PC Version of GTA IV to be Saddled with SecuROM

Say it ain’t so, Houser Bros.

IGN reports that the upcoming PC flavor of Grand Theft Auto IV will install the dreaded SecuROM 7 copy protection on gamers’ computers.

On an up note, however, the number of times that the game can be installed will not be subject to a limit. GamePolitics readers will recall that EA’s much-awaited Spore came with a three-install limit. At least, it did until a gamer revolt prompted EA to relax the resrtiction.

Regarding GTA IV’s SecuROM, an unnamed Rockstar spokesperson told IGN:

Having copy protection allows us to protect the integrity or our titles and future investments, but at the same time we have worked very hard to ensure that our solutions do not persecute the legitimate players of our games. Implemented correctly, SecuROM is the most effective form of disc based copy protection and allows us to manage authenticity on a global level for Grand Theft Auto IV…


GTA IV PC uses SecuROM for protecting our EXE until street date has passed, to ensure the retail disk is in the computer drive… Product Activation is a one time only online authentication when installing the game. GTA IV has no install limits for the retail disc version… and that version can be installed on an unlimited number of PCs by the retail disk owner… All versions of the game will use SecuROM for Product Activation. Downloadable versions of the game will have additional code if the vendor requires it, such as Valve’s Steam program.

Rockstar also warned that pirated versions would not function properly:

Aside from the fact that warez are a great place to pick up a Trojan or key logger, using a cracked copy of GTA IV PC will result in varying changes to the game experience. These can range from comical to game-progress-halting changes.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. Blackhackes says:


    Rockstar Game GTA IV has SecuROM protection to protect the pirecy. Wel this little thing will not stop the hackers or crackers to get the 100% working pc version  and it will happen very soon.

    Can anyone tell me from the beginning of the game world, if there is any single game that we could not play by now.

    I know Rockstar is doing their job but limiting installation, required internet connection.. what the hell they think they are doing. i know there is no limitation of installation for GTA IV, but why would any one think about that. It will also affect the owner. But any way if there is limitation of installation any one can install the game thousand of time by reinstalling the windows…huh. howz that.

    I know there are lots of people who does not have internet connection. Even they buy the game they can not play. Rockstar is mixing the mutiplayer[online] and single player[offline] game. There are millions of people who play only offline games. I am one of them. I have internet connection and the speed is 24 mbps. download limit is unlimited. And I have donloaded the GTA IV 3 times 3 version from 3 different servers and i have lost about more that 60 GB. i can Play the Game without having any problem, but the only issue is can’t save the game.

    I am wiliing to lost more bandwidth for this game. It does not matter to me. But i want to play this game offline. and I will.

    Pirecy .. the sweet word. you know what pirecy means. Pirecy means you have the same copy of item digitaly? No that’s wrong. Pirecy means you have thousand of copy of the same thing and you are going to sell it to other people for real money. We all in the internet world use the internet to share with each other. that is nothing to deal with pirecy.

    for example. I have GTA IV original copy. My sister is living in another state and she wants to play the game. Wel i have the powerful internet connetion and i want to share this game with my sisster. so i can copy the game and upload it to the server so my sister can download and can play the game. What is in the hell this you call pirecy??? This is not pirecy ok. This is sharing.

    On the otherhand no matter what the hell Rocckstar do in the future to protecct their game,,, they must know there are powerful hackers out there. one thing they must know

    1. If there is right there is also left

    2. If there is white there is also Black

    3. If they secure the game hackers will unsecure the game. and by today or tomorrow we will eat the cake.

  2. C. Aaron Browbowski Jr. says:

    apparently, you haven’t been living yet… i mean no harm, but there is is something called verizon fios? or fiber optic cable?

    Jesus Jack Jones Thompson…. is dead… (funeral udruge, followed by Celebrate 😀 )

  3. aphexbr says:

    What’s that, Rockstar? You want me to pick up that cheap second-hand 360 copy I saw yesterday instead of paying you money for a new PC copy? Ok then…

  4. Frommonday says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again now, and likely… many times in the future.

    The more I read about how companies are complaining about video game piracy, the more transparent the issue becomes as an excuse for flagging sales. Game piracy has existed pretty much since the dawn of the home videogame market. Piracy will always exist, because the only methods which could possibly eliminate the threat of piracy without fail will also alienate a large enough portion of the potential consumer base that the idea will become unpalatable.

    I mean, look at SecuROM, look at Starforce, look at any sort of DRM you’d care to name. Any intrusive form of DRM has, be it in large numbers or small, diminished the actual number of paying customers for the software.

    Most people don’t have a problem with a limited number of installs, but collectors do. Most people don’t have a problem with an irremovable piece of software that has a negligable effect on performance, but technophiles do. Most people don’t have a problem with needing an internet connection to facilitate the installation of the game, but for a small percentage of the potential audience, it becomes a dealbreaker.

    None of these measures have had a significant impact on game piracy. Were I so inclined, I could easily find working copies of Bioshock, Spore, Farcry 2, or pretty much any game.

    And I don’t the fact can be reiterated enough: Someone downloading a pirated copy of a game does not indicate a lost sale. There is a portion of pirates who may indeed have purchased the game were the illicit copy not available to them, but everything I’ve seen on the matter gives me the impression that the portion is a very small one.

    Publishers need to start taking a hard look at the sales figures and piracy statistics for their games, and the reaction the consumer base has to their chosen form of copy protection. If they prevent 10,000 people who might have pirated the game and instead force them to purchase a legitimate while alienating 15,000 people who would have obtained a legitimate copy but choose not to, it’s a net loss for the publisher, with the added expense of having to pay for the DRM.

  5. asmodai says:

    Word to the wise (and everyone else):

    Rockstar already screwed you all over by releasing this on consoles almost a year before they release it on PC.

    This game will make less money than the console version because a lot of PC owners are console owners and have played the game to death.

    The deficit between the console sales and PC sales will be blamed on piracy.  It was with the last two games (despite, again, long delays between console release and PC release).

    And now they’ve inserted black box sabotage code…  Anyone remember the hoo hah over Titan Quest’s black box code the f#cked the game up for pirates?  Not only did it effect pirates, if effected legal owners (I was one of them), and the general backlash  from both pirates and legal owners ended up giving them a hell of a lot of bad press.  Surprise surprise, people put off by reports the game was buggy pirated it and lo and behold, it was buggy so they felt justified…


    If you are going to litter your software with landmines, you are going to get some friendly fire injuries no matter how good the black box code is.

  6. Kharne says:

    Speaking as someone with both Spore and Farcry 2. I have to say SecoROM’s been pretty disappointing on the PC-destroying front. My comp works like it always worked. As for everything erlse? I’m pretty pragmatic about the whole thing (What do install limits mean when you’ve no plans to install something 20 times or use it 15 years from now?) So I’m finding it pretty hard to freak out over this.

    That being said, I’m looking foward to GTA IV. The only thing I’m worried about is if they’ve gone and made it all ‘gangsta’ again like they did in San Andras, that was annoying. Fortunatly, what little I’ve seen of the game shows that’s not the case.

  7. Lazier Than Thou says:

    You guys realize that by pirating you’re just making the problem worse, right?  I mean, companies aren’t going to stop protecting themselves against theft just because a group of spoiled brats start pitching a fit.

  8. DeusPayne says:

    Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha….. *breath* hahahahahahahahahahha
    sorry… the idea of size being a deterrent…. hahahahahahahahahahaha 18gb being too big…. hahahhahaa


  9. Neo_DrKefka says:

    Looks like another title needs a lesson learned, too bad the 360 version honestly sucked compared to past titles.


  10. Skyler says:

    And yet they will blame piracy when I refuse to purchace a title w/ securom. I was just about to pre-order the game. Thank god I checked in here first.

    “When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities” ~ David Hume

  11. Xveers says:

    Charming. Wasn’t really going to buy it in the first place, but nice to know I have a solid reason to say no.


    Best keep your wits about you: The gears of life are always spinning, and ignorance eventually means you’ll get caught in them.

  12. TheEggplant says:

    I’m not sure why anyone is suprised. Take-Two were the first ones to foist SecuROM 7 on the buying public with Bioshock. It was expected they’d continue with this trend. To everyone who has never had a problem, good for you I’m glad. I however had nothing but problems and everything led back to SecuROM. Goodbye large publishers you may not miss me, but I sure an’as-hell won’t miss you.

  13. Entegy says:

    Hey, is there any way for Rockstar to be contacted and ask if the Steam version has ShitROM? The store page has no mention of it, which is a good sign, but I wanna be sure.

  14. treydawg says:

    im not going to say saints row 2 was better. SR2 was more fun but it felt shorter than gta4. my biggest gripe with SR2 was that it didnt have online free roam.

  15. treydawg says:

    the pc version of GTA 4 is roughly 18gb so downloading is going to take a while. in not even going to  attempt to download that much data at one time.

  16. MrKlorox says:

    My main issue with SecuROM is the install limits. Since GTA4 doesn’t have any, I might purchase this game again on PC. But purchasing the special edition for 50% more than the standard edition back in April kinda makes me feel like I already own the game, regardless of platform. Kinda curious about the "comical changes" also.

  17. MrKlorox says:

    I would bet that with a little work, one could import the GTA4 talk radio stations into the radio of SR2 once it comes out in early 2009. Too bad importing the "fun stuff" that GTA4 lacks from SR2 is impossible.

  18. Anthrax says:

    Glad to see they’re not as dumb as I thought they were. They still shouldn’t put it in though, it doesn’t do a damn thing.

  19. Krackatoa says:

    Twenty is still likely a lot more than they probably have coding the copy protection for one game. You don’t need an army to apply copy protection.

    I’m more curious about these graphical anti-piracy measures they’re alluding to.

  20. Cecil475 says:

    At first I couldn’t get it becuase I don’t have a system powerful enough for not even the minimum requirements. And Now I won’t buy it even if I did and it was well over the reccomended requirements. I have a feeling its the same shit that SPORE is riddled with. I won’t have it on my machines. I can’t get a CD/DVD-Rom Reader/Writer to wotk on my PC and I have to beg it to work on my laptop becuase of that crap.

    So, yeah. Lost a (potiental)) sale here too.

     – Warren Lewis

    Long live CONSOLE games. They can’t have SECUROM….yet.

    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  21. gamadaya says:

    PC Version of GTA IV to be Stollen by Me.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  22. Matthew says:

    …using a cracked copy of GTA IV PC will result in varying changes to the game experience. These can range from comical to game-progress-halting changes.

    Like the Codies’ old Fade system? Interesting approach. What’s more interesting though is that they want us to do it. GTA used to be about weird and comical stuff happening, and is famous for easter eggs and rumours. If you tell us that cracking our legit copies of GTAIV means we’ll see more bizarre faux-glitches, we’re going to download some tasty cracks.

  23. JohnMidnight says:

    I find number 2 first one hillarious… Seem to think their are hundreds of hackers just waiting to break a game… uh huh… Only 20 out of that many are actually any good. The rest are ameatures, or idiots who may crack the game but may be more interested in screwing your computer up.

  24. Wolvenmoon says:

    Hey rockstar!

    1.Hackers that crack games encompass the global community

    2.They have more coding talent than you

    3.They work long hours for free

    4.They do it for fame, and if issued a challenge.


    You, however:

    1.Have access only to the talent you hire

    2.Have mediocre college-learnt coding talent and whatever you license

    3.have to pay overtime

    4.Have issued a fame-generating challenge.


    You’re majorly screwed now, you do know that, right? They’re gonna swarm down upon your game like mosquitos on a baby. Any purposeful crashes/etc just gets your game bad reviews as being a glitchy piece of trash, and it WILL set off on a legitimate gamer.

    Enjoy the class action that’s sure to pop up on you when johnny cracks his game that he bought to play offline without securom trashing his system , figures out there are lawyers that would love to troutslap you out of your profits, and gets a buncha his friends to join in.



  25. MaskedPixelante says:

    I’m am so not getting this now. Well, I wasn’t planning on getting it in the first place because I could give a flying toss about any GTA that’s not set in Vice City.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  26. udx says:

    Oddly enough, I had SecuROM on a previous computer and I barely knew any differences between without it and with it.

  27. black manta says:

    I think what everyone is overlooking is that while GTA IV uses SecuROM, notice they said that it won’t have install limits, and that’s pretty much the biggest bone of contention with it.  However, while EA’s been the most egregious here, a lot of other publishers have been pretty generous: Ubisoft’s Far Cry 2 will give you back your installtion provided you uninstall the game first, 2K took out the limits with Bioshock after a while, and with this game they say there’sll be no activation limits, and that they’ll do away with it entirely after the street date has passed.

    Again, I haven’t had any issues with SecuROM to date and, other than the whole activation limit thing – which seems to be an optional feature based on the fact that only certain publishers choose to implement it (again *cough*EA*cough*) – it’s not that bad.  Like Faceless Clock said, StarForce was much worse.  I still have a few games that use it and while I have the removal tools, I am loath to reinstall them for fear that it may mess up my system.  Given a choice of the lesser of two evils, I’ll take SecuROM any day.

    So despite this news, it won’t deter me.  I’ve been looking forward to the PC version of GTA IV for a while now, and I’ll be buying it along with the PS2 version of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as they both come out the same day.

  28. Derovius says:

    "Think of it like the old Earthbound DRM. Enemies in pirated versions had more HP, did more dmg, and gave less EXP. Additionally, the final boss was rewritten to not fight you, and instead delete the save file. Nothing like DRM that fucks with the game directly."

     Now thats some DRM I could sink my teeth into. They can fuck with me all they want, just leave my computer out of it.

  29. DeusPayne says:

    Not quite. One of the ‘features’ of securom is to detect if it still exists within parts of the game, and altering the gameplay accordingly. It’s the reason why Mass Effect had a few game halting bugs within the cracked versions until the scene was able to find all the ‘breaks’. Think of it like the old Earthbound DRM. Enemies in pirated versions had more HP, did more dmg, and gave less EXP. Additionally, the final boss was rewritten to not fight you, and instead delete the save file. Nothing like DRM that fucks with the game directly.

  30. JC says:

    Yes, R* is hilarious. They’ll probably have VA bits if Nico saying "don’t download games, kids."

    It almost seems if they want the game to be pirated @_@;

  31. strathmeyer says:

    "Aside from the fact that warez are a great place to pick up a Trojan or key logger, using a cracked copy of GTA IV PC will result in varying changes to the game experience. These can range from comical to game-progress-halting changes."

    Comedy, you say? Guess I’ll give it a try, then.

  32. DeepThorn says:

    And those smart enough to pay attention to the VIP users for illegal downloads will still be in the clear, because they can not get a VIP rating until they uploaded enough content to be trusted enough.  I will choose the illegal version of GTA, even though I will buy a copy, because I prefer SuckROM free myself.

    To the people who made the choice to do this to GTA, up yours, hard core, up yours, and go work for EA you bastards. [I am claiming that saying go to EA is worse than saying go to hell for now on.]

  33. Michael Chandra says:

    In other words they’re going to spread a lot of badly cracked versions to screw over people downloading cracked versions.

    And probably install those damn nearly-unremovable drivers.

  34. Ashkihyena says:

    Well, that still won’t stop real hacked versions from spreading.  Seriously, this is one of the reasons people were hoping that EA didn’t buy out Take-Two, and yet, they put SuckuRom on their game anyways, when its been a proven failure time and time again.

  35. SeanB says:

    Once the secure-rom code is removed from the game, the game has no way to know if it’s an illegal copy, which means the "changed code" never activates.

  36. Ashkihyena says:

    As I said on Kotaku, good job Rockstar, you guarenteed tons of pirated versions, and about your little "changes" to the game, yeah, hackers will find a way around that as well.

  37. Pinworm says:

     Actually not at all. Essentially what Rockstar is doing is sabotaging their own game in certain leaks, but that won’t work for any ‘legitimate’ private site with their own sources and crackers, not at all. Public sites maybe, but private ones? Never.

  38. DeusPayne says:

    "using a cracked copy of GTA IV PC will result in varying changes to the game experience"

    So… it’ll take the crackers until a week before release to find it all instead of 2 weeks before release.

  39. Azhrarn says:

    Purely disc based non-installing older version of SecuROM, this one moves to your HDD to do its work, mainly to remove the need for Disc-checks, but has online activation instead.

  40. Azhrarn says:

    The main issue was always the install-limit from what I understand, not so much the rest.
    (I don’t like the rest much either, but if they want some form of authentication then that’s their choice)

    Yes SecuROM is damn hard to remove, yes in some cases it really messes things up, in many other cases it works just fine, you don’t hear those people whine on various forums, which is why those go unnoticed.

  41. Father Time says:

    I seem to recall a lot of people complaining that whenever you update your PC in a certain way it counts as an install though so I take it that was the issue with many people.


     "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  42. Randomavatar says:

    When will people learn, most of us don’t give two shins about the number of installs, its the program itself that causes the problems for some people, a program that can’t be uninstalled even after the game is long gone. I’m fine with install limits, they don’t bother me, but you can keep the malware. 

  43. Faceless Clock says:

    Hmm. Could be worse. I don’t buy the idea that SecuROM is straight-up malware, and anyone who thinks it is should tango with Starforce for awhile. Still, they should get rid of activation at install. There is no reason to punish those who might want to install without an internet connect or might not have easy access to the internet at all. Believe it or not, those people do exist.

    Rockstar’s threat concerning pirated versions of the game is hilarious, though. They are freaks if they think their game is going to be the only game in the history of time to not be effectively pirated.

    The Honest Game – http://www.thehonestgame.org

  44. SeanB says:

    Just to prove them wrong, i’m going to get a properly working cracked version of the game, and send in some screenshots.

Comments are closed.