Monday, September 8th — Spore’s DRM Problem

September 9, 2008

Today I Learned…

…that EA might have a problem.  Spore, Wil Wright’s new masterpiece game (and something that I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced in 2006), has some pretty heinous DRM (specifically — SecurROM).  I found out today that opponents of DRM in general and the particularly harsh version of it that SecurROM represents have organized a flash mob of sorts to give the game 1-star ratings on Amazon.com, hoping to force EA to drop the DRM provisions in the game.

It remains to be seen whether they will be successful.  If they can infiltrate enough big retailers, EA might end up taking a big enough hit in the wallet and on the PR front that they’ll change something.  I think it’s unlikely.

For me?  It’s a bit of a moot point.  Since I’m not running Mac OS X Leopard yet, my laptop can’t run Spore — and I don’t own any of the next gen consoles (although a game like this really should be run on a computer).  Although even if I could run it, the problems with SecuROM would give me pause.  The problem isn’t that I disagree with the central premise of DRM — which I do — but rather that there are serious issues with SecuROM (detailed in the Wikipedia page linked above) that need to be addressed by its adherents.  EA is far too powerful in the video gaming industry to be allowed to use sub-standard methods like this.  Who knows?  Maybe if there’s enough public outrage they’ll start making better Madden games too.

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