Just Say No

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September 10th, 2008

Just Say No

TimHopefully you all remember or are at least aware of the famous anti-drug ad we reference here, or maybe the memorable follow-up anti-cocaine ad (great commercial). Either way, I think we can all agree that DRM is a bad, bad thing. It wouldn’t be so terrible if it actually worked, but seeing as how Spore was cracked and on torrent sites within 24 hours of release, DRM only hurts the people that actually buy the game. I’d like to hear what EA has to say about the outcry over DRM, but I doubt they’ll respond as they are probably too busy counting their money!

P.S. – Since making the comic less than 24 hours ago, there are an additional 150 1-star reviews on Amazon. Quite a revolt!

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78 Comments

  1. Warll says:

    Actually Spore hit the torrents on the 2nd, yeah that’s right, the pirates not only got a DRM free game but also got it earlier!

  2. I feel that people on the internet act in a mob mentality. When a small group of people acted like complete asses, it then becomes fun/cool to do the same whether the situation is deserving or not. In this case I don’t really think that it’s deserving all of this crap it’s gotten. But hey I might be in the minority on this since I try to act like I do in real life on the internet.

  3. Actually Spore hit the torrents on the 2nd, yeah that’s right, the pirates not only got a DRM free game but also got it earlier!

    Only two days earlier which is sort of common.

  4. tustin says:

    I, uh, missed something… what’s DRM?

  5. Loooca says:

    I’ve never seen the ad (because I obviously don’t live in the U.S, where I’m assuming this was aired) nor did I know about the DRM issues with Spores. I find it quite interesting, though — I’ve read some people’s thoughts on the game, and some even went to say stuff like: “Best Game Evarrrr!” and “Best game ever invented, of all time” (which made me believe that the people who rushed to get this game were casual gamers. I first thought normal gamers were being mean with Spores fans, but I see their point now) and such.

    Now that I understand all of that: *applause*! Nifty comic, you guys. The second panel adds to the whole comic with how it was nicely done, especially since the rest of the panels are text-based ones. And the concept (of the ad that you used) went so well with the idea, it’s quite fitting.

    Humour Factor is there, if one is full aware of what’s going on. And, well, the number of ‘1 star’ is hilarious enough. I don’t think I’ve seen so many 1 star ratings in my life.

    I feel that people on the internet act in a mob mentality. When a small group of people acted like complete asses, it then becomes fun/cool to do the same whether the situation is deserving or not. In this case I don’t really think that it’s deserving all of this crap it’s gotten. But hey I might be in the minority on this since I try to act like I do in real life on the internet.

    A lot of users have been leaving well-thought reviews, which means that they’ve actually bought the game and were hit with DRM (or, just, didn’t find the game all that much), and not just randomly SPAMSPAMSPAM amazon. It is not a YouTube Comments Case, yet.

    • Derpford says:

      I have two theories as to how DRM will play out:
      1) Major game companies collapse due to either (A) ridiculous DRM and subsequent boycotting or (B) extreme piracy due to lack of security
      2) Major game companies will collapse for the same reasons shown above, but they will rise again as they once were, releasing original content with real innovation and excellent customer service.

      Number one is more likely, honestly. I wish that they would just get it over with.

  6. D3vin says:

    Is that a real Amazon.com screenshot?

  7. lwelyk says:

    I, uh, missed something… what’s DRM?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management

    I prefer to call it Digital Restrictions Management. In this case, the DRM on Spore only allows you to install it 3 times. It’s basically treating paying customers like criminals. The pirates already pirated it. It was cracked before the game was released. You can right now go download spore from a torrent site and be able to do more with it than if you actually paid for it. That, the high price tag, and the reviews are keeping me from getting it. I didn’t buy Mass Effect for the PC because it had the same DRM, and I won’t buy Red Alert 3 because of it’s DRM. DRM only hurts consumers, it’s bypassed by pirates in days. There’s no reason for it. I loathe DRM, and I wish people would realize how this is restrictive and doesn’t help anything. People say PC gaming is dying, I don’t think so, but if it does, it’ll be suicide by things like this.

    I’m glad Amazon’s being flooded with these reviews, maybe EA will realize that people don’t like DRM. I doubt it, their response was to say that Red Alert 3s DRM will let you install it 5 times. Because that’s so much better than 3.

    Anyway, nice comic. Easy on Ray at least. = P

  8. gremlinzrus says:

    Awesome comic, guys! Long time reader, first time commenter.

    I’ve seen this issue covered before with Armake21’s video (NOT SAFE FOR WORK because of swearing) about how DRM is being rather unkind to PC gamers. As I’m mostly a console gamer, it was interesting to see that this guy had to crack his legitimately bought PC game in order to play it.

    I’ve heard DRM talked about, but never with such a high-profile, mainstream game. Either way, I’m glad attention is being called to the DRM issue, and it’s nice to seen it done in a simple yet humorous way. Things like this should encourage an intelligent debate. And if it just starts an internet flame war, that’s why popcorn was invented.

  9. MetaRidleyR27 says:

    Great comic guys! I completely understand the whole issue with the DRM in this game. I was really looking forward to it, but until they remove SecuROM from this, I’m not buying it. I’m assuming neither of you are going to buy Spore then?

  10. D3vin says:

    Great comic guys! I completely understand the whole issue with the DRM in this game. I was really looking forward to it, but until they remove SecuROM from this, I’m not buying it. I’m assuming neither of you are going to buy Spore then?

    The DS version ( though extremely watered down ) doesn’t have it! Hurry! To the DS section of the obligatory videogame selling place!

  11. Ray says:

    Is that a real Amazon.com screenshot?

    For the most part, yes. A little bit of editing was needed for spacing and fitting everything we needed into the frame.

  12. MetaRidleyR27 says:

    By the way, people have come up with a great idea. First, you pirate Spore off the internet. This makes it so you don’t get SecuROM, but it also takes out the online play options. Then, go to Gamestop (or wherever) and buy Spore. That way, you can support Maxis, and avoid getting SecuROM! I’ve considered doing this, since I’ve heard really bad things about SecuROM. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to pirate games.

  13. roadjcat says:

    I don’t get the Spore reference, but the drug reference ad thingy, made me chuckle. Do I need to play Spore? It’s sounds like the type of games I like, but I’ve got so many games coming out that I want, I’m not sure if I can add this to the list…

  14. NSBAceAttorney says:

    Lol, that is hilarious! Actually it’s kinda confusing… but last weeks was funny. But now that I read what DRM is I think it’s a lot funnier! I also like how I have a timer to make edits.

    But Good job any ways!

  15. Tacos says:

    Nice comic. And great reference to the anti-drug commercial. It also reminded me of those “You wouldn’t steal a purse, would you?” commercials. Keep up the good work.

  16. sheppy says:

    I feel that people on the internet act in a mob mentality. When a small group of people acted like complete asses, it then becomes fun/cool to do the same whether the situation is deserving or not. In this case I don’t really think that it’s deserving all of this crap it’s gotten. But hey I might be in the minority on this since I try to act like I do in real life on the internet.

    I tell you what, after SecuROM kills your burners (it’s been known to attack burning drives), ruins one of your partitions, or wipes entries out of your registry or boot.ini file, then you’ll feel the backlash the system is getting.

    Also, keep in mind, this isn’t just three installs. This is three hardware configurations. So if you install a new hard drive as a C clone, you’ve used up one. Upgrade your sound or video card? You’ve used up one. And of course the arguement can be made that “all you have to do is call EA” but these people have never dealth with EA on the PC. Not only are their support channels purposely designed to confuse and confound people to the point of giving up, but they HAVE been known to drop support for a gave within months of it coming out.

    Sure, getting that game reactivated in 7 months seems like no big deal, but what about in four years? And this is going on ALL future EA titles, which means EA helped me decide between Starcraft 2 and Red Alert 3 (Demigod is a must buy as well as anything Warhammer DOW or Company of Heroes related).

    Basically, the outrage is not only are you paying $50 to be called a thief, but you’re also setting your system up for massive problems later down the road and depending upon support in the long term when EA has dropped support of last years sports PC titles already. And because you clicked next on the EULA, you have no one but yourself to blame for these problems.

  17. sheppy says:

    GREAT comic, guys.

    This situation is what made me NOT buy this game. I love my computer too much to expose it to SecuROM.

  18. steve-ohs says:

    Great Comic!! Love the old-school refrences.

  19. tustin says:

    I tell you what, after SecuROM kills your burners (it’s been known to attack burning drives), ruins one of your partitions, or wipes entries out of your registry or boot.ini file, then you’ll feel the backlash the system is getting.

    Those are some pretty hefty accusation your throwing around there. I’d like to see your sources please. :) No, seriously.

    Oh yes, and great comic guys. I thought it was pretty funny, you know, after figuring it out.

    Although I must stand by Yahtzee in saying “…you tell a joke and nobody laughs you then explain the joke and people go ‘oh that’s pretty clever, I guess’ but they still won’t laugh because you didn’t tell the joke right in the first place…” (note Yahtzee doesn’t use punctuation). In this case, I didn’t read it right in the first place. Great job though. :)

  20. lwelyk says:
    I feel that people on the internet act in a mob mentality. When a small group of people acted like complete asses, it then becomes fun/cool to do the same whether the situation is deserving or not. In this case I don’t really think that it’s deserving all of this crap it’s gotten. But hey I might be in the minority on this since I try to act like I do in real life on the internet.

    I tell you what, after SecuROM kills your burners (it’s been known to attack burning drives), ruins one of your partitions, or wipes entries out of your registry or boot.ini file, then you’ll feel the backlash the system is getting.
    Also, keep in mind, this isn’t just three installs. This is three hardware configurations. So if you install a new hard drive as a C clone, you’ve used up one. Upgrade your sound or video card? You’ve used up one. And of course the arguement can be made that “all you have to do is call EA” but these people have never dealth with EA on the PC. Not only are their support channels purposely designed to confuse and confound people to the point of giving up, but they HAVE been known to drop support for a gave within months of it coming out.
    Sure, getting that game reactivated in 7 months seems like no big deal, but what about in four years? And this is going on ALL future EA titles, which means EA helped me decide between Starcraft 2 and Red Alert 3 (Demigod is a must buy as well as anything Warhammer DOW or Company of Heroes related).
    Basically, the outrage is not only are you paying $50 to be called a thief, but you’re also setting your system up for massive problems later down the road and depending upon support in the long term when EA has dropped support of last years sports PC titles already. And because you clicked next on the EULA, you have no one but yourself to blame for these problems.

    *high fives sheppy*

    Thank you. People saying I’m whiny for not wanting DRM have been getting on my nerves.

  21. Gadoink says:

    Meh. LCG (lame comic guys)

  22. sheppy says:

    Those are some pretty hefty accusation your throwing around there. I’d like to see your sources please. No, seriously.
    Oh yes, and great comic guys. I thought it was pretty funny, you know, after figuring it out.
    Although I must stand by Yahtzee in saying “…you tell a joke and nobody laughs you then explain the joke and people go ‘oh that’s pretty clever, I guess’ but they still won’t laugh because you didn’t tell the joke right in the first place…” (note Yahtzee doesn’t use punctuation). In this case, I didn’t read it right in the first place. Great job though.

    In a day and age that has Google, why do I have to hunt your links?

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=problems+secuROM&aq=f&oq=

    Anecdotal evidence is it mucked up my HP something fierce and I thought I was doing something wrong, reformat, set everything back up, and everything would work great… until I reinstalled a game with SecuROM on it.

  23. CKcheeseboy says:

    MCG (Meh Comic Guys). I got the reference, but I guess I just don’t care to much for the subject matter. I don’t really play PC games (RollerCoaster Tycoon is about my extent), plus I don’t care too much for Spore, so this is just one of those comics that’s not for me. My not-very-educated input on DRM, though, is that it’s an example of “good idea, poor execution”. I’m all for stopping piracy, but their method does seem a little ridiculous.

    Also, a side comment: I think the logo might have looked a little better if the spore logo was behind you guys (replacing the normal circle), but I at least think it’s better than your last Spore-related logo.

  24. Hehehehehe

    This made me giggle.

    Good times. How true. Hate drm.

    Keep up the good work guys.

  25. Matthew says:

    There are two reasons I haven’t bought Spore yet.
    The DRM and my new laptop hasn’t arrived yet. The thing is, with this DRM I won’t even buy the game. I’m just going to pirate it straight away.
    There’s no reason to support a Will Wrigth using a publisher that looks at its consumer base and says they are criminals. There are reasons why great games like Sins of a Solar Empire have almost no copy protection.
    It’s not required. It doesn’t stop the pirates from enjoying the game, it stops the consumers.

  26. dj75728 says:

    I have noooo idea what’s going on. Ummm……NCG? Sorry guys, it’s me, not you.

    Oh yeah, DRM does suck.

  27. sheppy says:

    There are reasons why great games like Sins of a Solar Empire have almost no copy protection.It’s not required. It doesn’t stop the pirates from enjoying the game, it stops the consumers.

    Yep… pretty much. Now if Stardock would hurry up on Demigod… I am FIENDING for that stuss.

  28. roadjcat says:

    Okay wow! Time for another episode of obvious things I miss.

    I just clicked on the link you provided in the post and I didn’t know you guys were actually serious about that 1 star review thing. I thought that was an exaggeration or something! Wow, I think I may actually get the game tomorrow because of the critic reviews and the fact that I like those types of games…I don’t know why I’d need to download it more than 3 times though…so that doesn’t really bother me that much….

  29. Noodle says:

    FIRST COMMENT!

    I don’t get it, not interested in spore.

  30. Roark87 says:

    I agree 100% with this.

  31. Eagle0600 says:

    Mine doesn’t seem to have failed yet… but we shall see.

  32. Gadoink says:

    FIRST COMMENT!
    I don’t get it, not interested in spore.

    Noodle, you fail. That’s not the first comment…..

  33. Rokai says:

    Nice comic. Heaven turns into hell in the 4th frame.

  34. Ashley says:

    Oh, gods, I remember that cocaine commercial. Scared me s@#&less as a child.

    Nice comic. It gets the point across nicely.

  35. sheppy says:

    I think the more interesting aspect will be this. Spore caters to the Sims crowd, they don’t know about this, they don’t care. But what about Red Alert 3? Anny Soccermom isn’t looking at paratropping bears and thinking “sweet, that’ll be awesome.” Only core gamers are paying attention to Red Alert 3. So how SecuROM will effect Red Alert sales, I think, will be much more interesting.

  36. Lozaiah says:

    I think the more interesting aspect will be this. Spore caters to the Sims crowd, they don’t know about this, they don’t care. But what about Red Alert 3? Anny Soccermom isn’t looking at paratropping bears and thinking “sweet, that’ll be awesome.” Only core gamers are paying attention to Red Alert 3. So how SecuROM will effect Red Alert sales, I think, will be much more interesting.

    And by the time they realize what DRM is, it’ll be too late and EA can simply wave them off for clicking past the EULA without actually reading it. “You agreed, that’s that.”

    Anyway.. I’m a little behind the times. DRM is going on ALL future EA games?!?!

    No wait, what am I complaining about? There are no originals here in the Philippines, just pirates XD

  37. dr.mario says:

    EA just killed a game that could have soled 1 mil plus real smooth ps. I think the fact that they named a hurricane ike is cool

  38. sheppy says:

    EA just killed a game that could have soled 1 mil plus real smooth ps. I think the fact that they named a hurricane ike is cool

    It’s not cool for Tina, she’s retreated to Canada for the time being.

  39. roadjcat says:

    Okay, so the posting system is obviously not working, but I wanted to make a comment.

    This comic actually made me decide to want to buy the game. That’s kinda ironic isn’t it? But yeah, I think the game is a lot of fun so far.

  40. igorpwnweed says:

    First I heard of the negativity. *Sniff Sniff* Gotta keep my cool… keepin’ my cool… WAAAAAAAAAAAH! I WANTED THIS GAME SO MUCH!!!!! THIS IS TERRIBLE!!!!! I SHOULD BE WORRYING ABOUT OTHER THINGS LIKE DARFUR AND IRAQ, BUT THIS IS TO MUCH!!!! Amaaaaaazing graaaaaace… Keepin’ my cool.

  41. taubel says:

    Some people don’t take too kindly to 1-star reviews.

    Just look here.

  42. sheppy says:

    First I heard of the negativity. *Sniff Sniff* Gotta keep my cool… keepin’ my cool… WAAAAAAAAAAAH! I WANTED THIS GAME SO MUCH!!!!! THIS IS TERRIBLE!!!!! I SHOULD BE WORRYING ABOUT OTHER THINGS LIKE DARFUR AND IRAQ, BUT THIS IS TO MUCH!!!! Amaaaaaazing graaaaaace… Keepin’ my cool.

    You realize any arguement you make where the entire basis is “there are worse things” is rendered immediately invalid, right?

    “God, why’d you arrest me for beating a dog, it’s not like I was beating my wife?”

    You CAN worry about the little pictures while worrying about the big ones as well. And yes, I was hyped about trying this game. Just as I’m hyped about LBP. But here’s the difference. LBP won’t attack my PS3. Nor will it limit me to one account per copy of LBP so my friends can play my copy as well. And I know I won’t have to call Sony a year from now for permission to play LBP. And the funniest thing is, I love RTS games as well and was super hyped about Red Alert 3. But when a ton of companies are dropping quality RTS games around the same timeframe, I can easily decide who’s game I want to buy based on the DRM. Yes, it sucks that I’ll miss out on Red Alert 3… but Dawn of War 2, Starcraft 2, Demigod, and the rumored Company of Heroes expansion will more than make up for it.

  43. tustin says:

    The one star reviews are now in the 2000’s. :)

    BTW, Sheppy, I don’t find Google a reliable source when proving a point. By going to Google, not only are you giving me the sources for your point, but you are also giving me the sources against it, which basically makes an argument moot. Also, basing an argument on how many results Google gives you is also unreliable – and I’ve heard radio talk show hosts do this!

    However, since you’ve had personal experience from this, that’s all I need; I believe you now. (So quit being so snappy… sheesh. :D )

  44. Brandon says:

    I dont see why all you guys cry about it. You can easilly contact EA and earn more activations, and also, its only an issue if you really re-format your computer MULTIPLE times a month, or even a year. If you really need to keep installing your game, maybe you should learn not mess up your computers so badly that you need to reformat them. This DRM is nothing new, places like Direct2Drive have been doing it already, and its not even an issue. I buy most of my games from them already because Id rather have a digital copy of a game with DRM rather then a disk that I have to keep swapping out.

    And when I have had to get more activations, you just call them up and bam you can install it 3 more times again, Its not that big of a deal, you guys are blowing it way out of proportion.

  45. tustin says:

    I dont see why all you guys cry about it. You can easilly contact EA and earn more activations, and also, its only an issue if you really re-format your computer MULTIPLE times a month, or even a year. If you really need to keep installing your game, maybe you should learn not mess up your computers so badly that you need to reformat them. This DRM is nothing new, places like Direct2Drive have been doing it already, and its not even an issue. I buy most of my games from them already because Id rather have a digital copy of a game with DRM rather then a disk that I have to keep swapping out.
    And when I have had to get more activations, you just call them up and bam you can install it 3 more times again, Its not that big of a deal, you guys are blowing it way out of proportion.

    If nothing else, it’s principle.

    However, please scroll up to see that it is EVERYTHING else. See the post about how it messed up Sheppy’s computer!

  46. shadowkid92 says:

    i think there was something funny about that its just I don’t get it… mainly i don’t get what DRM means. I really like the art work. does one of you own the creature creator or did you look up the back grounds?

  47. lwelyk says:

    I dont see why all you guys cry about it. You can easilly contact EA and earn more activations, and also, its only an issue if you really re-format your computer MULTIPLE times a month, or even a year. If you really need to keep installing your game, maybe you should learn not mess up your computers so badly that you need to reformat them. This DRM is nothing new, places like Direct2Drive have been doing it already, and its not even an issue. I buy most of my games from them already because Id rather have a digital copy of a game with DRM rather then a disk that I have to keep swapping out.
    And when I have had to get more activations, you just call them up and bam you can install it 3 more times again, Its not that big of a deal, you guys are blowing it way out of proportion.

    Oh boy.

    Look at this game. Look at it. It’s the time of game you’ll play a lot, but you probably won’t have it on your HD at all times. So you will burn through the installations.

    Second, so what if it’s nothing new? I wasn’t aware things were allright as long as it had been done before. And if you’d like to pay for a game that you can only rent, will sometimes hurt your computer, and won’t last forever, that’s you. Other people like to use the products they buy.

    If you really think it’s just calling them up, you’re delusional. First, you’ve obviously NEVER dealt with EA tech support. Second, you have to prove you bought the game and explain to tech support why you installed it so many times. That’s right, you have to justify installing the game you bought.

    It really annoys me when people make comments like this. You’re saying I’m being whiny because I want to play the games I paid for.

  48. sheppy says:

    And when I have had to get more activations, you just call them up and bam you can install it 3 more times again, Its not that big of a deal, you guys are blowing it way out of proportion.

    Yay, Longpost is Looooooooooooooong. Wall of text warning.

    1. Just because it’s been done before doesn’t make it right.

    2. Spore isn’t available on Direct2Drive, which is a crappy service anyway compared to Steam who’s only validation protocal is occassionally verifying the copy online. Meanwhile Steam allows me to have a game on multiple systems and even my gamesaves and settings can travel with me. Example? Occassionally when I am over at my parents house, I like to play some Audiosurf or Peggle. I have been known to play Half-Life over there as well. Well, no matter what my game save is at home, I can pick up where I left off at their house. Spore, only one installation is allowable at one time.

    But as an extra “screwed” factor to Spores Digital Distribution method, you pay the same price as a retail copy, have to download through their app, and have unlimited redownloads for… 6 months. That’s right, Steam, gog.com, and many other dd groups allow endless redownloads. Only EA puts a 6 month deadline on it…. unless you pay an extra $5. Then it becomes 2 years. Beyond the two years? Well, I’m sure they’ll have a Spore Deluxe Pets bundle they’ll want you to buy.

    3. Not only is it just three installs, it’s one account per copy. What does this mean? Well… imagine if you bought a game for 360 and it refused to play for any other user on the system except for the main one. See the problem?

    4. DRM punishes customers, not pirates. There is not solution on defeating pirates and truth be told, nobody knows how much money is really lost to pirates. They have ballpark figures based on expected sales versus actual sales. The problem with this? Well, according to Nintendo, they lost $1.3 billion to Gamecube piracy. If you’re a smart cookie, you’d understand how this is funny. Companies have been saying the number of pirate copies to legit copies is 15:1. Crysis was SUPPOSEDLY defeated by pirates by Crytech claims this 15:1 figure but also says they sold 1.4 million copies. So according to Crytech, there are more people playing Crysis (16×1.4=22.4m) than worldwide sales of Xbox 360. See the problem? A recent independant study actually found the number was closer to 7:4 which is still too much but hardly the exaggerrated numbers presented by companies. And pirates? They don’t have to deal with the problems of DRM. Only us paying customers get that treat.

  49. D3vin says:

    Do you really need to install it more than three times? Do people’s computers really crash that much?

  50. lwelyk says:

    Do you really need to install it more than three times? Do people’s computers really crash that much?

    We’re not talking computers crashing. We’re talking being able to use it. If you just uninstall the game at any point, you lose an installation, and you can never get it back. It is a big problem. Especially since SecuROM can cause you to have to rebuild your computer.

    The point is, it’s only hurting paying customers, and stopping a little bit of casual piracy.

  51. roadjcat says:
    Do you really need to install it more than three times? Do people’s computers really crash that much?

    We’re not talking computers crashing. We’re talking being able to use it. If you just uninstall the game at any point, you lose an installation, and you can never get it back.

    Why would you uninstall it in the first place anyway? I don’t get it. I’ve installed it and I can’t think of why I would need to install it again, let alone twice…

  52. sheppy says:

    Why would you uninstall it in the first place anyway? I don’t get it. I’ve installed it and I can’t think of why I would need to install it again, let alone twice…

    Well, if you install a new graphics card, that my trigger an installation token. What if your motherboard goes out? Replace the mother board, another token used. What if one of your computer parts has issues with SecuROM and everytime Spore updates, it forgets that component is a part of that system so another installation is used?

    This isn’t just uninstall. If the software deems the hardware has changed to the point of being a new computer, you might use up those token without even knowing it. If your motherboard maker is MSI, chances are, you’ve used at least one already as DRM software has been known to reject MSI boards which are most commonly used in performance PCs (like mine, but I’m running SLi, not many people do that). Also, what if one of their patches corrupts the program and you have to reinstall. This is EA, it isn’t that far out of the realm of possibilities.

    But most importantly, why is the installs limited at all? Most of my games I could install and uninstall on a daily basis without hearing anything. Only a couple programs try to sync the copy up with my account. Anything on Steam you can install and uninstall all you want.

    But SecuROM… if it wasn’t part of a retail package would be classified as Malware. As evidence by the fact that system scans find it every time. Let’s say you hate SecuROM and uninstall Spore because of it. Well, you just uninstalled Spore, that’s it. SecuRom stays. One of SecuROMS primary functions is to lock up most burning devices if the disc has any form of protection flagged. In other words, SecuROM attacks your rights to back up purchased media. Despite not running Spore, SecuROM is there, watching, and it’s a tough cookie to crack. You have to individually remove it from the registry, all references to it in the Boot.ini file, kill it’s processes, and remove with a higher level tool because Add/Remove program in Windows won’t cut it. Let’s say you didn’t do every one of those things right and a bit of it is there, on your hard drive. Next time you boot back up, SecuROM repairs itself and the process begins anew. In other words, you willingly accepted malware onto your system and you paid $50 for it.

  53. Nushio says:

    By the way, people have come up with a great idea. First, you pirate Spore off the internet. This makes it so you don’t get SecuROM, but it also takes out the online play options. Then, go to Gamestop (or wherever) and buy Spore. That way, you can support Maxis, and avoid getting SecuROM! I’ve considered doing this, since I’ve heard really bad things about SecuROM. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to pirate games.

    I thought about doing that, but then you’re basically “agreeing” to EA’s Draconian Rights Management, even if you don’t install it using the legit method, the fact is that EA can say “we’ve sold XXXX copies of our DRM-Bundled games. See? DRM works!”

    I say don’t buy (or pirate).

  54. lwelyk says:
    By the way, people have come up with a great idea. First, you pirate Spore off the internet. This makes it so you don’t get SecuROM, but it also takes out the online play options. Then, go to Gamestop (or wherever) and buy Spore. That way, you can support Maxis, and avoid getting SecuROM! I’ve considered doing this, since I’ve heard really bad things about SecuROM. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to pirate games.

    I thought about doing that, but then you’re basically “agreeing” to EA’s Draconian Rights Management, even if you don’t install it using the legit method, the fact is that EA can say “we’ve sold XXXX copies of our DRM-Bundled games. See? DRM works!”
    I say don’t buy (or pirate).

    That’s what I do. I just do without. There are other games I could play, and if EA doesn’t want my money, so be it.

  55. MetaRidleyR27 says:

    I have to say that I am quite looking forward to this week’s podcast. I’m curious to hear more about Tim and Ray’s opinons on Spore and DRM. I’m also curious if either of them got it.

  56. Ray says:

    I have to say that I am quite looking forward to this week’s podcast. I’m curious to hear more about Tim and Ray’s opinons on Spore and DRM. I’m also curious if either of them got it.

    Unfortunately, our podcast will not be focusing on those topics. More on that in an upcoming news post. Just to let you know, neither one of us have purchased Spore, and we’re not exactly happy about the DRM, but I can’t say we’re outraged either.

  57. roadjcat says:

    I must be the only one who is not upset about DRM in the slightest. None of those things mentioned above would happen and if they did it would be rare, definitely not twice. Even if they did happen twice, I probably would have lost interest in the game by that point. It can’t be THAT big a deal if neither, Gamespot, IGN, OR Gametrailers even mentioned it…

    And I’m having a lot of fun with the game. Not buying it because of the DRM seem like a good way to miss out on a good game, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

  58. sheppy says:

    And I’m having a lot of fun with the game. Not buying it because of the DRM seem like a good way to miss out on a good game, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

    Well, the question is, is it a good game? I've heard the first four phases were way too easy leading to the only decent section, the space section. But you don't get to continue adapting your race beyond a certain stage as they evolve as a species. Friend of mine has been playing it and he's upset he took up the mantle of "hippie" and peaceful ways and the civ phase basically forced his culture into religious zealots which forced other species to submit. Basically he spent a week with the game and now we're both back to either Company of Heroes or Sins of a Solar Empire.

  59. roadjcat says:

    Yes, the first four phases are pretty short, but it’s not like it’s a game without replayability. And I happen to actually really like the first four phases (well, the tribal stage irks me sometimes). The Space Section is pretty fun, but I think it’s kinda hard to play it for long stretches at a time.

    But anyway, I had been set up as a religious city in the civilization stage and ended up taking over all the other cities by military means. I only took over one with religious means.

  60. I loved the Pee Wee drug ad LOL!
    The Thrill can Kill

  61. lwelyk says:

    I must be the only one who is not upset about DRM in the slightest. None of those things mentioned above would happen and if they did it would be rare, definitely not twice. Even if they did happen twice, I probably would have lost interest in the game by that point. It can’t be THAT big a deal if neither, Gamespot, IGN, OR Gametrailers even mentioned it…
    And I’m having a lot of fun with the game. Not buying it because of the DRM seem like a good way to miss out on a good game, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

    Just because they don’t mention something, doesn’t mean it’s unimportant, but whatever.

    And I guess you never go back to play old games again. So it wouldn’t effect you beyond the malware that is securom.

    Just imagine if Super Mario Bros. was like that. I’m sure you’ve played it many times over the years. Think about how irritating it would be if it said you couldn’t play it anymore because you installed it one time too many.

  62. Unknown8063 says:

    This kind of DRM scheme is absolutely unacceptable. Publishers are abusing paying customers by treating them like thieves. Online piracy is unaffected by these schemes, and indeed, get to run the software without corporate malware. The game was on the net before its US release. These DRM schemes are aimed at casual disk sharing but I feel inevitably hurt paying customers the most.

    The amount of installations should not be limited. As has been mentioned, it’s pretty easy to hit the limit of three. Simply upgrading computer parts will do it. New PC’s, fresh reload of the OS, or taking periodic breaks from the game by uninstalling it and loading a different game and you’ll reach the limit in no time.

    EA stated that only 25% of their customers activate their games a second time. And 0.5% activate their games a fourth time (by calling). This probably explains some comments above about 3 installations being plenty. I disagree and am glad a number of people do as well, even if only on principal. And who knows what those numbers are based off of – for a counter example, who here has loaded StarCraft more than 3 times.

    You are also totally reliant on EA’s activation servers. EA has shown us on their sports titles that they view the lifespan of their games to be about 2 years. After that time period they may decide the costs of running the activation servers too high and disband them. Reducing the number of activation servers could also happen before then and would cause the activation process to be unreliable and frustrating.

    I believe this was removed, but the game was originally planned with a 10 day phone home cycle. Meaning every 10 days the game connected with EA’s servers to verify you were authorized to play Spore. This is ridiculous and is a clear example of EA treating their customers as thieves. Spore is a predominately single player experience and should never have had such a requirement.

    It frightens me that this is the direction that PC gaming is going. Gamers should not condone this abuse.

  63. roadjcat says:

    lwelyk, you are right, just because they don’t mention something doesn’t mean it is unimportant, but if they don’t mention it, then how important can it really be? Yes, it’s annoying for some, but if it was really as annoying as everyone said it was, you’d think they’d mention it.

    And yes, I do go back and replay games. I’ve played the original Paper Mario about 11 times. If someone told me that I couldn’t play it again, yes, I admit I’d be pretty upset. But to me, sticking with the Paper Mario analogy, if you had to install Spore three times, to me, that would be like buying Paper Mario three times. You aren’t going to lose the game three times, and I don’t plan on having to install Spore three times.

    And I wasn’t around during the NES or SNES era, so yeah, Super Mario Bros. isn’t one of those games I’ve played a bunch of times, hence the Paper Mario analogy.

  64. lwelyk says:

    lwelyk, you are right, just because they don’t mention something doesn’t mean it is unimportant, but if they don’t mention it, then how important can it really be? Yes, it’s annoying for some, but if it was really as annoying as everyone said it was, you’d think they’d mention it.
    And yes, I do go back and replay games. I’ve played the original Paper Mario about 11 times. If someone told me that I couldn’t play it again, yes, I admit I’d be pretty upset. But to me, sticking with the Paper Mario analogy, if you had to install Spore three times, to me, that would be like buying Paper Mario three times. You aren’t going to lose the game three times, and I don’t plan on having to install Spore three times.
    And I wasn’t around during the NES or SNES era, so yeah, Super Mario Bros. isn’t one of those games I’ve played a bunch of times, hence the Paper Mario analogy.

    But the big sites DO mention it, just not in their reviews. It simply isn’t an accepted thing to mention in a review. Fine, it doesn’t effect YOU too much beyond possible messing up of your computer, but it does effect a LOT of people and there are easy alternatives, that wouldn’t piss off a huge amount of people. I’ve played many PC games, many times over the years, and this DRM is nothing but treating me the paying customer like a criminal. I’m going to stop discussing this with you now. It’s clear it is’nt something that’s going to bother you. But there’s still the fact that it does hurt paying customers, and it does help set a bad pattern. EA’s going to keep doing this. We need to tell them we don’t appreciate it.

  65. roadjcat says:

    The only point I was really trying to make was that it doesn’t effect everyone and it’s not THAT horrible considering it doesn’t bother some people like me at all.

  66. lwelyk says:

    The only point I was really trying to make was that it doesn’t effect everyone and it’s not THAT horrible considering it doesn’t bother some people like me at all.

    Okay, I lied. I am responding. IT DOES EFFECT EVERYONE! YOU NOW HAVE MALWARE ON YOUR COMPUTER AND YOU CAN’T INSTALL IT MORE THAN 3 TIMES. It does effect you, it just doesn’t bother you. And just because some people aren’t bothered, doesn’t mean it’s not that bad.

  67. roadjcat says:

    Okay, fine swap out the word ‘affect’ in the previous post and replace it with ‘bother’

  68. sheppy says:

    You know, I said it before, I’ll say it again. This was an inexcusable tactic when Sony did the DRM Rootkit on their audio CDs for the two weeks before they pulled the effort and it’s inexcusable now.

  69. Blaster says:

    Ah yes, the obligatory “I never had a problem with DRM” comments.

    Then you have never had to replace CD drives every year or less solely because the DRM programs (Starforce, SecuROM, etc.) push the drives beyond their operating limits and cause excess wear and tear. CD Drives were not meant to read erroneous faded, ghosted, refracted, whatever’ed data on a disc, just 1 and 0. They have to make several passes over the same spot, or read at a much slower speed, or all of the above, just to read the data, which the whole reading slow is a big problem, as the drive overheats from it.

    DVD burners may be $35 a piece, but imagine your $350 Blue-Ray drive being eaten by SecuROM. How much of a problem is it now? And let’s not forget Laptop drives. I can gut my laptop and replace my DVD+-RW for $60, but not everyone is comfortable disemboweling their laptops to DIY fix it. And you KNOW Geek Squad is going to charge lots of $$$ to do it for you.

    The DRM they use now is pointless. If you want a secure method to keep things from being pirated, you keep off the client side rubbish and you go for “online license” instead, like Steam. It just needs to have the game installation tied to the user account instead of relying on making sure a Genuine (R) CD is in the drive.

  70. Brandon says:

    Yay, Longpost is Looooooooooooooong. Wall of text warning.
    1. Just because it’s been done before doesn’t make it right.
    2. Spore isn’t available on Direct2Drive, which is a crappy service anyway compared to Steam who’s only validation protocal is occassionally verifying the copy online.

    http://www.direct2drive.com/4/6181/product/Buy-SPORE-Download

    Wow you dont research much on what you speak of do you?

    And the difference between STEAM and a individual copy of a game, is EA and alot of other companies don’t want to pay royalties to STEAM simply to use its client. And you have to install that POS steam client in order to install the games. I hate steam, it doesn’t do anything worthy other then allow me to download my games how ever many times I want, and its not secure. I still let my friend log into my steam account and download HL2 and play and that was it.

  71. TESTPERSON says:

    HELLO?

  72. Unknown8063 says:

    The DRM they use now is pointless. If you want a secure method to keep things from being pirated, you keep off the client side rubbish and you go for “online license” instead, like Steam. It just needs to have the game installation tied to the user account instead of relying on making sure a Genuine (R) CD is in the drive.

    For what it’s worth, Spore doesn’t require a CD in the drive to play.

  73. Blaster says:

    Then why does it have SecuROM? SecuROM is unneeded if there are no CD checks involved.

  74. lwelyk says:
    Yay, Longpost is Looooooooooooooong. Wall of text warning.
    1. Just because it’s been done before doesn’t make it right.
    2. Spore isn’t available on Direct2Drive, which is a crappy service anyway compared to Steam who’s only validation protocal is occassionally verifying the copy online.

    http://www.direct2drive.com/4/6181/product/Buy-SPORE-Download
    Wow you dont research much on what you speak of do you?
    And the difference between STEAM and a individual copy of a game, is EA and alot of other companies don’t want to pay royalties to STEAM simply to use its client. And you have to install that POS steam client in order to install the games. I hate steam, it doesn’t do anything worthy other then allow me to download my games how ever many times I want, and its not secure. I still let my friend log into my steam account and download HL2 and play and that was it.

    Oh well, Direct2Drive is terrible as well. And yeah, I don’t like steam’s version of DRM either, hence why the only steam games I own are Valve’s

  75. Mirby says:

    I pirated Spore Creature Creator… but removed it soon after once I got bored with it, which happened surprisingly quickly.

    Also, nice reference!

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