PC Gamers Angered by EA’s New Copy Protection System

Hotly-anticipated PC titles Spore and Mass Effect will be among the first wave of PC games from EA to employ a controversial form of copy protection.

Techdirt reports that publisher Electronic Arts will use SecuROM protection, a scheme that has caused technical problems with some past titles. From the Techdirt story:

This new version is causing controversy due to an online verification system connected to its CD key. The system requires a connection to the internet during installation… After this the game will try to re-check the CD key every 5-10 days… If the game can’t verify the key… it will continue to try for a further 10 days, after which it will stop working… The protection will also only allow the game to be installed three times.

So what’s the beef? According to Techdirt:

A lot of gamers consider this intrusive and inconvenient, and that the publishers are effectively assuming their customers are pirates… Other concerns have been raised over users who don’t play with machines permanently connected to the internet… or how the system will work in regards to resale.

These potential problems combined with SecuROM’s past have made some call for a boycott of the titles and others to declare an intention to pirate the game out of spite.

Cnet’s Daniel Terdiman weighs in on the brewing controversy:

Systems like this are never going to be winners for companies like EA. For every copy of one of its games that it successfully keeps from being illegally copied, it’s going to lose a good customer who’s beyond annoyed at the way the system works and the way they feel they’re being treated.

To be sure, software companies feel they have to fight tooth and nail to avoid being robbed… [but] as the Sony rootkit scandal and other DRM PR nightmares have shown, users do not want to be controlled in this way. And they vote with their wallets.

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  1. 0
    Alex says:

    Well, unfortunately I bought it. Yes, I have spent 49.99. What do I have to show for it ? Nothing. It won’t even start. I get the message "The game can not start. The game needs access to the internet in order to verify ownership of this game. Please ensure that your computer is online and try again." Obviously, the internet is fine. I have the dvd on my table. The box was sealed – I opened it myself. I have left a message to EA’s "help desk" and after two days I still have no answer from them. I have the confirmation that my help request has been posted, yes, but no answer, even though they claim that they will email an answer in 24 hours.

    So not only after two days I still cannot use a merchandise I have paid good money for (as I said, it won’t even try to execute), I’m also given the "silent treatment" from their "help specialists".

    Way to go, EA ! After all, dummies like us, your customers, are paying your salaries (and profits). Well, from now on, dummies no more ! Some people have long memories. I’m one of them. Trust me on this one, EA !

    PS. Too bad I don’t have the money to go after them from a legal standpoint – the lawyer would  cost a fortune. That’s what many companies are counting on, anyway.

  2. 0
    Skwerl says:

    Actually, if you folks had scoured the internet (or this thread for that matter) a bit harder for information on the process, you’d find that you only need an internet connection every 20 days, not every 10. It checks every 10, but if you miss an update then you get an extra 10 "grace period". Even people who travel from their PC don’t get it that bad.

    But I will agree that for our servicemen This is a pretty bad deal.

  3. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I currently own 498 PC games. All legitimate, store-purchased disks.

    Simple solution to this DRM problem: I don’t buy any games that will not allow me to make a backup copy.

    I’m missing out, you say?

    Not very likely, as there are more than enough superb back titles (and some new titles, such as Sins of a Solar Empire) to keep me happy.

    Kiss my money goodbye, EA and all other paranoid publishers. Nice job of destroying your own industry.

  4. 0
    Anonymous says:

    GTA4? Most mature people would never look at the box let alone play it. It’s content is degrading, unhealthy, dishonorable and disgracful. Anyone who thinks its worht something needs a pre-frontal labotomy before they hurt someone with their weak and vile mind.



  5. 0
    holmes says:

    fuck, fuck, FUCK that. you go … too… HELLLLLLLLLL EA. I will NEVER buy another product of yours. i wont even pirate your fucking game. FUCK you. 3 installs and its done? FUCK you… FUCK YOU. i hope not a single copy of any of your games sell ever again so all your employees are laid off and their only son dies of starvation, you fucking psycho pices of shit

  6. 0
    chadachada123 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I never really knew what Spore was about till this whole thing, now I want it…too bad my pc sucks, hopefully itll come out on 360 (wiki doesnt say if it will or not). Oh yeah, and F this whole copy protection crap, it’s hard enough installing Warcraft II on my pc when i have to search 29347 minutes for the CD key, let alone only being able to do it 3 times…

  7. 0
    StealthKnight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The problem with this is that you still need to have an internet connection and if you don’t have one in your home or where you playing it in the middle of nowhere, it is a problem. A lot of people actually still don’t have a internet connection.

    On steam Steam does not require you to register it only if you want to play it single player only with no patches. You also can switch steam to offline mode if you want and play your games.

  8. 0
    Fallenone ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I was planning on buying Spore like what….3 or 4 years ago when it was announced. I’ve been waiting that long, but I refuse to buy this copy protected crap. How can they copy protect a game from the person who pays for it? Screw EA until they decide to get rid of this crap.

  9. 0
    Yuka Takeuchi Fan says:


    I agree, that’s a step in the right direction. However, until I hear the phrase “Spore will not be using SecuROM” in that exact language or close enough to, I am STILL not going to install it and chance my computer getting fried like SecuROM has reportedly did for quite a number of people.

    Spore will continue to go unpurchased by me, and I will be doing all in my limited power to convince others to follow my lead. Sorry Maxis. You deserved better, but…

  10. 0
    Christian Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Phoenixzero

    Thats something at least. Im still a bit grumpy about the “3 installs and you get a new game” thing. My computer dies A LOT and i have many older games that i enjoy. Shit, i think i have installed Oblivion on 5 different occasions since it was released. I guess that wouldnt be possible now…

    Anyway, i did figure Bioware would pay at least some attention to us. I might be buying ME after all.

  11. 0
    TheEggplant ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As someone who had to do a complete wipe and re-install to get rid of SecuROM from Bioshock, this news does nothing to put me at ease. I still won’t be buying these games anytime soon, and the only way I can see to safely install them on my system is to use Virtual Desktops in Vista. That might happen, next year.

  12. 0
    Alyric ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    They’ve only backed off the every 10 days authorization stuff. It still requires initial authorization, limits you to three installs, and infects your computer with SecuROM.

    I’ll still be passing.

  13. 0
    Loudspeaker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ok for those looking to pirate just because you don’t like the copy protection, don’t.

    For those who are pissed about the protection and intend to buy a copy and then crack it… Don’t.

    For those who are pissed and figure they’ll just buy a copy and deal with it, don’t.

    At this time the only way you’re going to make things change is to vote your dollar. Stop buying games from companys who support this anti-consumer programming and support companies who support the customer instead… Such as Stardock games as reported here at GP.

  14. 0
    Jeff says:


    Granted I cannot prove that but it’s unfair and VERY insulting to be accused of something of that sort. What ever happened to the customer is always right? Piracy will happen regardless of what measures are put in place. As I’ve stated once before, piracy will NOT go away and it is naive to believe it will never be a problem.

    If I’m going to be found guilty until proven innocent then that corporate entity deserves none of my business or the business of anyone smart enough to see their tactic for what it is — unfounded paranoia and mistreatment of the consumer base. I don’t give a flying f–k about the bigwigs at EA because, as far as I’m concerned, their pockets are lined with enough money that someone as poor as myself could live off of it for the next 30 years comfortably.

    Do I care about lining their pockets with more money? No. I care about the developer and I’m almost certain it’s not the developer making the decisions to put these DRMs in place. I’d almost put money on it being the decision of the publisher, EA, to do this. I’ll gladly admit though that if I were, hypothetically speaking, to get myself a pirated copy of one of these games I would send money directly to the developer — bypass EA all together. In that case I would be doing business directly with the organization that deserves the money and not the corrupt middle man who cares nothing for the consumer or developer and only cares for the cha-ching factor.

  15. 0
    Gelmax says:

    Jeff, I said that there was no GOOD reason to reinstall that many times. No one NEEDS to reformat their computer every 3 months. Hell, I’m not even entirely sure I’ve got antivirus software on this computer and I’ve been using it for over a year with no problems.

    Okay, so can you prove that you’re making these copies for your own personal use and not to hand out to your buddies so you all can have super rad LAN parties every night? I thought not. Do you know why I sound like a bigwig at EA? Because I am trying to see it from their point of view – something most people here at GamePolitics don’t bother to try to do before they start spouting hate.

    You didn’t announce your intent to pirate the game, but a number of the people commenting on this article did.

  16. 0
    gstommylee says:

    Good news for Mass effect pc this take from a offical bioware response at the mass effect pc forums. the 10 day thing has been removed. So the only time you must do that is when you downloaded new content

  17. 0
    Jeff says:


    That is good news for gamers who have anticipated this game. That’s the kind of good news we want to hear. It demonstrates to me that the developers/publisher (whichever one Caryl Shaw is with) actually listen to their consumers. Now hopefully they’ll address the 3-installations limit because as irritating as an online validator would’ve been I’d be more concerned about the limitations to which I can reinstall software.

  18. 0
    Jeff says:

    Also, since you seemed to just cherry pick at what I said I’d like you to also point out where I said AT ALL that I was even planning on pirating these games or that I have pirated games or that I’ve even JUSTIFIED pirating games. Please, show me where I possibly said that.

    If I choose to pirate something I, for one, am not going to announce it to the world. All I’ve said in this thread is that I am against EA’s decision based not on me wanting these games (I don’t own an Xbox 360 and my computer is crap) but based on consumer convenience, the power of the consumer’s dollar as their voice to a corrupt corporation, and based on the principle of EA’s decision to accuse their HONEST paying customers of piracy.

    Seriously… Once someone has purchased a game verified it the first time it should be left at that. EA should be aware that they have made money on that particular copy at that point. Unless they’re poor at keeping a record of all their games and their specific item codes then they shouldn’t have a problem figuring out how many copies were sold and are being used by honest customers. I shouldn’t need a gaming company to play Big Brother with me on an item that they’ve already made money from me on. If you can’t understand the outrage at that then there’s no hope to getting you to figure out the problem.

  19. 0
    werechicken says:

    From the gaminsteve message boards

    Quote from: Caryl Shaw
    Hey Spore Fans –

    We wanted to let you know that we’ve been hearing your concerns about
    the online authentication mentioned earlier this week. I didn’t want to
    head into the weekend without getting back to you with some information
    about how Spore is planning on using this new system.

    A few things we wanted you to know:

    — We authenticate your game online when you install and launch it the
    first time.
    — We’ll re-authenticate when a player uses online features, downloads
    new content or a patch for their game.
    — The new system means you don’t have to play with the disc in your
    computer. And if you are like me, always losing discs, this will be a
    huge benefit.
    — You’ll still be able to install and play on multiple computers.
    — You can play offline.

    We do hope that players will play online – sharing creatures, buildings
    and vehicles with other players is something that is unique to Spore and
    one of the coolest features of the game. Every day, when I play the
    Creature Stage, I get to see wacky and awesome new creatures from my
    Buddies on the team coming over the hill at me and I can’t wait to see
    what happens when our creative, passionate community starts sharing
    their creations.

    I’d love to write more – but I need to get back to work. We’ve got a
    game to finish. :-)


  20. 0
    Jeff says:


    Besides, there is NO good reason to reinstall the game several times in a short period of time. People’s computers do not crash that often (unless you’re downloading warez without a really good antivirus program, but that’s not a problem for LEGIT customers). Additionally, you seem to be of the opinion that you should be able to copy stuff as many times as you want to because you won’t steal it. You’re a couple of centuries too late – capitalism doesn’t work on the honor system anymore, because the average man on the street doesn’t have any honor anymore, and I’d be willing to bet you don’t either.

    No good reason? I see you haven’t read the comments from people who REFORMAT their computers once every 3 months. That means they NEED to reinstall the game fairly often if they want to just be able to play it. That 3 times issue is bigger than you’re willing to admit and it aliens a LOT of customers.

    I am of the opinion that I should be able to copy something as many times as I want FOR MY OWN PERSONAL USE which you seemed to have missed. And thank you very much for the personal attack on my reputation and character as a dishonorable person. You sound a lot like one of the bigwigs at EA who made the decision to put these DRM security measures on the games to begin with.

    Where do you come off making assumptions like that? Where — anywhere in what I’ve written — does it sound like I’m condoning piracy? Please, quote it for me or cease and apologize for your baseless accusation against my character.

  21. 0
    ForsakenMantra says:


    “No one plays new games on systems more than three years old anymore.”

    I don’t know about you, but I have a new computer that I built 5 months ago and I have a 150 GB raptor and a 500 GB storage drive. I install all games onto the Raptor and let me tell you, with Steam, Oblivion, Crysis, WoW + expansions and various CAD software I use its already getting pretty full. I always uninstall games to make room when the going gets tough and just keep copies of the save files.

    My computer is always with an Internet connection however it is the 3 installs that will be my deterrent to not buy Spore anymore. I’ll probably pirate them both, but seeing as I’ve beaten ME on the 360 I will just install -> uninstall -> reinstall 4 times and then delete the ISO s just out of spite. Also, everything I mentioned I have installed was obtained legally and all but the CAD software (given to me free via my college) I have paid for in full.

  22. 0
    Jeremy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I place my money that a pirated version that works completely will be online with in a day if not sooner of the release of these games … personally they can go to hell and die if they think my internet connection is their personal check on me line.

  23. 0
    Vinzent says:

    Damn, the two games I wanted the most for PC and they just had to screw it up for me. Oh well, back to World of Warcraft until lego Universe comes out.

  24. 0
    Gelmax says:

    “Actually, some people running games on older systems might have to, especially on a small hard drive if they wish to paly one game a while then play another.”

    No one plays new games on systems more than three years old anymore. The constant push toward bigger and flashier graphics that push the limit of a system makes it quite difficultfor people to play modern videogames on a Windows 95 PC, which is the only way people would run into the problems you describe. Besides, a 500GB external hard drive costs about the same as two new console releases, so space isn’t really an issue.

    “Where were you in the early days of PC gaming when security measures like this weren’t available or even a remote idea to publishers? The internet was around then, much like it is still today, and I don’t recall piracy being any worse then than it is now. There were CD keys to be sure but there weren’t draconian measures to ensure your paying customers got the shaft. You defend the publisher but forget the consumers who — despite what you might want to believe — may NEED to reinstall this game several times in a short period are going to be shafted. Is it fair to the consumer? Hell no.”

    I see YOU weren’t around in the EARLY days of PC gaming when it was impossible to beat some games without the actual, physical game box because the game would require you to do something inane like type in the third word on the fifth line of the second paragraph of page 21 of the manual in order to proceed. And piracy has grown greatly thanks to the magic of decentralized P2P (particularly Bittorrent) and major centralized piracy sites moving overseas. Besides, there is NO good reason to reinstall the game several times in a short period of time. People’s computers do not crash that often (unless you’re downloading warez without a really good antivirus program, but that’s not a problem for LEGIT customers). Additionally, you seem to be of the opinion that you should be able to copy stuff as many times as you want to because you won’t steal it. You’re a couple of centuries too late – capitalism doesn’t work on the honor system anymore, because the average man on the street doesn’t have any honor anymore, and I’d be willing to bet you don’t either.

    Seriously, I don’t really have much of a problem with piracy. I don’t like modern PC games anyway. What I do have a problem with is kids and college students self-righteously justifying their choice to pirate and announcing it to the world…when all they’re REALLY doing is coming up with excuses to download games for free.

    “Ye olde Brits taxed the hell out of stuff a long time ago and americans were pissed (we all know that).”

    I’m glad you brought that up, because in fact the Brits weren’t taxing the hell out of stuff at all – even by the standards of the day, the colonists were paying extremely low taxes, especially compared to the people back at the English mainland. It’s just that Britain decided it was about time the colonists started paying their share, and the colonists started whining about how unfair it was and eventually revolted, even though their justification was shaky at best – just like the gamers here.

  25. 0
    relax guy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    testing it is fine in my opinion… but… to say that i’m only allowed to install it 3 times?

    thats a little fucked up.

    3 computer failures and i’m done.. and I have to buy the game again if i want to play it. screw that.

  26. 0
    Helpless Kitten says:

    Things like this are the reason why I play console games almost exclusively these days.
    I will admit it….I used a cracked code at one point. I had misplaced my books for the original Neverwinter Nights. All I wanted was to visit again that wonderful world so lovingly crafted by the game designers. I had bought the game legitimately but had just misplaced the slip of paper with the 20 character long code. Does this make me a pirate? Should I have searched e-bay for another copy and possibly gotten one again without the code? Is it wrong for a gamer to want to re-install and play a game years later?
    Also, I have a very busy life. I may not have a chance to even turn on my home PC for as long as a month sometimes. It seems deeply wrong to punish someone for taking a month long trip to Japan or something.

  27. 0
    Christian Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ R S Blackrose

    Quite true. I find it extraordinarily ironic that EA apparantly feels that such a large number of consumers are pirates that this is necessary – though evidently the only /real/ consequence is alienating their honest costumers.

    I was so looking forward to buying both Spore and ME. Now, im not gonna. Nor will i pirate them. Im just going to steer clear of EA from here on in. If Bioware changes their mind about this i am open to forgiveness though.

  28. 0
    kaemmerite says:

    This is an outrage. This is terrible. I can’t believe…

    Oh wait. We’re talking about Spore?

    Never mind. To quote Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade, “Is there even a game there?”

  29. 0
    R S Blackrose ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I believe a little twist of a quote from Shawshank Redemption might be applicable here:

    “I didn’t learn to be a crook until I started being treated like one.”

  30. 0
    Jason says:

    Well, I know two games I won’t be purchasing. Im going to jump through hpes every 10 days so I can play a game I legally bought. Its like they want PC gaming to die except MMOs.

  31. 0
    Anonymous says:

    So where’s the ECA during all this? Are they just following the good example of sitting down and shutting up (until losing money) set by the ESA?

  32. 0
    Chris S says:

    Right, I’m pirating it if this stays.

    I’m behind a proxy server half the year and there is absolutely no telling what will work and what won’t. If last.fm won’t do it I have no faith in this.

    It’s like those unskippable minute-long anti-piracy things on DVDs, punishing those who are buying legitimately when the pirate copy gets straight to the movie. Go away, I just want to watch Superbad.

    I know a few people who pirate games, and ‘Looks like I’ll just have to buy this game, the copy protection is too good.’ is something I never, ever hear, but complaints about copy protection from those who bought it legit are commonplace.

    I understand why people don’t approve of pirating in this situation, but something about it just rubs me up the wrong way. Like when they shut Pandora down outside the USA. I bought 6 albums because of Pandora! Where’s my filesharing app?

    Oh, and I’ve been burned by CD copy protection before. Buy £15 CD from the USA, oh, looks like I can’t rip it to disc! ‘A good customer who’s beyond annoyed at the way the system works and the way they feel they’re being treated.’ Pretty much sums me up. I’m a good customer to the PC games industry. And now I know how do download.

  33. 0
    Azhrarn, Death-of-Faxmachines says:

    I’ll simply wait and see how it pans out. I want to purchase both of these games, and have been looking forward to playing them for some time. However, a copy protection scheme like this more often than not functions badly, so i’ll be waiting to see how it goes.

    If it works alright for most people and they can play and aren’t left with games they can’t play because the authentication failed then i’ll probably purchase them aswell. If it causes a lot of trouble and grief for players, i won’t be buying the games. (and i won’t pirate them either)

    What EA however fails to see with this is that the game will be cracked and free of this system within a couple of days of release.
    Pirates are far to good at this, so they will not have to suffer from a system like this, they’ll be able to play both games without any problems regardless of how the copy protection system is implemented.

  34. 0
    Thefremen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @playful puppy:

    Of course they won’t listen to us now, but what about when people start getting all sorts of odd XP/Vista errors right after securom loads over 9,000 buggy .dll files everytime they startup? Customer Care reps are expensive, even if they’re from India.

  35. 0
    Asmo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think it’s pertinent to recall that if Spore bombs, the perception will be as follows:

    A) The gamers – Spore bombed because of a draconian copy protection, causing a rash of boycotts or, more likely, pirating of the game.

    B) The company – Spore bombed because of rampant piracy, which only proves that our copy protection system wasn’t strong enough. For our next version, we’ll send out a DNA tester with the software and you’ll need to give blood every 15 mins to keep playing.

    So yeah, I exaggerated a little, but this is the damn problem. They put out a shit product, a tech demo dressed as a $60USD game or a program with copy protection that is intrusive and problematic, then if it bombs they fall back on the old piracy card.

    There are a lot of people who WOULD buy quality games, protection free etc. Protection systems don’t decrease piracy, they merely increase the delay between the production version being sold and the pirated version coming out (and with leaks, even that is a stretch these days).


    As for Steam, you can play that entirely offline once you download the game. It still sucks for people with no internet, but *shrug*.

    Oh yeah, Steam titles are easily pirated and the Steam system happily ignores them co-existing on the same partition…

    At least Steam will reinstall your missing software anywhere as long as you have your username and password…

    EA, take a leaf from Stardock, think about what your customers want rather than what you want. You’ll make more money. =P

  36. 0
    shady8x says:

    “The cost to produce games is rising at a significant rate, while the number of people paying for games is dropping thanks to the growth of the internet and the increasing ease of sharing warez. It doesn’t take an expert to realize that’s not sustainable. So what should the videogame companies do?”

    At the very least they shouldn’t make it worse…

    Why develop a game for 4 years if you are going to break it right before shipping??? How is that sustainable???

    “They can raise the price of their games so that they make more money off the legitimate buyers, or they can put on copy protection to try to discourage pirates, or they can just stop making games with several-year development cycles and”

    How does copy protection discourage pirates? THE PIRATES GET A BETTER AND !!!SAFER!!! VERSION OF THE GAME. I believe this is called promoting rather than discouraging.

    EX: Starforce actually breaks computers, which are worth thousands of dollars, pirated versions don’t, which is better?

    “top-of-the-line graphics and go back to churning out uninnovative first-person shooters with four-year-old graphics based on old and cheap engines.”

    In what world do graphics = innovative??? The majority of the time the reverse is true…

    and as for graphics, making 95% of your would be customers pay hundreds of bucks to get your game working on their PCs is retarded… because they simply wont buy…

    “This “I don’t approve of copy protection, so I’ll pirate” mentality just hurts matters – companies need money to make games, “

    I don’t understand, if these people aren’t going to buy the game either way, but might pirate it, what is the big deal? its not like the money would magically appear in EA’s bank account if they didn’t pirate…

    “and anyway they can’t distinguish the self-righteous people who use idiotic statements to justify their piracy from the old-style pirates who admit that they just want to play games for free.”

    Wanting to get a game that will not crash your 5,000 dollar computer is a stupid reason???? My friend had a 5,000 dollar computer end up in a trash can after starforce…

    They don’t need to distinguish between pirates. They just have to realize that pirates are pirates and customers ARE NOT PIRATES. and they should understand that many pirates would be customers if they were treated as such when they PURCHASED the games…

    “They’ve got to stop piracy SOMEHOW, and pirating instead of buying the game just encourages them to try that much harder. Y”

    How does DRM stop piracy? by preventing paying customers from being able to play while forcing them to pirate just to see what they bought???

    By letting pirates justify their piracy with statements like ‘at least my version works ha ha’ I have had this said to me while I was talking about this new coaster I had purchased, which supposedly had the same game on it as the one that a pirate had…

  37. 0
    Loque ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Just quoting you here: “If you pirate the game, you are stealing the code.”

    That’s false. Stealing equates you taking something from somebody, that they then physically lose, I.E. I take a bag of potato chips from you, you’re out one bag o’ chips. You can’t prove that by pirating a CD or a game that I’ve stolen anything. Nothing is missing.

    When I duplicate your code by pirating something, that’s not theft. The developers aren’t out one game, and Wal-mart isn’t out one box.

    Copyright infringement! Far different.

  38. 0
    Baruch ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And I was looking forward to playing Spore. Scratch that idea; maybe I’ll go buy some older games on my “Play someday when it’s not $50” list. Spore isn’t the first game I haven’t gotten because of some sort of security measure, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. EA just tanked their sales on two highly anticipated games; maybe the lower sales figures will teach them a lesson if we’re really, really lucky.

  39. 0
    shady8x says:

    Wow, well I guess I will have some extra cash in my wallet since I was gonna buy both of these games… pre-orders canceled…

    Why should I pay for a downgraded experience? I am not a pirate so I get screwed?, fine I wont be a customer either…

    Why should I only be able to install it 3 times? I don’t have a huge hard drive so I often uninstall and reinstall games…
    What if a user mod breaks it and I have to reinstall? Half of spore is other users stuff and the only reason to get mass effect for PC is for the mods…

    My place has internet connection but what am I supposed to do when I visit my parents for a month this summer? they don’t have a connection, am I gonna have re-install after that?

    and by the way, how do I know that the game will even play on my computer, I have had plenty of ‘protections’ cause a game to crash or not run at all, and good luck returning to anyone that didn’t buy it at gamestop… little clue, other stores wont take it back…

    Sometimes I wonder if corporations like EA know that ‘shooting self in foot’ is not a business strategy…

  40. 0
    BrandonL337 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Totally unrelated but I wonder what JT would think of Sins of a Solar Empire, since we know he won’t research it or play it; it would be interesting to see his fundieism at work

    JT: OMG Sins of a Solar Empire is a sin simulator and it’s unamerican since it encourages imperialism OMGOMGOMG PROTECTZ ZE CHILDRENZ!!!1!@! /JT

  41. 0
    TheEggplant ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The online verification goes both ways. Half the fun of Spore is going to come from downloading other users species. If I’m online to do that why do they need to check on me every 2 business weeks?
    What if I don’t want to download user generated content right away? What if I want to play Spore for 3 months all alone? Why should I be inconvenienced to have a single player experience?
    They point isn’t about my internet connection being always on. The point is it shouldn’t have to be for me to use the product I payed for. Yes I know I only payed for licensed use, but I still payed for it and they are trying to take away my usage privileges because I might be doing something they don’t like. Screw them.
    I’ve canceled my pre-orders for Spore, Mass Effect, and Mercenaries 2. EA and 2K may not need my money, but I feel a lot better knowing they don’t have it anyway.

  42. 0
    diceman82 says:

    ohh a shiny new game that thinks its piracy protection will do it any good!!!lemme grab the source code real quick and see how this bugger works.

    seriously though theres so many ways to get around this crap its no longer even funny.some piracy history follows-

    1.games are given regional locking to stop imports and possible piracy.
    Solution:game genie/shark devices are implemented to break these protections like a MLB pitcher in a seizure.

    2.games are given CD keys to prevent piracy.
    solution:too bad you fucktards left all the cd key codes embedded in the game disk under a obvious dir(aka fucking EA)or leaving it on the back of the game case(blizzard*cough*)for everyone to merrily jot down on their way out of GAMEfuckingreservesomethingSTOP.

    3.self verification games such as secure rom or those twats who though verifying my windows within 30 days was a smart thing to do while im angry at how bad ff10 was(i sent them a copy of waynes world if you were wondering after hours of their useless tech support).
    solution:crack the program that autochecks and have it always ping back positive.

    4.pay to play cd keys ala mmos like wow
    solution:private servers that are free and are not plagued witha dev team that ran by monkeys with down syndrome(wow*couch*couch*)

    In the end their will never be any game that cannot be pirated or slaped ona private server to tell the dev to go screw themselves,in all reality putting these things in games just makes the pirates want to break them more.

  43. 0
    Untouchable ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m so damn dissapointed at this. Spore is easily one of the most anticipated games ever and then EA throws a big ol spanner in the works.

  44. 0
    BrandonL337 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    one last thing I think to an extent that downloading games that cannot really be bought anymore is a good thing for companies think of it as free advertising. For example a friend gave me a copy of Unreal Tournament
    and now I want to BUY UT2004 and UT3
    also got original counterstrike and now I want CS:S

  45. 0
    BrandonL337 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I would buy a PS3 for this if they put it on there (you know the mouse and keyboard thing)
    if it could turn out good on 360 i’d buy it for that

    trouble is it’s not listed as coming out on either of those systems

  46. 0
    BrandonL337 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why, WHY!? I was looking forward to Spore so much why did those bastards have to screw it up with DRM I’m not a pirate the only games I’ve not bought are old games that you can’t get anymore; I didn’t even download them friends at school gave them to me /sobs


  47. 0
    Glenn Essex says:

    I’ve gone 20 days without playing a PC game quite a few times, and Considering the fact that Mass Effect will have limited replay value because it’s a single player experience, I’ll wager that once I finish the game I won’t play it again until I forget how good it is (it would be better without EA in the mix). I wonder how this game will work in Wine with the idiotic security measure (which daemon tools can bypass anyway).

  48. 0

    […] What happens when you get a great game and concept such as spore then put it in the hands of a company like EA? You get heavy copy protection, constant key validation and a “3 times only” install feature. GamePolitics reported yesterday that the much anticipated title “Spore” will be given heavy copy protection as well as recurring CD Key Authentication. […]

  49. 0
    mirumu ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Skyseer: The problem with that approach is that if it doesn’t hurt their sales the games companies will think this draconian copy protection is acceptable. They’re also still going to count the downloads of the pirated versions as lost sales too making matters worse. It won’t stop them from possibly suing you one day too.

  50. 0
    Skyseer says:

    @ Tristram

    The entire problem with copy protection as anal as this bullshit, is that honest paying users have to jump through 100 hoops just to play their own damn game that they bought, meanwhile pirates can still crack the game and play it as easy as that.

    Sure, for maybe a week after release the game wont be cracked, but eventually it will, and then you’ll have people who pirated the game happily playing their cracked version, while the people who bought the game are pulling their hair out over all the protection.

    I dunno about you, but I think people should buy the game, not open it, then download the pirated version

  51. 0
    mirumu ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @gstommylee: The PC games industry is made up of businesses. They are not making their products out of the goodness of their heart. They are doing it to make a profit. I see no reason to develop any emotional attachment to them. I will support them if they do something good (i.e. companies like Stardock) and will not support them if they do something bad. As far as I’m concerned if punishing customers like this is what’s required to make the industry healthy then it’s not an industry I care to support and I see little reason to care if it lives or dies.

  52. 0
    GKScotty says:

    Fun story. I bought a new laptop with Vista Home Basic, and decided some weeks later to upgrade it to Ultimate. So I grabbed the upgrade pack and tried to install it. It kept blue-screening at about 90% installed, and needed to revert back to Home Basic.

    Turned out the only way I could fix it was uninstalling Bioshock and running the copy protection removal tool. After that, Ultimate installed just fine.

    These protection tools do some nasty stuff with the inner workings of your OS, and I frankly don’t trust their makers enough to install them now. I won’t be buying Spore if it ships with this crap.

  53. 0
    mirumu ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @gstommylee: Why would we blame the pirates? This copy protection clearly isn’t done for the pirate’s benefit because they are completely unaffected by it. Pirates will simply download a superior cracked version which works and doesn’t inconvenience them at all.

    The only people this move actually hurts are the paying customers.

  54. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 1 ) says:

    @ gsTommyLee

    That is why I wrote to explain why I was not buying Mass Effect.

    What good does a boycott do if the people you are boycotting have no idea why?

    I support the game industry, when they are not treating me like a criminal. I support Stardock and their DRM free games. I support other developers and publishers who do not treat me like a criminal.

    What I can’t support are developers and publishers who wrongly treat me like a criminal.

    Can you understand that?

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  55. 0
    gstommylee says:

    Look i know people have the right to not buy the game but not supporting is also hurting the industry. No support = no future games of that series. EA could kill mass effect if thats what they want to.

  56. 0
    mirumu ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I canceled my pre-order for Mass Effect yesterday for this very reason. Any desire I had to pre-order Spore is gone too.

  57. 0
    Murry ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Evangel This is true. Its not like anything online is certain to be forever present. I got MGS3:Substinance out of a pre-used game store today only to find out that they took down the online play servers for it months ago. Not exactly the same but at the same time who isnt to say that down the road EA will keep the servers up.

    This is why I feel like if were going to have authorization schemes like this, or even just any sort of digital distribution method like valve has.. It should be under one centralized service that isnt tied to any one company or publisher. Something that can be sure that will stay around and functional even if every company that uses the service to auth their games goes under.

    But that isnt likely to ever happen. And if it did somehow i doubt it would work out much better than this system.

    I just dont really get it tho. constantly re-authing? Why? Theres got to be better ways to handle things. And the 3 installs? Unless you can revoke and regain some of the install licenses like you can with bioshock thats just.. outragous.

  58. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This reminds me of some real life piracy I read about, (and I mean REAL piracy).

    Ye olde Brits taxed the hell out of stuff a long time ago and americans were pissed (we all know that).

    Some people boycotted the British products all together.

    Some bought their goods from pirates who robbed the british vessels and could sell the goods without the tax.

    It seems almost like a repat right now.

  59. 0
    Black Manta says:

    Well, I don’t know what happened to the comments, but I’ll just reiterate what I said before in that this news will not affect my decision to purchase Mass Effect for the PC. Other than an internet service interruption, I don’t see any other problem with this, and the improvements made in the PC version over the Xbox 360 version I think outweigh what is IMO a minor annoyance. If it’s done properly, it’ll be transparent. As I have said, I have both BioShock and Steam and haven’t had problems with either of those. So I don’t anticipate any problems with this either. I’m sure Bioware will release some sort of patch in the future that will do away with the internet validation checks. They’re usually good looking out for their fanbase like that.

    Copy protection has come a long way from coded wheels and CD keys. Companies do have a right to protect their IP’s and ensure revenue. Is this the best way? I can’t say. But they have to do something until a better solution comes along. I applaud companies like Stardock who have the bravery to trust their consumers, but even Sins of a Solar Empire has an online registration component. It sounds as if this is being blown just a tad out of proportion.

  60. 0
    Megahedron ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I was planning on buying Mass Effect the moment it was released, either on Steam or in a brick-and-mortar store. If it’s released like this, though… I dunno. A part of me is saying to pirate it out of spite, another is saying “just buy it, it’s not a big deal since you have an always-on connection,” and another is saying “don’t bother at all.”

    Either way, their copy protection scheme has turned me from a definite “yes” into a “I *might* get it.”

    And people WONDER why PC games have such low sales?

  61. 0
    Evangel ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Murray: It doesn’t matter if EA isn’t going anywhere, it’s a matter of if EA keeps the activation servers up for more than 12/24/36 months. Once they take down their activation servers, your install becomes a nice little space filler and your disc becomes a coaster.

  62. 0
    PlayfulPuppy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Unfortunately all this outcry is probably going to fall on deaf ears. I mean, many large developers don’t care about making /games/ for the hardcore market, why would they care about what the hardcore market has to say about copy-protection?

    Although it’s still daft in every single possible way. Once the game is cracked ONCE, it’ll spread through the internet like a virus and any copy-protection measures will be rendered absolutely moot. So who suffers from heavy-handed copy protection? Not the people who crack it, they love a challenge! Not the people that download it, it’s already been cracked for them! It’s only the people who /buy/ it and want to be legitimate. They’re the ones who need to be on the internet to play their single-player game. They’re the ones who may not be able to run the game because the copy protection is overly zealous or refuses to recognise a particular brand of DVD drive.

    All copy protection does is show us how much easier life is for a pirate.

  63. 0
    Alyric ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I was looking forward to buying/playing Mass Effect, but if it launches with this, I’ll have to pass.

    I’m not bothered by the “assuming every consumer is a pirate” that so many have been up in arms about – at least not so much as two other things:

    1) If at any time I lose a connection to the internet (a distinct possibility if I move soon) I will be unable to play the *completely single player* game that I bought. Especially since finances will be tight and an internet connection won’t be a high priority.

    2) I’m not certain what kind of lasting appeal Mass Effect will have. I haven’t played it yet. But I do know that there are computer games that I’ve owned through 13+ years and 5-6 computers that I STILL play from time to time. With this model, I would no longer be able to play those games.

    Please do not chime in with the “they’ll release a patch to remove the install limit eventually” argument. They might. But I should not have to wait and hope and trust to their good will to uncripple a game that I’ve purchased. What if, in 15 years, I want to boot the game up and give it another run through, but can’t find the patch online anymore? Unlikely, perhaps, but a possibility. At the very least, finding it could be quite the hassle.

    Perhaps in the end that’s what it boils down to. Hassle. Any company that considers it a good business decision to make it more of a frustration to purchase their product legitimately than to pirate it simply doesn’t live in the same reality that I do. I’m a big fan of Bioware, I own most of their games, but I simply cannot support this kind of draconian protection scheme – especially when it’s inevitably impotent in preventing piracy.

  64. 0
    SomoneElse says:

    Not too happy about this. I have bought all of Stardock’s Galactic Civilisation series (1, 2 and expansions). They all have 0 copy protection and i LOVE it. I played Galciv 1 as a pirated version first. When I realised I quite liked it, I bought it. My legit games i frequently get the cracks for JUST so I don’t have to load a disk.
    Company of Heroes is a good example of the problems that this sort of plan can cause. I have the disks in the boxes in boxes in the garage (somewhere). When the auth servers went down I couldn’t play anymore (without finding the disks). Also I recently moved house and had no net connection. So again ridiculously invonvenient to play a game I paid for.

  65. 0
    Bogans ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Spore has not been confirmed as incuding the 10-day SecuRom system.
    This is just a case of a rumor which has been repeated so many times it has become a supposed fact.
    Trace the rumor back to the beginning and you’ll see the only source is a single off-hand comment by a Bioware rep. mentioning that Spore will include some kind of activation scheme.

  66. 0
    Monkeythumbs says:


    As much as I love BioWare and Maxis, I hope to jebus that hardcore gamers boycott these games in droves. Requiring a (more-or-less) permanent internet connection and limiting the total number of possible installs severely hampers a regular, law-abiding gamer’s ability to just play the game under the circumstances they choose, rather than EA’s dictated play environment.

  67. 0
    Murry ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yar. This is a sad move and smacks of EA taking on a RIAA like mentality that all its customers would gladly be pirates or something. I never get the logic. Mass Effect I already have on the 360 so its not so bad but Spore.. spore im iffy on. A big portion of the game seems like its tied up in the sharing and aquiring of other players creatures and content. So its a very online centric game to start with. Im not sure why that makes the verification less annoying in my mind but for some reason it does. But the 3 installs crap? thats just pathetic. What if i get a new computer? What if I lose my HD or any of the other possible reasons I would need to reinstall the game.

    Its just.. bad. I mean i have no doubt its going to be cracked real fast but that only makes it worse on spore because a cracked copy aint going online.

    meh. Sadly I can see this trend catchin momentum, reguardless of how it effects sales. Makes me wonder what they will attribute bad sales too if it happens to bomb. Piracy again? that gamers arnt on the PC anymore? I dunno.

    Thats not even touching upon the problems with if the auth servers go down or EA folds and your game deactivates itself forever… Granted EA isnt likely to go anywhere but its still a kind of scarey possiblity. I know if Valve fell apart and steam died then i would potentialy lose a couple hundred dollars worth of games forever.

    Heh. leave it to EA to bring the biggest problem with digital distribution and infect hard copy versions of games with it as well.

  68. 0
    ArchRanger says:

    It’s nice that they’re doing absolutely nothing to make pirating harder while being a pain in the ass to those who actually do buy the games.

  69. 0
    CyberSkull ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is why warez are so popular. It’s not getting it for free, rather it is the convenience of not putting up with DRM crap.

  70. 0
    Paramnesia says:

    Something happened to the comments! I was just about to refer to one of them too elsewhere.


    Reaction 1: RAR!

    Reaction 2: RAR! I will buy a cracked copy!

    Reaction 3: It’s no big deal. Ur as bad as the pirates!

  71. 0
    Zero Beat ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    No software company should employ any DRM or copy protection in any way, shape, or form. Piracy is unstoppable. It’s not a matter of if a new protection scheme is cracked, but when.

    Also, these schemes keep on punishing the legitimate customers, the ones that actually pay for these games, with increasingly restrictive software put on stuff they bought with their money.

    Look at the DRM-free iTunes songs. They sell better because consumer don’t like being treated as thieves.

    Stop punishing your customers for the actions of pirates.

  72. 0
    Christophe Janson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well I’m not supporting the big brother on the internet with a dime, no way I’m gonna buy that spore if it helps the Securom people. We have to fight them as long as we can, if only i could donate money to the crackers every time a copy protected game comes out.

  73. 0
    Ravenhawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I am extremely disappointed. I’ve been looking forward to Spore since it’s first announcement.
    It’s not that there is any personal hassle for me on the subject; I will likely not get the game for some time due to the fact that my current computer couldn’t run it. And even if it could, my laptop is always connected to the internet no matter where I go, pretty much. It’s the principle of the matter.
    They are taking a game that has been massively looked forward to by tons of people and saying “You can only play this as long as we support it.”
    Not even going into the short-term problems and my personal hatred of DRM software, my largest issue with this is the long-term effects. Spore promises to be an excellent game. Excellent games are quite often played a long time after companies stop supporting them and have moved on to their new products. I still play games like Lords of Magic whose parent company, Sierra, is dead now. With this DRM spore will likely only be playable for, what, five years? Six years? After which time EA will decide to save itself the resources and the ping servers will go down. And suddenly no one can play the game.
    No one but the pirates, anyway.
    Will Wright probably has one of the most loyal fan bases of any game designer. And EA is spitting in the eye of each and every one of those fans.

  74. 0
    Tristram ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Jeff

    We are not talking about the Bioshock 3 installations…which is a serious issue and the reason I’m waiting to buy an xbox 360 to play it. However, no, I do not call the verification system a hassle because: you do not have to do anything except have a connection to the net every 10 days. Seriously, it does the rest itself. Loque’s argument about not trusting them makes a little sense at least. Also, you are paying for the right to play the game, not ownership of the code. If you pirate the game, you are stealing the code. Further more, you are correct you should be able to copy a CD for your own use, but not copy it to sell or share with others. As to your response to steve, you forgot designing, developing, and programing the game. If you do all that you can have it without paying anything.

    @ Loque As for you, I fail to see how I am being a sheep. Being a sheep means going with the herd and doing what everyone else is doing. From the looks of it, I am going against the heard. And my calling that ponce scum was a little tongue in cheek; it was a hyperbolic response to his calling us morons.

  75. 0
    Jeff says:


    In that case my money is being wasted. Sure I’m able to use something that brings me entertainment but past that it’s essentially paying for a piece of plastic and some legal mumbo jumbo. I can, as I’ve said before, obtain that same piece of plastic(s) from Staples — 10 to 15 to be sure — for less than HALF of what I would pay for the same thing I’m buying from a publisher like EA. On top of that I can get that same piece of legal mumbo jumbo by going on my computer and typing it up myself and subsequently burning it to those very CDs I purchased for less than half of what EA is charging for 1 CD.

    What EA is doing in this case is one the one hand ludicrous and on the other hand just shafting their honest customers. And let’s be honest… Not all software pirates who actually do the work on cracking games go out and purchase a copy of the game itself. If that were the case then I suppose even pirates put money in the pockets of the publisher. You know that the pirated copy of the game had to come from somewhere.

  76. 0
    Yuka Takeuchi Fan says:

    Well… damn.

    September 7, 2008, wasn’t it?

    Maxis, you have four months to protest SecuROM yourself or else my money will redirect itself into console games. Damn shame; Spore was one of the number one must-get titles out there for me.

  77. 0
    JC ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thats why we have to deal with this shit in the first place.

    No, the reason we have to deal with copy protection is because the publisher decides to put it on there. Pirates don’t put it on the software, they just like to remove it.

  78. 0
    Steve says:

    Jeff: “So in the case of a game CD/DVD or a music CD I’ve pretty much spent $50+ on only the piece of plastic and other materials that the actual product is stored on?”

    And a license to use the software contained on it, possibly according to the terms of agreement. You do not own the software itself.

  79. 0
    JC ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Jeff, thanks for making those points. It is a shame really, this game has been in development for so long and customers are treated to this protection that says you only own a game to install it 3x before you have to buy again?

    After seeing EA say there won’t be a PC version of their Madden title and blame it on piracy, I wondered what they were going to do to Spore. I didn’t think it’d be this bad.

    Pirating out of spite does nothing, its like downloading RIAA music. Say you don’t want their crap by not touching it, although it seems companies will still blame it on piracy instead of pissing off customers. They won’t accept the fact customers hate being abused.

    I personally hope EA suffers in some way for this.

  80. 0
    Captain Sensible ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I was thinking about the 3 install thing – I’ve got games from 2000 that i’ve played again and again, and I must have installed some at least 20 times.

    But if i’d had to buy a new copy after 3 installs, i’d have given up a long time ago.

  81. 0
    Jeff says:

    I’d also like to say that if I buy a music CD the songs on it are mine to copy and do with as I like. If I want to burn a copy of the CD (for personal use mind you), rip them to my PC (again, for personal use), or copy them to my iPod then I should have every right. I’m not pirating anything in this manner, so why shouldn’t I have the freedom to use the contents of what I’ve physically purchased for my own personal use?

  82. 0
    Meohfumado says:

    3 installs? This is a joke. I reference my system every 2-3 months, complete back-up and reinstalls to make sure it is running as fast as possible.

    Limiting me to 3 installs is beyond annoying. It is already bad enough I have to call MS every time I make upgrades to my rig, and have to re-authenticate a legally purcahsed copy of XP.

    Do they not understand that these ridiculous measures actually push people towards becoming pirates?

    Looks like I won’t be buying spore now….

  83. 0
    hcf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We, the gamers, successfully killed Starforce through boycott. We could do it to secuROM too.

    I think some interesting questions are: Would killing secuROM kill PC gaming and finally cede the entire industry to consoles? If it did, would you care?

  84. 0
    Loque ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    If Kobra is scum, you’re sheep. Seriously. I’ll pirate the damn thing (which I never do) just for the mere fact that I don’t want my computer connecting to EA’s servers EVER. I don’t trust them, I don’t like them, and I’m sure as hell not installing their crappy DRM on my computer.

    If DRM was actually working, there would be LESS piracy going on.

    Guess what? I’d guess there was more.

  85. 0
    Jeff says:


    As for your contention that the game is your property, not theirs, after you buy it… the CD is your property. The game on the CD is not. That is like saying after you buy a DVD or music CD the songs are yours to copy and do with as you like….for instance, copying and selling bootleg copies. Please tell my that wasn’t what you were arguing?

    So in the case of a game CD/DVD or a music CD I’ve pretty much spent $50+ on only the piece of plastic and other materials that the actual product is stored on? If that’s the case then why bother to purchase it at all? I can easily go to Staples and get 10 or 15 of those same pieces of plastic for roughly $20 or $30. Why am I paying so much for something that I truly do not own?

    I’m not implying that I support, or condone, piracy. If I’m spending that kind of money on a product it belongs to me and I should have the ability to USE that product without hassle or restrictions.

    Do you not consider the 3 install limit a restriction or hassle? I certainly do. It’s like restricting a console game to only the first three consoles it’s played on. It makes absolutely no sense.

    Do you not consider the necessity to verify your ownership of something you purchased every 5 – 10 days a hassle? Not everyone who is possibly going to play this game will be getting on the internet that often. Small portion of the consumer base? Yes. But there are definitely people who use the internet very seldom and this would affect them. I object on the principle of the matter.

    A game’s installation should be locked to its CD key — kind of like Blizzard’s games (Starcraft, Warcraft II, and Warcraft III) are restricted to use on the computer with the CD key registered. If I have to reformat my computer or if I purchase a new one at least I’m safe in the knowledge that if I need to reinstall the game I just need to have my CD key handy to notify Blizzard that I’m not playing some pirated copy.

    The defenders of this DRM are assuming that piracy will one day go away… As software pirates continue to become more sophisticated they’ll continue to crack DRMs. DRMs really do NOT deter piracy. It’s naive to believe it does. I am willing to bet that it encourages it. This is my opinion and you can contend it if you want but there really is no reason to shaft customers like this.

  86. 0
    David BR says:


    I not up on pirate communities, but I wouldn’t bet that there’s a thriving TF2 pirate community with all the newest content. Maybe there was a HUGE diablo 2 pirate community with a ladder ranked server? I don’t know.

    Hamachi might be fine for a group of friends. But vs. playing with/against a world of opponents/allies, it’s not really an option.

    It’s harder with single player games to provide that carrot. I believe it can be done.

  87. 0
    Benji ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Jeff: Copy protection schemes have been ramped up because the means of distributing pirated, copied, and cracked software has escalated greatly. The internet wasn’t as ubiquitous or as fast then as it is now, and things like bittorrents and dedicated warez sites mean that a pirate can easily find ten thousand people who want a copy where he probably couldn’t find twenty people a decade or two ago.

    I won’t argue with your second point, though. In fact I think that’s one provision a lot of people want in the new DMCA – making it legal to circumvent DRM if the end purpose of doing so is legal.

  88. 0
    Tristram ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Jeff

    What do you mean, “Where were you in the early days of PC gaming when security measures like this weren’t available or even a remote idea to publishers?”

    I do not even understand what you are asking. Why were we not fighting against piracy then? Why were we not defending the CD keys then? Or did we not experience it? For the record, back then there were no ways to easily dl games (torrents) and internet connections were slower and made it harder. Hell, I think I had just gotten the internet 10 years ago…Dial up. It took me days to download a three megabyte song.

    As for your contention that the game is your property, not theirs, after you buy it… the CD is your property. The game on the CD is not. That is like saying after you buy a DVD or music CD the songs are yours to copy and do with as you like….for instance, copying and selling bootleg copies. Please tell my that wasn’t what you were arguing?

  89. 0
    Kobra ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    MORONS! All you have to do is set up IIS and edit your HOSTS file and you can make it think it verified the key when in actuality it just looped back.

  90. 0
    Jeff says:

    Also… Once that money has left my pocket, and purchased a copy of that game, I am of the opinion that that is no longer property of the corporation that is selling it. It belongs to me. I’ve given my money to the appropriate entity and I’m entitled to use it (or not use it) at me leisure. I shouldn’t be forced to inform them on what I’m doing with MY property past that point.

  91. 0
    Conejo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    if they go through with this draconian DRM, not only will they lose me as a customer but they will get a monthly update as to why.

  92. 0
    Jeff says:

    I’ve no interest in these games to begin with but I’m in agreement with everyone who is upset about these security measures.

    It DOES NOT matter what security measures you put on a game. At some point, somewhere, someone is going to break through them and they’re going to get a pirated version up regardless. If someone wants to crack it bad enough, they will, nothing the publisher can do to stop it.

    @Those defending this security measure…

    Where were you in the early days of PC gaming when security measures like this weren’t available or even a remote idea to publishers? The internet was around then, much like it is still today, and I don’t recall piracy being any worse then than it is now. There were CD keys to be sure but there weren’t draconian measures to ensure your paying customers got the shaft. You defend the publisher but forget the consumers who — despite what you might want to believe — may NEED to reinstall this game several times in a short period are going to be shafted. Is it fair to the consumer? Hell no.

    I don’t think piracy is helpful to anyone but neither is paranoia and shafting your customers. They’ll make less money with security measures like this than they would have if they weren’t so damn paranoid. Piracy will persist as long as pirates continue to become better at what they do. Why should the honest consumer suffer for this though? I still play games from 10 years ago, and I would NOT be happy if measures like this were put in place back then because those games that I continue to enjoy would no longer be working today.

  93. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Actually, some people running games on older systems might have to, especially on a small hard drive if they wish to paly one game a while then play another.

  94. 0
    Thomas Prescott ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I was thinking about buying Mass Effect… I guess not. Thanks EA for giving me a reason to spend money elsewhere.

    Steam is what any type of DRM should be. Steam isn’t intrusive, hell its a convience nowadays. I understand when Steam was new it sucked, but VALVe got its shit together with Steam and now its a very good distribution platform.

    If EA either 1) Distributed its games through Steam without its SecuROM bullshit, or 2) Developed a steam-like service that didn’t use SecuROM more PC games would be happy.

  95. 0
    Gelmax says:

    The cost to produce games is rising at a significant rate, while the number of people paying for games is dropping thanks to the growth of the internet and the increasing ease of sharing warez. It doesn’t take an expert to realize that’s not sustainable. So what should the videogame companies do? They can raise the price of their games so that they make more money off the legitimate buyers, or they can put on copy protection to try to discourage pirates, or they can just stop making games with several-year development cycles and top-of-the-line graphics and go back to churning out uninnovative first-person shooters with four-year-old graphics based on old and cheap engines.

    This “I don’t approve of copy protection, so I’ll pirate” mentality just hurts matters – companies need money to make games, and anyway they can’t distinguish the self-righteous people who use idiotic statements to justify their piracy from the old-style pirates who admit that they just want to play games for free. They’ve got to stop piracy SOMEHOW, and pirating instead of buying the game just encourages them to try that much harder. You shouldn’t need to install a game more than 3-5 times anyway.

  96. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Mazinger-Z

    BTW, like your username too. Great anime! Though I’d love to see them do a straight translation uncut on DVD like ADV did with Gatchaman a couple years ago and what they’re doing with GoLion (the original name of the Lion Voltron series) now. Any chance that’ll happen? Or for Armored Vehicle Fleet Dairugger (Vehicle Voltron) for that matter?

  97. 0
    Tristram ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    All you people who are going ti pirate it are the problem. Yeah, pirate it, that will show them. Klokwurk at least is willing to give money but thew rest of you…belg. If you refuse to buy it because of the copy protection, good for you. but if you pirate it because you still want to play…shame on you, hypocrites. Your point or demonstration is rendered moot and becomes an act of selfishness.

  98. 0
    Christian Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Fricking assholes. I was so looking forward to those games, but I dont think i want any of that shit on my computer.

  99. 0
    sqlrob ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @TheFremen: “Blizzard never uses draconian copyright protection that completely fucks up your system and causes instability, why do all these other people feel the need to do that?”

    What’s Warden then, chopped liver?

    I have two requirements for PC (single player) games, if something doesn’t meet these requirements, it doesn’t get bought. All these requirements are is simple security best practices, so they’re not all that unreasonable.

    1) No direct network connections
    2) No admin access required, either to install or run.

    Very, very little actually meets this, so I’ve only been console gaming for a while.

  100. 0
    Reede ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Mark S

    Not quite, while the game is connected to the internet, and I believed verified through said connection, the option is always there after installation to run in “offline mode”. With this you no longer are required to have this connection, however you won’t receive the patches for the game. Also, while I’m not 100% sure about this, you can download the games as much as you want. I know I’ve downloaded a couple of my games over a friends house so we could all play.

  101. 0
    Klokwurk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh well, looks like I’ll be pirating it then.

    If Will Wright and everyone else involved in creating the game would care to supply me with PayPal details, I’ll be happy to send them the money afterwards.

  102. 0
    Kadamon says:

    I know I don’t comment here much often anymore…what witht eh moving and the being sick and all…

    So, I’ve got to say this, and I’ve not read a single comment here, so this isn’t in responce to anyone.

    I think the DRM is stupid, more people are going to get a pirated copy anyway. Why the hell would you require an internet connection for a game you’re not even going to play on the internet? Mass Effect shouldn’t come with that stupidity.

    This is why I play console games instead of PC games outside of WoW.

    I’ve got Mass Effect for the 360…Love the game, I hear the PC’s going to be an approvement, I won’t pick it up because I already own a copy, but Spore on the otherhand? Yeah, I wanted that for the PC, specifically my laptop so I could have something really fun to play on the go when I’m not at home and away from the internet. Will I now?

    If I do, it probably won’t be legally, which is the sad part. I don’t pirate games like that.

  103. 0
    Tristram ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    From 1up http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3167711

    “In the board comments, French explains that the system is designed to be accommodating to users who still connect to the Internet via dial-up or who install their games to laptops where Internet connection is not always guaranteed.”

    Also, the games “will begin “phoning home” every 10 days to make sure that the activation key is still valid. If for some reason your PC cannot contact the Internet for more than 10 days at a time, the game will still continue to run for an additional 10 day “grace period””

  104. 0
    Rhade says:


    “Not only for this, but also expecting us to defend their game. I’m referring to the Mass Effect sex scene scare. EA did nothing, NOTHING to defend it”

    Yeh I thought about this too. -_-

  105. 0
    Eric ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I actually feel that out of all the anti-piracy measures on the market, this is by far the most favorable. Right now its greatest drawback is the dubious quality and technical hiccups that come from SecuRom products.

    Why do I favor it? Because when done right its completely transparent. I think you do not have to look farther than Valve’s Steam system to see this same sort of verification system working transparently to the user.

    Maybe as a bonus this means we won’t have to keep a disk in the drive tray to play?

  106. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Actually, with this system, you need to be logged in during your entire play session, meaning a connection hiccup can set you back several hours

    And I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be able to reinstall the game as often as I like, especially since one has to account for viruses, data getting corrupted and a host of other problems.

  107. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Mazinger-Z

    Actually, I’m white! Black Manta was and is my favorite all-time DC villain tho. I wlays thought he was one of the coolest-looking villains out there (and BTW, have you been to the stores lately? He’s now part of the latest wave of Mattel’s DC Universe line! Awesome job the Four Horsemen did on him too!)

    Anyway, to you and Gray17, yeah I do remember the initial DRM problems with the PC version of BioShock but later 2K changed the limit to 5 installs and then offered the removal tool some time after. And I seem to remember reading somewhere in an interview that at some point they would greatly increase the limit or remove it altogether.

    I could see the same thing happening with the release of these games. So for those asking the question “What if I want to play the game 10 years from now?”, considering the presence of emulators and how abandonware is handled, I’m confident that someone somewhere at some point in the future will make it so these games can still work and that their creators will find a way to make them playable for posterity.

  108. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’d rather hack the game that put up with a easy break oven, also its better to wait and get the game used cheap than to buy it full price with all that crap on it.

    It could be worse it could have a 5 token install like Bioshock still has……..

    Bioshock didnt have a full working crack for about 1 week,a ton a fakes and buggy ones but nothign solid for about 1 or 2 weeks.

  109. 0
    Tristram ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What hassle exactly? All you do it have an internet connection when you install it and then log onto the net every 20 days… geeze guys, it isn’t like the Bioshock BS. And they are not assuming customers are pirates…they assume pirates are pirates. I know what too many people who never purchase a game.

    I’m not saying a lot of this copy protection crap isn’t annoying, but this is not nearly as bad as some. Not invasive, and hopefully the servers will be better prepared after the bioshock incident.

    You don’t like copy protection, next time someone tells you they never buy games, punch them in the gut.

  110. 0
    Poetic Justice? ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Back in the day, EA practically built up PC gaming with their own hands. Now, they’ve basically tearing it down. It’d be fitting if it wasn’t so tragic.

  111. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I guess after I upgrade my PC I’m pirating it and sending the money directly to Maxis.

    EA isn’t getting a fucking cent.

    Not only for this, but also expecting us to defend their game. I’m referring to the Mass Effect sex scene scare. EA did nothing, NOTHING to defend it

  112. 0
    Captain Sensible ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’ve got Mass Effect for 360, and Spore never looked all that interesting, but I was going to keep an eye for it…

    Surely they can keep the copy protection in, yet take the ‘3 Strikes and your out’ feature away?

    Can’t they?

  113. 0
    Malygris ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Like many gamers, I’m torn on this one. Despite hearing a raft of bad news about the Bioshock protection, I wanted it badly enough that I bought it, and I honestly had no real problems with the copy protection. (And since the game really isn’t good enough to merit a reinstall anytime soon, the limited number of activations isn’t a major concern.) But my level of interest in Mass Effect and Spore was significantly lower; definitely there, but not off the charts. And unfortunately, in both cases this kind of intrusive and wholly unnecessary copy protection scheme is enough to drive me away from them. I won’t be purchasing either.

    But the reality is that those of us who actually refuse to purchase the game, as opposed to people who just make noise about it and then cave in and lay down their money on launch day, represent such a tiny portion of the game’s intended audience that we won’t even register with EA. When this scheme fails – and it will – major publishers will just come up with something even more outlandish and demanding. Pirates will play their games, the paying public will deal with increasing levels of frustration, and a few of us will just do without.

    And for the record, I won’t be pirating these things either. I support the industry enough that a refusal to buy the game does not equate to a green light to pirate it. That kind of self-serving thinking is one of the reason the littlebrains at EA think they need to go to these lengths to protect their property.

  114. 0
    Thefremen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well I was really looking forward to spore but after what StarForce did to my computer I’m never touching anything that even remotely looks like a rootkit from EA/Bioware/Ubisoft/whathaveyou.

    Blizzard never uses draconian copyright protection that completely fucks up your system and causes instability, why do all these other people feel the need to do that?

    I think by far the most hilarious thing is that when they lose sales because of the protection, they will blame it on piracy.

    On second thought, I’ll buy the game once someone develops a crack for it so it doesn’t fuck up my system.

  115. 0
    Anto103 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Big Brother is watching you play your games.

    Well good work EA you just lost another sale thanks to your “protection”.

  116. 0
    Trails ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If anything this make me more inclined to get a pirated version. You never what these DRM software makers are doing to your system.

    Here’s the funny bit: I trust the pirates more.

  117. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I was planning on buying Spore, and thinking of buy Mass Effect’s PC version. Now I will be buying neither. I refuse to buy games that require me to “phone home” constantly in order to prove that I purchased them.

    @Black Manta

    The thing is, the Orange Box and Bioshock (which use different protection schemes/verification systems to my knowledge) only require you to connect to the internet for initial setup. After that you can play offline at your leisure. This more recent version requires you to contantly connect to the internet every few days, which is going to be an annoyance to more than a few people. Sure it doesn’t affect you, but for people with more limited internet access (yes some people still have dial-up and lack a home network) it’ll be a pain. Then there are those of us that object on principle. It might not be a problem for me from a technical standpoint, but I refuse to put money towards games that assume I’m a pirate and will shut down if I don’t constantly prove I’m not.

  118. 0
    Benji ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What I’m curious about is, if I buy a legit copy of something but it doesn’t work due to crappy DRM, and I then download a cracked version of the same game and install it only on my own machine (the one I would have played the legit version on) – am I breaking copyright law?

    I do mostly PC gaming and honestly I don’t have a big issue with copy protection as long as it doesn’t interfere with me being able to play the game. What makes me worry is that the ability to play the game is entirely contingent on the publisher’s authentication server working. Are the Bioshock auth servers going to be on until the end of civilization? What if I want to play it ten years from now – will they keep their servers on and updated so I can? Fortunately I always figure that if all else fails I get a pirated copy of a game I already bought. They have my money, I get to play my game, so who really is wronged in this situation?

  119. 0
    Maniac says:

    I really really wanted to buy Mass Effect. I have no intention to do so now. I did not believe that Bioshock’s involuntary cd verification system was that bad, until it was implemented and failed miserably.

    I was at a wait and see for the Bioshock PC edition. By Fate, the only copy of the game I could get the SE with was the 360 version. Surely the pc version’s copy protection system couldn’t have been that bad or intrusive, as I have favorable memories of Steam.

    Then they did it, and oh boy it put copy protection back about five years. I would’ve thought that the complete and utter failure of the system implemented by Bioshock (and securerom) would’ve made publishers a bit smarter about draconian installation policies. I was wrong.

    So now they not only want to do it all over again, but to invite the crash every ten days for every one of its users. I really wanted this game too.

  120. 0
    Heeroneko says:

    I’m either not going to buy it now…and I’ve been looking forward to it since news of it first came out….or I’m going to wait until someone hacks it so this 3 time installation thing is invalid….what happens when you have to reformat or your comp gets a virus eh? I’m not gonna split my hard drive or buy an external one just for this game. Not to mention there’s no real reason to check for the CD-key all the time like that besides paranoia…if you have it the first five times you’re gonna have it the next five too.

  121. 0
    Mazinger-Z says:

    @Black Manta …Are you black? Sorry, Aquaman joke…

    Anyway… Referring you up to the clusterfuck that was apparently Bioshock’s launch when it comes to DRM.

    Secondly, what if I want to play this game again in 5 years?

    Thirdly, what if I have to do system rebuilds etc? (I reinstall windows twice a year, on average, I think…)

  122. 0

    Note: I am not promoting piracy, I am just saying that companies like EA need to figure out a better way of handling/dealing with it, rather than taking measures that penalize all of their customers for the actions of a few.

  123. 0
    jccalhoun ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well I guess I won’t be buying that. I have never been able to get a securom game to install on my computer. I’ve got two dvd drives in it from different manufacturers and every securom game I’ve ever tried to install has crapped out.

    So I give up, go online and download a hacked pirate version. Securom only prevents me the paying customer from actually playing the game I paid for and not the pirates who aren’t going to pay for it any way.

    I just skip the middle step now when it comes to games with Securom on them.

  124. 0

    You know, it is funny. There are people, in many industries, that have decided that piracy is nowhere near the problem that other companies have made it. As an example, the music industry is apparently the most problematic with piracy concerns. And yet, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails actually freely gives his stuff away, putting his music under a Creative Commons license even, and he sells the music as well. Did he get hit negatively with piracy? Nope. In fact, it seems that when people have the freedom to hand the music around, it attract more fans, and people are willing to support him.

    The thing is, piracy will exist. The nature of software is such that making a big deal over piracy is somewhat counter-intuitive to software, where the whole system is based around making copies. Rather than thinking of piracy as something negative and to be stomped out (this effectively making it happen a lot more frequently), the developers should realize it is effectively a form of advertisement — free advertisement at that. People who really like something will be willing to pay for it. But attempting to stranglehold the process just gets a lot of those who might be willing to pay for a good product to not be as interested in the product.

    In other words, don’t tick off your customer base, don’t treat them like children or criminals, don’t assume they all are criminals. EA apparently, in this move has decided that all of their customers are inherently criminals and thieves.

  125. 0
    PitViper401 says:

    I hereby propose we all pirate Spore, and then send $50 each to the developers directly.

    We get the game, the developers get the money, and EA gets a good lesson.

  126. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ok, well it looks like I’m going to be going out on a limb again on this one. I have been looking forward to getting Mass Effect on PC, even though I’ll be buying an Xbox360 soon; the gameplay and graphic qulaity will be superior to that of the 360.

    This little tidbit of news, while annoying, will not affect my purchasing decision and i will still get it when it comes out on the 27th. I have both The Orange Box and BioShock for PC and have no problems with them. The only problem I could forsee is if I experienced a service interruption with my internet which would keep me from playing it, but there are plenty of other games I can play offline in the meantime.

    So maybe I’m just clueless or a dullard about all this, but to me it doesn’t seem like much of a hassle to put up with.

  127. 0
    Chris says:

    I’d like to add that I never pirate new games. As far as console go I have one maybe 2 PSone isos, and I generally place a 5 year gap for PC game downloading. But here I think I’ll be getting Spore the free way right away. Screw this shit.

  128. 0
    Orange Soda says:

    Spore looked interesting, but I was planning to see how the Wii/DS versions looked anyway. I was never too keen on PC gaming, mainly because I don’t know what games have mouse-only controls (I don’t like keyboard controls).

  129. 0
    Dog_Welder ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I already have Mass Effect for the 360, but this does guarantee I won’t be purchasing Spore. (Guess I can go get my $5 back from the pre-order.)

  130. 0
    NovaBlack ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ DarkTetsuya

    yeahh it was crazy. the hilarious thing was people on the forums, after a week with no fixes actually started posting ‘Screw you 2k, ive just downloaded the cracked version, and it works fine, whilst my boxed copy is now nothing but a useless drinks coaster’. Since the only way they could play the game they ahad paid for was with the HELP of pirates!

    its madness

  131. 0
    Zen says:

    Ok, at my game retail job I get heckled by some of the other manangers because my PC gaming is pretty limited for a few reasons. Those being I enjoy easy surround sound, prefer controllers, and enjoy the large HD TV with the couch. Oh yeah..and that whole “I buy a game and it will work no matter what” thing with consoles as well. I wanted Spore on PC (I already have Mass Effect on 360), but I think I will be going console for that as well. Same reasons I won’t get Orange Box for PC even though it is a better version is because I can’t be online with all of my comuters at all times.

  132. 0
    DarkTetsuya ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yeah, apparently no one remembered how much fun BioShock was to get working on your PC… oops out of reinstalls, guess you gotta plunk down another $60 for a new copy…

    And that’s supposed to discourage piracy?

  133. 0
    Mech ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Guess I am not buying Mass Effect and Spore anyone. Too bad, they deserve the money. Maybe I’ll send cash directly to the developers and let them split it among themselves. EA isn’t getting a single cent of my money however.

  134. 0
    Iliad ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @David BR

    Its easy enough to get online multiplayer even with a pirated copy, or at least use something like hamachi to get multiplayer going with other people with pirated copies.

    And downloadable content? It would be up for torrent in 5 seconds flat.

  135. 0
    vellocet says:

    I wonder if anyone has ever done a comparison between PC sales and the rise of DRM.

    I am a big purchaser of games. I pretty much never pirate, with one exception. When a game I want to play has Starforce on it.

    Isn’t it possible that piracy is actually a symptom of DRM?

  136. 0
    David BR says:

    I don’t understand publishers. (Who I assume are the root of the problem) Give people a good reason to buy the game retail. Make downloading it less attractive by offering registered games some content/function that a pirated copy will not be able to obtain. Online multi-player, bonus content of some sort. Something?

    Why punish your INTENDED audience. Do you hate money?

  137. 0
    Cavalier ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, if this doesn’t change, I guess I can forgo Mass Effect. SecuRom was a bad idea from the start, yet folks keep flocking to it.

  138. 0
    Arashi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Two words: lose-lose. No one wins in this solution – EA will probably lose customers, and people who bought the game are put at an inconvenience. Not to mention, people will find a way around this, I’m sure. …how does this solve anything?

  139. 0
    NovaBlack ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    same here… shockingly i wont be buying spore… or mass effect

    (and ive had spore preordered for like over 12 months!)

    gutted i really want the game but i cant be doing with that hassle. i love to get old games out n replay them but what happens once the 3 installs is up? i also reformat regularly (every few months) so what happens…?

    sorry ea but you just lost a customer. After bioshock i thought ppl would have learned.

    The irony with bioshock was that within 24 HOURS (actually 100% true …just 24 hours) there were cracks and pirated copys all over the internet. And the forums were FULL of paying customers whou couldnt get it to work. I actually remember the adminhaving a go at one point suggesting all the people who couldnt get it working were pirates or something. the logic was bizaare and it was utterly insultig when people had come for support for THEIR mistake.

    oh n let me remind you of the conversations with tech support that we had…

    SecuROM : it isnt our problem, contact 2k games

    2K: sorry its a problem with SecuROM contact their tech support…

    SecuROM : it isnt our problem, contact 2k games

    2K: sorry its a problem with SecuROM contact their tech support…

    SecuROM : it isnt our problem, contact 2k games

    2K: sorry its a problem with SecuROM contact their tech support…

    so pirates will be playing these within 24 hours happily.

    Paying customers will be the ones complaining and unable to play. GREAT business sense.

    i will NOT be buying this game now. thanks ea.. thanks.

  140. 0
    Brandon St. Germaine ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What’s sad is that paying customers will be struggling with the product on the first day as the EA servers chug out handshakes, while the crackers will simply packet-sniff the outgoing data, figure out what needs to be sent back to the program, and any handshake or double-blind arguments the servers ask, then create a loopback program that completely voids the copy protection.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if crackers will be able to play the game before legitimate users.

  141. 0
    gs2005 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Large content providers love the idea of DRM (digital restrictions management) and won’t quit anytime soon. DRM is one reason why I have not switched to Microsoft Windows Vista…

  142. 0
    Thomas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’ll be a hassle, but I’ll still buy spore in all honesty. But it’s definitely things like this that have turned me away from PC gaming in the past few years. I find myself more and more turning to consoles, which I find disappointing because I have felt and will always feel that the PC is where the best games are simply supposed to be.

    Oh well…I’ll just simply look to valve for my PC gaming needs and watch the decline of the rest of PC gaming from my couch with a controller in my hand.

  143. 0
    Mark S says:

    I may be way off base but isn’t this pretty close to the Steam service and therefore every game under the Valve umbrella (Portal, HL2, etc). Even though they are single player they require the use of internet to validate.

    I think this one looks worse mostly because it has all the crappiness of Steam without any of the pluses (digital download, online store, mods, etc).

  144. 0
    Guillaume says:

    @Chris: Two weeks after the games come out? Surely you meant before they come out…

    And anyway, who has enough free time to even think about another game now that GTA4 is out? Maybe in one or two months…

  145. 0

    […] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptHotly-anticipated PC titles Spore and Mass Effect will be among the first wave of PC games from EA to employ a controversial form of copy protection. Techdirt reports that publisher Electronic Arts will use SecuROM protection, a scheme that has caused technical problems with some past titles. From the Techdirt story: This new version is causing controversy due to an online verification system connected to its CD key. The system requires a connection to the internet during installation… After this the game will try to re-check the CD key every 5-10 days… If the game can’t verify the key… it will continue to try for a further 10 days, after which it will stop working… The protection will also only allow the game to be installed three times. […]

  146. 0
    Arlen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I am a *massive* Will Wright fan, and have been intently looking forward to the release of Spore, but I will not purchase the game with this DRM—that’s all there is to it.

  147. 0
    Icehawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If I had not already pre-ordered (and pre-paid) for Mass Effect this bull might well have prevented me from getting it. Not overly worried about the copy protection (have worked with worse). What burns me is having to pull full retail for something that I can only install 3 times. What the hell? Buy and install the title. 1 Use. Somewhere down the road reformat (usually do this every 3-4 months, annoying spyware and such) so 2 uses and gods forbid I buy a new system that is the 3rd and final use then have to pay for it again? ……. Is this OEM now?

  148. 0
    Kevin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m gonna buy Spore no matter what. But I’m not going to by any other copy-protected game ever again.

    I was considering getting Mass Effect, but now, never mind.

  149. 0
    Red Knight says:

    Damn! I was looking forward to Spore too. Oh well guess I’m downloading it. EA can take their DRM and go for a long walk off a short dock.

  150. 0
    Chris says:

    This is so stupid. It’s a hassle for the people who buy the game legitimately, and for the pirates, there’ll be a way to bypass the protection 2 weeks after the game comes out. All EA has achieved is turning more people to piracy.

  151. 0
    Xkaliber says:

    From Elitebastards.com:

    Spore and BioWare copy protection to be improved
    Posted by Hanners on Sat 10th May 2008
    Well, it appears that the outcry across the Internet about the proposed draconian copy protection mechanism to be implemented in these two games has had a ‘mass effect’ (sorry, but I had to get that joke in before someone else did), with announcements that both of these titles will now have far more reasonable online authentication requirements.

    First up, here’s Spore’s new authentication system.

    – We authenticate your game online when you install and launch it the first time.
    – We’ll re-authenticate when a player uses online features, downloads new content or a patch for their game.
    – The new system means you don’t have to play with the disc in your computer. And if you are like me, always losing discs, this will be a huge benefit.
    – You’ll still be able to install and play on multiple computers.
    – You can play offline.

    Mass Effect’s authentication system has actually been relaxed even further.

    When Mass Effect comes to the computer it will not use SecuROM’s 10-day periodic re-authentication and instead will instead use a modification to do only a one-time online authentication, Bioware announced today.

    The developer said the decision came after listening “very closely” to its fans and that the new system will also allow gamers to play the game without the DVD in the drive.

    The system will allow gamers to authenticate their game on just three computers, but EA does have the ability to give additional authorizations if they are warranted.

    So, good news all round, and proof positive of the power of community pressure on game publishers.

  152. 0
    Anon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Pirates aren’t lost revenue. They were never even potential customers. EA is only punishing and pissing off their real customers.

    I would have liked to support Will Wright and Maxis, but fuck SecuRom.

    Seems I’ll be finding a DRM free copy of Spore.

  153. 0
    Tristram ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Chris What is pandora? Also, buy a legit copy and then use a crack. However, you are right that no one doesn’t pirate a game due to copy protection…at best they just never play it.

  154. 0
    odc04r ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So much of a bill did the states where his ‘bullet proof’ bill was introduced and subsequently mass overturned end up with.

    Saw one state was $12mil, alone.

    Could have helped a lot of families and kids….

  155. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 1 ) says:

    I sent this to a whole slew of EA and Bioware higher ups:

    Why I will not be buying Mass Effect.

    To all those receiving this email,

    My name is E. Zachary Knight. I am a life long gamer and a fan of PC based games. I am also a fan of Western RPGs.

    I was looking forward to the release of Mass Effect for the PC. I don’t own an XBox 360 and do not have plans to purchase one in the near future. I have limited funds to purchase games and choose the games I due purchase carefully. Ever since I saw video footage of Mass Effect at the 2006 Writer’s Conference in Austin, TX, I have been anticipating the release of this fantastic game. I loved Neverwinter Nights. It is one of my top favorite games of all time. So I was glad to see something fresh for this particular genre.

    But like I said, I *was* looking forward to Mass Effect. Then I saw the DRM scheme it contains.

    Let me put this in perspective for you. I have never pirated a game in my life. I do not steal. I purchased every game I own. I really don’t appreciate being treated like a criminal.

    I also don’t understand it. Why would you think that my purchased copy of Mass Effect, after being confirmed as a valid copy upon initial installation, would some how magically turn into a pirated copy during a ten day period? I don’t understand that at all.

    I also have a problem with the idea of my game becoming unplayable if 5 to 10 years down the line, you feel it is not worth supporting. If your authorization servers ever fail, I will be unable to play the game. Nothing to do with me. It would all be on you. I am reminded of Microsoft closing down one of their music servers and leaving those who purchased music through it out in the cold.

    Why am I being treated like a criminal while the actual criminals will be playing their cracked versions of Mass Effect with no DRM to bog down their experience? I feel like the elderly, the children, the mothers, the shop keepers of Hiroshima as you the massive media companies come in to destroy the Japanese soldiers with your Atom Bomb. But without any of the positive consequences. This kind of DRM does nothing to stop piracy. The most it has done is destroy the confidence of those who enjoy PC gaming.

    I recently read an article written by Brad Wardell of Stardock. He wrote that his business completely ignores pirates. His games come with no DRM. That is zero, nothing, nada. Yet his games are very profitable and extremely fun. As gamers we love to support those who make _quality_ games. If someone makes a game that is fun to play, we will buy it. Sure there are some who would rather steal the game, but they are hardly the majority. But with DRM such as that found in Mass Effect, that number will grow.

    I have written quite a lot to you. What I have written is why I will not be buying Mass Effect. IF one day, I am able to buy a 360, Mass Effect will be one of the first games I buy for that system, but I will never buy the PC version.

    My name is E. Zachary Knight. I am not a criminal. I am not a Pirate. I am a gamer and I support the game industry when they are worthy of my support.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  156. 0
    NovaBlack ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    the funny thing is that games that hav NO copy protection (galactic civilizations 1 and 2) tend to do really well for that exact reason!

    Stardock (the publisher of those 2) actually dont mind if you just give the cd to a friend to install. the way they get round it is by just saying, if you dont want to buy the game fair enough , use someone elses copy and see what you think. If you do buy the game and register your email and your game key and you get lots of free updates, expansions extras etc.

    simple. reward those customers who pay. dont punish everyone in some half assed attempt to stall hackers who will get round the protection whilst everyone else suffers.

    Its like dropping an A bomb, just to kill one pirate in a crowd of thousands of innocents, even though the pirate is in a bunker anyway.

  157. 0
    MysterX says:

    News like that just makes me want to pirate the game instead of buying it, to avoid dealing with the BS that comes with SecureROM.

    Companies like EA should be wary. There are lots of gamers out there that would happily support the publisher and do the right thing. But treat your paying customers like pirates in the first place, and the ones that are saavy enough will just go get a cracked copy to avoid the hassle. The people who would have just pirated it in the first place will still do so. net result: You lose more customers, and it costs you more because you are paying the ridiculous SecureROM license that does NOTHING to prevent piracy, and in fact, encourages it.

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