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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  • 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.