EA To Use Controversial Internet-Required DRM On New Games
from the pissing-off-your-customers dept
SteveD writes “PC Gamers are in an uproar over a new copy projection system announced by Electronic Arts for use on their upcoming titles. The PC-port of the successful Xbox title Mass Effect, and the eagerly awaited Will Wright title Spore will be two of the higher profile games to use this new system. The new system is the latest iteration of the SecuROM protection, which has caused problems in the past over technical issues with several popular titles. The version of SecuROM that shipped with Bioshock was even accused (but never proven) of installing a root-kit on users PCs.
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 to check the CD key is valid, and then registers the key with the users’ computer. After this the game will try to re-check the CD key every 5-10 days to ensure it hasn’t since been found posted on a forum, or used in some form of piracy. If the game can’t verify the key within this period it will continue to try for a further 10 days, after which it will stop working until the key is checked. The protection will also only allow the game to be installed three times.
A lot of gamers consider this intrusive and inconvenient, and that the publishers are effectively assuming their customers are pirates and looking over their shoulders every 10 days to check. Other concerns have been raised over users who don’t play with machines permanently connected to the internet (such as laptops), or how the system will work in regards to resale. A comprehensive help-line has been promised to help people deal with these issues and the developers have mentioned the new system will remove the need for a DVD to run the game, but 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.”
Seems like more short-term thinking. If the effort is to reduce “piracy” it won’t work. People will figure out other ways to pirate the games — that’s almost guaranteed. So, in the end, all this will really do is piss off the legitimate customers who paid for something that suddenly doesn’t work, though no fault of their own. That hardly seems like a good way to build up a strong supporting fan base.