Spore, Mass Effect PC to Require Online Validation Every Ten Days to Function

By Nick Breckon, May 06, 2008 1:28pm PDT Update: Electronic Arts has relented to the pressure.

Original story: BioWare technical producer Derek French has said that the PC versions of both Mass Effect and Spore will make use of copy protection that will require online validation every ten days in order for the games to continue working.

"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. "..An internet connection is not required to install, just to activate the first time, and every 10 days after."

The check is run when users activate the game's executable file, with the first re-check coming within "5 days remaining in the 10 day window."

According to French, Maxis' Spore will also make use of the same scheme: "[Electronic Arts] is ready for us and getting ready for Spore, which will use the same system."

French also noted that the online requirement will be clearly labeled on the games' packaging.

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  • I'm also worried about another aspect of the problem...

    Lets just say that I'll buy this game. I do have an "always on" connection to the Internet, so ok then! (but less than a year ago, i didn't have any internet connection at all, so I wouldn't have been able to play that kind of game, but that's not my point).

    I have a connection to the Internet, so the game has the possibility to do its little online verifications... ok...

    but what if, one day, the EA verification server gets offline (because EA goes broke, for instance)... how will i play my game then?

    I have bought a lot of games, and I like the idea to be able to play them once more if I want to... but with this kind of "protection" tool, there will always be the risk that, one day, your game won't work anymore, because it won't be able to do its online werification... because the verification server won't exist anymore...

    what then... (well, maybe the game will be totally retro by then... but I still find myself to play Doom once in a while)

    When I buy something, I want to own it, and I hate the idea not to be able to play whenever I want, in addition to the fact that my game could just go "poof"

    At least, a steam game can be played offline