“Bioshock” isn’t the only game using Securom, just the most restrictive.

I’ve been doing some reading up on Securom since my entry yesterday about it and it seems that I already own a couple of games that make use of it. One of those games is another FPS called F.E.A.R. and I have to admit that the implementation of Securom on that title was transparent enough that I didn’t even realize it was there. It didn’t conflict with Microsoft’s Process Explorer, doesn’t require online activation as far as I can recall, and doesn’t care how many times you reinstall the game.  From what I understand the version included with F.E.A.R. is older than the one in Bioshock though recent patches to the game apparently install newer versions. I’ve not patched the game in awhile as I’ve not played it so I can’t say whether that’s true or if the newer versions also complain about legit apps, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did as that seems to be a decision on Securom’s part and not the game publisher.

So now I’m a bit torn on the whole issue as it’s evident that it’s possible to use Securom in a way that is minimally intrusive as I’ve had F.E.A.R installed and working for months on end without ever noticing it and yet the issues that have cropped up with it under Bioshock are troubling indeed. I’m still not happy about the fact that the latest Securom tries to restrict what software I’m allowed to run if I want to play a game I paid money for and I think the nonsense with validation is just stupid, especially with the Steam version. I also don’t like the idea that I’m the one being treated like a criminal.

For the moment I’m still not all that inclined to pick up Bioshock because of the Securom, but it’s also clear that there’s plenty of other games out there I have an interest in that also make use of Securom that I’ll have to reconsider. The issue now is as much about how the publisher decides to implement the DRM as it is what the DRM itself does. Either way it’s all very frustrating.

20 thoughts on ““Bioshock” isn’t the only game using Securom, just the most restrictive.

  1. I’d rather limit myself to playing open-source games than compromise on principle. It all boils down to a straightforward issue: If software vendors treat their customers like criminals, then they lose me as a customer.

  2. Securom is actually a fairly common copy protection and all it’s more lax versions are cracked within a day or two

    This more restricted version seems to be on the same level of starforce

  3. elwed: I’d rather limit myself to playing open-source games than compromise on principle

    Commendable, but you’re restricting yourself, and it depends whether enough people would boycott to get the people you want to notice to notice and act, if that doesn’t happen then no good has come of the boycott, you’ve only deprived yourselves

    However if it affects your enjoyment of the game, then I suppose less of the deprivation is volentary

  4. I will not be purchasing another 2k game so long as they impliment this malware on their games.

  5. So you would like to think,
    How much is the vendor restricted by their loss of your money in comparison to your loss of the game?

    In other words;
    Would your money make as much difference to them as the game does to you? That decides who would lose out the most.

  6. Would your money make as much difference to them as the game does to you?

    You still have it backwards. Some vendors believe that they’ll turn a profit no matter how many onerous strings they attach to their product. They may well be right, but I’m not out to prove them wrong.

    It doesn’t help that I’m not much of a gamer anymore. There just aren’t many games that tickle my fancy and I’ve found even more enjoyable uses for what little free time I have—like getting on my bicycle and work up a good sweat. Exercise-induced endorphins beat computer games any day…

  7. Works both ways, backwards and forwards because a trade affects both parties. Ultimately I intervened because I generally don’t want to see people potentially martyring themselves (on any scale) without clear benefit, or at least make them aware of perspective and how long things would take and how realistic they’d be.

    [rambing]At work customers tend to care a lot more than I do, because as a shelf-filler (who gets pestered by customers) I have no incentive to care what happens so long as I keep my job (no comission), but you can’t tell them that because then they would complain, and that would threaten the job. The company tries to use psychological tricks to get better performance for free (like the evil concepts of “you should have pride in your work regardless of what we pay”, “what makes you think you deserve any more?” and that mere existence is a privelige you [evil]SHOULD[/evil] work hard for to maintain like a slave and [evil]SHOULD[/evil] maintian it for the state of mind of others despite your lack of input in the decision in the first place[/rambing]

    There just aren’t many games that tickle my fancy

    I’ve found that too over the last few years, most concepts seem used up already and everything’s just a remake of an old genre. I don’t know what else to do with my time though, I don’t know where to start

  8. Bioshock is the best game on PC for a long time…

    Some would say ever because honestly its cumulative scores are the highest ever.

    I’m having such fun playing it… More fun than I can remember for a long time when it comes to PC gaming.

    I highly recommend picking this up if your computer meets the requirements. Don’t boycott it because of its copy protection. Its protection is actually quite lax when compared to other nefarious DRM solutions.

  9. I’m too busy playing the best game ever made to care about copy protection. Hell, if installing the game summoned a lustful imp that then proceeded to molest me, I wouldn’t care. I may be very uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t care.

  10. Sepharo and TauHecht, more power to you if the game floats your boat and you can swallow SecuROM. On the other hand, it’s enablers like you everybody has to “thank” for more and more intrusive and restrictive DRM.

  11. (As an extreme example) You could say in a similar way that we enable the wars abroad by paying tax, in terms of indirectly allowing something through personal gain (for tax that ‘gain’ is avoiding being thrown in jail)

    I know they’re completely different examples and apply to different extents, but the basic concept’s the same, that what’s personally best for you enables indirect problems elsewhere.

    And, do you think you are able to prevent enough people from buying the game that you would need to end restrictive DRM? If not, what would your boycott achieve? If DRM affects your enjoyment of the gaming experience as a whole, that’s fine, it’s your choice, but if you try not to let it get to you, perhaps it’ll open more doors and make more games more enjoyable

  12. Bahamat, I don’t feel like going around this with you another time, but just in case I haven’t made myself abundantly clear: I will not purchase a product that interferes with what I can or cannot do with a personal resource of mine and/or is otherwise too invasive. Games aren’t important enough to me to compromise my principles and that’s that.

    All the people who accept more and more intrusive forms of DRM will make sure that more and more games are published that are automatically disqualified from my consideration. I don’t care if enough people think the way I do to hurt the bottom line of the game vendors and make them reconsider. In fact, I’ve just about stopped caring about retail games.

    Unsubscribing.

  13. Observer note:
    This exhibits how principles can sometimes alter the decisions one would make. I would like to end restrictive principles in as many people as possible, this is what I was trying to do through some use of pressure, but in this case my connection trough games was too weak to apply what I needed to, you can see that as it broke before I was able to force the adressing of what was in my last comment beyond mere principle. Principle in itself has no necessary reason to be. I repeat points, or home in on areas to try to up the pressure. Getting people fired up can either strengthen or weaken the connection, depending on their determination, I desire being challenged, for the connection and the possibility of it giving me a new concept to use. Perhaps I am arrogant, if so please correct me, prove me wrong, beat me into the ground so that I may study how you did it and use it to my advantage, and so that I can withstand more and become more determined.

    I will have to wait for the next oppertunity, I know the lay of the land a little better now which should help adress and directly pressure the root concept. Also incomplete effects might cumulate…

  14. @Elwed

    Well, since you’re not much of a gamer anymore, I guess your act of protest really won’t be noticed much by 2K Games anyway…sounds like you’re skipping games less because of copy protection, and more because you’ve grown out of them.

    I had no problems – as in ZERO – installing this program. Zero perfomance issues. Zero compatibility problems. Complaints about securom, starforce, etc, over the years have been wildly inflated on the internet by people, who, let’s be honest, were probably not going to pay for these games in the first place.

    Whereas the PC gaming industry has been hard hit by mass copying of their games (to the point that we now see fewer being made) I do not condemn publishers for adding mildly annoying copy protection to their games if it helps keep them in business and ultimately delivers more gameplay variety to the consumer because there’s more competition. As I mentioned in an earlier post, anyone running Windows XP should be familiar with the concept of online activation. I don’t feel like I’m being treated like a criminal when I punch in my legit code – because I know I paid for it! Simple as that. Do you feel like a criminal when you punch your ATM code into a bank machine?

    Now if you’re going to download a cracked version of a game, try it, then buy it…I think that’s another story. A lot of the time official demo versions of games don’t give you enough to decide if it’s worth $40 to $80 so I can sympathize with people who download these games off torrents. Especially with the increasing hardware demands of games like Bioshock.

    I don’t think my comments are the be all and end all in this discussion, just relaying my perspective for your consideration. 

    Also, I personally think Bioshock has been overrated. It’s not a perfect game. Still very fun, innovative, genre defining and definitely holding my interest this week. Last night I was really blown away by how good the audio is.

  15. Whoa, hey now, don’t go telling everyone complaints about Starforce are exaggerated. That product IS invasive trash… I simply just wanted to say that Securom is really tame compared to Starforce… I don’t buy any starforce games. Securom isn’t too bad, don’t let it stop you from playing BioShock: The Best PC Game Ever.

  16. Not to be argumentative, but I’d say exaggerated. There was a workaround released for Silent Hunter III that made it easy to also remove Starforce after un-install. Not sure if it was an official fix, though.

    During the install process, I only ran into conflicts when I had virtual cd drives enabled, but once I un-enabled them or un-installed Daemon Tools I proceeded normally. There were several updates to SHIII after release that addressed a variety of problems with the game’s performance.

    I didn’t notice any system degradation with Starforce installed. Other games on my system continued to run well. I think I had a P4 3.2GHz Prescott, 1 Gig of DDR Ram and a Radeon 9600SE at the time. I held off on buying Ubi games throughout the period when Ubi took flack for how they implemented Starforce. SHIII is one of those games I still do not regret buying. But…maybe it was good I waited and didn’t get it at launch, in hindsight.

    Incidentally, I bought SHIII after I played a copy a friend shared with me, first. The real version plus updates ran much better than the copied one.

    That said, SF is not installed on my system at present, nor is SHIII, nor are any other Ubi games, so I’m not really current on how SF operates these days. 

    Interesting stuff.

    Now, back to discovering Rapture.

  17. Yes, I also don’t care if enough people think the way I do to hurt the bottom line of the game vendors and make them reconsider.

  18. I’ve just had to reinstall this game because I put in a new hard drive. You’d think that 2K games would be smart enough to have copy protection that’s a little more tolerant. Ah well, hopefully they’ve learned a valuable lesson from this whole debacle.

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