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EA to PC Gamers: “Install 3 times? Buy another copy”


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Source : http://www.simprograms.com/?p=692

This really grinds my gears…As reported here in the past, Mass Effect for PC contains a new type of SecuROM which will be present in all future EA/Maxis games.

What does it do? Not only does it install itself to your computer without a word of notification as well as disable your firewall, dvd drives and cd/dvd burning software. It limits you to installing your game on your PC up to 3 times.

This can be triggered via using up your 3 activations and each time you change a piece of hardware, reformat your computer or install/upgrade a new operating system, it takes up one of the activations.

This is proven to be true by a guy over at the Mass Effect forums. He registered and started to play the game (Activation #1). Well, when he tried to play the game he had strange artifacts on his screen. Thinking it was an OS-related issue, he reinstalled XP and reinstalled the game (Activation #2). Finding out that it didn’t help the problem, he soon figured out it was his graphics card struggling. Well, he bought a brand new card and that solved the problem (this triggers Activation #3). Game ran fine for a short period of time (2 days) and he played thru it and completed the game. Well, a week after that, he decided he wanted to run thru the game again. This is where he stumbles upon this error:

“The game can not start. For security reasons, only a limited number of machines can ever be licensed by a single purchase. This limit has been reached. Please purchase another registration code, reinstall, and then try again.”

There is no doubt that EA will try to include this new version of SecuROM on Spore and possibly The Sims 3….and if it is, we are going to encounter some very serious problems. Heck, I can’t even count the times I had to reinstall the games, upgrade my hardware and reformat…

You know, come to think of it…EA is doing this to prevent piracy of their games, but it’s only hurting us legal customers. Look at this:

If you are a Pirate:

* BAD: You do have the same bugs that those with legal copies have, plus new ones depending on how the cracked copy was programmed.

* GOOD: Unlimited Activations!

* GOOD: No SecuROM to deal with

* GOOD & BAD: It’s free, but illegal

If you are a Legal Customer:

* BAD: Limited to 3 Activations

* BAD: Your computer is plaqued with SecuROM

* BAD: Game contains errors and bugs

* GOOD & BAD: You support Maxis by purchasing the game, but you are also supporting EA, and if you support them, you support SecuROM

Honestly…what looks better to you?

Source: Mass Effect Forums and discussion at Simmers against SecuROM

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This is why I purpose to download Spore without paying for it and don't have to worry about such things.

I'd recommend every one else do the same as well.

I'm usually not a proponent of piracy, but when it comes to EA using anti-piracy schemes that are obviously not going to work and only serve to harass the people who actually bought the game, there are few options left.

I suppose you could buy the game then only ever play a pirated version, but then EA doesn't get the message where it matters, in the pocket.

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Yeah, just pirate it or buy a console. These schemes are getting ridiculous, its almost as bad as mid-90's CAD programs and the fucking dongles. Hundreds of the fuckers, daisy chained together.

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You still get those dongles for CAD programs now. We have to use them up at the college and its a fairly recent version of the software.

I would pirate it too. As you guys said, this stuff is getting rediculas, soon, it will just randomlay disable itself just in case you are using a pirated copy, even if you bought it.

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Expensive software (such as the full version of EnCase) still uses the USB dongles. Don't know if any one has even encountered this, but before USB dongles it was ISA or PCI cards.

...or serial/parallel. Ah, the good old days.

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Thats totally bogus! they have no right to install there b$ software on your computer without your consent!! not that you would ever give it for that crap!

its like a virus almost! how would they like it if we installed software on their computers?...

all to protect there stupid game? lol...

trying to prevent piracy like this? its only going to INCREASE IT! when will they ever learn piracy will be around for eternity wherever there is security theres always a way around it!

they just need to realize some people are going to pirate, and most people will actually buy it, they have to cut there losses, and respect the people that actually buy their game!

If there game is really worth the money people will pay for it! but not if it comes with rootkit's and viruses! ;)

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I had an EA related problem a year ago with Battlefield 2142. I purchased the game, played it once, then it wouldn't recognize the DVD. After some research I came to the conclusion that it was a SecuROM problem. I had to download a pirated version so that I could play a game that I LEGALLY bought.

This Mass Effect issue seems 100x worse. If this is how EA will continue to operate in the future, I see some dark times ahead...

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all it does is encourages people to pirate.

due to all of the problems the drm with mass effect had, there was a fully working cracked copy up for download the first day it came out, someone was able to crack it with in a day and put it up for download

so people only had to wait a few hours to get a DRM free game

games with just simple drm, like just a cd key needed and thats it, they take weeks or even a few months to wind on a p2p network

the most you may find with in that time are cd keys hosted on those malicious sites that use serials to pull people in then using multiple exploits, infect their pc with a nearly impossible trojan or spyware to remove

the more annoying the DRM the faster the game is cracked

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that is because the simple DRM takes time, not resources to find the algorithm, whereas with the complicated one, they patch up all the problems that are new, and forget about the old ones, and hackers DO try the same trick twice!

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I've been a PC gamer since I got a commodore 64 instead of a NES (I'm really glad about that too) and I've seen all kinds of silly methods to protect software. Originally starting as games that wouldn't copy correctly off a diskette, then to having to type in words from manuals, later funny code wheels from Lucas arts, with the advent of CD roms they started checking the discs, eventually we got keycodes, and now we have crap like this.

None of that stuff ever stopped a determined pirate, piracy of software has been happening since Bill Gates was calling most of the people using his basic interpreter thieves. I do not condone piracy, I believe that if a game company creates a good game they deserve to be paid for it. But here is my arguement for why piracy happens.

So Software (game) prices have been sitting around $50+ a title since I can remember, software companies use the excuse that they have to keep the prices high to because of piracy. I call BS, since if they would lower the price many people like me inclined to purchase more games. Simply put, often game companies want to see a quick turn around of profit on their games but many of them don't understand that if they make a truly epic game, it possibly could live on forever and be ported to new game systems and OS for decades. Charge less for a game, and more people will buy it. Make better games, and you will be able to keep profiting off of it for many years.

Crappy games drive up piracy and directly cause it to happen. Have you ever bought a game that was so crap-tacular that it was uninstalled in less than a weeks time? Last title I bought that was like that was Defender of the Crown 2, (The old school gamer in me wanted it to be good very badly) but in the end it was very unplayable. The problem is by the time you've figured out how crappy a game is you've already installed it meaning that it is not possible to return it to get your cash back. Now if I had of downloaded Defender of the crown 2 first and played it before buying it, I would of known not to waste my money on it. Many people who pirate game are folks who have been burned by crap-tacular games one too many times.

Software piracy doesn't exactly mean a lost sale! There are many aspects of this. Many games that might not have a playable demo, are a risky perchase as mentioned above. If the game is good, the pirate possibly might end up buying the game after the act of downloading it, same can be said with music and movies. Then you have folks who wouldn't of bought the game no matter what, and would of enjoyed the game if piracy didn't exist. Then you have the people who simply pirate everything and anything as a collecting hobby and seldom even play have of what they pirated more than 15 minutes just to simply check to make sure their copy works.

Now you have this current gen of DRM crap. This type of action by companies is akin a spoiled child who doesn't like who he got teamed with and decides to take his ball and leave. When you get so paranoid about piracy that it begins to stop your customers who have given you their hard earned money from using your software you've got issues. If you don't trust your customers enough that you require the program to call home every time it is run, you've got issue (STEAM). If you feel that you have to install a rootkit onto your customer's system to ensure it doesn't get pirated, you've got issue. What are these issues? Not trusting your customers. You know what? If you don't want to trust a me after I've bought your product, I'm simply not going to buy it. There are plenty of game companies that treat there customers better than that, so what if I'm not going to have experienced the latest Valve release? Beyond paying for a game, there are many open source alternatives to excrement being plopped onto the shelves these days. Warsaw is the best example.

In the end, I'm gonna say that piracy isn't anything new, isn't going away, and trying to battle too hard against it will alienate your paying customers and hurt your business. Instead of fighting piracy, companies should try to live with it the best they can, and give incentives to people to purchase their games instead of penalizing them with DRM and other copy protections.

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There is a third alternative tough. Just don't care about the game. Think about it this way. Even if you pirate the game, you create buzz, because there are people looking for games which have many peers. Also your friend will be encouraged to buy a game like Spore if he has someone to play it with via LAN or internet.

I think MS-Office or Windows would never have got their ridiculous market share if it wouldn't have been so easy to pirate them back in the days of Win9x. A concept that also gave the first PlayStation an edge over it's module based competitors.

There are tons of great games out there that don't have any sort of copy protection or are - even better - free.

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the problem is that they are so greedy that many of them don't even want to give out a demo of the game

and if they do give a demo, it has such little content that you cant get an idea of how the gameplay is

and on top of that, they don't even want people seeing a second of the game with out paying first

because of that people will pirate it and the no DRM is also a plus

games get more and more expensive each year and they also get worst. many people are not willing to pay for a game thats $50-60 for a game thats really short.

games become shorter each year, since they only seem to focus on graphics, they wind up with game engines that are so hard to work with that it will take too long to make a good length game

all of this + the DRM is more than enough to push people into pirating a game

and no people will not pirate the game then buy the game to support the developers, when they pirate the game, it is because they feel that the company doesn't deserve their money

and steam is one of the worst of the bunch

steam games are deeply tied with the steam servers, if the company decided to die or move on to something different, then your steam games will no longer work either, and you will have to get them cracked if you want to still play them.

with a pirated copy of a game you have


No DRM so your game is sure to run and not complain that your dvd drive or some other thing is not happy with it

Your CD drives last longer since there's no wear and tear of having it constantly spin up when ever you want to play a game

Longer battery life on gaming laptops because the energy hogging cd drive will not be used

your game is sure to run long after the company dies out or moves on

a more stable 12V rail (if you test with a multimeter, when a cd drive spins up or down, the 12v raid changes slightly even on a high end PS)

Less bugs due to no DRM = no errors and instability caused by the DRM

Faster start up times in windows (Most DRM adds multiple drivers which run during the start up to monitor your hardware, a fully cracked game doesn't contain the files needed to install those drivers)


getting a cracked game from an untrusted source may result in the downloading of a game thats infected with a trojan

so which seems like a better deal to you

a $60 game that has DRM which causes stability problems and can prevent your game from running if it is not happy with your hardware or if the company dies out or or if your cd is scratched or lost

or a game thats $0 and has none of those problems

people will pay for convenience (small businesses in the area generally hire me to do IT work for them, (work in which the owner of the company can easily to them self, so why hire me for it, one work convenience. it is easier for them to have someone else do the work while they relax and do what ever else they want)

DRM kills the shelf life or any game that has it. would you buy a car for $50,000 that only lasts 2 years before breaking down beyond repair or would you rather spend $50,000 on a car that will last 100 years?

i bet you wouldn't even waste money on the car that will only last 2 years

same with games.

games are already buggy and unstable on their own, don't add extra buggy software like DRM to make it even worst , no one will pay for that,

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like steam, because they make good games, and their DRM does not interfere with the gameplay. It is also much, much easier to reinstall games on a new system when you have them through steam. I just install steam, logon and they all start downloading. Its great, its simple, there are no CDs/DVDs to be scratched.

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I like Steam because of the convenience and price (£1 = $1.98), but they add random gay tax on to every thing for some reason. When I buy things and I look at the price brake down it's name is "tax", doesn't give a name. It might be VAT except they are are an American company so that doesn't make sense, might be 'export' tax.

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i usto have the same problem , my dad uses a program 4 work calld inventor , ist a cad moddoing program that upgrades about once a week and uses deret x drivers , well one update had us up date 2 deret x 8.0 we dint have a grapicks card that seporteded that , so on and he got mad cus about the 5 or 6th time he got the same problem , what he did was ,

he nuled all the proseses of hte cd so it wodnt try 2 instal and git the errer, he extrated it with winrar (.iso) and used damon tools it worked 4 2 or 3 updates

so he bot a new verson and , sewd the company

(7000$ program(it had like 8 other ones with it invintor is like 1200 by itsself))

at my school thay gave a cd with programs the school has a multy saher licnece with , one of theprograms gives a endepth discriptons what ddls do and messing around with it i opend up that folder and opend up a .ddl with it and all that ddl did was what u ar talking about , delited that ddl put it in a iso file and burned it , and it worked agin i dont no if it works the same , but if it dus , and u can understand my spelling thers a posable sluton , and it dint reconise the ddl wasnt ther

it braks the compter internet privcy laws enless the ddl in itslef has some part of the game engen on it

like the block buster and facebook deel

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Eventually this "Copyright Protection" made to increase profit will fail & lose money.

All problems to this crap has been stated many times in everyones post.

I rather buy a game & DL a pirate.

NOT going to let this crap screw up this computer.

PS: I love Steam/Valve! Easy access to games, download it on as many computers I want [only 1 can br logged in], I have installed some games over 10 times already in the 3 years I had it, source code is happily given to the public & people have made their own cool mods like "Garrys Mod", which I like, & the games by Valve are fun! Especially Portal.

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  • 1 month later...

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