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September 01, 2007

Comments

Aquarion

Actually, you only need to be online to activate the game first time, effectively to validate the serial number, and they're going to release a tool to wipe out your activation count.

I suspect the best way to play Bioshock is to go your local store, buy a copy, smile lovingly at the handcrafted box, and then bittorrent the game whilst pushing your Big Daddy model across the carpet making "Grr Grr" noises. Because it's only people who buy the box who get treated like pirates.

Alice

I dropped my Big Daddy on his head and his super arm broke off :-/

All in all, my bioshock experience is not going well!

Les

I am dieing to play this game, but I refuse to purchase it with the current DRM scheme it has. I don't see why I should be the one treated like a criminal when I'm the one plunking down my hard earned cash.

Someday once it hits the bargain bins and the hackers have released a crack that gets rid of the DRM then I'll probably break down and buy it as I've played the demo and it seems like a great game, but this is nonsense for a single player game.

Tom

I have this game on the Xbox 360, therefore I laugh at these SecurROM issues.

Plus this game gives out gamerpoints like sweets. I love it.

Brinstar

Yikes. That is terrible. I had also read that BioShock does not play well with AVG Anti-Virus. One of my friends had to uninstall AVG in order to play it.

bob

Huh, I was planning on getting this one as soon as I upgraded my PC. Guess I'd be better off downloading the game when it gets cracked.
Now I understand why a friend of mine said that installing games on his PC is such a hassle that he only ever buys xbox games now- and he's a (PC) game developer. Way to shrink the PC game market, 2K Games!

Vincent

I got it off Steam and ran it without any problems (oh, except I downloaded the community fix that allows you to play it in true widescreen). Doesn't mean I agree with the copy protection though. Given songs are gradually moving across to a DRM-free model, it looks bad for games when their approach lags behind even the music industry.

WS

As someone with a really nice gaming rig, I opted for the only sensible solution... bought it for the 360.

Robin

To clear up the misinformation:

SecuROM isn't a rootkit, and doesn't monitor programs that are run. Ken Levine has stated that the DRM will be quietly dropped from Bioshock after the initial retail run. Also, virtually every disc-based retail PC game since the early 1990s requires the disc to be in the drive.

The objective of including DRM in a PC game is to prevent mass dissemination of pirate copies in the days immediately prior and after the retail release date of a game.

Online activation is a minor inconvenience and a good tradeoff for 2K, considering that the alternative would be the almost inevitable leaking and torrenting of tens of thousands of copies of the game, as happened with other highly anticipated PC releases such as Doom3 and STALKER (but not those protected by activation, such as Half-Life 2).

The decision to use the limited activations feature of SecuROM was definitely a mistake, though, and serves no useful purpose as far as I can see.

As for the comment favouring the even more heavily DRM'ed Xbox 360 version - good luck making a backup of that (as Steam allows you to do for every game purchased) if/when the disc gets scratched.

Tom

"As for the comment favouring the even more heavily DRM'ed Xbox 360 version - good luck making a backup of that (as Steam allows you to do for every game purchased) if/when the disc gets scratched."

Yeah, but there's no restriction to how many consoles I use it on. Plus, I look after my disks... They don't get scratched (never had that problem with my 360).

Robin

"Yeah, but there's no restriction to how many consoles I use it on."

One, at any given time.

Another point that the original post missed was that installs are 'reimbursed' when the game is uninstalled (or rather, they're supposed to be).

Alphadog

Let's do a rough cost-benefit analysis.

Benefit:
- Game lasts about 72 hours unhacked after release. So, we have three days of "protected" sales. (Actually, the first hacks were not too reliable, but a *fully* hacked (I'd call it "unrootkitted") version was out in a week.)

Costs:
- SecuROM SDK.
- Bioshock staff training on SecuROM technology.
- SecuROM support contract.
- SecuROM per-disc licensing.
- Weeks of bad press. Not great to have the word "rootkit" next to your company name.
- The subsequent loss of sales from said bad press leading to an early sales die-down after release.
- The "we are experiencing higher than average" support call volumes on their phone lines.
- The loss of subsequent sales from frustrated and alienated clients.

Hmm. No actual numbers, but we can see that the costs *highly* outweighed the benefits. I feel sorry for Bioshock for their bad decision...

Robin

72 hours is well above the average (especially considering that the method of protection prevented a hack being worked on before the activation server was live). And that period would have counted for a significant proportion of the game's full price retail sales. Hundreds of thousands would probably not be an exaggeration.

Virtually all retail PC games include a licensed-in copy protection scheme, rendering the first four of your cost points moot.

As the person who originally referred to SecuRom as a rootkit was (by their own admission) lying to exploit Digg traffic, dissemination of this false rumour was killed pretty quickly. Although clearly not everyone got the memo.

The percentage of users affected by the teething problems with the DRM would not be that big. A trifling amount of inconvenience compared to what many PC games (and all PC MMOs) expect customers to put up with to get into the game.

Basically, the DRM has now done it's job. The only legitimate complaint out of the five (limited activations) has been revised and will be dropped altogether. Far from regretting their decision, Irrational will be happy that a game that they've made significant sacrifices to bring to market is actually going to make money on the PC as well as the 360.

Alphadog

@Robin:
"72 hours is well above the average"

Without actively looking (I can fully afford to buy any game I want, and also unfortunately don't have half the time I want to have for playing!), I was informed that the best hacked version of Bioshock was *widely* distributed within about three days. That was an off-the-cuff number. From recent reading, there were 0-day hacks of Bioshock floating about with various levels of stability and functionality.

"Virtually all retail PC games include a licensed-in copy protection scheme, rendering the first four of your cost points moot."

No. It cost Irrational and 2K a load of money that would have been better spent elsewhere. Just because every other publisher is just as ignorant doesn't make it a moot point. (Didn't your mother ever ask you "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?")

"As the person who originally referred to SecuRom as a rootkit"

Agreed. I meant "unrootkitted" as a tongue-in-cheek comment.

"A trifling amount of inconvenience..."

This is one fundamental place where you and I differ. I almost feel compelled to assume you must work for Irrational or Securom (or some related company or industry) to be so glib about the effect of word-of-mouth that 2K has had to suffer (and or the indirect costs thereof, which you hand-waived away) and so prepared to defend the invasiveness of DRM as a "trifling inconvenience".

First, the fact that EACH INDIVIDUAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE is not coming first, but rather being weighed, whole lot, against the company's profits is exemplary of the short-sighted nature found prevalent in the DRM industry. Personally, in my company, we likely have a much lower tolerance for the "percentage of users affected" by our actions than you seem to have. Whereas we think "some clients can't be helped, but let's try", you seem to think "we're fully prepared to not help some clients". That is one thing about DRM proponents that I find objectionable. Forget the over-used "I don't want to be treated like criminal" line; it's the fact that you are a priori preparing to toss a percentage of clients to the lions AT THE OUTSET when you elect to use technology like SecuROM. Problems of incompatibilities, archiving, support, etc. are seen as "forgivables" in order to maximize short-term profit.

Second, the fact that the game (read: profit margin) comes before the SANCTITY and INTEGRITY of a user's computer again speaks volumes on the ethics of DRM and its promulgators. Are we informed "on the box" that the game will also install associated software that may cause incompatibilities with unrelated software. (Ex: Process Explorer, AV programs, etc...)? If DRM is such a good thing, why not brand the box with a big "Protected By SecuROM" so that those who object have a choice before such software is surreptitiously installed? Basically, I don't want to end up with a system with multiple DRM packages that will periodically destabilize my system. It's almost like I have to buy a system just to play games, that I have to wipe clean after each game, just to be sure that because I have SecuROM, SafeDisc, TAGES, etc., installed and trying to co-exist.

I don't think there's much more to say. I'm sure you've got your canned responses to my canned responses. :) We've already tread the arguments found on many web forums already...


Robin

"72 hours is well above the average" = the average expected performance of most commonly used copy protection schemes. Apologies if this was unclear.

The cost of licensing copy protection *is* a moot point, as it would be extremely difficult for any commercial publisher to justify not including some form of copy protection on a $multi-million game. I know that some modern PC games have done just fine with no CP (e.g. Galactic Civilisations 2), but those weren't generally high profile (hyped) games that thousands of PC users were actively trying to obtain for free.

I don't work for SecuRom or Irrational, but I have first-hand experience of various CP schemes from both (all?) sides of the fence. As the rationing of installs is the only valid or exceptional issue with Bioshock's DRM (out of those given), and it's an issue that will (in the short term, and on the assumption that it hasn't been fixed/dropped) only effect a few users in exceptional circumstances.

Obviously, I don't have numbers on the exact percentage of people having difficulties, but if it was a significant percentage, you can be sure we'd still be hearing a lot more about it in the games media (and from 2K/Irrational in response).

"First, the fact that EACH INDIVIDUAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE is not coming first, but rather being weighed, whole lot, against the company's profits is exemplary of the short-sighted nature found prevalent in the DRM industry."

It's called compromise. If there was a way to stop people ripping off PC games en masse that worked perfectly for everyone (assuming this is even possible considering the infinite variety of PC specs) publishers would use it. Unfortunately, there isn't.

"we're fully prepared to not help some clients"

Who is being categorically excluded by Bioshock's DRM? (If you say "people without internet access", my head WILL explode.)

"Basically, I don't want to end up with a system with multiple DRM packages that will periodically destabilize my system. It's almost like I have to buy a system just to play games, that I have to wipe clean after each game, just to be sure that because I have SecuROM, SafeDisc, TAGES, etc., installed and trying to co-exist."

OK, so this is basically descending into crazy paranoid fantasy. I agree that it would be better for the consumer to have the DRM scheme listed on the box - in some cases this already happens, but it would be better if it was consistent. I also agree that there's no need for malign, StarForce-style DRM. SecuROM and the others you list don't fall into this category.

I think in Europe we have a chance to get publishers to comply to something like this. Of course there's no chance of it in the US where consumer rights are virtually non-existent.

Alice

I'm glad you two are managing to stay polite on this topic; I know it's hard.

I have to say though: Robin, telling Alphadog s/he's descending into "crazy, paranoid fantasy" in worrying that the various copy protection schemes on the PC are going to cause problems isn't nuts. Not in my opinion.

Both Sony's rootkit and Wild Tangent's spyware have caused folks untold problems, and that's just two examples that I know of; they're extreme examples. Newer DRM snoopware: as a matter of *principle*, content creators should not be installing monitoring software on the computers of their customers. Full stop.

We are supposed to live in free societies (hopefully): there are laws in place to cover companies whose products are copied, and ways of taking people to court who are caught copying. This should be enough: technical locks on everyone's PCs in order to catch the few is the equivalent of fingerprinting/DNA sampling the nation in order to be able to catch the few criminals in the meanwhile. It's an invasion of privacy, and an insult.

Computers should belong to the user, and should be entirely in control of the user. Yes, I will be moving to Ubuntu fairly soon :)

The future that says our paid-for computing platforms are controlled remotely (and yes, this IS control! It won't get better, only worse, history repeats itself) by corporations is a bad future, one described in many an orwellian dystopia.

And you know, fundamentally: if a company produces a great game, how much money does it actually lose through piracy? I'd love to know.

From what I can see, if a company produces a great game with no DRM, the game is popular and makes money for the company. If a company produces a great game with DRM, the game is popular, makes money for the company, but pisses some (how many, and how many influential?) customers off.

Does anyone have any examples of a company making a great game, which is popular, but that company DOESN'T make lots of money from it? I know it's hard to calculate because if user X downloads a copy, would they ever have bought it in the first place anyway, but still.

I don't see any games companies failing through piracy issues here: Take 2 is in trouble, but not from piracy (GTA is the most pirated game ever?) but from controversy around both Hot Coffee and ratings, it seems. Piracy, at least in the case of GTA, seems to have helped rather than hindered...

Robin

I agree that it's good practice to be aware of how copy protection systems work, but the scenario Alphadog described was an exaggeration. There are very few copy protection systems that would even be capable of adversely affecting the performance or stability of a user's PC, and they have deservedly awful reputations. The fact that many publishers very publically dropped StarForce is an example of how seriously this issue is taken.

"We are supposed to live in free societies (hopefully): there are laws in place to cover companies whose products are copied, and ways of taking people to court who are caught copying. This should be enough: technical locks on everyone's PCs in order to catch the few is the equivalent of fingerprinting/DNA sampling the nation in order to be able to catch the few criminals in the meanwhile. It's an invasion of privacy, and an insult."

And you shouldn't have to lock your door because you should expect to be able to 100% successfully catch and convict burglars.

PC developers are in the main simply trying to give their products some of the same protections that console games have as a matter of course. There are a few over-zealous DRM systems, but it's unhelpful and inaccurate to tar everyone with the same brush - especially bandying about terms like 'rootkit' and 'spyware'.

"And you know, fundamentally: if a company produces a great game, how much money does it actually lose through piracy? I'd love to know."

The typical publisher maths that everyone who pirates a game would have otherwise bought it is obviously wrong, but if you can put the name of a recent PC or 360 game into thepiratebay and see tens or even hundreds of thousands of leechers, it's clear that there is some cost involved there. It's human nature - especially among the increasingly young, technically savvy PC audience - to try and avoid paying for things.

Piracy isn't an issue that can bring down publishers, but it can impact on developer royalties if they don't make at least some effort to curtail it. Online activation is really the only effective option left for PC developers, and it can be done in ways that don't inconvenience consumers (e.g. Steam).

"Does anyone have any examples of a company making a great game, which is popular, but that company DOESN'T make lots of money from it?"

There are no modern examples I can think of, because virtually all modern PC games deter casual piracy well enough to make it inconvenient to all except habitual pirates or young kids with no disposable income, and often require legit copies to play online. In the DOS/Amiga days, a popular game could be pirated at a ratio of 10:1 - and it wasn't sustainable.

I'm not sure where the figure about GTA being the most pirated game ever comes from, but the vast majority of that series sales have been on consoles.

Something that *was* probably helped by piracy for many years was Microsoft Windows and Office.

Alice

Ah, the old lock-your-door argument :) The difference there is that I lock my own door. I'm in control of my door. I can leave it open if I like (and lots of people do).

DRM isn't like my locking my door, it's like a company installing a camera in my house, and monitoring what I do, along with allowing me to do certain things but not others.

Two very different things indeed.

Alphadog

@Robin: "The cost of licensing copy protection *is* a moot point."

What I was trying to do is take one game in isolation and do a cost-benefit analysis of using DRM on that game vs not using it. DRM is not a negligible cost; it's expensive, therefore it cannot be eliminated from such an analysis. What you can do is say that the problems caused are within the "noise level" that any game experiences technically, thus will not contribute to the "cost" side that I outlined.... but I would likely disagree with your opinion. :)

Your point that "everyone does it" just means that if there is a loss due to DRM, even if a game is profitable, then you have to multiply that loss by each game in the industry that uses it to get its impact on the industry. IOW, how much more profitable would the whole industry be if it dropped this archaic, control-freak, penny-squeezing practice? The fact that "everyone does it" blindly without rethinking it just makes it worse in my eyes; it doesn't justify it at all.

To add, Civ2 and Oblivion did not use any DRM. Both were profitable, as far as I've read. Would they have been more profitable with DRM? Personally, I don't think so.

"it's an issue that will.. only effect a few users in exceptional circumstances...we'd still be hearing a lot more about it in the games media."

Right, neither you nor I know how many users were affected and so we can easily fall into a pissing contest.

However, IMHO, judging by the higher-than-usual level of commentary on various web forums and blogs that gamers frequent, and the fact that on 2K's forums the one "official SecuROM" thread has 2583(!!!) replies, and that big webzines like Tom's Hardware not only talk about it but even fell prey to DRM trouble and thus reported it, and the sheer amount of Digging going on...

I think it's safe to say that 2K/Irrational must have had at a minimum, and in good business-talk, a "higher level of customer dissatisfaction than is the norm". This usually translates into a lot of money lost directly in support and indirectly in lost future sales.

"If there was a way to stop people ripping off PC games en masse that worked perfectly for everyone."

There isn't. There will never be. And, if you stop them completely, will that mean distinctly better sales, or a smudge of a bump in the line? Personally, I don't think it would contribute much, as most pilferers are young and/or technologically-savvy people who are unable to afford the game in the first place and/or who aren't really into the game. Caveat: IMO. No survey, just subjective experience.

"Who is being categorically excluded by Bioshock's DRM?"

You missed my point. It's not the end result, that people are being excluded, that is the problem. It's the mindset that it's perfectly okay to have high "collateral damage" in order to protect IP. That mindset finds it easy to justify DRM because you trade off collateral damage for profit.

"this is basically descending into crazy paranoid fantasy"

No. It's not paranoia. You may have misunderstood me again. I don't fear mysterious figures are out to get me and there's no foil on my head.

It's not paranoia to think that the more crap gets installed on a system, the more likely it is to destabilize. I work in IT; I am all too familiar with that principle.

What's worse is that DRM software is likely to be more damaging than simple software, since they usually take the form of services, drivers, or worse, hook into the OS.

The fear is that the willful ignorance (or malicious disregard) of publishers vis-a-vis my systems, as if it is their playground to do with as they please, is not allowable. Those apathetic gamers, they think. Except many of "those gamers" are people who depend on their machines for other things, like real wage-earning work that goes to buying games.

Not only is the means bad (DRM), the end is highly debatable as being a good end. (Good to whom? Society or the publishers?)

BTW, thanks for debating with good manners Robin. I've enjoyed it.

Robin

@Alice:

You're still lumping all DRM under the extreme, "Trusted Computing Platform" worst case scenario. Comparatively benign forms of DRM are used for consoles, and iTunes, and most PC games and apps sold via digital distribution. The music industry clearly has a lot to answer for.

@Alpha:

Civ2 is ancient and Oblivion at the very least has a disc check.

You have "collateral damage" in terms of compatibility whenever you try to develop a PC game, DRM or no DRM.

"It's not paranoia to think that the more crap gets installed on a system, the more likely it is to destabilize."

The principle is fine, but the fact is that all of the commonly used copy protection packages for retail and online PC games have zero effect on system stability.

To paraphrase my earlier comment, by all means, hold publishers to account, but there's nothing to be gained by claiming/assuming the situation is far worse than it actually is.

Clint

Just like ot say, I have been following the Bioshock DRM situation very closely and this is the most adult, eruidite, and civil discussion I have discovered on the webernets. Kudos Wonderland readers. Now, I must weigh your meaty arguments and decide whether a purchase is in my near future on Steam.

Alice

True Robin, I must say, my dislike of DRM is primarily political, rather than technically-specific. Benign-now in my book leads to oppressive-later, but you can call me stubborn ;)

@Clint - good, innit? I too am pleased (and amazed): what, no cruising trolls?

bob

Actually, I think the locked-door analogy can work. To make it work, however, house doors would come with locks pre-installed and the owners wouldn't have the keys. The door manufacturer offers a door-unlocking service several times a day (but not after midnight, because only criminals would want to go outside then), for the door owner's "convenience." Of course, one would have to trust the door manufacturer not to abuse the position of trust that the door owner was forced to accept, and if the door maker went out of business, the owner would be locked out of their house permanently. To make the analogy more accurate, some door companies would have been discovered going into houses when the owners were away, taking pictures of their rooms and breaking things. Other door manufacturers occasionally wouldn't show up for unlocking services or would reduce the number of times a day they would unlock the door (how many times does a reasonable person want to leave the house, anyways?). The rest of the door companies would say, "trust us, we're not like that," but would offer no guarantees or explanations.

Analogies and politics aside, ignoring "worst case scenarios," a basic problem is that even "benign" DRM adds another layer of inconvenience. Who decides what amount of inconvenience is "trifling"? People like my friend have given up on PC games entirely as this added inconvenience (trifling or otherwise) is the straw that broke the camel's back. If you make buying a game more of a hassle than pirating it, you've eliminated one of the main reasons to actually buy the game.

Alice

I think I might frame that, it's so perfect.

Robin

@Bob

"Who decides what amount of inconvenience is "trifling"?"

Surprisingly often, the market decides. Hence StarForce, and now SecuRom's installation rationing, being rejected.

I buy PC games to reward developers for their work. Typically the most inconvenience I face is spending three minutes to patch the .exe to remove the CD check, if that. If that's enough to justify pirating games in someone's mind, any excuse will do.

Alphadog

@Bob: To fix the analogy further, if the lock is being compared to the DRM, then it follows that the items in the house is the IP. So, basically, for the analogy to work better, you would have to NOT own anything in your house. You (and family) are granted the use of the house until such time as the lock holder decides to revoke your usage rights. IOW, your house isn't really your house anymore; everyone's a renter. (Sometimes, when I look at a mortgage, I do think that the analogy may be all too true. :)

@Robin: First, let me say there's one point I agree with you on your last CD check comment. Let's take the habitual pirates out of the equation; for them, it's more of a power "addiction" than anything. Seriously, who can play that many cracked games and still have a worthwhile life?!? :)

Secondly, I also understand why some publishers feel compelled (and deluded) to add even more draconian protections, but I don't agree with their reasons why and on their minimization of the outcome of that use. That's the difference.

"You have collateral damage in terms of compatibility whenever you try to develop a PC game, DRM or no DRM." (earlier post)

Right. And, the goal of a studio/publisher should be to minimize its potential for the customer, not hand-waive it away in exchange for hoping to line their pockets better. Not add more subsystems to their deliverables, some of which give the appearance of protection, and don't, and can cause my system to become unstable.

"The principle is fine, but the fact is that all of the commonly used copy protection packages for retail and online PC games have zero effect on system stability."

Zero? Really? This is so far from my experience working in various IT departments. In my personal experience, probably similar to yours, DRM has been passably okay (no incompatibilities, but the experience is ruined by issues like format lock-in), but I actually don't presume to speak for everyone. Zero seems so, well, black-and-white.

"Surprisingly often, the market decides."

And, it looks like to me, in this case study, the market is heavily disturbed by what you are downplaying as a "trifling inconvenience". While it may have been trifling to you, the aggregate response I have seen indicates it doesn't seem to be living up to the norm.

I empathize with publishers to some extent, but seems like DRM is cutting your nose to spite your face.

Alphadog


BTW, I asked someone at Bethesda Softworks. Anyone still following this thread will either be happy or unhappy to know that their re-issue of Oblivion they will use SecuROM for copy protection, but without having to go online or any install limits.

TNSMeph

Well, I'm damn glad I bought Oblivion earlier then.

DRM is an unwanted and unwarrented intrusion onto my computer, and I'm amazed that developers allow it into their games. I mean, is 3 days that much time to wait for someone intending to steal the game anyway? I can't imagine anyone having such little patience, especially for a single-player-only title. Meanwhile, those of us who were always going to do the right thing get all this rubbish to go along with it.

If I buy a game, that's all I want. The game.

Clint

Here is the delimma for me, as I see it. Bioshock and the GotY Edition of Oblivion are being released on the Xbox 360 and the PC. The PC version of each includes Securom which makes all of us faithful PC gamers twitchy to the point of not buying one of these games, or at the very least waiting around until we get a version we like (see next years GotY Edition of Bioshock). This means, that on a sales chart over at 2K, for example, they will look at their sales of the game and see that, oh, say, somewhere in the neighborhood of 75% of the 1.5 million copies sold in the first month, went to Xbox 360 owners. Or maybe the percentage is higher? Maybe our outcry about fair use, rootkits, et al. had some kind of effect and PC users were returning their games to store shelves. End users who own both a PC and an Xbox 360 will read the writing on the wall and buy for their console. So, the end result when sales figures hit the bean counters is not going to be "We need to not do this Securom stuff in the future so that we can sell more PC games." The response IS going to be "Xbox 360 sales out sell PC sales 3 to 1, we don't have to worry about piracy, and we can deliver almost the exact same gaming experience. Next time, we just won't release for PC."

I don't own an Xbox 360. I am an old school PC gamer (I had B-17 Flying fortress on 5 1/4 inch floppy for Godsake). I don't want to be relegated to playing Civ XII on my PC because I stuck by my principles about DRM and the outcome wasn't what I had hoped for.

This is my biggest fear. I am still a Bioshock hold out and will be for some time, at least until their launch frenzy is over and Securom isn't an issue, but I do wonder whether or not us PC gamers are going to have to eat a lot of shit sandwiches just to ensure that there are games like this one released for the PC in the future.

mart

"I buy PC games to reward developers for their work. Typically the most inconvenience I face is spending three minutes to patch the .exe to remove the CD check, if that. If that's enough to justify pirating games in someone's mind, any excuse will do."

Woah there, no offense or anything but that strikes me as a little hypocritical there.

I mean, here you are lecturing how publishers have the right to to use DRM, how it's normal for companies to secretly install software on our computers, and how it's not a problem and won't hurt anything. (Do you also agree with laws enforcing the use of DRM?) It's something we should put up with because it's presumably necessary to prevent piracy. Then you say that you personally patch your program files so you don't have to go through with the CD check.

Obie

The trouble with all of this is that it can set precedence when most people are indifferent. Next thing you know whatever publishers want to do to your machine will be the norm. Here's what I think we are looking at;

1. Publishers really don't have to tell you beforehand what they're going to do to your PC when you install their software, and it may be irreversible, and cause stability issues. (I know,...this risk exists with all software, but in most countries at least you're liable bigtime if you don't warn of product hazards, many times even obvious ones)

2. Profits come first, not customers, nor even the product itself, and publishers are willing to expose legitimate buyers to risk to protect it. (Doesn't it seem odd that all these DRM efforts never lead to lower retail prices? Shouldn't they?)

The most leverage you have in this world is really how you spend your money. Sadly, I won't be spending it on BioShock now on any platform, even if they remove the DRM. Any other way, and they won't get the message.

I can only hope others join the cause.

jimfromtx

It has SecuWrong? Great. Now I'm definitely not getting it. That thing killed the DVD drive on my last computer, permanently, so that ironically, the only way I could play Worms 4 (the game that installed that piece of garbage) would be to get a cracked copy of the US version of the game. Nice job keeping people from playing the games they bought legally, idiots!

poletr

If you like to use internet, you must have on your computer antivirus program. I use AVG . I think, it's the best spyware program.

Carlos

I am so happy that so many players are getting irked. For some years now I have been posting in diverse forums to boycott the games and the companies that do this, but like jerks, you still keep coming back to the well. Well, I have not bought any games that do this for quite a while, but since those of us that boycott COMPANIES that do this are not backed by other gamers to hurt the companies that do this to their games; this will continue happening. Until someone comes up with a way to crack the games for the consoles and have the consoles get DRM as draconian as the PC ones, I guess then the other console fools who do not pull in with us in the PC only camp will begin to cry foul and beg for others to help them boycott the companies that will do this to their games.
The bottom line is that these companies want to hobble the games so that in the end they may not be sold to others like it is done on Ebay or other bartering sites once you are done with them, even years later. But, since gamers are too wrapped up in their own stupidity to look further down the line, this is what is slowly happening.

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