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Spore DRM Protest Makes EA Ease Red Alert 3 Restrictions 486

Crazy Taco writes "The heavy protest of Spore's DRM appears to have caught the attention of executives at EA. IGN reports that DRM for the upcoming C&C: Red Alert 3 will be scaled back. Unlike previous Command and Conquer games, the CD will not be required in the drive to play. The online authentication will be done just once (rather than periodic phone calls home), and up to five installations will be allowed, as opposed to three for Spore. While I still think five installations is too few (I've probably re-installed Command and Conquer: Generals 20 times over the years for various reasons), EA says they will have staff standing by to grant more installations as necessary on a case by case basis. So, while this still isn't optimal, at least we are getting a compromise. Hopefully, if the piracy rate for the game is low, perhaps EA will get comfortable enough to ship with even less DRM in the future."
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Spore DRM Protest Makes EA Ease Red Alert 3 Restrictions

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  • by ccguy ( 1116865 ) * on Sunday September 14, 2008 @12:55PM (#24999023) Homepage
    They are just saying 'OK, Spore hurt too much and the customers are making too much noise. Let's use a smaller dick with the next game'.

    What they should do is be honest and describe the limitations in the box.

    -Warning: Zero resale value.
    -This game can only be installed 5 times.
    -This game will refuse to run when other applications are running or installed.
    -Some applications will be installed to verify playing rights. These applications will be running even when the game is not.

    Would that hurt sales? If they think they are offering a reasonable 'compromise' then they should just do it, and no one will have a reason to complain.

    If they think it would be suicidal to do it, then they know they are still fucking their customers. So expect no sympathy.
    • by LrdDimwit ( 1133419 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @02:20PM (#24999671)
      Agreed. They still programmed the game to self-destruct. On purpose. So it's still unacceptable; If there's even a chance that, should I want to replay the game in 10 years, but I pop the game in and can't install it, then I'm not buying it. And if your game isn't good enough I'd want to play it twice, it's probably not good enough I'd want to play it once either.

      Fundamentally, there is an important point with DRM on works of culture that's not applicable when applied to the things DRM is usually applied to. At work, for example, the provider of our middleware application has implemented license checks that could cause the same kind of issue. But a middleware app won't work cause it won't activate anymore? It's probably out of support anyway, time to move to a new version.

      Businesses don't usually need a particular version -- and if they do, and it's a big enough showstopper, the vendor comes out and does a hot fix so new-version does what old-version did better. (Yes you can, I've seen it. You just have to need it badly enough.)

      Games are different. Halo 2 is not the same as Halo. Twilight Princess is a very different game from Zelda 64. The "upgraded" original Star Wars trilogy cuts are widely seen as inferior to the original versions. Then there are games like Planescape: Torment, which is essentially unreleaseable (Interplay died, D&D license expired, uses 2nd edition, content wouldn't pass Hasbro's restrictions). So while enforcing obsolesence on middleware *might* be OK, it's definitely not OK to make video games that are essentially guaranteed not to work in 10 years.

      So nice try, EA. Good, but not good enough. Games have an aesthetic quality; a given game is totally unique and irreplaceable -- that's why we like them.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't see how they consider it "easing restrictions" by going from 3 installs to 5. That's the only change here. That you can play without the CD? So what? I can play a LOT of PC games without the CD (and even more if you count digital downloads). And that isn't easing anything anyway. Spore can be played without the CD and Red Alert had always been expected to be playable without a CD. Further, this "five installs" was in place for Red Alert BEFORE the whole Spore DRM issue. This is a non article, really

      • by claytonjr ( 1142215 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @04:15PM (#25000795) Homepage

        So nice try, EA. Good, but not good enough. Games have an aesthetic quality; a given game is totally unique and irreplaceable -- that's why we like them.

        How is this even considered a nice try? How is this considered good? It is not good. Its fucking pathetic.

        Not that I endorse it, but piracy exists for a reason. EA is just adding fuel to the fire, by treating their customers like they are crooks. As if the people that pay money, for this crap, can not be trusted.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cgenman ( 325138 )

        Can we have a DRM bill of rights?

        1. DRM will remain invisible to the end user unless they are attempting to pirate the game.

        2. The DRM system will be obvious, uninstallable through normal means, and will not make an effort to hide itself.

        3. DRM will *never* run when the game is not running. (Performance is bad enough without 40 versions of a poorly-written software running around.)

        4. DRM will never fail to authenticate due to the existence of tools with legitimate uses, although the DRM may require said to

    • by wondershit ( 1231886 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @03:30PM (#25000327)

      Very true. The answer remains no.

      Solar Empire has no copy protection at all and has sold half a million copies.

      There is something very wrong. I don't want to ask for permission to use something I legally bought. DRM server crashed? Sorry, no gaming for you today as it happened with Bioshock. There is absolutely no excuse for doing such a thing. Not piracy and nothing else. At least not in the way it is handled now (and I don't know of any unintrusive alternative).

    • by im just cannonfodder ( 1089055 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @04:44PM (#25001109) Homepage
      they are trying to destroy the second hand game market.

      have you read this? []

      FTA: Even on the same PC, extra copies needed for each family member who wants a new profile.

      As if there was any need to further incite angry gamers with Spore's DRM issues, The Consumerist yesterday ran a story on how -- in addition to the many other restrictions the game's DRM presents gamers with -- a copy of Spore provides you with only a single game account. In other words, if you've got multiple people in the same house who want to play Spore and have their own individual online personas, you'll have to buy an additional copy of Spore for each person.

      Forget what you may have read on the manual -- particularly that part on page 53 which reads, "You may have multiple Spore accounts for each installation of the game." An EA spokesperson going by the name "EA_Violet" has clarified questions regarding the matter on the official Spore forums, providing us this disappointing revelation:

      "That section in the manual was a misprint and will be corrected in future printings of the manual. There is one Spore registration/account per game/serial code so you are correct in that you cannot make multiple accounts at this time. I have sent your guys' feedback to the game team though since I can understand the desire to share a game on a system that you entire family uses."

      For a "misprint" the language seems pretty clear, and it is common practice for games to allow different user profiles so you can login and play with your own data/saves(naturally, with only one instance of the game running at any given time). One can't help but wonder whether this feature was removed so late in the process that the manual had already gone to print. Regardless, if this policy sticks after the game team reviews the feedback noted in the post it will only fan the fires of gamers frustrated with EA's handling of Spore. While we stand staunchly against piracy, requiring each member of a household to buy their own individual copy of the game seems like one of those policies that could backfire, driving people who otherwise wouldn't dream of it to potentially consider it as an alternative. But maybe this is simply an example of not having thought things through.

      Should it hold true, this revelation also calls the game's strict installation restrictions into question. If each game serial code only authorizes a single account registration that should render how many times you install the game fairly moot.

      We've contacted EA for a comment on the story but have yet to receive a response.
    • by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Sunday September 14, 2008 @11:44PM (#25005021) Journal

      What they should do is be honest and describe the limitations in the box.

      No, what they should do is stop fucking over their customers.

      Who's up for organizing a similar protest around Red Alert 3? I would like to think that we won't accept the "just throw 'em a bone" strategy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Benaiah ( 851593 )

      They customers wrote shit reviews for spore, and this is no fucking different. 3 vs 5 is not the problem. Even if it was a more reasonable 10 times, its still telling us the consumer that we are not trusted. And they want to shaft us out of value. Are we buying a product or a temporary license?

      The kind of shit these companies try to get away with just wouldn't fly in any other market. If you buy a Car from GM you can only fill the tank at BP or you have the engine wont start. Buy a vacuum cleaner, a

  • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday September 14, 2008 @12:57PM (#24999033) Journal

    No, securerom is a resident program on your computer, I should also not have to get permissions to install more than a few times. Spores limit of one account as well is ridiculous. I will not buy another game with securerom ever.

    • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:15PM (#24999169) Journal

      Damn,here they go,making sure i won't buy their damned game. Do they have ANY idea how much money we old guys have spent on the C&C games? I bought RA I&II,and C&C:Renegade. Then when I heard about the Decade Pack I went out and bought it since I wouldn't have to fool around and deal with a bunch of discs when I wanted a C&C fix. Now here I was,all jazzed up to buy C&C:RA3,and then they have to do that limited activations crap. There is NO WAY IN HELL I'm going to get on the damned phone and do a little monkey dance for EA just to install something I PAID FOR!!!

      I bet the pirates are laughing their asses off at the way EA is screwing themselves and turning off their customers with their limited activation "Secure Starforced Buttraper V2.0". It is like they are saying "Hmmm. Well we left a few customers able to walk after the Spore crap. Lets take something really cherished like C&C and stick it to them hard!". And lets face it: This has NOTHING to do with piracy,NOTHING AT ALL. This is about EA always hating the used game market. If you care anything at all about your right of first sale DO NOT BUY this game!!! I hope EA is happy,as I won't be buying another piece of software from them,I don't care if I found Spore and C&C 3 in the $1.99 bin. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

      • by Jorophose ( 1062218 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @02:08PM (#24999577)

        Then do things the right way, and flood their phones telling them they can't install their AIDS on your computer because they've hit their 0 install limit and need to beg YOU to get the game installed on your computer, or you're stealing it the proper way, cracking it, distributing it to all of your friends, and periodically calling them to let them know you're playing the game.

        Actually, do that more. Everytime you load up Spore/C&C/MassEffect, call EA and tell them, "hi, I'm playing your game". Bonus points if you let them know you're running a cracked version.

        Every time you play.

        S'about time you give them twice as much crap.

      • by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @02:18PM (#24999649)

        I agree, I think EA is blowing its own foot off. I spend a LOT of money on games. I spend a lot of money on computer games. I am in the process of building a new machine from scratch is basically a gaming computer spawned from hell. I like games.

        I also never pirate. The last time I pirated something I was 16. Buying things is quick, easy, and without hassle. Pirating on the other hand is a pain in the ass, time consuming, and risky. My time is worth more than what it takes to pirate. I have a large disposable income because I don't spend my money on cars, HD TVs, or anything like that. I'll buy a game if I have any interest it and I won't feel bad if I decide I don't like it. I have never resold a game. I am the perfect guy to sell games too.

        I won't be buying Spore, C&C3, or anything with this absurd DRM. I am not going to have a game install crippleware onto my computer, and then limit how many times I can install games. I have reinstalled Starcraft, Fallout, and Knight of the Old Republic more times than I can count. Hell, I will burn through three installs in under a year. I will easily kill 5 installs in a year when I make/buy a new computer.

        So, EA can continue down this path, but I won't go with them. It isn't going to stop piracy (as Spore has shown). If anything, it will increase piracy as the pirated version is the non-crippled version. So it won't stop piracy, but it will stop someone like me who merrily blows a few hundred dollars a month on games from buying.

        • by mpeskett ( 1221084 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @03:39PM (#25000431)

          Buying things is quick, easy, and without hassle. Pirating on the other hand is a pain in the ass, time consuming, and risky. My time is worth more than what it takes to pirate

          I have the exact opposite leanings. To go buy a game I have to go out to some shitty games store (the ones around here are all shitty, your mileage may vary) and that takes time out of my day. At the very least I have to go online and buy it, and then it takes a few days to arrive. Pirated copy... takes minutes to find a torrent, then I can leave it downloading in the background and when I come back later it's done

          Hell, it's not worth my time to not pirate stuff

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Firehed ( 942385 )

            That's great if you're fine with playing it in a few days, or maybe your torrent performance is always fantastic on all torrents. I grabbed the torrent of Spore, and after waiting for several hours while doing other stuff, it was still at 1% or so (I was averaging under 5kbps - yes, my settings are fine, other torrents can zip right along). I got fed up to the point where I just went out and bought the thing. Popped it in the drive, installed, done, playing before the torrent hit 5%, and played through m

        • by Smoke2Joints ( 915787 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @05:02PM (#25001255) Homepage

          i dont know about you, but piracy these days is a piece of proverbial piss.

          1) download iso
          2) mount iso, install game
          3) enter cd key in .nfo file included with iso
          4) copy crack from CRACK dir in cd root dir
          5) enjoy your game without DRM

          do the above, and you will have pre-2000 gaming experience with regards to copy protection. its amazing that these companies still actually think their DRM actually stops pirates. as i recall, spore was released to the pirate community days before the actual release. if it can be cracked, it will be. why punish the actual customers?

      • by Meagermanx ( 768421 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @03:41PM (#25000449)

        I'm sorry that you haven't been fully informed about the release of the new Command and Conquer: Red Alert game.
        While there is, indeed, a version with restrictive Digital Rights Management(DRM), there is also going to be another version completely free of DRM. I'll run you through a quick comparison of the features of both versions, so that you, the consumer, may make an informed decision regarding how to spend your money.

        Version 1.
        -Can only be installed 5 times.
        -Installs spyware on your computer.
        -Comes with box and manual.

        Version 2.
        -Can be installed any number of times.
        -Does not install spyware on your computer.
        -Will likely be released several days before Version 1.
        -Available for download from the comfort of your own home.

        Have a consumptive day.

  • by Bragador ( 1036480 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @12:59PM (#24999053)

    Hehe you know what I'd do if I had the game?

    Install it again and again, then call them to be able to reinstall it once a week (back up your saved games of course). Tell them it's because of windows and you had to reinstall it since some other unstable programs tend to screw the OS.

    Lulz for everyone!

    But they'd get the message ;)

    • by mxs ( 42717 )

      Precisely what makes you think they'll not tell you to go take a hike ?
      Precisely what makes you think that the rabid band of fanboys will cuss you out on forums when you report on this, because you obviously are a pirate ?

  • by sdhankin ( 213671 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:01PM (#24999071)

    I don't see how that affects their decisions. Spore has reportedly been pirated half a million times - how has the DRM changed that? All it's done is piss off the paying customers, who are being treated like criminals.

    DRM doesn't work against pirates. It only works against the honest people. When will companies learn that?

    • by Aereus ( 1042228 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:07PM (#24999109)

      To the contrary, I think it's probably driven MORE people to pirating the game just so they can say "screw you" to EA for the excessive DRM.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jorophose ( 1062218 )

        I was going to buy the Spore "Collector's Edition" if it wasn't for SecuROM. I'm sure I'm not alone. Even if most people would have waited for it to be 30$ or 20$, a lot of my friends were considering buying it. I told them not to, that we'll just get a cracked version.

        I don't think anybody who wanted to buy the game and knew about the DRM actually bought it. Or if they did they're running a cracked version and bought the game due to troll's remorse or received it as a gift.

      • Exactly. I was interested in this game and I surely would have bought it had I not learned of the DRM issues. Thank goodness for all of the outcry and press on this otherwise I might have fallen into the trap. I'm not much of a gamer, but the reviews of this game made we want to get it (the complaints hard-core gamers had of it actually made it appeal to me). I like how Will Wright's games are about "playing" rather than "winning".

        But the DRM issue made me reconsider. I surely wasn't going to just buy

    • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:39PM (#24999339) Journal

      Because this has NOTHING to do with piracy. I repeat: NOTHING at all to do with piracy. This is a plan by EA to take out the used games market [] and take away your right to first sale. So if you care about your right to sell games you no longer want then DO NOT buy this game or Spore! Until EA removes ALL the limited activation crap and gives us back our right to first sale I will no longer buy ANY EA game. No MoH,No Madden,nothing. And if enough of us do that then we can fight EA where it hurts:in the wallet.

      Also be sure to stick bad reviews pointing out the limited activation DRM into Amazon and every review site on the web you can find,because I would have gotten "Spored" if I hadn't noticed the negative reviews and I'm sure I'm not alone. If we don't then every other company will see EA get away with it and think they can do it too. Do you WANT to have to sit on the phone for hours doing a little monkey dance for all the different game companies when Windows borks? But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        Hey, it'll work great! The used market for Spore is going to be stillborn. Of course, it hasn't done the new market any good either....

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      If they get a lower piracy rate to sale rate with Red Alert 3, it will tell them that DRM harms sales. Simple.

  • by Ambiguous Coward ( 205751 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:06PM (#24999105) Homepage

    Hopefully, if the piracy rate for the game is low, perhaps EA will get comfortable enough to ship with even less DRM in the future.

    That's not how it works. If the piracy rate is low, they will herald their measures as a success, and it will only serve to increase the amount of DRM in the future.


    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by cliffski ( 65094 )

      says who?
      Ea aren't retards, they are the biggest games company in existence. They PAY for the RDM, and for their customer service reps. if they think they could get away with ditching DRM tomorrow they would. Personally, I think they *could* ditch it tomorrow, and not hurt sales, but they seem to disagree.

      Anyway you look at it, jerks like that kid on thepiratebay saying "everyone make this the most pirated game ever!" are NOT going to get DRM removed.

      The success of stardock and similar companies will do mor

      • by cliffski ( 65094 )

        gah, should be DRM, not RDM. bloody lack of edit thing :D

      • They PAY for the RDM, and for [...]

        Restrictions Digital Management; riight... Use grammar French much?

      • Please note: I made absolutely NO claim that the contrapositive of my original statement is true. That is, I claimed that decreased piracy DOES NOT induce decreased DRM. I did NOT, however, claim that increased piracy DOES induce decreased DRM.

        The simple fact of the matter is that NOTHING induces decreased DRM. DRM is both the inevitable future of media, and the inevitable doom.

        Yeah, it's a bummer.


    • If they decrease DRM, and sales go up and piracy goes down... Now yeah, some business guys are dumb... but the obvious conclusion is...

  • a small victory. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    it's a step. keep protesting and keep pirating and one day we'll see a more consumer-friendly business model.

  • by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdot.davidgerard@co@uk> on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:28PM (#24999275) Homepage

    No airtight DRM is possible (and Spore's already been cracked). But content producers are so obsessed with absolute control that they'll beg people to take money to sell them snake oil. Of course, this always works []. Yeah.

    Others speculate the real target of game DRM is to kill the second-hand market []. But, of course, that does no good when the competition is the cracked copies. Piracy: The Better Choice. []

    • I never actually understood the executives obsession with the 2nd hand games market. The amount of re-investment there has to be huge. Everyone I know that sells their games just goes and buys new games with the money they collected. Sure there will always be "leaks", and ultimately it probably does cost them a tiny bit of revenue, but judging by their reaction you would think that they would fold tomorrow if everyone could sell their games..... Seems like a case of cutting off the nose to spite the fac
      • Record companies loathe and despise the second-hand market too. The first-sale doctrine never did go down well with them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:30PM (#24999283)

    The version I just got off of usenet didn't ask me to... oh, nevermind, that's right, DRM is only meant to piss off ACTUAL customers.

    I'll be enjoying my drmFREE game now. kthxbye.

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:33PM (#24999311) Journal
    Having to have a CD in the drive is a minor inconvenience. Easily solved (put the CD in the drive. any legitimate user will have one).

    Having to call EA to persuade them to let you install the game a sixth time is a potential inconvenience. EA may not exist in a year or two. I might still want to play the game if EA doesn't exist! We're still leasing. Just because we're leasing on more generous terms doesn't mean we're getting a better deal. They've clobbered any potential resale value.

    If piracy is low, EA will assume this works and use this scheme every time.

    Pirate this as well!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by UncleTogie ( 1004853 ) *

      Having to have a CD in the drive is a minor inconvenience. Easily solved (put the CD in the drive. any legitimate user will have one).

      I see... Just how how many copies of ONE game should I buy due to disk wear?

      I had to buy ANOTHER copy of C&C:Renegade to replace the disk worn from years of use... just so I could PLAY the game I supposedly had rights to play. I wish people would quit assuming that the only people that use no-CD cracks are those that're pirating the game.

      • The number you need to call to get your installation revalidated isn't free, from the UK your looking at something like £1/£1.50 a minute to get you perfectly legitimate copy of a game working.

        People on slashdot have frequently complained about about Windows activation which ues a free number (no matter where you are) asks you 2-3 simple questions (how many machines is this installed on, why are you reinstalling and where did you get the disc) and can be gotten through in roughly 4
        • by cortana ( 588495 )

          It seems fairly straightforward to invoice them for your resonable costs in phoning them up. If they don't pay, take them to small claims.

    • I can see a tiny bit of a case for the CD-check (though quite honestly, no, I do not agree with it -- it's YET ANOTHER thing that pirates don't have to deal with. If you have kids, you will definitely not want them to handle unprotected (physically) media too much -- the scratches will be a killjoy; Legitimate owners of games have been using NoCD-patches for AGES; it's ineffective, it inconveniences your customers (the ones that PAY you for the game, no less), etc.

      The leasing is not really on any "generous"

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      Having to call EA to persuade them to let you install the game a sixth time is a potential inconvenience. EA may not exist in a year or two.

      The DRM has been cracked already by pirates, like every other game. So not really a problem if EA or any other game company goes belly up.

  • by DingerX ( 847589 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:37PM (#24999325) Journal
    Because there are reports circulating [] that Spore actually has five activations.

    In any case, "relaxing to five" is still a kick in the crotch, or would be if EA didn't censor that part of my creatures.
    • Since it's server side, I'd imagine that you just have to configure a number in a file or table to change the number of activations ; perhaps Spore and Red Alert are on the same database?

      Three activations was widely speculated to be the door-in-the-face, with five "not sounding so bad".

      OTOH, Stardock did things the right way ; they got me to fill in a survey (I said - No DRM!), and gave me a 20% coupon code, which encouraged me to buy a game that isn't even released yet. Now that's the right way to market g

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:42PM (#24999379)

    Limited installs is not acceptable. I am off to cancel my Red Alert preorder and leave a nasty review.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2008 @01:51PM (#24999447)

    "Hopefully, if the piracy rate for the game is low, perhaps EA will get comfortable enough to ship with even less DRM in the future."

    It's NOT about piracy, it's about removing the ability to transfer your game to someone else (used game sales, lending to a friend, etc).

  • Ah, the good old Baid and Switch trick, but this time done in reverse.
    First they try to force-feed us with some outright horrible DRM, and now they try to sell us a slighly lighter variant of this DRM as an "improvement".
    I promised myself never to buy a DRM laden "can't ever resell" game. That's also the reason why I never bought HL2 or Bioshock. If I BUY a game I want to OWN it, and not only be able to install and/or play the game at the publisher's pleasure.
  • by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @02:00PM (#24999515)

    Why is it we still have silly piracy protection like starforce and securom? Just the other day I was fighting with Crysis, it suddenly would hang when launched. What was worse was that damn securom CD icon that hijacks your mouse cursor wouldn't go away until a reboot. So what did I have to do? Go to game copy world and download a patched "no DVD" exe for a game I BOUGHT WITH MY MONEY! Now what is sad. The execs should pull their heads out of their asses and see that they are wasting dev time and money with buggy and possibly destructive DRM. Piracy cant be defeated with silly cd check mechanisms, cd keys, phone homes, or dongles. It just doesn't work and will be cracked within days. Please stop screwing us after we already paid for the software.

    Fuck EA and all their studios that bow under pressure to "protect" their IP. Spore sounds like an amazing game but that will be marred for many who have to fight with suckrom constantly crashing. Looks like another legit game that will have to be cracked to work. And ONLY 5 installs? What happens after 5 years if I want to play again? Will there be someone at an EA support desk to give me a new key? What if EA goes under? Unbelievable.

    • by Aereus ( 1042228 )

      I spent 6 hours trying to get Brothers in Arms to run "legitimately" on my PC after buying it. I eventually gave up and downloaded the no DVD crack to get it running. Quite sad.

      • Why even buy it?

        Pirate version on Piratebay is pre-cracked and works 100%.

        Your paid for version doesnt work 100%.

        • Perhaps he has this archaic belief that people should be compensated for their efforts? That if no-one paid for games, there would be nothing but homebrew? Perhaps he enjoys playing games with high production values?

          I personally think it's a shame that many of the developers whose games I enjoyed in the 80s have folded, because the ones that are left are benefitting from their hard work. I was never going to buy games back then because I had no disposable income. Now I don't hesitate .... except when confro

          • ---Now I don't hesitate .... except when confronted by this kind of DRM.

            Thats precisely what I mean.

            There's NO, and I repeat, NO reason to financially reward any company that uses anti-customer software against them. I still get it and use it. They just dont get my money.

  • What improvement? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BarneyL ( 578636 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @02:03PM (#24999541)
    Spore gave us infinity minus three too few installs.
    Red Alert 3 will give us infinity minus five too few installs. Not an improvement in my book.
    I don't think the install limit is really about piracy anyway, it's a method to force you to buy the game more than once and to prevent you from buying it second hand.
  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @02:17PM (#24999647) Homepage

    Everything on RA 3 is exactly the same as Spore, except with a 5 instead of a 3. Nothing has changed. Its clear that EA doesn't get it, and they'll need a few games to completely bomb before they do.

  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @02:22PM (#24999681) Homepage Journal

    EA says they will have staff standing by to grant more installations as necessary on a case by case basis. So, while this still isn't optimal, at least we are getting a compromise.

    This is like a rapist saying that instead of anally violating you, he'll settle for oral. It's a shitty compromise.


  • EA says they will have staff standing by to grant more installations as necessary on a case by case basis. So, while this still isn't optimal, at least we are getting a compromise. Hopefully, if the piracy rate for the game is low, perhaps EA will get comfortable enough to ship with even less DRM in the future."

    No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.

    COMPROMISE? Yeah, instead of renting a game for 3 installs, you're renting it for 5. WELL WHOOPDEEDOO. I'm not paying for what amoun
  • Boycotting DRM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Artemis3 ( 85734 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @03:23PM (#25000247)

    Unless DRM is dropped, I'm not buying games anymore. It was painful enough to deal with "CD must be in drive" hoping for a good no-cd crack to be released by the community; but now this... XP style activation? Limited number of activations? Unacceptable.

  • It still will be using SecuROM, which blows out your DVD drive, to the point of not letting you play the darn game if you have a DVD-writer that falls under certain conditions.

    The problem is not authentication and so on. The problem is the DRM software is inherently broken.

    Also, the DRM in Spore actually breaks the game: you can only have one Spore account per copy of the game. So your little brother can't have his own account, contrary to what it says in the manual. This is solely an adaptation because of

  • For the first time, we have had the slightest impact on a manufacturer by spreading the truth.

    I bet you anything I know what the next step is.

    Within a year, mentioning DRM problems in a review on Amazon will be cause for removing your comment.

    In the meantime, they will just chalk up their drop in sales to pirating.

    Bend over, it's on the way.

  • It's All About (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @03:58PM (#25000627)
    It's all about one thing. Absolutely killing the rental and resale market. You can't even give it to your kid brother when you're done with it.

    Be honest! Spore is nothing more than a very expensive rental game now -- not a purchase.

    And the only way to make this all go away is to absolutely refuse to buy their product because other manufacturers will follow suit.

    I've never pirated a game, but if I wanted to try out Spore I'd pirate a cracked copy of this one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rsmith-mac ( 639075 )

      This is definitely true, but it's worth nothing who is being targeted here. It's not the consumer EA is going for, it's the retailer that EA is after. Gamestop and their ilk, who up until fairly recently have largely been traditional retailers, have heavily gone in to the used game business. It's very profitable for them, they buy a game for pennies and then resell it for MSRP-$5, pocketing a nice profit in the process.

      The Entertainment Software Association and its members have taken great offense to this,

  • Can one install this game in a VM so as to limit the spread of its DRM to just that VM? If not, then there's yet another reason not to buy.
  • by houbou ( 1097327 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @04:14PM (#25000793) Journal

    The last 2 big games I bought was Doom 3 and Return to Castle Wolfenstein.. and the expansion pack for Doom 3.

    And that's been a while, I know, I know.

    But whatever the protection on these games are, I certainly don't mind. Got to register, have the CD in the first time, that's pretty much it.

    But paying for a game, and having the amount of times I can re-installed it controlled is not good, and forcing the CD in the game at all times, without being able to even make a legitimate backup isn't good either.

    I will never buy games like that. This DRM is causing pirating in the first place, that and the high cost of the games.

    Because I loved the Doom franchise, I didn't mind forking out the 70$ back then, when it came out. Same for Wolfenstein, although as I recall, I only paid about 45$ for the game.

    But in the end, when a game is more than 30$ for PC, Unless it's got a killer review and I mean a KILLER review, I will more than likely not going to buy it and no matter how cheap the game is in price, if I have to suffer that level of DRM, such as limited amount of installs and having the CD in at all times, I'm keeping my money and spending it on console games like the Wii.

    Anyways, that's how I see it.

  • EA management (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gaspyy ( 514539 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @04:20PM (#25000825)

    Sometimes I get the feeling that the management of a company seems determined to undermine their position and drive their company to the ground... ... or maybe the EA execs never played a game in their life.

    Take Red Alerts' main competitor: Starcraft. There are people still playing it, now, more than 12 years after its release (and I understand there'sa huge community). I still have Red Alert 1 on a shelf and I actually played it a little last year, just for the good time's sake.

    I have many games I cherish, despite not having a lot of time to play. Last month I replayed Lucas Arts' Full Throttle (through Dos Box).

    Limiting a game to 5 installs is more idiotic than limiting a movie to 5 viewings (I don't watch again 90% of the movies, and there are only 1 or 2 I saw 5 times) and I doubt that those who actually bought Spore were fully aware of the implications. Not to worry, they will learn. And when they do, EA will have less customers...

  • by FSWKU ( 551325 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @05:25PM (#25001509)
    It's time to use Big Content's methods against them. Will Wright and Maxis should file suit against EA for illegally damaging the sales of this game through the use of malware. Find every 1-star review of the game that pledges not to buy the game on every online retailer that carries the title. Treat EVERY one of these as a lost sale. Is it really a lost sale? Probably not. But if they want to argue that 1 download = 1 lost sale, then they should adhere to this as well. And since merely giving money equal to the sale is not enough, according to the industry, set the damages at some arbitrary level. Let's say $5000 per lost sale due to DRM issues. From Amazon alone, that should be about $10,000,000 USD in damages.

    If the content industry wants to ruin people's lives under the assumption that downloading games/movies/music inderectly harms the artists that create them, they need to be held accountable by the same rules. People refusing to buy due to publisher meddling is DIRECTLY harming the artists and developers in this case. They (the publisher) need to either admit that they were wrong and greedy, or be painted with the exact same brush they seem to want everyone else painted with.

    Someone needs to send a message to these assholes that treating your PAYING CUSTOMERS like criminals will NOT be tolerated.
  • Hypothetically. (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhotoGuy ( 189467 ) on Sunday September 14, 2008 @07:39PM (#25003029) Homepage

    Hypthotically speaking, from what I've heard about the game, even my youngest (6) would enjoy the game (and would even progress this past weekend to the start tribes level herself). My second youngest would also love the game, and make it even further than that, loving the game. My 15 year old would also enjoy many hours in the game. Myself and my girlfriend would also have truly enjoyed the game, and make it to the tribes level, although not as far as my kids, and are looking forward to playing it further. All ages would seem to enjoy the game, and find value in it. Hypothetically.

    If it were sale for $30, and no silly DRM, we would have bought a copy, but we didn't. The online game play looks very interesting, but with the DRM we won't bother to find that out, sadly. The torrented version (I hear) plays fine for single player, with no authentication hassles.

    I bought Half-Life 2 a few years back, when I was living in a small cottage. Years later, no chance in hell of finding the box, my son asked me to play the game. After failing to find the original discs, I started a torrent going (I mean at least I could, hypothetically), but remembered that along with the lost boxed copy of Half-Life was an associated Steam account. I guessed at my probable username/password, and got in successfully. I realized I could now not just download patches (which used to take forever on my satellite internet in the boonies :), but I could also install the whole game from scratch. On multiple computers in the house. (With four kids, mobility between the PC's is very helpful). I ended up installing it on four different computers. We never used (and presumably couldn't) use more than one copy at once. That's fine. We weren't looking to abuse our purchase. We weren't looking to run more than one copy at once. We just wanted to play our one copy, when and where we wanted, and Steam allowed just that, and with very fast downloads. We had many, many hours of enjoyment going through the levels together, taking turns. If they had chosen EA/Spore-like DRM, this would have never happened. That has a *huge* amount of value to me.

    Plus, there was a fair bit of additional content (forgotten highway, Counterstrike, etc...) that weren't in my original box. And some pretty reasonably prices for some additional promotional games they had running.

    To even lump Steam into the pile of steaming DRM out there seems insane to me, when I see someone criticize it. It lets me download and play the game I bought, anywhere, anytime, even though it's a big honkin' game.

    I wish EA would wake up and smell the roses. Steam has proven that license management doesn't have to be offensive to users, but they still persist. Such a waste, especially for such a cool game. Sure, check my account's validity and in-use status when I run it (no two-copies-at-once for a single account) but let me download and run it from anywhere. I'm happy, you're happy. It's not freakin' rocket science in this day and age...

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas