Mass Effect Anti-Piracy Measure Provokes Anger

BioWare fans bite back

Posted by Staff
Mass Effect Anti-Piracy Measure Provokes Anger
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.

Comments

SuperSaiyan4 8 May 2008 11:25
1/10
Sorry to sound arrogant but f**k PC gaming full stop, too much piracy on that platform that is screwing over developers.

I say stick to console development!

If you want to play great games like Bioshock and Mass Effect go get an Xbox 360 that way no faffing aroud with upgrades, installations, activations etc.
haritori 8 May 2008 12:18
2/10
I donít understand the problem, should you have a PC then i very much doubt you donít have a Broadband connection or even dial up, so why is it a problem to verify every ten days it wonít even be noticed,

But Iím probably missing the bigger picture.

LOL@SS4 comment about not having to worry about Upgrades, Installations and activations on console gaming LOL

Do you own a console?

PS3 Requires installation
360 requires you download updates to play online on some games (like an activation)

as for upgrades well should you want to patch a game you may need to upgrade your 360 to HDD or should you PS3 need a bigger HDD etc...

LOL
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irritant 8 May 2008 12:31
3/10
The problem is that anything they do is a waste of time. In the end, all the anti-piracy measures come down to code that runs on the PC. That code can and will be hacked so that people will end up with a version that doesn't need activation, doesn't need to verify every 10 days and still works fine.

Anything that can be created can be copied. No system is 100% secure. Complex anti-piracy measures are a waste of time and money. The detemined hackes just see them as more of a challenge and love the Kudos they get from being the first to crack the system. Only one person has to crack the game for piracy to be just as rife on a well protected game as it is on a badly protected game.

Developers might as well just use simple protection that stops people easily distributing their legal copies to multiple friends and let the hackers crack their game for the people who won't buy a copy anyway and will just hold off until they can download it. Save the additional development costs and time adding more features to the game.
Plasmoid 8 May 2008 13:17
4/10
haritori wrote:
I donít understand the problem, should you have a PC then i very much doubt you donít have a Broadband connection or even dial up, so why is it a problem to verify every ten days it wonít even be noticed,


I just moved house to just outside Dublin to work for a big Company and i can't get broadband i'll be damned if i'll pay £15 a month in line rental for just dial-up.

I'm stealing the neighbours wifi atm and it's patchy at best. I can only play singleplayer games as the latency is horrific (they are using some sort of WiMAX based atrocity of an internet connection).

I will be "getting" Spore and i already have Mass Effect for the 360 (couldn't wait). While i would probably be able to cobble together something every 10 days to activate why the hell should i have to.
They are fighting piracy by what... making it more attractive?!?!?
Ben Mills 8 May 2008 13:34
5/10
I think THIS sums up the message Ea want to send out.....

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MTbX1aMajow
J 8 May 2008 16:39
6/10
I smell EA at work here, don't think Bioware would pull such crap.

ahh well don't worry PC owners, if you download the pirated cracked version, it won't have that silly secuROM stuff, and it'll be free, you get to stick it to EA. it's a win win situation.
Joji 8 May 2008 18:05
7/10
I smell the embers of Titan Quest, giving EA the willies about PC piracy of Mass Effect.

Sucks to be a PC gamer.
kriv 8 May 2008 20:11
8/10
Oh, come on now Haritori.
"360 requires you download updates to play online on some games (like an activation)."
No, you can quite happily play ME without ever needing to connect to live. The only updates are patches and updates to how games communicate on the Live network. Not an activation. And you can use that game in ANY 360.

"PS3 [games] require[s] installation"
On some games, and even then some are optional. Even then on consoles it's hassle free. You buy a game, you know it will work.
haritori 8 May 2008 21:24
9/10
kriv wrote:
Oh, come on now Haritori.
"360 requires you download updates to play online on some games (like an activation)."
No, you can quite happily play ME without ever needing to connect to live. The only updates are patches and updates to how games communicate on the Live network. Not an activation. And you can use that game in ANY 360.

"PS3 [games] require[s] installation"
On some games, and even then some are optional. Even then on consoles it's hassle free. You buy a game, you know it will work.


the point was that some 360 games wont allow Live play unless you install the required update/s. and although your game will work fine, i was pointing out how SS$ states we should "f**k" PC gamers when console gaming is getting closer to PC gaming, Slowly but it is.
icarid 3 Feb 2009 12:14
10/10
allow people to distribute mods across consoles and then give up on pc gaming. then again, people pirate console games as well so i don't think getting rid of pc games is going to help. what will is doing what ironclad (they made sins of a solar empire) did and giving people an option to register their cd key then giving an incentive to do so (updates to the game, access to the mod pack etc.)
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