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September 9, 2008

Should I Install Spore (and its RootKit)?

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 2:16 pm

Back when all the hype was new, I pre-ordered a copy of Spore from Amazon. Now that I’ve got it, I noticed it has the Rootkit DRM installed on it. Basically, installing Spore installs what can be described as a virus along with it. This virus runs in the background every time you start up your computer, and it doesn’t get removed if you uninstall the game.

As if that’s not restrictive enough, EA also limited the game to 3 installs – each one phoning home to check if you’re allowed to install it. For people like me who still play games that are well over 10 years old (for nostalgic value) that means I eventually won’t be able to play Spore. Who’s to say that in 4 years EA will keep up the verification server? That will render my copy of the game useless.

I’m not buying Spore, like I thought I did. I’m only renting it.

I honestly don’t know if I should install this or not, as the only way to remove the rootkit is to re-format your computer.

What would you do?

By the way, I’m not alone. There’s over 1500 negative reviews on Amazon.


  1. Meh!

    Comment by The Cheat — September 9, 2008 @ 2:30 pm

  2. See if you can get a refund.

    Comment by brian — September 11, 2008 @ 10:13 am

  3. Spore is alot of fun. Players who pirate the game don’t get the online stuff, like sporepedia and background downloads of other players creations. If the ea activation is like microsofts then the counter resets over time. Having 10,000’s of players pirate the game doesn’t help the anti drm cause, it just gives ea ammo in the fight aginst game piracy.

    Comment by Sherman — September 12, 2008 @ 8:23 am

  4. Hey Sherman. Pirating the game was never an option for me. As a software developer myself I don’t pirate software or music. I may not agree with the industry’s actions, but the further they dig themselves into a hole the more opportunties they open up for people who “get it”

    I ended up installing it – and the game isn’t that great. I was hoping for it to be more MMORP like World of Warcraft.

    I played for little over an hour and got partway through the tribes stage before I got bored. The tribes part is like age of empires, only a lot crappier with a lot less options.

    I hope the space stage is cool though, i’ve heard what’s where the real game is at.

    Comment by Ryan — September 12, 2008 @ 10:06 am

  5. I’m sorry it was boring for you; you may just be too hard-core a gamer for such light entertainment?

    Me, I haven’t played games much lately, so I found the game to be a delightful diversion. The early stages are pretty easy, on “easy” mode especially, and it gets a lot more involved once you reach space.

    For each stage, I’m sure there are existing games that do the same basic thing, but with more intricacy. One of the things I really like about Spore, however, is the ability to create the visual aspects — building the creature, the buildings, the vehicles, everything.

    It’s as much a toy as a game; with enough game to keep me engaged, and a lot of variations on how you can play your character.

    Anyway, I liked it.

    Comment by Edwin — September 15, 2008 @ 9:34 am

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