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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

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The Spore Piracy Debate
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Gamasutra has published a new article examining the impact of Spore's much maligned DRM scheme on the number of people downloading pirated versions of the evolutionary god sim. The interview includes comments from EA's Mariam Sughayer who parts with the usual industry stance to state that each pirated copy downloaded does not necessarily equal a lost sale.

EA recently revealed that it has sold 1 million units of Spore since launch. At the same time, TorrentFreak, a weblog dedicated to aggregating news for the BitTorrent P2P protocol, is claiming that Spore has been downloaded 500,000 times on BitTorrent alone, saying it may become "the most pirated game ever."

"Stepping aside from the whole issue of DRM, people need to recognize that every BitTorrent download doesn’t represent a successful copy of a game, let alone a lost sale," (Mariam Sughayer) tells Gamasutra.

Downplaying the piracy issue in this particular case, EA's Sughayer says: "We’ve talked to people that made several unsuccessful attempts to download the game and ended up with incomplete, slow, buggy or unusable code. In one case, a file identified as Spore contained a virus."

"To say that every download represents a successful copy of the game –- or that there’s been more than 500K copies downloaded -- that’s just not true."

Perhaps oddly, these comments represent an almost total role reversal from the normal dialogue on the topic from publishers and industry associations -- which usually stresses sales lost to piracy.
Read the full article at the page linked below.

Gamasutra: Spore & Piracy
Electronic Arts
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