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Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Oct 16, 2008

EA CEO John Riccitiello Thinks Spore Complainers Were Either Pirates Or Just Plain Stupid

We’ve all heard plenty about the hubbub surrounding the SecuROM DRM used in Spore. In a recent interview, John Riccitiello of EA fires back about the negative reaction that the game received as a result. Here’s a rather lengthy quote from him on the subject.

“I personally hate DRM. I don’t like the whole concept; it can be a little bit cumbersome. But I don’t like locks on my door, and I don’t like to use keys in my car… I’d like to live in a world where there are no passports. Unfortunately, we don’t – and I think the vast majority of people voted with their wallets and went out and bought Spore…

Everyone gets that we need some level of protection, or we’re going to be in business for free… [But it was] a minority of [anti-DRM] people that orchestrated a great PR program. They picked the highest-profile game they could find. I respect them for the success of their movement.

I’m guessing that half of them were pirates, and the other half were people caught up in something that they didn’t understand. If I’d had a chance to have a conversation with them, they’d have gotten it… There are different ways to do DRM; the most successful is what WoW does. They just charge you by the month.”


I’m really not going to get on my soapbox and talk about how much I hate DRM, and how EA is shooting themselves in the foot here. What I will point out is that last paragraph. According to John, half of the people complaining are pirates, while the other half are just ignorant and don’t know what they were complaining about in the first place.

Sure, half might have been pirates, but why do you think they decided to pirate the game in the first place? I can bet that quite a few just didn’t want to put up with the restrictions imposed on a game they legally purchased. (I’ll also admit that plenty of people will pirate games regardless of DRM.) Then we’ve got the other half. Apparently these are EA’s customers that are just ignorant or stupid. They definitely aren’t people who have installed the game and been genuinely upset about the restrictions imposed on their new software.

You’re right John, no paying customer is upset about Spore simply because they bought the game and didn’t like the DRM. Thanks for clearing that up.

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