I’ve never been a gamer. We had an Atari growing up but getting time on the machine wasn’t easy. At boarding school I remember playing Dark Castle on my Mac and some football game that consisted entirely of Xs and Os. But decompressing for me involves time off a computer, not on. No Xbox. No Wii. No Playstation.

Spore is the first game in awhile that has caught my interest in a long time. The Sim stuff is generally interesting, not a bunch of shooting, killing, and ripping the heads off of some alien. And I did play Railroad Tycoon for an extremely short while. I liked the construction and operation aspect.

So building something unique in Spore, a life form, appeals to me.

I came this close to hitting the purchase button on Amazon. The game has gotten pretty good reviews and I was interested enough to purchase my first game in many years.

But then I came across this article complete with the hilarious Goatsee Spore image show above. Bottom line, Spore has a draconian digital rights management (DRM) system that only allows a single account per game purchase. I’m not the only one who has noticed and disliked the system.

The need to protect intellectual property from privacy is real. The problem comes when a publisher like EA Games enacts a system that ends up interfering and penalizing honest paying customers. I don’t have a problem with those security tags in a clothing store even though it makes it a pain sometimes to try stuff on, but I do expect them to remove it once I purchase the shirt. It’s mine. I paid for it. Don’t screw with my enjoyment.

It’s a fine line between protecting your product and pissing off your customers. A line way too few companies actually care about. I do not expect, as an honest customer, to have to jump through hoops to enjoy something I paid for. If the DRM impacts my usage, the company has erred.

Spore is a huge hit and EA Games probably won’t miss my $50 but I won’t be buying it.

3 Responses to “Spore”

  1. Joe Gravett Says:

    Good post, just wrote about the same thing! Hadn’t seen the Spore-created goatse before though :)


  2. Esteban Says:

    Spore has been in the making for too long (, Vista!). As a former Transport / Railroad Tycoon player I too was expecting the game to be out. After reading your post I guess they’ll also miss my $50.

    I can’t wait for the day when we’ll walk into movie theaters watch a movie and be hit with a pill to forget what we just so “so we don’t tell what the movie was like”. We live in a bizarre world where greed acts like an abusive high school student that beats the hell out of that Nerd known as “common sense”.

    Good catch.

  3. Customers Are Not Criminals « Cheaper than therapy Says:

    [...] comes that Electronic Arts has listened to the roar of the crowd and decided to change the install and usage policies for its hit game, Spore. Unlimited installs [...]

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