Electronic Arts had lots of plans with Spore. It was developed by The Sims creator Will Wright and one of the game titles of the "new" EA that did not simply shell out game update after update each year of the same series ripping gamers of their hard earned cash with mediocre games and official licenses.
Well Spore was destined to be different. If you look at the Amazon ratings of the game you currently see 723 reviews. 22 five star reviews, 13 four star reviews, 5 three star reviews, 18 two star reviews and 673 one star reviews. One star reviews are the lowest ratings possible for products on Amazon.
One could think that reviewers did not like the game and decided to give it a low rating at Amazon. This is apparently not the case. The majority of the reviewers are giving it a one star rating because of its DRM protection.
Spore has to be activated over the Internet so that the user can play the game. Electronic Arts first wanted to implement a DRM system that required regular authentications but removed that after huge protests broke out.
So every user has to activate the game over the Internet which is strange for a single player game. The number of activations are limited to three and users have to call (!) support for additional activations. Uninstallation won't give an activation back. If the user installs the operating system anew and the game afterwards that's another activation, even if it's the same computer.
We have also seen what happens if a company that sold DRM media turns off the servers that are responsible for the authentication. It happened to giants like Google Microsoft and Yahoo before so who can say that the EA game will authenticate in ten years?
I think it is interesting to see that a dedicated base of users can control the rating system of such a big company like Amazon. Amazon will probably remove most of the ratings as they have done in the past but it should keep a few users from buying the game.
Is it a good game? I honestly do not know and since I'm still on an EA games boycott I could care less.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.