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EA Loosens Spore's DRM, Account Restrictions

Responding to criticisms over Spore's copy protection mechanisms, publisher EA will expand Spore Online Accounts to allow multiple users, enabling game owners to set up to five screen names per account.
Electronic Arts is planning to expand its Spore Online Accounts to allow multiple users. Addressing the community on Spore's official forums, the publisher announced it's adding the ability for users to have up to five screen names per online account. The publisher received criticism from game owners over Spore's limit of one account per copy, which many felt was too restrictive for homes with several members looking to play the title. The issue was exacerbated by a misprint in Spore's manual claiming that users can have "multiple Spore accounts for each installation of the game." Spore's SecuROM digital rights management (DRM) measures have also been chastised for limiting game owners to three computer activations per purchase, providing no de-authorization process for previously registered systems. EA said that the restriction was designed to address the needs of the largest portion of its user base while still limiting piracy, commenting that the number of EA customers who ask to activate more than three accounts is smaller than one percent. Though the publisher likened Spore's authentication to iTunes, which allows users to listen to their music on a limited number of multiple computers, an EA spokesperson later told game weblog MTV Multiplayer that it will release a patch in the "near future" allowing owners to de-authorize computers. "We felt that this was a good step in the right direction to begin to respond to the feedback you have given us and evolve Spore," says Spore executive producer Lucy Bradshaw. "We are aggressively working on this now; we will get back to you with more information on timing as soon as possible."

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