Spore has received its share of anger from the gaming community due to its ridiculous DRM restrictions, and I think they rightly deserve the backlash, despite the fact that I’m playing the game (and enjoying it immensely) with my wife right now. Heck, even after the bellyaching over the DRM, I still picked up the game, simply because I refuse to pirate anything. Anyway, it CLEARLY states in the manual that you can have more than one account on a single install. It couldn’t be more obviously stated, in fact. However, when you go to create a second account (something useful for families with multiple users or couples), it’s simply not an option. When the issue was raised in the Official Spore Forums, EA gave a half-hearted explanation. Here’s the post made by EA_Violet on page 1 of the thread discussing the issue:
That section in the manual was a misprint and will be corrected in future printings of the manual. There is one Spore registration/account per game/serial code so you are correct in that you cannot make multiple accounts at this time. I have sent your guys’ feedback to the game team though since I can understand the desire to share a game on a system that you entire family uses.
The thread has now grown to 28 pages of replies by angry and confused users. My contribution is as follows:
You know, I just can’t swallow this one. I bought the game because my wife isn’t much of a gamer but she’s been excited for Spore since I brought back footage from two E3 shows ago. We were told that we could each have our own account on the game, and the text in the manual confirmed it. Now we’re being told it was a misprint? Why can’t you guys just be upfront and honest and tell us that you pulled that feature but forgot to amend the manual? It’s obvious that’s what happened.
The DRM is a nightmare, but the flat out lying to your consumers is what is really inexcusable. Yes, the game is great and I’m enjoying it, but definitely at a diminished level due to my wife and I having to share an account. Inexcusable, EA, simply inexcusable.
So, Spore fans, even if you’re fully satisfied with the game, I don’t think it’s ok to allow this stuff to go on without at least voicing your concern for this sort of consumer robbing. You know who is avoiding these issues? The pirates. Yes, the pirates are playing the game DRM-free and loving it, while those that were considerate enough of Maxis’ work end up having to deal with harsh DRM and bold-faced lies. Thanks, a lot EA! This right here is why your PR is always right down in the toilet.
The growing thread over at the Spore forums can be found here: http://forum.spore.com/jforum/posts/list/103.page. As of the time of writing, there still has only been the single response from EA.