Spore Is Given One Star

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 9:57 AM | Filed under

It looks like there are several people who are disgruntled about the new Spore game, which came out on Sunday. A look at Amazon's customer ratings breakdown should point out that many people seem to be dissatisfied.

Wow, 93% of reviewers gave the game one star. The number of one-star reviews increases by the minute.

Nearly all of the one-star reviews I read mentioned Spore's digital rights management (DRM). The point of DRM is to obviate piracy of electronic software. It sometimes works, but it also sometimes hurts the honest software users.

For example, if someone downloads music from the iTunes Store, he can put it on his iPod, but not his Zune. If he downloads music from the Zune Marketplace, he can put it on his Zune, but not his iPod. This means that if he wants to have a Zune and an iPod (or if he is replacing one with the other), he'll have to pay twice for songs he wants to put on both devices. I think that's crazy. Nobody should have to pay twice for the same song.

In the case of Spore, this means that people can install the game only three times. They must activate their software online, and DRM software installs itself on their computers and apparently cannot be removed. Each of these brings some limitation to the installation and use of this game, and this is what has irritated these reviewers.

I can relate the most with the last of the reviews I posted above. When my family was beta testing Windows Vista, Microsoft would often take our computer and reinstall the latest version of Vista. Every time, we would have to reinstall all our programs. I would have to reinstall Adobe Photoshop. Eventually, Photoshop failed to install because I had reached the installation limit, which I didn't know of. I called Adobe, and they gave me a new activation code, but it's crazy that I had to go to such lengths.

I applaud that people are using Amazon's ratings system to tell others what they feel about this game. A lot of people say that if you don't like something, then don't buy it—I'm glad to see that people are leaving reviews warning others of potential DRM problems they could come across with Spore.


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