BioShock copy protection to go?

Written by Joe Martin

August 24, 2007 // 9:41 a.m.

Tags: #2k #bioshock #copy #levine #pirate #protection #securom #steam

BioShock is an awesome game on both the Xbox 360 and PC, but the PC version of the game has been plagued with issues lately, ranging from the minor to the major.

The biggest problem PC gamers have had has been to do with the copy protection system placed on the game. The system, operated and created by Securom, requires gamers to have an online connection everytime they install the game and prevents players from having more than two concurrent installs. If you want to install the game a third time then you’ll have to uninstall a previous version.

Which would be annoying even if it worked well which, unfortunately, it doesn’t. Uninstalls are frequently not recognised while hardware failures further complicate matters. Trying to contact Securom as prompted often goes nowhere too and gamers can get stuck being endlessly redirected between Securom and 2K games.

The copy protection is something we’ll be investigating ourselves in the full technical review of BioShock which will be coming in the near future (these things take time, dammit!)

Still, don’t let it be said that the game developers are deaf to the pleas of gamers. Ken Levine, the main force behind BioShock and the Creative Director for the game, has left a post on the 2K forums explaining his view on the copy protection. The post promises to address the issue of copy protection, with many gamers hoping the system will be removed completely.

"I've followed up on the circular email with securom and we are working on this issue. I agree, it sucks, and we need to get that sorted.

I've been told by 2k that we will.

-Ken”


Will Securom go the way of the Dodo? We sure hope so, but what do you think? Is there a way to stop pirates and correctly protect legitimate customers? Send us your ideas in the forums.

Update: Apparently, Steam has completed an automatic update which promises to have “fixed the uninstall/reinstall issue with BioShock.”

Great, if you’ve bought the game over Steam. Not so good if you haven’t though hopefully a new patch could be doing the same thing to retail versions of the game shortly.

Update II: Apparently, 2K has now addressed the issue, though not as we may have hoped. Using what is called "Five by five plan", 2K will be issuing a 'revoke app' to address problems resulting from the original install limitations. The number of available installs will also be upped from two to five, with each computer capable of five reinstalls.

Our view? Still not good enough. I play my games over and over and I don't want to be limited to only five installs of the game, then have to buy a new PC to play it five more times. I want to have the game and be able to play and install it as much as I want - even Starforce wasn't this bad.

But that's just us - tell us what you think in the forums
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