Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Fuck, Fuck, Fuck

I've talked up Spore around the Internet as possibly one of the most defining games of all time for the PC. My bravado for the game has taken a -50 DKP hit today with the following announcement:
All it’s taken is one little post and a landslide of others follow. At least that’s what’s happened when Bioware’s Derek French reveals that Mass Effect and Spore will be coming with a fairly hefty piece of DRM attached. It won’t just activate online when you first install the game - it’ll also have to check in to the server regularly to continue working. If ten days go by without a check-in working, the game stops working. In other words, major lengthy internet outage, no playage. Since RPS-comrade Rossignol is going to be having that kinda length of time offline shortly, this has to be frowned at.
DRM kills games for me. I have avoided weighty DRM, and promoted avoiding it, for a long time. I simply refuse to buy games tied down by DRM. What the fuck is EA thinking? DRM that checks in repeatedly, not just upon installation?

My stance on Spore, as a game, is taking a sudden back seat to this DRM issue. I will most likely NOT BUY the game if this DRM makes it through to the final release and there are no alternative ways, such as Steam, to purchase the game.

So, as my title states, fuck.


  1. At least with Spore, my understanding is that a major part of the game will be the semi-MMO-ness of it, with the online community and swapping DNA and stuff. While I realize Spore is not an MMO, WoW doesn't run without an internet connection to the WoW servers constantly, that's more serious "DRM" than once every 10 days.

  2. I'm glad I read the comments, at first I was thinking "Omg I compeltely agree Heartless!" Because I do, as gamers we should boycott anything with tons of this DMR crap, we need to show with the power of our buck that WE DO NOT ACCEPT it! And show developers that they will loose more money then save it by putting stuff like that into their games.

    But what jason said makes me think otherwise, that this might not be so horrible. Anyways, good post heartless.

    PS: I have been busy with finals in school, so plz don't remove me from you blogroll! XD Actually I think I'm gunna write one now..

  3. Which begs the question Jason, what sort of DRM does WoW use? Oh thats right, there is none, because a monthly subscription sort of defeats pirates in the first place.

    Now, if Spore is going to have a large online component that really makes the game go, then DRM, especially this overbearing, has no place because 1 CD key = 1 account = $ earned.

    Spore, even with the online portion, will be played single player and offline. If you have a span of 10 days where you won't have a net connection you are absolutely screwed and there is NO POINT to buy the game. There isn't a single, single-player game that I play that I hook up to the net every 10 days and I'm not about to start.

    Cow Nose, I am in the same boat with school. Just remember, when I get the bug up my butt, I go through and clean up the blogroll. If I drop ya, just drop a comment or e-mail and you'll be back lickity-split.

  4. And I didn't even finish. The DRM in question, has a storied history of problems. It is sometimes a shit in the dark whether it will work with your CD/DVD drive. Or the authentication server goes down and you can't authenticate, keeping you from playing an OFFLINE SINGLE PLAYER game. Or all of a sudden your key is compromised and marked as pirated, forcing you to call customer support and then SNAIL MAIL a copy of your receipt to reactivate the key. Oh, didn't keep a copy of that receipt? Too bad, too sad, go spend another $60 for a new copy.

    I'm sorry if I sound bitter, but EA, as a supposed defender of PC gaming, is doing a fine job showing off why PC gaming sucks fucking ass.

    Also, this absolutely shows that the pirates have won. It is a dark day when a company believes it is better to screw over legitimate customers to simply delay the crackers by a couple days.

    I guarantee both games, Spore and Mass Effect, will have a cracked version out within days, if not hours of release that will require absolutely no DRM or CD. All while those of us who buy a legitimate copy will probably suffer from server outages and incompatible hardware.

    Fuck EA. If this goes to release, it will severely hurt the sales of both games.

  5. It honestly will depend if I'm bored at the time of Spore's release. I usually avoid heavy DRM for all the reasons you listed and I don't mind boycotting a game that relies on it. On the other hand if Age of Conan bombs I'll have some free time and might be unable to resist Spore if the reviews are good.

  6. Check out Penny Arcade, they've got links to the news.

    They will only require authentication when you first run the game. And only will check again if you update the system via online updates, etcetera. (Though in Spores case which will be pretty frequently. Since it maximizes the use of player generated content. And that doesn't bother me at all.)
    The 10 days thing was bullshit. Simple as that. As Stardock has proved, no DRM other than updates for better aspects to your game are really reqiured.

  7. William I find it hard to understand currently, as the original quote was right out of the horse's mouth. Penny Arcade doesn't have anything other than what has already been said, the DRM phones home every ten days or you don't get to play.

    Still, nothing can excuse the sad history that SecuROM has.

  8. As far as Spore goes. It's going to access a central server. It'll download stuff for your world. And upload stuff you make.

    That it does this frequently, should indicate to you that they want to make sure the damn thing is protected.

    The additional requirement of having it check every 10 days was way overboard. No doubts, questions or comments. Simply f*cking crazy. But if you play it often you were going to be accessing their system anyhow, and you won't even notice when it confirms that your copy is the real deal.

    Problem solved.

    It's games like Mass Effect, that one is truly worthy of ire. Because your very unlikely to update it more than a few times. So having it try to phone home. Yeah that one isn't cool.

    Adding it to Spore, was just stupid. Nothing else, just stupid.

  9. It's all over the net now that the DRM protection on these two games will not phone home every ten days. Instead there is a one time check when you install and then it lets you play without the disc actually being in the drive.

    While I prefer no DRM this seems like an okay compromise. I do hate the idea of only being able to install it three times though unless you call and convince tech support to give you more activations. I tend to install and remove games alot. Think I've install my copy of Starcraft around 10 times.

  10. Anonymous6:50 PM

    But there's still a 3 activation limit, which is basically 3 installs and you toast. So forget about upgrading your OS or buying new hardware. I'll bet money that driver upgrades could trigger it as well.

    Not to mention before you can play it, you MUST activate it online, which basically makes the game unplayable 10 years or so down the road...right in time to force us to buy Spore 2.


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