Is it just me, or are game companies actually getting more clueless as the days pass? It has to be the case, because I am seeing it with my own eyes. Remember the massive uproar when BioShock shipped with SecuROM? Or how about when the company announced that the sequel would include even more hardcore copy protection?
According to Shacknews, two companies who still haven’t found that clue are Electronic Arts and BioWare, as both Spore and Mass Effect PC will feature SecuROM as well. But it’s better! Depending on what the developer sets, the game will require an Internet connection to verify with their servers in order to re-validate your serial key. You know, in case it somehow got leaked onto warez networks or torrent sites.
I am not sure how I can put this in a professional manner, so I won’t. Whoever decided on this is a complete idiot. Someone whose pupils are shaped like dollar signs. Someone who has apparently never bought a PC game themselves.
Did SecuROM help prevent BioShock from being pirated? Hardly. In fact, it was released to torrent networks before the game’s actual street date. The exact same situation occurred with Crysis. Despite its check at the game start-up for a legal CD, crackers still did their thing. Who benefits? The pirates. That’s who. Who’s inconvenienced? The legal consumer. That’s who.
One might be quick to say “who cares?”, but it’s the fact that companies continue to make things difficult on the legal consumer that’s frustrating, when it’s clear no ground is being gained in ridding piracy. Am I annoyed that I have to keep my Crysis disc near our benchmarking rigs all the time? Yes, sure. But even that beats this forthcoming method of doing things.
What about those who don’t have Internet? What happens if someone’s Internet goes down when they want to play? What happens if EA’s or BioWare’s authentication servers go down? What happens ten years down the road when those authentication servers no longer exist?
You save yourself the hassle and go download the pirated version of the game, that’s what. After all, that’s the easiest way to enjoy your legally bought games nowadays.
“After the first activation, SecuROM requires that [Mass Effect PC] re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez’d and gets banned),” said French in a post on the BioWare forums. If customers do not come online after ten days, the game will cease to function. “After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run,” added French.