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

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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.

From The Chatty

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    May 9, 2008 12:47 PM

    This seems much more reasonable.

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      May 9, 2008 12:48 PM

      Agreed.

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      May 9, 2008 1:00 PM

      Agreed.

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      May 9, 2008 1:02 PM

      YES! Welcome back to my life SPORE! Way to go EA!

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      May 9, 2008 2:40 PM

      Yeah, this seems fine to me.

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      May 9, 2008 3:44 PM

      Yeah. I can see it still being a problem on gaming PCs that are *never* connected to the internet, but I guess there are not many of them and it wouldn't stop me buying either game.

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      May 9, 2008 8:08 PM

      5 imbeciles agree with you! What you said was true but you are also implying that you are now satisfied... which is I think more than a little foolish.

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        May 9, 2008 8:16 PM

        Right. Because there's not all kinds of other applications that require online activation, right?

        I don't really see the need for it, but as long as they're not making it terribly intrusive, I don't really care.

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          May 9, 2008 8:34 PM

          Online activation for video games is a bad idea because game publishers apparently don't have enough incentive to reliably maintain their servers. Look at Blizzard, Valve, and EA for proof of this. All of them have been happy to inflict serious downtime on their customers.

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            May 9, 2008 8:37 PM

            And in almost every case, the final patch removes the protection (or a patch long before the final). The argument that the servers go away is valid for DRM that will never be removed (music, movies, and other content made by a third party with hardons for strict licensing), but not so for games when there is precedent for protection being removed via patching.

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        May 10, 2008 12:11 AM

        Wow, way to make a stellar argument as to why you think it's foolish, I can't believe how friendly and smart you are! Obviously since I’m an “imbecile” I’m sure I’d never understand…

        At any rate, I'm more than implying that I'm satisfied, I am saying that I’m satisfied. This is exactly what I asked for, it's all I requested of them, I didn't want an offline game, forced to be played online, they fixed that, now I AM completely SATISFIED, since all my requests have been granted; that’s how I generally think of "satisfied", when I get everything I wished for.