If you thought you'd seen the last gaming article that relates Spore to Privateer, you thought wrong! Austin360.com's review (which should know better, if only by virtue of geography) says:
And though I have to finally admit that maybe “Spore” simply isn’t the kind of game I’m interested in playing, I did have a blast playing the final Space section of the game. As your civilization makes the great leap into space, you zoom around solar systems, befriending or fighting against other species, trading loot and discovering new tools. Zooming in and out of the orbit of planets is exhilarating in “Spore” and the game mechanics (which will remind old-schools of games like “Privateer”) wear their welcome much less than the less-inspired Tribal and Civilization stages.