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Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Sep 9, 2008

DRM-Infested Spore Causes Amazon Outrage

Spore

I think I’m one of the few people in the world that hasn’t jumped on the Spore bandwagon. I’m sure it’s a fun game and all, it’s just really not my style. Perhaps it is best that I haven’t gone out of my way to obtain a copy, because I hate DRM, and EA is notorious for their terrible DRM.

So what’s the big deal with this DRM? First, it phones home to EA when you install it. That’s not a big deal, right? It wouldn’t be, except that it does this every time you install, and if you’ve already installed it three times, you’ve got to get on the horn to EA’s (wonderful) support line. I seem to remember a big stink being raised last year when this same DRM was found in Bioshock. They upped the limit on re-installs, however, they apparently didn’t learn their lesson.

Is this DRM going to affect sales? Possibly. If you head over to Amazon, you’ll see that it has earned itself a measly 1-star rating. There have been 1,258 customer reviews, and of those, 1,171 people gave the game a single star. If you go through and read the actual reviews, almost every single one of them mentions a distaste for the DRM.

There are plenty of people that put a lot of weight into the rating systems on Amazon, and this influx of negative reviews will certainly make people think twice before making their purchase.

What’s sad is that the game has already been pirated, and can be found pretty easily if you know where to look. Since the game itself is seems to be getting positive feedback, this DRM issue will no doubt encourage people to simply download the game, rather than deal with the issues of a retail copy. We don’t promote piracy, but EA is almost asking for it. My advice? Buy the game, then download the pirated version. This way you get the nice, clean DRM-free version, but you’re making sure that the developers get their cut.

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