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EA tries to kill Spore with insane DRM; or does it?
September 17, 2008|Gaming

EA tries to kill Spore with insane DRM; or does it?

Everyone is jumping on the DRM bandwagon like it's the Last Train to Clarksville, and most seem to be getting it wrong. With all of the chatter on the web about about poorly implemented DRM, it's really just idiotic to implement as tight a reign on a product as EA has done with Spore.

If you haven't heard about it yet; or even experienced it; Spore is limited to 3 installs. 3. That's not very many times. In fact I still play Quake 3 which was released in 1999, and has been installed 100 times since then between new computers and rebuilding my machines after some DLL committed Sepuku on my Windows install. They could have easily taken a lesson from Adobe here. Adobe implemented in the Creative Suite line a solid limit with internet activation, but they also wisely created a way to deactivate the install. While this doesn't help for a fatal system error, but for a system rebuild it works perfectly. iTunes is the same way in fact; you have a limit of 5 validated machines, but you can also deactivate a machine as well as deactivate all of them once year. These options seem fairly simple to implement and could have easily dissuaded a lot of the folks who are rattling their sabrers over the DRM of Spore.

Maxis online producer Caryl Shaw even took the time to respond over at GamingSteve.com, which is not a huge surprise given the number of sheeples slagging the game at Amazon.com. EA is also, in my experience, an excellent company that has a vested interest in what their community is saying and interested in. Not only from a sales stand point, but from a community position as well. They could have simply told everyone to go hug a root. They know folks are going to buy Spore anyway.

That's about all the detail I have really, so my stance is simple: I could be better, and at least it's not StarForce. DRM is still a hot topic of debate in every circle of digital software and goods, and is likely to continue to be a pain in everyone's jar until someone gets it right. This isn't going to stop me from buying the game this fall or putting it on my Christmas list; it doesn't change the fact that game looks really cool and has some amazing artwork built into it.

DRM isn't something that should keep you from buying a game unless it truly is Draconian; which this is not. Sure, it could have been implemented in a more open fashion – but it's not like EA is Stardock, so what do you really expect? I expect that they will learn from the flock of wah-wahs circling the release of Spore this last week or so and move on. As should everyone else….

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