Don't Buy Spore (Yet)

Once again, I suffer so that you don’t have to. This morning I picked up Maxis/EA’s new Spore. Apparently, though, the online part of the game – which is to say “most of it” – is completely broken and doesn’t work. At all.

I’m sure I’ll hear from the “works for me” contingent any moment now. But for those of you who haven’t yet bought the game, you might want to peruse this 39-page thread on EA’s support forums. Many people, evidently, are getting messages upon their first login along the lines of “The code for this installation is invalid and cannot be used to link this product to your account”, or “You do not have the proper spore.com privileges to use this product’s online features”.

These problems are impressively troublesome because they’re part of the out of the box experience. As I described to some of my friends on Twitter and elsewhere, the overall tone of the experience is “Hey, thanks for buying our game, you goddamn criminal.”

Playing offline on my Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro, the game is playable, but noticeably slow. I’ll try it on the iMac later and report on that in a bit.