EA Admits Pirated Copies Do Not Equal Lost Sales

Changing positions

Electronic Arts says that it understands how an illegally downloaded copy is not, in any way, a copy that was lost as a sale to the company. Mariam Sughayer, who is working for the corporate communications department of EA, says that “Stepping aside from the whole issue of DRM, people need to recognize that every BitTorrent download doesn’t represent a successful copy of a game, let alone a lost sale”. Understanding this, the company is getting ready to shift its approach so that it rewards the customer rather than punishing everyone for the sins of pirates.

At launch, Spore had a three installation limit and also a limit of only one account per game copy owned. If you wanted more installs, you had to call Electronic Arts and if you wished more accounts, you had to buy more copies of the game.

Gamers launched a backlash, which included Amazon one star reviews and anti-DRM creatures on Sporepedia. On the one hand, Electronic Arts resorted to the usual hard line, going so far as threatening to ban people talking about DRM on their forums, but on the other hand, the company understood that most of the complaints were pretty much founded, so they recently announced that the installation limit would be raised while an iTunes like “activation” mechanics would be added. They also said that the very next patch would include a feature which allows for more screen names per game copy.

Expect Electronic Arts to emphasize the social and downloadable aspect of the game in order to fight piracy. Pirated copies cannot access the Sporepedia and cannot get creatures from other people in their games. So, if EA manages to select content and emphasize this aspect of the game, it will encourage more people to get the game in order to access this aspect of Spore.

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