Spore losing the DRM Fight


Spore
, the long awaited evolved version of Sim City by game genius Will Wright has a DRM problem. As of this post, there are 14 "1 Star" reviews versus six 4 and 5 star reviews, by people who said that they won't buy it (which admittedly isn't quite the same as a review of the game itself) because it has DRM:

Thus Spore now has an average of 2-stars on Amazon. The game as gotten good but not excellent reviews, so this is surely of concern for the makers as people will probably take the Amazon rating seriously and might not buy.

Is this a concerted campaign to shame EA (Spore's publisher/distributor) or a distributed disorganized consumer reaction against DRM itself? I tried Googling for "Spore DRM campaign" thinking I'd find a Defective By Design campaign about it, but couldn't find anything.

The moment concentrated actions like protests lead to dis-organized collective action and rebellion en masse is very exciting. If these are actual consumers acting in concert but without prompting from a centrally organized campaign then it means that our efforts at establishing DRM as an anti-feature have been successful.

UPDATE: BoingBoing and Kotaku both linked here (thanks) and Spore now has 144 "1-star" reviews, but is #1 in games:

72 comments
  1. [...] fighting back by saying “rate the game, not the DRM”, then rating it five stars. As Fred Benenson explains, “[t]he moment concentrated actions like protests lead to dis-organized collective action and [...]

  2. [...] only major complaint about the game I have (except for the DRM.. boo!) is that the minimap doesn’t change with your camera position or orientation in the [...]

  3. There's a real easy way to get around the DRM. If just one person installs Spore on a VMWare or Xenapp virtual machine, he could put the vm image on a torrent or website for everyone to download and play Spore.

    VMWare: http://www.VMware.com
    XenApp: http://www.citrix.com

  4. There’s a real easy way to get around the DRM. If just one person installs Spore on a VMWare or Xenapp virtual machine, he could put the vm image on a torrent or website for everyone to download and play Spore.

    VMWare: http://www.VMware.com
    XenApp: http://www.citrix.com

  5. I went to Amazon because I was intrigued by the game after playing the iPod mini-game.

    I almost never play computer games, so it's a big deal when I break down and decide to procrastinate from real life responsibilities to play them.

    I knew nothing about the DRM when I went to Amazon, and after reading a handful of reviews I figured it out and was absolutely horrified. I then left my own one-star review. Unlike some, I'm not just making noise. I intended to buy the game, but because of the assinine DRM policy, I will not.

  6. [...] public issue with it, and clobbered Amazon’s review rating: Spore: Amazon Product Review Page Fred Benenson’s blog explaining the issue. Spore [...]

  7. It now has over 2.3k 1 star ratings. giving it less than 2 star average rating on amazon. EA what have you done!

  8. Some of the reviewers on Amazon (the “Best” one for a short while) are also not being forthright in their disclosure.

  9. [...] Spore losing the DRM Fight [...]

  10. Spore - Wie man mit DRM den Gewinn schmälert…...

    Der Spiele-Publisher Electronic Arts hat es geschafft den Start eines der meisterwartetende Spiele zum Aushängeschild einer verfehlten DRM-Politik zu machen. Da das Spiel Spore schon seit langem von einer wachsenden Fangemeinde erwartet wurde, wollte ...

  11. [...] easily. That’s their nature. That’s what they do. Attempts to limit this ability piss off customers and positively entice people to pursue alternatives. Even when ideas and products are shared freely [...]

  12. [...] the weekend, dozens of reviewers bombarded Amazon.com with one-star reviews of EA’s Spore because of the game’s draconian DRM scheme, which limits consumers to [...]

  13. I've written about this as well. It isn't just restricted to Spore.

    Go and check out the Amazon reviews of Far Cry 2, Mass Effect, Crysis Warhead...all the same story.

  14. BoingBoing on spore reviewers Spore losing DRM fight Share! These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages

  15. Some of the reviewers on Amazon (the “Best” one for a short while) are also not being forthright in their disclosure.

  16. [...] the weekend, dozens of reviewers bombarded Amazon.com with one-star reviews of EA’s Spore because of the game’s draconian DRM scheme, which limits consumers to [...]

  17. hey... i have a question.... i bought spore but i cant get it to stop freezing!!!!!! any suggestions?? P.S. i have windows xp.

  18. [...] - DRM and You saved by chicolicious2009-01-20 - Spore’s DRM saved by jagal722009-01-16 - spore losing the drm fight saved by hijodelnoche2009-01-12 - Linux World, Day 1 (Tuesday) saved by davidsky2009-01-11 - Will [...]

  19. I agree , no more "advice" about DRM.
    COMPLAINING ISNT A REVIEW!
    It must be annoying , but then again , if you got spore and gave a copy to every kid in a class , they'd lose a lot more than $100 with only 3 downloads.....
    Plus , if any of you whiners have a better idea , i'd like to hear it.......

  20. [...] pirated game ever on BitTorrent.  Users carpet-bombed Amazon with 1-star reviews, kicked off by this blog post, sinking this well-reviewed game to a customer average of less than 1 1/2 stars.  Piracy gained [...]

  21. [...] downloading them.  In addition, DRM adds to the cost of development and causes losses from people refusing to purchase DRM-laden [...]

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