Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sims 3 Securom

They said they would have it but, as of the Creator's Conference, it's back "under discussion." Which means there's a slim chance it won't show up at all.

If they include it, it will NOT be the version you have to verify every 10 days online, it will be a version where you can install the game on 3 computers at a time; you can uninstall it and get one of those installs back (just go through the appropriate steps) as many times as you want, and in the case of an unexpected computer crash, you can call a service line to restore one or more installs. (This information from the Parsimonious Creator's Camp review and FAQ, which seems to be missing -- I'm thinking she violated some of the Non-Disclosure Agreements, noted by SteveB: "Yea, lots of NDA's!" and they asked her to take her review down.)

Even this "nice" version they offered, without the regular verification, seems massively complicated to be allowed to play your own video game.

I don't like the idea of jumping through hoops for a bunch of stubborn executives who still think Securom can protect them from pirates. Torrentfreak claimed that Spore was "the most pirated game ever" due to the Securom DRM, though EA Games tried to discredit them by offering their own interpretation, one that didn't blame Securom but instead lauded the popularity of their game -- with the most astounding bravado I've ever seen in my life, considering they didn't have a leg to stand on. Torrentfreak had no ulterior motive and plenty of reason to indicate Spore would have had much lower piracy numbers if it hadn't possessed Securom -- Torrentfreak even backed up this claim by saying that other games with DRMs had higher download rates than the norm, providing a trend.

Whatever you think about this DRM, if you want to help make sure they don't use it in Sims 3, use one of these tips to protest the use of Securom as a security measure. The letter writing reminds me of Shawshank Redemption, but without the prison or Morgan Freeman. Andy Dufresne says "It works!"

Of course, if you don't care, you don't care. That's fine too.

New DRM News - 3.18.09

From interview with associate producer MJ Chun.

MC: . . . we had a strong DRM thing. And then we got such good and such vocal user feedback, so now we're getting the final pieces together. It's not going to be the crazy, manage-18-accounts or count-the-number-of-times-you've-installed thing. But it is going to have copy-protection.

VG: So will there be limited installs?

MC: Um... [to Public Relations] do you know the answer on that? I used to know that information, and then we changed it. EA subsequently told us there will be a press release about this in the near future. The engineers have been amazing, because to change the DRM strategy this late is something that's asking a lot of an engineering crew who have already put a lot into it. But they were willing to be flexible, because as gamers themselves they were like, "yeah, it's a pain in the ass".

So it's confirmed they're doing something different, we just don't know what yet.