BioShock 2 DRM Scale Back More Confusing

By John Walker on January 25th, 2010 at 4:51 pm.

He's trying to use GfWL, the poor man.

2K have perhaps declared something of a backdown on the BioShock 2 DRM. Sadly this isn’t to get rid of the godforsaken Games for Windows Live inclusion, but it is to reel in SecureROM slightly. Although to compare the before and after isn’t so simple, as it doesn’t seem anyone was quite clear what the before really looked like, and it’s not clear that the after is as different as implied. The current status is: SecureROM check on launch, but no install limts, and now there are offline profile options for GfWL meaning you can in fact save, load, etc without being connected. GfWL will still limit you to 15 activations, but this can be reset with a phone call to Microsoft. And “now our SecuROM is less restrictive on Steam,” although it’s not clear how.

Here’s the details in full from 2K’s robolady Elizabeth:

Over the past two days, I’ve fielded a lot of questions and concerns about the DRM for both the retail and digital versions of BioShock 2. Because of this feedback, we are scaling back BioShock 2’s DRM.

There will be no SecuROM install limits for either the retail or digital editions of BioShock 2, and SecuROM will be used only to verify the game’s executable and check the date. Beyond that, we are only using standard Games for Windows Live non-SSA guidelines, which, per Microsoft, comes with 15 activations (after that, you can reset them with a call to Microsoft.)

What does that mean for your gameplay experience? This means that BioShock 2’s new DRM is now similar to many popular games you advised had better DRM through both digital and retail channels. Many of you have used Batman: Arkham Asylum as an example to me, which uses the exact same Games for Windows Live guidelines as us as well as SecuROM on retail discs, and now our SecuROM is less restrictive on Steam.

I know that the variables of PC gaming can be frustrating and confusing, and when you say there is a problem, we listen, and use your suggestions to make things better. Feedback like this does not go unheard, and while this might not be the ideal protection for everyone, we will continue to listen and work with you in the future when formulating our DRM plans.

So the victory appears to be the abandoning of SecureROM install limits, but maintaining activation limits, offline GfWL, and, er, nothing else. This comparison to Batman is a little strange too, since Batman didn’t require being online at all to launch. It’s muddled whether BS2 will. Earlier Elizabeth wrote, “We are using SecuROM only as a disc check method for the retail copy of BioShock 2. That is it’s only use.” Which isn’t the same as, “verify the game’s executable and check the date.”

While those who chase Gamerpoints – whatever the hell they are – may want GfWL, it still seems a deeply peculiar decision by any publisher to deliberately include such derided software in their games. It provides a framework for multiplayer, but is it one that’s worth the resulting agony for players? And for Steam users the confusion of three DRM systems still looks daunting.

These efforts are often to try to prevent Day 0 piracy, meaning that on release day the only way to get a working copy of the game is to buy it. And this will likely prove successful, as it was with the original BioShock. However, after a few days the cracks will be created, and those who do not buy the game legitimately, or want to make their store-bought copy more user-friendly, will not be troubled by any of this, beyond being unlikely to be able to access the multiplayer. This irony is slowly being recognised by publishers, but not yet by 2K.

, , , , .

99 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Jakkar says:

    This seems to be becoming the standard; announce a draconian measure of control, an illogically restrictive one – then announce a softening of those restrictions in response to assumed public outcry.

    Gives them a goodguy reputation and makes the buying public a little more flexible, by flicking their decisions back and fore pre-release.

    • LewieP says:

      And it reminds people all over kotakustiq247 that Bioshock 2 is coming out. For free.

    • Jakkar says:

      *tips hat* Har.

      “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”

    • Bowlby says:

      All it’s done is made me cancel my PC pre-order. At least with my 360 copy I know what I’m getting.

    • SheffieldSteel says:

      Classic good-cop / bad-cop approach.

      As an aside, deciding to buy the 360 version instead of the PC doesn’t really count as a protest vote. In fact, I don’t think they’ll notice.

    • LewieP says:

      They might notice the bigger profit margin.

    • SheffieldSteel says:

      Actually the profit margine for the developer is about the same. It is MS who will see the benefit. Hey… aren’t they the ones who designed GFWL?

  2. Dreamhacker says:

    F**k GFWL?

  3. jon_hill987 says:

    I fail to see why they have gone with GFWL, they licensed UE3 for the game so why not use the brilliant Multiplayer capabilities (including dedicated servers) that has built in rather than a third party P2P system that (nearly) everyone hates.

  4. Heliocentric says:

    Thank dog for xliveless.

  5. Vinraith says:

    Based on past experience losing massive swaths of game play, GfWL is still a deal-breaker, at least until someone makes a hack to clean it off. I think it’s likely someone will, though, as I’ve so far discovered GTA IV, Red Faction Guerilla, and Fallout 3 all have “unofficial” removal tools. In light of that, and the removal of the SecuROM limits, I’ll probably pick it up once it hits the bargain bin (as opposed to ignoring it altogether, as planned after the last announcement).

    • elmuerte says:

      Actually, for Fallout 3 it’s builtin. Just install any patch from Bethesda’s site and Fallout 3 will no longer have GfWL.

    • Fantastic Damage says:

      Can’t say I’ve ever had an issue with Fallout 3 GFWL interface. It is pretty easy to just ignore it entirely if you are not interested in the functionality it provides (achievements). This is the way it should be done. Having to log on to save your progress in a single player game is extremely silly, I’m looking at you Red Faction Guerrilla.

      Though I would prefer that the Steam version of the upcoming Fallout: New Vegas used Steam achievements.

  6. Larington says:

    I suspect its not really a victory, theres this sales principle where if you offer something really god awful the first time, then when you come back with a *slightly* better offer then everything suddenly seems sorta ok.
    Now I’m aware of it, I’m seeing it a lot more often than I’d like.

  7. Heliocentric says:

    A game with securom is fine until you run out of activations. A game with gfwl is shipped broken.

  8. frymaster says:

    I’m of the view that mandatory GFWL on a game with single-player elements is unacceptable, but now it’s not mandatory why are people still complaining?

    It works perfectly well as a multiplayer system, arguably better than steam (which ime only works for steam-mandatory games, and not all of them), and much better than gamespy

    if you don’t like it? ignore it. no-one’s forcing you to login (i’d imagine that’s the steam comparison i.e. with steam you always have to be logged in, though you can use the offline system)

    • FunkyB says:

      Because GFWL has broken every game I’ve every owned with it. Game won’t play without updating to the latest version (despite being “offline”) but the updater fails. Have tried many many fixes, no success.

      I had to change operating system to fix that one. Having to boot into f*”£%£%ing Vista just to play DoW2 or Batman is enough to make a man very bitter ;)

    • FunkyB says:

      Oh, and after I reinstalled 7 and got GFWL woking, kinda, I found you can’t transfer saves from one install to another. So I *still* have to boot into Vista. This is not a problem with Steam.

      Or you know, something that doesn’t presume you commit copyright infringement.

    • Aemony says:

      @FunkyB:
      As far as I know it’s a piece of cake transfering saves between two computers or operating systems as long as you A) are on the same profile and B) know where to find the folders and know where to move them.

      I’ve done this many times with my GTA IV save, so I know it at least works for that game.

  9. MrMud says:

    Day 0 piracy is extremely important.

  10. Doctor Doc says:

    Still crap, I’m not going to pay for their DRM. I will still give the game a go of course but I don’t think it’s a problem, there’s a legend about a place where all games are liberated of their DRM. Unfortunately the developers do lose on this, DRM is pointless for everyone.

  11. Jeremy says:

    I don’t understand gamer points… why would anyone want to beat a game, with a pistol while hopping on one leg just to get a few points, points that mean absolutely NOTHING. Why? Does anyone who chases after those points have a reason?

    • Flint says:

      I can sorta give a reason: I like achievements/trophies/whatev because they appeal to my love for collecting things. I’m always the sort of person who does his best to complete any collection sidequests in games etc, and the wave of achievements is – to my eyes – just a way to extend that to any game. I like looking at my personal achievement lists and seeing all the pretty pictures of things I’ve done.

      However, the idea of some sort of gamer score being tied to them and growing some sort of e-penis over having more points than someone else… it’s always struck as a very daft thing to me. Can’t see the appeal at all.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      Soldiers like their medals and ribbons, too…and some don’t, it’s something in our brain :)

    • qrter says:

      The only achievement-a-like I’ve ever really chased is the send-the-gnome-into-space one in Half-Life 2: Episode 2, but that’s because I liked the idea of the challenge. And it sure was a challenge.

  12. tekDragon says:

    F*@k that, why should anyone who buys teh game on steam have to deal with additional access management of *any* kind.

  13. Alexander Norris says:

    but this can be reset with a phone call to Microsoft

    Brillo; phoning my local branch of Microsoft to pay £1.50 per minute spent waiting for one of their customer services reps to speak to me is exactly what I want to waste my time and money on.

    • Phinor says:

      I’d say the bigger problem is there is no such thing as GFWL phone number (outside of North America anyway). You have to call the Xbox/Live support and explain yourself and with luck, they might escalate your problem and redirect you to a supervisor/specialist who might or might not know what you are talking about, since it’s still Xbox/Live support line, not GFWL support. It gets more fun when English isn’t your native language, GFWL isn’t supported in your country and the call costs you up to 5€ per minute.

    • Drexer says:

      This reminded me and I went and checked the GFWL website. They do have a number for my country(as I expected, seeing as my college as a subsidiary area 100 meters away from their offices), but still… I don’t like to call to a DIY store to get my power drill to work.

  14. subedii says:

    Eh, to be honest, I don’t really care anymore. I was pretty much planning on getting Mass Effect 2 instead, although interestingly enough, Bioware are one company that have scaled down their DRM compared to the implementation in the first game, making use of a simple disc check instead of EA’s install limits system, and Steam versions work the same as Steam games do, without additional systems thrown in.

    • subedii says:

      Run-on sentences are something I need to learn to stop doing.

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      Sadly Mass Effect 2 did get copied days (even a week for us Europeans) before its PC release.

      So that does make me wonder if Bioware will go back to harder protection schemes.

    • Hyetal says:

      Carra: Just you wait, and witness BioShock 2 be pirated a week before release.

      Copy protection hardly matters these days. Nearly all games are out in the wild before their release dates.

    • ascagnel says:

      The only thing that would make it better for Steam is if the game also used Steam’s achievement system.

  15. Collic says:

    GFWL ? Still no sale. I think some publishers still don’t realise how hated that software is (and rightly so).

    Plenty of other games out there. I’ll buy one of those instead.

  16. jokermatt999 says:

    Still not purchasing it with DRM. Playing a game on Day 0 is not important to me. Playing a game that’s not crippled because I bought it legitimately is.

    I understand sales are important, but these decisions also feel like a nice “Fuck you, we don’t care” to people who dislike DRM. It’s sad when the people illegally giving away a product seem to have better customer service than the actual retailer.

  17. Shalrath says:

    I think I’m most surprised at the fact people want this game at all. Has it really shown anything that makes it ‘omg day 1 purchase111!111′ ?

    Then again, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first one. Didn’t hate it, just.. wasn’t wowed by it.

    So, yes, why are we all mad at the DRM/etc of this game? As one who wasn’t going to buy it, why should I reconsider?

  18. Drexer says:

    “This comparison to Batman is a little strange too, since Batman didn’t require being online at all to launch.”

    Except, I couldn’t save my game on Batman until I had GFWL set up. Which required 2 restarts. Launching the game and then playing three hours just to lose a save ain’t a good method.

    I think I’ll first wait until the price drops. Then buy it. Then pirate it. Can’t afford a new PC right now, and I want to play the game without 50 programs hogging my RAM. I can accept Steam due to its plus points, but those other piles of crap? Never.

    • [21CW] 2000AD says:

      Yeah GFWL can mess up Batman. I’ve had times where I’ve tried to play it but it got stuck on the log in screen, just sitting there with the little circle going round and round but not logging me in and letting me play, which given that nowadays the main reason I play it is to let off some steam by laying a beat down on some random punks in the challenges makes it even more annoying.
      It also messes up DoW2 for me as well, often stopping me joining a lobby that a friend has invited me to.

      Overall it makes me wonder how much Microsoft is paying companies to put it on their games?

  19. bookwormat says:

    from Games for windows live tech support:

    You may request a new key as many times as you wish, however our policy is to only replace one key per person per game.

    http://forums.gamesforwindows.com/t/3213.aspx?PageIndex=2

    So it is 15 activations for every GfWL game, up to a maximum of 30 activations if you are willing to (pay for a) call to Microsoft.

    If wonder if the average guy knows this when he picks up a bioshock or fallout 3 or Batman or Dawn of War 2 DVD at his local wallmart?

    • Lilliput King says:

      You may request a new key as many times as you wish, however our policy is to only replace one key per person per game.

      One of the best things I’ve ever read.

      “Can I ask a favour?”

      “You can ask.”

  20. int says:

    Gotta love Microsoft.

  21. robrob says:

    “Feedback like this does not go unheard”

    Just ignored.

  22. Pardoz says:

    Day 0 piracy? Why be so late to the party?

    *goes back to playing Mass Effect 2*

    • army of none says:

      This. Admittedly, I’ll no doubt end up buying Mass Effect 2, but I had no intention of it previous to trying the pirated game, seeing as I wasn’t a fan of the first. Now that I’ve pirated it, put in 20 odd hours, I’ll beat the game, /then/ buy it, then never reinstall it for many months.

  23. MrMud says:

    I honestly dont mind GFWL all that much.

  24. Jad says:

    Presumably the “less restrictive than Steam” thing is once you set yourself up with an offline GFWL profile and do the online activation thing, you can rip out your internet connection and play the game forever with no problems. Whereas if you did the same with Steam you’d either be immediately out of luck (if you didn’t turn on offline mode) or just be out of luck in 30 days (when offline mode on Steam needs to phone home again).

    Not that this really is an improvement anyway, as forget profiles and install limits and what have you, its the “online activation” thing that means that the game is merely a multi-year rental, not a game you own.

  25. Cooper says:

    I fully endorse the eventual release of DRM-removal patches (Prey, The Withcer, Bioshock 1 etc etc etc)

    But as this news post implies: Could we have them weeks, rather than months after release please?

    I am rarely a game-one purchaser and would love that my choice to legally buy games weeks after their release despite the easily available illegal varieties and cracks be recognised by the smoothest user experience possible. (And, yes, this includes making GfWL optional…)

    • alseT says:

      I fully agree. If it’s so important to stop day 0 piracy why not use balls to the wall hard DRM until release day around the world, or at most a week later and then drop it completely?

      Noone has tried this yet but I think an experiment would be in order.

  26. Simon Jones says:

    Coincidentally (well, not particularly coincidental given we’re covering the same bit of news), I put something similar up on my own little blog about this today: http://potentialgamer.com/2010/01/25/bioshock-2-swims-with-sharks/

    Of course, it’s more of an angry rant than Mr Walker’s warm, informed and restrained touch, but it might prove cathartic for some.

  27. BobJustBob says:

    Damn, I didn’t know GfWL included limited activations. Yet another good reason to stay away from anything with that logo.

  28. Wulf says:

    What’s interesting about this is that on the face of it it seems to encourage piracy.

    Consider this:

    – Most pirated goods are clean, especially if you can confirm it’s come straight from a release group.
    – SecuROM is a nasty mess, not as bad as Star Force was, but nearly.
    – Games for Windows Live is an unfortunate, misguided mess which no one likes having installed.
    – Pirated games often remove the DRM, and Games for Windows Live.

    Now a developer/publisher can do one of two things:

    – Release a version of a game that isn’t belaboured with draconic systems and DRM, and then see it pirated, but it’ll be popular with the Internet community.
    – Release a version of a game that’s loaded down with draconic systems and DRM, and then watch as pirates crack it and release it before it’s even out in the shops, realise that they’re offering a cleaner version of the game than you are, curse the stupidity of including DRM, and watch as pretty much all your valid customers hate you for the DRM anyway.

    I’m… genuinely baffled by DRM in today’s world.

    Bundling DRM with Steam I don’t even want to think about as I think the very concept would be enough to give someone brain damage.

    As it is, except for people who’re too uninformed to care, the publishers themselves are making the strongest case for advocating piracy that anyone could make.

    It’s… confusing!! D: WHY have SecuROM and GFW in there at all, 2K? There’s going to be a pirated version of BioShock 2 out before it’s released anyway, and that’ll be free of SecuROM and GFW!

    I’d understand if DRM gave them even a day’s head start on the pirates, but it never does.

    • Robin says:

      “SecuROM is a nasty mess, not as bad as Star Force was, but nearly.”

      Um, no. SecuROM is a suite of tools which publishers can opt to use as they deem appropriate. And (small comfort as it is) at least provides a mechanism to reduce the DRM restrictions at a later date. As far as I’m aware there’s no version of SecuROM that *physically breaks hardware* as StarForce did. Agree with the rest though.

      2K seem to be ludicrously out of touch with accepted modern practices in this field. I can only assume they were thrown a massive amount of cash to put GFWL on all their products, and are too bureaucratic and strategically inept to initiate the process of breaking out of that contract.

    • Wulf says:

      “Um, no.”

      Um, yes.

      Defective by Design and a few other places have covered the horrors of SecuROM, it’s just that Sony is better at brushing things under the rug than some tiny German firm.

      SecuROM is a RING 0 rootkit just like Star Force was. Whilst, sure, it won’t wreck your hardware, it could easily fuck up your entire OS if it gets confused and RING 0 access is just screaming “HACK ME! :D” if there are any exploits within the rootkit (which there usually are).

      Sony purported for a while that SecuROM was RING 3, but that was pretty much just a smokescreen. As I said, they’re better at spin than some tiny German firm.

      “2K seem to be ludicrously out of touch with accepted modern practices in this field. I can only assume they were thrown a massive amount of cash to put GFWL on all their products, and are too bureaucratic and strategically inept to initiate the process of breaking out of that contract.”

      True, but really, neither SecuROM or Games for Windows Live should be there, by including either it only hurts their sales, which is why I find it baffling. Only the perilously uninformed are going to actually not care.

      The rest… ?

      For me, it comes down to two things:

      1.) I value my privacy, and rootkits are asking for snoopers.
      2.) Games for Windows Live is a horrible kludge that no one should ever want installed.

      With the latter, we have XLiveles at least, but for the former? …well, we have to rely upon the heroes of the age–pirates–to crack it out.

  29. The Sombrero Kid says:

    it doesn’t. batman has 2 activations a month and this has 15 activations, total. all other games don’t have any gfwl activation, except 1 key against 1 email address/GfWL Profile.

  30. The Sombrero Kid says:

    incidenly i don’t rent games, install limits = renting usage. i cancelled my preorder and gave this as my reason, hopfully anyone else who cares about this stuff will do the same and it will hurt thier bottom line enough to get through to them.

    i bought mass effect with drm and reached my install limits within 6 months and it pissed me off, and i’ve never bought a game with install limits since until Batman which i didn’t know about until it was too late, (Batmans DRM is the worst that has ever been btw.)

  31. the wiseass says:

    >>> no install limts GfWL will still limit you to 15 activations

    Could somebody explain this to me please because this is getting slightly confusing. I may install my game as often as I want, but I may only activate it 15 times? Then why would I want to install the game more than 15 times, if I can’t play anyway? What’s the difference between installation and activation? Maybe I’m stupid, but does it really have to be so complicated?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      I think that what this means is tied to the fact that you need to register your serial key with GfWL as well as whatever other DRM the game has.

      Basically, you install the game (which may or may not use up one of the install activations), then register the game with your GfWL account in order to be allowed to log into GfWL during play. If you ever lose the GfWL account, you could make a new one and reregister the game with (presumably deactivating it on the old account), and this up to 15 times in total.

      I think.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Once you register it to an account, you can never register it to another.

      Just so you know, if you live in one of the 166 unsupported countries, GFWL will eat your key, and lock you out of the game.

      Such a wonderful service.

  32. Premium User Badge

    dog says:

    you’re welcome

    (that was in reply to heliocentric… grumble grumble grumble fucked up reply button grumble grumble)

  33. XM says:

    There’s all this hate about achievements but they do add gameplay value. There are other goals to the game instead of speed running your way through then putting it on the shelf to gather dust. This is just from a single player game type I’m talking about.

    There’s a good point to it but it’s a shame GFWL fails so much. If they just put some more effort into it they could be on to a winner.

    Steam is still miles ahead if only more developers used steam achievements at least. It’s not about who has the most points but adding value to the game. This is the positive I see from achievements.

    • Lilliput King says:

      There’s all this hate about achievements but they do add gameplay value. There are other goals to the game instead of speed running your way through then putting it on the shelf to gather dust.

      I find this type of personality perplexing. Is your only goal while playing a game sans achievements to complete it as fast as possible? Is that actually fun?

      Do you play games purely for the masturbatory pat on the back you receive from it after doing something ‘good’? I can’t help but feel that achievements are designed for someone I’ve never met and can’t comprehend.

    • Bowlby says:

      Couldn’t agree more, XM.

      Is it that hard to understand that people get different things out of the games they play, Lilliput King?

      For me, achievements add another layer of fun onto the games I play. They’re like tasty little morsels between each main course of a banquet. If you don’t enjoy them, don’t play them, but, please, don’t presume that your way of playing games is superior to anybody else’s.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Of course I don’t. Nor do I presume that my views are everyone’s, or that everyone should play games the way I do. I never said any of those things.
      It’s just that it’s completely alien to me, is all.

    • Premium User Badge

      luminosity says:

      Different things out of games… like say, looking for an immersive experience and having it ruined by stupid achievement pop-ups?

    • Urthman says:

      Yeah, but it would be SO easy to do achievements of the sort you’re talking about without the obtrusive, “CONGRATULATIONS YOU JUST KILLED 30 DOODZ!” crap.

      Just pop up a list after the credits, saying:

      Congratulations, you defeated the Joker! But have you tried…

      …defeating Bane without any batarangs?
      …finding all 3 secret rooms on Level 5?
      …asking Poison Ivy about the weedkiller?
      …clearing out level 7 without being detected by any henchmen?
      …etc?

      (Was it the INFOCOM games that did this? What game series am I thinking of here?)

      The advantage to this is that it cuts out any of the stupid quantitative achievements that the game would have to count for you, making it obvious how stupid they are: (“Have you tried throwing your batarang 750 times?”) Plus, it would encourage people to think for themselves of cool achievements to try. Setting your own goals and achieving them is more fun!

    • XM says:

      Yes I hear what you are saying the pop-ups are over the top.

      Sega now using steam: http://store.steampowered.com/news/3367/

  34. Andrew Wills says:

    So… wait, it still has Securom, still has 15 activation limits, and still has GFWL? Colour me dumb, but I don’t see any difference there, except for a different call center. Is that 2K’s official response to raging fans? “We’ll let Microsoft deal with it!”.

  35. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Nah… I don’t care much about all this ah noes DRM/GFWL/activation limits, because:

    Fallout 3 ran just fine and it is highly improbable I will replay the game any time soon after the successful completion and uninistall. I hardly ever replay games I had already beat. Where do you find the time? I have hard times getting to the games I’m yet to beat!

  36. [dandan] says:

    Fuck GFWL.

  37. Sonicgoo says:

    This reminds me of a discussion some time ago, about whether things like pricing or bugs should be included in game reviews. Why not include all these DRM/GFWL/jumping through hoops issues as well? After all, they could be considered a kind of anti-feature or bug, even. It takes away from the enjoyment of the product.

    Bet we’re still gonna see 10/10 reviews, though…

  38. Geryon says:

    I have to agree – I bought and played the first one, but the second one isn’t really making me want to run out and get it.

    This extra bullshit with the draconian CP – well, I can pass on this one. I’ll live.

  39. SpakAttack says:

    GFWL is one of the most rancid car-crash-mangled lumps of putrid bloatware ever to pollute the games industry. It is responsible for massive frustration and save-game / login problems for vast numbers of people around the world (including me).

    It is also the only reason I won’t buy BioShock 2.

    If 2K decide to drop GFWL, I will buy the game.

  40. SheffieldSteel says:

    They would probably get about the same amount of Day 0 and Day 1 piracy if they removed all protection and released the game on the same day in all markets. The major difference would be the amount of grief caused to legitimate customers.

  41. SheffieldSteel says:

    Also, the article needs tweaking a little.
    Pirated versions being available on the day of sale is called “Day 1 piracy”.
    Day 0 piracy is what happens when a cracked version is available BEFORE release day.

    Programmers may start counting at zero, but sales and marketing do not :-)

  42. Premium User Badge

    dbdkmezz says:

    GFWL is horrible, it’s seriously damaged the experience of every game I’ve attempted to play which has it. So I emailed Elizabeth to say so, lets see how much they care. Perhaps (I’m being very charitable here, but hey!) they don’t even realise how much people hate it.
    Her email address is: 2KElizabeth@2kgames.com

  43. Paco says:

    Elizabeth did a favor to the gamer community telling everybody the GFWL activarion limit. I don’t think M$ is happy about it LOL

    Before that declaration, it was not known for the majority of gamers.

    I knew it BTW, and I’m not going to buy BS2 but BC2 instead, hell yeah!!!

  44. Ven says:

    Sadly, Bioshock is a great title, and we’re all expecting something more from the sequel. GfWL is horrible, but not buying the game just because it has GfWL doesn’t make sense, nor does it make a difference.

    Believe it or not, some companies, like 2K games, still listen to their clientele. Hopefully they’ll listen enough to get rid of GfWL before launch.

  45. John says:

    So, they’ve essentially done nothing to tone back the DRM?

    Yeah, no thanks.

  46. PHeMoX says:

    15 activations is quite a lot, but darn, don’t they ever learn? Honest costumers aren’t waiting for a DRM that cripples their rights to own what they’ve paid for….

    I’m not usually pro-piracy, but limiting installations or activations is just plain nuts. I’m totally against having to pay for a license, instead of owning a physical product in a dvd box.

  47. Sarlix says:

    Only Fallout 3 didn’t make you install GFWL it was optional. Also the DRM could be bypassed by launching from the .exe located in the fallout directory, that tip was posted on the Bethesda forums by one of the devs. Basically F3 had nothing more than a simple disc check.

    • Sarlix says:

      Balls, that was supposed to be a reply to Frankie The Patrician[PF]. Why didn’t it reply damit!? and why am I the crab again!!!

    • Spacewalk says:

      It didn’t reply because the DRM system that is attached to posting is getting in the way.

  48. Bowlby says:

    I agree that badly implemented or badly designed achievements are, you know, bad. However, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them in concept, and I maintain that when done right they can add an extra layer of enjoyment to a game.

  49. malkav11 says:

    A) Install limits are dumb, and removing that is progress of a sort, but the fundamental “having to check with an activation server that may not exist in a few years” issue is still there and, for me at least, rather more relevant. So, still not buying the game.

    B) I totally don’t understand this GFWL activations business, but I’ve never had to enter a key to use an offline GFWL account, only to actually log in to GFWL, which you only need to do if you want to upload your achievements or play multiplayer. (as far as I know).

  50. Psychopomp says:

    They didn’t scale shit back. It’s literally the exact same thing. Not only are they implementing draconian DRM, they’re outright lying.

    Edit:To clarify to the confused: SecuROM is in both the retail and steam versions as a disc/release date check. The steam version has the disc check inactive. GFWL handles install limits. After 15 you have to call microsoft for more. It can take days for them to reactivate your key. 2K won’t say this, but Microsoft policy is to only do this once, ever.

    This is exactly the same as beforehand. Nothing has changed.