Today’s news revealed that many people have been upset about the DRM protection in Spore, the wonderful microbe-to-galatic-race sim game. The DRM protection in Spore is slightly different than most DRM found on music CDs.
The DRM protection in Spore probably doesn’t let you copy the files off the disc yourself anyway, but it goes a step further. It allows you to install the only three (3) times. In other words, if you install the game and your copy of Windows XP decides to explode a week later and you reinstall the game, you’ve used up 2 of y our maximum three installs.
Spore by Maxis and the build in DRM protection is just a single aspect of this problem. It limits the rights of the customers. It’s almost scary, considering that I personally only come by $50 less often than it snows three feet in a day. I reinstall Windows Vista every 6 months and I leave XP installations only slightly longer. If I wanted to play after my installs, I’d run out very quickly. I understand that you can call support and reactivate your copy, but I also hear that support isn’t very good.
The flip side of this coin comes from a game called Sins of a Solar Empire by Ironclad Games. SoaSE is a interseller-space sim. Imagine Command and Conquer but in space. It’s very expensive, from planets, to plantary systems, to solar system clusters.
Of course, it’s game play isn’t the only high point. There’s no DRM. None. Absolutely none. Why does that matter? For instance, if I wanted to install it on every computer (and the ones I reinstall every 6-9 months), I could. I read some blog post last week (I am unable to find itÃ‚Â now, of course) and it explained Ironclad’s idea. Basically, the people who would have pirated the game wouldn’t have been customers and probably will never be customers. In others words, as they say, pirates don’t count.
I like the DRM-free game. It seems like the right thing to do. Of course, I can understand how Maxis feels about Spore and DRM.