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Developer(s)Maxis Emeryville
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Director(s)Thomas Vu
Producer(s)Thomas Vu[1]
Designer(s)Paul Sottosanti
Fred Dieckmann[2]
Composer(s)Junkie XL
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows[3]
Genre(s)Action role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Darkspore was a video game that borrowed creature editing technology from Spore. It was described as "a fast-paced, science fiction action role-playing game in which the player battled across alien worlds to save the galaxy from the mutated forces of Darkspore".[5] In addition to the creature editor, the game features a unique squad-based mechanic, various multiplayer options, and a player versus player arena. The game was released in North America on April 26, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, and in Europe on April 28, 2011.

EA has removed the store page of Darkspore from Steam, meaning any attempt to purchase it through Steam cannot be made. The game was later relisted with EA saying that they would continue to support the game. Those who have purchased it prior to the page's removal still have the game and could play it until the servers were shut down permanently on March 1, 2016. The game is currently unplayable without circumventing its DRM scheme that requires a connection to servers which no longer exist.[6]


The Crogenitors were a race of scientists that established a massive empire encompassing an entire galaxy. Many of them performed secret experiments on the populations they oversaw. Being masters of genetic manipulation, they used their knowledge to create a personal army of genetic heroes, called Living Weapons. However, the discovery of an experimental amino acid that bonds to DNA changes everything. Capable of achieving a millennium in terms of evolution in a matter of hours, it has an immense potential to manipulate life to levels never achieved before.

Unfortunately, E-DNA proves to be unstable. All of the test subjects who came in contact with it were transformed into uncontrollable genetic mutants soon named The Darkspore. Fearing these new creatures, the Crogenitors throw hero Xylan into exile for his behavior and negligence, outlawing the use of E-DNA. Xylan fakes his death. Believing himself able to control the power of E-DNA, he injects it himself. This act transforms him into the Corruptor—a mentally unstable, extraordinarily powerful mutant who can master all Darkspores. Determined to get revenge on the other Crogenitors and conquer everything, he gathers allies and strengthens the E-DNA mutagenic power. Afterwards, the Corruptor begins conquering planets of the Crogenitor empire, infecting them through the use of E-DNA bombs, and destroying Crogenitor fortresses with his mutants and war machines.

As the game begins, the player takes on the role of one of the last Crogenitors. Starting with only a few heroes, the player's goal is to purge the Darkspore from the galaxy, planet by planet, moving ever closer to the ultimate goal of destroying the Corruptor forces.

Hero Editor[edit]

The Hero editor in Darkspore has been described as an enhanced version of the one found in Spore. There are thousands of parts to collect which enhance the overall gaming experience. The different types of parts include enabling the customization of several character aspects, including body parts, armor, weapons, facial features and coloration. The hero remains recognizable but customisable. To buy and equip the loot or buy upgrades, DNA is necessary, used as a currency. DNA helixes can be collected during gameplay, dropped sometimes by slayed Darkspores or destructible objects, or obtained by selling pieces of loot.

Alternate reality game[edit]

HelpEDNA was a Darkspore alternate reality game that went online in mid-2010. It plays out as a puzzle text adventure which gives clues about the Darkspore game, and is set before the events of the game.

HelpEDNA is a puzzle text adventure, in which the player is a contact that has begun receiving messages from an unknown character. After the game is completed, it contains an epilogue page containing a message from Maxis, with links to all the pictures and videos from the website.


In addition to a product key registration, Darkspore required a persistent, broadband internet connection and an EA account in order to play the game after installation.[7]

In June 2013 many users had problems logging in to play. This combined with Darkspore being removed from Steam led to concerns that EA had abandoned the title and it would no longer be playable. However, shortly after, the errors were fixed and Darkspore returned to Steam.[8]

March 2016 server closure[edit]

The online servers of the game were shut down permanently on March 1, 2016.[9] The game is no longer playable. The move attracted criticism, with Techraptor stating that the failure to migrate away from the always-online requirement before the server shut down was tantamount to "banishing the title from gaming history".[10]


Darkspore has received mixed reviews, with an average of 65% on Metacritic.[11]


  1. ^ "Developer Introductions: Meet the Makers". Forum.ea.com. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Unknown. "Game Design" (Screenshot). Imgur. Imgur LLC. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  3. ^ "Darkspore FAQ". Forum.ea.com. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Reilly, Jim (March 18, 2011). "Darkspore Delayed". IGN Entertainment. Retrieved March 18, 2011.
  5. ^ Electronic Arts Inc (2011). "A NEW BREED OF ACTION RPG". Darkspore. Electronic Arts Inc. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  6. ^ Gera, Emily (July 1, 2013). "Darkspore removed from Steam after months of game breaking issues (update)". Polygon. Polygon. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Darkspore requires constant Internet connection (Update)". Destructoid. March 16, 2006. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  8. ^ Purchese, Robert (2013). "Has EA abandoned Darkspore?". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
  9. ^ Chalk, Andy (February 24, 2016). "Darkspore will close for good next week". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  10. ^ "Darkspore Servers Shut Down". Techraptor.net. March 6, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  11. ^ "Darkspore". Metacritic. April 26, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2019.

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