The Weekend Gamer
Thoughts on gaming culture, living among non-gamers, and growing up in the nintendo generation

Is Spore’s DRM Scandal Such a Big Deal?

I’ve been completely intrigued by the fact that Spore is now the fastest pirated game in history, and largely so out of spite it seems.

I’m sure you’ve read the news by now–the DRM restrictions, the community outrage, the Amazon backlash, the pirates’ battle cries.  It’s simply unreal.  And now the inevitable “meh” by the gaming press.

On one torrent site, a user said this:

“By downloading this torrent, you are doing the right thing. You are letting [Electronic Arts] know that people won’t stand for their ridiculously draconian ‘DRM’ viruses…you have the power to make this the most pirated game ever, to give corporate bastards a virtual punch in the face.”

Powerful rhetoric, and representative of the general internet backlash that’s been thrown around in the last two weeks since Spore’s release.

Here’s the deal–digital rights management doesn’t work.  It certainly doesn’t deter pirates.  Instead, it punishes the common consumer by treating everyone like a potential criminal.

That said, there are honestly very few individuals who will be impacted by the restrictions placed on Spore by EA.  Whether 3 or 5 installs (+ extras if you call), it’s a hassle but the average user shouldn’t be affected.  For many users, by the time they purchase a new PC or reformat their hard drive that many times, they’ve moved on to some other game.

Part of me wants to join up with the pirates and say “yaaargh! down with EA!”, but the other part understands that this company wants to make money, and wants to take all necessary precautions to guard their investment in Spore.

Ever since the demise of Napster back in college, I’ve come to terms with the fact that downloading copyrighted material is stealing, whether it’s music, movies, or video games.  I won’t do it, but I can see why some people do.  It’s a tempting thing to be able to get your media for free, and this sort of criminal branding of the community by EA is just the sort of cloak to hide behind.

However, I do worry that if we continuously give up ground in this area as consumers, that publishers will take all that they can, and so for that, I’m grateful that the community has spoken up in outrage, because it seems to have given EA second thoughts about future titles.



One Response to “Is Spore’s DRM Scandal Such a Big Deal?”

  1. New Class Action against EA attempts to shut down DRM forever:

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