Spore Players Threatened with Ban for Discussing DRM

An apparent case of "mis-communication" led to moderators on the official Spore message board threatening to ban posters from playing EA Maxis' PC evolution simulator if they discussed the title's controversial DRM.

After inquiring about the DRM situation on the official Spore board, jpfrostfox's thread was locked, with the following added by a forum moderator:

SecuROM as been discussed and discussed so much and it causes arguments in threads. If you want to talk about DRM SecuROM then please use another fansite forum. If there is any change you will be able to read it on the official Spore site.

Please do not continue to post theses thread or you account may be at risk of banning which in some cases would mean you would need to buy a new copy to play Spore.

In order to post on the forum, posters must sign in with the Spore account tied to their game, with players only allowed one account for each copy of the game they purchase.

Following the initial posting, moderator sporemasterladym stepped in, claiming that the above was representative of "a mis-communication issue somewhere."

"You are not going to lose your game for posting a comment," the moderator wrote in a separate thread found by Kotaku. "It is okay to discuss issues on this forum as long as it's done in a respectful manner and there are no personal attacks. This includes the DRM and other controversial issues. Just keep it civil."

Faylor's Take: As a former forum moderator, I certainly sympathize with the plight of those that have been tasked with watching over the official Spore forums.

I'm also familiar with the practice of empty threats, such as this. The implications of preventing a Spore owner from playing the game they legitimately bought because of something they posted on the forums are mind boggling, especially with a controversial subject like DRM, and there's no way that would fly once the higher-ups learned of it.

Should push come to shove, I can understand removing a user's posting privileges. In fact, I'm sure this has already happened multiple times. But apart from causing even more controversy, I can't think of one reason to even bring up the idea of removing a consumer's ability to play their $50 game because of a questionable forum violation.

Thanks to Leviathan41 for the heads up

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 23, 2008 6:44 PM


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      September 23, 2008 7:09 PM

      I could understand a temp ban from the site.
      A permanent ban is unacceptable and so is a ban on the game. After all DRM is part of the game so it's fair to discuss it. Especially if potential customers come in to see what the game is like. This is important information (which really should be on the box as well).

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        September 23, 2008 7:18 PM

        A permanent ban is acceptable when people come in and keep posting the same things over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, like I'm sure most of the most vocal whiners about the DRM are doing. That being said, banning them from actually playing the game is a whole different subject and isn't acceptable for any reason.

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          September 23, 2008 9:25 PM

          How many times is it allowed to post something, that one is angry about then?

          3 times? 5 times? Are you allowed to criticize the game 3 times before you get banned? If I criticized the DRM 3 times, can I still talk about the one account per game thing? Or may I even post 3 times about the DRM and 3 times about the one game one account thing?


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            September 23, 2008 11:07 PM

            Well hopefully they'll give you an "uncriticize" tool to take back some of the things you said so you can criticize it more later

            Otherwise you'd have to call EA directly to criticize them about the game, which is just tedious ;)

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          September 24, 2008 3:55 AM

          It isn't acceptable eitherway. If somebody posted it and didnt know that others are doing it too, he cant be banned. Thats retarded

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            September 24, 2008 6:29 AM

            i highly doubt one person posting once is going to get banned. i can't say how their moderation works but i would be shocked if that happened. at worst a one-time post would get a warning before a ban. you are talking about the people that are spamming and shitting up the threads. i'm sure if you go browse there you'll get a feeling of the horror. i'm sure if you use the internet and forums at all semi regularly you already know the crap that's going on there. so don't pretend that if you signed up and posted a polite question about DRM you'd be banned, because most likely you would not.

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          September 24, 2008 6:28 AM

          i bet they will fix that by untying forum accounts to game accounts. that's what should be done. you can play a game if you are a dipshit, just not harass people endlessly.

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