securom posts

Dragon Age 2 DRM debate continues

Last week there was a lot of "he said, she said" accusations about the PC version of Dragon Age 2's DRM set up. A self-appointed watchdog web site called Reclaim Your Game claims that the PC port of BioWare's RPG sequel had used SecuROM without revealing that fact to consumers. BioWare reps denied that, stating that the PC version used a release control software made by the same company that also made SecuROM but that the two were not the same product.

Now Reclaim Your Game has fired back, saying that Dragon Age 2's use of the company's release control product is just another form of SecuROM, stating, "Contrary to what EA and Bioware have stated, SecuROM Release Control is implemented in Dragon Age 2 without Consumer notification through its Game Packaging, Manual, Readme and EULA." The organization also claims that it won't help BioWare with "fixing" this situation while at the same time offering its services to other game publishers and developers.

[Via Blue's News]

BioWare: Dragon Age 2 PC doesn't use SecuROM

Yesterday internet reports claimed that players have discovered that the PC version of BioWare's just released fantasy RPG Dragon Age 2 used SecuROM for its DRM set up, something which BioWare has denied it would put into the game in the past. The claims first game from a site. Reclaim Your Game, that currently is not online.

Now a BioWare rep has posted word on the game's official message boards that Dragon Age 2 still doesn't use SecuROM. He states, "We use a release control product which is made by the same team, but is a completely different product." He adds, "As we've said before it simply does a check of the date against an online server when you run the game. If the street date has passed, it allows you to play and removes itself. We use this and only this, and not the Securom DRM." While the program may leave some files in a PC's temp folder he states that players "... can simply delete them manually - sometimes you just can't remove everything as files may be in use as part of the removal step of the program itself (something is running to do the removal). "

[Via Blue's News]

Arcania: Gothic 4's DRM allows for unlimited PC game installs

The subject of DRM set ups for PC games has become more and more important for consumers, as evident by the massive backlash against Ubisoft's "Always On" set up for most of its recent PC games. Today publisher JoWood decided to be pro-active by admitting its upcoming fantasy RPG Arcania: Gothic 4 will be using the SecuROM DRM set-up for the PC version.

Admitting that DRM set-ups for PC games have in the past " had to find a balance "between user friendliness and security of the product" Arcania Gothic 4 will allow gamers to install it on an unlimited number of PCs. The game will only need to be activated once via an internet connection in order to be played on a PC with no constant net connection needed to continue playing. Each license will also allow the game to be played on up to three PCs at any one time. It will also have an auto-update feature and a pre-load feature to let players download the game before its officially launched in October.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 PC beta details revealed; DRM explained

Tomorrow, Digital Illusions will begin the long awaited PC multiplayer beta test for their first person shooter Battlefield Bad Company 2. So it stands to reason that the developer wants to get all those players ready for its launch. Now the game's blog site has some details on the beta launch which should begin at noon Eastern time on Thursday.

The beta client itself will apparently be available on various mirror and torrent sites along with Steam. The client will also have SecuROM which DICE says is being used only "to make it difficult to hack the Closed Beta client to run the final game". The final game will also use SecuROM for a one-time authentication only; once that happens you can play the single player gae without needing to go online. EA will allow for the full game to be installed on up to 10 PCs. However the full version will also require an account to play online.

BioShock 2 PC system requirements revealed [Update]

2K Games for some reason has failed to divulge the system requirements for the PC port of BioShock 2 so it was up to the first person shooter's listing on Steam to reveal if your rig will be able to run the long awaited sequel. As you can see after the jump the game does require a one time Internet connection to play as well as a Games For Windows Live account for getting updates, save game support and more.

The original BioShock game for the PC got some knocks against it by gamers for a small PC activation limit. According to Steam the game does use SecuROM but has a 15 machine limit. While we know that a lot of you would prefer an unlimited amount of activations, BioShock 2's limits should be more than enough.

Update: The Steam page has now been changed and it now shows that BioShock 2 has a 5 machine activation limit.

Download: Borderlands v1.1 Patch and DLC De-Authorization Tool

This patch for Borderlands to v1.1 and allows it to accept the installation of The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned downloadable content expansion. Be aware that although it allows installation of the content, the patch doesn't actually include the expansion.

The DLC expansion has a SecuROM DRM 5-machine install limit. Using the de-authorization tool will refund an installation.

Download Borderlands v1.1 Patch (192 MB)
Download Borderlands DLC De-Authorization Tool (8 MB)

Check out all Borderlands downloads

More debate on DRM set-ups surface

We've been covering the whole digital rights management debate for PC games almost since Big Download launched a year ago. This week Gamasutra takes on the issue with a feature article that shows that perhaps some big publisher are starting to relax their stances on putting DRM set-ups in their PC game releases.

The story looks back to September 2008 when Electronic Arts released Spore with a particularly restrictive online activation system that used SecuROM. It didn't stop the game from becoming the most pirated PC title in 2008 and many believe the DRM set-up was part of the reason. The Entertainment Software Association's VP Ric Hirsch still believes DRM is needed for PC games, saying, "There is little doubt that piracy would be far more widespread without game publishers' use of DRM."

Others believe completely the opposite such as 2D Boy's Ron Carmel who co-created the hit downloadable puzzle game World of Goo with no DRM at all. He states, "Publishers aren't stupid. They know that DRM doesn't work against piracy. What they're trying to do is stop people from going to GameStop to buy $50 games for $35, none of which goes into the publishers' pockets. If DRM permits only a few installs, that minimizes the number of times a game can be resold." Even though World of Goo is in fact heavily pirated, Carmel states, "People who pirate the game are people who wouldn't have bought it anyway." Perhaps that's why EA has decided to to away with Spore-style DRM set-ups for both The Sims 3 and Dragon Age: Origins. Ubisoft also released the PC version of Prince of Persia with no DRM at all.

Dragon Age: Origins to dump SecuROM for PC release

Electronic Arts may finally be getting the message from consumers about draconian DRM set-ups for PC games. After getting slammed for using online activation set-ups in order to play Spore, EA announced earlier this year that The Sims 3 would only use a disk-based copy protection set-up. Now BioWare has revealed that it will use a similar set-up for the upcoming PC version of Dragon Age: Origins.

BioWare's community coordinator Chris Priestly states, "We're happy to announce that the boxed/retail PC version of Dragon Age: Origins will use only a basic disk check and it will not require online authentication." He added that SecuROM won't be used by any version of the game (this presumably means digital download copies as well). Dragon Age: Origins is schedule for release by EA this fall.

Departures and additions for PC Gaming Alliance?

The PC Gaming Alliance may have lost one of its founding members. The non-profit group of companies no longer lists Activision as one of the members on its official web site. The massive game publisher is one of the few such companies that joined the PC Gaming Alliance when it launched last year. If it has indeed left the organization it would leave Capcom, Microsoft and Epic Games as the only game developers-publishers in the PC Gaming Alliance highest membership tier (The downloadable PC game publisher WildTangent is a member of the lower membership tier)

A new addition to the member list is Sony DADC. Not familiar with it? It's the parent company of SecuROM, the copy-protection program that is used on many PC titles. It's also software that has been slammed by a number of vocal PC gaming consumers for its use in DRM set-ups. Indeed the listing for Sony DADC on the PC Gaming Alliance site links directly to the SecuROM site. We've contacted the PC Gaming Alliance to find out if Activision has truly left and why and why Sony DACD was selected to join the group. At the time of this post they have yet to respond to our inquires.

[Thanks Mikko]

Download: EA SecuROM De-Authorization Management Tool

This tool scans your computer for EA games released after May 2008 that use the SecuROM limited installation DRM system. After scanning, the tool will list the games so that the user can download the corresponding game-specific de-authorization tool. Or you can continue reading after the jump for direct links to a full list of de-authorization tools. Instructions for the the de-authorization manager are also shown after the jump.

We're not here to judge, but if we were, we'd thank EA for making game un/installation a pain in the butt. We'd also point out that The Sims 2 IKEA Home Stuff and Littlest Pet Shop are on the list and shake our heads in utter disbelief.

Download the EA SecuROM De-Authorization Management Tool (5 MB)

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