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EA responds to Spore DRM concerns

Viruses "infinitely higher" on torrents.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

EA has tackled, point by point, a number of concerns made by Spore owners regarding PC anti-piracy software SecuROM.

"There's no viruses, no spyware and no malware," an EA spokesperson told MTV Multiplayer. "We have located a download off of one of the Torrent sites that is a virus.

"The thing I would say to the consumer audience is that, if you're concerned with a virus on your computer, the chances of that are infinitely higher when you're downloading off of a hacked version than it would be downloading the authentic game.

"We would never put any spyware on anyone's computers. That's not going to happen," said the spokesperson.

Fans have argued that hacked versions of Spore can be more appealing because there is no limit on the amount of times they can install the game - the legitimate copy only allows three installations.

However, EA said there will be a patch soon to disassociate computers where the game has been uninstalled, in order to free up some installations. This is similar to iTunes.

The EA spokesperson further tried to dampen the installation limit by offering statistics taken from samples of Mass Effect PC, Spore Creature Creator and Spore owners.

Apparently less than one per cent of owners for each game have used all three installations, while less than 25 per cent have installed twice. Perhaps this is because people are trying to save their installations.

Another valid concern was that, years down the line, EA support for Spore may be closed and additional installations become impossible to obtain.

"If we were to ever turn off the servers on the game, we would put through a patch before that to basically make the DRM null and void," added the EA representative. "We're never walking away from the game and making it into a situation where people aren't going to be able to play it."

Spore owners were also thrown off track by the game manual, which wrongly claimed users can create multiple online accounts from a single copy of the title. Lucy Bradshaw, executive producer for Spore, has already apologised for this "misprint", but EA failed to respond to why this restriction was put in place to begin with.

EA recently came out and said Red Alert 3 would use a "more lenient" version of SecuROM in order to simultaneously appease fans and block pirates. This, basically, boiled down to five installations rather than three, plus one-time activation and no CD needed to play.

However, this not only failed to appease fans - who appear to be holding back from buying games protected by the SecuROM software, but also apparently does nothing to stop games being pirated. Spore, we're told, had been hacked before the official release date.

Instead, fans argue that these measures have been put in place to tackle the pre-owned, trade-in games market.

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