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BioShock DRM removed

BioShock DRM removed

Will you buy BioShock now that the SecuROM DRM has been removed? Let us know in the forums.

2K Games has just announced that the strict and rather draconian digital rights management included in BioShock has now been completely removed.

The anti-pirate DRM software, which was created by a company known as SecuROM, sparked controversy last year by limiting PC gamers to only a few concurrent installs of the game. The DRM was known to be a little faulty though as some users were unable to reach their install limit or to claim back 'install credits' after uninstalling the game.

Worse, the software was shown to be pretty pointless for the most part and cracks were quickly spotted on the internet to circumvent BioShock's copy-protection anyway. Many users claimed that all the software did was inconvenience legitimate customers while providing an excuse for piracy.

Now, almost a year later, the SecuROM copy-protection is gone. 2K's Elizabeth Tobey has said on the official forums for the game that "all activation restrictions, including install limits, have been removed from BioShock PC."

The extra-good news though is that the fix has been made server-side, so there's no need to download a new patch or anything like that.

It's interesting to see that 2K has waited until now to finally remove the copy-protection from the game, from which we're assuming that PC sales have started to fall off. Now that the copy protection is gone, will all of you who claimed you wouldn't buy the game on principle suddenly rush out and snag a copy? Certainly one way to get your message across to publishers would be to create a sales spike right about now. Let us know your thought in the forums.

45 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
will. 20th June 2008, 12:24 Quote
Never noticed it in the first place.
CardJoe 20th June 2008, 12:25 Quote
Me either, and I installed at least a dozen times across at least four machines using plain old retail code.
DXR_13KE 20th June 2008, 12:31 Quote
now i may ponder on buying it....
Grinch123456 20th June 2008, 12:32 Quote
The game wouldn't run at all for me (because it didn't like my key when connecting to the internet) so I called the store, made a big fuss about it, and returned it. Now there's GRID. Likewise, the problem with "creating a big sales spike" is that not everyone can afford one game after another. Some of us bought GRID or other games recently in general and can't buy another game for quite some time, because of limited income.
Veles 20th June 2008, 12:41 Quote
Hopefully EA will follow suit
CardJoe 20th June 2008, 12:44 Quote
What, and wait a year?
Paradigm Shifter 20th June 2008, 12:44 Quote
It still needs to phone home though, right, as that is the way it's coded onto the discs. So, no, I still won't buy a copy. I can just put up with Activation on an OS, as I use it all the time. For a game, though? A game is optional. I don't need a game.
Timmy_the_tortoise 20th June 2008, 13:07 Quote
Played the demo... not a huge fan anyway.

Art Deco makes me sick.
Tyrmot 20th June 2008, 13:08 Quote
So does this mean that the SecuROM software was downloaded as part of activation or will it still be installed (but left dormant)? If it's still on the installation DVD that'd probably be enough to keep me away still..
Tyrmot 20th June 2008, 13:11 Quote
in fact (from the 2K forums): 'SecuROM has not been removed -- just the activation limits on number of installs and number of computers you can install BioShock on simultaneously.' - so it still installs itself on your system? I think that's still enough to keep me away for the time being...
Zut 20th June 2008, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinch123456
The game wouldn't run at all for me (because it didn't like my key when connecting to the internet) so I called the store, made a big fuss about it, and returned it. Now there's GRID. Likewise, the problem with "creating a big sales spike" is that not everyone can afford one game after another. Some of us bought GRID or other games recently in general and can't buy another game for quite some time, because of limited income.

Good point. I don't know which people can afford to buy every game that comes along, but some of us have to ration ourselves.
liratheal 20th June 2008, 13:18 Quote
Nice to see the DRM gone. I won't be buying it, though, because the game bored the tits off me (I had to do a lot of work to get those back..).
g3n3tiX 20th June 2008, 13:18 Quote
Maybe the one on Bioshock is annoying but at least SecuROM answers lightning fast to emails. I had a copy protection problem on the TRIAL edition of Spore creature editor, and sent them an email with their diagnosis file, i got replied to within the day. And they solved the problem : i cant now play it ! (process explorer was conflicting with it, I don't know why, but killing procexp.exe did the trick)
iwog 20th June 2008, 13:25 Quote
Error code 5024, yeah its something to do with the latest securom, Bioshock and Spore Creature Creator both hate procexp and if you have the audacity to run it at ANY point before playing the game it will demand that you reboot before you play.
Paradigm Shifter 20th June 2008, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3n3tiX
(process explorer was conflicting with it, I don't know why, but killing procexp.exe did the trick)

Because despite Process Explorer being a legit tool from Microsoft, most of the DRM systems think it's a tool for reverse engineering in an attempt to avoid DRM.
sotu1 20th June 2008, 13:46 Quote
that seems like a fair business plan to me actually. have security and limited installs for a limited time, a 2/3 year period or something like that. this is when piracy is at it's most rampant, then when sales drop off then you can remove the security. most users will only need to install the game twice or thrice during the lifespan of the game anyhow (though obviously reviewers like bit-etch might do so a few more times)
impar 20th June 2008, 13:57 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
that seems like a fair business plan to me actually. have security and limited installs for a limited time, a 2/3 year period or something like that. this is when piracy is at it's most rampant, ...
Bioshock was cracked in under a week, Mass Effect was cracked in under a week, [insert game title] was cracked in under a week...

Securom does not prevent pirates/freeloaders from playing the game, the only ones affected by it are the legit buyers.

Now it got to Alone in the Dark. The infection is spreading...
Leitchy 20th June 2008, 14:42 Quote
Too late, allready pirate(d) it. Baught Mass Effect over weekend, brilliant game!
Leitchy 20th June 2008, 14:43 Quote
Although I may add, Mass Effect has the same DRM on it?
Delphium 20th June 2008, 14:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Now it got to Alone in the Dark. The infection is spreading...
Of which, you guessed it...... been cracked already (under a week?). :(

EDIT: checked release date, cracked before its even released

As for Bioshock, a friend of mine purchased it for me for helping him fix his pc, and I never really noticed the DRM, and had only come to install it once (still installed from last year).
So for myself it never caused me any issues.
wuyanxu 20th June 2008, 15:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphium

EDIT: checked release date, cracked before its even released

and from that, we can conclude DRM are useless againest pirates.
Mentai 20th June 2008, 15:21 Quote
Does anyone know of a cracked Mass Effect that actually works properly though? As far as I know, all the pirated versions have the quicksave box greyed out, as my mate discovered. Kinda funny, he was complaining about it being buggy and I asked if it was pirated buggy or actual gameplay buggy xD
In his case the copy protection was effective, although it did give him a bad impression of the game, and he's still too cheap to buy it =/
impar 20th June 2008, 15:54 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leitchy
Although I may add, Mass Effect has the same DRM on it?
Authentication at install, re-authentication at new patch or new DLC and limited to three installations.
pizan 20th June 2008, 16:16 Quote
i think avioded the DRM anyway, i bought/downloaded it off steam,
Phil Rhodes 20th June 2008, 18:19 Quote
Do you still have to register it online?

What happens when the registration servers are shut down?

P
Whalemeister 20th June 2008, 18:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentai
Does anyone know of a cracked Mass Effect that actually works properly though? As far as I know, all the pirated versions have the quicksave box greyed out, as my mate discovered. Kinda funny, he was complaining about it being buggy and I asked if it was pirated buggy or actual gameplay buggy xD
In his case the copy protection was effective, although it did give him a bad impression of the game, and he's still too cheap to buy it =/

I've got a legit copy of Mass Effect and have experienced no issues or bugs with it (and that's something for vista 64!!).

My advice is get a job and buy the game!
impar 20th June 2008, 18:52 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
What happens when the registration servers are shut down?
You have a $50€ frisbee.
Zurechial 20th June 2008, 19:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
What happens when the registration servers are shut down?

Buy game. Install game. Apply crack. Forget about DRM.
TrueShadow21 20th June 2008, 20:48 Quote
And if EA follows suite with Mass Effect or Spore I might buy one of those games, but I'll just stick to Steam until they do.
steveo_mcg 20th June 2008, 20:52 Quote
Does it still install securRom?
ironjohn 20th June 2008, 23:52 Quote
Buy game. Install game. Apply crack. Forget about DRM.

I do that with every game I buy....
Major 21st June 2008, 01:10 Quote
I LOL at people real bad who complain about this.

Seriously, WTF are you complaining about.
Phil Rhodes 21st June 2008, 01:41 Quote
I'm complaining about having a $50 frisbee, as our previous correspondent so accurately described it.

I still play Total Annihilation, for God's sake...
LordPyrinc 21st June 2008, 01:50 Quote
I hate this BS about authenticating online. I haven't connected either of my laptops to the internet in probably a year. If the system meets the specs, I don't want to have to bother connecting to the net just to authenticate the license. If a game has single player mode, I should not be required to have access to the internet to validate the license. F*** DRM and online authentication.
PhoneyVirus 22nd June 2008, 04:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinch123456
The game wouldn't run at all for me (because it didn't like my key when connecting to the internet) so I called the store, made a big fuss about it, and returned it. Now there's GRID. Likewise, the problem with "creating a big sales spike" is that not everyone can afford one game after another. Some of us bought GRID or other games recently in general and can't buy another game for quite some time, because of limited income.

Good point. I don't know which people can afford to buy every game that comes along, but some of us have to ration ourselves.

Thats Right so much bills coming and going lucky I can buy a part for my new PC not every game that comes out, like I told my younger bother theres like top10 but maybe 5 I'll get out of that top 10 and I'm still playing TF2 and working my ass off for my EVGA 680I SLI MOBO.
rollo 22nd June 2008, 15:49 Quote
buy steam version no securom on it as theres no disc, Money problems are everywere for alot of people
dmak 23rd June 2008, 00:41 Quote
steam also had the drm in it as well, but that is also gone now from what i understand
chrisb2e9 23rd June 2008, 02:30 Quote
I dont think that games will always have the protection on them. Most newer games these days have the protection removed after a few patches. forged alliance, gothic 3, bioshock, etc.
So if you decided to re-install a game down the road just install the patch that removes the protection and you are good to go.
BurningFeetMan 23rd June 2008, 02:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmak
steam also had the drm in it as well, but that is also gone now from what i understand

I love steam. I wish all games came out on steam. EA Download Manager is ****, as you can only download games off of the EA servers during the first 6 months after purchase. Once those 6 months are up, if you format, you've either gotta re-buy the game, or "steal" it to re-install it... oh, I'm pretty sure you can back up your install files too though, so it's not all bad.

Steam is great though. I bought HL2 7 years ago, and can install it anywhere, any time on as many machines as I like. :)
r4tch3t 23rd June 2008, 04:13 Quote
1 up for steam here, when I can afford it (Student here) I will get it through steam. I haven't bought a single game at a store since I installed steam and now have 28 games installed through steam.
impar 23rd June 2008, 10:08 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurningFeetMan
I bought HL2 7 years ago, ...
HL2 was released in 2004...

Regarding the title of this thread ("BioShock DRM removed"), it is wrong and misleading.
DRM has not been removed from Bioshock.
What was removed were the installation limits.
Bauul 23rd June 2008, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Regarding the title of this thread ("BioShock DRM removed"), it is wrong and misleading.
DRM has not been removed from Bioshock.
What was removed were the installation limits.

'DRM' means 'Digital Rights Management', as in not a piece of software or an application, but a process by which a publisher managers the rights of their products. Has this Management process been removed? Yes it has, they no longer manage your rights. Whether the software they used is still present or not is imaterial, it's what they do with it that defines whether it's DRM or not. Hence, the title is accurate.
impar 23rd June 2008, 17:16 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
'DRM' means 'Digital Rights Management', as in not a piece of software or an application, but a process by which a publisher managers the rights of their products. Has this Management process been removed? Yes it has, they no longer manage your rights. Whether the software they used is still present or not is imaterial, it's what they do with it that defines whether it's DRM or not. Hence, the title is accurate.
DRM is still active when you install the game. It has not been removed, only tweaked.
thurauh1 27th July 2008, 15:31 Quote
Bioshock only has its activations limits removed...Securom will still be present when you install the game. The activation over the internet will still be present as well as the game's .exe file has to be downloaded from the 2K servers.

As for Mass Effect, it is 3 activations, not installs. If you install the game on the exact some computer with the exact same hardware config you won't use up another activation. Of course, the big question is, if you change your videocard or your harddrive will it still be the same computer - no one seems to know for sure...

Another thumbs up for Steam here...
impar 27th July 2008, 15:42 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by thurauh1
As for Mass Effect, it is 3 activations, not installs. If you install the game on the exact some computer with the exact same hardware config you won't use up another activation.
If you are still on the same OS installation. If its is the same hardware config but another OS installation (even if the exact same OS), an activation will be spent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thurauh1
Of course, the big question is, if you change your videocard or your harddrive will it still be the same computer - no one seems to know for sure...
RiftGuy in the Bioware forums used his activations by installing the game twice, changing videocard and creating a new windows user account to play the game. Used three activations and was no longer able to play at the fourth activation till finally EA granted him another activation.
His game DVD has no second hand market value.
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