Spore’s DRM a Problem

Spore, the evolution game by SimCity creator Will Wright, may be garnering positive reviews from critics and may be expected to sell 2 million by the end of the month, but publisher EA sure knows how to rub people the wrong way.

Employing SecuROM, the same digital rights managements (DRM) software as used on Mass Effect, another EA-published game (for the PC version), Spore limits the player to 3 installations. Upon reaching the limit, the users will not be able to play the game anymore. People can contact EA, though, who will assess one’s reasons for reaching the limit and might provide an extra activation.

This did not sit well with Amazon.com shoppers. The game was released only yesterday, but at the time of writing has received 780 customer reviews, a whopping 717 of them rating the game 1 star out of 5.

“Reviews” is a bit of a stretch, though – most of the people giving scores have yet to play the game, but are rating Spore down as a form of protest over EA's “draconian” DRM practices.

Still, the customers have a point. Many families have multiple computers and may want to install Spore on each computer, not to mention the problem of reformatting, upgrading, or buying new computers, which could quickly eat up the 3-activation limit. The software, meant to curb piracy, is proving to be more of a nuisance to gamers than a preventative measure.

Despite the backlash on the online retailer, Spore is the #1 bestseller in video games on Amazon.com. via Red Herring
by Michael Lee

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