Spore, a Sim-like game about the evolution of creatures, was recently released as one of the most anticipated games of the year. Our initial impressions were high with the release of SporeCreator. However, Spore itself failed to meet our expectations. In the end, we found the game to be too simple for our tastes.
A major problem that plagued the release of Spore was the inclusion of a DRM system. This has caused multiple reviews of Spore to be disappointing for Electronic Arts (EA), the developing and publishing company of Spore. If EA hoped the problem would go away, it hasn't. Fans and "pirates" have taken things one step further to make Spore one of the most pirated games ever.
We Told You So
The DRM system included in Spore has caused an outrage in the gaming community. We stated in our review of the game that the DRM system would have to go if Spore wanted to succeed. Apparently, consumers of the game seem to feel the same way. As of today, Spore has been downloaded over 500,000 times on various bittorrent sites and doesn't look to be slowing down. The first 300,000 downloads of Spore happened after just one day of the game being released. These pirated versions of Spore remove the DRM system that users encounter when installing the game. While it's not uncommon for popular games to hit those type of numbers on P2P sites, it's unusual for it to happen so quickly. Currently, the game has been the most popular download all week on The Pirate Bay, one of the most popular and controversial bittorrent sites around.
DRM is Not the Answer
The Sims 2 currently holds the record for the most pirated game. Pirates and disappointed fans are looking to change that. According to the TorrentFreak blog,
[Spore's] download rate exceeds that of any other pirated game in history, and in a week or two from now it will be the most pirated game ever on BitTorrent.
Spore is still one of the worst rated games on Amazon. Since its release it has been given a rating of only 1 star by more than 50% of its reviewers. The majority of these ratings address problems with the DRM system. DRM is not the answer and continues to provoke "pirates" to release what publishers should have given to customers from the beginning.
There's no doubt that Spore would've been pirated regardless of the DRM system. However, users of P2P networks are now encouraging others to pirate the game in order to teach EA a lesson. A commenter on the Pirate Bay known as "deathkitten" stated,
"You have the power to make this the most pirated game ever, to give corporate bastards a virtual punch in the face."Unfortunately for EA, this is exactly what they're doing. We hope that EA will learn from this experience and the feedback of their customers.