Electronic Arts Responds to Copy Protection Outcry, Removes 10-day SecuROM Check for the Troops

By Nick Breckon, May 09, 2008 12:45pm PDT BioWare producer Derek French recently caused an uproar after announcing that copy protection on the PC editions of Mass Effect and Spore would require online validation every 10 days in order for the games to continue functioning.

In the face of increasing pressure, BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts today relented, updating the official Mass Effect PC FAQ to note that validation will now only be required when the player downloads new game content.

Q: If the game isn't going to require an authentication every 10 days, will it ever require re-authentication?

A: Only if the player chooses to download new game content.

Electronic Arts also released a statement mentioning that Spore's copy protection will be similarly changed to allow for offline play, only requiring validation on a patch or game content update.

The publisher further noted that the protection will still only allow users to authenticate each game on up to three computers. Approval of further authorizations will be handled by EA customer support on a case-by-case basis. Neither game will require players to have the disc in their computer in order to play or validate them.

BioWare community manager Jay Watamaniuk broke the news on the company's official forums.

"To all the fans including our many friends in the armed services and internationally who expressed concerns that they would not be able re-authenticate as often as required, EA and BioWare want you to know that your feedback is important to us," said Watamaniuk.

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46 Threads | 137 Comments*

  • I aint buying a E.A game ever again! i bought all the BF Games, for P.C./rent a RANKED SERVER, just to find that there is no new maps / Custom maps allowed!!

    E.A is realy taking our eyes out with the Bad Company, No game for the P.C! The likes of me been buying this series of games for years now, to be told i aint getting the next 1 !! BOLLOX!! TO E.A GAMES!!

    Fair enough they can waffle on about pirates etc.. BUT! most people d-load a pirated game to try it(single player), THEN buy it for on-line gaming!

    the ps 3 - x-box etc... can get pirated disks also!!

  • When I heard about the "10-day" rule, I actually decided not to buy the game, and I've been waiting for the PC version since the game came out for the 360! I think this "validate when downloading new content" option is MUCH more reasonable. I'm still peeved about this "three-installation" thing though. I'm still reading it as "three installations. Period." If you upgrade your hardware or re-install your system from the OS up, I'm guessing that the game counts it as a "new system." For someone like me, who has TWO oft-used PCs in the house, and re-images both with paranoid frequency, this is still a point of contention. That means if I install the game on both my PCs, and then re-image them both six months from now, I can only install the game on ONE of my machines, and then I have to call EA and beg them to let me install the game I bought six months ago. Fair, no? Um, no.

  • WAY TO GO!!! YEAH!!! that's how you properly introduce more intrusive DRM to the masses. Seriously, it's ingenious. You make a game that has more hype than almost any game ever made before this one, state that there is going to be the most intrusive, game breaking DRM management ever imposed by multiple factors of magnitude, then take a few steps back, which is a LOT better than their initial plan, and because of the CONTRAST of WHAT IT WAS to WHAT IT IS NOW, it seems like night has turned into day, and everyone can be happy again. Except for one little thing...it's still WORSE than Bioshock, which allowed for it to be installed on 5 computers, and a LOT of people complained about that, pirated it, etc. say what you will, people treated this as if hate crimes had been committed, with them as the direct, intentional targets.

    Don't you love sheep? I do, they provide my daily amusement...

  • I'm happy yet oddly disappointed. I for one wanted to see what would happen to a hit game with an ultra intrusive DRM. I think they honestly are reacting specifically to a vocal group of over-seas people who they are not willing to ostracize and I applaud their patriotism and courage to take a risk to serve their customers. But I still would like to know for sure what the effects of an ultra intrusive DRM would be on both pirating and sales numbers.

    I know, with time, the pirates can crack anything. But I also know most games come unplayable without the patches and I think downloadable content is the best incentive to purchase a game and is the gaming industry's future and a hallmark of PC gaming. At the price games are now, we have to carefully choose where to spend our $$ and where the best value is.