How would you feel about a game that needs an active Internet connection to verify the serial number ? How about a game that would have to do that every ten days after installation to make sure the serial number was genuine ? How about a game that would stop working after another ten days if the serial number was not verified online? The latest Securom protection will be used in several of the upcoming games by publisher Electronic Arts including the games Mass Effect and Spore.
Technical Producer Derek French replied to a user thread on the Mass Effect Forum about the copy protection and activation the game would be using. I have several objections to this kind of protection although I understand that game makers and publishers want to make sure that they earn money from their games while keeping piracy to a minimum.
Users who do not have a permanent Internet connection will not be able to enjoy the game. The game has to be activated after installation giving the user nine days after installation to do so. It will stop working if it is not activated by then. A game will stop working if it cannot perform a check every ten days. If that does not happen the game will not run until the check has been made.
Am I the only one thinking about DRM and services that have been taken from the net ? It happened before, just recently to customers of the MSN Music store. What happens if EA decides to turn off the servers that check the activation. Will they be able to provide the check ten years after the game has been released ? What if the EA server is down or the Internet connection of the user ? He won't be able to play the game until then if he is over the ten day period.
Let us take a look at the users who grab a copy of the game from P2P networks. Will they even realize the game has such a protection ? I bet they won't. They install the game, copy a crack over and are done and can play the game for as long as they want without fearing that the game will be unplayable because of activation issues.
This is the exact reason why DRM fails. It is punishing the wrong people. Honest buyers are punished by it, not the ones who copy the game without paying for it. It's like those stupid anti piracy trailers that can be skipped when loading a retail DVD. What's your take on this issue ?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.