Videogamers around the world will no doubt be shocked – shocked! – to learn that the Spore servers are choking and gagging on release day.

The Xiotex Studios blog says a server error appears immediately after the installation process, when the game attempts to verify itself with the Spore servers. According to the post, the game asks for a serial code when it first launches, then takes users to the main menu to generate an account. But after account creation, a message pops up stating the activation code cannot be verified, and as a result, all online privileges are suspended.

Hundreds of posts on the official Spore support forum have complained of the same issue, and at last report EA did not have a time frame for getting the problem fixed. The company has since sent out an email to Spore customers apologizing for the problem and promising that work to get it fixed is underway.

“We deeply apologize for the inconvenience that you are currently experiencing with Spore,” the email says. “It appears that there is an ongoing issue with the accounts server and the registration process for the game. We would like to inform you that we are already investigating this concern and in the process of resolving this issue. For updates with regards this concern, you can visit the Spore site at We appreciate your continued patience and understanding in the meantime.”

“Continued patience and understanding” seems to be a prerequisite for buying videogames these days. It’s hardly the first time something like this has happened, but with a game as highly anticipated as Spore, and considering the muscle EA can bring to bear – not to mention the benefit of hindsight regarding past launch debacles – I expected better. I’m really not looking forward to the bleating of the “lol torrentz ftw” crowd, but this is exactly the kind of nonsense that makes legitimate anti-piracy efforts look bad across the board.

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