About 1,500 one star reviews so far.
Here’s some background if you’re just coming to the party.
Like the PC version of Mass Effect before it, Spore’s DRM limits owners to only three activations of the game after installation. The point is to prohibit software pirates from sharing and reusing activation codes over and over, but it also means that if a user happens to uninstall and reinstall Spore more than three times for completely legitimate reasons, they’ll have to contact Electronic Arts customer support to request and have approved a new authentication on a case-by-case basis. Which is precisely what has Amazon users up in arms.
A quick scan of the negative reviews reveals some bitterly sensationalistic headlines: “DRM Kills another potentially great game,” “Not a chance until the DRM goes,” and “DRM complicates life, removes value.” One reviewer, who calls the DRM “draconian,” even likened a purchase to a rental as opposed to an actual ownership of the game, since a player could theoretically be barred from playing their copy of Spore if they use up their activations and EA refuses to allow more. “What you will be left with is a nice, colorful $50 coaster. And you will be required to pay for another copy/license if you want to continue playing,” the user writes.
And believe it or not, this backlash comes after EA and Maxis made Spore’s DRM less stringent, when fans decried the originally announced plan to require online authentication every 10 days. As for how much the Amazon debacle will affect sales of the game remains uncertain, but it’s probably a PR problem that EA and Maxis could have happily lived without.
There is no way I would ever buy software that had a limit on how many times you could install it. There are many times I uninstall games that I haven’t played in a while to free up some hard drive space (Spore requires 6GB of space) only to install it later on when I’m in the mood. Or if other issues come up. Or if I buy a different computer and want to put it on that one.
I understand a company wanting to make it more difficult for a game to be pirated but why are they trying to make it more difficult for your paying customers?