back to article EA Europe struggles squeezing out Spore

Electronic Arts can't seem to fix login problems preventing many customers from taking Spore online during its European launch day. Since yesterday, many early customers have reported an inability to log into EA's UK servers. The errors messages appear to range from "invalid login" to "you do not have the proper …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    no different to .....

    The rerelease of battlefield 2142 with all the booster packs earlier this year. I do so hope that they manage to resolve this in shorter time frame the 2142 fiasco, which I believe remains a problem for anyone who coughs up the wonga.

  2. Inachu

    never never never

    Never have people log into a server that also hosts account creation!

    It just slows everything down for the rest of us.

  3. Wokstation
    Thumb Down

    I'm voting with my wallet...

    ...and giving this a miss. The DRM is just too much. Online activation for a single-player game? You can't install and activate on a computer without an internet connection.

    Limited activations? Destroy it's resale value why not.

    EA aren't exactly at the top of my list of "trusted publishers", so I wouldn't be to suprised if in a couple of years they decide Spore's time is over and pull the plug on the activation servers - what then for the purchasers?

    The irony of course is that the game was pirated before it was even officially released. A look over a few "naughty websites" shows scores of torrents supplying cracked copies of Spore.

    Me? It's purchase or don't have it at all. I'm not about to go pirating a game, I don't really see the point - it's "only a game" (and from the reviews, not as great as we all thought it might be).

    So, EA have lost my purchase. I might reconsider if I see it in a bargain bin for a fiver, but other than that they can take a running jump. I know I'm not the only one that feels this way, either.

  4. james
    Thumb Up

    no problems here

    got the game on thursday, installed at about midday, created account and logged on fine, played on and off most of the time since i got it and havent seen a problem. and the game play is good too :)

  5. Chris

    Same old Same old

    I have that problem on quite a few EA games, perhaps they're not hiring/providing enough servers

  6. Austin Modine (Written by Reg staff)

    no u spel bad



    Although I meant [sic] in the kindest way. A brotherly [sic]. A gentleman's [sic]. A [sic] between two people bonded by misused homophones.

  7. David Hicks


    Err, no. It's affected, The users have been affected by the problem, not effected. You can't effect a user, unless you are god.

    Which brings me back to Spore. Whilst I'd love to spend some time effecting and affecting the evolution of some self-designed beasties, I'm annoyed at the price.

    I thought I'd have a go at buying online; I'm not really fussed about having packaging or media. Unfortunately, EA have chosen to sell it online for 40 quid. Or 50 dollars if you're American, which is yet another pricing insult to the British. Not only that but you can get it from online retailers for 26, with shipping.

    You'd think electronic delivery would be cheaper...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, buy it, and if the activation is a problem, get an activation crack. Hard to make the argument that that's ripping off the game creator... Not to mention the juicy irony of a game being sold BECAUSe of a crack...

  9. Tom


    No your not alone. When I read that it didn't use a key disc I was going to buy it, then I found out it used that securom Sony crap and had limited activations. I'll keep my $50 and EA can keep their game. The copy protection worked, they are safe from me ever making a copy.

  10. David Barr

    Turns out it's a toy not a game

    And any ideas that it's going to have any kind of evolution are sadly mistaken. A complete disappointment for me, I was hoping it was a game where I'd have to weigh up pros and cons and try and get my little dudes to evolve in a certain direction... but it turns out it's a dressing up game. The creature creator that's been out for a while is pretty much the whole game. Create a guy, make him do a simple task, repeat task again and again for points, and then dress him up again. Next stage? Repeat.

  11. pctechxp

    Like all EA's games

    with online features, if you use it, you cant resell the game and its tied to you forever.

    This kind of thing is ok for purely multiplayer games but single player?

  12. Martin Lyne

    @ Wokstation

    Review says: "It should be noted that even those affected seem to still have the ability to play Spore offline."

    You fail.

    David Barr is right, at each stage you can completely reform your creation, but I choose to limit myself so the little history thing shows a gradual evolution. Tribal stage was very dull, only just started Civ stage, I quite like just looking at other people's creations.

    Preordering meant I got it for £25, not a massive price to pay for a huge team of developers making a 5 stage game that's fun for the family that took a good half decade at least to make.

    Also, mine had a CD Key.

    If this game is open to mods it will be fantastic, increasing the depth of Creature and Civ stages will really help. Shame that because of my prior actions my Civ is "religious", I think that should be a choice, it's hard to be an aggressive herbivore in early stages

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No, you are not alone. I feel the same.

  14. Brian Souder
    Thumb Down

    There Goes EA's Quality Control Again

    EA public beta testing again. They should have all the bugs out by 1.8.9067 Maybe they should learn how to release games like THQ. At least you can tell if the product is ever going to be foxed or you are going to be stuck with memory leaks for the life of the product.

  15. Wokstation

    @David Wiernicki

    "So, buy it" and reward them for using such draconian and nonsensical DRM?

    If everyone did that, what will the company learn? They learn that they can do whatever they like and the public will just bend over, take it, and pay for the honour.

    Nope. This gamer's not for turning.

    It must be bad, I just paraphrased Thatcher *goes and scrubs his mind with bleach*

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    lol EA. Almost every game from that sweat shop is shit. Those that arn't are from companies they bought up after they'd finished the game.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    EA: Two clusterfooks in one week

    Don't EA have something to do with Warhammer Online too?

    There have been tens of thousands of open beta testers unable to log in on the launch day today thanks to our surrender monkey friends at French outfit GOA. In Europe GOA has been given the rights to manage the Warhammer Online infrastructure, which is surprising considering the cock-ups they made with the previous massively multiple on-line game - Dark Ages of Camelot.

    After fleecing thousands of UK customers to pay for a Collectors Edition boxed set to guaranteed place on the open beta they then gave away tens of thousands of free accounts out. What they didn't do is listen to the hundreds of suggestions and stagger the registration and also didn't scale their servers. Instead they released an aggrogant press release about being able to handle it.

    The wonderful Warhammer franchise from UK company Games Workshop has been sullied by garlic munching tosspots.


  18. Kevin

    Actually I'm glad...

    that they decided to use SecuROM on this it caused me not to pre-order the game. Because al the reviews I read say they changed it completely from what was originally announced, that sounded like it would be the most ultimate game ever, to the disappointment that David Barr above said.

    I for one thank you EA, and Sony rootkit v2.0 from saving me from parting with my hard earned money.

  19. Stuart Crawford

    If only it was true...

    The problem does not only affect those wanting to play online - Having bought and installed the game, it will not allow you to play until it has validated with EA via the Internet - which it fails to do!!

  20. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    It's EA, people

    And It's online too. So that gives me to gold-plated reasons to not spend my money.

    I'm boycotting EA since they so thoroughly screwed me with BF 2142.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold your horses!

    It was all fixed by Saturday morning. Unlike the Beta registration for a certain GOA hosted game on sunday...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    console gaming

    When Half Life 2 had that steam thing to download and decrypt part of your game data and generally took a lot of hoop jumping to install... even months after the initial release when i bought it, I knew that PC gaming (which was always seemed to be a quick path to upgraded hardware requirements), was even more dead.

    I ONLY buy games for consoles and do gaming on my consoles.

    This results in;-

    1) Game works within 5 minutes of putting the discs in (max).

    2) PC does not have to be anything more than a laptop (with moderate graphics capabilities).

    3) I can resell my games.

    Seems to me EA are doing the next logical step in PC gaming, costs of game development are huge and i am sure they must be loosing something from piracy.

    If you dont like it, get a console.

  23. Anonymous from Mars

    I love sandbox games. I hate Spore.

    I love sandbox games. I hate Spore. To even call it a game is a laugh.

    May this be the only article I ever read about it.

  24. Paul Murphy
    Thumb Up

    Mine works fine

    Got it on Friday, installed on main partion ('c:\' no choice to install on anything but!) and could still use the account i had set up for the creator.

    No problems logging in whatsoever.

    Good fun on normal difficulty. though I found the initial stages either frustrating or easy, depending on how powerful I was ;-)

    Gets more complicated as you progress (naturally!) and the space section is pretty vast.

    I was playing a out-and-out carnivorous type though, so I wasn't playing nice or trying to negotiate (mainly because I couldn't get my musical instruments to work :-(


  25. Kerberos

    @David Wiernicki

    So, if I want to play a game I payed money for I should have to download a crack to get it to work acceptably? I should have to partake in exactly the same illegal practices to play the game legitimatley that I would do to play it illegally?

    The only difference between the two approaches is giving money to EA only encourages them to pull this crap more often.

    I was thinking of buying Spore until I read about all the DRM crap attached. Now I am not going to. I'm not going to pirate it either as I have enough legal games to keep me occupied but the fact of the matter is they have lost a sale.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not bad, but....

    Spore's really just four mini-games before you get to the Space part, and then it becomes somewhat more interesting.

  27. Matt

    That's EA for you

    Who cares if it works or not?

    I stopped buying anything with an EA logo on it after BF2. That was the most buggy game i have ever paid money for. It was a farce, the game would run fine for about a day then would crash to desktop and never start again. The 2 expansion packs i purchased both did the same thing, i got no support from EA at all. I paid £80 in total for that game and it's various expansions. I eventually discovered that i was able to play a couple of multiplayer maps without the game crashing until one day i tried to log on to find that my serial number had been banned. EA didnt answer my emails so i was left unable to play the game.

    With all the bugs that BF2 has they never fixed it and went ahead and released 2142. Bastards.

    It's tantamount to theft

    I'll be stealing the cracked releases from now on to check to see if they work properly or not

  28. Wokstation

    @Martin Lyne

    It should be noted that I wasn't talking about the server issues, but the whole concept of online activation.

    You CANNOT install and play this game on a computer that does not have an internet connection. "You fail", because you didn't even understand what I had written. Good job sah.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @console gaming

    And how long until activation comes to console gaming I wonder?

    We already have console game patch hell (one of the worst things about the internet in my opinion)

  30. paul


    And how long until activation comes to console gaming I wonder?

    Depends if the security of consoles is hacked I guess. xbox and wii have both been compromised. PS3 has not.

  31. Dan

    @AC and console gaming.

    The only reason I bother with PC gaming is that RTS and FPS games are better played with a mouse and keyboard. The second consoles games all support keyboards and mice my PC will need a lot less upgrading.

  32. CockKnocker
    Thumb Down

    Mine was ok but....

    I got the game on saturday and have had no problems, issues like this are typical of EA though. Presumeably because they choose a launch date and thats it, the poor programmers are trying to play catchup, hence the 1gb patches etc that you can expect for any ea game after release. What really gets my goat is when purchasing through the EA downloader you have a limited time to use the download then it expires. Or you can buy an extended service for £2 and have the right to download the game for 2 years... Hang on didnt I just buy the game??!!!!! I should have rights forever. You cant even burn the download to disc as it bins out with serial number issues. V annoyed.....

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Spore dwellers confusion

    Does anyone know what the residents of Singapore think about this ? They tend to refer to Singapore as 'Spore'. P'haps the local black helicopter owners will use it to impose their draconian anti-chewing gum "laws" ?

    Paris ? Virtual shenanigans with chewing gum ! (Yeah, baby, yeah !)

  34. Chris Cheale


    It actually seems to be some kind of weird bug in processing the registration form when initially loading the game. The "please register to access online content" bit doesn't quite work right; your EA account gets set up but not the Spore one.

    The fix is a bit weird but it seems to work. Start the game and skip the "sign up" and play a bit in offline mode. Then go to "options" and click the register button. You should be able to get your Spore account activated through the registration form that pops up there. Registering the game whilst the game is running seems to be the fix.

    For all the detractors of the game - it's a Maxis product, you know the people that did "Sim City" and "The Sims" - Spore is pretty much what you'd expect, only more so. It's not a game for FPS zealots but if you enjoy micro-management it's pretty good.

    Besides, you get to design your own creature/vehicle/building and how you design it affects the game mechanics. Evolve porcupine quills in the creature stage and your critters will be able to fire quills at the enemy in the tribal stage.

    Although I'm getting splattered in the Space Stage atm... bloody "Spode" worshippers.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Get off your high horse, they couldn't care less if you don't buy it, and do you honestly think they would attribute it to the online problems? They'd just do what they do with all the other sales, and assume either you didn't want it in the first place, or you got hold of it illegally. Refusing to buy the game because of some teething problems is at best childish, and if everybody actually did it, publishers would just decide that games with online content weren't as good at selling, and revert back to the old way of doing things.

    Spore is genuinely enjoyable, I assume moreso if you're warlike and annhilate everyone else, however the galactic empire stage is particularly enjoyable. While the other stages are really mini-games, it's still the most unadulterated fun I've had with a single-player game in a long time (maybe matched closest recently by CoD 4). Whether it's been toned down or not, it IS a lot of fun, and it IS still a very innovative idea. When I get bored of the space stage (as I'm assuming I will at some point) I'll go back through and try and get to it using diplomacy. The point of the evolution stages is that you evolve to meet specific things, and during those stages they do make a difference, but once you get to the civ stage (as with humans) those evolutionary traits are largely unimportant, and it's the culture you're building that takes over. While the games are in short bursts and relatively easy, it's the short bursts and the fact that you have a viable target at each step, and that you are looking forward to the next stage that makes the game exciting and fun. As an FPS junky I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it, but after reading the reviews on meta-critic (including the linked press reviews) I decided it was worth the cash and stumped up. For what I've got for my cash, it doesn't seem quite as expensive as I first thought.

    Once you get to the galactic stage and start terraforming, allying, fighting and trading, it's a whole new game and well worth playing through the early stages to get to.

  36. Peter O'Brien

    Getting naked doesn't work either

    > This is being investigated so please bare [sic] with us,

    Believe me I've tried, brrrrrr.

    Minds the one that matches my birthday suit.

  37. Sam

    Failhammer Offline: Age of Registration

    Thousands of paying customers for the GOA run European edition of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning are still trying to get into the Open Beta.

    We've been promised a fix at 15:00, but then we were promised a working system on Sunday morning. There's a full article in this tbh and a bunch of comedy memes all over the place.

  38. ben
    Thumb Up

    Great game

    No problem, logged on straight away. Incredible game design and depth plus it's taught my kids the idea of evolution whilst giving them a laugh. This is the first game I've owned for the pc in the last 10 years that's truely original.

  39. Spider

    learnt my lesson

    against better judgement got it, won't even start. Wouldn't mind but after ensuring every driver is latest it still complains about old ones, forums are crawling with problems, petitions and disasters.

    never ever again buy EA. if i wanted to be a beta tester i'll volunteer in future as opposed to paying for the privilege

  40. Dan Cooke
    Thumb Down

    this is EA

    you've handed over the money already!

    no different to BF2 (last EA game i bought, and will buy for a long time), BF2142, BF2142x2, warhammer online. its hilarious. although I suppose you can at least still play offline, you couldn't even do that with BF2, you had to log in online to play offine....? obviously, noob. This along with other hilarious cash cow devices such as EA demanding about £2000 a year for a (ranked) server you could only get from one place. still, at least the games are good.............? screw EA, screw them in the a$$.

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