Electronic Arts and BioWare have attracted the ire of many potential buyers of Mass Effect
for PC thanks to their decision to use the SecuROM anti-piracy measure with the game.
Following the announcement that the system will be used, an epic forum thread
has developed on the game's official site, rife with claims of cancelled pre-orders and refusal to buy the game. Many feel that legitimate users of Mass Effect
are going to be punished with the inconvenience of SecuROM while pirates will find a way to circumvent the security measure and get a better experience.
BioWare describes the measure as follows:
ďMass Effect PC uses SecuROM which requires an online activation for the first time you play Mass Effect PC after installation. After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days in order to revalidate the CD key. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, the game still runs and it will re-check until it is successful. If the check is not successfully performed within the 10 day period, Mass Effect will not run until an online check is successful.Ē
Checks are run continually every 10 days subsequently.
Derek French, a Technical Producer at BioWare, has said that Spore
- also published by EA - will use SecuROM.
While the measure is labelled as an anti-piracy step, it will also make re-sale of the game problematic. It is only possible to activate the game on three separate machines, meaning that anyone purchasing a pre-owned copy is gambling that the three attempts have not already been used up.
SecuROM also makes playing the game without an Internet connection impossible, as has been confirmed by BioWare.
Another issue was seen with BioShock
, which also used SecuROM and suffered from the authentication servers grinding to a halt due to high levels of demand.
To give you a taste of the the tone of many dissatisfied BioWare fans, here's what one angry forum poster wrote, ďNice, guess EA has decided they really don't want to even pretend to treat their customers well. And it's equally nice that Bioware has decided the same. I'd rather have honest contempt than hypocrisy any day of the week. Good bye, so long, enjoy the PR beating that you are inevitably going to receive when MEPC actually gets released. What's really funny is EA makes the calls (yeh, it won't change you guys at all, uh huh) and you are the one who's going to take the blame for it. Up to today, I've defended EA when other people refer to it as 'the evil empire' and such-like. Guess I won't be doing that again.Ē His post was edited by BioWare to remove 'language'.
Recently Crytek said that it won't be creating any more PC-exclusive titles
thanks to high levels of piracy of Crysis
. While the issue is undoubtedly a problem, BioWare and EA would seem to have come across a very unpopular solution.
Thanks to SPOnG Forum poster Ben Mills for the heads up. You can weigh in with your opinion here