This Is SEGA's DRM Solution

Nobody likes DRM, AKA Digital Rights Management. Game companies, however, seem to think they need it. Japan-based game company might have come up with its own in-house DRM solution.

The DRM solution will be included in SEGA's espionage-themed action role-playing game, Alpha Protocol. Here is a breakdown on what SEGA's solution is and how it works (via website GamePolitics):

• Alpha Protocol uses Uniloc: SoftAnchor.
 

• Uniloc: SoftAnchor requires an internet connection to activate, though you don't need to always be connected to play the game, and the web site offers a work-around if you don't have an internet connection on the PC you install it on. 
 

• The PC version of Alpha Protocol uses an internet based licensing system, where, after installation, the user is required to enter a product registration code (licence key) in order to begin playing the game. 
 

• You do not have to have the disc in your drive to play the game. 
 

• The game does not use SteamWorks, and the Steam version of the game will use Uniloc DRM. 
 

• The game can be installed on up to 5 different computers at any one time using the licence key the game comes with. 
 

• There is a limit to the number of computers you can use Alpha Protocol on at any one time, but Sega says that the company is not restricting the number of computers you can install the game on over the life of the product. 
 

• SEGA will provide a version of the game without DRM using a future patch that it expects to make available 18-24 months after the game's release.

More details here. Nice to see SEGA get out front and explain what its DRM does. Transparency!

Sega Details Alpha Protocol DRM [GamePolitics]


Comments

    What if something goes wrong on the installation 5 times? Screwed much?

      It says "on five different computers", not that you can only install it five times.

      "What if something goes wrong on the installation 5 times? Screwed much?"

      Then prehaps you're too stupid to use your computer. When have you ever had to install something 5 times?

    Whilst limited installs are something that I'm not personally wild about, at least they have made it clear that they eventually plan to remove such limitations down the road. I also like the idea that you can free up activations even if you forget to do so when you have to format your computer. Not needing a disc is always nice too.

    I'm not sure I see how this DRM really works for them. So we can install it on 5 different computers at one time and it only requires an internet confirmation on the install. It doesn't require the CD either. So if I buy it I could give it to 4 of my friends and we could all play it happily? I mean I'm not about to, I'd probably get it on xbox, but I don't see how this helps Sega all that much.

      It's ironic, isn't it?

      i see this more as the whole well im buying it and my brother will want to play it so how is that fair

      and besides the steam version could be used on multiple computers anyways since you can just set them to offline

      ahh well so long as it comes out when its now stated ill be happy theve only had my money for a long time now

      I think their aim is more to stop people just downloading the whole thing rather than stopping someone giving a few friends a copy.

      Still doesn't really work considering everything gets cracked so easily but as far as DRM systems go this one certainly isn't the worst.

    Seems much more reasonable the Ubisoft's

    One off internet registration. No Disc needed in the Drive and you have to enter a product code. That is DRM I can live with. Heck that is a step above the old keep the disc in the drive method lots of games still use. I like this DRM, and so does my currantly stable but also suspicous internet connection.

    Now some people may complain about the limitation of only being able to install the game on 5 computers. Who has 5 Gaming rigs?

    RAAAAAAAAAAAGE

    just stop with the stupid DRM crap that only hurts us paying customers.

    also why do i keep having problems reaching kotaku.com?

    Um... a rather important part was left out of that description.

    "As each computer is identified by a unique digital signature, sometimes changing hardware will cause the product to require re-activation via the internet."

    Which means that the so-called "one off" call home isn't a "one off", it constantly checks your computer to see if you've changed it, and if you dare to do that, it'll challenge you to prove you're not the dirty thief you appear to be.

    Doesn't exactly sound like a "one off" if it can suddenly decide you're not legit for swapping out a piece of hardware.

    If you have to install it more than 5 times before their patch in 18-24 months, you've got a problem. Maybe it's time to get a new computer.
    In my lifetime, the most times I've installed a game is 3 times.

    I am not a expert on DRM but this seems a lot fairer then other companies.

    No matter what the DRM some hacker will make a work around for it.

    Still I like how Sega are explaining it to everyone and it sounds like a fair DRM to me.

    Isn't this kinda how things used to work before DRM came about? Apart from the 5 computer limit and activation online.

    Even then, if there is a workaround for the activation...the only difference is the 5 computer limit, which isn't that bad. :)

      'Before' DRM came out? You do realise DRM has been around for decades right? It's not a NEW thing.

      But, your other observation is correct. This is very similar to what was being used about 2-3 years ago, and is still being used by some developers.

    Seems on par with securom which I can live with. It would be nice if we didn't have to deal with DRM at all but hey, it could be worse. Ubisoft worse.

    I am not a fan of DRM, but at least this seems reasonable.

      This.

      Balances their desire to (irrationally and unsuccessfully) use DRM to protect against widespread piracy and be reasonable to their paying customers.

    This sound pretty reasonable. I'm not against the company protecting their product, and this feels like the right way to go.

    Also, I like the idea of getting rid of it in a year or so. Everyone knows the DRM is about protecting first day sales, so it's a nice touch.

    I can not understand why people can be ok with this? Just because A is not and bad as B does not make B acceptable.

    This wont stop piracy. (if this actually is their objective to start with) All this will is make this game have a much higher than normal piracy rate and stop you from selling your game on when you are done with it.

    Dont give up YOUR rights. Their rights stop the instant you give them your money and buy it. They should not be able to have any say on how you use your property beyond that point.

    This is just like the DRM of olde, is it not? I like it :D

    I don't sell my games on, generally if it's good I keep it. Does EB accept PC games? I've never seen any Second hand there. 2nd Hand games are generally the domain of the console gamer. I am probaly wrong but the market for used PC games has always been small IMHO.

    In the real world, when you purchase something especially things that are intellectual properties such as books, movies and video games. While you own the physical media it is on, the company that made it owns the information. Hence when you sell the physical media, you lose the right to have the information. This is a very vague explanation, but hey you have the internet do your own research.

    In the old days I remember Manuals having codes written on a page that could not be photo copied as a form of DRM, so you needed the manual to play the game. Sure it was primitive, but it was the earliest methods. Now everyone is going to put DRM on PC Games to some degree.

    And if companies have to choose between a Nanny state where you must be connected all the time, monitored and registered or a one off online Activation and your good to go, provided you don't change PC too often, I want the Latter. It's not a question of DRM or no DRM, it's a question of reasonable DRM or no more PC gaming.

    I will agree with the changing hardware issue, but generally throwing in more RAM or a new Video Card won't trigger it. A new Motherboard and Chip will. As somebody who had a Motherboard/Chip issue in the past it can be a massive pain in the arse.

    It's a fair point for Companies so they don't lose out on potential money lost from Second Hand sales, but at the same time its a kick in the guts for people wanting to grab a cheaper game, because lets face it not everyone can go out and fork a hundred dollars on a game all the time, If game companies were to just maybe lower their prices than they wouldn't be losing out on more potential sales.

    5 installs might be a little tricky in this day and age of upgrades (though if the later patch takes that away then we are fine)....

    BUT BY GOD doesn't it all sound reasonable now, after the Ubisoft fiasco!

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