Spore War

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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