Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash

The Starbreeze Forums and Atari Forums for The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena each have threads complaining about the game's DRM, describing a non-revocable three-installation limit that does not allow further installations after it has been reached. This has inspired another protest centered on the reviews on the Amazon listing for the game, where an increasing number of reviews complain about the DRM. We contacted Atari about this and received the following response:
The protection on the PC version of The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is an activation system with online authentication required the first time you install the game on a machine. The activation code lets you install the game on up to 3 machines, with an unlimited number of installs on each assuming that you don’t change any major hardware in your PC or re-install your operating system.

If you reach the maximum number of installations you can contact the Atari hotline and if it’s a legitimate request you can get a new activation code.

We implement this protection in an effort to avoid early piracy.
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 11:57
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 11:57
Apr 9, 2009, 11:57
 
We implement this protection in an effort to avoid early piracy.

So... once the game is cracked and distributed through the net, you'll release a patch that removes the protection?

Didn't think so.

I was planning to buy this at full-price but now I'll have to wait until it hits the bargain bin. Disappointing.
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:00
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:00
Apr 9, 2009, 12:00
 
"We implement this protection in an effort to avoid early piracy."


Yeeeeeaaahhh. Sure it will. Just like EVERY game before it, this WILL get cracked BEFORE the game is even released.

I may get this game when the price goes down but I'll be sure and have a crack ready (like I did when I bought Far Cry 2). I won't download the game illegally, but I sure as hell will crack it so I don't end up in a situation where I can't play it anymore. It may be sort of unlikely but still.

Having to reinstall the OS or upgrade major portions of ones PC is a very common thing. I've always had to reinstall windows at least once a year going back to win95. That's just how that OS is.

I wonder if they consider upgrading your GPU to be "major." I probably won't do it again until next year but it's still something I do "often" since that's just how I roll.
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:01
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:01
Apr 9, 2009, 12:01
 
They lost at least one otherwise sure sale because of that: mine. I was looking forward to this game, but, with this kind of DRM, I'd rather spend my money on DRM-free games in Gog.com, Gamer's Gate or indie developers. Too bad for Starbreeze, but blame it on Atari.
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:09
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:09
Apr 9, 2009, 12:09
 
Chronic DRM and no Steam release? Pass.
"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:10
5.
Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:10
Apr 9, 2009, 12:10
 
You'd think given the "concessions" other publishers have had to make on this issue given the huge backlash against this type of measure, Atari wouldn't be so stupid as to take a huge step backwards like this. I was planning to buy this for PC but I will now only rent this on the 360 (a version which as people have mentioned elsewhere, was pirated well before release and before the PC version.) I can't afford many games right now but was prepared to give them my money for this one and now they've lost it. Congratulations guys.
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6.
 
Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:13
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:13
Apr 9, 2009, 12:13
 
all i can say is that it will increase piracy, cos noone wants to
mess around thinking abt how many times have i installed it!!
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:14
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:14
Apr 9, 2009, 12:14
 
I don't see what the big deal is here, guys. At first, it sounded as if you could only install the game three times, and that's it. That would be horrible!

But if you can install it on three different machines as many times as you like, than that's completely acceptable! Further, they will allow you to legitimately request new codes if you reach maximum. This doesn't seem that restricting at all! They recaptured my purchase. Hopefully, it will be on Steam... who said it wouldn't be anyways?!

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 12:14.
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:15
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:15
Apr 9, 2009, 12:15
 
What the hell were they thinking? People were actually looking forward to this game. They are hurting themselves by hurting the people who WANT to support them.

Can the human race get any more stupid?
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:20
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:20
Apr 9, 2009, 12:20
 
Is the "Atari Hotline" a toll free number?

I almost want to buy the game and reinstall windows everyday just to phone them and bitch. I wonder how many times people would have to phone before the cost would counteract any "phantom profits" they think they're getting from using DRM.

Ah, screw it, I'll just pirate it. My time's more valuable than that
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:22
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:22
Apr 9, 2009, 12:22
 
But if you can install it on three different machines as many times as you like, than that's completely acceptable!

Read again: if you change/upgrade any major components of a given machine, it will be considered a new machine. So, upgrade your computer three times and you'll run out of activations. Does that sound acceptable?

Further, they will allow you to legitimately request new codes if you reach maximum. This doesn't seem that restricting at all!

It is: you shouldn't have to ask politely to be able to reinstall and play a game that you bought. Also, you have no idea of how responsive Atari's support is - you may request new activations and find out that such emails are actually sent to /dev/null. And, finally, they are not REQUIRED to give you new codes - they MAY or MAY NOT, depending on what THEY decide. If for some reason they find you suspicious enough (no evidence required), they might just say "no" and leave you with a $50 dollar coaster.

They recaptured my purchase.

Well, some people are more gullible than others...
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:23
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:23
Apr 9, 2009, 12:23
 
First no PC demo version and now this DRM? More and more developers spent their time in merging DRM technologies these days than doing a proper PC version or demo.
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:24
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:24
Apr 9, 2009, 12:24
 
reinstalling windows is a 100% sure way to kill all your activations very quickly, do a format without a revoke tool used before reformat and your activation is *gone*, courtesy of Securoms great anti-customer protection system

Even dual boot (win xp , vista) will use 2 activations, try the game on W7 beta and your 3 activations are already used up on a single machine

Changing GPU and CPU could also invalidate a license, not sure though..

Also, preventing early piracy is complete bollox, pirates have infinite patience because they would not buy the game even if a cracked version takes 4 days or 10 weeks longer, pirates know fully well that EVERY game is going to be cracked at some point, and waiting is cheaper than buying, i mean sure look at how well preventing early piracy worked for Bioshock/Spore ;p

I detest that companies like Atari create the perfect environment to increase piracy even more, and every paying customer getting gang-raped in the process by 3 install non-revokable DRM... *sigh*

Only pirates have a working product, customers get a broken-by-design product.. AWESOME ;(
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:25
DDI
13.
Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:25
Apr 9, 2009, 12:25
DDI
 
The hardware change with limited activations is the worst kind of this crap. Think about it, you install the game, upgrade your video card and upgrade to say Windows 7. Oh look you are out of activations.

Heh eRe4s3r beat me to the punch.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 12:27.
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:29
GT
14.
Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:29
Apr 9, 2009, 12:29
GT
 
But if you can install it on three different machines as many times as you like, than that's completely acceptable!
It's not really three PC's unless you never change the hardware on any of them. It's three hardware configurations/hardware signatures. That means if you change any hardware on the PC (boot drive, video card, CPU, etc.), you change the hardware signature. So, you can only activate the game on three hardware signatures (be it one PC with hardware changed three times or three PC's with hardware never changed) until you have to call Atari and beg for another activation.

Changing GPU and CPU could also invalidate a license, not sure though..
Yes, they do especially for the CPU because those have serial numbers.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 12:35.
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:35
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:35
Apr 9, 2009, 12:35
 
Seems that Game Publishers are becoming just like the US government, that being that they don't listen to the public anymore.
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:48
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:48
Apr 9, 2009, 12:48
 
It never fails to amaze me just how stupid a company can be. Stopping piracy with this type of non revocable is absurd and will accomplish nothing on the part of preventing piracy. But what it will do it prevent people from buying this game as it has with me. I was all set to buy this game. I’m so glad sites like Blues News and voodoo extreme exist to inform the public of this kind of nonsense. Atari of all companies that has financial issues coming out the ass can’t afford this type of hate or non support for a great game that just got trashed by their own doing.

Sorry Atari, keep your drm infested game No Sale here! I just spent my money of the new COH Valor.
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17.
 
Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:50
17.
Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:50
Apr 9, 2009, 12:50
 
Ah, screw it, I'll just pirate it. My time's more valuable than that

Hahaha, way to teach them a lesson man. You realize it's their flawed attempt to fight piracy right? Sure it's broken and stupid but committing more piracy isn't sending the right message. But hey, you go girl with your piracy self-justification!
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:51
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:51
Apr 9, 2009, 12:51
 
We implement this protection in an effort to avoid early piracy

lol well they succeded there: kinda - it seems it didn't get cracked early. Of course it did get done the next day (yesterday) BEFORE Atari said it was DRMed to avoid early piracy.

As normal the DRM is just stupid - it's stopping people buying the PC version and the actual only early release of the game seems to have been on the 360 anyway. A quick check seems to show 3 times the amount of downloads on the 360 vs PC as well, I guess the only way the developers will be happy is if everything only comes out for the uncrackable PS3. Oh. Wait.....
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 12:55
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 12:55
Apr 9, 2009, 12:55
 
Man, I hate install limits. It doesn't even tell you there's a limit when you activate it... I own the game.

That said, it's not so terrible I wouldn't buy the game. I got Riddick and it's awesome, as was Mirror's Edge and all the other EA SecuROM titles I got.

I have heard it is easy to request another activation limit, but I have never had to do it, which says something in itself. A person who needs more in a short amount of time is probably VERY rare. Also, the way I look at it is that if I want to play the game years from now and have a problem doing so, I can just download a crack at that point, when I'm sure it will be common.

Don't get me wrong, I hate install limits, but using this as a reason to pirate the game is bullshit rationalizing, and using it as a reason not to buy the game seems way overboard. That's just me though...
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Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash
Apr 9, 2009, 13:08
20.
Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 13:08
Apr 9, 2009, 13:08
 

I'll wait for the 360 game to go down to 25 bucks whenever that happens. I can wait.
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