Something strange is happening with EA and Maxis ill-fated action-RPG, Darkspore. Reports began circulating today that the game has been removed from Steam (at the time of writing, this is still the case.) Right now, it is still available to purchase through EA’s own Origin service.
For months, people who’ve purchased the game have run into technical problems that have prevented them accessing and playing the title. A server issue known as “Error 73003” has dogged the game for extensive periods, while another error (“Error Code 3”) has arisen in the past few weeks. Both are, of course, related to the title’s insistence on a DRM scheme that requires a persistent, “always on” internet connection. There is no method of playing offline, so these errors have meant that Darkspore is effectively unplayable for many people. The precise number is impossible to determine, but it’s enough to sustain regular complaints.
Best of luck getting beyond this screen.
Until recently, there was no official word from either EA or Maxis about possible fixes. The main spokesperson/community manager on Darkspore’s official forums goes by the title “Inquisitor Laine” and has been using the following statement to summarise the state of the game:
“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.”
Laine doesn’t actually work for EA or Maxis. As he himself says “I don’t actually work for anyone, nor do I get paid. This is a voluntary position and in all reality there’s not much reason for me to still do it, but I do.” That both companies were happy to leave an unpaid volunteer in charge of all community relations tells you everything you need to know about their attitude towards actually mending or maintaining the game in any significant fashion.