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On Mass Effect & Spore Copy Protection

There's a massive thread on the Mass Effect Community Forums about the SecuROM copy-protection scheme planned for Mass Effect, BioWare's upcoming RPG (thanks Wolfox). The game will not need the disk in the drive to play, but will require an internet connection for installation to validate the CD (DVD) key and will need to go online once every ten days in perpetuity for revalidation. BioWare attempts to address all the questions this raises, at one point replying that this will be the same system used in Spore when the evolutionary game is released: "Yes, EA is ready for us and getting ready for Spore, which will use the same system." This thread continues the discussion after the first one was locked for length. Here's the deal:

Mass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation.

After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn't become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.

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289. Re: @Jerykk May 9, 2008, 11:12 Tigger
This is just plain false. There has never been a game impossible to pirate, correct? There is no prevention from piracy or prevention of stealing in these schemes because the pirates software is not affected by this. There is a delay at best.

I'm sorry you don't know how to read:

Last, at the end, fighting piracy is not a winnable battle. Even when a company owns the platform (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo), there are always loopholes to be exploited. I had a good teacher in college a number of years ago who said something to the effect of "If it was designed by a human, a human will eventually figure out how to crack it."

Furthermore, you seem to agree with my point about copy protection being a measure used, first and foremost, as a step to make money as well as a step to prevent people from stealing:

These systems will prevent people from reselling or sharing games with others. The end result will be end users forced to always buy new copies of software if they want to play instead of using ebay or craigslist to find a used copy and buy that one. Retail stores will still offer bargain bin games from time to time but this will become much less likely since there is no secondary market to compete with.

It's very similar to how Valve operates now. It's not likely you'll buy a used copy of valve software because someone has to pay valve $10 to unregister that unique ID. Which is crap and why I refuse to spend any more money on steam games.

That is what these companies want. They want everyone to have to purchase the software from them without any resale possible on the secondary market.

This comment was edited on May 9, 11:15.
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