Mass Effect Copy Protection An Opportunity To Use The Adjective 'Draconian'

EA and BioWare are employing SecuROM for the PC release of Mass Effect, a copy protection scheme you may recall from its universally loathed inclusion in 2K's BioShock. The Mass Effect SecuROM annoyance factor may be much more extreme, as the game requires that the owner authenticate the copy every ten days, meaning that an internet connection is required to play the game from the get-go and until eternity. In other words, if you paid for your copy of Mass Effect, expect to remind EA's authentication servers every week and a half that you aren't stealing it.

The official Mass Effect FAQ explains it all.

For instance, you can install your copy of Mass Effect on three separate machines, but all must be internet enabled if you expect to play the game you paid for, as SecuROM will check every time you run MassEffect.exe. This sort of overprotection is nothing new, as "Neverwinter Nights, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect all use SecuROM in some manner" says the FAQ.

Concerned? Pssh! Don't be! The Mass Effect PC FAQ says EA Support is ready for a beating.

EA is ready and we are confident there will be no server problems. EA has assured us that they have their authorization systems and customer support staff in place and ready for the launch of Mass Effect for PC. Anyone having issues with getting the game activated will be able to contact EA Support and get their problem resolved.

Spore is similarly planned to take advantage of the SecuROM copy protection system, one that we're sure is going to eliminate every illegitimate copy of the game from appearing on torrent trackers for at least 48 hours. Take that, piracy! RIP! Owned! Etc!

Mass Effect for PC System Specs, SecuROM and FAQ [Mass Effect Community via The Angry Pixel]


    I don't pirate games anymore, but this might just make me re-think that decision to avoid the hassles.

    Agreed Ian, I was aware of the Bioshock securerom activation procedure only from visiting the forum before purchasing, I was OK with that, a one-time activation is no real hassle, providing the servers and systems are stable and in place. I had no problems activating my copy, but plenty of others did as the servers took a massive hit and collapsed under the load.

    This repeat activation however is a major pain in the arse, I was really looking forward to this game, like Bioshock I would have picked it up on release day. Now I will wait and listen to the horror stories with interest as I sit back and wait for the inevitable cracked version.

    The pirates cannot be beaten, name me one offline game that has managed to disrupt the pirates for more than a couple of days? How much is spent on this stuff only for it to be torn apart and disabled by people in their spare time?

    I keep hearing how PC gaming is dying, this sort of garbage won't help.

    A few months ago I swore myself off pirating games.
    - Guess who's off the straight and narrow.

    ...I love Bioware and I'm going to actually buy the physical game anyway. But believe me now that the bloody thing will never see the insides of my disk drives.

    I know alot of people are angry about this, but if you pirate games (I used to, don't anymore), you've only got yourself to blame.

    As much as I loathe EA, and now, by extension, BioWare, they wouldn't spend the time, effort, and money to get SecureROM with repeated online activation in their game unless there was a piracy problem. There's no other reason for them to do it, and they sure as hell didn't get SecureROM for free.

    I think every 10 days is a little over the top, and I can see this being patched to be less harsh, like BioShock. Also, they will have to leave the servers up for at least a few hundred years for this to be fair, OR release a 'final' patch which removes the copy protection - when they stop selling the game. But if they can make sure that everyone who has bought the game can play it, I don't see the problem with this, as long as it's clear on the box you need Internet. It's a sucky situation, but gamers who pirate only have themselves to blame.

    Please don't pirate games. You just ruin them for everyone.

    PURPLESFINX I can't argue with the sentiment, but I think the "solution" in this instance is ridiculous. The only people this will have an impact on is the owners of the retail disc, not one pirate will have to authenticate their copy because the securerom aspects of the system will be removed from the uploaded versions.

    That is where the whole farcical situation of copy protection falls flat on its face, only genuine customers are inconvenienced and we pay a premium for the privelige. As you say, Bioware definitely did not get access to the SecurROM technology for free, as a customer you are paying for it when all is said and done, the thieves have no such consequences and will be enjoying this game possibly before release or just after without any such hassle.

    The whole premise is fundamentally flawed.

    I haven't even started on the unsavoury aspects of the chosen protection method.

    Pirates WILL crack it.
    Like many others have admitted, I too may stray off the straight and narrow just because of EA's idiocy. I may have actually bought the game if they didnt have stuff like this. And I DEFINETELY would have bought spore.
    There may be a logic to doing it for online games or ones greatly enchanced by the internet such as spore, but the offline games will be cracked.

    Pure and Simple

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