Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mass Effect copy protection

According to Derek French, Mass Effect, scheduled to arrive on the PC this 28th, will employ the same SecuROM online activation system that was initially put into Bioshock, allowing the buyer to activate his copy of Mass Effect for 3 times before politely asking to him / her to go to hell, that is, contact the customer service “helpline” to get it reactivated.

And while the game itself wouldn’t require the DVD to be physically present in the drive, it goes one step further and phones home every 10 days and re-authenticates just to make sure legit customers are not the worst form of criminal scum publishers swear we are.
And what’s worse? When a member at the official forums asked:

"Sure, I have an always-on net connection but what happens if I don’t play for 11 days and the moment I want to play my connection is down? Are you saying I’m not going to be able to play my perfectly legitimate purchased copy of the game, even the retail version, until I get permission?"

the official answer came back:

"That is correct. And I would suggest that you contact EA Support the moment this happens (once you get your internet back) to report the issue. If there are people having problems with the system as designed, then Support needs to hear about it so they can help us evaluate it for the next game title."
It's funny that it always seems like the consumers, the ones that actually pays for the product, has to suffer from questionable DRM, while the pirates most likely gets away without any hassle. Piracy is an issue on todays platforms, but I don't think DRM is the solution to the problem.

Mass Effect’s Galactic Copy Protection Woes
Bioshock restrictions resolved?


Norswap said...

This just made me laugh :D

Tymlis said...

DRM will never be a solution.
This story is ridiculous, pirated version will be cracked and all that crappy registration stuff will be removed, while the guy buying his legit copy will surely have problems playing the game...

It is extraordinary that we are going toward an era where installing and playing "unofficial" games will be easier than with the retail version.

Honest people will buy the original game, put it on the shelf and then download and enjoy the pirated copy.
As there are definitely no more big cardboard box with big manuals and lots of artwork, but in replacement slim plastic box with... well nothing more than a disc or two, I really don't see the benefit (in the player/customer point of view) of buying, physicaly, a game.
Just download a copy and send money to the developpers.