Spore is, without a doubt, the future of the gaming industry. That isn’t to say that it has its draw backs, but it is the first non-MMO that I have played to date that is so intertwined with the next evolution in gaming, user generated content. It has been talked about for years and some games have touched it, but no game, that I am aware of, has grasped it as fully as Spore.
I wasn’t sure how this would play out in the game. I’ve never really played any game that allowed me to design my character as extensively as Spore. Most game players are used to some level of customization in MMO’s and RPG games. While Spore doesn’t come close to a game like Second Life in the realm of user generated content it exceeds it by providing a wide range of flexibility and still offering a linear game path with increasingly difficult goals. Plus, it’s easy to play, my wife can play Spore, and she is not a gamer.
Spore is one of the first games to come out that has the ability to provide game companies with a way to combat privacy, but support the purchasers as well. User generated content could be an extremely powerful tool for games in the future because to get this data you need to contact centralized servers controlled by the company that built the game. This offers up several authentication options that games of the past just couldn’t offer. (I will be expanding on these in my third article about Spore).
Now I know that this game has raised a huge up-roar with the anti Digital Rights Management (DRM) crowd. But the arguments that are made against it only impact an extremely small margin of the potential user base. On top of that it would be easy for EA to release a patch that removes the DRM from the game entirely (something that has been done on many games already). I don’t find the issues people are having with the DRM to be a valid argument for not purchasing the game.
In the end sales numbers will probably determine if Spore has the potential to change the industry. While this has its own good and bad points I think companies that have games in the works should take note of what Spore allows the user to do, regardless of its success. There are many IP’s that could receive a huge boost by following Spores example (I will be talking about one of my personal favorites in my next post).
I give Spore a thumbs up to people that are thinking about purchasing the game. It is extremely fun, it is easy on machine requirements for those of you that haven’t upgraded in a while, and if you have a stable machine and are not reinstalling your OS every few weeks the DRM isn’t going to be a problem for you. If you do happen to have issues with the DRM, well, I guess you’re out of luck until EA decides to patch it out of the game.