Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sure, Rimms, Flash & Bling-Bling. But What Is Really At Work Under The Hood?

Need for Speed: Undercover is yet another EA release which, gameplay and graphics problems aside, suffers from the bundled DRM scheme: SecuROM with Limited Installations.

This is a well known scheme based on a custom-made augmented version of SecuROM 7+, used for over a year now (from BioShock to Mass Effect, Dead Space and Red Alert 3) and it has been proven to offer protection from piracy. But, of course, fighting piracy was never amongst its aims.

SecuROM is not a Digital Rights Management system but rather a spyware subroutine that unavoidably comes bundled with most major game releases. It borrows into the Root of our systems, masking itself from the System Manager and refuses to be removed - even after one completely uninstalls the game it came with. SecuROM is indeed used as a cloaked dataminer, gathering information on the system and its user's activities and sending them to its mothership. It is the metho
d the industry's behemoths chose to pave the way for their coveted Pay-per-Play future.

Turning our own PCs into their...insatiable coiners is what the gaming executives are having wet dreams about. Games that we will have to keep paying for again and again.
And that is where the idea of Limited Activations comes ins: not only it nullifies the value of a game once bought, killing the second-hand market overnight, but it also familiarizes gamers to the idea of having to buy the same game over and over in order to keep playing it.

Need for Speed was a series I loved in the past and would love to keep playing in the future once the DRM idiocies get resolved. But not at this price.
Some people are indifferent to these issues - and I respect that. In a free market voting with one's wallet is the most effective expression of opinion - and everyone is free to cast his vote in whichever direction he seems fit. My experience though taught me that most gamers would like, at least, to make well informed decisions.

And who would not want its customers well informed?

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