UPDATE: Looks like EA has changed its mind. A new message on the Darkspore forums reads:
"Welcome to the Darkspore forums. Thanks for supporting the game. We recently resolved an issue that was causing some players to not be able to connect to the game. If you any encounter any other issues, please contact help.ea.com for customer support. We will continue to support Darkspore, so feel free to continue to discuss the game here. Thanks – Maxis."
ORIGINAL STORY: If a game company touts always online, character storage in the cloud or on a server, then the game they are talking about isn't a game at all, it's a service, and that service will inevitably go offline. This is why so many consumers hate always-online games – because in the old days when you bought a game and the company stopped supporting it or even went out of business you could still play it for the most part. But as more games get released that require a connection like Blizzard's Diablo III or EA's SimCity, they become less like games and more like online services that can be switched off and forgotten without a moment's notice.
The latest game to make the news in that regard is EA's Darkspore, an RPG set in the Spore universe that required a connection to a server in order to play. But the game has been a mess since launch with technical issues experienced more than gameplay for a fair amount of its time as a supported title. Steam has recognized that this particular game does not work anymore and has finally yanked it from its catalog.
And what does EA have to say about all this? Well they don't plan on fixing it because it is what they call "for almost all intents and purposes an abandoned title." In a forum post the company says that the game has been abandoned:
"Darkspore is no longer developed," reads a post from the game's forum manager. "It is for almost all intents and purposes an abandoned title. If you cannot play the game & have flicked through technical issues for any fixes, then contact EA Customer Support; especially if it regards CD-Keys or refunds.
Error 73003 has gone unfixed & remains an issue.
Error Code 3 has arisen for the majority/all & remains an issue.
I will however keep the forums here as clean & tidy as possible in my spare time. Why? Well why not. If it helps anyone with minor problems, or find their way somewhere, then that's great. I wish you all luck, no matter what path you choose with Darkspore."
But for being an abandoned title it has been on Steam for a long time despite not working very well. Now it isn't. But EA is still selling it on Origin knowing full well that the game is broken.