EA Apologizes for, Makes Changes to Spore DRM

Electronic Arts has issued an apology to customers over the controversial DRM in Will Wright’s long-awaited Spore.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, EA is also relaxing Spore’s extra-tight copy controls. EA exec Frank Gibeau said:

We’ve received complaints from a lot of customers who we recognize and respect. We need to adapt our policy to accommodate our legitimate consumers…


We assumed that consumers understand piracy is a huge problem. We have found that 75% of our consumers install and play any particular game on only one machine, and less than 1% ever try to play on more than three different machines.

As part of its reversal of course on Spore DRM, EA is boosting the install limit to five computers. Commenting on EA’s decision, IDC analyst Billy Pidgeon told the Times:

The key to making copyright restrictions work is to offer value. In the end, this will blow over because Spore is a fun game, and people will want to try it.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. Chadius ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Correct. The numbers EA keeps pulling is based on a severely flawed study that has little baring on what’s at hand.


    When Red Alert 3 and Sims 3 have SecuROM, EA will defend themselves with a "100% of people who bought Spore installed SecuROM! See, they love it!"

    "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics." – Mark Twain

  2. davc4 x says:

    Spore Creature Creator
    • Total activations: 453048
    • Users activating on only 1 machine: 77%
    • Users activating on more than 1 machine: 23%
    • Users trying to activate on more than 3 machines: 1%

    (101%, wtf?)

    This is actually okay,  as the stats show that 23% of users activate on more than 1 machine.
    Now as a completly seperate 1% activate on more than 3 machines.

    So to belong to the more than 3 machines they also belong to the activating on more than 1 machine. 
    so to be totally correct the headlines could be

    • Users activating on only 1 machine: 77%
    • Users activating on more than 1 machine: 23%

    • Users trying to activate on 3 or fewer machines: 99%
    • Users trying to activate on more than 3 machines: 1%

    Feel free to say that the figures are rubbish but the actual stats are okay

  3. NovaBlack says:

    100% agreed I hate how ppl still peddle the ‘steam == MUST be connected to internet’ myth,


    It hasnt been that way for at least a good year now. 


    The reason steam works is becuase it atually provides more benefits than hindrance. It actually makes it EASIER for me when iformat my harddrive as i just install steam and *boom*, it installs about 20 games for me. I dont even have to click.


    couple that with having it on multiple computers, and getting a CRAPLOAD of free updates withouth haveing to ever manually patch, and its fantastic. saves me loads of hassle. Ea just dont get that.

    Have you ever tried using Ea download manager? OMFG that thing is literally a textbook case of how NOT to design a piece of software. Awkward, clunky, non informative, buggy as HECK.


  4. Anonymous2 says:

    oh, let’s not overlook the fact they can’t do math to save their lives….either that, or they’re just pulling numbers out of their asses, and hoping nobody notices….take a look at this little gem, from one of their "responses" to the DRM controversy..


    Spore Creature Creator
    • Total activations: 453048
    • Users activating on only 1 machine: 77%
    • Users activating on more than 1 machine: 23%
    • Users trying to activate on more than 3 machines: 1%

    (101%, wtf?)

    Spore (main game)
    • Total activations: 437138
    • Users activating on only 1 machine: 86%
    • Users activating on more than 1 machine: 14%
    • User trying to activate on more than 3 machines: 0.4%

    (100.04%, wtf?) 


    UPDATE – An EA representative has clarified that the above numbers cover a sampling of the people who have bought “Spore” and should not be interpreted as a representation of sales data for the game.


    too bad they couldn’t also confirm that the numbers aren’t outright bullshit, lol

    so what do we learn from this kids?……"101% means DRM is A-OK!"

  5. Spartan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I do as well.


    EA did not make any statement remotely close to an apology but instead tacitly bitched slapped its customer base and insulted gamers everywhere.

  6. lumi says:

    I concur.  The headline is much more flattering and hopeful than the article warrants.  I was actually disappointed when I read it because my hopes had been inflated by the headline =\

  7. nighstalker160 says:

    Sure piracy is a real issue in that it happens.  But it does not happen nearly as much as EA wants you to believe.  People may pirate the game, but it very rarely makes a dent in profits until the retail version has something like Spore’s DRM scheme.  THEN the piracy becomes an issue.

    The implementation of these draconian schemes DRIVES people to download the pirated version.

    Note that: People are DOWNLOADING the pirated version, they are not actually cracking the retail version (which I’m sure EA wouldn’t mind because that means they bought the retail version too pirate).

    But again, the pirated version of Spore was released DAYS BEFORE the retail release. 

    No one, I guarantee you, not ONE person is actually "pirating" the game anymore.  By which I mean NO one is trying to crack the DRM anymore.  It was already done and released even BEFORE the game was itself released.

    So the DRM is, at this point, a solution to a problem that no longer exists.  The answer to a question no one has asked.

    It isn’t STOPPING anything.  It’s a moot point, damage done, move on.

    There is NO reason for EA to keep on the game anymore because its already been stripped and virtually no one is actually trying to get past it anymore.

  8. KayleL says:

    No, I am talking about VALVe’s DRM doesn’t get in the way. I could go onto any computer I want, download the game unlimited times, and instant fun. This is great because I could show my friend a game I have.

    I the end, it helps VALVe. They have a happy costumer, very efficient DRM causes less piracy and less people choosing to pirate, and I just got my friend to buy a copy of The Orange Box.

  9. chadachada(123) says:

    You can still play the game, for free!, and also be about to spite EA!

    (That’s what a few of my friends did at least, my pc couldn’t handle Spore, as fun as it (the game) looks.)

  10. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t care about how many times I can install it.  Yeah – I’ve had a crap computer that’s crashed on me several times and thus I’ve had to re-install games multiple times at times.   But putting that aside – how does allowing it to be installed 5 times fix the spyware/uninstall problems this DRM thing presents?


    When EA fixes that, then I’ll buy the game.   Til then, I’ll find different games that don’t mess with my computer.   It’s crappy enough /without/ the extra spyware crap.  


    Such a shame.  I was looking forward to Spore, too.

  11. Zaruka says:

    oh thanks ea now i can install a game i own 5 times great im so happy comeone guys lets give ea a party…..

    for screwing the customers over that is. Hey Ea how about you remove the DRM it dont stop pireacy and all it does is make your customer mad like me becuse i had to delete crysis warhead and and go into my os and delete the malrom crap

    Thanks Ea you pricks


  12. chadachada(123) says:

    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

    That’s something that we as Gamers need to make EA realize, is that we won’t give in simply because EA wants to "combat piracy"

  13. chadachada(123) says:

    Honestly, I would say that gamers play it once or twice, then forget about it, then come back to it months or years later. At least, that’s what I do. That’s also why I will never give away a game of mine again.

  14. chadachada(123) says:

    I’m still not buying. Diablo II has been installed at least 6 times on my pc, and I know for some gamers it is worse. Just because <1% of gamers install a game on 3 machines doesn’t mean that they won’t install it less than 3 times, many people have installed the same game several times over a few years (like I have). Not to mention all the other crap that is being used with Suckurom.

  15. Tolazytoapplyforalogon says:

    I still don’t think EA is getting it…

    I believe everyone is ok with a serial # and a disc in the player to play, but haveing to call the mother ship for approval is where the issue lays…

  16. Anonymous says:

    Back when I was in High School and did the whole LAN thing, the first few hour or so was passing around the 1 or 2 store bought Half Life disks and key-gens to make sure everyone had the game (then patching, mods, and so on).  There was no DRM for Half Life (minus the CD key).  If this was so damaging for them, why did they make millions off of it?  Why are they now the number 1 PC game maker (as well as distributor!)?  In my opinion it’s because that the game was so damn good that the ease of spreading it around simply made more people like it, and eventually buy it.  Half Life’s success is the answer against all Pro-DRM points anyone can come up with.

  17. Anonymous says:

    That was a problem at one point I believe, but Valve listened to the consumers and changed that.  You can easily play any single player game while not connected to the internet.

  18. Crowster ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Actually, the full CC, the one that required activation and the one that they are getting these numbers from, cost ten dollars. The free, or "trial" version, didn’t require activation and so they couldn’t have aquired these statistics.

  19. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Agreed, squeeze them tight until they give up by choice (new version without all that crap) or by passing out (going out of business).

  20. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Knowing a couple of these people, they hack the game out of challenge, not to just get the game.  So if you provide nothing new to hack, there wont be a big deal about hacking anything, and it proly wont happen right away.  There is NOTHING they can not hack either.  So dont encourage them to hack something early by making a more advance something to stop them for making it easy for people to pirate your game.

    Also, if consumers are going to get screwed, they will make sure to hack it as early as possible, then make it public as early as possible to screw over the company that is hurting the consumers.  These people stand up for the average person more often than not, so I love them for it.

  21. NovaBlack says:

    I agree 100%


    the ‘apology’ seemed very insulting to me, it seemed like it was telling me that im too dumb to understand the real issues here, and that their choice for DRM and limits are totally justified, n that they arent making ammendments because they themeslves are ‘wrong’,  but because just im incapable of understanding why they’re are right.



    Sorry EA… the point is this.. i DO understand piracy is a problem. i DO even understand that perhaps it isnt the majority of gamers who want to install more than 3 times.


    but what i DONT understand is how you using securom and install limits POSSIBLY IN ANY TINY WAY prevents these issues. it doesnt. CLEARLY it doesnt. the game is available for illegal download RIGHT NOW. so .. i dont understand how the issues you bring up in ‘justification’  relate in ANY, even minor way, to the restrictions we are angry over.

    Seriously. How does placing a limit on me, and not on a pirate, (since thats the factual reality ) in ANY way justified as dealing with the issue of piracy?

    As a gamer i DO understand. And thats why im angry. I know piracy is important.

    The problem i have is that im vocal about it, because you have employed a system which is actively ENCOURAGING piracy!

    And piracy is bad news for everyone. The point is, dont make out like we are the ones who are going to screw up the industry with your ‘developers will just stop making games for pc’ remark. We are legit consumers. YOU are the ones screwing up the industry, and increasing a problem,  by ENCOURAGING pirates.

    Thats why im vocal. so stuff the apology where the sun dont shine and actually fix the problems.

    You know what’d be nice too? if you just admitted the real reaon for install limits.. to stop second hand sales. i find it insulting that a company would treat me as stupid. install limits do NOTHING to stop piracy (A) the game is already out there illegally and (B) by YOUR OWN ADMISSION AND (very bullshit) ‘REASEARCHED STATISTICS’ , apparently only 1% of users install over 3 times.. so arent you only affecting a TINY number of users with that ‘limit’. If its there to stop pirates it isnt really doing much is it? its only stopping 1 % of all users..  of which only a fraction will be pirates. SO.. why emply a system that only ever affects one pirate in a gazillion?

    (ps i dont believe the 1% stat for a second, but im showing that if they are ‘truthful’ then they still dont justify anything. And if they arent truthful, everything we have already been saying about limits IS justified… they cant win)





  22. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I would like to point out something that seems to have gone over the heads of many of you and was brushed upon by a couple.

    They are comparing a game that needs to be paid for to a game that was released for free. The Creature Creator was a free game. What reason would someone have to install the same executable on multiple machines, when they could simply download it again on a new one? Nothing. There is no reason to do it.

    So when they are makign a comparison between a free game and a retail game, they are playing the statistics game. They are quoting statistics that are minorly relevant but have absolutly nothing to do with backing up their decision.

    When someone goes out and buys a game, they are going to do what they can to avoid buying that game. That means installing it on any computer they are going to be playing it one. THere is no benefit to the consumer to go out and buy one copy of the game for each PC. When a person downloads a free game, that finacial situation is gone and they will simply download it again and again for each PC they install it on.

    THis is called lying through their teeth people.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  23. lordlundar says:

    With a good lawyer, you could nail EA under the Clayton Act.

    Retailers on the other hand I doubt, as you would have to prove provisions for a monopoly as the reason. Enforcing copy protections which are part of the DMCA doesn’t qualify.

  24. Father Time says:

    Wait a minute didn’t EA said they would put a 5 limit install on a future game? This isn’t a big change.

    And the fight rages on.

  25. jmcc ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m pretty sure AutoCAD producer Autodesk tried to assert the same thing and was slapped down by a court earlier this year.

  26. Anonymous says:

    This is turning into one of a dark mark on EA. And I didn’t think they could possibly put a bigger one on themselves than when they basically bought an easy road to domination of football game sales.

  27. Christian Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Precisely – this proves both that EA doesn’t really care about us, only our green (they called us morons, which is hardly what i call respecting informed costumers) and that we CAN hit them where it hurts.

    We have them by the balls now. I say squeeze until they back down completely – EA deserves a lesson.

  28. Saregos ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    However, I do think that you could nail someone with Clayton Act charges on this.

    Then again, you could actually nail any retail store with those for preventing legitimate returns, in theory.

  29. Saregos ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    EA has always held that the first sale doctrine doesn’t apply to them, because they’re not selling you the game.  They’re selling you a license

    In other words, you know all those games you "own"?  You don’t own any of them.

  30. Karsten Aaen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    People understand that piracy (of games) is a real issue that needs to dealt with – not in the way EA thinks it should be. EA is changing their position partly 1) because of the bad press and 2) partly because of losing money over this (not selling as many games as they had hoped, I think)

    And yes, 75% of users might activate the game on only one computer and 1% of gamers might activate the game on more than 3 computers. That, however, isn’t the point. The point is that in 12-24 months time, many people will have activated the game more than 3 or 5 times. This is when it becomes interesting.

    The complaints EA have recieved seems valid and legitimate to me.  Especially since they probably come from people who have bought the game legitimately and now is very angry that they can’t play their legitimate bought game.

    I do, however, believe that most gamers today only plays a game once or twice and then discards it – and then moves on the next game…


  31. jmcc ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m not understanding why they’re not being sued so far. Doesn’t this infringe on first sale doctrine? By design, in fact?

  32. Anonymous says:

    You know, they could’ve said, "oh, we’re sorry, we won’t include SecuRom on anymore Spore disk." but nooo…all they did was just up the limit on how many times you can install the game, pft, yeah, real smooth there EA, you and Activision are two of the worst companies ever.

  33. DarkSaber says:

    Agreed, there is something fundamentally wrong when there are more people discussing a games anti-piracy ‘protection’ than there are people discussing the game itself.

  34. DarkSaber says:

    I’m sure if there was a chance of getting his picture taken and his name in headlines, Hal Halpin would be all over this like a rash…

  35. Anonymous says:

    Reality.  The admission from EA is publicity

    Pirated software has (since the days of 300baud) been easier to get, play and maintain then the legitamate route.  This has always been an ignored fact, the arguement generally concentrated on the money issue. 

    As far as I can see, only the boys at Valve seemed to understand this, hence Steam. They seem to "understand" their customers and succeeded.  Make the process of buying/playing a game as easy and computer friendly as pirating one, and people will pay.

    Make a game and distribute it in a way opposite to the above, punishing those that purchase it, and you drive that market to the pirates door. 

    Game piracy has been around for 20 years and some.  Only in that 6 years has the industry really stepped forward to address it, and that is more on the game development programming side then the protection programming side.  More games are online based now, where the player’s software can be checked in a subtle manner.  

    For 60 dollars I can pop a disc in a console and play. That same 60 spent on a pc game never has that same ease, the real reason pc games are becoming  obsolete, not piracy.  The gaming industry is making money, and expanding. This is despite the piracy that has followed it, and even the current economy.

    DRM is obtrusive, and restrictive.  It has effectively out-hyped the game it’s supposed to protect. 

  36. Donna says:

    The core of the issue is not merely DRM, but SecuROM, which damages computers, and warps the functioning thereof.

    It’s still there, therefore the game is not something I can install on my system. It’s not Starforce, but it’s still not good.

  37. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I couldnt disagree if a group of hackers attacked EA…  Just saying, I couldn’t hate them for it one bit.

  38. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Even if is was BADDA BOOM and their entire building blew up right in front of them with the smoke spelling it out, and a letter detailing it, they wouldn’t get it.  All they understand is green, and even explaining it that way, they dont seem to understand…

  39. HelplessDoom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    all this says to me dates back to the nineties movie Hackers…"Hack the planet!"…that’s about right…. I’m sick of EA’s DRM bull****

  40. Baruch_S says:

    Too little, too late EA. Giving people two more installs doesn’t change the fact that the install limit is still there, and the install limit, while annoying, isn’t the big deal. EA is trying to make it look like they’re compromising and letting up on their ridiculous security measures, but they’re still keeping the worthless DRM in there. And people will keep pirating until they remove the DRM completely. Give it up, EA. The pirates had you beat before you even released the game in North America. Just suck it up, admit your mistake, and remove the DRM. You might still get a few customers who were going to pirate it otherwise.

  41. koichan says:

    All this change does is slightly delay the time it takes paying customers to get shafted by the install limit.

    Myself, i used all 3 original installs just trying to get the game to work.

    It wouldn’t be quite so bad if the DRM actually did something to stop piracy… It doesn’t.
    As it stands right now the pirated version of the game is vastly superior to the legal version of the game…

    I got burned with the DRM on mass effect and again with spore, i’ve learnt my lesson now and will not buy another EA game until they change their ways.

  42. nighstalker160 says:

    I love how the EA exec in the article says "This will blow over because Spore is a fun game"

    No, it won’t blow over.  In fact you just made it WORSE.  Yes you’ve relaxed the copyright controls.  Bravo.  You basically through a bone (although they apparently are shifting to a "no more than 5 computers at a time" system.  Presumably you get your install back in you uninstall then). 

    But you INSULTED your customers. Literally, you called us idiots.

    That isn’t "blowing over" that’s being profoundly stupid.

    And the fact that EA is doing this shows two things

    1) They didn’t need the draconian DRM scheme in the first place.

    2) We hit their bottom line, which means we can keep doing it


  43. Clever says:

    I couldn’t agree more. The comment about how they "assumed that consumers understand piracy is a huge problem" is not only downright insulting towards us but blares the horns of obvious ignorance on their part. We have been telling them, through a myriad of communication channels, why nobody wants to buy this game but instead we have some corporate shill that thinks that we don’t understand the issues.

    I’m no professor but I’m pretty sure Business 101 doesn’t start with "Now when you start losing customers by the droves, just keep insulting them and eventually they’ll come back".

    Frankly, I’m not sure there is a way for them to gain back what little affinity we had for them in the first place. They’ve gone too far at this point and that’s just too bad. The game has been pirated in record numbers because of the measures they put in place and that’s a mistake they should at least have the decency to acknowlege whether they believe it or not…. instead of simply calling us, in no simple terms, blithering idiots.

  44. nighstalker160 says:

    That is an EXCELLENT point about the news headline.


    You really should think about changing the headline of this article to something that doesn’t seem like EA really caved it.  They basically insulted their entire customer base with that sarcastic comment.  Call them out on it.

  45. KayleL says:

    If you completely remove DRM, I bet the sales would go crazy. DRM actually does nothing to prevent piracy, and people perfer to use the pirate version because of DRM.

  46. Crowster ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    They came to that statistic via the Spore CC, giving it about a 3 month window. All it’s really saying is that, in 3 months, 75% of coppies sold were installed on one machine, and less than 1% ever tried to install on more than 3 machines.

    So, two main issues there.

    1, most people didn’t consider the CC to be a "game," but rather a demo that they paid for. It was, more or less, something to play around with and get a taste of how Spore will work, and was not played like a "game" in most households.

    2, THREE MONTHS is not a game’s lifespan. People are not worried about being able to play their game in 3 months. People are worried about not being able to play their game in 3 years.

    They’re moving in the right direction with trying to rectify this, but it’s not enough. They know that 5 installs is hardly better than three, but want the news articles, "EA apologises and makes changes to Spore DRM." The extreme anti-DRM side won’t be happy with it, sure, but just getting that headline out there is going to give them plenty of good publicity.

    It’s an improvement. When the DRM scheme was first revealed, we only had 3 installs and were REQUIRED to access the internet every 10 days, or else the product would un-activate itself. Now we have 5 installs and no time limit on how long a single install will stay activated. They’ve backed off plenty, but I don’t think this is over yet. I’ll be interested in seeing how this "apology" goes down with gamers. I think that these next few months will be crutial to the future of PC gaming. The consumer has finally said, "enough with this," and are forcing the corperations to take small steps backwards. It’s up to the PC game community as a whole to decide when they will stop pushing, and that will be where the line will lie with developers. Install limits, online activations, and privacy-invading DRM should be the limit. It’s not up to me, though.

  47. nighstalker160 says:

    "We assumed that consumers understand piracy is a huge problem. We have found that 75% of our consumers install and play any particular game on only one machine, and less than 1% ever try to play on more than three different machines."

    I can just see the EA execs eyes rolling at that comment.

    Congratulations EA, with THAT insulting statement you just made it even LESS likely that I’m going to by Spore.  I wouldn’t buy something from a company that insults me BEHIND MY BACK, which is what I considered the DRM, why would I buy from a company that effectively just SPAT in my face?

    That is has got to be one of the most insulting statements I’ve ever heard come from a company.  They basically say "Fine, you guys are idiots so we’ll throw you a bone," and expect it to make all us mouth breathing gamers go away.

    Clearly EA subscribes to the Jack Thompson theory of gamers, that we’re all ignorant mouth-breathers incapable of higher thought.

    I’ll give them one thing, they’re probably right that less than 1% of their customers ever try to play on more than 3 machines AT THE SAME TIME.  I keep all my games on my desktop and only have WoW and Starcraft on my laptop (low resource use and easy to play with a touchpad). 

    But I’ll bet EA a year’s worth of their profits that more than 60% of their customers try to play on more than 5 machines over the course of several years. 

    But of course this is a business decision, they want you to re-purchase the game.  Unfortunately, most people are too ignorant of their rights and will probably assume EA is on the up and up with this.

    But they aren’t, it is not legal to engage in that kind of restriction of a property owner’s rights.  And whatever EA’s "copyright" theory is, the purchaser OWNS that copy of the game.  That gives the purchaser many, MANY rights and its only a matter of time before someone decides to press those rights.  I’ve said it  before, I’ll say it again, EA needs to realize that its customer’s are growing up.  There’s only so much longer they can assume that their customer base is a bunch of ignorant teenagers.

    This is the first time I really feel like this is coming home to them.  In the old days this would never have been a concern because the vast majority of purchasers wouldn’t have even known what DRM was let it alone its effects. But that isn’t the case anymore and it’s actually starting, just starting, to hit the bottom line.

    Let’s keep it up folks.  I’d love to see the ECA really get behind this.  I mean REALLY get behind this.  We have some members with influence in the industry, they should be speaking up on this.  The organization as a whole should be doing something, ANYTHING.

    What I’d really love to see (and you can consider this an official proposal) is a rating system for games that isn’t based on the game but is based on how the game treats its customer.

    For example: Spore

    Give it an 8 for the game itself.  But make the ECA rating like a 2 because of the DRM scheme.

    Take a stand ECA, represent who you say you do.  Tell people "Yeah this is a decent game, but don’t buy it because of DRM."  Get something from an organization out there and people will pay attention.  And if EA tries to come after you saying that you’re supporting piracy…well SUE THEM.

    Sue them for defamation, they just called your membership a bunch of pirates.  Make them PROVE it.  Plenty of lawyers will do that on a contingency fee (no payment without a win).  Yeah the lawyer takes a 30% cut of the winnings but so what?  This isn’t about money.  It’s about making EA recognize reality.

  48. Anonymous says:

    heres an easy example of why there should be no limit, lets say I have a desk top and a lap tap, then my brother also has a desk top and a lap top. in a year atleast 2 of these machines will be formated. Well looks like every time from now on I will be checking in with mommy and daddy to make sure I can play. But not befor they take data from me to make sure I play safe.


    F#@!$%* DRM

  49. Anonymous says:

    If less than 1% install on more than three computers, then why did they go to the trouble of creating a limit?

    Too little, too late.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I really wish I could believe EA on this, but… this "apology" is really patronizing.

    "We assumed that consumers understand piracy is a huge problem. We have found that 75% of our consumers install and play any particular game on only one machine, and less than 1% ever try to play on more than three different machines."


    Sounds like they think we don’t understand the issue to me. Sounds to me like they are way off base from their average consumer who may need to upgrade their computer, reformat their machine, or do other activities that would cause them to reinstall the game within the play expectancy of their game. Or they are seriously underestimating the life of this game.


    Or perhaps I’m overestimating.

  51. Anonymous says:

     Yeah, and maybe your house will burn down and you’ll be on the street; one can only hope.

    It’s funny you see nothing wrong with ruining people’s lives over some software.  It’s funny you cannot recognise the difference between piracy and theft.  It’s funny stealing a cd from a store gets you banned from the store and maybe a $100-200 fine while online sharing gets your house and savings taken away and your paycheck garnished for the greedy SOBs running the companies that oh so need that extra money.  Self rightous asshole.

    Fact of the matter is, a download does not equal a lost sale, period.  Software is nothing like hardware, period.  Software doesn’t cost anything to distribute and replicate, period.  Corporate CEOs don’t have a right to your money because they aren’t making pure profit anymore…..period.

    EA is last on the list for making quality games, they are however first on the list for churning out crap year after year and charging full price for it while dropping support the next.  Companies come and go, if they cannot adapt to the times beyond sueing individuals rather than re-evaluating their business models then they will go the way of the dodo.


  52. Anonymous says:

    try harder. the # of people torrenting the game does NOT in any way show what EA is ‘losing’ due to piracy. many people will torrent a game to try it and then they go out and buy it after giving it a good run to see what they think. quite frankly i think thats a great idea considering EA’s track record for putting out garbage games in the last few years.


    most piracy comes down to one thing: people are sick of paying for crap. sure theres always the thieves, but put out a game worth buying and it will sell regardless. those thieves will find another way to get what they want.

  53. Black Dragon says:

    I have no idea what your company is, so I can hardly judge whether your statement is remotely applicable.

    So long as pirates are able to offer a complete copy of your product, and are willing to distribute them free of charge, there will be a large segment of consumers that will happily take something for nothing, no matter how great your product is. "Love for making the product," as you put it, is not part of the equation.

    The logical counter to piracy is to make content that is somehow only available to those that have accessed the game through legal channels. However, I have no idea how possible that is. It’s well-understood, though, that software protection like DRM does not accomplish this. AT ALL.

    Of course, the other logical counter is to track down pirates and sue them out of house and home, which I personally support, but that’s time-consuming and generates bad press.

    Truly, if the answer was so simple as running a company with integrity and loving your product, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Unfortunately, consumers aren’t any more respectful and scrupulous than businessmen (nor any less greedy. Getting a game for free is an expression of greed as well, you know).

  54. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The torrent download shows a solid number of lost sales past the statistical average torrent download, that is the logic behind that.  You can compair those numbers, you can not compair number of sales that just didnt happen, because people could just not be interested in the first place, or have other excuses.

  55. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    How about how I run my company, make the best product for the consumer possible for the love of making the product, and though money matters, not more than integrity of the company, which results in more money anyways.

  56. TaoJeannes says:

    Wow, how principled you are.

    Give me a break. If you were really taking a stand you just wouldn’t play the game at all. You don’t get to be morally self-righteous unless you’re actually giving up something.

  57. Override367 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If you took the government’s handholding of the outdated copywrite laws out of the equation and treated piracy as a marketplace reality rather than something to fight (like war on drugs, war on crime, etc) and simply looked at ways to make your product superior to the product that piracy can offer, you will do well.

    Spore’s most compelling feature is the interaction with EA’s servers and realtime automated content downloading and uploading. Spore doesn’t need any DRM, spore itself is the solution to piracy.

    If spore was DRM free, anyone pirating it probably wouldn’t have bought it, because they’re missing a large part of the experience. As it stands many refused to buy it because we don’t want borderline spyware on our systems.

  58. Black Dragon says:

    "You know these guys don’t care, they just want the money."

    In other news, scientists have determined that the large bodies of water covering most of the planet contain alarming quantities of SALT that make them unsuitable for immediate consumption. More breaking news at 11.

    Are you for real? Of course they just want the money. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in business in the first place. Why should they care about anything besides how much cash they can milk out of gamers? These aren’t artists or charity workers, they’re businessmen and merchants.

    That said, they’re only going to back off of DRM when it becomes clear that it’s costing them more than it’s saving them. That’s it. Unfortunately, it’s hard to judge how many customers you DON’T have. After all, software pirates have been saying for years that a pirated game doesn’t equal a lost sale (which has always been a sketchy argument), so who knows? Maybe kids handing out install disks to all their friends IS a huge problem, though with five installs, you can still give away a legit copy to your buddies if you’re not worried about re-installing it.

    I personally abhor piracy, and would much rather not play a game at all than steal it, but it’s easy to see the appeal with these protection programs that border on electronic oppression. Piracy is a difficult and debilitating issue, and I would love to see all the cheap A-holes that partake in it stamped out or denied. But obviously, harsh product protection isn’t helping, and companies need to know that.

  59. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Agreed, anyone that backs down because of getting 5 installs, still no way to unregister that install, still has spyware on your computer with no easy way to remove it, and just an apology is NOT enough.  You know these guys don’t care, they just want the money.  If they cared, they never would have put SecuROM on any of their games, would have kept the original install method, and just made better games and incentives for people to buy the game instead so they could get other FREE stuff that is actually worth something down the road.

  60. Seiena_Cyrus ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ugh…see I don’t do magazines and stuff, and I don’t recall Articles on here about DRMs and stuff…so Spore came out with great Reviews and shortly after I installed it….explosion on the internet over Spore’s DRM and it’s limited uses and the bs in the manual and stuff…if I’d known ahead of time I would have never in a million years purchased Spore because I believe something like SecuRom is as bad as someone hacking my computer and taking it over and Big Brothering me…so it’s all tripe I really don’t want to support -_-


    And yes I have been really busy for months now being a college student and all so I probably missed stuff talking about the DRM and all.

  61. Anonymous says:

    "We’ve received complaints from a lot of customers who we recognize and respect. We need to adapt our policy to accommodate our legitimate consumers…"

    But for all the people that have purchased other EA games, your complaints have been put into a folder called "Hahahahahahahaha, stupid people who bought our garbage" and we shall continue to ignore you like the pathetic cry babies that you are. 

    For the people who continue to seek help on other games using our online support system, please continue to answer the same questions over and over again until one of the many support center agents "addressing" your issue decides to finally attempt to argue with you about the issue until you give up trying to get whatever your inquiry may be resolved.

    Thank you for choosing EA and remember, if you have a problem with Spore, we recognize and respecte you.  For all other products, go f*** yourself.

  62. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I feel sorry for Wright…  His most innovative game in many ways and most innovative game ever, but also his worst game gameplay wise out of every game he has had a major hand in…  I guess if EA was going to take a hit with a game, this is the one to take the hit with.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Makes sense. Wright seemed resigned to this having bad sales when he did his begging for a worse score and more sales. Might as well use it to try polish a monopoly’s image as a victim.
    I wonder how much money EA made this month compared to what they’d whine they may have lost from the nefarious doings of SOME GUY ONLINE. I bet they can’t even make up some lies to try to look pitiable.

  64. C. Aaron Browbowski Jr. says:

    if they were scared of money, then that damn bear from condemned 2 is actually yogi bear ready to raid people’s picnic baskets, fah!

    Jesus Jack Jones Thompson told me to do it!

  65. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wow…  Okay… I said I was never going to underestimate their greed, but damn…  That is insane…  I never thought of that end of things, but you are right…

  66. Anonymous2 says:

    When you buy the game, you can install it 5 times. that’s it. If you need more activations, you hafta call EA’s dreadfully inept customer service, and ask them for an additonal actication. This is handled on a case by case basis, so there’s a very real chance that they won’t issue you an activation for your legally bought game. On top of this, secuROM installs itself in such a way that it has administrator privlages on your system, meaning, it can do whatever the hell it wants, and you can’t stop it….unless you know how to get rid of it, completely.

    When a pirate downloads the game from a torrent site or whatever, this version has been stripped of the DRM, so they can re-install it as many times as they want, without hassle, and also will never hafta worry about secuROM interfering with his system’s functionality.

    This isn’t about sharing with friends….this a thinly veiled offensive against the second hand market. That’s their true motivation….all this talk of combating piracy, is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, because as we’ve seen, EA games "protected" by secuROM have been available for torrent download well in advance of their official release dates.

    They’re not trying to stop piracy, because they know they can’t…at this point, they just wanna cripple the second hand market (gamestop, EBGames, Ebay, Amazon), so they can slurp as much money out of the public as possible…

    This whole "we’re gonna up it to five" thing is bullshit….if i legally buy a game, i should be able to re-install it to my own computer as many times as i want, and i should be able to install it the first time, without wondering if secuROM is going to cripple or disable any of my hardware or software.

    Head over to the EA forums, in the red alert 3 section, there’s a stickied thread about the DRM in RA3….it’s like 50-something pages strong…so many people saying they’re gonna cancel their pre-order, and people pledging not to buy the game…..EA’s flushing money down the toilet, and blaming everyone but themselves….what idiots..

  67. DarkSaber says:

    I’d rather he deleted posts by anonymous people who try and say how the site should be run and that people should be censored just because they don’t like it.(irony alert!!)

    Or to put it another way: Anonymouscoward is a coward.

  68. Anonymous says:

     Where did this shit come from and can a mod please just delete any user that does the

    <X> idiot is <X> 


  69. Anonymous says:

    “We assumed that consumers understand piracy is a huge problem.”
    Haven’t told that lie enough for it to be taken as truth, sorry. Try more, and maybe buy up those companies that aren’t filling their programs with spyware and are still making a profit. As long as they’re around you’re clearly a bunch of liars.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Sure. Whatever lets you get through the day. Keep paying for their lawyers and reaching for that rainbow. I’m sure EA will decide to change their ways.

  71. Spartan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It is this kind of blatantly absurd and dim-witted comment that fuels the fires for the DRM propaganda machine which only hurts gamers everywhere.


    You must surely work for EA or some other similar entity with a vested interest in controlling media.    

  72. Anonymous says:

    Okay… And instead of making five pirate copies for friends I’ll only make three. The other two will have to get it from those three.

    Piracy may well be a problem. It’s EA’s problem. Not the paying customer’s. This is not solving the problem. It’s barely mitigating the problem, and causing new problems for the customers.

    It’s still providing an arbitrary limitation to paying customers that the pirates don’t have to put up with. If they must do this then give some benefit in return.

  73. John Midnight says:

    DRM does not prevent piracy, it never had, and it never will. Hellooooo EA what are you? Retarded? 

    Okay. EA, listen. Take a peice of knowledge from Microsoft, Apple, and Firewall makers. They all have to constantly improve their products to prevent hacking. Did you honestly thing making a beefy DRM would discourage that? No, you made a big FLASHY game and stated DRM would be on it. You just made a giant "HEY BREAK THIS DRM" flag to all the hackers, and crackers to just be ready for when the game hits. Just as Apple Macs are getting more prime time under the scope of hackers, your game has become a beacon of breakage.

    You should of learned from the iPhone…

  74. DCOWXX@gmail.com ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I was on the fence about buying this one. However now with EA basically spitting in the consumers face by making a sad and lazy attempt to look like they are trying, I am 100% sure I’m not buying this game even if DRM is removed.

    I work in tech support so I know that you hae to actually be nice. Screw EA, I’ll stay with my older stuff.


    Seriously, The entire thing about how many times I can install the game, I don’t think so. I mean if you buy EA’s game, install it, find it has installed a backdoor for all sorts of problems like virii, hackers, and all sorts of malware, then I have to reformat my computer, and DING, that counts as another install.


    In the immortal words of Robin Williams

    The definition of redundant: see redundant

  75. Spartan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:



    More people need to post scathing reviews on Amazon and other similar sites. I encourage everyone reading this to ask all your gamer friends to please take the time to post one – even if it is a copy and paste job.


    Enough is enough and gamers need to seriously start to make waves and keep making them until they are felt in offices in DC and beyond!  



  76. End users should be able to install the game/software on an unlimited number of computers and keep on adding installations, as hardware changes or system crashes etc. occur. The real item to control is not the number of installations; it is how many of these installations can be used, at the same time.

    Thus, with ByteShield, the permission to run moves from one PC to another, seamlessly. For more information see the whitepaper "Is Anti-Piracy/DRM the Cure or the Disease for PC Games?" which can be downloaded here http://www.byteshield.net/byteshield_whitepaper_0005.pdf.


  77. Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hang on everyone, just one second.

    So someone can illegally have the game, and install it as many times as they want.  Or they are limited to 5 downloads now if they own the game.  I didn’t make the full connection until now, I’m stupid okay…  So limited downloads have what points in this when people can illegally download it no matter what?

    So they are not jsut a bit too harsh, they are illogically harsh.  I guess what someone posted before about people sharing games with their friends would be right…  So they are not really trying to stop the pre-release type pirates, they are trying to stop the local joe who shares their games with their friends pirates.  So there is absolutely no use in all of this crap at all, because it is far beyond too late.

  78. Vake ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh yeah! Now we get to install 5 TIMES! That makes everything all better (sic). Thanks EA!

    Seriously, we still have EA’s spyware, no DVD-R/CD-R writing, no easy uninstall, etc.

    When EA says, “We realize that SecuROM was a bad idea. We’re removing it completly,” then I’ll accept their appology. Until then, I’m still sailing with the pirates.

  79. Anonymous says:

    If nothing else, at least EA were willing to admit they were a bit too harsh. still, its not too much of a change, but hey its a start.

  80. G.A. says:

    You know what, screw this, I’ve had it. I am going to write to EA and show them just how many people are unhappy with Spore. Maybe if they get loads of hate mail they will change their minds. When I get to my 5 install limits I’m going to write to them again, telling them that I’m going to pirate their game because I can’t play it anymore. And if they want to sue me then bring it on. I really encourage everone to write to EA and tell them what you think and just plain threaten them. To the people who haven’t bought Spore yet (I bought it before I was aware of the whole Sucurom issue), I encourage you to write veiled threats about pirating it because of the DRM. And hell, if they want to sue someone for pirating the game, it will be even worse publicity for them ("Corporate Giant EA Sues its own Customers!").

  81. Clever says:

    It’s so strange though – if they were so greedy and after the dolla dolla bill (y’all) then why wouldn’t they go out and do something that will actually make them money. I’m pretty sure the point of avarice is to make insane amounts of coin not turn away millions of customers. Does EA suffer from Chrometophobia?

    Is this some sort of corporate move whereby they take a hit in sales so they can say "look, look at us we’re not a monopoly"…?

    It’s a shame too – while the gameplay is mediocre the creature animation engine is one of the most innovative things to ever come out of that company… but nobody is going to care about that anymore anyways… sorry Will…



  82. C. Aaron Browbowski Jr. says:

    *sigh* i could say i’m never buying another emasculating arts title ever again, but some, VERY FEW for that matter, are irresistible. (Zany Golf, Medal of Honor: Front-line) that was the old days, now-a-days EA don’t give a fuck except for the all mighty, all American, all "deity," dollar bill. i’m just wondering when corporate censor and greed will end, you know, EA is a sad, sad, pity case that just wants to relive the old days and fuck people over. I don’t know though, I think big time businesses in general, (Square-Enix or even Microsoft’s Shit Box 3-shitty) is getting a little too ambitious……

    Jesus Jack Jones Thompson told me to do it!

  83. DarkSaber says:

    Yep, but as Yahtzee Croshaw put it, if it isn’t a modern work of art and the cure for at least one major disease then every reviewer world-wide will cut the developers bollocks off and feed them to them.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, and footage was also shown somewhere aroudn 6 years ago of the game as well.  But then again, prey was vaporware for a long while as well, so I think DNF will come out eventually.

  85. Anonymous says:

    They’re talking like it’s late development, and Jace Hall’s actually played (and aired footage of) a prototype version of it. It’s real, and if it ain’t done yet it’s getting pretty close. I’m wagering it’ll be on shelves by Christmas ’09.

    And the only thing DRM does is take the media everyone wants and guarantees that everyone who wants it won’t buy it.

    If EA honestly believes piracy is being curbed by DRM, they need a serious wake-up call. Like, "class-action lawsuit for violating consumer rights" kind of wake-up call.

  86. Anonymous says:

    Well, they have to get Duke Nukem Forever out first, but honestly, I don’t ever see that happening, but yeah, DRM is totally unnessacary, people are going to find ways to get around it, no matter what.

  87. Anonymous says:

    With Steam, you have unlimited installs on one computer so long as it knows that your account has purchased a game.  Steam doesn’t put malware on your computer (but it can have a tendancy to fuck up a computer still, but it’s not as common as it used to be).  Steam Improves over time.  When it was first released, steam was a POS program that was far too buggy to touch with a 10 ft pole, and today it’s still a POS program, but compared to what it used to be it’s godly, and it will continue to improve as time goes on.  Valve admits when they’re wrong, listens to their consumers, and changes things based on user feedback.  You can also buy games on Steam.


    So…How is this like SecureRom?

  88. DoggySpew says:

    For those who still complain about the DRM, should realize that Valve uses the same DRM for Steam.

    Now, how much of a disaster is that ? Not much.


  89. Anonymous says:

    My money’s for Duke Nukem Forever. I know 3DRealms isn’t going to put SecureROM crap on it; they know what’s good for the gamer, they know better than that!

    The only copyright protection any game needs is a CD key code printed on the inside of the case, right under the game disc. No install limits, no extra software, no muss, no fuss. Just the game, the code, and whatever other goodies the developers decided to toss into the mix.

    Happy gamer, though, is not included.

  90. k-Roulette says:

    The problem is that 5 is no better than 3 in principle. The problem is that in a couple of years, you’ll have upgraded a bunhc of computer parts that cause the game to see multiple machines that count agaisnt you. Or you’ve gone and gotten a new computer a couple of times. Or maybe EA will just shut down it’s servers. I know EA is a huge company, but we’re taking a gamble that they will remain stable for as long as we want to play the game.

    This may look a little better. But the problem wasn’t the number of installs we were limited to. The problem is that the limit exists and is dependant on an outside source to validate our ability to play a game that we purchased. I’ve been playing a coupel fo games for a long time. UT has made it through 15 installs or more. Jedi Knight has gone through 5 or 6. Civilization III has been in an out 5 or 6 times. These are games I love and will continue to reinstall every time I rebuild my machine. I may not be your average user, but when I purchase a game, I deserve the right to do that.

    That’s why this ‘apology’ doesn’t make it all better. 5 isn’t any better than 3. I don’t rent my games. I buy them. I was planning on buying this one. If only EA hadn’t come up with this protection scheme. My money is thus saved for the next game in a solid Fall lineup.

  91. Anonymous says:

    Translation on the apology: "Instead of us wanting to cut your foot off when you want the privilage to play our game, we just want a few toes. Your pinkies will do. Is that better now?"

  92. Anonymous says:

    At least they are trying to find a middle ground. Personally I love spore and dont think i could do without buying the game thats just me, but i understand the feelings about the DRM, my problem is the packets being sent i could care less about the 5 installs or 3 installs it really seems like its spyware of some sort.

  93. LightWarrior ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Same…not accepting the apology…it’s not good enough….what about the Malware and stuff?

  94. -Jes- ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Aaand what about the datamining, OS access digs and hardware interference?

    No thanks, I’ll stay clear still.

  95. Anonymous says:

    That’s no apology, and changing from 3 to 5 installs is no change. It’s still the same DRM shit.


    I’m still not buying.

  96. Azhrarn says:

    it’s a start, but as long as they keep delivering Malware (because that is exactly what this type of SecuROM is) then I’ll refuse to buy it.

Comments are closed.