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Spore DRM allows only one account

Spore DRM allows only one account

Spore has proven controversial on account of the DRM used to protect it.

There's been a lot of grief vented about the DRM system used to protect Spore, which is known as SecuROM and it's been interesting to see that the piracy figures and torrenting numbers have been driven through the roof for the game, with many users torrenting the game purely to avoid getting involved with the DRM software.

It does appear however that there are certain nuances to the DRM software which haven't been made entirely public; some of them good, some of them bad.

First up, according to The Consumerist is the fact that users can't apparently have more than one account per game. Although the manual states that players can set up multiple accounts on the one PC, for different family members say, that doesn't turn out to be true.

Instead, The Consumerist reports that multiple players either have to have multiple copies, or they have to share an account. Pretty disappointing stuff for those who want to share a copy of the game for a family or household.

The second change, this one coming in from RockPaperShotgun is that EA has silently increased the number of activations that players can use on the game. RPS readers have reported that after installing the game three times they rung EA to arrange more activations and were told that they still had two activations remaining and that the Support Page for the site, which claimed three activations, was soon to be updated.

If you want to know more about Spore then you can check out our full review and graphical analysis of Spore in the gaming section.

So, you'll have to share the game about a little bit more, but you only get one account per copy. Do the two balance out? Did you buy Spore or torrent it? Let us know in the forums.

34 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Cobalt 15th September 2008, 11:46 Quote
Still not even a marginal improvement. I can't believe that taking away some functionality entirely is considered good design practice.
spectre456 15th September 2008, 11:47 Quote
When do u guys upload the crysis warhead review?
plagio 15th September 2008, 12:17 Quote
Just crazy. I didn't even bother checking what kind of DRM/CopyProtection the game had before I bought it. It was starforce free, and that for me was enough. I realize now I was wrong and I should have been a pirate.
alastor 15th September 2008, 12:19 Quote
This is utterly stupid and has put me off buying the game until it's removed.
Silver51 15th September 2008, 12:21 Quote
I understand why people go to great lengths to protect their work, but I gather Spore's DRM is like paying to be kicked in the nuts.

People don't want to be punted in the pills for taking the legal route and buying the software.
impar 15th September 2008, 12:23 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
CardJoe, I think the appropriate smilie to this news would be a mix of these: :(:):|
Veles 15th September 2008, 12:39 Quote
Well that really sucks, extra activations doesn't make up for it, although it is good, my hard drive just died so I have 4 left now instead of 2. I'd rather have infinite activations though.
Bionic-Blob 15th September 2008, 12:46 Quote
doesn't really bother me tooo much.

what really bothers me, is that my copy has been in the post now for *counts*......10 days

10 freaking days

*sigh*, tis becoming harder and harder to resist the temptation of just downloading it in 2 hours.
Kúsař 15th September 2008, 13:04 Quote
I'm curious how many people would buy it if they drop the DRM. 500.000 downloads within week or two is pretty high number. Most of them are of course pirates who wouldn't buy the game anyway...
IMO - some games should be re-released year or two later without DRM. I still hope for DRMfree Bioshock(=2K sales - 1) and Crysis(=EA sales - 1)...
impar 15th September 2008, 13:09 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kúsař
... and Crysis(=EA sales - 1)...
Why Crysis? :?
It had the standard DVD check.
Kúsař 15th September 2008, 13:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kúsař
... and Crysis(=EA sales - 1)...
Why Crysis? :?
It had the standard DVD check.

But it requires internet connection. And that's a problem for me. I live in a village and decent internet connection here is a bit of problem(inet providers are using this as an excuse for terrible prices even for the slowest random working wifi connection. It sucks...)
impar 15th September 2008, 13:37 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kúsař
But it requires internet connection.
It didnt last Thursday:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1822472#post1822472

Will be formatting and re-installing OS when the VR 150GB arrives. Will try again to install Crysis with the router off.
Mister_X 15th September 2008, 14:05 Quote
Now I think games should be copy protected ( for what little protection it actually gives) BUt I wholeheartedly oppose this limited activations crap. Why the hell should i have to buy another copy for my wife to use on her PC?? It would be slightly more bearable if we had to just hand the disk to each other. annoying but fair enough. But Limited activations is appalling. what happens 3 ,4 ,5 years down the line if i want to play it? I need to chase EA to allow me to install it? come on!
DXR_13KE 15th September 2008, 14:21 Quote
what a great way to screw your user base....
Paradigm Shifter 15th September 2008, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!It didnt last Thursday:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=1822472#post1822472

Will be formatting and re-installing OS when the VR 150GB arrives. Will try again to install Crysis with the router off.

It's Crysis Warhead that uses this new SecuROM. EA, after going the 'listen to our customers' route, seems to be adamantly trying to annoy everyone with this new SecuROM. :(
Darth Joules 15th September 2008, 14:38 Quote
Oy vey, when will they learn... :(

Crap like this will either turn people off playing on the PC or into unwitting pirates. There are several games I'd love to play on my PC but they have (or wil have) SecuROM. Bioshock, Mass Effect, the forth coming Mirror's Edge. Had thought about Spore until I saw how dumbed down it was. Honestly, I'm an adovcate of PC gaming but more and more I'm feeling the urge to buy a Xbox 360. At least I can play Skate then too (wot no PC port, EA?).
[USRF]Obiwan 15th September 2008, 14:43 Quote
Quote:
told that they still had two activations remaining and that the Support Page for the site, which claimed three activations, was soon to be updated.

Power to the people!
DougEdey 15th September 2008, 14:45 Quote
So am I right in saying that if I were to buy a game I can't have multiple spore worlds running at once? How awkward! I have no family or friends damnit!
Major 15th September 2008, 14:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
So am I right in saying that if I were to buy a game I can't have multiple spore worlds running at once? How awkward! I have no family or friends damnit!

No that's not right, you can only log into "one" account to EA i.e. when you load the game up, it asks if you want to log into your account. You can use all the free game slots on one account, I think there is 7.
dire_wolf 15th September 2008, 14:56 Quote
This is the same crap that's in Mass Effect PC yes?

It totally puts me off buying it because small changes to your pc, such as a change of gfx card, amount of ram, or a new user account counts towards your activation limit, then pow! you need to buy another copy or ring EA support and literally beg (nothankspls!) for a new key. Personally I get a lot of replay value from my old games, just recently completing my copies of Beneath a Steal Sky and Space Quest 6 for the *nth time. What happens if I want to play this game again in 5,7 or 10 years time and I can't because of this crap EA are shovelling onto their DVDs? All this technology hurts is the paying customer, a pirated version will have this stripped out, yet if you have a legit version, make minor adjustments to your pc spec, or buy a new setup you're going to burn through those activations pretty quickly, what a slap in the face.

Q.) How is it legal for them to ask you to buy a new cd key (i.e. another copy of the game) once you have already bought an original copy?
DougEdey 15th September 2008, 15:06 Quote
Ah right, never knew, don't have the game yet
Paradigm Shifter 15th September 2008, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Kúsař was talking about Crysis. And we still dont have an official clarification on what DRM is used in Warhead.
I was wondering whether he simply forgot to add the 'Warhead' part. ;) As I can also confirm that Crysis doesn't phone-home when installed/run.

And on the 'no official clarification for Warhead' thing... would what looks like the final boxart be something worth having a gander at?

http://www.crymod.com/uploads/mediapool/WarheadBack/647387_lback.jpg

A blowup of the relevant part:

http://img398.imageshack.us/img398/241/warheadiq6.jpg

Taken from this thread:

http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14488
impar 15th September 2008, 16:06 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
And on the 'no official clarification for Warhead' thing... would what looks like the final boxart be something worth having a gander at?
...
http://img398.imageshack.us/img398/241/warheadiq6.jpg
It would, thanks.
Online authentication.
EA lost another sale.
Kylevdm 15th September 2008, 16:40 Quote
I pre-ordered it and tbh I am not to worried about the problems it is still a great game
robyholmes 15th September 2008, 16:50 Quote
Sorry for carrying on Crysis Warhead talk, but...

I got it tho steam (£20! Woot) so it wont have the SecuROM right? Cos steam is the protection system? I hope, I format my PC all the time and can see me using the 5 activations pretty fast.
Paradigm Shifter 15th September 2008, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by robyholmes
Sorry for carrying on Crysis Warhead talk, but...

I got it tho steam (£20! Woot) so it wont have the SecuROM right? Cos steam is the protection system? I hope, I format my PC all the time and can see me using the 5 activations pretty fast.

Not certain (only when it's released will be know for sure) but if it's like Bioshock, it'll still have the activation limit on it. :( And £20? Play.com pre-order was £14.99...

...

Apologies for the OT about CW, all. Will stop now. ;)
impar 15th September 2008, 17:01 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by robyholmes
Sorry for carrying on Crysis Warhead talk, but...
I got it tho steam (£20! Woot) so it wont have the SecuROM right? Cos steam is the protection system? I hope, I format my PC all the time and can see me using the 5 activations pretty fast.
Nobody knows. The fact you bought it via Steam doenst mean it only has Steam as the DRM.
Bioshock had Steam and Securom DRM.

PS: Just hit me that the online authentication could be only for access to the multiplayer.
ByteShield 15th September 2008, 17:47 Quote
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 <a href="http://www.byteshield.net/byteshield_whitepaper_0005.pdf">www.byteshield.net/byteshield_whitepaper_0005.pdf</a>.
pendragon 15th September 2008, 19:14 Quote
oh look, another game I won't be buying :( ... personally I wouldn't count out that most of the current 'pirates' would never buy the game anyway.. perhaps its naieve of me, however I feel that many people would do the 'try before you buy' route or are just doing it to get around the DRM.
Grinch123456 16th September 2008, 03:30 Quote
This game is the perfect argument for piracy. The DRM doesn't even work on some systems (like my friend's, who has process explorer installed and SecuROM hates it) and it actually isn't that good.
impar 16th September 2008, 10:37 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinch123456
... (like my friend's, who has process explorer installed and SecuROM hates it)...
The last version of Process Explorer should work well.
mmorgue 16th September 2008, 11:13 Quote
Sod the SecuROM -- get it off the newsgroups in about 20mins using a leech tool and a fast connection.
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