The truth behind BioShock copy protection

Written by Joe Martin

August 23, 2007 // 10:40 a.m.

Tags: #360 #bioshock #boston #copy #irrational #pc #protection #ps3 #securom

You asked me to investigate about the copy protection issues involved with the PC version of BioShock and I've finally come back with the answers, in full.

The worries were originally bought up when rumours started going around that the PC version of BioShock can only be installed twice, after which the disc becomes little more than a coaster.

Those rumours are false. Kind of.

In a full response, 2K has explained how the copy protection system, which is provided by Securom, works.

"First, let me say this: you DO NOT NEED TO USE THE INTERNET EVERY TIME YOU PLAY THIS GAME. It is only the first time.

Second, you can uninstall and reinstall this game, and if, by chance, you have 2 computers you want to simultaneously play this game on, you also can do that.

If by some chance you are reinstalling this game without uninstalling it first, a lot, there is a chance you may have to call Securom and get a key, or deactivate some older installations.

But if you upgrade your hardware next week, you'll still be able to play the game. If you revamp your system and need to reinstall BioShock, just uninstall it before you go through the overhaul, and then do your reinstall.

Calling it "hardware fingerprinting" is a bit alarmist - we do not transmit any of your data to any companies. Really, the only people who will be concerned about any of these security measures are those who are rapidly putting BioShock on many PCs.f you use the game as you normally do, you won't notice this at all."


So, it's not exactly the problem that everybody was worried about, but there is a copy protection system in place. There is some concern, especially in bit-tech HQ where we have regular system changes and failures, that hard drive failures or formatting may cause customers to lose an 'install credit', but most normal gamers should be okay.

We'll be reporting more on any problems we have with the PC version of BioShock in our full technical review of the game, which Tim and I shall be working on in just a few minutes. In the mean time, why not drop by the forums and whinge about the widescreen problem - oh, except that's been fixed as well now with an unofficial patch.

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