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Many consumers pirate Spore to avoid DRM

Spore, the new evolution game from Electronic Arts, is one of the most anticipated and hyped games to be released in recent memory. Electronic Arts implemented a strict DRM (Digital Rights Management) copyright protection called SecuROM that limits the number of computers the game can be installed on to three. This limit can be increased if a consumer calls customer support.

The fan backlash was very negative and swift as thousands of people rushed to Amazon.com to give the game a one-star ratings causing Amazon to temporarily disable its user review system. Comments such as “Draconian” and “Insult to legitimate customers” flooded the comments section.

Electronic Arts responded to the criticism in a Gamasutra article claiming the three computer limit was designed to address the needs of the majority of consumers while still limiting piracy. According to Electronic Arts own statistics, less than 25 percent have activated Spore on a second PC and less than one percent asked to activate on a third PC. As of September 12 -- when the Gamasutra article was written -- there were 453,048 activations of the Spore Creature Creator alone. 77 percent activated on only one machine, 23 percent activated more than one, and only 1 percent of users tried to activate on more than three machines. These arguments from Electronic Arts appear to miss the point as the backlash is occurring over the fact there is any limit at all and not the number of PCs you are limited to.

Electronic Arts also argues the DRM system saves consumers the hassle of having to have a disc in the drive using a onetime online authentication system as an alternative. In the Gamasutra article, Mariam Sughayer of EA's corporate communications said, "EA has not changed our basic DRM copy protection system. We simply changed the copy protection method from using the physical media, which requires authentication every time you play the game by requiring a disc in the drive, to one which uses a one-time online authentication."

Sughayer compared Spore's authentication to iTunes, which has a similar DRM system that limits the number of computers content purchased from iTunes can be played. She also stressed that installing the game doesn't transmit user information any further than as a "fingerprint" required to authenticate a user, and reports that it installs spyware or malware are "absolutely false."

In addition to Electronic Arts, Maxis also responded to the criticism on game website GamingSteve. Caryl Shaw, online producer for Spore sent GamingSteve a note repeating many of the same points pointed out by Electronic Arts:

  • We authenticate your game online when you install and launch it the first time.
  • We'll re-authenticate when a player uses online features, downloads new content or a patch for their game.
  • The new system means you don't have to play with the disc in your computer. And if you are like me, always losing discs, this will be a huge benefit.
  • You'll still be able to install and play on multiple computers.
  • You can play offline.

One ironic statement released to the gaming community by Electronic Arts stated, "You can install the game on three computers – at your office, at home or for your family. What you can’t do is make and distribute a thousand copies online." This is exactly what is happening as stated in a Torrentfreak article; many would-be buyers have chosen to pirate the game because of the invasive DRM.

On Saturday, Torrentfreak wrote that the game had already been downloaded more than 500,000 times on BitTorrent sites. This download rate exceeds that of any other pirated game in history, and in a week or two from now it will be the most pirated game ever on BitTorrent based on Torrentfreak statistics.

For comparison Crysis, one of the best selling PC games of this year has only been downloaded 420,000 times since it was released in November 2007. Although the record breaking piracy of Spore cannot be attributed solely to consumers rejecting the DRM implemented within it, it most likely helped.



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Do EA Execs know anything?
By Proteusza on 9/15/2008 11:56:55 AM , Rating: 5
How much did this DRM cost EA to implement? Lets ignore the backlash over it for a second. Lets just focus on how much cash they had to hand over to SecuROM (was it?) to have this security. And how much money it costs to keep the licensing server going, and the customer reps who will undoubtedly have to deal with "I upgraded my motherboard and now I cant play Spore anymore" type queries.

They spent all that money... and it still got pirated. Heck, as far as I know it was torrented before it was released. Thats a lot of money to throw down the toilet. Even if you ignore the fact that consumers plain dont like it, it seems like a massive waste to me.

Which piraters is it going to deter? Even your average gamer knows enough about BitTorrent to download a copy of Spore. Who is it stopping? How much piracy does it prevent? And to state the quite obvious point, how many sales has EA lost because of it?

Smart thing to do would be to release a patch that removes the DRM. But we all know that isnt going to happen.

Note, before anyone jumps at me, I dont agree with piracy, and I agree that companies should be able to use means to protect their property (not that they have to use them). DRM is one of those. Nevertheless, I dont believe that DRM needs to be so onerously restrictive as this. You can have your cake and eat it.




RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By MrHanson on 9/15/2008 12:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
Same thing happened to me with Mass Effect. The game kept crashing on me and I reformated my hard disk 3 times after installing different components trying to pinpoint the problem. Once I figured it out I installed the game for the 4th time and it would not let me run it. I basically have a $50 coaster now. All it says on the box is that an internet connection is required to play the game. It says NOTHING about the 3 times activation limit. If I would have know that, I would have NOT bought the game. Why can't PC game software publishers adopt USB software keys? Would it be to costly?


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By othercents on 9/15/2008 12:22:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Why can't PC game software publishers adopt USB software keys? Would it be to costly?

Maybe easy to copy.

Off this idea you can have 1 key that a game code is registered too only requiring the key to be inserted and no need for internet access. That key can't be in two machines networked at the same time otherwise both keys become invalid. The key can be a one time purchase for each game manufacture, or just a standard USB flash drive that gets setup with the manufacture information allowing for multiple manufacturers on one key.

They keys can be imbeded with hardware addressing kind of like the MAC address for the network card.

Other


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 4:13:59 PM , Rating: 1
USB keys with ROM containing a unique key would be the best DRM solution. That may be too expensive for a game though, and any DRM scheme would mean cost pass to customers.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By MrPickins on 9/15/2008 5:47:44 PM , Rating: 1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongle

Still in use for some software. May not be a bad idea for A-list games.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 6:09:44 PM , Rating: 1
Well I can see them being useful for multi-thousand dollar software, but not for a game which sells for $50. The hidden cost passed to the customer as a portion of the game cost would be too high.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By mattclary on 9/16/2008 8:02:47 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I use LightWave which costs about a $1000 new, used to cost $2500. It's an effective measure that lets you use the software on any machine you want as long as you have the dongle with you. I love the software so much I have it's logo tattooed on my right shoulder. The software is on version 9.5 and I paid to upgrade for every version since my original purchase of version 6 about 8 years ago.

But guess what? Just like every other piece of software out there, a cracked version is easily obtainable, yet, since I really love the software and the community of fellow users, I pay for the software. Upgrades are in the neighborhood of $400.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By johnadams on 9/16/2008 11:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
Dongles are crackable, albeit a little harder.

The problem with e.g. USB dongles is that you only have that many USB ports. Imagine if all software are protected using dongles, you'd have dongles sticking out of every usb port and usb hubs etc. As with any hardware, dongles can be physically damaged. What to do then?

Every software will remain crackable until maybe when quantum computers go mainstream and they encrypt the whole platform, preventing crackers from running debuggers and breaking into memory. But even then, I bet some genius would be able to crack it. DVD Jon FTW!


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By inighthawki on 9/15/2008 9:58:17 PM , Rating: 5
I've got an even better idea than yours. How about issuing each copy of the game with a unique "cd-key" which you need to install the game, and a simple authorization to play online...It's so brilliant, it's like I've seen it before!

But in all seriousness, if you have a good game, then it will sell. If you have a good game and load it with anti-piracy crap, its not. People don't like dealing with problems. Every computer is different, to each their own problems. Look at some of the best games out there. UT2004 was a high seller for a long time. Simple cd-key check, and it didn't even require a cd to play! yet it outsold many many other games simply because it was good. I find most of the better games out there are the ones that are easiest to crack, only because they cause less problems.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Megaknight on 9/15/08, Rating: 0
RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By mattclary on 9/15/2008 1:10:39 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Why can't PC game software publishers adopt USB software keys?


They have done this, but they use the CD as the key instead of a dongle. And yeah, it would probably add to the cost significantly, while not being any more crack proof than requiring the CD to be in the drive.

Requiring the CD to be present is a good solution IMO. It stops casual piracy with the least impact on the customer. Having a game dial home for authorization (even once) is a no-go for me.

My (deleted) review of Mass Effect from Amazon:
quote:
This game comes with three activations via the internet. I still play Planescape: Torment which was published in 1999 (9 years ago). Will you be allowed to activate Mass Effect in 2017 (9 years from now)? This system is more about limiting your ability to resell the game you purchased than preventing piracy.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By rbfowler9lfc on 9/15/2008 11:39:16 PM , Rating: 2
Why not make the game RUN from the USB key? With flash prices close to free nowadays, designing a custom crypto ASIC and placing it all on a stick wouldn't be prohibitively expensive.

It sounds stoopid, and it would be like the modern version of game cartridges, but it would sure slash the downloaded content piracy.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By lagomorpha on 9/16/2008 1:36:57 AM , Rating: 2
"Why not make the game RUN from the USB key?"

This would cause hour long loading screens for most games, and severely limit what the developers can design into the game itself.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By JoshuaBuss on 9/18/2008 12:12:23 PM , Rating: 2
how do you figure? even 4gb usb keys are available for a pittance these days.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By mattclary on 9/16/2008 7:56:34 AM , Rating: 4
Like any other DRM scheme, this would be easily thwarted. There comes a point where developers have to realize that as much as it sucks, their games will be pirated by a certain subset of people. I don't advocate game piracy and I don't do it, but it IS going to happen and you can't prevent it.

The best move is to make it just difficult enough that Joe Sixpack can't make 10 copies for his friends in 10 minutes, but not in-your-face enough to tick people off. If it's a good game, people will buy it.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Drexial on 9/15/2008 1:30:24 PM , Rating: 5
I like Vales answer. No CDs, no hassle with keys, easy purchase system, and if my computer crashes 10,000 times; I can hop right back into my account get the games again and play.... hell I don't even have to reinstall them disk by disk. I log in and it gets them and installs them for me. I have actually repurchased games that have since been released on steam just so I didn't need the disk anymore. Though now that I think about it... I never did try using the keys from those games. ehh the id super pack was totally worth it.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By ImSpartacus on 9/15/2008 2:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. It's nice. You think I'm getting Spore? Nope (unless I get bored one day and pirate it). Left 4 Dead is about all I'm goin for.

Dead Space is another game that will probably be locked up. I really wanted that one too.

Same thing with Crysis Warhead...


By StevoLincolnite on 9/16/2008 3:16:57 AM , Rating: 3
A friend bought Spore Galactic Edition for about $139.99 here in Australia, which is a large amount of money for a game.

The issue was that, He doesn't have the internet, nor does he want it, thus he was left with a $140 game, that although his computer is more than capable of running it, was let down by the reliance of the activation thing.

In the end I downloaded a crack which "Emulated" everything required to run the game, and whacked it onto a USB drive and took it around, the sad part about it, is that the copy protection really did piss us both off.

I probably wont buy the game, nor would I pirate it, after seeing the Cell and Creature stages, allot of the content we were promised is missing (Seems like an occurring theme in the video game industry), like swimming in the ocean before you climb on land.

Perhaps Evolva 2 might go into production one of these days.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By robinthakur on 9/16/2008 5:57:29 AM , Rating: 3
OK, this makes me really angry, and what makes EA unpopular.

I was actually going to buy Spore when it came out, then I read about this DRM thing. The short answer is that while I could quite easily pirate it, I'd rather send a message to EA in my own way. I won't download it and I wont buy it . Some of you might well say "EA doesn't care about your money when a million more people will buy it instead", but I'm saying to you that if EVERYBODY puts their collective foot down on this extremely high profile game and declares that they will not be treated in this way, EA will in future reconsider this folly. Don't pirate it, you don't need to, just don't give EA a single dollar of your money.

Buying a legitimate copy should be more convenient than waiting for hours to download the game from a torrent site shouldn't it? I reformat and rebuild my computers alot and 3 activations is a ridiculous number. I don't like the idea of calling EA to beg them that I'm not a criminal and I plain dislike the presumption of guilt here. Plus the fact that I don't like the whole dependency on EA to stay reliable and solvent for my ability to play the game. I still play Dreamcast games or old SNES games from time to time and my enjoyment of a game does not necessarily dove-tail when EA decides to stop promoting or selling it.

SEND A MESSAGE TO EA. DON'T BUY IT.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By ElBrujo on 9/21/2008 11:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's the logic! I find it ironic how people are pissed, and how they think a boycott will improve the state of PC games (especially ones that cost a lot to produce). Here's another approach: DON'T PIRATE!

I know how many people who read this site have a legitimate gripe because they actually change out hardware quite a lot, but the truth is that we are in a very small minority ( < 1%); it's really not a huge deal to be limited to 3 installs with the option to call and explain why you really need the 4th or 5th installs (which actually should just disable the 1st and 2nd installs to keep the total down to 3). Personally I'd rather do that than have to switch out discs, but I'd guess that the end effect is that the PC games market is going to dwindle to just a few games a year while XBOX and PS3 games are going to thrive, as well as get more expensive.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By BansheeX on 9/15/2008 2:42:44 PM , Rating: 3
And yet the online model completely destroys the used games market, making it impossible to get a cheap used copy or resell the game when you're done with it. Online everything also makes for a rather boring Christmas. "Oh, sweet, a voucher code enabling its recipient to one online copy of Crysis! Thanks dad!" Not to mention the whole account phishing problem that online ownership restricted to an account creates, or the inconvenience (at least on console) of having to download something on your friend's box to before you can play your game. Because even though you can log in to your account from your friend's box, the data itself was installed on your HD but not his. None of this nonsense exists with physical ownership, but the DRM is indeed getting ridiculous.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Sazar on 9/15/2008 7:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
How?

Valve has brought back classics like the old-school Doom games, for example, to a widespread audience at a very reasonable price.

Just wait for some of their weekend specials and there you go.

Agreed there are some issues with phishing but if you employ some basic security methods, the overwhelming majority should be just fine.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By jtesoro on 9/16/2008 4:41:22 AM , Rating: 2
I think what's lost is the ability to sell a game you bought at full price in order to recover some of your money back.

Buying old games at reduced prices is good, but if this is all you do you'll always end up playing old games.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By BansheeX on 9/16/2008 9:00:14 AM , Rating: 2
Look, I don't mind it for dirt old stuff that was originally $10 or less and is pointless to resell. But to buy online copies of brand new games just seems dumb to me. When I was done with my PS2, I sold the games and used the revenue to buy a PS3. Many of the games had become quite rare and sold for more than I had paid for them. You can't [i]do[/i] that with a digital-only model that prohibits resale. I do think there is going to be a push for this, because with no resale market, publishers can eliminate second-hand sales that they make no profits on, everything will be first-hand. You're essentially paying full price for the privilege to play. I don't like it. Some extremely lazy people with a lot of money might be all over it. I'm not.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By icanhascpu on 9/15/2008 8:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think the no CDs thing is a bad idea. We need a hard copy of things we buy. We also need to be able to either have the ability to copy them to new media.

Why? Becuse technology changes. In ten years of so, you may be hard pressed to find the same structure Valve is today, or an optical drive that supports legacy CDROM.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Polynikes on 9/15/2008 1:41:06 PM , Rating: 4
You know your DRM is working well when it drives customers to NOT buy your product.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By akugami on 9/15/2008 4:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
If by "well" you mean it is cumbersome and punishes your paying customers then yes, it is working very well. If by "well" you mean pirates are still cracking it within days (or even before) of release, then yes, it is that also.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Tesseract on 9/16/2008 4:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
And if by "well" you're being sarcastic, it is that too.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Noliving on 9/16/2008 2:36:14 PM , Rating: 2
Why in gods name would you reformat without uninstalling a game that has a limited activation before hand. It even says during installation that you need to uninstall the game before reformatting to make sure you get one of the activations back.

You do realize you can get your activations back.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Nik00117 on 9/16/2008 4:13:24 PM , Rating: 2
Thing of what happens when your PC blows up? When a HDD goes down? Etc all of those things happen. How am I supposed to predict that on my way to a LAN party I dropped my PC down my stairs and now have to rebuild it? O shit maybe I should uninstall all my software before I move, do anything and then the next day reinstall it. In fact I think I should do that as my normal practice of shutting down my PC. At night I uninstlal my game, save my files next mornign I reinstall. That way I can waste hours my life.

Fact of the matter is you need to make it so that idiots can't priate your games. Believe me theres a lot of them. However don't overstep your bounds don't require an authetication system for your users.

Unqiue CD keys are fine, CD in CDROM is fine too.

Each and every company needs to understand this your games iwll be priated bya select group of individuals regradless. Don't waste your time and effort cause even if you did find a way to stop those individuals from priating your game they still won't buy then you loose busienss because you ticked of a few legit cusotmers. On top of this you spent money developing a technology which in the end cost you more in sales then it stopped priates. Companies be careful on how you tread.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By AlexWade on 9/15/2008 12:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
DRM does not stop piracy. At best, it slows it down, but that is the BEST case scenario. The only ones DRM does is screw the innocent consumers. The pirates are going to pirate no matter what. To them, DRM is like a mosquito: a small irritation at best. (Don't dig too deep into that analogy.) To everyone else, DRM is like a police state: you are guilty until proven innocent, and even then you still may be guilty.

DRM should be banned. But the ones backing DRM have enough money to buy lobbyists. So, we the law-abiding consumer, are screwed. I am glad I am boycotting EA. I would even donate money to a grassroots effort to ban DRM or bring expose EA.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By BladeVenom on 9/15/2008 1:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed! The game was cracked and on all the torrent sites a week before it was on store shelves. DRM did not stop piracy; it didn't even slow it down.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By stburke on 9/15/2008 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
I know in my case (I'm not sure how this applies to everyone else) I usually may pirate a new game. For example Spore, like what I see and then go out and buy it. It's almost like a demo.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Hellfire27 on 9/15/2008 5:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the pirates even care what they are doing. They are destroying the industry they hold so dear. In ten years when all of us are forced to play video games on sub par consoles because its not longer profitable to make computer games, they will be sorry. I, and many others, belive that computer gaming is vastly superior to consoles on many levels. If things keep up, we will lose this privilege for good.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By icanhascpu on 9/15/2008 7:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
Youre dense.

The thing destroying it is the stupidity of these companies not understanding how the human being works.

Most of us, pirate and otherwise, will pay for EASE OF USE. We dont want BS 'protections'. We want to have an easy time, buying our serial, loging into our account -anywhere- and playing our game.

These games should be protected by accounts, not DRM. The real worth in these games is the serial coupled with the login to authorize the serial as lagit. The CDs are wothless and thats what they are trying to protect. They have lost touch with reality.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By CloudFire on 9/15/2008 8:50:48 PM , Rating: 2
nothing is being destroyed. the same thing happened when VCR's first came out with the ability to copy tape or record shows, people thought everyone was going to pirate, it didnt' happen. when the CD-R drives came out, people thought no one would buy music anymore. etc etc...

point is, pirates will always pirate, but that would not stop the normal consumer from buying what they think is right and that is why all the industries are in business today (music, games, movies on VCR/dvd/whatever)

imo, the pirates are the people who wouldn't even buy the product in the first place and it's free to them, so why not, but that is not the same with everyone.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By AE3Wolfman on 9/19/2008 12:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
I've always thought the same thing about pirates. To me, there are 3 groups of pirates. The 1st group is the ones that like you said would not have gotten it in the first place but did because its free. The 2nd group are the ones that can not afford to buy many games and just download them. The 3rd group, I fall into this one, downloads the game to test it out and then decides whether or not to buy based on that.

Does DRM stop piracy? It's a expensive joke that takes most crack groups a few hours to circumvent and the costs go to the consumer. The only company making money off of this is Securom. At least it's not as invasive as Starforce is.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By JoshuaBuss on 9/18/2008 12:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
i think the consumer choices are being heard quite well.. the games that are selling well are the games with the least restrictive DRM models and generally the highest quality content.

look at how well blizzard and valve are doing, and look at how little DRM is involved with their products.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Mitch101 on 9/15/2008 1:07:49 PM , Rating: 5
I agree can anyone name an item that was prevented from being pirated by using DRM?

To Pirates DRM is merely a speed bump driven over in a short amount of time. Once the DRM is circumvented its game over. According to another site the Spore hack was out a week before the game.

If Anyone should be sued it should be secure rom for selling an item that doesn't prevent anything. Secure Rom and other forms of DRM are the real pirates stealing money with false promises of securing a title that are nearly instantly defeated. Yup keep dumping money into DRM its working somewhere I'm sure it is.

As I read on another site the thing EA might have been most afraid of was people eventually selling thier old game. Ok if you don't ever reduce the price of the game yes you probably make a market for people selling thier used games in time.

So far the only people complaining about DRM are those who legitimately buy the game. Im sorry should we use Lease there?

Pirates - DRM Never a problem.
Secure Rom - Making tons of cash on false promises of protection.
Legitimate Purchasers - Alienated because of their purchase.

Besides anyone who has bought an EA title knows they tend to turn off their online play rather fast so Spore today but offline tomorrow.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By stburke on 9/15/2008 1:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
Or more like a stop sign that I run, only to regret it later when I get pulled over.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Mitch101 on 9/15/2008 1:45:17 PM , Rating: 2
No need to pirate if you have patience.
http://www.gogamer.com/

Subscribe to their 48 hour madness mailings.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 1:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
What they effectively killed is the resale and rental market.

You cannot in this system rent such a game nor sell it as a 2nd hand game.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Gzus666 on 9/15/2008 8:19:20 PM , Rating: 2
Please tell me the last time you have rented a PC game. Also, when was the last time you sold a PC game? I have done neither, not sure about you.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By xsilver on 9/16/2008 5:18:17 AM , Rating: 2
those two markets are huge and EA/game companies can cash in on it but instead jump on DRM and high game prices.

Scenario 1) high game prices, DRM up the wazoo, high piracy, many choosing to rent / buy used, few sales, medium profits

Scenario 2) cheap game prices, no one needs to pirate/ rent or buy second hand, high sales - medium profits AND GOOD PR!

Im surprised that they dont at least try one good game on this second scenario format - the last game to have come close to this was serious sam, but instead they need to do it to a more GA type game.

The reason why we dont see scenario 2 take place is if the game sucks then cheap prices will combine with low sales = lost $$. Well EA and the like should be concerned more about making good games then the $$.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By AnnihilatorX on 9/16/2008 6:38:58 AM , Rating: 2
Actually not many companies rent PC games here in the UK because of copy issues.

However there is a successful 2nd hand trading market here.
I have sold 10 or so PC games in the past year.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By AnnihilatorX on 9/16/2008 6:38:59 AM , Rating: 2
Actually not many companies rent PC games here in the UK because of copy issues.

However there is a successful 2nd hand trading market here.
I have sold 10 or so PC games in the past year.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Ratinator on 9/15/2008 2:16:50 PM , Rating: 4
Now that would be an interesting stat to see. How much money is lost to piracy vs. how much money it cost EA to implement the DRM (testing, licensing, hardware, phone support....all things related have to be factored in).


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By JustTom on 9/15/2008 7:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
It would be interesting to see. However, no one would accept the numbers. EA would say they were too low, pirates and those who support them would say the numbers were too high.

EA must think they make more sales because of DRM than they lose. I am tempted to think they are right.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By neothe0ne on 9/15/2008 10:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
It would not be interesting because it would be impossible. Pirated downloads of games != a lost sale.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By JustTom on 9/15/2008 11:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
A study certainly could be done on how piracy affects software sales, it is hardly impossible. No matter how rigorous the methodoly no one would be happy. EA would claim every pirated copy was a lost sale; pirates would claim they were never going to buy the software in the first place. The truth would lay somewhere in the middle. Such a study would be incredibly difficult, expensive, and impractical but the results certainly would be interesting.

While each pirated copy does not equal a lost sale certainly some of them do. How many and to what extent DRM lessens piracy thus leading to increased sales compared with how many sales DRM causes to be lost would be very important to know. Especially to EA. I certainly would hope that their management is not instituting DRM just to piss of customers, that there is a certain belief that doing so causes increased profits.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By jtesoro on 9/16/2008 5:26:57 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure EA did their math here. How much they would gain vs. how much would lose. In their assessment, they think it is best for them to put in DRM. We may or may not agree. But it is their business, so it is their call. The market will reward or punish them, and they'll have to live with it one way or another.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By TSS on 9/15/2008 3:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
not to start a conspiracy theory or anything... but c'mon, you have to admit their helping piracy much more so then stopping it. and i can't imagine nobody ever checks a newssite at EA so they must know what their doing is doing everything but stopping piracy.

so what's their motive? are they looking for an excuse to go console only or something?


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By PWNettle on 9/15/2008 3:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm totally against piracy and I pay for my software. The DRM stuff drives me nuts because it does nothing to stop piracy. All it does is punish paying customers.

There are far better ways of dealing with the issue other than intrusive and customer unfriendly DRM.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By 9nails on 9/15/2008 4:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
Ditto here. I also am against Piracy and Pay for all my software. And I take issue to the fact that the legitimate software that I purchase treats me as the pirate by placing arbitrary restrictions on my use of the title. The majority of the time these restrictions are NOT presented at the time I purchase the title. Once I open the box and learn about the DRM restrictions, I'm forced to agree to them since I cannot return opened software to any retail chain outlet. This is unfair and drives me to download my own software titles through pirate channels so that I may recognise fair use.

I was really looking forward to purchasing Spore. However, all this DRM buzz has me turned off. There is a large market for me to spend money on, I think I'll go elsewhere with my dollars.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By omnicronx on 9/15/2008 4:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How much did this DRM cost EA to implement?

Probably much less than the 30 million less money they wouldnt have made, had it been pirated as many times as Crysis, which was about two legit users for everyone pirate.(and thats just via torrents)


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Keeir on 9/15/2008 5:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Probably much less than the 30 million less money they wouldnt have made, had it been pirated as many times as Crysis, which was about two legit users for everyone pirate.(and thats just via torrents)


Problem is, Spore has already been pirated more times than Crysis.

In fact, I could have obtained a pirated copy of Spore at no cost and without DRM BEFORE the offical street date of the title.

Way to go DRM!


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By omnicronx on 9/16/2008 7:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Problem is, Spore has already been pirated more times than Crysis.
As I have already explained, they only have more downloads. If you actually consider how many people bought the game (2 million Spore vs Crysis 1 million) and that 500k Spore downloads and 420k crysis downloads, Crysis is really a more pirated game with almost one third of Crysis copies being downloaded illegally. Spore is a more popular game, but you can't just merely compare the two directly without taking ratios into account.

So was the DRM successful? In my eyes yes, because a larger percentage of people legally bought the game.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By piroroadkill on 9/16/2008 10:16:22 AM , Rating: 2
They bought it because it was hyped and sought after for a long time


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Gzus666 on 9/16/2008 10:18:10 AM , Rating: 2
If you believe that, then I have a rock to sell you that keeps tigers away. I promise that as long as you wear it in the US, no tigers will attack you in your day to day life, excluding the zoo.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Gzus666 on 9/16/2008 11:08:40 AM , Rating: 2
Oh yea, almost forgot where that was from. Remember the Simpsons episode where the bear came into the city, and then everyone freaked out, and Homer said "we need to do something about all these bears". This then spawned The Bear Patrol, which was of course ridiculous, but Homer of course attributed the lack of bears to The Bear Patrol, when in fact, it was clearly cause bears coming into the city are very unlikely. In case you were wondering, you are Homer in this situation.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By omnicronx on 9/17/2008 9:38:24 AM , Rating: 2
You are just making yourself out to be an idiot. You can't prove your point so you bring up Simpsons quotes. Numbers don't lie, although obviously I can not prove that DRM stopped some piracy and resulted in more people buying spore with 100% accuracy, but I can make an educated guess based on the numbers. Now if you have a comparison between two recent best selling games in which one employed DRM and one did not, I am all ears, until then keep your stupid comments to yourself as you are the one making the baseless comments not me.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Gzus666 on 9/17/2008 10:21:32 AM , Rating: 2
Once again, how does not being able to install the game on more than 3 machines stop piracy, when the game was available for simple download for a week before it came out? You are making baseless claims, I have asked for proof. The fun part about debating is if you bring a point forward, it is your responsibility to prove said claim. So far, I have seen nothing but beating around the bush. I'm sure it hurts to see your baseless claim laid to waste by something as simple (and entertaining) as a Simpsons episode, but here we are. Numbers do lie, and are twisted in many ways to do so all the time.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By omnicronx on 9/17/2008 11:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Once again, how does not being able to install the game on more than 3 machines stop piracy, when the game was available for simple download for a week before it came out?
I never claimed that the 3 time install limit would stop anything, but limiting your serial number to only one EA account does. And once again? Please show me where someone once asked me how the 3 machine rule would stop piracy, and where I was beating around the bush.

I have been supporting the right for a dev to employ DRM in general if they think it will help their bottom line, which in tern should help shift the balance of power back to PC games. Developing for PC and not porting from consoles will benefit everyone, from gameplay to advancement in graphics, PC development is crucial for not just the PC industry but the entire gaming industry. The best technologies have always tricked down from PC, it would be a shame to have that process come to a standstill because it is more profitable to sell games on hardware that is out of date compared to a PC in less than 2 years.

And what does the game being available early have to do with anything? A leak is a leak and has nothing to do with the DRM employed.

quote:
The fun part about debating is if you bring a point forward, it is your responsibility to prove said claim
I have.. many many times on this entire board in numerous places.
quote:
Numbers do lie, and are twisted in many ways to do so all the time.
Well unfortunately for you the world turns on the interpretation of numbers, obviously you don't agree with it, but it appears EA does, and they think they will make more money as a result.

As for my previous post, I should not have made it personal and attacked you, it just irritates me that people justify their actions of pirating a game because there is a hard install limit, without taking into account the effect that piracy has on the market, and how it will effect us all in the near future.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Gzus666 on 9/17/2008 11:55:41 AM , Rating: 2
Like I have said, anyone can download the game without issue, and has been since a week before they could even buy it. My point is not that is was a leak, but that it was free, and still is. Any moron can download the game for free, saving them $50 AND the hassle of dealing with install limits and game keys, sounds like a great reason to do it to me. Once again, I have paid for the game, I had my copy at 11:01 when I walked into Gamestop the Sunday it came out. I currently am having no trouble with playing it, but in a year, I have a feeling that will change. Chances are, I will either download the hacked copy, or use a crack if I find one so as not to have to deal with it. I paid for the game, screw them. You haven't proved anywhere that the DRM they used stopped piracy, and it would be lunacy to say it did, cause it clearly did not. EA also thinks that people shouldn't be angry about it, so is that true? Cause it appears the majority of people hate it, and this could cost them customers galore, is this good for business?

Last I checked, I can copy DVD movies all I want, and you can download them online with ease, yet they are still making money. People still go to the movie theater, people still buy copies of the movies, people still rent movies, people still stream movies from pay sites. The people who pirate don't usually plan on buying the product anyway, so it is a silly to try to claim that it will stop them.

People will always steal, there is always a group that will, and there is no getting around it. No matter how secure you try to make it, it will be stolen, that goes for any product. That is why you pay extra at any store for the padded price they put in for theft losses. Whether the theft goes down or not, you still pay for it, that is life, no matter how unfair it may seem.

EA is trying to stop people who would never have bought the game in the first place from taking their game? Doing this at the cost of customer convenience, and future playability? Warcraft III didn't have this crap, neither did Diablo 2, seems like Blizzard can release games that are hits without any of this crap, and do just fine, why does EA need this? They don't, EA is a worthless company, and I honestly have no pity on them for the loss of customers they will reap.

As for the personal attack, I really don't care that much on that front, and if the quote I used seemed like an attack on you, it was not meant that way. Merely an example.

As for the numbers, lets say 85% of people with cancer have had cheese within a year of when they got it, does that mean cheese causes cancer? If you look strictly at the numbers, there is a good chance, but if you take everything into account, no way, that would be just jumping to conclusions. This was just an example, and the numbers are not real. In that same way, you can't directly compare Crysis to Spore, as there are too many factors involved that won't allow a direct comparison.

Intentions are usually good, but not always as well thought out as we hoped. I love PC gaming, but this isn't the fix to get it back, it is companies like Blizzard that keep it going, we just need more like them, since they can only put out so many games.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By omnicronx on 9/17/2008 12:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
You obviously do not get what my argument is here.

Bottom line, Single player PC gaming is dying and this will effect every aspect of gaming. We used to be 10 years behind the movies in terms of graphical capabilities, and that number is slowly increasing as development shifts from the latest and greatest hardware, to a closed system setup in which the industry only has to react every 4 to 5 years when a new system comes out.

This is a step backwards, and will not help anyone. Sad part is, it is not like developers are struggling for cash, PC gaming consists of 15% of the market and sales only increase each year (and by a large amount). But because Developers are finding that they can make a lot more money in a system in which every owner needs to have his/her own copy of a game, it just does not make sense to invest more into the PC industry.

I am not really Pro-DRM, I am pro advancement in technology, I want to see real life images on the computer screen in 20 years. Unfortunately with the current conditions, it just does not look like this is going to happen. The result will be more and more people moving to consoles, as the main reason why I loved the PC as a child was because both the graphics and game play far surpassed that of a console.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By wempa on 9/17/2008 12:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think a lot of the people here are not against DRM .... just against overly restrictive DRM. I see no reason why they couldn't have adopted a better approach such as serial number + original CD in the drive.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Gzus666 on 9/17/2008 1:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, it seemed to work just fine.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Gzus666 on 9/17/2008 2:30:22 PM , Rating: 2
Then we agree on that, I would like great advances in computer gaming and for it to be around. The problem is, if we condone this crap they are doing, where clearly it doesn't help, they will just keep doing it. And honestly, who are we losing on the computer front? EA? Big friggin' deal, I am pretty much at the point where I won't buy a game they make or produce. They are greedy, and generally suck for the gaming industry. They have pulled down many a great developer. I don't see computer gaming dying like I see so many say, because Nvidia and ATI and maybe even Intel if their GPU dreams come true, all have a stake in computer gaming, and I am quite sure it makes them more money than supplying for the console market. Three giants, I doubt they will let that happen.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Proteusza on 9/15/2008 5:54:59 PM , Rating: 2
Given the amount of people that have pirated it anyway (even before it was released!), and the amount that are avoiding it because of DRM, I find that hard to believe.

So wait..... you are saying that DRM, even needlessly restrictive methods like this, result in a net increase in sales? Really? People will buy it rather than face the wrath of the DRM? When they can just pirate it and avoid it all?


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By omnicronx on 9/16/2008 8:02:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
People will buy it rather than face the wrath of the DRM? When they can just pirate it and avoid it all?
Most people don't care, you are really on your high horse if you think that DT users account for the general gaming population. Sure some people will be deterred, but in the end for EA, chances are that this DRM helped their sales, which regardless of your feelings of EA, they have spent years preparing for this game , which is not the norm for EA games.

I can't seem to wrap my head around why everyone thinks that the average persons biggest concern is DRM when buying a game. When I go to buy a game I care about one thing, going home and playing that game... not worrying about how many times I can install it.


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By Chocobollz on 9/24/2008 2:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
I've found this is funny:

quote:
I can't seem to wrap my head around why everyone thinks that the average persons biggest concern is DRM when buying a game.


The answer would be simple, because you already answer them yourself! See below..

quote:
When I go to buy a game I care about one thing, going home and playing that game...


That is exactly why people against DRM!! It is simply because those DRM is the one who wouldn't let you to just go home and play the game, because the DRM would require you to connect to the internet and activate the game. If the process goes fine, then you're lucky! And you must've realized that, that is the best case scenario, if you accidentaly get a problem with the authentication, then you're gonna get a headache, and all those headaches could be avoided with current common approach (using serial-number & CD).

quote:
not worrying about how many times I can install it.


I think, yeah, most peoples wouldn't think about how many times they could install it, but like I said before, things are sometimes went wrong, and when it gets wrong, I think most peoples wouldn't want to get more headaches. That's why most peoples went against DRM, simply because when things goes wrong, it'll give them more headaches than when they're using the common authentication approach (by using serial-number + CD).


RE: Do EA Execs know anything?
By kelmon on 9/17/2008 7:00:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And to state the quite obvious point, how many sales has EA lost because of it?


I can't say for certain but I can say that I am not buying the game because of this. I honestly don't mind having to have the CD in the drive, and I don't mind copy protection being employed, but I do get the hump with having to authenticate my purchase with a server. Perhaps SecuROM is better but I've had a couple of duff experiences with WGA in the past and I'm not going through that crap for a video game.


I know I'm in the minority here but...
By Crota on 9/15/2008 1:30:28 PM , Rating: 1
I do believe EA has a right to protect their IP and try to make a profit. Are there better ways to deter people that are as effective? Probably, but this is the best EA could come up with for now, otherwise they would have used the better plan. I am tired of people using DRM as a reason to justify why they will download and essentially steal. In my mind, its the same as trying to shop lift from your local super market just because they installed video cameras/alarms at the doors. I also think it is silly when people use the statement, "I wasn't going to buy the game anyways so they are not losing any money." As you steal only what you don't need/really want, but that is for another time/topic.

For all those who try out the game and then decide to buy it, you are few and far between and you make a good point that consumers should now have the ability to test out a game, perhaps in a limited fashion, before you buy it. The nice thing is, many producers do just that, with Spores Creature builder, Crysis' amazing level one demo, and all the open betas that you can use to test a game out, with limited content, before you decide to buy it.

EA spent a lot of time, energy and money to create what many to believe a great game. EA should be rewarded for that effort. This boils down to EA doing something that was "unpopular", but by no means wrong, and the gaming community claiming moral outrage and deciding to steal in reponse.




RE: I know I'm in the minority here but...
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 2:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
You are missing the point.

The point is DRM only serves to screw legitimate paying customers and absolutely nothing to stop pirates. See how the cracks of the game released before the game is shipped? See the record breaking piracy rate?

How is a problematic scheme that is not a solution, be used as a solution with undesirable side-effects?
It's like treating a disease with a drug that is known to not work, produce a serious headache to the patient (customer); and yet the doctor (EA) administer it.

The only productive thing this DRM has stopped is the 2nd hand game resale and rental business, in the cost of alienating millions of customers.


RE: I know I'm in the minority here but...
By Crota on 9/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: I know I'm in the minority here but...
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 3:56:25 PM , Rating: 2
Now I haven't got the game, so I am only making a guess on how much a customer has to put up with.

It already is screwing over legitimate customers. It is not just the 3 strike policy, but also the limit of only 1 account you can setup per serial number; meaning that you cannot share the game with your family member, or they have to use your account to play. Not only those, the fact that you have securom rootkits on your system is another pitfall.
There is no guarantee that the EA authentication server will be up and running for indefinite time in the future. It is entirely possible that maybe after 2-3 years you dig this game back up you bought ago and find that it doesn't work. This applies to old games that use old DRM protection methods that requires a specific OS to work.

EA is wrong morally because they are using a method that does not work to prevent piracy, while introducing unnecessary hassle to customers. My example there is valid because it depicts the fact that such a scheme does not work to stop piracy, but for some reason EA choose to use it. It is as if you try to hit your friend with a bat for no reason.

I understand very well where you are coming from. You have a fallacy in your example though, which is the main point I am trying to bring. Your law agency scenario is different because, by asking suspicious drivers to pull over to check for say alcohol level; you really do help in improving road safety. In this case however, EA's DRM scheme simply does not work in preventing piracy. You don't need a proof. Ok you can argue the record download is because of the hype of this game. Fair enough, but you can see, majority of the pirates have no problem in pirating the game.

Ok it hampers casual piracy but gain of sales from those are questionable. The loss of goodwill or public image however I think far outweighs any tangible benefits of a DRM scheme.

I am arguing in an objective point of me. This doesn't affect me at all. I do not have plan to buy the game, not because of the DRM but because of the gameplay. The DRM puts me off even further. This DRM fiasco looks to me EA is pulling out is a grand $50 rental scheme for a game named Spore.


RE: I know I'm in the minority here but...
By Crota on 9/15/2008 4:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
I'll try to wrap up my final thoughts and hopefully not argue to much and have everyone agree, some what.

Perhaps in 3 years, EA will remove the verification limitation to 3 installs and for those who dust off this "old" game will still have the ability to play it freely. I know that Blizzard recently removed the cd requirement for WC3 after the game was released for a number of years, no reason why EA couldn't do that. But this is a side note.

I think we all agree that EA has the right to protect their IP and software, no argument there.

I think we all agree that DRM and rootkit and everything else out there makes EAs bid at protecting their software is not the best solution yet.

I think we will all be happier if an effective anti pirating software solution is developed which would solve this problem, but we all know there is no such solution.

Until the perfect solution arises, all we can hope for is a better solution next time around. Did EA take a step in the wrong direction? Perhaps. Does it justify the illegal download and pirating of software. No. Just because you can understand why someone chooses to do somthing doesn't make the action okay.


RE: I know I'm in the minority here but...
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 4:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yep I agree 100% with what you said there.

Just the name of EA chills me that it's not going to do anything good for the customer :)

Ok I am getting a bit personal because how it killed the SimCity franchise with Societies.


By MonkeyPaw on 9/15/2008 10:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I was hoping for SimCity5 to be an upgrade over the fantastic SC4. I just wanted widescreen support, multithread support (which I imagine would help performance considerably), and an updated graphics engine. Really, SC4 was awesome. I've played that game countless hours, even today.

Societies looks like a joke. While I haven't played it, everything I've seen about it (reviews, video demos, pictures) makes me cringe. It looks to me like they took away the realism and gave it a mythical WC3 look. They betrayed geekdom and destroyed a legacy. Maybe they'll make a SimCity6 title that's true to its roots...in 2015. :-|


RE: I know I'm in the minority here but...
By LumbergTech on 9/15/2008 2:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
I don't entirely agree with your assessment, however, I will say you are somewhat right. Given that fact, lets take morality out of the equation for a minute.

It is quite clear that given current market conditions, their business plan is not a good one. People don't like the DRM. A very large number of them, clearly, won't put up with that type of DRM. They are shooting themselves in the foot by using such ridiculous methods. They are hurting their own bottom line. You can finger wag all you want, but it won't change other people's behavior. They might have been able to get another 100k sales(total guess, but I figure this could be possible, its mainly to make a point)
so you have $50 x 100,000 = $5000000 of potential revenue.

I wonder how much they spent on the DRM? I know that they are under this delusion that so much of their market is so dumb that they don't know how to use bittorent(or any number of downloading sites from the past present and future )and run a crack file. But this is becoming less and less true as time goes on. The DRM is easily defeated and the costs are passed on to the consumers. The only people that the DRM stops are the same people who couldn't even crack the simplest protection scheme that would require a much smaller investment , if any, on the part of EA.

In conclusion, EA is screwing itself. Want to be respected and have your software paid for? Reach out the community and quit treating legitimate customers like criminals.


RE: I know I'm in the minority here but...
By Crota on 9/15/2008 3:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
You are right, the DRM only stops the individuals who don't have basic computer knowledge and high speed internet connections.

That aside, why are we not angry against those who pirate software. I will make an assumption that I know is not entirely true for those who read this post, but I will assume that many of you buy your software from the store and have a licensed copy. Are we not suppose to be outraged at those who feel they can steal from us? We paid for the software, we paid for the development, we paid for the rights to use and enjoy it and some people with some computer know how decides to take what we rightfully paid for and say, "You can have it for free, we'll let other people pay for this great game."

I am upset at the hackers/crackers/torrent sites who in the end just steal money from me.

I find it funny that out of the comments I'm reading so far, the only group of people who have done something that we know is wrong, both ethically and lawfully defined as illegal, is the group of people no one is upset against.


RE: I know I'm in the minority here but...
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 4:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
Crota you do have an interesting point here.
I agree that we should be angry with the pirates. But to me both have a blame from very different angle.

Piracy, like most crimes, cannot be eradicated. No matter how much you despise it. No DRM scheme in the world can eradicate piracy. EA is to blame for not realising the harm it's doing to good paying customer and not realising the fact that DRM is useless at stopping pirates (Any software can be cracked, unless you involve hardware). There is also a hidden harm I have not mentioned in my other reply to you, which is by investing in DRM, you pass on the extra cost to the customer, which is of negative value (worst than no added value) to the customer. Also, helping companies like SecuRom to thrive.


RE: I know I'm in the minority here but...
By Crota on 9/15/2008 5:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for at least at seeing my point. Its refreshing to see more intelligent discussions these days on posts.

Anyways final thoughts.

Piracy will always be an issue and people will continue to fight against it. I don't want to get into a philosphical argument on whether it is better to do noting to stop it or implement a bad solution. I don't have the necessary skills for that task nor am I up to the challenge.

I just don't think its fair that so many people are passing such harsh judgement on EA for implementing a poor copy protection system when those same individuals all agree there is no perfect solution. Tell EA that this solution is not right and this solution is a bad one so that they don't use it again. What I don't want to see, but see happening in this situtation, are people who feel justified and vindicated in their choice to download and steal. "I'm not buying the software because I don't like how they implemented the copy protection." Piracy will always be an issue, but once people say it is alright to do so because "insert reason here" I just stop listening. If you want to steal and feel good doing it, go ask for someone else's opinion.


By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 5:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
I bet doing nothing will be bitter to swallow by investors and shareholders, and that may be a good enough reason for them to do this.

I do believe however doing nothing at the moment until a better solution is found, is the better option morally. Financially or politically this perhaps is not.

As to reason people pirate, for a borderline person who is neutral between good and evil on this, give them a slight reason they will be likely to topple to one side. EA may be underestimating the financial effect of word of mouth, and reviews on internet.

Personally I would not like to increase EA's sales figure even by 1. I have not pirated the game because I don't want to either. But I can see how people would comfort themselves for their pirating act fully knowing that it's morally wrong. Not that I am supporting what they are doing, but most human beings are inherently greedy, any any slight justifiable reason would send someone committing wrong acts that benefits oneself.

In the end no matter how poor the game sales is, game companies tend to blame the piracy; never the game nor the DRM for some reasons. Is 500,000 a significant number compared to current sales?


By Staples on 9/15/2008 5:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
I think EA;s DRM on this game is excessive and unjustified

but I fully support DRM that requires you to put the disk in the drive and DRM that prevents you from copying the CD. A few years ago, this was the DRM and everyone complained (and of course used it as a justification to pirate software). I think gamers were just too damn whinny back then, now I think they have a legitimate reason to complain but that does not mean that a large percentage of these deadbeats are still using this DRM as an issue to justify piracy.


By AE3Wolfman on 9/19/2008 12:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm one of those that downloads to test it out. I don't bother with what are essentially demos, too many changes usually occur between its release and when the game goes gold.

I don't mind drm when its reasonable, but lets be real here. Did this online verification really stop any pirates for more time than it took to download a crack? EA could have saved themselves a bundle by just using a serial number/CD check. Not to mention EA has a horrible track record when it comes to maintaining verification servers.

I'm planning on getting this one, but I'll still use the crack to get around the drm so I can use it on my offline comp.


Complete lack of understanding?
By mm2587 on 9/15/2008 11:57:52 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
According to Electronic Arts own statistics, less than 25 percent have activated Spore on a second PC and less than one percent asked to activate on a third PC. As of September 12 -- when the Gamasutra article was written -- there were 453,048 activations of the Spore Creature Creator alone. 77 percent activated on only one machine, 23 percent activated more than one, and only 1 percent of users tried to activate on more than three machines.


Are they really that unintelligent? People aren't upset becuase they want to install it on 50 different machines. people are angry becuase when they get a new computer, or hard drive, reformat, etc they want to be able to install the game hassel free.

I know at one point when I was having some data corumption issues with my last build I wiped the machine 3 times in one month.




RE: Complete lack of understanding?
By mm2587 on 9/15/2008 12:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
hmm somehow I missed my own point that just becuase only 1 percent of users have tried to install spore more than 3 times in the first month of its release doesn't mean that number won't be significantly higher 6 months from now.


By wempa on 9/15/2008 12:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. They are using statistics for people who are installing it for the first time. This is asinine. They need to know how many installations a user needs over the lifetime of the game.


By pomaikai on 9/15/2008 12:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
I wipe my machine regulary to get rid of junk programs that i play with and dont like or stuff other people install. They need to get DRM bug free and reasonable before they make someone pay money for a game they can no longer use. This is why i stick with console gaming. It just works.


RE: Complete lack of understanding?
By mmntech on 9/15/2008 12:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
Are they really that unintelligent? Nope, they've done this deliberately. This is one of the reasons I stopped playing PC games. I got tired of being jacked around by developers and publishers. Unfortunately, most people simply don't notice/care even though they're being ripped off. By the way, apparently the Spore DRM uses up one of the three installs not just per system, but for each user account you install it to on a system. Cnet described it as "draconian", which is pretty fitting since Spore's DRM is the most intrusive and restrictive we've ever seen. The shocking thing was that it was supposed to be more intrusive than it is now.

The whole idea behind DRM is not to stop piracy but rather to force people to buy multiple copies of the same item. If you blow your install limit, which is quite easy, you'll probably have to buy the game again. I also believe this new install limit system was imposed to deter the lucrative used game market. Developers hate EB/Gamestop for selling used games. I guess I'm technically a "pirate" for buying them. It's not a war on pirates, it's a war on legitimate consumers to milk every last dollar out of them. Piracy may be unethical but so is DRM when it's used in the manner I described above. I consider it a form of planned obsolescence. EA is the worst offender but UBI, Activision, Taketwo, they all do it.

I think it's time we gamers pushed for some changes to the law to protect consumers. First of all, it should be mandatory for video game publishers to list DRM restrictions clearly on the game's package. While this information is contained in the EULA, most people don't read/understand what it says. EULA's are used as loopholes to get around unethical practices. Secondly, DRM should not be allowed to "phone home" except at the time when the game is installed. Thirdly, it should be illegal for DRM to install hidden rootkits, drivers, or registry strings on a computer. DRM software should also allow users to remove it once the game in question has been uninstalled from the system.


By soloman02 on 9/15/2008 2:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Developers hate EB/Gamestop for selling used games.


Sorry, but EB/Gamestop stopped selling used PC games many years ago. They do however still sell used CONSOLE games.
The real reason for the DRM is to stop sales of PC games on Ebay and similar sites and at the same time to give a giant finger at the users who actually buy their product.

EB and all other major stores that sell PC games also do not accept refunds once you open the software. They only accept exchanges for another copy of the same software.


Cyclic Redundancy Error
By tallcool1 on 9/15/2008 1:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
I purchased this game from Best Buy for my daughter on her birthday, and it flat out refused to install on her PC. It kept spewing out a "Cyclic Redundancy Error". After many failed attempts, I hit the internet searching for the cause. I saw a post where someone said a defective batch of CD's where the cause? All I could do was check the bottom surface that it was free of debris, smudges, etc. and of course it was brand new and very clean. I tried other things such as disabling McAffee virus software as well and after at least a half a dozen attempts it just wouldn't install. I was very frustrated and since the game was opened, I knew it was going to be a hassle to try and return it.
The very next day on another install attempt, it finally worked.

Very frustrating...




RE: Cyclic Redundancy Error
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 1:25:49 PM , Rating: 2
That's nothing to do with DRM though. CRC is a mean of checking the data read from the DVD drive is correct. DVD drive will report CRC error if it believes what it read is not the correct due to various reasons.

It may not necessarily be the disc, it can be a dirty lens on the DVD drive as well.


RE: Cyclic Redundancy Error
By BladeVenom on 9/15/2008 6:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
Some copy protection schemes use CRC errors on the disk to keep them from being copied. The installer should still install the game, but like any software it doesn't always work the way it should on every computer.


RE: Cyclic Redundancy Error
By EglsFly on 9/16/2008 12:03:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's nothing to do with DRM though.
The poster never claimed that DRM was the issue...


RE: Cyclic Redundancy Error
By AnnihilatorX on 9/16/2008 6:40:42 AM , Rating: 2
I was just pointing that out. No offence since this whole article was about DRM.


This article...
By Donkey2008 on 9/16/2008 12:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
This article and the comments by Dailytech viewers is living proof that people who steal games will use ANY excuse to justify it.

If you can't get the activation to work with Spore then you are either A) a liar or B) a total bozo who shouldn't be using computers. My 6-year-old child was able to activate his copy of Spore by himself without issue. If you can't handle such advanced concepts then perhaps you weren't meant to work with computers. If you need to install it more than 3 times, then tough luck - you'll need to call EA. Deal with it.

PIRACY is the problem. DRM wouldn't even exist if pirating weren't so widespread, so all of this childish whining and complaining directed at EA is ridiculous. It's like complaining about a department store that hires security guards because of rampant shoplifting. I guess if you can't figure out Spore's basic activation, then a concept like that is way out of your league anyway.




RE: This article...
By Gzus666 on 9/16/2008 12:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
Reading comprehension my friend, please try to use it. No one is really complaining about the initial activation, it was a problem, because the servers were having problems at one point, from what the news has stated. What everyone is complaining about is, after 3 activations, you are SOL. This can be done rather quickly by anyone who updates computers frequently, for example, computer gamers. Seriously, how do you not get this? And once again, explain how the authentication directly stopped pirating, since it was cracked a week before release, therefore stopping no one from pirating it with ease. Just for note, I have a copy of the game, I bought it literally when the doors opened at Gamestop the day it came out, and part of me wishes I didn't because of this issue.


RE: This article...
By Donkey2008 on 9/16/2008 5:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
How ironic that you point out my lack of reading comprehension and then you make a stupid comment because you failed to read the story yourself. LOL, classic.

"This limit can be increased if a consumer calls customer support."

Seriously, how did you not read that? I understand that Ritalin can help people like you.


RE: This article...
By Gzus666 on 9/16/2008 5:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
You stated in your response, and comments from Daily Tech users, that would effectively involve the comments placed on this article, which in fact have nothing to do with that portion. That would be the portion I am arguing against. Calling, so convenient, then they have the ability to turn you down as well. You have to prove you bought a copy, how does someone who paid cash for it and no longer has the receipt do this? DRM stops no real piracy, that is a fact.


RE: This article...
By Gzus666 on 9/16/2008 5:39:48 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and you didn't answer, how does DRM prevent piracy? Last I checked, it was pirated a week before. So, doesn't matter the machine limit on the game itself, as you can download the cracked version, and install anywhere and everywhere as needed, effectively making the DRM a pain for customers, and no help for EA. Nothing like poor business decisions. You should look into being upper management for EA, clearly you think the same.


Not buying
By Frallan on 9/15/2008 12:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
Usually i buy my games - not this one :0)




RE: Not buying
By Gzus666 on 9/15/2008 12:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
I almost wish I didn't. I love the game, I really do, but the DRM worries me, cause I have a new hard drive I need to put in, and hardware upgrades, including a mobo are just around the corner I'm sure, that would effectively put me at the last activation, and I no longer have the receipt to prove my purchase. The only time I have ever pirated a game is if it is too old for me to find in stores, like if I wanted to replay some old game, and can't find it. Otherwise, I always buy games. I bought Bioshock as well, but that game, it didn't bother me as much, cause once you beat it, it kinda doesn't have the replay value. But Spore, that game has too much replay value for the current DRM implementation.


RE: Not buying
By JustTom on 9/15/2008 8:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This limit can be increased if a consumer calls customer support.


If you go past 3, call customer service. Hardly ideal, but it will get your game up and going...


electronic arts are a bunch of tarts
By jay401 on 9/15/2008 12:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
'Needed' my ass. The only people really affected by DRM are legit buyers and this has been proven time and again.

The parts of the industry that refuse to recognize this just prove they're not really in it to make their product accessible and compatible for the customer, let alone in it for the customer's best interests, but really just want to reduce the customer's rights and ability to use their product as freely as was once the norm.

They really have forsaken all memory of what computer gaming was all about - delivering a fun product accessible to the widest audience as reasonably possible and being rewarded for it with big returns. Games like C&C Red Alert sold over 2 million copies back in '99-'00, in what was arguably a much smaller industry and yet one in which piracy was already a rampant thing. And there were many big hits back then -- examples of when people were offered a good product with minimal DRM and the people rewarded the company that created it by buying it.

Most people will pay for a good product, at least until you burn them and piss them off repeatedly and completely lose their trust by doing things like this. DRM that requires an active internet connection. DRM that requires the disc to have to be in the drive in this day and age. DRM that limits "activations" of the software (despite knowing that gamers are frequent re-formatters of their computer and how inconvenient such a scheme is for the legit buyer, especially when a CD key would generally suffice for the supposed problem the activation scheme is claimed to combat.)

All of these things drive people away from purchasing your product. It also makes people wary of the quality of your product, just like with the RIAA initially fighting against services like iTunes that offered individual tracks for sale, because the music industry was suffering under the bloat of crappy albums with one or two decent tracks on them and no way other than "piracy" or paying full price for people to get the tracks they wanted. We see how the consumer won out in the end with that one, but how much longer before software companies realize draconian DRM is counterproductive?




By wempa on 9/15/2008 12:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
DRM that limits "activations" of the software (despite knowing that gamers are frequent re-formatters of their computer and how inconvenient such a scheme is for the legit buyer, especially when a CD key would generally suffice for the supposed problem the activation scheme is claimed to combat.)


Buy this man a beer. This 3 computer activation limit is the stupidest thing. There's nothing wrong with a CD key plus media copy protection such as Diablo 2 used. That even allows them to ban individual CD keys that get leaked. Sure, people can run a pirated version with a cracked executable, but they won't be able to play online. And besides, the new DRM obviously didn't stop anybody from pirating it. The activation scheme is a bunch of nonsense, especially with how often PC configurations change.


Stupid Re-Validation
By ebakke on 9/15/2008 3:58:14 PM , Rating: 2
The article, and the comments from EA's rep, mention nothing about the game phoning home every 10 days to revalidate your CD key. If this validation fails, or cannot occur (if you don't have internet access) the game will lock down until you revalidate. More than the 3-install limit, this 10 day check in is what pushed me to leave the item on the shelf at Target and hit up PirateBay.




RE: Stupid Re-Validation
By The Sly Syl on 9/16/2008 1:41:19 AM , Rating: 2
That's because the game doesn't phone home. They announced that they dropped that idea before MASS EFFECT came out months ago.


By Motoman on 9/16/2008 1:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
...WTF does that seem like some kind of huge benefit, especially when the DRM penalty is so huge?

What the gaming industry needs to do, if it wants to limit piracy as much as possible, is to:

1. Sell games on physical disks
2. Require that a physical disk be in the drive to play
3. Have a user account for any server/internet based play
4. Allow the consumer to make backups of the physical disk to ensure that they can play their game forever

That's it. If the gaming world wat that sensible and that easy to get along with, the vast majority of people would not pirate games. Making things hard on the consumer, like this Spore stuff, is what *causes* piracy, not what prevents it.




By Motoman on 9/16/2008 2:17:36 PM , Rating: 2
Oh...and who in their right mind thinks it's acceptable behavior for *anybody* to install a rootkit on someone's PC?

Does anyonre remember the Sony thing a while ago? Seriously...the sheer stupidity involved in rootkitting...asshats.


Long are gone the days
By Strunf on 9/15/2008 12:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
where the costumer was the king. Nowadays if EA says 3 is enough we just have to accept and that's it...
The average Joe seems to be left with 2 options having the game for free with no DRM or to pay for it and get all the hassles that come with the DRM, hard to decide...




By Dribble on 9/15/2008 12:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
No second hand copies of spore on ebay or your local games store :(




By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 12:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
With the record high piracy figure, how is this helping to fight piracy?

The fact that the game is cracked before release, how's this helping to fight piracy?

How is it that having to have the disc in or not, or having to authenticate through EA server and save not having the disc; help fighting piracy?

I don't get it, do you?




Casual Pirates
By an0dize on 9/15/2008 12:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
I've been wondering when this was going to appear on DT. I was following the customer outrage over at Amazon since last week. Everyone knows DRM like this doesn't effect real pirates. I believe EA's objective here is to stop the "Casual Pirates" as they call them - the average guy who gives his copy to a friend when he's done with it or sells it used. At this point it's become obvious that EA doesn't care at all for its core customer base of 'enthusiast' gamers. This is evidenced by the fact that Spore, one of the most hyped games ever was released as a dumbed down, gutted piece of crap with no soul.




By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 12:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
Just recently on Spore forum EA rep had said that you cannot have multiple accounts on the same copy of game, i.e. same serial key. Now I am not a game owner so I don't know the implications.

http://kotaku.com/5049765/spore-only-allows-one-ac...

EA allows installation over several PCs but only allow 1 account to play? And they say you can install it on your home PC, Office and your Family PC?

I am confused.




You Might Disagree....
By UppityMatt on 9/15/2008 12:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
With my logic, but i will openly admit i regularly will download a copy of a game to try it out. I did this with Hellgate London for example and loved the game so much i went out and bought it the same day the download was completed. I personally would rather spend a few hours downloading a copy to try the game, and if i like it I will go buy it. To me i use it as a game demo. Im a college student and i just cant afford to blow 60 bucks on something i hate. And if i try it and don't like the game i just delete the files and uninstall...




Irony
By nismotigerwvu on 9/15/2008 12:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, this has to be the most ironic happening in a long time. The only justifiable reason for DRM is to prevent piracy. When your DRM system is so limiting that you push legitimate consumers to piracy then you know you screwed up.
A simple cd-key with internet/telephone verification with unlimited, non-concurrent installs would stop casual piracy. Everyone knows that stopping hardcore pirating takes far more than DRM and punishing your actual customers to vent your frustrations over this is a horrible business plan.
Personally, I love the idea of Spore, but I've yet to buy a copy (and I PROMISE I haven't pirated one either) until either the price drops to the point that the DRM-infection doesn't bother me as much or they allow a little more slack.
What I love the most about Steam and other proper systems is that I can play the games I legally own here at my apartment, at my parents' when I'm visiting, at my office on campus or even when I'm killing time in the lab (Don't laugh, my RT assays take 3+ hours and a little CS here or there really helps pass the time).
If EA would just take one look at the positives of say, Steam, they could really turn things around. Or they can continue using their "fecal touch" and turn every franchise they touch in crap.




consumer ignorance
By tastyratz on 9/15/2008 1:20:51 PM , Rating: 2
Statistically 3 different machines would be really unlikely for a majority of users. This isn't a far stretch from windows activation since xp. Its also not really comparable to drm in music because your not crippling the file to not function on some machines... just making an activation scheme. You activate windows, you activate this game. Its a pain but its a reality for developers at this time.

People will always crack the drm on anything someone sells - that's all there is to it. Copy protection just keeps the majority of users from pirating vs nothing at all, or it defers people long enough from being cracked that they can get that first wave of sales from the folks that "just cant wait for a crack".

What they SHOULD have done or should do NOW is allow the consumer a choice - require the disc be in the drive, or they can activate a special "no cd mode" which would be this system.
A little change in marketing and functionality makes it so nobody can complain at that point really.




Everyone...
By Hieyeck on 9/15/2008 1:28:09 PM , Rating: 2
Seems to have a lot to say... I have but one title:

X3: Reunion

I'm sure everyone here remembers the starforce fiasco. Starforce was effective - TOO effective. The devs got hammered so hard for that they eventually gave up using starforce and patched it out. Alas it was too late - it hit Steam at bargain bin pricing. DRM will NEVER work.

Personally, I still bought Spore cause I feel the devs deserve to get paid for this gem, but forget calling EA when my copy stops working - hello torrents.




I want this game so bad!
By Zshazz on 9/15/2008 2:45:58 PM , Rating: 2
But I'm not going to buy it. Like everyone else, I'm worried about the 3 install limit. It's simply too easy to go through my 3 installs, especially if I install it on my laptop as well as my desktop. As soon as something bad happens on either, then I will have maxed out the limit :(

Also, I'm not going to pirate it. I refuse to be a stupid statistic to them... "Oh, if we increase the DRM's power, then we'll get more sales", my ***. I want to pay them for their hard work, but at the same time I'd hate to pay them for screwing me out of playing what I paid for/screwing my computer up with crappy rootkits. Additionally, I won't buy it and then pirate the more convenient version... because then I give them money (like a pat on the back for screwing me around) and then become a statistic to encourage the DRM... a freaking double whammy.

So, I guess I'll have to make due. I won't be able to play Spore, even though I waited so long for it... It sucks, but it has to be done. It's a shame, too... because the game was pirated a week before release even... so their DRM was all for absolutely nothing. They alienated and lost so many legitimate customers for absolutely nothing.

Even though EA's higher ups are utterly stupid, hopefully they'll be competent enough to realize this before they bankrupt their company and make the few good devs they have lose their jobs.




By ByteShield on 9/15/2008 3:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
This is a terrible story for 2 parties - legitimate users who simply wanted to play Spore and couldn't because the activation servers went down and EA because Spore was cracked even before it was released.

Often developers walk a tightrope with the tradeoff between protection strength and the degree of impact on legitimate users but this was a failure on both dimensions! Is this really what the publisher wants to 'accomplish'? Why not use a solution which is friendly to honest users, has no impact on development time and the strongest available protection against crackers - see the whitepaper "Is Anti-Piracy/DRM the Cure or the Disease for PC Games?" which can be downloaded here http://www.byteshield.net/byteshield_whitepaper_00...




too bad for them
By goku on 9/15/2008 7:28:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well I guess they don't NEED my money now do they?




Done
By SilverHair on 9/15/2008 7:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
I've been done with EA and UBI for quite some time. People needs to learn to fight back. How many more straws will it take? If we let stuff like this continue it will only get worse! It may even come to a point were we might have to pay a fee.

"Thank you for wanting to playing Crysis 6, we will deduct $1.00 from your online account" Even if you do not play online.
Proceed "Yes" / "NO" (Selecting "NO" will result in a deduction of $1.00 because you used our automatic phonehome feature to inform us of your gaming intent!
"Disclaimer: We only charge fees because you let us and thank you for your undying support of DRM and Rootkits"

Let the Boycotting begin! I only wish it would.




What three computers limit?
By jdavenport608 on 9/15/2008 8:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
My oldest son and youngest son put their money together and purchased spore and loaded it on my oldest sons computer first. My youngest son tried to load it on his computer and play but the game rejected his cd key and did not allow him to use the game. I had to buy another game just so my youngest son could play a game he had been anticipating for months. These two kids had saved their money and purchased the game and wanted to share the experience of playing their game side by side in the same house and they couldn't thanks to EA and DRM. So when my kids want that next big title. I personally will say no way to EA. Sure would be nice to flood EA with e-mails with the subject line saying "NO WAY TO EA". Half a million e-mails from each one of us paying customers might wake them up. Anyone who has an EA account should login, press contact us and send "NO WAY TO EA" I did!




Added value
By bjorn47 on 9/16/2008 2:54:36 AM , Rating: 2
Does anyone remember when buying a game meant you got more than the game? A nice printed manual, a poster, Droids'R'Us coupons, a cloth map, or other trinkets of varying degrees of usefulness. That gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing I actually got something for my money.

Nowadays, manuals in pdf on the CD and a DRM designed by people with more greed than common sense seems to be all the rage. And I'm more reluctant to buy pc games than ever.

Excuse me, I have to go and be a bit more nostalgic.




All they do...
By V3ctorPT on 9/16/2008 3:38:15 AM , Rating: 2
All they ever did was taking my interest off the game!! Same thing happened to Bioshock last year... didn't anyone learn anything with it? If EA wants to sell... well, go to Steam... It's safe (unless u are a moron, someone will steal your account), and u can play the game anywhere in every computer, without that DRM $hit...

People that download games from the internet, just aren't willing to pay for them in the first place, why the hell punish the guys that actually payed for the product??

EA, go back to your roots, and start making games!!!




No !
By luseferous on 9/16/2008 8:11:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'm really enjoying Spore and When E.A remove their DRM/Activation Limits I will buy a copy.

I got caught with Bioshock and 2K's hijinx with DRM even on the demo, that they lied about so never again.

If it is a short term rental of a game that publishers want to push then they should charge rental prices not purchase prices. If on the other hand they want to sell a copy of the game customers should be able to do what ever (legally)they want with the software.

To those that say I should buy the game. Why ? How does that prevent E.A and their ilk pulling such stunts in the first place. If you buy their malware infested products what incentive is there to remove it.

As I said at the beginning of this little rant. I am perfectly happy to purchase software that I use unless it is trying to pull some stunt on me and this is. Its barely one step up from crap like smitfraud in my book.




This wouldn't have happened...
By DanoruX on 9/16/2008 7:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
...if the game were available on Steam.




Hang on a moment.
By andy350 on 9/16/2008 8:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
Q: What happens when I’ve reached the maximum number of computers for my game and I need more? (Due to computer upgrades, theft, crashes, etc.)
A: EA Customer Support is on hand to supply any additional authorizations that are warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by contacting Customer Support.

This basicaly states contacting them not the method so their email support and phone calls should both be acceptable so yea its a pain...And very well known it did not work owell it is of course EA now please tell me how many games they have actualy programmed themselves...

The answer is very few to none.

EA is to blame for these bad piracy protection systems more known is that they are becoming a company that could give less about who buys or does not...

Rich companies are just that rich and spoiled. So they put this stuff in since they can charge you more than the program is worth due to "Piracy cuasing losses..." they have these things in there to make more money. and with this i conclude my rant.




By icanhascpu on 9/17/2008 12:38:30 AM , Rating: 2
"77 percent activated on only one machine, 23 percent activated more than one, and only 1 percent of users tried to activate on more than three machines."

I LEIK TEH MATHZ




like itunes?
By notromda on 9/17/2008 11:01:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sughayer compared Spore's authentication to iTunes, which has a similar DRM system that limits the number of computers content purchased from iTunes can be played.


And that's another product I will not buy. I buy my music from Amazon in MP3 format, with no DRM.




Maybe I am just dense
By spleendamage on 9/17/2008 4:40:34 PM , Rating: 2
It's possible that I am just stupid, so keep that in mind.

Now I'm no game publisher and I don't have a whole heap of color coded charts and graphs in front of me.

But my logic goes something like this:
a. Mom and dad and little bro probably don't know and don't care a whit about DRM when they go out to purchase a game. To me, this means in this case DRM is of no value to the publisher, but simply a potential hassle to the end user if for some reason they find themselves without a game that work and needing to call EA.

b. l33th4x reads about the DRM scheme and laughs because he's got torrentz-R-us.com on his Chrome start page and he's had a Spore torrent in his queue since the first illegal copy hit a 0-day distro. To me, this means that in this case DRM is of no value if it can be cracked and judging by the number of times it has been downloaded, it can.

c. AvidGamerGrrl is savvy enough to read about the DRM and is confused because it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. She often upgrades her hardware because that's what hardcore gamers do. But now, it seems like each hardware upgrade is going to cost her an activation, but the limit is 3 until the game won't work and she has to call up an EA rep and hope they believe her story of moving from an 8800GTX to a 4870x2, then a Nehalem processor in December and onto a Windows 7 beta OS in January after that. So she wonders why pay the $50 for a game that she won't be able to play in a matter of months (or even if she can get EA to grant her more activations, she'll likely need to call again in the near future when she goes to 8GB RAM, or an SSD, etc.). To me it seems like the sale now becomes a coin flip instead of a slam dunk, so in this case, I don't see how the DRM helps, unless the prevailing thought here is that AvidGamerGrrl was going to make a bunch of copies for her friends to play for free.

d. Then there is Neo, who lives in the matrix. He reads Slashdot and Daily Tech and he's got a job and plenty of cash to spend on geek-products. Neo also has a bitorrent client used occasionally for certain files. So now, Neo has a choice to make: Buy the product and put up with the DRM people are complaining about, or just download it and not. In this situation, I don't see how the DRM does anything to encourage a sale.

By my tally, I don't see a scenario with an "upside" to the DRM, to the end user OR the publisher.

If someone could elucidate why and how the DRM helps and isn't just a stupid inconvenience I would appreciate it.

In what case does it discourage piracy? In what case does it enhance sales? In what case is the number of activations allowed anything but arbitrary?

I guess these are the things I don't understand.




By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 9/15/2008 2:49:48 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly what game publishers want.




Future of Gameing
By icanhascpu on 9/15/2008 5:05:29 PM , Rating: 1
Is online. No Securom. No DRM. No limited downloads.

THE most secure way to make money in gameing;

1. MAKE A GOOD GAME ASSHOLE.
2. Give an option to have it interactive with real people to some extent.
3. Make the game itself cheap (under 30$) with a small monthly online fee THAT REQUIRES A SERIAL <<<<<<<<<<< thats what you pay money for.
3a. Make the game normal price (under 60$) and have the online capabilities free THAT REQUIRES A SERIAL <<<<<<<<<<< thats what you pay money for!

Look at Diablo II. You can pirate that game till youre blue in the face, but one thing is clear, lagit serials HAVE to have come from Blizzard and HAVE to be checked everytime you log in with as many accounts as you want over any system you want. It is a system where the game is basicaly free, but if you want to be playing more than one instance of the game at one time, no matter where, you need to buy a new serial. I think that is as fair and balanced as ANY game company anywhere is ever going to see while keeping a respectable relationship with their customers.

Untill game companies realize the real worth in their games is lagitamized serials, and not the game itself, they will continue to make asshat decisions like EA.




complaining
By omnicronx on 9/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: complaining
By Bateluer on 9/15/2008 3:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know how many times I've reinstalled PS:T or BG2 over the years I've owned them? If I had to make a 30 minute phone call to EA every time, I would have pirated the game too. This is, of course, assuming that EA would maintain the licensing/activation servers for a decade. Which they won't.

I actually had a preorder for Spore, but cancelled it when the DRM issues were made public. I won't pirate the game, but I won't buy it either. EA's bone headed comments make me want to go buy more products from Stardock or Positech because they are DRM-free.


RE: complaining
By omnicronx on 9/15/2008 3:30:34 PM , Rating: 1
Ever wonder why game dev's are focusing what mostly seems like console games? Well sir, you are the reason. Regardless of what you think is right on wrong, there is no incentive to develop software when a huge percentage of users are just going to pirate it. Don't make EA out to look like the bad guy here, 10 years ago when PC gaming was at its highest, a four year old could download a game and crack it, which resulted in a huge percentage of users merely pirating games.

Personally between 1998 and 2002, the only game I bought was half-life. You may not agree with EA but the sad reality is, PC gaming is going to be non existent in the years to come if developers do not employ some sort of DRM.

Normally I would not support DRM at all, but in the case of PC gaming where at a time as many as 50% of users pirated their games, it is a necessity.


RE: complaining
By omnicronx on 9/15/2008 3:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
I just realized I just called you a pirate heh, what I meant was far from it. PC gamers, although it may be an inconvenience to those that actually pay for their games, it is a necessity for the industry to employ DRM for those that don't or risk not playing any PC games at all. (unless minesweeper and solitaire is your thing)


RE: complaining
By Runiteshark on 9/15/2008 4:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
Bullshit. I still play Descent 2 and 3, and sometimes even one. I still play my old copies of Command and Conquer, and the original Red Alert.

Do you seriously think that EA will keep their servers up for so long? I play games of all ages, from the ones released last year (CNC KW) all the way back to the original Doom. I like being able to install it with no bullshit or strings attached. I don't want to have to call to install software.

I hates the ea.


RE: complaining
By EricMartello on 9/15/2008 8:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ever wonder why game dev's are focusing what mostly seems like console games?


No.

quote:
Don't make EA out to look like the bad guy here, 10 years ago when PC gaming was at its highest, a four year old could download a game and crack it, which resulted in a huge percentage of users merely pirating games.


lulwut?

1998 was not the "peak" of PC gaming...in fact, you sound like you're simply regurgitating that press release from the Crysis devs whining about their lackluster game sales and blaming it on piracy.

Fact: Almost every piece of software released has a pirate counterpart available on Bit Torrent, USENET or P2P. By your logic, the PC platform is going to be "dead" for all types of software, not just games.

Another Fact: Distribution of cracked software is nothing new...sure, it happens on a larger scale now that more people are aware of it and more people have broadband connections, but those people were most likely never going to buy the software in the first place.

A smart game developer will simply acknowledge that any software will be pirated and focus on selling it...perhaps it is better to design software in such a way that the cracked version gives up critical functionality...how many "cracked" copies of WoW are there? :)


RE: complaining
By omnicronx on 9/16/2008 9:03:47 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe not 10 years ago, but PC gaming definatly started to decline in 2004, right into the shadow of the next gen consoles. 2000-2004 was a great time for PC gaming, they had more best selling games than ever before. Games like who wants to be a millionaire would sell a million copies, now we are lucky if we get 1-2 games a year that sell a million copies.
quote:
http://news.filefront.com/epic-shifting-focus-to-c...
quote:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060712-7247...
quote:
Crytek, the studio that created the hardware intensive Far Cry and Crysis games exclusively for PC, has repeatedly stated that the upcoming Crysis Warhead will be its last PC-only game due to the abundant piracy of PC games.
Blah blah blah blah.. are you a gaming dev? Go read what the big developers like Epic and Crytek have to say about PC gaming. What does last PC-only game mean to you? Don't come in here blasting me when you obviously have not done your homework. Developers are jumping ship, this is fact, not merely something I am speculating.
quote:
Another Fact: Distribution of cracked software is nothing new...sure, it happens on a larger scale now that more people are aware of it and more people have broadband connections, but those people were most likely never going to buy the software in the first place.
Hardly fact, I see a point, but I don't see proof. I have already shown that a game like Crysis with no DRM is pirated on a scale of 1 download per 2 bought games, meanwhile spore sits around 1 downloaded for every 4 bought.
quote:
A smart game developer will simply acknowledge that any software will be pirated and focus on selling it...perhaps it is better to design software in such a way that the cracked version gives up critical functionality...
Yes because gaming devs work with crackers before release just to make sure that the game is crippled when cracked and won't give full functionality. And yes, its smart for a game dev to make a better game, only to have it pirated by more people, when if they made the choice to make a console only game, they could have almost no piracy, a potentially bigger and more lucrative market. Makes sense to me..

quote:
how many "cracked" copies of WoW are there? :)
Wow is authenticated on logon because its an online game, why would you even try to compare? This is basically a form of DRM, as it limits its users to only paid subscribers.

P.S I don't deny that for every piece of software, there will always be those who pirate it, but to say that because of this no counter measures should be put in place is basically shooting PC gaming in the foot, and watching it bleed out. The market will never die, but it won't come close to what it used to be if something is not done about it.


RE: complaining
By EricMartello on 9/16/2008 8:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Blah blah blah blah.. are you a gaming dev? Go read what the big developers like Epic and Crytek have to say about PC gaming. What does last PC-only game mean to you? Don't come in here blasting me when you obviously have not done your homework. Developers are jumping ship, this is fact, not merely something I am speculating.


Let them "jump ship" I won't lose any sleep over it. IN fact, it's a good thing because it will open up the market for "grass roots" PC game developers. The big-name devs like Epic and Crysis have probably realized that it is far more profitable to create games for consoles - not because of piracy, but because of a wider audience. Gaming PCs that are able to play current games with all the eye candy enabled still cost a lot more than an Xbox 360 or PS3...but the PC gaming scene is hardly dead.

quote:
Hardly fact, I see a point, but I don't see proof. I have already shown that a game like Crysis with no DRM is pirated on a scale of 1 download per 2 bought games, meanwhile spore sits around 1 downloaded for every 4 bought.


Here is your proof:

1) Randomly pick any software title - game or application.
2) Go to thepiratebay.org and type that title into the search box.
3) Revel in "proof".

quote:
Yes because gaming devs work with crackers before release just to make sure that the game is crippled when cracked and won't give full functionality. And yes, its smart for a game dev to make a better game, only to have it pirated by more people, when if they made the choice to make a console only game, they could have almost no piracy, a potentially bigger and more lucrative market. Makes sense to me..


Piracy is the new "cool" thing to blame lackluster media sales on. Music and Movie industries have been blaming it since P2P became mainstream. The video game market is healthy, and if the big game devs want to whine about how "bad" it is for them then let them go and good riddance.

quote:
Wow is authenticated on logon because its an online game, why would you even try to compare? This is basically a form of DRM, as it limits its users to only paid subscribers. P.S I don't deny that for every piece of software, there will always be those who pirate it, but to say that because of this no counter measures should be put in place is basically shooting PC gaming in the foot, and watching it bleed out. The market will never die, but it won't come close to what it used to be if something is not done about it.


WoW is a PC game making a lot of money...it's perfect example. In fact, I doubt there are any console games that have pulled in as much money as WoW has on its own.

Anti-piracy measures taken need to comply with fair use laws - this SecureROM bullshit does not...in fact, I would say that most DRM ignores fair use altogether.


RE: complaining
By robinthakur on 9/16/2008 6:15:23 AM , Rating: 2
That's just BS Omnicronx ;) Why on earth would I purchase a game if I'm going to be more inconvenienced than just stealing it for free without leaving the house, morality aside here. EA and their like need to come up with a system which doesn't punish legitimate users, end of.

They aren't preserving sales by doing this, they are losing an entire medium i.e. PC gaming and driving people towards consoles. Nobody wants to be inconvenienced. You are defending EA as a legitimate purchaser who is being inconvenienced. That's how nuts your argument is. I'm familiar with the concept of a business model but most people are also familiar with the concept of presumption of innocence, this smacks of EA saying that "potentially you are a criminal!" when you buy the game and I won't pay for that treatment. Spore is aiming to attract the casual gamers mainly more than the hardcore, and realistically how many of them are going to pirate it??

Perhaps they could use traditional serials, with the activation system in place as a secondary measure if a 'conflict' is found. At the end of the day, if you can't secure the platform using reasonable measures and you believe the majority of your customers to be thieves, why even develop for the platform at all? iTunes is cnot the same as I've bnever been inconvenienced by iTunes DRM, whereas EA DRM contstantly complains about other software which i've got installed and always needs tweaking to get it to work. Ridiculous!

As it is, whilst I could simply download Spore I feel that the correct response is to cancel my pre-order and never play the game. Buying this game would only make EA think they are right here and I would not imagine that I'm alone in this feeling.


RE: complaining
By omnicronx on 9/17/2008 10:37:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
EA and their like need to come up with a system which doesn't punish legitimate users, end of.
This is really what it comes down to though, either continue to allow people to pirate games, cutting into your bottom line, and presume that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, or employ some sort of protection to try and limit such activity. Everyone keeps mentioning in between or a better way, but I have yet to hear of a plausible idea.

I am not necessarily condoning EA's actions, I think their DRM scheme is very limiting for legitimate users. At the same time, I do not believe that PC gaming will ever recover to the levels it once was, while consoles continue to dominate the gaming world. It's no secret that more and more games are being developed for consoles and ported to PC's. If you really want to continue to have DRM free games, than this is what they will continue to provide you.

Either way legitimate PC gamers are getting shafted here. PC gaming will probably never die, but there is no denying that PC gaming is slowly losing its appeal, not because of DRM, not because of the lack of it, but because the bottom line is that these companies are in it to make money, and with piracy being so rampant, consoles are where the money is.

Something has to be done about it, if you want to continue to see quality single player PC games (we all know the MMO's are where the largest PC gaming market lies so it is not going anywhere) on the market. FPS's were born to be played on the PC, it will be a sad day for PC gaming when all these games will be developed console and ported to the PC. But don't say I did no warm you.


RE: complaining
By robinthakur on 9/16/2008 11:46:49 AM , Rating: 2
That's right since the on last big game from Will Wright, a little known title called The Sims, poor EA presumably made zero money out of it because everybody (or 50%, by your figures, pirated it)

Your logic assumes that people who buy the game legitimately will (and should) put up with more inconvenience than people that steal the game. This is so wrong its funny. Given the choice of what to do, most people would reasonably steal it instead and that's what the informed masses are doing, because a) Its free and b)they don't like being inconvenienced. You must never underestimate the value of convenience.

I don't think its good enough and EA needs to take a long hard look at the DRM to ensure that it is transparent to the end user. People simply will not give up what they are used to, especially when you're talking about freedoms or fair use. Even with console games the fact that you own a hard copy means that you can take the game round to your friend's house to play it whereas with this pc game protection, you would use up one activation installing it, even if you then deinstalled it afterwards and the same if you rebuilt your pc often (as alot of gamers do). Now I'm sure EA execs would say "why would you want to do that, only 0.1% of the gaming pc population does that?!" but the point is that what they consider a normal usage model is no good to you as an end user if it differs to how you behave in reality. The more hassle it is to reactivate, the fewer people will play Spore. They've lost a sale to me, and I was looking forward to the game, however, I'm not going to encourage this nonsense. Don't buy it, and it will cease to be used.


RE: complaining
By omnicronx on 9/17/2008 10:53:22 AM , Rating: 2
You guys continue to attack me, saying that I am some sort of anti-christ because I want PC gaming to thrive again. I don't think legitimate users should be punished, but thanks to pirates, this is what it has come to.

Perhaps the only way out is to stop selling retail games all together and to employ a distribution system similar to Steam, but one thing is for sure, the current situation of the PC gaming industry is not good for the consumer, and something has to be done about it.


RE: complaining
By Gzus666 on 9/17/2008 11:02:17 AM , Rating: 2
Steam is fantastic, if Spore was on there, I would have bought it through there. Problem solved, everyone is happy.


RE: complaining
By omnicronx on 9/17/2008 11:38:18 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree, if users are found to be trying to crack steam in any way, their account is banned which is a much better method of controlling pirates. I could not care less how it is done, as long as pirating games is reduced drastically and PC gaming development comes back to the forefront.


RE: complaining
By robinthakur on 9/18/2008 12:02:52 PM , Rating: 2
I am of the opinion that if you cut out casual piracy, then your copy protection is doing its job. You won't ever disuade the hardcore piraters who have a sophistication far above the people writing the DRM code unless you make it a pay service. The only way steam is cracked are offline versions of games floating around.

This doesn't discriminate against paying customers but is reliant upon having a net connection. This means that if your broadband stops working (as mine did for 2 months), or you simply don't want applications going out through your firewall, you wouldn't be able to play any games that call home/require activation etc! That is just stupid and people don't like these restrictions is all I'm saying, not saying your points are not completely valid. You don't need a network connection to play a game on the PS3 or Xbox...and its very tempting for us to imagine that everybody has broadband, but that's not the case even these days.


RE: complaining
By OttifantSir on 9/30/2008 4:41:31 PM , Rating: 1
You really like muzak, right? I mean, why else would you be okay with sitting in the phone listening to some crap being interrupted with a robotic voice every 30 seconds telling you you're moving closer to the head of the line? And that's before you're even allowed to copy the files to the computer. If the game would copy itself while you sat on the phone, no time/little time lost.

I don't play games much at all. I just hate, to the core of my very being, DRM. It's THE worst invention of the humankind to date. Even the atomic bomb, spliced plague-viruses, the use of fossile fuel is less bad than DRM. Why? It hinders humankind from communicating. Without communication there will be no more humankind. Prevention of communication is the worst offense there is.


Bypassing DRM
By Brainonska511 on 9/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: Bypassing DRM
By Gzus666 on 9/15/2008 12:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
Don't you think that if someone bought the game already, that they wouldn't pirate it? It makes no sense, cause clearly this stopped NO pirating whatsoever. Wouldn't adding aspects to the game that would prevent pirating by means of added content be more fruitful? Also adds to the game, while reducing needless cost. If you can explain how the DRM in Spore reduced pirating, I would be quite impressed. I love Maxis, grew up with many of their greats, but EA is a pile of crap developer and producer, and deserves the backlash for their lackluster performance. They are effectively punishing the people who bought the game with a chore, rather than trying to stop piracy, good job.


RE: Bypassing DRM
By Dribble on 9/15/2008 12:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
I would say it's going to increase pirating. There will be a lot of people who having used their 3 activations go to pirate bay for the first time and learn how to download a pirate copy. They aren't really pirating this time (they own a copy of the game), but having worked out how easy it is might just not bother buying it at all next time and go straight to pirate bay.


RE: Bypassing DRM
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 12:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't pirated the game yet and I am not going to. But If I really have bought the game I would download a crack right away with this DRM mess. How do I even know if my computer is not inflected with those DRM rootkits from SecuRom?

Well given some people choice whether to have their machine inflected with DRM, not playing the game and go for a moral crusader of boycotting or just leeching a copy off torrent sites, many would choose the latter. Whether that's stupid or not, that's subjective. To me I think it's pretty smart.

To EA the latter would have much more meaningful impact if any than a boycott. Since they can't account for lost sales anyway.


RE: Bypassing DRM
By Spivonious on 9/15/2008 1:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
When blacks weren't allowed to sit in the front of the bus, they boycotted the bus system. They didn't steal a bus to drive themselves around in.


RE: Bypassing DRM
By AnnihilatorX on 9/15/2008 1:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
I am sorry but that's a very bad example.
It isn't very feasible to steal a bus


RE: Bypassing DRM
By borismkv on 9/15/2008 3:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
Learn your history. They didn't boycott the bus system. They sat down in the front of the bus and didn't get up when someone told them to.


RE: Bypassing DRM
By Spivonious on 9/15/2008 4:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
Rosa Parks was arrested and the buses were boycotted.
http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/montgomery-bus-boy...


RE: Bypassing DRM
By BadAcid on 9/15/2008 4:10:23 PM , Rating: 2
I was looking forward to Spore, I really was. I've been a huge fan of Will Wright and Sid Meier since Civilization 1 and Sim City Classic.
I learned my lesson from BioShock.
No
more
DRM
Sorry EA, I respect Will Wright as an artist and an innovator, but I refuse to buy or play the game on the sole basis of this invasive crap being put in my registry. Oh well, guess I'll just have to keep playing (read: paying) Activision for my WoW subscription.


RE: Bypassing DRM
By SonicIce on 9/16/2008 1:48:00 AM , Rating: 2
Will Wright must be cutting himself right now.


Publishers Just Can't Win
By NaughtyGeek on 9/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: Publishers Just Can't Win
By Proteusza on 9/15/2008 12:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
I dont know about you, but I change my games far more often than I change my operating systems.

Besides which, I can install Vista as many times as I want on the same machine, and activate it as many times as I want.

This isnt making it less of a pain - this is listening to ages old criticism about needing the disc in the drive, and then slapping on a draconian DRM mechanism for no good reason.

Again, the results speak for themselves. The consumers get harmed, the pirates dont get affected, and EA loses sales. Wonderful day.


RE: Publishers Just Can't Win
By 306maxi on 9/15/2008 12:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree somewhat but perhaps EA should move towards an agreement with Steam OR develop their own system which is similar to Steam. I love steam. It updates my games automatically and I don't need to faff around with discs or codes. I buy a game on steam and it's added to my account and I own that game forever as long as I remember my login.

This sort of system just annoys people and in the end doesn't actually hurt the pirates because they will always crack any DRM which they come up against.

What annoys me even more is when you get DRM AND you have to put the disc in. Codemasters games are a great example. Installed a Codemasters game on the father in law's PC and it slowed it right down. Was taking minutes to display webpages and as soon as the game was uninstalled it was all fine. Search for Starforce protection crap and you'll see a lot of complaints.


Amazing...
By Donkey2008 on 9/15/08, Rating: -1
RE: Amazing...
By jay401 on 9/15/2008 2:08:09 PM , Rating: 3
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


RE: Amazing...
By Gzus666 on 9/15/2008 2:19:22 PM , Rating: 2
Right, explain how DRM helped this? Cause last I just checked, this is the most pirated game in history, most likely stemming from the fact that it has the DRM in the first place. Here is a crazy idea, add online content or updates that are only obtained by legitimate owners of the material or just use Steam, which is a great service. They need to get used to the fact that things will always be pirated, and just make a better product, and people will buy it.


RE: Amazing...
By omnicronx on 9/15/2008 4:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cause last I just checked, this is the most pirated game in history, most likely stemming from the fact that it has the DRM in the first place.
Well of course it is, it is one of the most anticipated games in a long time. It is going to hit over 2 million sold before Christmas and as much as 5 million within the next year. For comparison Crysis sold about 1 million copies. Spore is not the most pirated game ever if you take the ratio into account. Apparently it was downloaded around 500 thousand times, but when you take into account crysis which only sold 1 million copies was download 420 thousand times last year, spores 'most pirated game ever' seems much less impressive.

Now correct me if I am wrong but simple math shows me that DRM although it might have had an effect on sales, is nothing like what you are making it out to be. Around 1 in 5 spore users pirated vs the 1 in 3 crysis users, meaning per ca pita crysis is the most pirated game ever, and by a fair margin.
quote:
They need to get used to the fact that things will always be pirated, and just make a better product, and people will buy it.
No, you need to get used to the fact that it is not fair that they develop a game to have 1 in 3 people pirate it. I just don't understand why on earth you think this is right? It sucks that you are a user that pays for his/her software, but the fact remains, many, many people do not and in doing so it is killing the PC gaming industry. (why invest in an industry with a small return when console users, whom are on a closed system only have a tiny percentage of users pirating games.)

No offense but if you have the time to be playing a game on 3 different machines, than you have the time to call EA and get your key reactivated. I've done it many times with MS Office, it sucks, but I understand why it must be done.


RE: Amazing...
By Gzus666 on 9/15/2008 5:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
OK, that seems like speculation. They had it pirated 1 week before they put it out. Crysis was most likely pirated often due to high hardware requirements, higher than anything that existed at the time even. Only now are they getting hardware that will run it at what most find acceptable. This led to lackluster sales, because very few people had the hardware to run it, but there were lots of people I'm sure, who just wanted to play with it a bit more than the demo allowed, but didn't want to waste $50 on something that wasn't that playable at the time.

Life isn't fair, get over it. It isn't fair that the people who do all the work on the game get peanuts, while the high ups take millions, but I hear no one fighting for that to be fixed. Fair is not a reason to beat up on paying customers. If you can even explain to me how an install limit leads to someone pirating something LESS, I would love to see. On the contrary, I would lean towards it happening more, as to be honest, I am debating on hacking my copy of Spore so I don't have this problem.

I currently have a hard drive I have to get around to installing and reloading all my programs, which I can't mirror, as it has numerous corrupted files that have accumulated. Spore is already installed, so I will have to install it again when I change the drive. My hardware will soon need updating, 6 months to a year or so, and that will be my 3rd install. So, from then on, I can't change hardware again, or I will have to put up with EA. The chances of that happening are SLIM. Real worthwhile online content and patches that can only be applied to legitimate copies would have been a better way to deal with piracy. Or just release through Steam.


RE: Amazing...
By icanhascpu on 9/15/2008 7:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
"No offense but if you have the time to be playing a game on 3 different machines, than you have the time to call EA and get your key reactivated. I've done it many times with MS Office, it sucks, but I understand why it must be done."

And if you ONLY have time to play the game OR screw around on the phone with them? No thanks ill be bypassing that BS. Have fun on the phone, moron.


RE: Amazing...
By omnicronx on 9/16/2008 8:19:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And if you ONLY have time to play the game OR screw around on the phone with them? No thanks ill be bypassing that BS. Have fun on the phone, moron.
So you have the time to sit around for countless hours playing spore, sitting at your computer desk, but you don't have 30 minutes to talk on the phone, while you could be doing pretty much anything else, as its not like you have to sit in a fixed position not saying, or thinking about anything waiting attentively for the EA representative. Speakerphone is a beautiful thing.

Once again, it may not be ideal, and I agree the limit should be higher, probably 5 (which who knows with enough complaining it could happen) but I don't agree with the notion that gaming companies should have to sit around twiddling their thumbs while one third of their potential customers download the game. If this was not EA, we would have a fraction of the people complaining.

If they are not going to make money off a game in which they put in extensive development time, then all that we are going to see is the usual EA game with sub par graphics and sub par gameplay, because in the end produced on a mass scale on a yearly basis (a la sims), it will be much cheaper for them to accomplish. If you want that, be my guest, I don't play PC games anymore so I could care less.


RE: Amazing...
By BCanR2D2 on 9/16/2008 8:58:39 AM , Rating: 2
Give the industry 3-5 years as some SERIOUS money starts to be pumped into the gaming software industry. There have now been some ridiculous opening weekend sales figures for games that outstrip the largest movie opening weekends. Wait and see what kind of DRM lies in wait then.

I have noticed some of the packaging for games here in Australia have started to have 'By purchasing this game you agree to the conditions inside' - helping basically close a common law loophole that existed with all EULA's that were presented AFTER the time of purchase.

IP protection is necessary, otherwise why create anything for someone else to rip it off immediately without recourse. Regardless of DRM, I stopped with EA games in the 90's, when I realised that they continually pumped out the EA Sports games so regularly, that they couldn't be any good. Always used to wait for LucasArts to release theirs... Aaaahh, those were the days, pre-prequels and Dark Forces was the first thing in like 10 or so years that was new to the Star Wars world...


RE: Amazing...
By omnicronx on 9/16/2008 9:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Regardless of DRM, I stopped with EA games in the 90's, when I realised that they continually pumped out the EA Sports games so regularly, that they couldn't be any good. Always used to wait for LucasArts to release theirs...
Man those were the days, dark forces was one of the best games ever :) I also stopped buying EA for the same reason.


RE: Amazing...
By garagisti on 9/16/2008 9:12:15 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, let me clarify that i mean no insult to you or your opinion Omnicronx. Everyone has a right to theirs.

However, statistically, most gamers are casual gamers, who just want to relax, kick out, wind out whatever... To assume, that they will want to take out whatever time which it takes with EA is somewhat questionable. Also, it is not really very relaxing or helpful when someone is trying to unwind, kick out...

What is the need essentially? Corporations all want higher revenues, that is the bottom line. DRM, however, isn't their only option. Think about why someone pirates. It is mostly due to their inability or/ and lack of willingness to pay for something. How do you get them to change their stance? May be, they could revise their pricing downwards a little. Basic economics, as in, look at economics of scale, as manufacturers do. If any product/ service is good, people will buy. How much then will largely be defined by their ability to pay for it. Those simply aren't their target groups at such prohibitive prices(for students, 3rd world countries etc), so for them to corner some of that pie, they will have to give some, in order to get some. I've seen console games being pirated as well, so really nothing is stopping the pirates. Microsoft is a good case study, as much as people, including me, hate them. They have learned to corner some of that elusive pirated pie. Student editions of many of their softwares are a testament to my statement above. They sell well!!! Period.

SecuRom brings back memories of protection on blu-ray(they are from the same company), where people weren't able to play some newly released discs with their relatively shiny-new, sophisticated machines. They are just what i would call, a little more than glorified dvd players, at an extreme cost which they were bought at.


RE: Amazing...
By robinthakur on 9/16/2008 12:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
While I don't agree with OmnicronX, I'm sorry but I don't agree with you either! People don't pirate because games are too expensive generally. If they can afford the machine to play the games on, then come on, its not alot to ask that they purchase software they use. Pirates generally pirate stuff out of laziness. They are lazy people! They can't be bothered to order or track down a copy of software and can't be bothered to waste the money on it. They download far more programs, music and games than they will ever need and most don't even get used! They have more content than they know what to do with, and the ready availability of pirated material means that they are more likely to download stuff which they don't even want.

It is therefore incorrect to assume that downloaded copies = lost sales as proper pirates who maybe haven't bought a CD/game/movie since 1998 would never even consider paying money for Spore. Sorry but its the truth. There's always going to be a way around content protection.

Spore is a special case however, as the craptastic DRM which EA has implemented has received such widespread publicity and is so obviously anti-paying customers that alot of people who would have been happy to buy it are just pirating it to send a finger of disapproval to EA. Way to go EA! Piracy will always go up when you lose out for behaving legally. Isn't that obvious?


RE: Amazing...
By garagisti on 9/16/2008 3:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
You're alright mate if you want to opine differently, as i said, we all have right to our opinions.

The point that prohibitive costs add to piracy is not something to be scoffed at. Recognize the fact that willingness to pay and ability to pay are two distinct things. Students can buy(by forking over an arm and a leg) a fast PC(they need one anyways) but paying for software and games, will also bleed them dry. Most students are on limited budget. I live in India and just like people from Europe, i could tell you that we in the subcontinent get screwed in every deal as well. Hardware/Software/Movies/Music, they are all priced higher than anywhere else. Microsoft gave at-least some people on a budget means to go legit, hence my appreciation of their efforts. I'm just saying manufacturers generally look at economies of scale, to achieve higher numbers, so why can't these people do the same? Certainly they will be saving on costs of DRM and other such things, they could afford to price their products a little lower alright. Of-course, if there's an increase in ability to pay, owing to whatever reason(in this case, lowering of prices), i think piracy would reduce relatively.


RE: Amazing...
By icanhascpu on 9/16/2008 8:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
If im going to pay money to play a game, Its going to be to play a game. Not to wait on the phone. As amny rediculous crap you come up with defending this, it just aint work'n well.


RE: Amazing...
By CascadingDarkness on 9/19/2008 6:30:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now correct me if I am wrong but simple math shows me...

Very little about comparing things with same units...

You are comparing:

Crysis - 1 million copies (almost a year since release) - 420 thousand downloads (1yr)

Spore - 5 million predicted sold (1 yr) - 500 thousand downloads in less than 3 weeks

For this comparison to have any basis the ratios have to be correct durations. I think it's a fair estimation at the time 500 thousand downloads was quoted that spore sold less than a million units. In which case it is infact more pirated by ratio (2 sold to every 1 pirated).

Granted, this is a rough estimation. Ratios can't be proven until sales figures come out with a download count to match it, but atleast it's comparing things in proper scope.


RE: Amazing...
By luseferous on 9/16/2008 1:06:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
EA is 100% in the right here. Draconian or not, allowing their product to be easily copied and distributed on the internet without any protection would be a complete disservice to its own employees.


While I agree 100% that companies are in the right for protecting their IP. I feel that their methods should not punish and inconvenience their paying customers like this does.

I also am of the opinion that this is also a means to an end. i.e. Pushing people away from the pc and onto 'nice' closed console systems. Also less likely but still possible a back door method of keeping ongoing sales high as people buy more copies of the game when their activations run. out.

When I buy a piece of software I have bought it not rented it for three installs.


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