Image from elvissa…if you believe the Amazon reviews. Out of approximately 1400 reviews, over 1,300 rate the game with 1 star, most complaining of draconian DRM. Electronic Arts’ DRM for Spore prevents users from installing the game more than 3 times (even on the same computer, after upgrades or HD crashes, for instance) without a call to EA support, and possibly purchasing another license.
At this point in the digital age, how can EA not understand that DRM is a bad idea? If you don’t give fans content in the way that they want it, they will go elsewhere for it. EA is shooting itself in the foot and turning one the most anticipated games of the year into a potential PR debacle.
Following last month’s development about the computer gaming industry suing families who downloaded games without paying in the UK, it seems the computer game industry has learned nothing from the mistakes of the RIAA.
Game pirates in the UK face penalties of nearly 10 times the cost of the games (£300, about US$525) to settle out of court or risk a repeat of the £16,000 (about US$28,000) decision handed down to one unemployed mother of two.
While I don’t advocate piracy, there must be a better way for the industry to deal with this problem than extorting court settlements from their fans or imposing unreasonably limited DRM.