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Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up

Reclaim Your Game follows up further on their report that SecuROM is present in Dragon Age II, and BioWare's and EA's contention that the game's release control does not constitute SecuROM. They dig into the semantics of the situation, asserting that the game uses "SecuROM Release Control." They also have an article explaining why they have decided not to work with EA on these DRM-related issues, saying: "We left Bioware and EA to sort themselves out," before going on to expressing their willingness to work with other developers, publishers, and digital distributors to manage such issues. We inquired whether this was a commercial service, and they confirmed it is: "This is a commercial service we offer for Publishers, DRM Vendors and Digital Distributors. Our Evaluation Reports, etc that’s currently published are “free demos” of what to expect. The reports also function as a free service for Consumers." They add that their plan was to offer their services to BioWare for free.

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51. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 20:56 avianflu
 
The savvy _consumer_ can decide to wait a year for those games that have software copy protection installed on release. Personally I dont bother with Steam or whatever, since those services are only getting more douchy lately about game ownership.

Just wait a year and buy the boxed GOTY version. Admittedly not awesome solution, but you've got software that you actually own.
 
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50. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 10:19 Halo
 
oops

This comment was edited on Mar 21, 2011, 10:57.
 
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49. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 09:33 Kajetan
 
Muscular Beaver wrote on Mar 21, 2011, 08:49:
Its about giving investors and shareholders a feeling of security, since most of them dont even remotely have any idea about software. They only hear about the bad pirates and how they supposedly hurt sales a lot.
Yup! Many investors demand DRM as part of a typical risk minimizing plan, even when everyone else knows how useless DRM is.
 
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48. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 08:49 Muscular Beaver
 
avianflu wrote on Mar 21, 2011, 08:27:
The point is that software copy protection is all about protecting sales of newly released software because that is when unit sales are greatest.

Its not. Its about giving investors and shareholders a feeling of security, since most of them dont even remotely have any idea about software. They only hear about the bad pirates and how they supposedly hurt sales a lot.
 
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Oh that is so lame... You will PAY for your use of inappropriate dialogue!
- Mojo Jojo
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47. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 08:43 necrosis
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 21, 2011, 02:31:
If that were not the case, all the games that used Starforce (which took a year to crack) and UbiDRM (took a month to crack) would have presumably sold a lot more than they did.
God I remember that. What was it? Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory? Took a year and change to crack it because it used a brand new version.
 
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46. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 08:38 necrosis
 
avianflu wrote on Mar 21, 2011, 08:27:
Game companies frequently infrequently remove the software copy protection in a patch after a game has been out for a year or so and/or released in a GOTY edition (often with no fanfare at all the protection is removed).

The point is that software copy protection is all about protecting sales of newly released software because that is when unit sales are greatest.
Fixed.
 
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45. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 08:27 avianflu
 
Game companies frequently remove the software copy protection in a patch after a game has been out for a year or so and/or released in a GOTY edition (often with no fanfare at all the protection is removed).

The point is that software copy protection is all about protecting sales of newly released software because that is when unit sales are greatest.
 
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44. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 05:21 Nuhauser
 
El Cliff wrote on Mar 21, 2011, 01:01:

Also, there was no court order. It was an out of court settlement, meaning no judgement or order was made by the courts.

Confused Confused Confused
I got that idea from reading the original post here on March 11th:
"EA had been ordered by the courts to disclose the use of SecuROM on any game that uses it."

It's the only reason why I thought this was noteworthy. If what you say is true, however, that would further explain why nobody really cares.
 
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43. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 03:33 entr0py
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 21, 2011, 02:31:
I'm not sure those swayable and impatient gamers exist. What you're basically saying is that if a crack isn't available until release day, people who would have otherwise pirated it will instead buy it. That doesn't really make any sense. It might be more plausible if the crack wasn't available until months after the game's release but pirates tend to be a patient sort. If a crack isn't immediately available (which is rarely the case), they're willing to wait quite some time before even considering the thought of buying the game. If that were not the case, all the games that used Starforce (which took a year to crack) and UbiDRM (took a month to crack) would have presumably sold a lot more than they did.

You're definitely right about most pirates. I still think there are some that can afford to buy games but don't feel an ethical urge to do so. For them, convenience is a deciding factor. Retail, especially with digital distribution, should always have the advantage of being more convenient. But that disappears when a game is cracked and torrented ahead of release.

Whatever the number of fickle pirates are, it's not huge. You do have a good point about those test cases where the DRM wasn't cracked in short order. I honestly don't know if "lost sales" to piracy are just an industry boogyman, or if they really happen in numbers that justify the expense and customer backlash of DRM. It's hard to test since every game is a unique case.
 
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42. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 02:31 Jerykk
 
If release date checks really were ineffective, I'd agree that they should be done away with. But it actually looks like they hold back piracy for a few days. And those pre-release days in particular are crucial in holding on to the swayable and impatient gamers who pirate occasionally but not always.

I'm not sure those swayable and impatient gamers exist. What you're basically saying is that if a crack isn't available until release day, people who would have otherwise pirated it will instead buy it. That doesn't really make any sense. It might be more plausible if the crack wasn't available until months after the game's release but pirates tend to be a patient sort. If a crack isn't immediately available (which is rarely the case), they're willing to wait quite some time before even considering the thought of buying the game. If that were not the case, all the games that used Starforce (which took a year to crack) and UbiDRM (took a month to crack) would have presumably sold a lot more than they did.
 
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41. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 01:01 El Cliff
 
Nuhauser wrote on Mar 21, 2011, 00:46:
I totally agree with this. RYG's claims about this game using SecuROM seem like nothing more than an attempt at libel/blackmail. Nobody else seems to be picking up on whether or not the inclusion of SecuROM in DA2 actually violates the court order, pretty much making it a non issue at this point.

I don't necessarily think it's going that far, but I would certainly say that their continued speaking out about this non-issue looks like a cry for attention.

Also, there was no court order. It was an out of court settlement, meaning no judgement or order was made by the courts.
 
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40. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 00:51 Sempai
 
Yawn..  
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39. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 00:46 Nuhauser
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 20, 2011, 20:13:
Oh, Reclaim Your Game, how far you have fallen. I remember when you were a free, open and community based initiative, intent on listing DRM packages in games.

Now your foolish cash grab will destroy everything positive you have done in the past.

Some sites/organizations need to be NON-PROFIT, otherwise they are fundamentally flawed, how is this hard to understand?


I totally agree with this. RYG's claims about this game using SecuROM seem like nothing more than an attempt at libel/blackmail. Nobody else seems to be picking up on whether or not the inclusion of SecuROM in DA2 actually violates the court order, pretty much making it a non issue at this point.
 
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38. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 00:35 necrosis
 
entr0py wrote on Mar 21, 2011, 00:15:
These release date checks are set to unlock at midnight LOCAL time; so it unlocks in New Zealand 24 hours before it unlocks in Hawaii.
Another reason this crap sucked. I know some friends that got the PC version and could not play it for 3 more hours because they were ET and it wouldn't unlock till midnight PT. Yet their console friends were playing it as soon as they got home.
 
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37. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 00:15 entr0py
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 20, 2011, 20:22:
Secondly, judging by the controversy surrounding DA2's DRM, there are obviously people who don't like it and are less likely to pay full price (or anything at all) for games that use it. Finally, DA2 was cracked before it was even released so it didn't really stop any piracy to begin with.

1. The controversy is apparently all about the file names containing the word SecuROM. Pre-release it seemed no one was complaining about the announced Sony/EA release date check. Nor have I heard any reports that the process continues to run after the initial install. Yes it leaves behind useless registry keys and folders; so does virtually every other PC program.

2. There's every reason to think the online check did work in delaying piracy up until it officially unlocked/self-destructed. These release date checks are set to unlock at midnight LOCAL time; so it unlocks in New Zealand 24 hours before it unlocks in Hawaii. A crack was released about 12 hours after it unlocked in the first timezone. This was several days after DVD images were leaked by retailers. Once hacker groups had access to everything, they were then able to create a crack that bypassed the release-date check entirely. Kind of like how unlocking a door is generally easier to do from the inside.

If release date checks really were ineffective, I'd agree that they should be done away with. But it actually looks like they hold back piracy for a few days. And those pre-release days in particular are crucial in holding on to the swayable and impatient gamers who pirate occasionally but not always.
 
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36. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 21, 2011, 00:02 necrosis
 
Ashley wrote on Mar 20, 2011, 23:15:
DRM is fine with me as long as...

1. It does not run when I am not playing the game.

2. It does not collect demographic info about me (even if they swear it's anonymous)

3. It does not look at anything else on my PC besides the game that it is for and only then to verify that it is a legitimately purchased copy.

I have never found DRM from a major publisher that comes close to meeting those criteria.
And how can you be sure the DRM does these things? Trust the people that put the DRM there and are calling you a theif?
 
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35. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 20, 2011, 23:59 Ashley
 
I hope you're right KR. You've been around Blue's a long time like me.
I also THINK I described DA2 but I don't trust anyone on either side of this enough to bet on them or the 'all DRM is bad' crowd. We'll wait and see.
 
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34. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 20, 2011, 23:21 killer_roach
 
Ashley wrote on Mar 20, 2011, 23:15:
DRM is fine with me as long as...

1. It does not run when I am not playing the game.

2. It does not collect demographic info about me (even if they swear it's anonymous)

3. It does not look at anything else on my PC besides the game that it is for and only then to verify that it is a legitimately purchased copy.

I have never found DRM from a major publisher that comes close to meeting those criteria.

I think you just described the Sony Release Control that was used on Dragon Age II.
 
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33. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 20, 2011, 23:15 Ashley
 
DRM is fine with me as long as...

1. It does not run when I am not playing the game.

2. It does not collect demographic info about me (even if they swear it's anonymous)

3. It does not look at anything else on my PC besides the game that it is for and only then to verify that it is a legitimately purchased copy.

I have never found DRM from a major publisher that comes close to meeting those criteria.
 
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32. Re: Dragon Age II SecuROM Follow-up Mar 20, 2011, 23:15 Overon
 
I'm tired of reading "DRM does not work." You people who make this argument are making the same "all or nothing" logical fallacy over and over again. DRM does not have to be 100% for it to be "effective enough." Please realize this. There is a whole spectrum of DRM ranging from "game can be copied a million times on a million pc's" to "a game can only be be installed on 1 PC only."

 
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51 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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