Spore Leaked?

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Sep 3, 2008

Filed under: Notices 53 comments

People have been messaging me since yesterday, letting me know Spore has been leaked and is now available to pirates.

It’s enough people that I do not doubt it, but I’d like to have some sort of proof to hold up. Would someone mind sending a screenshot of (say) the title menu or some other obvious aspect of the final game? (As opposed to the creature creator.) I need something that is obviously not a pre-release screenshot, and preferably something that wouldn’t appear in the Wii version. Perhaps an options menu or the dialog where you adjust the screen resolution.

shamus at shamusyoung dot com

If you don’t want to email the screenshot, put it up on photobucket or something and let me know where I can grab it. I’m going to write about this, but the first charge to get thrown into my face will be that it’s a lie.



From The Archives:

53 thoughts on “Spore Leaked?

  1. Nathaniel says:

    Did you try google? I found http://gameviper.com/pc/spore-leaked It seems to be a case of some stores in Australia selling it before the official release date.

  2. Kevin says:

    That was the “never gonna be pirated” one?

  3. Shamus says:

    Yeah, but that’s a real copy. I was hopping for proof that it was actually on the torrentz.

    Although, I suppose the “proof” is moot anyway. Any screenshots I show could be attributed to that person who got the boxed version early.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Well,enough of the comments on various torrents say that it works.Enough so that you know its not just a few people inventing them.And if it was a fake,it wouldve either been taken off,or it wouldve been yelled out.

  5. ima420r says:

    Yeah, it’s real alright. Still gonna buy the game, though.

  6. Freaky Dug says:

    I really hope this persuades EA to give up on their DRM before Mirror’s Edge comes out. It probably won’t but we can hope.

  7. Shalkis says:

    I really hope this persuades EA to give up on their DRM before Mirror's Edge comes out. It probably won't but we can hope.

    Doubtful. No copy protection is going to deter serious copyright infringers and the authors/distributors know this. The DRM is not aimed against them, it’s aimed against “casuals” who copy for their friends and family. As long as it’s effective against the low-hanging fruit, you’re going to see more DRM. DRM is part maintaining current markets, part developing pay-per-use markets and part eliminating second-hand markets.

  8. Thanakil says:

    The “NFO” can be seen here :
    (it’s only text, nothing serious, only show that a group did indeed crack the game, no link to actual files)

    And since it hasn’t been “nuked” it seems to be pretty real.

    And yeah, I doubt it’ll change anything in EA approach… They’re too far gone to actually admit they’re on the wrong path.

    Oh and a small cool thing :
    Since you liked Fallout, I thought you may find this project pretty funny http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=2669.0
    People have been making “demakes” of games for a while now (lots of pictures, mainly, made as if the game was running on a older system, one example was WoW on a Gameboy), but this is a playable (once finished) demake of Fallout.

    Thought you could find that interesting.

  9. The Nickster says:

    DRM is part maintaining current markets, part developing pay-per-use markets and part eliminating second-hand markets.

    DRM has also managed to convince me, Shamus and a lot of other people that we are no longer part of the “currently maintained market.”

  10. Simply Simon says:

    Spore is on the top of the top 100 downloaded games for pc on the piratebay http://thepiratebay.org/top/401

  11. Duffy says:

    It does appear to be on the torrents Shamus.

  12. Shamus says:

    Thanks for all the links and screens. I didn’t actually know where to look, and I didn’t have the nerve to start fishing around for those sites.

    What a sad thing. Sad that it’s pirated. Sad that it’s so pointlessly loaded with DRM. Sad that I won’t be playing it.

    What a stupid waste.

  13. Factoid says:

    It’s hard to resist the temptation to go and acquire myself a “demo” of the game since EA retardedly decided to charge for theirs.

    I won’t buy a game with as ambitious and prone-to-failure a premise as Spore has without trying out a demo. Growing a galaxy-spanning civilization from a single celled organism sounds pretty sweet, but there are about 10,000 different ways it could suck horribly.

    Still, I don’t think I’ll succumb to the pressure. Just makes me into one of the pirates, and I gave that up years ago.

  14. scarbunny says:

    I dont know if I can be bothered to download it, at about 4gb it wont take long but I’m not that bothered about playing it.

    Ho hum I guess I’ll leave it for now plenty more to play on the Xbox with out having to worry about compatability and DRM.

  15. Kartones says:

    uhmmm, at play.com it is available, and my (pre-ordered) copy has been packaged and sent today.

    So maybe the pirates got a copy few days ago and have broken the protection yesterday, but today’s available on stores.

  16. Kel'Thuzad says:

    Ooh… spore… before release… so tempting… no SecuROM…

    It’s horrible that now, DRM makes me want to pirate more than buy a game. I’ve never pirated, but… Spore… before release… so tempting… etc.

  17. Zerotime says:

    My copy was shipped about 31 hours ago, so I’d assume it was buyable in actual stores yesterday as well. Looks like Clear Sky is out tomorrow as well, and it’s a bit of a shame that didn’t get sent early.

  18. Deoxy says:

    So maybe the pirates got a copy few days ago and have broken the protection yesterday, but today's available on stores.

    Which is another notch on their belt – “cracked BEFORE release”. As usual, I might add.

    If DRM were intended to stop piracy, it has been (and continues to be) an amazing and amazingly impressive failure.

  19. Yonder says:

    Doubtful. No copy protection is going to deter serious copyright infringers and the authors/distributors know this. The DRM is not aimed against them, it's aimed against “casuals” who copy for their friends and family.

    That’s not true at all, if it was they could continue to use things like cd keys, or pictures and phrases inside manuals. Both which require active effort to work around. The fact that they endlessly keep upping their “security” seems to imply that they are trying to get all the pirates.

  20. Strangeite says:

    I don’t pirate and will not pirate. I like being able to take the high ground on the DRM issue without being accused of being just a cheap bastard. I also won’t spend my money on overly restrictive DRMed games. It is the principal.

    But Spore is the exception. I’m not going to pirate it; but, I am going to give EA my money.

    Sorry Shamus, I just can’t resist when it comes to this game.

  21. scarbunny says:

    But this is just another case if it clearly not working, and it doing nothing but harming PC gaming as a whole.

    I have given up PC gaming in favour of consoles to avoid this type of hastle, even when I was a hardcore PC gamer I always used No-CD hacks to avoid protection.

  22. Fosse says:

    I really, really want Spore. I got into this game four or five years ago when Will Wright first displayed that ugly ass green game at a convention of some sort. I followed it religiously until I found out about the new EA DRM. The internet activation is preventing me from buying something I really, really want.

    Low hanging fruit, indeed.

  23. Jeff says:

    Reloaded is one of the bigger groups out there.
    If it weren’t that I have Spore on pre-order (friends got it for me for my birthday – yay me!) I’d download it now and check it out…

    Even on games I intend to buy, if it comes out earlier I tend not to be able to resist.
    Of course, in the case of Oblivion I was very glad I had that ‘demo’, given how difficult it was getting my (above minimum) machine to run it on a playable FPS. (Not to mention the Run-In-Place syndrome Shamus touched on before.)

  24. Joe says:

    I’ve got to think that a big part of DRM is about forcing your customers to stop playing your old games so that they’ll buy your new ones.

    The financial budget of gamers may ebb and flow from time to time and place to place depending on the vagaries of economics, but temporally we are all on a fixed income of 24 hours each day, and if we spend some of that playing the great games we loved last year, we will not have sufficient left to play the next game that EA (or whoever) puts out.

  25. Zach says:

    Let me just say this: I am a twenty-something, as is my wife, and we’re both hugely into all kinds of games and have an annual gaming expenditure larger than I can proudly admit. Since I first heard about Spore long, long ago my thought was, “I am going to buy that on day one.” That was my firm stance for a long, long time. And I would have, I really would have. I buy a lot of games, I think I mentioned that. ;-) And then, when I heard about the DRM scheme my first honest thought was, shamefully, “Ugh, I don’t want to deal with all that crap. Maybe I should just pirate it instead.” Now I haven’t. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll buy a copy and play a pirated copy instead. I don’t know. But I have the money, I was going to buy it, and now I’m probably not because of DRM, and I’ll probably never play more than the creature creator. So sad.

  26. m2 says:

    My bro wants this game bad. I’m not really into it too much, but seeing as he’s only 13, I won’t ostracize him for buying it. Just make sure to get the no-DVD crack.

  27. Fosse says:

    If DRM were only about the hassle I’d probably feel fine pirating the game to play while buying it to own. I download cracks for games I own, after all.

    But in fact the DRM is highly insulting and treats paying customers like dirt. So I’m not okay sending them money to appease my conscience because I don’t want them to get any money at all. I want them to go bankrupt and have publishers like Stardock publish games like Spore.

    I’ll keep on buying and cracking games that have CD checks when the price drops a bit. I’ll buy new games that have no DRM to play out of the box.

  28. Rustybadger says:

    I’m gonna buy a retail copy and leave it in the shrinkwrap. Then I’m gonna torrent torrenting it right now from my 10Mbps connection at work. At home, I only have dialup, so forget about online activation. I can’t even play Battlefield 2142 thanks to EA’s stupid online activation crap. Anyhow, if this works, I will be happy! Unfortunately, there’s no Mac versions on teh torrentz yet…

  29. Carra says:

    I’m actually glad to see it cracked this fast. Just proves that outrageous copy right protections don’t work.

    And meh, the game has gotten 4 euros cheaper in 2 days on play.com

  30. LintMan says:

    I lost all interest in Spore once I found out it had the limited install/activation count DRM. Same with Mass Effect. I bought Bioshock before I knew it had that, but no more.

    Maybe I’ll get them one day if they come out on Steam with the activation count stuff removed.

  31. Allen says:

    Apparently, pirating it just means no online play and no patches. That is, until those patches get loaded up on torrent sites.

    It’s a sad day, Will Wright.

  32. Mark says:

    Spore without online play kind of defeats the purpose, if you ask me. Not that I would have pirated it anyway.

    I want to know what Will Wright’s take on this whole fiasco is.

  33. Dys says:

    Friend of mine was playing it last night, three days before the official release. He has it on pre-order, as do I, but what the hell, you’ve bought the game. Why not play it as soon as you can.

    As far as I could make out through the tech babble it’s not a true crack, in that the DRM is still there, it’s just fooled into thinking it’s activating. A proper removal of the DRM will take longer. Any DRM on this one has been an utter failure though.

  34. James says:

    I don’t care if I could get a pirated copy for free. I am still gonna buy it. I will live with the DRM…but I won’t be happy about it.

  35. Viktor says:


    Why not download it after buying? You’ve paid for it and it’s actually legal to do, but then you don’t need to worry about the DRM.

  36. AngiePen says:

    Massive suckage. :( I really want to play this game, and have for a long time, but the DRM is ludicrous. I’m strongly tempted to buy a copy, leave it shrinkwrapped and grab a cracked copy to play, but I don’t want to reward EA with my dollars for their insulting stupidity. Blast it!

    Angie, stomping off muttering to herself

  37. Deoxy says:

    As far as I could make out through the tech babble it's not a true crack, in that the DRM is still there, it's just fooled into thinking it's activating. A proper removal of the DRM will take longer.

    What’s the difference? I mean, yes, there’s still some bloat there, but programs have wasted bloat all the time… MS has made a whole industry out of it.

  38. Daemian Lucifer says:


    Apparantely it is a bit slower.

  39. DocTwisted says:


    Is the Wii version on shelves yet? That’s what I’m really itching for.

  40. Steve C says:

    If you don’t play Spore, how will you know what it feels like to be attacked by hundreds of penis shaped monsters? It’s a sad day for all those beasts with two backs. Sporn isn’t feeling your love.

  41. MrNiceGuy says:

    “If you don't play Spore, how will you know what it feels like to be attacked by hundreds of penis shaped monsters? It's a sad day for all those beasts with two backs. Sporn isn't feeling your love.”

    LOL: I was wondering how EA is going to filter these types creatures out of it’s propagation network.

    / Torrents? What are you guys…computer newbies? //NewsLeecher..for gods sake, if you’re going to pirate do it correctly.

  42. Kel'Thuzad says:

    So… which torrent’s safe?

  43. Allan says:

    If EA had just gone with online activation for the online content I’d have bought the biggest baddest collector’s edition in the world and a normal edition or two as gifts, but with permanent limited installs, then EA have lost themselves a customer and gained themselves a pirate.

    Great job EA, you’ve actually prevented me from giving you money.

  44. potemkin.hr says:

    I don’t see the problem with single player games like Mass Effect. As soon a patch comes out, a crack appears within a few days max.

  45. Kate says:

    All I want to say is yay for Australia being able to buy a retail copy early! My boyfriend bought it today and I’m resisting the urge to raid his house and just stare, drooling, at the screen.


  46. Dys says:

    I am now attempting to convince my physically delivered, authentic paid for copy of Spore to run.
    It’s not going well.
    After installing, it neither places a shortcut anywhere at all, nor asks me if I want to run the game. After digging in the install folder for the exe, that fails to run.
    I guess it’s time to download the pirate version.

  47. Dys says:

    Cracked exe works, authentic exe crashes.

  48. Kel'Thuzad says:

    Are you talking about the pre-order version? Yea, you can only play that once it’s actually released. It won’t connect yet when it tries to verify. If you want to play TODAY, it’ll have to be a cracked version, at least in US and (I think) Europe.

  49. No one says:

    I just want to say for all of you who think it will suck, it does. It’s a horrible, horrible game and you definitely shouldn’t waste your time pirating it or buying it.

    Just kidding, it totally lives up to the hype. If you don’t play it, you’re missing out. What’s the phrase? “It’s like sex, only I’m having it.”?

  50. Riksa says:

    @ Dys:

    I’m not sure if this helps, but I’m guessing you run Vista. For some weird reason Spore only puts a shortcut in the totally useless “Games”-window. It seems to point to sporeapp.exe, but with a “-locale such’n’such” option. My copy runs fine from there.

    Oh, and for those who didn’t know, the game is out at least in Europe; someone mentioned Australia as well.

  51. Miral says:

    I have Spore now (NZ) :) (Yes, that’s right, I caved on the DRM issue. But it’s a partly-online game anyway, so the activation didn’t seem like as big a deal. The limited installs worry me a bit, though, but I don’t reinstall my PC all that often so I hope it won’t be a problem.)

    I’ve only had a chance to play Cell so far (had to go to work), and (simplistic though it was) it was pretty fun.

    I’m even wearing the t-shirt today ;)

    No (visible) activation hassles, although it did take quite a long time to start up and shut down. And the EA patcher thing has a very annoying installer (it refuses to install unless you point it at a drive that has 5GB free).

  52. Red Ring Rico says:

    It’s the DRM thing that clinched me not buying it… All my casual gaming friends were hyped for it too ’til I explained what DRM was, now they’re all iffy about buying it too. I might torrent it to see what it’s like, but I’m not comfortable with giving EA my money when the no DRM version is the only reason I’m playing it.

    I hope they don’t put DRM on The Sims 3. I might just have to cry.

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