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EA responds to Spore banning threats

EA responds to Spore banning threats

Spore has drawn plenty of controversy for using the SecuROM DRM system. It sure is cute though!

After forum moderators on EA's Spore forums said that Spore accounts would be banned if people discussed DRM, EA has released an official statement, saying that the original statement was out of line.

"SecuROM has been discussed and discussed so much and it causes arguments in threads. If you want to talk about DRM SecuROM then please use another fan site forum," said a community moderator on the official Spore forums.

"Please do not continue to post these threads or you account may be at risk of banning, which in some cases would mean you would need to buy a new copy to play Spore."

The comments came in response to the heated controversy of EA's copy-protection system which at release allowed only three installs and one account to be created per sold copy of the game, though EA is now loosening the restrictions in response to customer pressure. Many Spore players have taken to creating anti-DRM creatures in the game world, as well as spamming the Amazon review system with negative scores of the game and petitioning EA to change the system.

It seems the original announcement on the Spore forums however, which claimed even discussing these topics could result in a ban of the players Spore account (effectively making the game useless), was completely unofficial.

"These comments are absolutely not true or in-line with EA’s moderation policy," an EA spokesperson told Kotaku. "They were made by an over-zealous community volunteer who does not work for EA."

"Anyone who looks at the boards will clearly see that DRM and other issues are freely discussed on the Spore forums, alongside other topics about the game."

What experiences have you had with the Spore copy-protection system? Let us know in the forums.

31 Comments

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Almightyrastus 25th September 2008, 13:29 Quote
Anti DRM creatures? I am guessing that is done purely through the names
CardJoe 25th September 2008, 13:33 Quote
Nope - shaped creatures.
steveo_mcg 25th September 2008, 13:34 Quote
Does any one have an image of such a thing?
Yemerich 25th September 2008, 13:38 Quote
Spore was cracked like 1 or 2 days after its retease. So, anyone who wants to play it could just torrent it.

Then i ask: Whats the point of so much protection care about those games? No game is uncrackable - if there is such word.
I think this kind of attitude will just lead more ppl to grab the torrent. But still the game is great fun and it worth its price. Surely!
CardJoe 25th September 2008, 13:39 Quote
It stops second hand sales. You can't sell a game at Game or Gamestation if it has once only activation keys, as Mercs 2, Hellgate and Spore all do.
13eightyfour 25th September 2008, 13:50 Quote
some of them anti drm creatures are actually quite funny :D

i personally dont see the point in the drm tbh, surely EA can see that the game was cracked and is available to torrent? and i cant see second hand sales massively affecting there profits,
Tyrmot 25th September 2008, 13:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
It stops second hand sales. You can't sell a game at Game or Gamestation if it has once only activation keys, as Mercs 2, Hellgate and Spore all do.

Yep absolutely right. I'm convinced that this is just EA's attempt to stamp out the second-hand games market (of which they don't see one red cent) and they are just using the 'anti-piracy' stance as a smokescreen since it's a lot easier to get away with that than say 'We just don't want you selling this on.' - I seem to remember hearing/reading that this might not be entirely legal... (ie that you have a right to re-sell any item you've bought) of course I stress that I'm in no way sure about that - does anyone out there have any actual knowledge about that or not?
Delphium 25th September 2008, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Nope - shaped creatures.

Shaped like?
Are we refering to the creatures that users created that resemble goatse or other such gestures? Or are these so called anti-drm creatures of some other form? :?
The Bodger 25th September 2008, 14:02 Quote
You're probably right about the second hand market, Tyrmot. I can't speak about the licensing of Spore, but I know that with some programs, you don't actually buy a coy per se, but insted are merely buying the right to use the software. Thus you are bound by the licensing, and if the licence says non - transferrable, then that's the end of it :(
Tyrmot 25th September 2008, 14:07 Quote
Yeah in fact here is an interview where some EA VP makes it clear that they are not happy with the situation http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/ea-second-hand-sales-are-a-critical-situation - funny that they don't mention it when they are talking about secuROM isn't it? Then it's all about the 'piracy' (and this despite the fact it is now available for torrenting).

If it was really an anti-piracy measure, wouldn't it make sense to remove it once the cracked version is available? No of course not, because that's not why they stuck it in there in the first place....
iwog 25th September 2008, 14:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
Spore was cracked like 1 or 2 days before its retease. So, anyone who wants to play it could just torrent it.

Then i ask: Whats the point of so much protection care about those games? No game is uncrackable - if there is such word.
I think this kind of attitude will just lead more ppl to grab the torrent. But still the game is great fun and it worth its price. Surely!

Fixed
Firehed 25th September 2008, 16:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
It stops second hand sales. You can't sell a game at Game or Gamestation if it has once only activation keys, as Mercs 2, Hellgate and Spore all do.
That may be the case, but SecuROM doesn't affect the activation system. And if your stores are anything like ours, that's not likely to stop the retailer from selling a used, already-activated game.

I don't care anymore. I wrote my letter to EA, and I'm done purchasing their products. I honestly become less satisfied by Spore each time I think about it, and that's typically true of other EA games as well. Their company seems to the embodiment of mediocrity that tries to find medicine for the symptoms rather than fixing the actual problem. I've already told a number of people to avoid Spore and other EA games, partly from the copy protection, partly from the mediocrity, and partly because the games simply aren't worth what they charge - and I'll continue to do the same. Their long streak of over-promising, under-delivering, and treating their legitimate customers like criminals has gone far enough and I'll be doing my bit to ensure it doesn't continue. I'm not going out on crusades against them as I don't have that much time to waste, but they certainly won't be getting any word-of-mouth referrals from me.
Paradigm Shifter 25th September 2008, 16:54 Quote
It's annoying, in a way - EA went through a period (shortly after C&C3) where they seemed like they wanted to listen to their customers and 'do stuff right'... instead, all they seem to be doing now is 'stuff wrong' and 'OMG, damage control!'...

I'm totally uninterested by Spore now. Remain slightly tempted by Crysis Warhead, but in the end, all I have to do is look at a fair-sized pile of games I've got (multiplatform) that I've still barely touched, and it reminds me I should play them first. :D
Thacrudd 25th September 2008, 16:59 Quote
Timmy_the_tortoise 25th September 2008, 18:14 Quote
For ****'s sake...

I was actually beginning to regain some respect for EA before this whole debacle...
badders 25th September 2008, 19:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
It stops second hand sales. You can't sell a game at Game or Gamestation if it has once only activation keys, as Mercs 2, Hellgate and Spore all do.

You also can't sell a game at Game if it's for the PC...
Dreaming 25th September 2008, 20:15 Quote
The simple solution for me was to stop buying EA products.

It's a nice change to buy games that don't need patching on release, actually...
dyzophoria 25th September 2008, 21:41 Quote
Quote:
The simple solution for me was to stop buying EA products.

It's a nice change to buy games that don't need patching on release, actually...

I agree, stop whining and just don't buy the game, that's one of the reasons EA started loosening their DRM, when people went to get the game via other means instead.
Timmy_the_tortoise 25th September 2008, 22:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming
The simple solution for me was to stop buying EA products.

It's a nice change to buy games that don't need patching on release, actually...

Heh, good point..

Bought Mercs 2 on release day for the 360.. first thing that comes up when I put the disc in is the message saying you need to update in order to play online..
PhoneyVirus 27th September 2008, 22:16 Quote
I Posted How-to on Pirating SPORE an got band from Bit-tech's Comments for a week SORRY Richard I know one of you will read this. Just telling you guys SORRY again. *_* Don't Pirate!!

The game is full of bugs From me not showing up on the map, creatures repeating the same thing for hour's, eating food off trees an so. I hope they come out with a Patch SOON.
DougEdey 27th September 2008, 22:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by badders
You also can't sell a game at Game if it's for the PC...

They stopped that years ago didn't they?
naokaji 28th September 2008, 10:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrmot
Yep absolutely right. I'm convinced that this is just EA's attempt to stamp out the second-hand games market (of which they don't see one red cent) and they are just using the 'anti-piracy' stance as a smokescreen since it's a lot easier to get away with that than say 'We just don't want you selling this on.' - I seem to remember hearing/reading that this might not be entirely legal... (ie that you have a right to re-sell any item you've bought) of course I stress that I'm in no way sure about that - does anyone out there have any actual knowledge about that or not?

Actual knowledge, nah.. but its the same thing as the mobile phone companies do, what do you think why they give you cash if you give them your old mobile? exactly, they earn more that way as otherwise you might pass it on to someone instead of that person buying a new one as well.
Dreaming 5th October 2008, 21:59 Quote
Although it's not Spore, EA have banned someone from C&C3 / KW for allegedly being 'underage' despite being over the required age limit. His name is -XeoNeQ- and from what I can tell is a 'pro' gamer as in finished second in the qualifying stages of the ladder. A mod has then said in response to his demanding an explanation on the official forums:
Quote:
I do not know why you got banned, but if it were up to me (which it isn't) I'd ban you for the spamming and flaming on the forums for the last two days, and then changin a nick claiming you got harassed by the mods here.

His thread on the EA forums: http://forums.ea.com/mboards/thread.jspa?threadID=444320&start=0&tstart=0

Don't want to politicize bit-tech but from a concerned gamer I don't want EA to have the power to ban us for 'technical' breaches i.e. age - it should be a flagrant misuse i.e. posting racist / porn / crap on the game chat lobbies or just down and out cheating. We pay our £17.99 (how much KW cost me anyway) to get to play the game, that should give us as gamers a right to play the game unless there is something major. Even then I think it's shakey ground to ban someone permenently even for cheating when they have paid full retail price... (although I can appreciate the need definately!)
talladega 6th October 2008, 02:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
No game is uncrackable

True. Except I seem to recall one game that was able to be pirated but not completely. That game is Operation Flashpoint. People pirated it but it had some sort of built in thing (which seemed to be unremovable) that detected if the game was pirated and slowly over time the AI would get harder and harder and your player got suckier and suckier until it was impossible to play. Pretty neat actually. Besides that there is no such as uncrackable.

I think all the companies should quit with this stupid DRM and other BS. Just makes people want to pirate games even more.
tranc3 6th October 2008, 03:07 Quote
DRM, i refuse to buy games that use this, now threw steam is cool b/c it works good.
knuck 6th October 2008, 06:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by talladega
True. Except I seem to recall one game that was able to be pirated but not completely. That game is Operation Flashpoint. People pirated it but it had some sort of built in thing (which seemed to be unremovable) that detected if the game was pirated and slowly over time the AI would get harder and harder and your player got suckier and suckier until it was impossible to play. Pretty neat actually. Besides that there is no such as uncrackable.

I think all the companies should quit with this stupid DRM and other BS. Just makes people want to pirate games even more.

there was also red alert 2 multiplayer in which all your units would explode at the same time if your game was cracked
impar 21st October 2008, 22:21 Quote
Greetings!

This will be the new EA policy for banning:
Quote:
Originally Posted by eaapoc (C&C)
Well, its actually going to be a bit nastier for those who get banned.

Your forum account will be directly tied to your Master EA Account, so if we ban you on the forums, you would be banned from the game as well since the login process is the same. And you'd actually be banned from your other EA games as well since its all tied to your account. So if you have SPORE and Red Alert 3 and you get yourself banned on our forums or in-game, well, your SPORE account would be banned to. It's all one in the same, so I strongly reccommend people play nice and act mature.

All in all, we expect people to come on here and abide by our ToS. We hate banning people, it makes our lives a lot tougher, but its what we have to do.

Those banned will stay banned, but like most other internet services, its not that hard to create a new fake e-mail account. However, its a lot harder to get a new serial key =)
naokaji 22nd October 2008, 10:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

This will be the new EA policy for banning:

Bloody f**king hell, did common sense get fired at ea?


:(:(:(
impar 3rd November 2008, 22:06 Quote
Greetings!

EA backtracked, again:
Quote:
Regarding My Statement on Forum Bans
...
That said, the previous statement I made recently (that's being quoted on the blogs) was inaccurate and a mistake on my part. I had a misunderstanding with regards to our new upcoming forums and website and never meant to infer that if we ban or suspend you on the forums, you would be banned in-game as well. This is not correct, my mistake, my bad.
Cthippo 4th November 2008, 07:58 Quote
Keep in mind this is how they treat their Paying customers!
BentAnat 4th November 2008, 08:51 Quote
LOL.
the veroflraptor is kinda cute... google for it... :P
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