EA has been dealing with something of a PR problem with Spore, as gamers bomb the Amazon ratings with one-star reviews to make their feelings known on the issue of DRM. Who can blame them? Placing a limit on how many times you can install a game you own, and doing so after the game has already been made available via the expected channels online in pirated form, is lame. EA wants you to know that it is listening, however, and the install limit for Red Alert 3 has been raised to five.
In other words, EA has decided to loosen the handcuffs slightly. We're supposed to be very happy at this "progress." Chris Corry, the Executive Producer on the game, has more details:
Life happens. I know it's unlikely, but
for those unlucky few who install the game and have their
machines nuked (virus, OS reinstall, major hardware
upgrade, etc.) five times, EA Customer Service will be on hand
to supply any additional authorizations that are
warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by
contacting customer support.
So if you use your computer like us geeks and do a lot of reinstalls, or simply uninstall and reinstall the game enough to hit the five user limit, you'll have to plead your case to EA's customer service and hope they grant you some more use of the game you've already paid for. No promises though. This is on a "case-by-case" basis. Another EA employee on the forum described this as "the lenient measures" they are taking for those of us with concerns.
It's the phrase "lenient measures" that's so insulting, as if imposing an install limit, and then upping it by two, is doing us a huge favor. I realize many of you are reading us from work, so I have abstained from putting an image of a big middle finger in this post. Trust me, I'm still thinking it.
One member of the forum put it very well. "Making life harder for customers and a funny joke for hackers is the wrong way to fight piracy. The game will be hacked one hour after release, and pirates won't have any install limits. All those who buy original will have install limit, 3, 5, or 20, it doesn't matter. Install limits are a pain in the ass for everyone who buys the original and a joke for pirates. So who are you really fighting… piracy or your customer?" The original poster may not have spoken English as their native tongue, but the point is still made. Another international EA customer points out that the company is giving their user base the shaft in another way: you have to call customer support to get more activations.
"EA does have customer support in Australia," he wrote. "It comes to you at the low low price of $2.48 a minute."Posted on