According to Derek French, Mass Effect, scheduled to arrive on the PC this 28th, will employ the same SecuROM online activation system that was initially put into Bioshock, allowing the buyer to activate his copy of Mass Effect for 3 times before politely asking to him / her to go to hell, that is, contact the customer service “helpline” to get it reactivated. And while the game itself wouldn’t require the DVD to be physically present in the drive, it goes one step further and phones home every 10 days and re-authenticates just to make sure legit customers are not the worst form of criminal scum publishers swear we are.
The authentication, which will be initialized every time you run MassEffect.exe, will send the CD Key and a unique machine identifier to the activation servers, which will be cross-referenced with the data that was sent when the game was initially activated. Well, actually, it runs screaming to Mama every 5 days, but if it can’t connect, it will still allow you to save the galaxy and sleep around with Asari consorts for another 5 days, presumably reminding you to re-activate often with the dogged persistence of a James Bond doomsday death clock
I didn’t waste my money on PC Bioshock either, so no loss. This is why PC gaming is pretty much dead to me.
Make it too much of a pain in the ass to be a paying customer! Keep up the good work, assholes!
Any DRM for a non-subscription product that is based on refreshing a certificate sucks ass. Is this DRM authentication server going to be around 10 years from now when you’re feeling nostalgic? Fuck no.
A product that is purchased outright should not have a DRM system that can render it useless.
We’re not using modems anymore so verifying something over the Internet is easy and fast. Photoshop verifies itself in 3 seconds, Bioshock 4 seconds. I don’t really mind it. It’s the pirates and warez kids that piss me off who are killing PC gaming. Developers are moving to consoles because it’s not as easy to copy a blu-ray disc and then get a mod chip for your PS3 as it is to play the newest games 2 days before release on your pirated Vista.
Limiting installs is a bit annoying but I never had to uninstall any game more than once or twice. Why would you anyway? Buy another HDD if you don’t have the space. HDDs being so cheap nowadays anyway doesn’t really make that a valid reason either. What developers SHOULD do (and I think they did for Bioshock? I never checked) is bring out a patch 3-6 months after the release of a game making it possible to install it as many times as you want. If you really need to install something more than 3 times within those 3-6 months then just call them to activate it for you. It’s not a big deal.
For every person who claims “It’s never happened to me, so it’s a non-issue” there are plenty of people who have to reformat their hard drives due to a virus, get a new computer, uninstall a game to free up space, fall out of love with a game only to give it a shot a patch or two later, and many other scenarios that warrant an uninstall and subsequent reinstall.
I’ll blame pirates for a lot of stuff, but making PC gaming unwieldy is not one of them. Maybe everyone can’t do the Stardock thing, I don’t know. But I DO know that I don’t need to be run through a ringer every time I want to play a game I bought.
My problem with this “piracy prevention” is that you can only activate the copy 3 times. I tend to delete my games right after I play them to free space on my hard disk and will often revisit the games by reinstalling them. The problem is that after 3 installs I’ve lost ownership of this product.
That’s right, pay sixty bucks and then they can take the product back from you! Who in the Real World would try this shit? Unbelievable.
Microsoft? They did that shit with XP. What’s that? You want to activate this OS? Well, you’ve done that X times already on various machines. I’m afraid you’ll have to call and ask us if you’re allowed to.
Valve still seems the only one to have a vaguely workable system, based entirely on ‘we won’t send you the last bit of the game until we’re ready. Also, it’s encrypted.’ Admittedly, they did have a problem with that whole ‘leak’ thing, but…
Its going to allow me to install it and play it without the disk in the drive.
Which should be standard fricking proceedure anyway. Drive checks are utterly worthless.
I’ve gone back to Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, Vampire, etc a couple times over the years. It would be really irritating if my copy of Baldur’s Gate 2 wouldn’t install anymore because of antiquated DRM. I imagine Mass Effect will have the same lasting appeal years down the road. It’s a shame that legit owners won’t be able to play it 10 years from now.
Seems people are passionate about this subject. :)
I’m not defending a broken system, I’m saying a little verification won’t hurt if it works. You don’t need to “bend over” for anything, digital rights management systems make sense but when you can’t play your new audio CD in your old panasonic CD player due to crappy copy protection (as was the case some years ago) it’s not going the right way. Remember when Soldiers: Heroes Of WWII came out and nobody could crack it for weeks due to the starforce protection it had? That was interesting to say the least. Don’t know if there were any stories of legit copies not working on people’s computers.
edit: In no way did I say “it didn’t happen to me so it’s not an issue”. I’m saying their choice of the number “3” came from somewhere and I’m betting it’s called research. If the system works, very few of us players are going to have to format our HDD 3 times during the first 3-6 months from release (as I suggested).