Spore gets a bashing over at Amazon

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 8, 2008
Updated • Aug 20, 2013

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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  1. drm hater said on September 14, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    amazon just wiped out most of the one star reviews saying that a glitch caused it !!

    i mean now they are trying to cover it up its pathetic, unless EA paid them…..

    hopefully a complaint to trading standards should fix things up quickly

  2. beano said on September 14, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    This drm is not! an attempt to stop piracy, it’s only purpose is to stop the completely legal re-sale market

  3. craig said on September 12, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    As of 9-12-08, all comments at Amazon have been removed.

  4. fm said on September 10, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Soon EA will get Amazon to gag the poor reviews.

  5. grommar said on September 9, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Actually there wasn’t a cracked or leaked version until the day the game was released in Australia. It happened pretty quickly as soon as it was out though.

  6. hal9000 said on September 9, 2008 at 9:36 am

    I’d like to agree, I didn’t even know the game existed until I saw a cracked version on the newsgroups a few days before release.
    Well done pirates

  7. VDrake said on September 9, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Also, look at game companies like Flagship, that didn’t survive a year. If they did authentication like that, it would have been terrible. Admittably, EA would probably keep it going, but still.

  8. Rarst said on September 9, 2008 at 7:08 am

    I saw crack for it on local resource even before I knew game was actually released.

    DRM crusade against pirates only benefits pirates.

  9. Womble said on September 9, 2008 at 5:25 am

    Honestly I don’t know if it’s marketing at it’s best but my impression of the game is that it’s average at best.

    I think the biggest problem with the game is the need to eat too often and the lack of benefit from alliances. Whilst wondering where your next meal is coming from maybe realistic it makes the game far to shallow too be any fun.

  10. Vince said on September 9, 2008 at 3:07 am

    The irony of this is that it will likely cause even MORE downloading of the game, which has been cracked without the need for online activation. When will companies learn?

  11. Streaker said on September 9, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Well, it is a good game. I played for a few hours today and enjoyed the hell out of it.

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