Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then Re-appear

September 12, 2008 -

Conspiracy theorists and grassy knoll types had a field day this afternoon as a couple of thousand customer reviews of Spore, mostly of the negative variety, suddenly disappeared from Amazon.com.

Some were quick to see EA's heavy hand in the missing reviews, but that was apparently not the case.

Earlier this week it was widely reported that angry gamers were slamming Spore with 1-star reviews due to the game's draconian copy protection scheme. Ironically, the game was cracked and posted online several days before its official release, meaning that legit buyers were the ones who suffered from the game's frustrating DRM.

Ars Technica, however, reports Amazon's explanation that the reviews were lost to a glitch of some sort and would be coming back online. Indeed, as this is being written, they appear to be back in place.


Comments

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Gallagher can araç kiralama say all he wants, but I strongly rent a car believe it's due to his crappy leadership and E3 being a joke. ESA's Board of Directors need to find a way to get out rent a car of this horrid contract with this Bush cronie before there's no one left on the Board.

Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing ttnet vitamin or little and need to start saving costs.

 

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Iv'e written negative reweiws for amazon that never turned up. Mabey they take negative reveiws for certain products off, so they can sell faster or as some sort of anti-bad publicity thing (looks like there is such a thing as bad publicity).

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

umm, BY the way the drm changes some system premissions which keeps some programs from updating leaving you open to a virus... Well that actually makes the DRM the virus... Since it takes over your computer and sends unkon data back to EA games...

Also because sooner or later EA will close or be bought or will run out of spore fans,tiffany jewellery  the activation server for Spore will be shut down so even if you still have installls, in about 5 years the game will only be available in the pirated version... which by the way doesn't crash... 

My friend has a pirated copy on a tiffany jewellery computer which is worse than my computer and his game plays faster and has never crashed, unlike my legaly purchased version... so the carshing is the DRM, not the game...

So the next time I re-install my PC(in about a month) I will be installing my friends version and putting the virus filled legally purchased version away somewhere...

Consequently I wont be playing any more EA games until they stop messing with their customers...

By the way I am not supporting piracy, as a programmer I hate piracy. I just see the anti-piracy measures as the reason why piracy is becoming more and more popular...

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

[quote]

Either, with or without DRM, Spore is a great game. The makers have nothing to do with EA policy.

But even so, as far as I can tell, people with problems with DRM are rare compared to those who do not have problems. For instance, this DRM is use since FOREVER with the Sims 2, and NOW they're complaining about it ?

I wonder how much people percentage wise have problems with DRM.[/quote]

You would have a point there.  If a small number of people had a little inconvenience and it saved the company loads of money from software pirates you might be on to something. 

Unfortunately there is 1 big group of people who will never have any problems at all with DRM.  You know who that is?  That's right it's software pirates.

While it may be a very small percentage of people who have an issue with the software, 0% of them have actually done anything wrong.

To give you an analogy, DRM is like if a store had problems with people stealing candy bars.  So they made a policy that every 100th person who bought a candy bar got harassed about it.

If you have the DRM you also have a legit copy and therefore there is no reason at all for the DRM to be there.

 

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

I wrote to Amazon about this and got a canned answer about how if reviews were removed then it's because they didn't follow Amazon guidelines.  All 2000+ of them apparently.  If it was in fact a glitch that explains Amazon's apparent cluelessness about them all being gone.  Definitely does look suspicious though... but at least they're back now.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

It’s really too bad that Spore is getting so many 1-star ratings because of its DRM when it should be getting all those 1-star ratings because the game is bloody terrible. The space component is a travesty to space sims… it’s the only game I’ve played where having more planets is actually a detriment then an advantage.

 

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Your opinion. But I bet you are a  "hardcore" player ?

You know, the minority.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

I put Spore on my Mac.  Runs like shit (have to run graphical settings on low) for some reason, but oh well.  No DRM for me, or so I believe.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Either, with or without DRM, Spore is a great game. The makers have nothing to do with EA policy.

 

But even so, as far as I can tell, people with problems with DRM are rare compared to those who do not have problems. For instance, this DRM is use since FOREVER with the Sims 2, and NOW they're complaining about it ?

I wonder how much people percentage wise have problems with DRM.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

 More than I think you seem to realize.  But before we get into that, I would like to just remind you that:

1.  This has been implemented to allow only 3 installs of Spore.  3 installs is all you get before you have to contact EA directly.  These can be used up rather quickly.  I usually reinstall a game that many times in 1 year due to cleaning up the system by wiping, or by hardware upgrades.  

As far as contacting EA, this sounds simple, but try it.  You will find that it is actually a bit of a hassle just to get to talk with someone, and then you need to convince that person that every other install was legit.  If for any reason they don't believe you are just don't feel like helping you are then required to buy another copy if you want to play anymore.

2.  Each copy is limited to one account only.  This was supposed to be a family game, and all progress is saved by account.   To have it where each family member can track their progress they will each need to buy a separate copy of the game.   Even MMORGs don't do this as they allow many characters per account, so if you each want to take turns you can each play a different character (thus track your own progress).  Even the manual states that several accounts can be tied into one purchase to track individual progress, although now EA says that was a misprint.  However, the games has a button to allow you to connect different account to the game, although that has now been disabled.

 

As far as problems, DRM software will change settings on your system which allows others with malicious intent easier access to your machine.  Not only does this allow easier access, it is also well hidden for view, usually in the form of root kits (this is why Sony got sued recently).  DRM software like SecruROM also at times hogs systems resources in it's search for what it considers hacking software.   Whether the software on your machine is legal or not, it does not care.  Some programs set it off that have nothing to do with hacking which will cause the game to log out.  Also, some people tart having slow downs and boot problem after install. 

We can go on and on about problems DRM causes, but the biggest fault is that it causes all these problems for the honest person while the cheater is problem free.  The hacked version on SPORE runs faster, does not have the 3 limit install, does not crash because you have another program running, and does not install any malware on your machine.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

1.

You do know that you legal copy of Windows Vista/XP also can't be installed more then 5 times, so why is it not a problem with Vista/XP ? (Had to call MS for another code).

Also, take in account that most people do not change their hardware every month. Only the few do that compared to vast majority. You are in that way a big minority. Maybe tens of thousands of people do that, but that is nothing compared to the BILLIONS that do not.

2. Like I said before:  Why hasn't there been a lawsuit ?  And don't say  "EULA " protects it, because EULA's don't mean anything in court. It is not a legal binding contract (If you haven't signed it, it isn't a contract. The little  "checkbox " at the end of the EULA is not a signature).

 

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Since when does being in the minority mean I should suffer undue complications on a legitimate product? I shouldn't, I'm a paying customer like anyone else. And who's to say I'm the only one that has DRM related complications? Just because many consumers don't know enough to realize their slowdowns and boot problems are connected with their recent SPORE install doesn't mean that they deserve the complications either.

Besides, even as a minority, I'm a big spender on games--big enough to count for several "one game a year" type customers. We're the ones who are buying, they should pay attention to what we have to say.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Well at least nearly all of them are back on-line. I think it was a real technical issue to be honest. The last time checked (when I posted my review) there was about 2,500 one star reviews for the main product and several hundred for the other flavors. There should be lots more however. I would love to see it hit 10k or more to be honest.

 

EA needs to be sent an unequivocal message that DRM is dead - it was a mistake from the onset and has done nothing but cause problems for legitimate consumers from day one and has only hurt the reputation of companies employing it. Simply put it should get with the program just like the music industry and give it up. In the end, the sooner the better for all concerned parties.

 

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

When will companies learn that the only way to minimize piracy is to not have any DRM of any kind?  CD-Key at the most, and no install limits.  That's the way to go.  There will always be those who pirate to "stick it to The Man" but they were never customers to begin with.

It's like if someone at Wal-Mart put an ankle bracelet on every paying customer after they paid because someone had shoplifted TVs the week before.  And no, this analogy isn't supposed to make sense.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Maxis has already seen this, and tried to do the PR spin (which I made a blog specifically to call them out for already), I'm hoping EA tries to do the same and sets off a firestorm.  It's gonna hit a breaking point soon, if not now.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

I wonder if Amazon has a system that takes down reviews when the product is getting excessive amounts of one star reviews? Maybe and anti-trolling measure?

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

 That's the most common sense thing I've read about this so far.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Why Legal Action hasn't been taking I don't know, Sony was sued by almost every major state and city for its crap. Also remember a Secrum Warning is not even listed on the box or the activation limit or what it means

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

When I posted my negative review, I am pretty sure that there where a lot more negative reviews than there are right now...

My review which was rather detailed and had issues with the game itself not just the drm, is still missing.

 

So this story should be renamed to 'some reviews re-appear not all".

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Should I not have been reporting the 90% of 5-star reviews that were fake?

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

How are they fake? Those reviews are from customers who wanted the game, learned that it includes SecuROM, and decided it was bad enough not to make a purchase. It's a perfectly legitimate complaint, and is based on fact. I don't know how much more real you can get than that.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Why are they fake? DRM is a game-breaking issue for a lot of people. Just because you like your games to install glorified viruses on your computer doesn't mean everyone else does.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

I think the whole DRM fiasco is bullshit on EA's part.  Im almost ready to Boycott all of EA's PC games.  I hope the EA is listening to the customers.  I know this is single handedly preventing me from buying it.  Im even more mad that they are trying to pull the same shit for Red Alert 3, which I was looking forward to.

Dear EA,

SecuROM doesnt work.  Your game was cracked 24 hours after it hit the streets, even before the offical US release of the game.  All your doing is upsetting the paying customers by treating them like criminals.  You cant beat piracy.  Falling sales may have something to do with you including DRM.

Sincerely,

Your pissed off fans

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

don't just boycott their PC games, or that'll just hurt PC gaming, boycott their ENTIRE line of games, from PC to console and back.

if you still "must have" that Madden 09 when its out, simplest thing is to wait a month and buy it used (i've seen copies of 08 hit the used shelf within DAYS of release, so its no hard. E-bay makes it even faster)

that way EA doesn't see any more money from the sale, but you still get the game to enjoy it.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

i smell conspiracy...  call me a whack job, but i think amazon would sell their souls to the devil to get an edge (yes that was a whack job statement)

Jesus Jack Jones Thompson told me to do it!

Jesus Jack Jones Thompson loves you, so kill for his amusement so we can get money for the new "People's Temple of Jesus Jack Jones Thompson"

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

The reviews should return, probably unlike the one's on that book (even though she deserved it too), because the reviews were put on because of a more than valid complaint, because the Spore DRM sucks. Spore is a pretty decent game, but DRM is retarded in its very concept. I don't mind game with simple DRM like you have to put on the code from the game box, and that will work on many intalls, because it's really simple and isn't gonna hurt anyone but DRM like this is pointless, because it prevents nothing. This game was cracked before it was even released! People who want to steal the game did so before people could get it legitimately. This means the people that cared enough to fund their business, even though they could have gotten the game early, are the only people who lose from this DRM. I know I wipe and restarts my computer every few months because it makes it run faster and smoother. The idea that doing this could make a copy of Spore useless bothers me. My PC probably wouldn't be good enough for Spore anyways, but unless they have a fix for this before the wii or 360 version comes out, I will refuse to support the game on principle because PC gamers deserve the ease of use that console gamers get. They already get a bit screwed over because of they need to install and make sure everything runs right (which sometimes is a task in and of itself), they don't need crappy DRM to make things even more difficult.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

I still wonder why news outlets (such as this one) are so down on the DRM in Spore.  I mean, honestly - are you planning on installing on more than 5 machines at once?  Do you even own 5 machines that can play Spore?  I know I don't.  And I've had no trouble with the DRM slapping me in the face or anything.  The game has crashed, but that was the game, not the DRM...

Don't get me wrong.  I wish the DRM wasn't there, but for other reasons.  As things stand, though, it hasn't hurt me in the least.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

MR.AnonyTroll

Its rather simple DRM used in a online only and install liming way with no return of installs on uninstall is highly anti consumer. All it dose is give the user grief over hardwre installs or fixing windose by reinstalling it it forces people to get cracks to fix their game and this creates a situation of people skipping the buying process altogether because the DRM is to pants on the head fcktarted.

This kind of DRM should never be used.

I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

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Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

I have only limited hard drive space, and the way my interest in games waxes and wanes I'll be installing a game I like at least three times and usually more.  Plus, if I buy a new computer - or if I want to install it on my laptop, or if my computer crashes, or needs new hardware...

In short, am I planning on needing more than three installs (we only get three)?  YOU BETCHYA!

Now why on Earth should any rational person spend $50 for what is, for all intents and purposes, merely a long-term rental?  Explain that to me please.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Everything you need to know about why DRM is bad

Contains swearing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-uulRB1OmY

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Another huge problem is SecuROM actually can break your hardrive and also when SecuROM is installed it can take over your computer and give you access to only what it wants. And thats not a joke

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Do you have a source to back up your ridiculous claims?

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

First it's three activations and you forget something, if you update your drivers then that uses up an activation. So basically make sure your windows update is not on unless you pirated the game. The Pirated version is the only clean version.

Not just that if you updated your graphics drivers as recommended, another one. If you buy or add anything to your system or merely updating something on the system, thats another point

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

Not exactly true.
Mass Effect PC has the exact same SecuROM security core and since that has been out a good deal longer I suggest you go and take a look at their support forums.
People have updated drivers, even replaced entire videocards without triggering activations, so it is not that agressive.
A reformat and subsequent reinstall of Windows however WILL cost you an activation.

Note that I hate this DRM as much as the next guy, but do please investigate before stating something as fact.

Reinstalls on the same computer (but not after a reformat) shouldn't cost you an activation either, but no idea how that meshes with driver and hardware changes. Haven't seen many of those on the ME forums.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

5 machines is the new Red Alert.

Spore is 3 installs. Since I re-install my system every few months to keep it fast, I will have a pretty coaster in a few months...

But you gotta give EA props for having fans make most of the content for the game and then screwing them over...

BY the way the drm changes some system premissions which keeps some programs from updating leaving you open to a virus... Well that actually makes the DRM the virus... Since it takes over your computer and sends unkon data back to EA games...

Also because sooner or later EA will close or be bought or will run out of spore fans, the activation server for Spore will be shut down so even if you still have installls, in about 5 years the game will only be available in the pirated version... which by the way doesn't crash...

My friend has a pirated copy on a computer which is worse than my computer and his game plays faster and has never crashed, unlike my legaly purchased version... so the carshing is the DRM, not the game...

So the next time I re-install my PC(in about a month) I will be installing my friends version and putting the virus filled legally purchased version away somewhere...

Consequently I wont be playing any more EA games until they stop messing with their customers...

 

By the way I am not supporting piracy, as a programmer I hate piracy. I just see the anti-piracy measures as the reason why piracy is becoming more and more popular...

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

And you sir, are right on the money for what it does.

I am against piracy as well, but only when people are not already screwing over their consumers.  The best measures to prevent piracy:

1. Release across the world all at the same time
2. Treat your customers well, and even go as far as saying, if we get a %1 piracy rate (or whatever half of normal piracy rate is), we will release the next expansion pack online for free.

Then you will be golden.  Treating your consumers well is #1 though.  If they didnt lie to the consumers then that would help a lot, but they lie just like Microsoft, GameSpot, and our government lies...  (Are you craping me, gas was $3.75 yesterday and $4.55 today...  I love the country, hate the dumbasses that run it, rather line their pockets instead of protect the people...)

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

The reason gas is so high is because the hurricane is shutting down production. If Houston closes (they have an emerency, mandatory evacuation right now) then production of gasoline stops.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

There is also the whole "does not actually work" issue, what with the game hitting the torrent sites before it could even be released.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

A lot of people aren't too keen on the whole 'installing spyware' aspect of it.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

The number of installs thing isn't the biggest issue with the DRM.

It's that every copy of the game binds to ONE Spore Account.  This effectively means no one else in my household can play it, unless they play on my account.  If someone else wants to play on their own account, they need another $50 copy of the game, and another computer.  Absurd requirements for what is usually deemed 'fair use'.

The Creature Creator didn't do this, it allowed anyone to login and switch logins to personalize their own SPORE creatures.  Now the actual game comes out, and the first person who logs in locks the game to their account permanently.  It's a load of crap.

People on the SPORE forums are pissed off that EA used their customers to create all the content in the game with the Creature Creator prior to release, then ship a game that only one person in the household can play with any personalized experience.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

 Actually, unless I did something wrong, I had my creature creator tied to my account.  I downloaded it from EA, and my husband ended up buying another copy of the creature creator so that he could also create an account.

Overall, the Spore experience has been horrible for us.  I purchased the Creature Creator online, their servers crashed, and I didn't get the download link for over 8 hours after it became available for people who DIDN'T pre-order, so it felt like they were punishing me for guaranteeing my sale.  Then my husband wanted to play with his own account, so we went to Target and purchased another copy of the Creature Creator.  Then, we bought Spore at midnight and I put it on my computer, he put it on his, and we put it on our laptop.  Now, the next time we have a virus or want to reformat, we are already going to have to call EA.

If Will Wright doesn't leave EA, I will not buy another game from this amazing guy.

 

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

I believe the limit is 3(correct if i'm wrong).  I'm change my mobo, buy a new grahpics card, and install Vista in the next few months.  that's my 3 installs gone in 3 months.  after that i'll have to call EA and go through their bad customer service. 

 

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

And yeah, it's a 3 install limit.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

I used one up so i only have 2.

By the way how hard is it get extra install limits?

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

You have to beg EA, and hope they sympathize with your situation.

Re: Negative Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then

I know many people who do a clean system instal every few months, meaning that in a few months, spore would be an expensive tea coaster.

Re: Spore Reviews Disappear From Amazon & Then Reappear

Ah wow, I just posted in the shoutbox about this  You can compare timestamps if you want.

 
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