EA faces a wave of lawsuits over just how invasive the DRM software is on this game. As a measure of how infinitely ineffective DRM is, Spore was the most pirated game of 2008. Good job they've got the DRM to annoy the legitimate customers though!
A patch released for this game actually made it impossible for owners to play again, all thanks to the DRM bullshit. They got around this by stealing a 'fix' off of a PIRATING website, which they then dished out without recognition as their own product. Words fail me.
The last time I tried to play this game, I spent over 24 hours downloading patches for it. The penultimate download was... a CoH DOWNLOADER so it could go ahead and download even more patches! I haven't yet managed to play it again after giving up in a fit of rage. It absolutely does not let you play if you are connected to the internet if you don't have the latest patch. Fuck you THQ.
Somewhere along the line, this game installed SecureROM on my system as part of the trojan/DRM service. As a result I could no longer boot Fallout 3 or Tomb Raider Underworld, before finally the DRM managed to lock me out of GTA IV itself. Thanks, guys! That's a full broadside of bullshit.
SecuROM at its finest again. Maybe this was one of the early prototypes of the software? The idea was to make it absolutely impossible to install the game more than three times on ANY computer. That means even if you uninstall from your system, then put it on a couple of months later - you've used up one of your 'credits'. It's my game! I'll install it on as many damn computers as many damn times as I want to!
Another great idea to bring piracy to its knees was to make it compulsory for the game to 'check in' online with the game developers and 'validate' every ten days or so. If it didn't do this, you'd be locked out of the game - because obviously your disk would've suddenly turned into an illegitimate pirate copy. None of this BS gets bestowed on console gamers of course, who do a booming trade in pre-owned games and swaps with their friends. What heathens!
The Flagship's rating:
DRM is an excellent way for developers to absolutely not cut out the problem of piracy on the internet whilst simultaneously shitting all over the honest gamers who pay money for a real, legitimate copy of the game.
It's frankly disgraceful, and I can't understand how they can get away with making a game unplayable when you're sitting with the legitimate CD in one hand and a serial key in the other.