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To prevent the software from being copied, EA will use SecuROM copy protection on Spore (and other games, like Mass Effect). When this was first announced, Mass Effect developer Derek French revealed their software would require on-line validation every ten days.
Due to a violent reaction of the gaming community to that news, EA has decided to drop the 10-day re-authentication. Maxis developer Caryl Shaw was the one to bring the relieving news to the Spore community. Spore will now re-authenticate automatically (and in the background) whenever the player does something (anything) online.
EA also released a De-Authorization Tool that removes that computer's install record of Spore. It is a separate download from EA.
- EA expects to earn more by reducing copying and destroying the second hand market, because the installs of any one Spore game are limited.
- Depending on what EA deems "online features" and "downloads new content," your copy will be re-authenticated constantly as you add new creatures and planets to your Spore universe.
- The user will require an Internet connection to start playing the game.
- Though 10-day re-authentication has been dropped, the idea that such a thing was even considered can be daunting.
- Many people have objections against copy protection out of principle and believe copy protection only bothers the legitimate users, as pirating gamers will use cracks and hacks anyway.
- While SecuROM is not a rootkit, It does install hidden files into the registry that are very difficult to fully remove, and the actual removal is a relatively long and complicated process involving several third party specialized programs.
- SecuROM limits the number of simultaneous activations of the game allowed to three. Changing hardware, upgrading an OS, or reformatting a computer, consumes an activation. You can make a phone call to EA's support to request additional activation, although this will be decided on a case by case basis, so this may be only a minor nuisance. EA has promised to change the limit to five and to release a tool enabling the game to be unactivated on a PC freeing up an activation (although the tool is unlikely to work after the PC is no longer recognised, e.g. after a hardware change) .
- SecuROM has been known to interfere with the function of disc burning software, antivirus software, and physical disc drives.
- Should EA decide, at any point, to stop running the authentication servers, it will render any copy of the game inoperable without a crack, unless EA addresses the issue by removing the authentication process prior to this which they have promised to do.