Gamer's Bill of Rights

Hi Cliff

So will you be signing up to the Gamer’s Bill of Rights that Stardock and Gas Powered Games just brought out? It makes for really good reading and encapsulates a lot of the things that bother people who pay for PC games.


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I’m in pretty much agreement with all of them in principle, although offering automatically to refund when the game won’t run on someone’s PC sounds fine in theory, but in practice it’s not doable because there is no way to verify it. This is why I’m so keen on demos, and people trying them first to make sure the games run ok. I did notice that they avoided mentioning demo’s entirely.

The refund works much better with traditional media than it does with Digital Downloads…I’ve had to do that a couple of times with normal CD/DVD games. This was before I had broadband, and downloading a 75-80 MB demo on a 56K line is nigh-impossible.

I think this is fair enough too… I went back to my home forum on the DRM issue and shared your comments and the gamers there got what you meant. I think the reaction to the bill is just a sign of how much gamers want to be treated PROPERLY by game companies.

So how does everyone here feel about the Amazon-bombing for Spore that’s currently underway? Last time I checked, it had over 1500 one-star reviews saying that the DRM sucked and that it wasn’t worth buying because of the DRM problems. Any thoughts here?

I think the DRM sucks, but the amazon attack is just silly. Spore is actually a pretty cool game, and it doesn’t deserve to have it’s ratings totally abused by people who mostly have not even played it. Its insane to let people who haven’t bought the game review it.

Cliff the trouble is, EA’s been like talking to a brick wall for the last year, and I mean seriously. I’ve been on the cliff-face of this debate for months now. People have provided evidence to EA of the damage Securom is doing, in detail and repetitively. They’ve sent them letters and had them returned as “unsolicited mail” they’ve done petitions and EA is now blocking just about all forms of direct protest. So the protests are not unexpected. Developers cannot expect their public to behave other than spitefully if their public feel that their money and their business is not being appreciated. The protests are not planned, none of the anti Securom groups had anything to do with it. Those people have just spontaneously decided to do this of their own accord, as amazing as it is.

And I would love to buy Spore… I’d love to have it in my collection. I’ve wanted it for five years and I adore Will Wright’s work. But I’m not a mug, and that’s what EA’s trying to turn me into. So I can understand why people have gone to this extent even though I take a politer route (educating other gamers via the site)


To be fair, check out the date on the earlier reviews. There are quite a few of them that are from WELL before the game was released. Prior to the game’s release, the ratings tend to be quite high on the “anticipation” factor. Once the game comes out, the ratings usually slip a bit (and that doesn’t even include this particular example of Amazon-bombing.) The most egregious example I remember of the rating sinking like a rock after the game was released was Master of Orion 3. MoO1 and 2 are classics, and nearly everyone who reviewed MoO3 gave it 5 stars and said they couldn’t wait for it to come out. It came out, and was putrid beyond belief. I think the rating sunk to about two stars within a couple of days. That, at least, was legitimate and not like what’s happening to Spore.

Sawaswati’s correct about EA’s reaction to the comments that users have brought up to them…they were informed, and did pretty much nothing. His comment about wanting to purchase it, but not doing so because of the DRM, is exactly how I feel about the game as well. Looks nice, but I’m not going to buy it.

I have to agree with the last two gentleman. Ive never personally seen people use Amazon like this before, possible with Mass Effect but with the same reason the DRM from EA. I think people just had no other outlet to use to be honest. Every forum including EA’s, Maxis, Gamespot, IGN, and you name it, any mention of DRM was deleted out. So what other resource does one use if you find only one apparent site that will allow for some sort of active protest. I agree I feel very badly for Maxis, I dont think they wanted any part of this. On the same note, I think EA was well aware and actually forewarned by the reception Mass Effect received, on what would happen for something like SPORE which was highly anticipated by a huge customer base. Imagine if this had been the Sims 2? It would of been even louder in my opinion, and might of caught the eye of a few law makers. I think its very poor practice to use DRM like this, and not mention it on the package or the site selling it warning the customer that it only has 3 activations. Fair is fair, and I dont think EA is playing fair with its customer base. I think they tried sneaking this in, and I think whats happening at Amazon is something they fully deserve. If they wanted this type of DRM they should of placed its restrictions as part of its selling point.


Gads, EA is doing that terrible activation thing yet again? I bought Mass Effect, and it’s a lot of fun, but I only play with the crack, no joke. I can’t even get the free expansion because of that fact, but I’m not about to give up one of my activations. I’m the kind of person who plays games many years after purchase, and three activations is just ridiculous.

I would never spam Amazon like those people are, but I do have to agree with their position. The DRM insanity is horrifying, especially considering Stardock has already proven how unnecessary it is even with top-selling games (sins of a solar empire).

For the record, I got Kudos through Stardock - I’m always looking for new stuff there because I know what I buy will just ***ing work.

for those who are tempted, I can say as an owner of spore that it is a bit disappointing. It’s got some cool tech, but the actual gameplay is very repetitive and simplistic. There doesn’t appear to be much strategy involved at all in the first three or four stages. It’s been heavily dumbed down for kids, and it’s weird to think it’s from the guy who made Sim City.

Just to chime in,

I downloaded the cracked version to give the game a whirl and see if it was worth my cash. Far as I’m concerned hyped up is what it is. The game play is so simple it’s not funny - more like RTS lite. If my kids were older and I wanted to get them into RTS’s I would buy this game for them. Well I would buy it but I only get 3 installs and since I reinstall my computer about every 6 - 8 months I wouldn’t waste my money on it. I want to play it forever or at least as long as I can. Boy am I glad I downloaded it - now I have unlimited installs and wait I saved what 50 - 60 bucks on a crap game that I’m going to delete. If it had been a good game like simcity I would have went out and bought it.

Hey Cliff,

So did your games sales go up since you changed prices etc after talking to the community? I know I bought a couple to help out.

An interesting article on DRM and Spore from can be found HERE.