a lot more money because the volume of your buyers tends to increase disproportionally.
Anyway, there are many healthy business practices out there, both to maximize your profits and to combat piracy. EA is not employing them at the moment. Their lack of vision is disturbing.