Don't Buy Spore (Yet)

On September 7, 2008, in Games, by peterb

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 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.


7 Responses to “Don't Buy Spore (Yet)”

  1. peterb says:

    It’s much faster on the iMac. Although the online registration still isn’t working for me. I guess I’ll return the game to Target tomorrow night, since it doesn’t actually work.

  2. Chris says:

    This makes me chuckle with schadenfreude. :) But I am genuinely interested in Spore, and especially in whether my prediction as to its sales figures will be close. I’ve no doubt that there are going to be players who love this games to bits… but I just can’t see it pulling in the sales that The Sims did. Can you?


  3. David says:

    Worked perfectly for me — two registrations, two computers.

    I suspect these are goobers with bad internet connections or outdated drivers.

  4. peterb says:

    Ah yes, that internet forum mainstay: “When in doubt, blame the victim.”

    Presumably you decided to comment just before driving to your job at a crisis center.

  5. peterb says:

    Chris: I think one thing that made the Sims work was absolutely compelling cross-gender appeal. Spore, with its science-fiction opening, feels a lot more decidedly male to me. But perhaps I’m wrong. We’ll see!

  6. Cronan says:

    If it doesn’t work for me it’s going straight back to Amazon for a refund. I won’t put up with this crap anymore.

  7. Mark says:

    It runs pretty well on a top-of-the-line iMac, though the frame rate is a little choppy planetside if you crank up the resolution to maximum. (To be fair, they mention that in the readme.)