February 28, 2010

Calm Down! SecuROM DRM in Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Limited EditionI hate DRM as much as the next person, SecuROM being one of the worst offending DRM schemes out there.  However, the heat that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is taking for including this DRM is out of proportion to the facts of the DRM works.  Fortunately, we have level-headed redditor, SnakeDiver, to steer us through the fog.  He posted a great response to a comment in /r/gaming over on Reddit.com.

I've capture the comment in its entirety:
If you have been following BF:BC2's blog then you would have read How BC2 Uses Copy Protection .

Of course it's going to be disabled by pirates. It's inevitable. All it is is a deterrent. But SecuROM doesn't run like it has in the past in BC2.
  • It runs only when the game runs, and really only does anything on first launch.
  • It's a wrapper contained within the EXE. Launch the EXE and SecuROM does it's check and game goes
  • It doesn't install anything into the Kernel

In reality PB is more invasive then this SecuROM. The only thing annoying is the download limits. I wish they'd have a smart activation server, not just a "limit to 5 installs" server. With the smarts being, unlimited installs but if you install X times within X geographically dispersed locations within X amount of time, we're going to block your key.

Complain about real piss-poor DRM such as UbiSoft's "always-on DRM". BC2's DRM is, for the most part, non-invasive as DRM should be. I don't care if they want to protect their code as long as it doesn't get in the way of my use of the product (or of other products).
Again, I don't like DRM. Pirates are already playing BFBC2 on pirated servers, days before the official launch. However, DRM is a fact of life for PC gaming and voting with my wallet is the only way I can let game companies know what I think of their DRM schemes.

I vote for Valve's games on Steam, because Steam offers more than just DRM protection for the games. I didn't vote for EA's last DRM disaster, Spore, and its originally planned "phone home every 10 minutes" DRM. I will NOT vote for any of Ubisoft's new "always-on DRM". I will and have voted for the new SecuROM bundled with BFBC2. its not perfect, but its not as terrible as it once was.

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