EA has threatened to ban the Spore accounts of members discussing DRM issues on the official game forum.

"SecuROM has been discussed and discussed so much and it causes arguments in threads," barked a moderator. "If you want to talk about DRM SecuROM then please use another fan site forum.

"Please do not continue to post these threads or you account may be at risk of banning, which in some cases would mean you would need to buy a new copy to play Spore."

However, further down the page a producer for EA Maxis attempted to sooth the resulting furore.

"We are happy to support healthy exchanges on the forums. And people will only get banned for breaking the rules. Discussing DRM is not breaking the rules - and as long as it is a civil conversation, it's cool with us," said "Maxislucky".

The most controversial feature of the SecuROM anti-piracy software limits the number of times a game can be installed, either on one PC or numerous computers. Other features such as recurring online validation have caused a stir, as has being forced to install third-party software.

On more than one occasion developers have tinkered with the SecuROM features in their games to appease their fans, including BioShock developer 2K Boston and Mass Effect PC creator BioWare.

Spore is also due for some tinkering, apparently, and Red Alert 3 promises "more lenient" measures.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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