Will Electronic Arts Spore DRM Be The Undoing Of Video Games?

Millions of video game lovers, many of whom were devoted to the widely popular Sims video games, waited anxiously for Electronic Arts newest video game release called Spore. Electronics Arts did not disappoint it’s many fans as the $49.99 regular version of Spore, the $9.99 Spore Creature Creator and the $79.99 Galactic version of Spore were released without a hitch and were quickly snatched off the retail stores shelves. Although Spore’s sales didn’t quite match the volume of sales of video game monoliths Guitar Hero III or Grand Theft Auto IV, it did very well. It is usually about a week after a video game release when the people who bought the game begin flooding the Internet with either their personal praise or damnation of the video game. They talk about things like game play, graphics speed and resolution, end game, online play, character building etc. Not this time! With Spore, the talk was all about its DRM!

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What is DRM? The copyright protection called DRM is an acronym for Digital Rights Management, a term used to describe the different techniques for restricting the free use and transfer of digital content. DRM is used in a number of media, but is found most often in music and video files. Many of people believe that DRM should stand for Digital Restrictions Manager being that it manages users restrictions while taking away their rights. Companies like Apple began using DRM under the auspices of fighting piracy. Has it worked? You tell me. After the news of the type of severe DRM Electronics Arts put on Spore spread to future buyers, it took only days for over 500,000 illegal copies of the Spore video game (without DRM) to be downloaded from P2P BitTorrent sites on the Internet. Does DRM work? No! It ticks people off. If you don’t believe it, ask Amazon.com, where thousands of people unhappy with Spore’s DRM restrictions gave the new video game a lowly one star rating. Thanks to DRM, Spore has become the most pirated game ever.

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