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Customer Review

509 of 602 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BITTER IS THE SPORE OF GREED, September 7, 2008
This review is from: Spore Galactic Edition - PC/Mac (Video Game)
The game has been just released. But I am not going to buy it. I used to a have a standing pre-order but not anymore, that has been long canceled. I gave EA a chance to mend its ways but it failed. Here is why.

This is a warning Review. Warning of the dangers of the harbored Digital Rights Management (DRM) subroutine that comes unavoidably bundled with the game. This type of DRM (SecuROM 7x with Limited Installations) is well known as it has already been used in at least two other games (BIOSHOCK & MASS EFFECT). So my review is based on first-hand experience of a core aspect of the game.

Apparently EA would rather keep its customers in the dark. That is why, in the past month, EA Forums got censored, Wikipedia entries selectively edited and Amazon reviews repeatedly deleted. What is worse, Amazon (possibly without knowing it) is breaking the law which requires the full disclosure of bundled snoop-ware.

LIMITED INSTALLS? Yes, LIMITED INSTALLS!!! We only get to ride this shiny pony for...3 laps! The official announcement mentions "on 3 different computers" but avoids to clarify what a "different computer" makes: will changing the graphics card trigger the loss of a token? what about attaching a new hard-drive (internal or external) or adding a new user account. All the above have been reported to subtract installation tokens from BIOSHOCK or MASS EFFECT - and EA has intentionally left this area dark gray.

Moreover, in order to enforce the limited installations, exactly like BIOSHOCK, there will be IRREMOVABLE FOLDERS placed in our systems' Root that will effectively revoke our Administrator rights to our own PCs! Short of reformatting, there is no deleting them even if logged in as Administrators.

Is EA trying to pave the way towards a nightmarish future where PC gaming will be a continuously-billed service (such as direct-Pay TV) and not a product?
Is EA trying to trigger a lemmings stampede towards the Pay-per-Play cliff, where gamers will be regarded as herded cows to be milked over months and years?
Is the Company trying to turn our PC systems (that we bought and paid for) into their proprietary consoles, hence monstrosities such as SecuROM that offer zero anti-piracy protection?
According to statements by their own spokespersons (such as John Riccitiello, CEO of EA) the answer to all of the above question is YES. However, I want to make clear that none of these statements had any impact on my rating of this game. The game has enough troubles as it is...

Is it fair to rate badly a game based on its short duration or bad graphics? How about its instability and bugs? How about harboring potentially dangerous subroutines that will render it useless within a 12-16 months? You see how this is going?

In the end, after all is said, with SPORE it boils down to this: who will actually be owning my copy? Are we to pay $50 only to...RENT this from its publisher, be potentially pestered with the insulting need to prove our purchase forever and place our hardware and data in danger?
And what makes this even harder to understand: will such extreme measures actually prevent piracy? Of course NOT! They did not work for similarly DRM-plagued BIOSHOCK or MASS EFFECT, why should they start working now?

So, one has to ask: what is next in store for customers that make the mistake of buying such a product? Will they be required to pay again to buy another copy of the game when the first one expires?

Is THIS the solution that EA executives came up against piracy: since they cannot stop piracy, let's make all our paying customers PAY TWICE to make up for their million dollar bonuses?!

NO THANKS! No game is worth such harassment!
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Showing 1-10 of 40 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 8, 2008 4:36:08 PM PDT
Banknorth says:
And another thing, those who DO pirate the game, don't have any of these problems. It was cracked within about a day or so, maybe less. Ironic, huh?

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 5:32:48 PM PDT
You are so right. I really hope EA pays attention to the backlash against this garbage and changes their plans. Nice review. I hope everyone reads it and refuses to buy the game.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 7:47:05 PM PDT
Paul Tinsley says:
Thanks for posting this. It is so true and high time publishers reviewed how they utilize DRM and the fairness towards consumers.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 8:04:52 AM PDT
Rhoadarmer says:
I canceled my pre-order when I read this. Thanks. I'll wait for them to release a patch that eliminates the mess before ordering.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 12:47:01 PM PDT
Crawlerz says:
Thank you for opening my eyes. If a legitimate copy is so very wrong and there are TONS of pirated ones (with, as Banknorth says, none of these problems,) EA has let me down yet AGAIN. Dismal.
I read about the DRMs that you wrote about that cannot be "torn" from your computer short of throwing it against a wall, for the first time.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2008 2:12:57 PM PDT
Shanghaied says:
I appreciate this review and others like it as I wasn't aware it was shipping with secureROM. I was planning to pick this up on payday. EA will have to remove secureROM and re-release Spore before I even consider it as I will NEVER purchase a product loaded with it, no matter how good.

Sending software that infringes on the user's freedom over their own property in trojan horses like Spore is shameful and counterproductive and it should be illegal.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 6:46:06 PM PDT
Ken says:
Outstanding evaluation of the product. I wrote a review of this garbage under the regular version of the game. I am jealous of your tagline - bitter is the spore of greed - it is clever and hits the nail on the head! EA has worked diligently to silence criticism of this game on sites like gamespot and ign where negative customer comments and reviews are quickly deleted each time they are posted (and the authors of the negative reviews warned that speaking of DRM is against site rules). EA is truly a cancer in the industry and (to borrow a line from Wargames) 'the only way to win is not to play' ...or in this case 'pay'

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 7:08:53 AM PDT
NeuroSplicer says:
Thank you all for your very kind words. I greatly appreciate it.
Apparently EA did not expect such strong reaction and was caught with their pants down: not enough people manning the Amazon-manipulation desk. So, they conceded the review battle and are now fighting the Discussion battle.

The funny thing is that no one at EA thought that gamers are intelligent people and can only be pushed so far. This backlash sure stung...

Happy Gaming!

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 4:47:25 PM PDT
William Mel says:
YES! exactly thank you for pointing this out!
someone has a mind with a voice!

If anyone has attemped to install bioshock we all know what he is talking about. im sorry that downsides vs the upsides of this game are overpowering. This is just a no brainer. You suck EA!!! Thanks for taking the fun out of this

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 1:38:25 AM PDT
I was going to buy Spore, not anymore!
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