Just as I speculated: “Spore” DRM is about blocking resales of the game.

Thinking of buying a second-hand copy of Spore? Might want to think twice:

According to the buyer, his copy of the game was purchased from “a crotchety old redneck,” but the buyer didn’t get the necessary information needed to get into the game’s main account, and thus couldn’t play. A call to customer support was no help; sellers have to give the purchaser the account name and password, almost like a World of Warcraft account. Unless buyers get that information from the person or store they get the used game from, nothing can be done. EA will not let you open another account.

The portion of the game’s EULA that deals with sales is interesting; the company technically allows it, but EA won’t make it easy on you. “You may not be able to transfer the right to receive updates, dynamically served content, or the right to use any online service of EA in connection with the Software,” the agreement states. “You may not be able to transfer the Software if you have already exhausted the terms of this License by authenticating the Software on the allowed number machine [sic]. Subsequent recipients of this License may not be able to authenticate the Software on additional machines.”

I speculated about that possibility in a previous entry and I elaborated on it in a comment at the GamerDNA blog. I’m only surprised that it took this long before someone fell victim to it. All the claims that SecuROM is on Spore to prevent piracy are now revealed for the total bullshit they are. It’s not about piracy, it’s about limiting the first-sale doctrine. If you bought it they want you to keep it whether you play it or not. Don’t loan it to a friend, don’t try to resell it, make those fuckers buy their own copy so we get a few more bucks.

8 thoughts on “Just as I speculated: “Spore” DRM is about blocking resales of the game.

  1. I hope that consumer interest groups and officials will take notice of this sort of bullshit and put an end to it.

  2. I won’t even buy a first-hand copy of Spore or any other game with similar DRM. Anybody who feels the urge to play these games can find the torrents easily enough.

  3. Sure they can, but stealing the game isn’t exactly going to convince the idiots pushing the idea that these measures are for use against copyright theft aren’t needed.

  4. Always assuming that’s what these measures are actually targeted at.

    It’s a lose-lose for gamers anyway. Either take it up the ass or refuse to buy, in which case there’ll be outcries of piracy! (why else would the rate payers stay away) and even more invasive DRM.

  5. Yep, I heard about it, but I don’t think it’ll go far. Most class action lawsuits don’t seem to amount to much.

    I’ve also heard that EA has declared Spore a hit:

    Maxis’ chart-topping evolution simulator Spore has sold over a million units since it was released on PC, Mac and Nintendo DS earlier this month, publisher EA revealed today.

    Sales were not broken down by platform, which will undoubtedly lead to more arguments regarding the game’s controversial copy protection. However, EA noted that over 25 million user-made creatures have been uploaded to the Sporepedia—a feature only available in the PC and Mac release of Spore and the Creature Creator.

    “Spore is a hit,” declared EA Games president Frank Gibeau. “Will Wright’s latest delivers an incredibly diverse game that appeals to casual gamers and the core alike. We’re off to a great start moving into the holiday season and believe Spore will deliver a platform of creativity for gamers of all stripes for years to come.”

    And that’s in spite of the backlash so I don’t think the backlash will amount to much either. It’s a shame, but folks will eat a lot of shit to get what they want.

  6. It’s a shame, but folks will eat a lot of shit to get what they want.

    Please see my post on another thread, “Hell, I coulda done that”

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