Spore is the most pirated game of 2008, according to TorrentFreak . The game came out in September and has been illegally downloaded 1,7 million times. In those three months, more people have nabbed it than, say, Assassin’s Creed, which came out late 2007. TorrentFreak says, and I believe them in that, that the high pirating rate is due in large part to the DRM that came with the game.

Now, I can’t really support people that pirate software, but in all honesty, I can’t blame them, either.

We’ve come to the point where it’s simply more comfortable to play illegal games, than it is to play legitimate ones.


Take Spore, for example. I myself own a nice, legal copy of it, since someone bought it for me. I don’t know if I would have bought it if I had to spend my actual money on it. You see, I don’t *own* the game in the same way as I do some others. I can’t do with it whatever I want. I can only install it four more times. The thing also needs to phone home at regular intervals, to keep working. In essence, I don’t have the feeling that it’s *my* game. I’m not in control of what it does, and it has a tendency to add crap to my hard drive without asking, that I never wanted it to add (like Securom).

The same goes for Steam games. The first time I tried to install Dark Messiah, I was miffed to find that it wanted to download half the game from the internet. Which begs the question why I bought a nice, shiny dvd for it. My copy of Half Life 2 also refuses to play without opening Steam, logging into the web and showing me ads. It makes me wonder what you’re supposed to do if your internet is down, or your bandwidth is gone for the month. No internet? No game.

This is annoying DRM. It’s intrusive, and sometimes even faulty. Heck, Heroes of Might and Magic 5 doesn’t even recognize its *own* dvd half the time.

People who pirate games have none of these issues. They can play regardless of whether they’re connected to the internet. No one looks over their shoulder, no one spams them with ads and the chance of getting random programs installed on your hard drive is small.

A lot of game company’s are making themselves increasingly unpopular, not because they’re trying to squeeze every last penny out of gamers (they were doing that before), but because they’re so obvious about it. They don’t want you renting games to try them out, because that’s supposed to be bad for business, but once you buy a game, it’s not really yours to do with as you will. Which would make it, um, like renting?

If I rent something, I expect it to be less expensive.

After the shitstorm that came up because of this whole DRM thing, you’d expect EA to listen and notice that this really isn’t protecting their business. But EA management, I see more and more, is on a whole different planet than their customers.

So how long is EA going to stick to their Securom and DRM crap? My guess: it ain’t going away any time soon. And until then, legitimate game owners are being punished.