Spore's DRM So Effective It Was The Most Downloaded Game Of The Year

from the nice-work,-EA dept

It never really made sense for EA to be so insistent on having draconian DRM on games. Before the company even launched Spore people made it quite clear the plan would backfire, but EA went forward with it anyway, creating a PR nightmare. And all for what? Turns out (not surprisingly) the DRM didn't do squat to stop unauthorized file sharing. Spore has now been declared the most downloaded video game of the year. And, even though the year's not over, no other game is going to catch up. And, it's worth noting, the game only launched in October, so this is only over a couple of months. In other words, EA's "antipiracy strategy" backfired almost completely. The company got a huge PR blackeye which probably only encouraged more people to download the game via file sharing. Can someone explain, again, why any company thinks DRM works?


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 6:44pm

    This pleases me

     

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  2.  
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    Patrick, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 7:05pm

    Spore was a hit, after all

    And even though it was downloaded close to 2 million times, they also managed to sell close to 2 million copies the first three weeks.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 7:06pm

    Are you sure one has to do with the other? Maybe spore was the best-selling single player PC game of the year, and so it should be no surprise that it is also most-pirated. I couldnt find the sales charts though.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 7:10pm

    I had the game given to me for my birthday and had trouble installing it plus it wouldnt allow different people in my family to play with their own characters and we only had one PC it would run on. Went online and found a 'version' that runs flawlessly plus allows everyone to have their own character. Thanks EA for bringing this game to market! Thanks to everyone else who went to the trouble to make it useful. In retrospect I would have shelved the game like I did with black and white 2 years ago when I had similar issues...this time was different, I knew there had to be others as frustrated as me and more capable at making it work. EA shouldnt bitch about the DRM workaround crap instead they should be happy that more people will be playing it. The question now is can I trust EA to give me something I want in the future or should I just go straight to the forums? I already know the answer. EA and SONY and the Recording industry are all going to eventually pave the way for someone else to come in and make a butt load of cash who knows how to play the new market.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 7:12pm

    I think their DRM encouraged people to download it. I personally was planning to buy the game until I heard about the absurd DRM.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 7:33pm

    DRM Suks

    And now Rockstar is taking the same route with the PC version of GTA IV. The forums are full of posts about how crappy the game performs, some blame the SecuRom DRM.

     

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    i hate drm, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 7:48pm

    drm is junk

    ha ha ha. they lose reputation AND have people illegally download it alot!!

     

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  8.  
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    Michael Whitetail, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 7:49pm

    Re:

    Regardless of what the vocal majority believe, people download games (and to a lesser extent, movies) to try them first, and buy the product if they like it.

    Spore was pretty polarized in that people either loved it, or hated it. Personally I hated it. It was over hyped and had worse than mediocre game play.

    Most people who bought it, did so on the basis of the hype. Those who tried it out first where able to avoid this hype. And while 2 mil units in 3 weeks is good it is by no means the best for the year.

    Fallout 3 was and is widely available for download, and yet still churned out 4.7 mil units in like the first 10 days.

     

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  9.  
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    Peter G, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 7:55pm

    Stated before the DRM is to kill resale.

    EAs other great enemy after pirates, is legitimate customers selling their games when the get tired of them or they when they buy on hype and find out they suck (Spore).

    The kind of DRM pretty much ensures no one will want to buy a used copy.

    Now when you buy crap from EA it becomes instantly worthless for resale because of the DRM, so yet another reason not to buy it in the first place.

    I am boycotting anything EA because of this.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 7:59pm

    I'm convinced that these DRM methods aren't even designed to prevent piracy, but to prevent secondary markets of said games. Would you rather spend 20-30 dollars on a used game to have to go thru the hassle of calling up EA and trying to get the 3 installs back or just spend the 50 to buy it brand new. EA knows DRM does nothing to stop piracy, they just use it as an excuse to control secondary markets and to have something to point the finger at when their sales/profits are down.

     

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    ze man, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 8:13pm

    is it possible that companies which made the decision to take this avenue have to it because of the amount of free publicity it generates???

    it has you and me talking, and definitely increases the interest in the game.

    what do you think?

     

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  12.  
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    Tamara, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 8:51pm

    Re:

    Not at all. It's negative publicity. The saying "Any publicity is good publicity" is a load of crap, which no one pays attention too. Try it yourself. Go and shoot someone, get your name plastered all over the place, and see how people treat you.

     

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    Deggs, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:33pm

    re

    All I have to say to EA is HahahahBwahaAHAHahaha

    Seriously all DRM does is punish honest people that buy their games... It doesn't take a ridiculously over paid executive to figure that out... Or maybe they just can't.

    Oh, as far as this being a publicity stunt; I haven't bought a damn thing from EA since their decision to use DRM. Maybe some of you have, but frome where I'm sitting it hasn't helped them one bit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 11:23pm

    I did not buy Spore because of the DRM.

     

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    Blatant Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 1:52am

    Re: ze man

    People talk a lot (at the time) about a burning building. If a Movie theater is on fire folks will talk about it, but no one is buying popcorn.

    So, EA:

    "No popcorn for you eggsucker."

     

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  16.  
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    Leecher, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 6:00am

    DRM will die...

    Well due to the current $hite they shove out all the time i torrent first then if i like it i`ll buy it.

    Quatanum of Solice was leeched, the very next day i went out and got it legal. Spore never got a look in.

    Far Cry 2 - wish i had leeched it first - DRM loaded. Not impressed. Any one wanna buy a 2nd hand copy?

     

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    Overcast, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 6:59am

    And even though it was downloaded close to 2 million times, they also managed to sell close to 2 million copies the first three weeks.

    That's because half of the people who downloaded the 'pirated copy' needed to download a cracked version to simplify things.

    And yeah, can see how bad it hurt sales, in any event. I didn't download or buy it, hehe. I usually buy my games anyway, can't think of one I've downloaded for quite a while, most of the time they are a big hassle - but many times, not as big of a hassle as the DRM they ship the games with.

     

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  18.  
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    Simon, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 7:42am

    Drm

    I don't get why they put the PC version full of DRM, and the mac version is a DRM free version. I downloaded the file, installed and voila! Just sounds weird...

     

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  19.  
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    mslade, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 8:04am

    Re:

    "The question now is can I trust EA to give me something I want in the future or should I just go straight to the forums?"

    Even though this was rhetorical, I will reply :) EA has taken every opportunity to show that they only care about $, not at all about the customer. I realize all business is about money, but some companies know how to strike a nice balance between profit and a successful relationship with their clients.

    EA is not an example of such. EA wants your money and would kick your dog after taking it if they could get away with it. IMO, if you actually want to play one of their watered-down, buggy, released-way-too-early games... well... here's a discount code you can use on the intarweb: "thepiratebay".

     

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  20.  
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    Craig, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 8:52am

    So is it stealing?

    I did actaully buy the game. I had been looking forward to playing it for a while. Since installing it my computer has run pathetically. I would have uninstalled it along time ago, but my two year old loves "making monsters".

    So, if I have a legit copy of the game, is it considered stealling to unistall it, get rid on the evil that is secureRom, download a DRM free version and play that?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Some explainations

    There are two possible scenarios here.

    1. Almost two million people downloaded a copy, liked it and went out and brought a legal copy.

    2. Almost two million people brought a legal copy, ran into problems with the DRM and went out to the internet to downloaded a copy.

    Hey, are these any less reasonable than the explanation that goes "EA could have sold nearly four million copies"?

     

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  22.  
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    madman, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 10:48am

    I would have bought the game, only...

    All the talk about DRM made me give up. I was eagerly anticipating the games' release, but when I read about the DRM problems, I said the hell with it. I never bought the game and don't intend to.

     

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  23.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 6th, 2008 @ 11:12am

    Re: So is it stealing?

    IANAL, but everything I know says your answer is No, you would in no way be breaking the law.
    You already purchased a legal copy of the game and you have a right to a backup.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 11:16am

    Re: Stated before the DRM is to kill resale.

    "The kind of DRM pretty much ensures no one will want to buy a used copy."

    You mean nobody will be ABLE to buy a used copy? You have to register your game on Spore's content server in order to download content. It binds the cd key on your specific game to the email address you register with. Nw you have 2 choices:

    a) Coaster.

    b) Give your account details to the person that's buying the game from you.

     

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  25.  
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    xtraSico, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    Me too.

     

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  26.  
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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Dec 6th, 2008 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Me three.

     

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  27.  
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    Crimson, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 12:48pm

    "Before the company even launched Spore people made it quite clear the plan would backfire, but EA went forward with it anyway, creating a PR nightmare."


    What backfired exactly? As I understand it, the game has sold millions of copies. Are you saying it would it have sold MORE without DRM?

     

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  28.  
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    Lucretious, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 12:51pm

    also keep in mind people were actually encouraged to download whether the game interested them or not simply as a protest against EA's practices. This is all about placating clueless industry heads who, in turn, want to appear to shareholders that they're "doing something" about piracy.

     

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  29.  
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    Occasional, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 1:28pm

    er of games

    I don't buy a lot of games. When I do I expect to get my money's worth. Before Spore's release I fully expected to buy a copy. It was DRM horror stories like this that made me change my mind.

     

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  30.  
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    Sean, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Myself also.

     

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  31.  
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    er of games, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    Occasional

    And look, I can't even format my comment right.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 1:57pm

    Re:

    I'm pretty sure that Fallout 3 has sold more.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Let's just add to the pile of joy

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: So is it stealing?

    But they might be able to get you for DRM circumvention, which violates the DMCA. But they probably won't care, especially if you just download the crack, which can be gotten separately.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    I would have bought it. Instead, I got the discounted Swedish Deluxe version.

     

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  36.  
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    skuphundaku, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    "DRM methods aren't even designed to prevent piracy, but to prevent secondary markets of said games".

    You are completely right. DRM for stopping piracy is just an excuse. It hasn't worked before and I bet they knew for sure that it won't work with Spore either. What publishers and producers are actually trying to do is to get rid of the secondary market by any means necessary. A lot of people from major players in gaming business have been bitching and moaning about how much the secondary market hurts their sales figures. Let me give you just a couple of examples: Epic Games and Atari. You can find many more similar articles if you look hard enough.

    And DRM is not their only way of attack on the second hand market. They also plan to move more towards online gaming (EA, Ubisoft) or digital distribution (Atari), thus eviscerating the second hand market. There is some talk around the water cooler that Valve has already gained more from digital distribution than through physical sales (Valve sales).

    DRM will ultimately fail in face of public outrage and boycott. Nevertheless, I think that the drive towards online gaming and digital distribution, if successful, will drastically diminish and maybe even kill the second hand game sales. If nothing happens to change this trend, in 10 year's time we will probably be unable to buy an games in a real life store. One implication is that single player gaming could die off, which would be even more tragic than the death of the secondary market. Another implication is that the power of the developers, producers and publishers over the client would increase by tighter control on the way the games are experienced. That is obvious in the case of online games, but it is just as true in the case of digitally distributed content. We are already seeing this in the case of present day games which require online activation in order to work at all.

     

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  37.  
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    spoondaddy, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    what a surprise u got 1st post. loser

     

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  38.  
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    spoondaddy, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 2:49pm

    Re:

    u said that already. get a job

     

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  39.  
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    Trevlac, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re:

    While you have good logic, I don't see any facts backing up that very concrete statement: "people download games (and to a lesser extent, movies) to try them first".

    Here's how you should write something that you have no facts on. "It is very probable that the reason most games are pirated is due to the DRM on them."

    See? Now you're letting people know you have an opinion based on very good logic (there's mine right there) but not trying to force it on them without any evidence to back it up.

     

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  40.  
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    Yakko Warner, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Pile on. :)

     

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  41.  
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    Yakko Warner, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 5:45pm

    EA's going to spin this

    You know EA's going to take those download numbers and publish them as "evidence" that even more restrictive DRM is necessary to combat the increasing tides of piracy... :roll eyes:

     

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  42.  
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    tekproxy, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 7:18pm

    Spore had DRM?

     

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  43.  
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    Cowmoanut, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Spore was a hit, after all

    Correction Patrick:

    After they managed to sell close to 2 million copies the first three weeks a LOT of people A) returned the game and B) went and downloaded the pirated (DRM free) version. Please note that B and A are not exclusive. Some people did both.

    Also, you can't go around touting that sales number as evidence "it worked" not just because of the RETURNED games (which the retailers pay for BTW, not EA) but also because of that whole Amazon consumer review scandal.

    Please note that 70-80% of the people that purchased the game on Amazon gave it a 1 or 0 stars BECAUSE OF THE DRM

    .

    EA seems to be a bit too big of a company, the various departments don't seem to know what others are doing. For example, you get asinine events like Spore that should result in whoever suggested the DRM scheme to be fired. Then you get events such as with Warhammer Online where they absorbed Mythic, but left Mythic to their own devices to make the game.

    It seems when EA just lets developers do what they want and keep their "business strategies" out of it they make better games and don't suffer from these kinds of issues.

    EVERY single EA game that comes out with DRM gets pirated, and a fair number of people are actually boycotting the brand entirely now.

    And lets not forget about the lawsuit. There is just no excuse for EA. Maybe they should of released it all on Steam...

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 7:36pm

    Re:

    The class action lawsuit, the number of returned copies, the further number of downloads by people that did not even purchase the game because they heard about the DRM, the absolute hatred they earned from many legit and non-legit customers, and the number of people now flat out boycotting everything done by EA.

    I'd say all of that proves the people who said it would backfire right. The DRM didn't stop the game from being pirated. It didn't even slow down the number of copies of it being pirated. That was the WHOLE FUCKING POINT to the DRM.

    So yes, it backfired. The DRM was a failure and is costing them a whole lot of more money after the fact than they realize.

     

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  45.  
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    Duodave, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 7:37pm

    It's BECAUSE of the DRM

    I'm pretty sure this was so widely downloaded BECAUSE it had DRM. The DRM failed to discourage piracy, instead in many cases it encouraged people to find workarounds because they had problems with legally purchased copies.

    That's not just a failure of the DRM (preventing piracy), that's a design flaw (encouraging piracy).

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re:

    There is a key difference in regards to Valve though. They're DRM is almost entirely painless. The "biggest" pain that I ever hear about is the need for an Internet connection when you first install even if you have the CD/DVD.

    On the plus its hassle free to install the games (literally right click the game and click install and it downloads for you) but you can play them anywhere.

    Oh and if your account gets hijacked, Valve is VERY good and quick about returning your account. 2 of my friends were victims of a phishing attack this week and had their accounts back in 2 days. The longest I've heard for a stolen account was 1 week.

    Another minor complaint is that you can't trade or sell games. Valve is a company like Mythic entertainment. They listen to their customers. If enough people give them that feedback they'll figure out how to add it if they can. Chances are other developers would probably be the handicap there. They would be the ones refusing to allow it as it means that other person doesn't buy one of their games.

    But yea. If every game was available on Steam I'd be a happy person. The "headaches" you tend to hear about are people not knowing what they are doing, or giving you outdated information.

    Most of the time.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 11:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And so, stating one's opinion, which can be backed up by people such as myself that do exactly as he said, is not good logic? Sorry, you just failed.

     

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  48.  
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    Cixelsid, Dec 7th, 2008 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re:

    "EA wants your money and would kick your dog after taking it if they could get away with it"

    ROFL

     

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  49.  
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    trollificus, Dec 7th, 2008 @ 8:15am

    What EA is accomplishing...

    ...is much like what our "captains of industry" are accomplishing in other fields: lining the pockets of the top execs while killing the business (particular) and industry (general) in which they "work".


    I've basically quit gaming. There are other ways to waste one's spare time that don't involve buying products from people I despise and who seem to hate ME.

    Just f'ing give up on PC gaming altogether. Consoles are the platform for the future...which is sad, except for the much-anticipated opportunity to someday dance on EA's grave (and kick THEIR dog).

     

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  50.  
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    NiNiNiNI, Dec 7th, 2008 @ 8:50am

    Defective by Design needs overhaul

    I hate defective rights management, as it approaches the problem from wrong angle. It adss complexity where none is really needed. A band-aid to a bigger, unaddressed problem, it criminalizes those that are without blame, and does nothing to stop the problem it intends to stop.

    I find it very gratifying to see the whole MP3 saga play itself out with WalMart's server shutdown fiasco. Now Amazon and iTunes sells MP3s, and that martket hasn't exploded.

    For games, and music too, I think any reasonable person can see that a company has to do its due diligence to protect the product of countless hours of development. However, implementing safeguards should not be at the cost of functionally criminalizing those customers that make up their livelihood.

    We've heard it over and over again - revamp the business models. Microsoft has it half-right - tie the product/hardware together, then dole out extra goodies periodically to legitimate users. The difference is that the product shouldn't be broken before it can be used.

    And give those illegitimate users a path for "going legal" without all the Machiavellian pomp and overtones.

     

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  51.  
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    Patrick, Dec 7th, 2008 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, I hadn't heard of Spore till now, and after reading this thread of 'bad press', I am going to look into the game.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2008 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Maybe it sold more due to it being on other platforms. A PC only game is going to be slammed way harder by piracy.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

    I have bought hundreds of PC games over the years and since all the problems I had with SECUROM(mass effect,hellgate,world of conflict)the way I see it, PC games are dead for me now(legally) since they do in FACT treat their paying customers and in effect, CREATE THEIR OWN REALITY!

    In response, I am boycotting ....

    EA games for using SECUROM
    Sony for creating it

    AND ANY OTHER COMPANIES I FIND IS USING IT!

    SECUROM IS A VIRUS AND DRM=DIGITAL RENTAL MEDIA!

     

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  54.  
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    Pope Ratzo, Dec 7th, 2008 @ 1:30pm

    Re:

    Contrary to the old saying among PR people, not all publicity is good publicity. As soon as I heard Spore had DRM, I decided I would not buy it. I still talked about it, but I didn't buy it.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2008 @ 1:42pm

    Going to download Spore now, just to do my part to make sure this trend continues. I'll probably just delete it when it's done anyway.

     

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  56.  
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    ConceptJunkie (profile), Dec 7th, 2008 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re:

    This is typical of a market where one or a few companies has too much power. EA treats their customers with contempt because they can. Good customer service is for companies that have real competition. Look at Microsoft. Microsoft would have to go _up_ to be hated, and they treat their customers with nothing but seething hatred. They couldn't get away with what they do if most of their market had a real choice. While I don't use Microsoft products, the alternatives are not viable for a lot of people, if only because of Microsoft's FUD campaigns.

    Monopolies are bad.

     

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  57.  
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    mike42 (profile), Dec 7th, 2008 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Re:

    The only value that publishers truly add is distribution. (Financing can really be handled by anyone.) If the future of distribution is online, and any joe can rent space on a server, what is the value of the publisher? Could we be seeing the suicide of game publishing?

     

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  58.  
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    Michael Whitetail, Dec 7th, 2008 @ 10:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes I could have worded my statement better, I agree.

    However, I think that most reasonable people would also understand, ya know, read between the lines so to speak, that I was not attempting to state an absolute, nor trying to quantify a 'number' but to convey a personal opinion.

    Again, I could have worded the post differently to better convey the thought. My bad :(

     

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  59.  
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    Fsm, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 12:46am

    Re: Re:

    I did buy this game because of the hype from when it was first announced. I bought the game (after hearing about the DRM) and still liked it. Still play it, too.

    First time being on the other side of the piracy fence... and in this occasion it feels gooooooooood.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 1:47am

    Downloaded and deleted.

     

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  61.  
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    Crazy Turk, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 1:56am

    So.. immagine,
    2 million downloaded, 2 million sold... 4 million people playing a game... Then game introduces premium online content and pvp...
    think about it

    yup your getting it, just think a little harder...
    .
    .
    .

    ahh... yeah you see it, you really do

     

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  62.  
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    Mattin, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 4:39am

    DRM

    This is slightly ridiculous, there are ways to protect content from piracy. Steam is a good example of this, built on a platform for multiplayer games it has allowed publishers to sell and distribute their content as well as reduce piracy.

    The problem with DRM is that people are not downloading illegally because they are getting a free version. but because they are getting a better version of the game.

     

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  63.  
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    Neverhood, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 4:50am

    lost sale?

    Mike. I think it would be worth noting that every download is not necessarily a lost sale, and therefore a lot of downloaded copies is not necessarily a bad thing for the offline sale.
    Spore was so anticipated and hyped and mainstream, that if I didn't know about the DRM, I would still not be surprised that it was the most downloaded game of the year.

    All that aside, I also luckily downloaded it first, after hearing about the DRM, and actually found out that I didn't enjoy the game at all.

     

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  64.  
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    Monarch, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Spore was a hit, after all

    Released it on Steam? They'd probably do what Rockstar is doing with GTA IV, release it on Steam WITH SECUROM!!! I mean it's EA you're talking about. Now I'm lost as to why Rockstar is releasing GTA IV on Steam with Securom.

     

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  65.  
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    Cipher-0, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 7:01am

    UserFriendly got it right

    ... with their Sunday strip.http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20081207

     

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  66.  
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    Jim, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 4:43pm

    When Will They Learn

    I had initially planned on buying Spore. Had it pre-ordered for 2 years. The inclusion of horribly invasive, intrusive DRM forced me to download it DRM-free online. So, EA, sorry about the $50 loss. So much for DRM helping your profits.

     

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  67.  
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    harry, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Spore was a hit, after all

    The point is, if it did not include said draconian drm, it would have sold a lot more than 2 million. Not only did the drm extensively hurt regular sales, it turned many many legit buyers towards piracy who will most likely do it again. Once you know you can get something for free you were paying for before, you don't want to pay again.

    In short, the drm did nothing but put a huge dent in the legit sales figure, undoubtedly contributed to the game being pirated more than usual and turned many potential legit buyers towards piracy. And this was supposed to "prevent" piracy?

    Complete backfire, as the article suggests.

     

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  68.  
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    prinny, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 5:08pm

    DRM

    I have, as far as I am aware, never illegally downloaded a game but as I became aware that EA and the industry at large would be tracking the number of illegal downloads of Spore I decided that i would download it as a protest against DRM. I downloaded it played it for an hour and deleted it, it is utter crap and shame on all those reviewers who gave it 90%+ ratings, how much money did it take to buy your lies that this was truly the future of gaming?

     

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  69.  
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    Izkata, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Spore was a hit, after all

    Patrick: [And even though it was downloaded close to 2 million times, they also managed to sell close to 2 million copies the first three weeks.]

    Keep in mind that a lot of them did what I did - bought the game not realizing how bad the DRM would be, then downloading the game afterwards to avoid it.

     

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  70.  
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    Geolord, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 7:10pm

    Weird...

    My roommate and I used the same cd to install the game like five or so times. Was the DRM supposed to prevent that?

     

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  71.  
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    Bob from Accounting, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 7:32pm

    I downloaded it illegally, just to prove a point, i didnt even play the game!

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Drm

    theres not enough mac owners who play computer games, owning a mac is its own effective DRM

     

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  73.  
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    Jfed, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 9:05pm

    Not inclined to shut up about it yet.

    A few points:

    - Spore sales (possibly lumped in w/Creature Creator sales?) of 2 million were across 3 different platforms: PC, phone, and handheld apps. PC numbers were speculated to be around half a million, but that was a couple months ago.

    - The Sims2 game(s?): love to know if the 2008 number is a giant leap up from previous years, since Securom and all its tech problems were included on gameplay expansions only beginning in Sept. 2007. Note from EA: Prior to this, The Sims games sold over 100 million copies with nothing but cd checks and confined to the disk anti-copy. Note from me: a metric ton of Sims players knew little of how to pirate until Securom came along and fuxx0Rd their computers.

    - The Mac version of Spore does include Securom. The free demo and sold versions of Creature Creator included Securom. Anything from EA includes Securom these days, activations or not.

    - Initially Spore only permitted 3 activations. Versions sold a few weeks later (after the hooraw) allowed 5. Changing out hardware on one machine uses an activation, good luck guessing when that happens since you get no notice that an activation is used up (only a notice to buy another copy of the game when they're gone). The activation revoke tool promised months ago by EA is yet to be seen.

    - Fallout3's 'milder' version of Securom is nothing of the kind, it just dispenses with the activation nonsense (like the Sims2 games). Securom still installs on your computer and actively scans for blacklisted software like Daemon Tools, Process Explorer, etc. and could prevent startup if they're running or detected. It might prevent startup just for the hell of it. It might also disable your optical drives too, just for funzies.

    - There are four class action lawsuits now filed against EA regarding the steath installation of Securom, the technical issues it causes, and EA's non-disclosure of its installation (there were five, but one was recently dismissed by the plaintiff to be consolidated with another). The suit specifying purchasers of Mass Effect PC also raises the issue of denying a purchaser the right to sell their game on to someone else.

    - The DRM EA uses backfired because it actually gave people a CAUSE to rally around, an anti-EA cause; it showed the true arrogance and deaf ear EA has been so often accused of exhibiting toward its customer base and has to be one of the dumbest moves in the history of the gaming industry: their insistence on problematic DRM (instead of SANE DRM their customers begged for) virtually led those customers by the hand to crack and torrent sites or just plain turned them off from buying at all.

    Yeah. They could've sold millions more, in other words, but they pulled the trigger with pissed off customers that blew up on them. They had to know it was coming, so many customers told them so. All EA had to do was read their own boards...

    Fail.

     

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  74.  
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    mdm-adph (profile), Dec 9th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    I tell you one thing that Spore has excelled at -- I'm never again paying $50 or even $40 for a new game ever again. Biggest damn waste of money I ever spent.

    Even with all the fun that my friends are having with Left 4 Dead, I'm waiting it out to see if it'll still be fun two months from now. If so, I'll buy it discounted.

    So, thanks, Spore, for improving my buying habits!

     

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  75.  
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    daretoeatapeach, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 4:45pm

    Re: all publicity is good publicity

    I work in PR. When you are small-time with a limited budget, it is true that all publicity is good publicity. When you are a product so coveted 1,000s will watch previews of your product on YouTube, you don't need publicity. You've got more than enough. It's not like Spore was an unheard of game only getting press because of the DRM. What they have now is a PR problem (PR being image).

    For the record, I was really looking forward to Spore, so much so that I was going to reinstall Windows just to play it. I'm one customer they lost.

     

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  76.  
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    Abcdefg, May 27th, 2012 @ 6:15am

    lol

    the piracy rate for spore was much higher than two million, people seem to forget there is more then one torrent site, and more then one tracker per torrent site, the real number was probably around 5 to 10 million, including those who bought the game, or did so in protest
    the drm was/is bs though, i wouldnt want to rent a game i own, the only way i could justify that is with an mmo, and honestly, there are hardly any out there that truely are worth a sub
    requiring constant internet activity wouldve been a much better route at least, or just letting you install once per month (for different machine ids) and not considering driver updates as changing your machine

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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