RYG: SecuROM DRM Integrated into Origin, Traces Found in Mass Effect 3

This morning Reclaim Your Game tweeted that EA and BioWare continue to use the SecuROM DRM scheme for its games. The latest to use it is Mass Effect 3, but it appears to be integrated tightly into EA's Origin client. EA has insisted in the past that it is not using SecuROM in its software releases on PC. When RYG uncovered it in Dragon Age II, EA told Ars Technica at the time that "Dragon Age II does not use SecuROM DRM." The company has not publicly commented on RYG's latest findings.

Reclaim Your Game CEO Lisa Pham explained to us this morning in an email how they uncovered the DRM scheme in the PC version of Mass Effect 3 and in the Origin client. 

She said that she, along with her husband, uncovered the fact that SecuROM has been integrated into EA's Origin software. They came to this conclusion by tracing every file and registry key that is installed and executing when running Mass Effect 3. She says that EA may have managed to "clean" any evidence that SecuROM is within Origin once it performs a "release date check." Very few DRM schemes use this method. One file that wasn't hidden, "dsspacker_launcher.exe," links back through to "Sony DADC through its file details/properties."

While Pham knows that people might want to argue the semantics of their findings, her company is focused on "the process, methodology, planning and execution behind how games and DRMs are made for consumers/gamers." At the end of it RYG comes to the conclusion that any game released through Origin will "use a release date checker will be integrated with SecuROM as it was originally designed by EA." Pham notes that two previous releases through Origin – Kingdoms of Amalur and Battlefield 3 – will show similar patterns to what they found in Mass Effect 3.

EA has not disclosed to its 9 million Origin users that it has integrated SecuROM into the client.

You can learn more about RYG's methodology here. Game developers and publishers that want alternative solutions to intrusive DRM should check out RYG's web site.

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