Posts Tagged ‘DRM’

Windows 10 Won’t Run Games Using SafeDisc Or Securom DRM

Windows 10 won’t run games that employ SafeDisc or certain versions of Securom DRM, rendering hundreds of old disc-based games potentially unplayable without complex workarounds. Games which used these forms of DRM range from Crimson Skies to Grand Theft Auto 3, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 to the original The Sims. Yet despite this change coming in Windows 10, blame can’t likely be placed at Microsoft’s feet. For one, SafeDisc is notoriously insecure and Microsoft’s decision to block it from their new operating system will likely protect more users than it hurts.

More details below.

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Microsoft Can Disable Pirated First-Party Games

Microsoft can disable “counterfeit games” and “unauthorized hardware peripheral devices” according to the recently updated Microsoft Services Agreement. The agreement, which pertains to the Windows store, suggests they can detect pirated first-party XBox and Windows games you have installed.

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Saints Row, Darksiders, Metro Arrive On GOG DRM-Free

The ghost of THQ is still with us today as some of the publisher’s greatest hits find new life on GOG. Deep Silver and Nordic Games, who bought the rights after THQ’s demise, have released Saints Row 2 + 3, Darksiders 1 + 2 and Metro: Last Light Redux on the digital store, all at a discounted price until May 18th.

This is the first time any of these games have been made available completely DRM free.

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ESA Oppose DRM Law Change Preserving Online Games

If a publisher shuts down a game’s online bits, current US copyright law says, you’re technically not allowed to modify the game to use different servers or work offline. It’s gone, that’s it, bye-bye. That’s a bummer for players, not to mention folks trying to preserve our short but already fading history. American digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation have been trying to change this, and are currently arguing for an exception for abandoned online games letting folks revive and save them.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, a trade association representing mostly publishers, this would be a bad thing. Oh dear.

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Walled City: SimCity Goes Offline Today

In a final [humiliating capitulation]/[act of goodwill and community empowerment] Maxis will today release SimCity’s offline mode, freeing city builders everywhere from the terrifying fear that a cleaner at the Origin data center will accidentally unplug the servers as he hoovers up the hopes and dreams of the developers. At the time of writing (lunchtime on Tuesday the 18th), the servers are down as the game prepares for the update that will mean the next time the servers are down, you’ll be able to play.

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Shadowrun Returns DRM Punched, Flung Into A Pit, Killed

When Shadowrun Returns was first conceived, it came with the sparkly promise of pristine freedom – not a speck of diabolical DRM to be found even in its grimiest cybergutters. But then, due to some behind-the-scenes shenanigans, Harebrained Schemes went back on their word, shackling all future updates to Steam, which – while not the end of the world – was absolutely a form of DRM. Now, however, PLOT TWIST: things have changed… again! Harebrained was recently seen beating its own DRM into a mangled, bloody pulp, lighting it on fire, and then reading it passages from this fan fiction. Meanwhile, onlookers watched in horror until they realized this was cause for celebration and started cheering. Some even joined in. Experts described the scene as “just a really great time” and “hahahaha wheeeeeee yeah!”

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So I Thought I’d Play Battlefield 4’s Single Player. About That.

Our coverage of Battlefield 4 got rather interrupted by the arrival of a baby. It happens. So in trying to catch up, I wanted to play through the single player campaign, see how it compared to COD: Ghosts’. Yeah. That would have been nice, wouldn’t it. But then EA happened.

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CDP Spells It Out: No DRM For The Witcher 3

Here’s some very good news: CD Projekt Red are keeping their promise, and The Witcher 3 is to feature no DRM whatsoever. It’s odd, because they feel like the sort of company that never would in the first place – what with their connections to GOG and all. But CDP have stuck their fingers in the icky pot of DRM in the past. And of course they were embroiled in the epically dick move of threatening alleged pirates with bullying lawsuits. It seems that this ill behaviour is behind them now, and they’re making efforts to reassure people that there’s to be not a drip of DRM in The Witcher 3. Hoorah!

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Today’s GOG Sale Is Quite The Thing


You have about 20 hours left to take advantage of GOG’s DRM Free sale, put togeether to celebrate today being the longest day of the year. The games are free of the lumpen, ugly additional code that bootstraps their code to your PC. If for some reason you own a million PCs, you would be allowed, nay encouraged, to install them on each and every one. I wouldn’t, because that would involve a lot of work, not least in acquiring an entire planet to source the resources for such a PC collection, but the hypothetical scenario still stands. You really should look over the whole list, but below I’ve gathered a few treats to entice you in.
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The Power Of Silence: Why The SimCity Story Went Away

Why has the SimCity story gone away? It’s a good question. And the answer for it reveals much about how both the games industry, and the games journalism industry, work.

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SimCity Boss’s “Straight Answers” Seem Pretty Wiggly

GET IT?

What Maxis are doing is frankly peculiar. Earlier this week we posted a story revealing that claims that SimCity required online servers to run non-regional computations were not the case. That night we were promised a statement from the studio, but heard nothing. Repeated emails to EA have resulted in no response since, and the whole situation has become more muddy with each day. It’s since been revealed that population numbers are nonsense, even down to leaked Javascript code featuring “simcity.GetFudgedPopulation” as a function. We’ve learned that city size limits are arbitrary, pathfinding is rudimentary at best, and Eurogamer’s absolutely superb review lists many more bugs, broken features, disappearing pretend-money and never-arriving resources.

So it’s all the more odd to see Maxis head Lucy Bradshaw acting as if none of this is happening, and instead just carefully rewording her mantra of how SimCity is only supposed to be played online, but this time leaving out the bit about server-side computations for local play.

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Far Cry 3 Servers Down Already: Ubi, This Is A Mess

Update: Ubisoft have tweeted an apology, saying they’re working as fast as they can to get the servers back online.

So, like many others, I’m very excited to play Far Cry 3. After Jim’s review, and many similar elsewhere, I’ve been dying to play it and finally have the chance. Today is my day off, hooray! And so far I’ve been treated to a horrible, horrible time, and all at the hands of the technical mess that is Uplay and idiotic mechanical choices. And right now? Ubisoft’s servers are down. On launch day. You can still play in offline mode, but ho boy, this isn’t a good start.

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Why Might Ubisoft Have Changed Their Minds On DRM?

The staring eye of change.

So, Ubisoft, eh? It’s been quite the 24 hours for the publisher. Having spent a few years seeming to actively seek the loathing of PC gamers – despite releasing a stream of good games – there appears to be a concerted effort to turn their reputation around. And this is something we certainly welcome. With an official pledge to abandon their deeply silly DRM, and a promise to try to release PC versions as close as possible to the console versions, they’re meeting gamers’ demands like we’ve got their families held hostage. (We don’t, do we?)

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