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Monday, September 08, 2008

SPORE Loser: Players outraged at game's DRM

Here's a screenshot I just made of the Amazon product page for the new video game Spore, which came out yesterday for Windows and Mac computers...

How does a video game simultaneously occupy #1 on Amazon's sales rank, and get hundreds of one-star reviews?

In three words: "Digital Rights Management". People who purchase Spore can only install it on three computers. And apparently the DRM that is installed is continuously running in the system's background even when the game isn't being played, sucking up resources that could be used for other processes. I don't think that BioShock's DRM last year was that bad (incidentally, 2K eventually removed the DRM from BioShock altogether).

And now Electronic Arts is being targeted with a massive protest by Spore players who have unleashed a wave of negative reviews for the game, in spite of the very favorable press the game has received from professional journalists.

Can't say that I blame the players. Spore doesn't look too much like my cup of tea (although it was created by Will Wright, the mastermind behind SimCity) but this kind of DRM for what is an online multiplayer game, however innovative, is ridiculous. Games like Guild Wars and World of Warcraft have never needed such draconian measures before, and they have remained profitable by a substantial margin. Why then is Electronic Arts doing this?

They need to strip this out, and fast. If only because at least in the blogosphere, there is still a working semblance of a free market and a free press. Electronic Arts has honked off both with this move.


AfterShock said...

Two words for why this happening - "Electronic Arts". They are the whole reason people hate DRM in games. All this does is hurt the legal buyers. As people have said in other forums online (that haven't managed to be censored by EA BULLYING the site host) - the DRM is designed to "foil" the pirates who hack the games. However, the pirates already had the DRM cracked and stripped out of the game even before it hit store shelves. Just pathetic, EA, just pathetic!