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Fallout 3 DRM detailed

Fallout 3 DRM  detailed

Fallout 3 may use SecuROM DRM, but only for checking the discs says Bethesda.

Fallout 3 uses SecuROM DRM technology, but Bethesda has claimed that it isn't as draconian as some other games which use the system such as BioShock, Mass Effect PC and Far Cry 2.

While the game does use SecuROM DRM, Bethesda claims that it does so in a way that doesn't infringe on the rights of the customers and doesn't come bundled with bloat or malware.

"We do NOT limit the number of installs. We do NOT use online authentication or any other SecuROM functionality except for a disc check when you install the game and when you launch the game," reads a Bethesda blog post about the DRM.

"We do not install any other programs and we don't have anything that runs in the background while you're playing the game."

Bethesda claims that it is happy to leave the management of digital rights to the customers, though it will still try to prevent piracy and the platform-ruining implications many claim it has for PC games. Seems reasonable to us.

You can check out our extensive Fallout 3 review and graphical analysis for more information about the actual game and how it might run on your system.

So, are your fears allayed or are you still worried about the big, bad DRM monster? Let us know in the forums.

22 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
johnnyboy700 31st October 2008, 11:07 Quote
As long as it does mess up my PC of trip my virus scanner I'm fine with it.

Its sad fact of life that certain PC gamers have brought this on all of us with rampant piracy, the developers need to do something and this seems to be the path they have chosen.
leexgx 31st October 2008, 11:08 Quote
wunder if it let me install with haveing Alcohol 120% & demon tools on my pc
Andune 31st October 2008, 11:20 Quote
So why use SecuROM at all Bethesda?
As far as I've heard the game is already pirated, of course not as bad as the console version but still...
Cobalt 31st October 2008, 11:34 Quote
Don't care TBH. Disk checks and CD keys are still the best way to prevent casual piracy (lending disk to friend etc) without harming the consumer. Securom have a bad name because of some of their products but this version is easily circumventable and harmless. Daemon tools even has an option to override it.
Hamish 31st October 2008, 11:45 Quote
so if it only uses securom for disc check does it still install securom for the steam version? :p
Shadowed_fury 31st October 2008, 11:46 Quote
Yeah since i'm getting it on Steam i'd like to know if this is just ignored...
Jokkocze 31st October 2008, 11:49 Quote
Disc check? I had no problems running my game without the disc :S
riggs 31st October 2008, 11:59 Quote
Bah, bloody disc checks! Don't get me wrong, anti-piracy is an issue that needs sorting as far as PC games are concerned. I just hate the fact that I still need to have the disc inserted to play the game, despite the fact it's installed on my HDD!?!

I much prefer Steam-esque online checks instead, but maybe that's just me?

Give it a week or so and no doubt a NOCD patch will turn up...
Narishma 31st October 2008, 12:13 Quote
Cobalt: How is lending the disc to a friend piracy? Besides, CD-checks don't do anything about it. Only online authentication every time you play (like Steam) prevent you from lending the game to someone else.
Daniel114 31st October 2008, 12:25 Quote
I must say with all theproblems I'd encountered with GOW on the PC, I haven't noticed a thing with Fallout.

Installed easy, and even though I'm playing using a DVD burner it doesn't have the usual 'please insert DVD' glitch that GOW had, also the Windows live thing hasn't reared its ugly head once, doesn't even need to connect to play single player (unlike GOW)
Kúsař 31st October 2008, 12:36 Quote
Fallout 3 1.0 SecuROM 7.38 Setup only

It is NOT DRM! It's common copy protection. This one is present on many of older games(RE4, Vietcong 2, ArmA international,...list goes on and on...) and it definitely isn't causing problems like securom's DRM or starforce.
I never had a single problem with this kind of copy protection, I'm perfectly fine with this one as a customer. And it effectively prevents schoolyards from copying the game :)
s3v3n 31st October 2008, 20:16 Quote
Just curious, if I bought the boxed version, can I get the Steam version free?
Hamish 31st October 2008, 22:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by s3v3n
Just curious, if I bought the boxed version, can I get the Steam version free?
no
you can install the boxed version and then put a shortcut into steam but generally you can only activate valve retail games on steam
Cobalt 1st November 2008, 01:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narishma
Cobalt: How is lending the disc to a friend piracy? Besides, CD-checks don't do anything about it. Only online authentication every time you play (like Steam) prevent you from lending the game to someone else.

Its is piracy despite what you may think. You are giving a copy to a friend who doesn't pay for it. If you just give them the game fine but if you expect to both be playing it at the same time then its piracy. Its more relevant to multiplayer games, granted. But, if you require the disk to play then two people can't be playing it at the same time unless you have a crack.
Adnoctum 1st November 2008, 06:54 Quote
They are not being completely honest in their statement, because many people are having issues installing Fallout and Bethesda's solution is to start uninstalling legitimate CD/DVD burning programs.
Linky: http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/index.php?showtopic=892618

Wanna play Fallout? No Nero for you!
Don't like it? Go talk to secuROM. Not our problem.
Gunsmith 1st November 2008, 08:24 Quote
nero's been **** for years anyway.

i fail to see the problem
Almightyrastus 1st November 2008, 08:33 Quote
I have nero on my pc here and have not had a problem running Fallout 3. The only issue I had was one of my DVD drives (my panasonic reader) would not accept the disc and spat it out. My (again panasonic) DVD writer is fine and I have been able to rinstall and run the game with no problems when using that one.
Kúsař 1st November 2008, 09:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
They are not being completely honest in their statement, because many people are having issues installing Fallout and Bethesda's solution is to start uninstalling legitimate CD/DVD burning programs.
Linky: http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/index.php?showtopic=892618

Wanna play Fallout? No Nero for you!
Don't like it? Go talk to secuROM. Not our problem.

I don't think it's true. Securom 7 blacklists virtual drive managers like Daemon Tools, Alcohol, Blindwrite, etc. even then - if you've got original disc in drive you should still be able to run/install the game with virtual drive managers running. Just to make sure - I tried running Fear(securom7) and Vietcong 2(securom7 too) with original disc present and without hiding Daemon tools - and it worked fine.

I'm going to say that most of the people who complain on bethesda forum about securom copy protection are either people who know nothing about it and never bought the game to try it or pirates who are trying to run/install the game from badly created image of original DVD, probably torrented one. Those who use virtual drives to keep their original discs safe usually now how to surpass securom. As I said - securom 7 has been used for many years now and no one complained...
donnie 1st November 2008, 11:15 Quote
I installed Fallout 3 fine but when I came to start the game it refused with the usual please insert corrent disc all because I've got daemon tools installed so a quick visit to a nocd website and i'm playing the game fine but it shouldn't have to be like this, and just to reiterate the torrrent version of the pc game was out 2-3 days before the game actually shipped complete with a nocd patch and no problems, I had thought that Bethesda was an enlightened developer which knew that this DRM crap doesn't actually protect Jack, Jill or the hill so why use it.

Just another case of developers paying a crap company "secuROM" loads of money to protect thier investment and failing but I guess this is just another page in the file of DRM doesn't stop anyone from stealing you're games.
Sh00ter 1st November 2008, 22:56 Quote
after being shafted by ea time and time again i thought "never again" but just couldnt pass red alert 3!

arrived in post and refuses to run with some lame ass security error - which on googling has been around for ages, so after uninstalling alchohol still no joy.
now as ive paid for it i "downloaded" another copy and voila, works 1st time - i really wont bother buying any more games that have drm in em
mjb254 2nd November 2008, 06:20 Quote
Securerom blackilisting normal DVD-RW's is happening and very present on their technical support forums but what really gets me is the overall bugginess of the game, it seems this game was rushed out the door just like Hellgate and had this been an MMO it would have failed horribly.

My experience with Fo3 has been very bad the game freezes up almost every 10 minutes and after about 30-60 minutes of gameplay it eventually consumes all my systems memory and eventually locks up my PC. However being a big fan of the gameplay it contains I have dealt with numerous reboots, slow load times, pointing my camera view at the floor just to escape hitching and turning off the pip-boy radio function and still beat the main quest.

This game being a direct mod of Oblivion (which plays well on my comp) refuses to play for some weird reason and it really makes me wonder why they rushed this game. Was Red Alert really that much of a competitor to Fallout, considering it's overall cheesiness?
r4tch3t 5th November 2008, 05:21 Quote
I don't agree with the blacklisting of the virtual drives. With the storage of current drives there is no caveat to having the DVD ripped to Alcohol. I personally am pro CD key online activation. That is you put the key in and it checks online to make sure it hasn't been used. If it has you just ring a toll free number and ask for them to block the B****** that key gened your key.
I will be getting it on Steam anyway, no hassles there. It's linked to my account that's it no problems.
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