Spore War

By Alec Meer on September 9th, 2008 at 9:27 am.

People really don’t like DRM. And a small but very passionate/ferocious group of people really, really, really don’t like DRM. They’ve struck back by shaping Amazon’s user reviews of Spore en masse, bringing its average rating down to just one star.

While I’m aware it’s a major issue for a lot of gamers, I think it’s a hateful thing to do on this kind of scale. I do understand their concerns entirely, and would much prefer there was no DRM in Spore. Fine, don’t buy the game yourself or crack it if you’re not happy with the restrictions and privacy violations. Write to EA or trading standards, blog about it, demand there’s a big warning sticker on the box.

Even protest ratings based on your actual negative experiences of the DRM are entirely valid, but this concerted group effort (most of whom, I imagine, haven’t actually played the game or experienced its usage restrictions first-hand) is giving innocent Amazon customers entirely the wrong impression of a game they might well love: that star rating is all that a lot of people look at. This isn’t raising awareness of DRM: it’s just making people not buy the game because they think it must be rubbish.

The DRM’s a significant problem – a problem we won’t know the full extent of for a while, I’d imagine – but my concern is that one of the most influential buying guides on the web is currently only telling one side of the story. A progressive, excellent game could get sunk because of it, and we’ll end up with more licensed tripe instead. Not that likely, granted, but possible.

Appreciate that this is a subject people feel very strongly about, but please express your comments below without bellowing abuse at each other.

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350 Comments »

  1. Cope says:

    I completely agree with what they’re doing on Amazon. I’m real sorry that Spore got caught up in this, it’s one of the few truely original games of the last couple years, but this is EA’s fault. The Sony rootkit fiasco should have been fair warning to them, or the outcry over DRM in Bioshock, or in Mass Effect. Hell every time a game is shipped with pervasive DRM people have made a big stink over it. Publishers still haven’t gotten the message.

  2. SwiftRanger says:

    “How do you propose sending a message to publishers that their DRM is unnecessary and we don’t like being treated like criminals, then? Start an online petition? If the publisher can just ignore the problem then it’s not worth wasting time to protest.”

    How did the Mass Effect 10-day activation thingie got removed? Bioware boards were flooded. Send in the e-mails, harass the official forums, keep this thing in the attention, don’t take it as normal but also, don’t say “Do not buy this game because it has DRM!” because that’s not gonna have any effect on EA or any other publisher and some people might be missing out on great games that way.

  3. Sithinious says:

    *sigh* If only Will Wright had went with Stardock instead of EA…..

  4. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Nallen says:

    What a farce of a response. If you buy a game it is none of anyone’s concern how you decide to play it!

    Funny, the same could be said of people willing to buy Spore but who get stringed up by others who do not want them to play it. It’s their choice, isn’t it?

    Saying that DRM having an impact on how you choose to use a licensed piece of software is your own fault really is a ball crunchingly bad argument.

    You failed at that comprehension skill check, mate. I never stated it’s one’s fault that the DRM affects your game; but citing DRM as a reason as to why you may not be able to play a game in between one to three years is somewhat pushing it, no? Yes, you’re “free” to play the game as you want. But if you want to take between one to three years, then you’d better be ready to deal with the consequences of the DRM. It’s no different than having to, say, deal with outdated drivers or unsupported operating systems – if you want to play a PC game nowadays, you’d better be ready to engage in some technical juggling no matter how you look at it. You can argue DRM is a particularly daft technicism to deal with – no argument there – but, seriously, you know how it works and what to do with it. Yet, instead of choosing to deal with it or foregoing it entirely, yoru argument is… What? DRM is bad because my computer might need to be messed around with? Ok, fair enough. Now replace “DRM” and “computer” with, say, “Vista” and “Deus Ex”, respectively. You have a choice, then – don’t buy Vista. No complaints. But if you do, and you know of its intrincancies and how they don’t exactly jibe with your PC maintenance… Adapt.

  5. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Dinger:

    By definition, Windows is a hard drive memory leak pretending to be an OS. To run it well, you need to reinstall the OS regularly. Sure, we don’t do it, but we should.

    I never had a problem with it, but then, I’m careful with hardware. “Never mess with things that my blow up in your face” usually is my motto :)

    So Diogo, by your last post (”If between one to three years, you believe you may not have finished, that’s not a problem with the game” ), you’re admitting that EA’s DRM amounts to a long-term rental.

    No, I’m saying that DRM is a draconic artifact that we have no use for, but if we want to criticize it, certainly we can come up better with complaining.

    Those little “fact boxes” in reviews should specify not only publisher, developer and genre, but MSRP, online prices, and DRM scheme. That way, reviews will do their part in indicating not only who made the game, but just what exactly it is they’re selling. They can use the space freed up by removing the number score if they like.
    Heck, as many other aspects have their own symbology, how about some for DRM:
    Smiley Face: No DRM.
    Marijuana Cigarette: ShareWare
    Peace Symbol: FreeWare
    Briefcase with Radioactive symbol on the side: Activation code
    Red Telephone: Online Activation
    Van with antennae and “Flowers By Irene” painted on the side: monitors your computer use and conflicts with some programs. (Alternatively: Mother-in-Law)
    Hitler Face: repeated, mandatory online verification
    Game Box in Toilet: Limited Installs.

    :lol:

    Still, that’d probably be more useful than what’s being currently done.

  6. ADamnFox says:

    Long comment thread, and this happened quite early on, but it deserves notice–it’s the best Angry Internet slogan ever:

    “As to being hateful? Screw you.”

  7. KindredPhantom says:

    My copy has not arrived today..

  8. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Tom:

    Well, the guy behind the counter selling the game isn’t exactly at fautl :) Although it would be if we were discussing obscene prices.

    The point of doing this in front of a store is to raise awareness in a more efficient way, as you can certainly raise more eyebrows with a well thought out campaign that addresses the meat of the issue. As opposed to bleating on a website and hoping that people who look at ratings will somehow divine that “1 star = Draconian DRM methods”.

    Also, official forums are by far one of the better ways, as you are addressing not the only the developers but also the kind of gamer that gets his information from said forums.

  9. Ian says:

    @KindredPhantom: DRM is to blame. And piracy.

  10. Downloads_Plz says:

    A couple points I’d like to make.

    1. Anyone that looks JUST at the number of stars without scrolling down to see WHY so many people voted they way they did is not a very smart person. Even just going down to the first three default comments shows that all of them blame DRM in their title. I don’t at all agree with rating it so low just because of that, but I still don’t think it will actually end up affecting sales much, if at all.

    2. I think that maybe a lot of problems with DRM would be avoided if companies were just a lot more honest about their DRM. For example, every game comes with the Minimum Specifications listed somewhere on the box. What exactly is stopping companies from putting their DRM information on the box, aside from being afraid of backlash, which only ends up getting amplified anyway when customers take their new game home and find out they can only install it 2 or 3 times?

    And of course this isn’t even touching the fact that the game is already pirated anyway, so all their DRM is really doing is annoying their paying customers.

  11. mandrill says:

    This is not meant to be a message to people who are looking to buy the game. This is meant to be a message to EA. If it affects their bottom line they’re more likely to pay attention to it. If it results in them removing the DRM requirements from Spore then I’m sure the ratings will be reshaped to reflect that.

  12. Bobsy says:

    BBC weighs in.

    “The DRM on this thing is less friendly than my recent colonoscopy – you get three installs. That’s it. No install returned for uninstallation, or anything else,” wrote one reviewer.

  13. roBurky says:

    I’ve already installed on three computers. I don’t even know how to unlock more activations as there’s not even any mention of the DRM on the box or in the manual.

  14. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Downloads_Plz:

    Very much agree on the second point, and it would be a much more sensible approach to some of the issues of DRM.

    As for the first… They may not be smart, but that is the nature of ratings (as opposed to reviews). They are not meant for people willing to spend time reading up multiple sources of info; instead, they’re meant to be “reviews in a glance”. True, DRM is listed as a reason throughout. But the very first three default comments you’ve mentioned say absolutely NOTHING about the game itself, other than “great game”. That’s not even criticism, it’s more akin to a blanket statement. And out of those 1200 reviews, how many do the exact same?

  15. Jim says:

    I just installed Max Payne and NOLF2 last night – I own both legally. I was in the mood to play them. The “CD in the drive” requirement is fair and equitable. What would I have had to do if this type of DRM was on either of those games? A pain in my arse would have ensued.

    DRM sucks, but I understand it.

    To clarify things:
    They are trying to stop the casual piracy that happens among friends and family. DRM is not targetted towards the hard-core pirates.

  16. Andrew F says:

    I think a point in Alec’s original post, which people have gone to some contortions to avoid, is it would be better if people who are rating the game at 1 star had ever actually come in contact with it.

  17. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    ^That’s another good point. I was just thinking about that. Amazon’s review policies are pretty strange in that, they’ll allow people who do not own the game to “review” the game two years before its release, as well as people who do not have it to utterly bash it to hell (or more to the point, its DRM).

  18. Chaz says:

    I must say that I’m also against this kind of protesting by purposely giving lower scores. This kind of protesting is generally aimed at a grievance with the publisher, and yet those that get affected by it most are the folks that made the game, who often have very little control over how its published. When a group of game designers spend a few long years of their lives creating a game, then I think they deserve a fair crack of the whip when it comes to its criticisms. If you have a problem with the publishers, then take it up with them, but score the game on its merits.

    A similar thing happened on Gamespot over the Jeff Gerstmann debacle with the Kane and Lynch review, and in protest lots of folks gave it a 1 point score. The whole thing was the fault of Gamespot and the publishers and yet ultimately it was the devs, who had nothing to do with, that got punished by the low scores. OK it wasn’t a great game, but it received an unfair drubbing due to the Gerstmann incident.

  19. Shadout says:

    Diogo Ribeiro says:
    Yes, you’re “free” to play the game as you want. But if you want to take between one to three years, then you’d better be ready to deal with the consequences of the DRM.

    Sorry, but that is bullshit. Its not exactly exceptional to play games which are more than 2-3 years old, hell, its only a few weeks ago I played a 9 year old game. The whole point here is that DRM shouldnt affect your ability to play the game in any way, and it shouldnt make it an annoyance to be able to play it (like calling EA… Just imagine having to call EA in 10 yara about new activations. I wouldnt be surprised if they will be like “wtf, which game are you talking about? Sorry, we cant help you”.

    Im not against all sorts of DRM, but they should try to use it as a positive thing. Like Steam, where you can play your games from any PC you can log into. Give people benefits rather than things to be annoyed about, and they will be less pissed.
    (Not requiring CD is another benefit, at least EA gives that one, but its a damn high price to pay for that)

  20. skillian says:

    The BBC has picked up the story:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7604405.stm

    This is why what’s being done is worthwhile :)

  21. Merc says:

    How dare that Rosa Parks not sit at the back of the bus? She was taking up a seat that some legit bus user wanted to use! Had that guy ever done anything to her, personally? Surely there were better ways to protest segregation, like writing to bus companies and asking for seats at the front.

    The fact is, DRM bothers everyone except people who infringe copyrights. It really bothers some people, and it just irratates others, but there’s almost nobody who doesn’t notice it at all. Many of the people it bothers aren’t sophisticated enough to know what the source of their annoyance is, and definitely wouldn’t have known before buying the game that that kind of annoyance was going to be part of the user experience.

    Since every publisher is doing it, end users slowly get desensitized to it, and just start accepting that buying a game means a constant level of annoyance with installing, upgrading, running, etc. People writing in to say “I don’t like DRM” won’t do much because the companies will just look at sales figures and say “hrm, well I don’t see an impact on our bottom line” and keep up the DRM.

    A protest like this, on the other hand, will at least bring the issue into the light. Sure, there’s a somewhat innocent victim — Spore’s DRM is not orders of magnitude worse than most other games, and as bad as the DRM may be, it probably doesn’t mean the game rates 1 star. On the other hand, this kind of a protest will probably get some attention from the media and maybe even from game publishers. A future publisher may decide to try to tap into the anti-DRM sentiment by using a lack of DRM as a selling point, and may see that DRM has little or no effect on serious copyright infringement. I already know of some game publishers who have heard that message and have cut back on DRM.

    In the end, inconveniencing the designers and producers of spore by being so vocal about its DRM may not be fair to them, in the end it may result in a little pushback against DRM for a change.

  22. FunkyB says:

    Seriously Alec, you bring this on yourself :) More RPS pseduo-trolling, it makes for some fun threads!

  23. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Heh, I like how the Angry Internet Men have their own TLA now.

    I’m loathe to weigh into long DRM threads, but here’s my tuppence nonetheless: I find it a bit disappointing that so few of the user reviews mention the actual, rather spiffy, game in question, but the Amazon user review system has always been open to such abuse so it’s not that suprising. That said there has been naff all mention of the three installs soft limit in the mainstream reviews of Spore, where it certainly warranted at least a few sentences to explain what it entailed to let people judge for themselves whether it was worth it or not. Heck, if I wasn’t aware of the limit from the Mass Effect debacle I probably would have been in the dark about it until now too. As it is I’m very grudgingly accepting the limit, as I’m unlikely to hit it (bar any major system hiccups) for a fair old while yet.

  24. Mman says:

    It is probably overstating to say this sort of DRM will kill PC gaming. But this sort of DRM devalues the actual worth of a game. If I bought Spore I would use all three of the activations right away. Install on my PC, my laptop and my GF’s laptop. I might as well throw the disk away now. If I get a new computer or have to reinstall I have to buy a new game. For that same $50 I can buy a game for the xbox. I can take game wherever I want. I can play it on my system, on my brother’s, on little timmy’s down the street. When I get bored I can resell it for $20. There is no comparison between the two in value. The console game will win every time.

    The worst part though is that your average person buying this doesn’t know this. Does it state it anywhere on the outside of the box? Even in the manual? If this Amazon campaign can even make a few people aware of this then it is a good thing. If it actually affects games sales hopefully it will encourage EA to stop this scam and patch it’s previous games.

  25. Rob says:

    DRM has been compared to segregation, apparently as equal ‘annoyances’. I can’t think of any good place this thread can go from that point.

  26. Stuart W says:

    Following on from Cliff Harris’ conclusions a while ago the over-the-top DRM seems a bit silly – especially in the light of this backlash. However do you think that there is a difference between a small game with a small audience and a behemoth of a game like Spore? The smaller game has a smaller audience alongside the potential to annoy a larger percentage of its following with intrusive DRM. Also, it has more to gain from the controversial possibility of piracy spreading the game to people who never would have played it. Spore, on the other hand, has a much larger audience where despite causing thousands of posts on the issue still manages to reach #1.

    In other words, the risk from Piracy on a big game are much more of a problem than they are on their minnow brothers but the impact of detested DRM is much reduced.

  27. Cooper says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7604405.stm

    Has made that worthwhile. Sorry, but bugger the Amazon customers. Boo hoo. Wah wah. Yes, this is a great game. A great game dogged by excessive DRM.

    There are other targets, sure, but Spore has the potential to be an across-the-board hit with a wide variety of consumers, thus it is prime for this sort of action.

    Don’t feel sorry for those people who now won’t play the game and get angry at active consumers, exercising one of the few ways we have to express our concerns in a direct action manner. Blame EA for hitching up the bar so high that such a back lash happened.

    This is not a minority of greedy pirates who were gonna nab the game anyway – they had the game prior to release and are pretty content. This is consumers like me, who would have bought the game, were it not for authentication (I can’t behind this firewall) and three installs (I’m getting a new computer soon, that’s two gone there. God help me if I uninstall and decide, at a later date, to reinstall…)

  28. Guido says:

    So it did reach mass media :) Let’s see where it goes from here!

    As to those people saying “mass emails to EA would’ve done better” … no. For two reasons:

    * This is about the public eye, EA can just dump mass emails.

    * It is both spontaneous and big. You won’t motivate so many people to write emails to EA, whatever you do, and the 1-star Amazon reviews are still pouring in after having reached 1300 already. And the momentum carries on.

  29. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @Shadout:

    Sorry, but that is bullshit. Its not exactly exceptional to play games which are more than 2-3 years old, hell, its only a few weeks ago I played a 9 year old game.

    Good for you.

    Now let’s assume that Spore came with no DRM whatsoever. You bought it, unwrapped it, and it made you so giddy and full of love it made you feel like a dog rolling on something stinky. Let’s also assume that 9 years into the future, you’d want to replay Spore. What’s your guarantee that you’d be able to play it even without DRM? Or even that you’d want to?

    The DRM is a pointless blight on games’ publishing. Fact. But people are looking at DRM as something that will technically forbid them of playing the game. Ok. While not far from the truth, can we seriously claim that non-DRM games have no such techincal issues? You managed to play a 9 year old game. Great. I can’t boot up Deus Ex or Planescape: Torment in Vista even with compatability modes, and can’t play some classics I adored on WinXP. My scanner didn’t get recognized in Vista as well, although it had no problems in XP before it fizzled away. Several old games don’t even parse through DosBox, for instance; games I’ve spent years trying to find and when I do, kaput.

    None of which, by the way, had DRM.

    So, what’s the best course of action here – to openly attack every single new piece of hardware, software and operating systems that is released, because their specifics may not allow me to use them 9 years from now?

    People keep saying how much they want to replay the game in the future. That’s fine, even if I’d hazard the guess most are saying this based on the assumption they’ll like the game enough to do that and aren’t speaking from firsthand experience, but that’s now what I’m getting at. What I’m getting at is, just how many times do you honestly envision reinstalling a game? Even if you throw a number like “15″ into the air – because, you know, you like a game so much you’ll be playing the damn thing with one hand in your pants – you have three chances of installation with Spore. Three. And then those are only based on the DVD – later on, you’ll be able to reinstall it by other means of activation; presumably, for how many times as you like. But even if it did not had DRM, and considering how technical changes tend to muck up compatability, what’s your guarantee you’d be able to play it in the future for as many times as you’d like?

    Reading most of the comments written on RPS over time, you get people stating numerous reasons as to why they may not even be able to play X or Y games when they come out – work, family, PCs that need to be upgraded and so on. It’s not uncommon to read comments of people who wait to play games before they upgrade their computers. Before they upgrade. Meaning, they will actively refrain from buying or playing a game before their computer is up to spec to play it. But when Spore presents a similar conodrum, it’s not accepted. Because – while other games may be shafted in our priority lists as we may not have the means to play them, or play them in the best of conditions, or the right amount of time to play them – Spore somehow needs to concede to every single one of our gaming demands?

  30. mrrobsa says:

    Just thought I’d say that I will not purchase Spore because of the limited activation system. As Shadout just mentioned, I like to be able to play my games a long time after they were released, and with this system in place I can’t trust that I will easily be able to do that in future.
    I guess if I were to buy it I’d have to download a cracked version too, just so I can re-install as many times as necessary.
    I support the plight of the one-star Amazon tribe. It may not be the best/fairest way of being heard, but at least they are being heard.

  31. aldo says:

    Stupidly, I wasn’t aware of this insiduous piece of DRM. Had I been, I’d have cancelled my pre-order. 3 installations is a ridiculous, almost maliciously low, amount; I don’t think I have any game over a year old which hasn’t been uninstalled at some point.

  32. JonFitt says:

    I think this is a perfectly legitimate tactic. People were complaining on gaming forums before the game was released and the DRM only got marginally better, so clearly complaining in gaming forums is insufficient.

    Loss of money is the only thing that makes waves in publishing management, and the Amazon reviews are where the general public and gamers cross paths. If a 1-star review reduces sales, then that’ll get noticed.

    I have never not bought a game because of the DRM before, but the system they’ve chosen to implement here is beyond the pale. I will not be buying this game which I have followed since the first GDC speech and that makes me sad.

    If I can in some small way make other people not buy the game and perhaps get the DRM patched out, then I will do it.

    You can’t cover a sarnie in dog shit and then tell me I can’t comment unless I’ve tried it.

  33. cliffski says:

    I’d rather buy a securom game than a CD-required game. I love not needing the CD’s, and securom is on my machine from 3 games right now. I’d never notice it.
    Securom means I don’t need a CD check, which I think rules.
    I think DRM is a bad idea in general, but lets be honest, it’s being blown out of all proportion here. Why don’t people get this annoyed about corrupt politicians, the police shooting civilians or illegal wars FFS?

  34. Sal says:

    I love the game….but, the camera angles later inthe game blow arse. The DRM wasnt cool…and with no warning, crap was installed in my PC. EA’s DRM failed epicly…days before the release, a fullly cracked version of the game was released. I can see why you would want online access to all the content…i figured it wasnt worth having some DRM crap on my compy…i opted for the cracked version

  35. Ketch says:

    You know, it really is a huge shame because the people’s reputation these amazon protestors are destroying are those of maxis and not EA as a whole.

    Even without this game EA would still be the giant evil corporation it is now. Maxis will lose money and EA will just get on with it barely scathed.

    We should be protesting directly at EA.

  36. zeh says:

    They don’t like the product, they complain. Why did people expect otherwise?

  37. JonFitt says:

    @cliffski: “I think DRM is a bad idea in general, but lets be honest, it’s being blown out of all proportion here. Why don’t people get this annoyed about corrupt politicians, the police shooting civilians or illegal wars FFS?”

    I get very annoyed; show me where you want me to write a 1-star comment and I’ll do it! :)

    PS I think it’s just your skewed information feed, have you ever been to a political forum, or even a soccer forum? Wooo lordy, DRM isn’t even close.

  38. Idiot-space says:

    These 1-stars are analogue to black holes. Created by super-dense objects falling up their own arses, they draw in other dense objects until there’s a massive fact vacuum around the point in question. Welcome to i-space.

  39. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @zeh:

    Do you seriously think it’s admissable that 1200 people only criticize one aspect and even fail to properly mention everything else about the product?

  40. JonFitt says:

    @Diogo Ribeiro: “Do you seriously think it’s admissable that 1200 people only criticize one aspect and even fail to properly mention everything else about the product?”

    If you can’t get into a pub without a cavity search from a 7-foot bouncer, do you review the bar snacks?

  41. sana says:

    Umm – the BBC article states the Spore DRM system isn’t limited to 3 installs but instead allows 3 computers to install the same copy of Spore – isn’t that absolutely reasonable?

  42. Dominic White says:

    Spore really is amazing. It’s the ultimate in Angry Internet Man-angering. No game has generated as much hatred, ever, and I don’t see people simmering down anytime soon.

    It’s Black & White all over again, but squared. Possibly cubed. I liked B&W, and I like Spore, and by saying that, I officially make myself a gaming pariah for the next decade. There are angry people writing angry essays about how Will Wright is singlehandedly killing videogames right now.

    Liking Spore is just not cool. But I still like it anyway.

  43. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    @JonFitt:

    That analogy would imply people can’t get to – or play – Spore, when that’s not true. A proper analogy would be more in the lines of asking if it was worth entering the pub with such a price of admission.

    And, indeed – the pub and the bouncer are part of the same thing. Pointless to just mention one at the expense of the other.

  44. Colthor says:

    @Diogo Ribeiro:
    Planescape: Torment works fine on Vista, as does Baldur’s Gate.
    I haven’t tried Deus Ex, but it does work fine on XP x64. It may have required the CD-check disabling, I forget.

    Frankly your argument that playing old games might be tricky in the future, so therefore copy protection that renders them uninstallable is absolutely fine is… unfathomable.
    And the argument that people shouldn’t complain because some people wait until they can play a game before buying it… What? I think you’re misunderstanding something there.

  45. Shadout says:

    While not far from the truth, can we seriously claim that non-DRM games have no such techincal issues? You managed to play a 9 year old game. Great. I can’t boot up Deus Ex or Planescape: Torment in Vista even with compatibility modes, and can’t play some classics I adored on WinXP. My scanner didn’t get recognized in Vista as well, although it had no problems in XP before it fizzled away. Several old games don’t even parse through DosBox, for instance; games I’ve spent years trying to find and when I do, kaput.
    You are surely right, lots of games wont run on new computers/Windows. But thats not really the fault of anyone in particular and you cant change it (beside stopping the technological progress I guess…). DRM can be changed!
    I’m not against all types of DRM (although its nice without them, but they are a necessary evil given the pirates), but there is quite a difference between a “3 times install and we might give you more if you beg us”, or “installing random malware which might screw your PC, or just annoy the hell out of you, if you are lucky…” and the DRM others have used (Steam being the best example where the DRM gives the user clear benefits).
    One way to make the DRM less crappy would be to place a time-limit on it. Like 1 year after the release, a patch is out which removes the 3 installs limit. Just like how some companies release no-CDs for their old games. After 1 year or so, the sales of the game is likely so low, and the piracy certainly is, that it wouldnt hurt anymore. The only point of DRM is pretty much to slow down the pirates for a few days/weeks where the potential for selling the game is highest.

  46. Shadout says:

    Edit: “While not far … when I do, kaput.” was supposed to be a quote :)
    Give editing!

  47. catracertangorose says:

    Bought this game and am enjoying it. Stayed away from the hype, also I think its a great casual game for casual people. I don’t plan to call anyone ever. I have this on two pc’s and two people playing in my house. I’m a pirate and cause DRM? I will pirate this game if it ever asks me to call someone or do anything other then insert cd then install. DRM can be good this is just poor implementation. Also the creatures online are amazing I wish maxis creatures wouldn’t keep over running the place, that needs to be fixed.

  48. Shadowmancer says:

    @ cliffski so you would prefer drm running in the background of your desktop sucking your cpu dry, if you want a solution to not having to use the cd in your drive look for a no cd crack in the future everyone does it all it does is replace the exe file with another one and presto! no cds also no drm programmes running in the background.

  49. Ragnar says:

    @Diogo Ribeiro

    What’s your guarantee that you’d be able to play it even without DRM?

    If it works now, it will work in 10 years with the same hardware/software setup.

    Also I have a few games that I run in emulators (e.g. wine under linux) or virtual machines (e.g. scummvm) which works fine, so I can even run it with nonsupported software/hardware.

    And it is highly probable that windows is sufficiently backwards-compatible to allow for playing older games (heck until I bought Vista 64-bit I were able to play 10-15 year old DOS games without a problem).

    The point is that playing the game in a non-supported environment is my own headache, but if I want to play a game that I have bought, in a supported environment (to the point that it has already been tested to work in said environment), I see no reason why I should need to contact any support just to *be allowed* to play the game.

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