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Spore #1 Game - on BitTorrent Indexers
September 14, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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In a DRM firestorm not seen since the Sony rootkit fiasco, EA Games finds itself in the middle of public relations hell. Since the release of the highly anticipated PC game Spore on Wednesday, fans of the game have derided the cumbersome DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) and distributed the game via BitTorrent at an exceptional rate.

Users have two major issues with Spore’s DRM: a limit of 3 installations, and if further installations are needed, a journey into childhood and special permission from EA Games. The most heated display against the DRM is at Amazon.com. Consumers are using Spore as anti-DRM fodder, where the game has a total of 85 "Five Star" ratings, and 2,133 "One Star" ratings. What's the cause of this lopsided opinion?

"...the game incorporates a draconian DRM system that requires you to activate over the internet, and limits you to a grand total of 3 activations. If you reach that limit, then you'll have to call EA in order to add one extra activation...," says one Amazon reviewer.

The above poster's complaint (and rated "Most Helpful") generally reflects the 2,100+ unsatisfied customers' problem: DRM. Since then, the snowballing backlash has made EA Games the unintentional target of the DRM opposition. The intense negativity on Amazon seems to have spurred an incredible urge to further snowball the attack, with the 3 major BitTorrent sites, The Pirate Bay, MiniNova, and isoHunt, all reporting Spore as the top downloaded game torrent. On The Pirate Bay, it is the most downloaded torrent overall.

On MiniNova, Spore is the more active game torrent, with over 6,000 seeds and 21,000 leechers – numbers many thousands more than the competition. Spore is also the most active game torrent on isoHunt, with a similarly dramatic 1st place lead.

When it was discovered that a select number of Sony CDs had installed hidden DRM software known as rootkits back in October 2005, the backlash was intense. The public complained and Sony repented. Life moved on. But there was never any dramatic surge in torrent downloads for Sony music or maligned Amazon reviews for Sony products. This seems a bit different.

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BitTorrent :: Trackers/Indexers

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