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Darkspore and the continued hassle of always-on DRM

Darkspore Screenshot - 840001

***Update***

EA has responded to the original story and has told us that the issue causing some players not to be able to connect to the game has been resolved. They also claimed that Maxis continues to support the game. Read the latest update in full here.

***Original***

And this is why gamers hate DRM. Hiding behind the excuse of "part of the experience," EA forced the always-online requirement down the throats of Darkspore players, even for the single-player mode. Since its release, the game has suffered from server-side errors that prevent players from logging in to EA's servers. As a result, Steam has finally pulled the sci-fi action-RPG from its store, deeming it unplayable.

Error 73003 has actually been a long-standing issue that has persisted since the game's release in 2011. At one point, according to GameTrailers, new players couldn't play the game for over nine days because of the server issues. Now players are faced with "Error 3," another server-side issue that prevents players from saving any changes made to their heroes. 

The worst part is it might never be fixed as it appears EA has abanded the game. The following announcement is posted on Darkspore's official forum:

Darkspore is no longer developed. It is for almost all intents & purposes an abandoned title. If you cannot play the game & have flicked through technical issues for any fixes, then contact EA Customer Support; especially if it regards CD-Keys or refunds.

Error 73003 has gone unfixed & remains an issue.

Error Code 3 has arisen for the majority/all & remains an issue.

I will however keep the forums here as clean & tidy as possible in my spare time. Why? Well why not. If it helps anyone with minor problems, or find their way somewhere, then that's great.

I wish you all luck, no matter what path you choose with Darkspore.

~Inquisitor Laine

As I mentioned, Steam has pulled the now unplayable game from its store, but Darkspore can still be purchased from Origin for $19.99.

Needless to say, this is why publishers should not force DRM down our throats -- and why any excuse told by publishers for such a policy is nothing more than a lie. As evident by Darkspore, SimCity, and even Diablo 3 when it first launched, an always-online requirement just doesn't work. Most of the time, it's not even due to the consumer's internet, but the publisher's own shoddy servers.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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