Posted by: Eddie | September 14, 2008

‘Spore’ and DRM

Recently I went to Amazon to see what the reviews on the Prima game guide for Spore were like, and whether or not I wanted to get it.  Unfortunately I couldn’t see real reviews of the book because the people reviewing it were sounding off about EA’s DRM.  Taking a look at the game (which was getting a terrible average review of ~1.5 stars) showed the same thing:  almost all reviews weren’t about the game itself, but about the DRM surrounding it.

It is legitimate to question the DRM, and bring that up as a facet of the game, but for those of us that don’t see that as the one and only feature of concern, it makes the whole Amazon review feature useless.  I am less inclined to take to heart an issue all these people are shouting about when they subvert something of potential use to me and other gamers in order to make their point.  It makes them seem less like people with a legit concern, and more like idealogues ignoring other people’s pathways of communication in order to trumpet their view at the cost of all else.

In addition, all the people who put their heart and soul into Spore deserve better than this.  So much creativity, so much effort, and so much innovation deserve more than to be simplified into some DRM scandal.  I don’t like the DRM either, but for me (and many other gamers) the effort and invention put into the game far outweigh this issue.

You can’t have a game with a massive budget come out these days without efforts made to protect it.  Assembling this large a team to work on the game means that whoever is forking over the money is also going to impose some attempts to safeguard their investment, and I don’t want to see the creators and developers and artists punished for that.  I also don’t want DRM to get in the way of my enjoying the game, but if you don’t buy the game at all, then your anti-DRM stance has already completely blocked your ability to enjoy the game far worse than the DRM itself ever could.

I don’t think everyone yelling about the DRM are pirates, I do have some sympathy for resenting the restrictions EA has put on the game.  BUT, they are letting you play the game without the disc in the PC, which is a huge step forward in my opinion, and I’m willing to live with it as is.  However, I don’t blame EA for the heavy DRM as much as I blame those people who feel entitled to pirate the game for free, without any consideration for those who’ve worked so hard to make it.   Rather than posting vitriol via Amazon reviews (and making that forum of communication near useless for those who want to use it to actually *discuss the game itself*), perhaps that vitriol would better be directed at your friend(s) you find out there pirating games.  Call them on it,  yell at them like you yell at EA in the Amazon forums.  If you don’t, then even if you aren’t pirating yourself, you are turning a blind eye to the real cause of the problem.

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