Gamers Go All "Cooper Lawrence" On Spore's Listing; Oh, the Irony

Remember awhile back when angry gamers stormed the page for Cooper Lawrence’s book with one-star reviews after she spoke out on Fox News against Mass Effect’s “full digital nudity” and “graphic sex?” Remember later how EA spoke out against the Fox News story? Then maybe it’s almost ironic that now EA is the one being subjected to a thrashing on Amazon. Following the release of Spore yesterday, gamers have taken to Amazon once more to express their outrage over the game‘s ridiculous DRM. Spore’s listing right now shows over 700 reviews that give the game a one-star rating, and almost all of those cite the copyright protection. I’ll just let one disgruntled gamer, Erich Maria Remarque, explain the issue:

First of all, the game incorporates a draconian DRM system that requires you to activate over the internet, and limits you to a grand total of 3 activations. If you reach that limit, then you’ll have to call EA in order to add one extra activation. That’s not as simple as it sounds, since when you reach that point EA will assume that you, the paying customer, are a filthy pirating thief. You will need to provide proof of purchase, reasons why the limit was reached, etc, etc (it has all happened before with another recent EA product, Mass Effect). EA, of course, is not obligated to grant you that extra activation or even provide that service. In a couple of years they might very well even shut down the general activation servers, because “it’s not financially feasible” to keep them running. What you will be left with is a nice, colorful $50 coaster. And you will be required to pay for another copy/license if you want to continue playing.

That certainly sums up the problem quite nicely. I do find it a little odd that gamers are just now getting upset about this though, since EA had said in the past that Spore and Mass Effect would use the same copyright protection; and Mass Effect had the exact same restrictive DRM. For their part, reviewers are also noting Spore’s less-than-spectacular gameplay as a factor too; but clearly the negative reviews are being driven by the DRM issue.

So now I guess we just wait and hope that EA sees the error of its ways again and drops this security feature in favor of one that doesn’t treat legitimate consumers like criminals. I have to admit, I was thinking about picking up Spore later today; but after hearing about this, I’m pretty turned off by the prospect of paying full price for a game that could cause some major headaches in the future.

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8 Comments on Gamers Go All "Cooper Lawrence" On Spore's Listing; Oh, the Irony

Colonel Slate

On September 8, 2008 at 2:25 pm

The game play in spore is lackluster, only if you have a lack luster creativity, this game isn’t for hardcore gamers, but it’s for the people that love to create, those people that played societies not for the game play but for the content.

I don’t find the gameplay lackluster at all, I love to create everything.

However, the DRM, well, damn, I mean, just damn… that’s all I have to say about that.


On September 8, 2008 at 2:38 pm

and that why i am not buying this game
it sad i had so much fun with the creature creater demo. if pc gaming is dieing which it is not it would because of mostly Ea DRM bull and a combation of pirating.

if i do buy it im gonna crack it which means no online but they get my money and i can play as many times as i want except i cant use all the features for a game i brought wtf.




On September 8, 2008 at 3:11 pm

The DRM in CoD 4 didn’t stop it from becoming a GOTY? I had to contact their support because apparently it thought AVG was pirating software, which had two accounts banned.


On September 8, 2008 at 3:31 pm

if it wasnt for the DRM or the slightly controversial nature of the game no one would even be talking about it, its like those obscure racing, lego, and Barby games, no one gives a about this game anyway


On September 8, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Wouldn’t it be nice if game publishers could get a real impression of just how much money they could make if they removed stupid DRM? Someone should develop a site that allows people to say they would buy X game if X DRM feature was removed in X time limit. Make the site ask for a paypal account and design it so that if the DRM is removed that person must buy the game. Then make the number of people who have signed up and their criteria to buy the game available to the publishers. This idea is probably pretty unfeasible, but it might be useful if something like this really existed.


On September 8, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Uhm, what’s not to like about it? It allows you to create your own empire from scratch, and torture, destroy, and completely eliminate any creature or animal.


On September 9, 2008 at 1:40 am

Edinburg says: Someone should develop a site that allows people to say they would buy X game if X DRM feature was removed in X…

There is such a site and it’s called
Write there and ppl will notice. The effect your review has on it would never have on any other site… So just get ative and don’t wait for others to change the Game world for you.

You can got to mass effect of any other DRM riddled game as well…

have a nice day… :grin:


On September 9, 2008 at 10:01 am

“Spore’s less-than-spectacular gameplay as a factor too; but clearly the negative reviews are being driven by the DRM issue.”

Well I hope the DRM issue wont be used as a way to hide the poor gameplay. Because if there weren’t any DRM, I wouldnt recommend this game to my friends, after having bought and played it. It’s boring. It’s too simple. Evolution means nothing in the game. It’s very far from the great thing it could have been.