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Old 11-05-2008, 04:23 PM   #1
mindcycle
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Default PC Gaming DRM List

There are lots of great PC games being released this holiday season. So many in fact, it's hard to decide which games to buy. Well, for those of you, like me, who base your buying decision on what type of DRM a game uses, this list is for you. It's not meant to be an all encompassing list, just a list of confirmed DRM for a few of the more popular titles that will be released in the near future, and also some that have already been released.

The point of this topic isn't to start a huge discussion on DRM itself, but more to help inform everyone what "extra" software they will be buying when they purchase a game. Most game publishers don't mention what type of DRM their product is using in the game description, often leaving it up to us to figure that out.

Below you'll find descriptions of various forms of DRM (or copyright protection) and what games are using them. These are for games that have confirmed DRM.

__________________________

SecuROM v7.x (activation based)

# Authentication: Once your game has been installed it needs to authenticate online before you can play the game.
# Re-authentication: The game needs to be re-authenticated when you download online content, game patches, or when significant changes to hardware take place. Upgrading or replacing, hard drives, graphics cards, CPU's, etc.. This also includes hard drive reformatting and bios updating, but not OS updates.
# No CD check: After installation, a physical copy is not needed in order to play the game.
# Install limit: The user is limited to installing the game 5 times. Once all activations have been used you need to call the publisher who will give you new activations on a 'case-by-case basis'. *please note that older (and in some cases newer) games using activation based SecuROM will have less total installs. I've noted this below by denoting games with a (#) under the "other" section. This means they had (or still have) less than 5 installs at the time they were released.
# Revoke system: Some publishers include a de-installation or revoke application so you can revoke an install before you make hardware changes, etc.. thus not using another install up.

Game Title / Publisher / Revoke / Other

Alone in the Dark / Atari / Y / (2) (http://www.aitdunlock.com)
Bioshock / 2k Games / Y / activation limit removed by the publisher link
Command And Conquer: Red Alert 3 / EA / N /
Crysis: Warhead / EA / N /
Dead Space / EA / N /
Far Cry 2 / Ubisoft / Y /
FIFA 09 / EA / Y / Revoke w/ latest patch http://news.bigdownload.com/20...nload-fifa-09-patch-2/
GTA 4 / Rockstar Games / / no install limits, but does have online activation + disc check
Kings Bounty: The Legend / Atari / / protection removed w/ russian 1.6.4 patch
Mass Effect / EA / N / (3)
Mercenaries 2 / EA / N /
Mirror's Edge / EA / N /
Need For Speed: Undercover / EA / N /
NHL 09 / EA / N /
Sacred 2 / Atari / Y / (2) DRM info
Spore / EA / N / (3)

__________________________

SecuROM v7.x (disc check)

# CD check: The game disk is required to be in the drive when you launch the game.
# CD burning software conflict: You may have to uninstall cd writing programs or image programs like Nero, Roxio, Sonic, Alcohol, Daemon tools, etc.. before you are able to install or run the game.
# SecuROM 7.x, if run under a non-admin user account, installs its own service called UAService7.exe, which works in ring 3 of the computer's operating system. (from wikipedia)

Game Title / Publisher / Other

Brothers in Arms - Hells Highway / Ubisoft /
Deer Hunter Tournament / Atari /
Devil May Cry 4 / Capcom /
Fallout 3 / Bethesda /
FlatOut Ultimate Carnage / Empire Interactive /
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith / Aspyr /
GTR Evolution / SimBin /
Legendary / Atari /
LEGO Batman / Lucasarts /
MotoGP '08 / Capcom /
Neverwinter Nights 2 Storm Of Zehir / Atari /
Pure / Disney Interactive /
STCC The Game / SimBin /
The Sims 2 Mansion & Garden Stuff / EA /
Tomb Raider Underworld / Edios /
Wall-e / THQ /

__________________________

TAGES

# Disc check: The game disk is required to be in the drive when you launch the game.
# Authentication: Once your game has been installed it needs to authenticate online before you can play the game. (for Steam versions only)
# Install limit: The user is limited to installing the game a certain number of times. Once all activations have been used you need to call the publisher who will give you new activations on a 'case-by-case basis'. (for Steam versions only)

Game Title / Publisher / Revoke / Other

Stalker: Clear Sky / Deep Silver / N / 5 install limit for steam version only, DVD version uses TAGES disc check only
The Witcher Enhanced Edition / Atari / / DVD version uses TAGES disc check only
X3: Terran Conflict / Egosoft / N / 5 install limit for steam version only, DVD version uses TAGES disc check only

__________________________

SafeDisc V4

# CD check: The game disk is required to be in the drive when you launch the game.
# SafeDisc installs its own Windows device driver to the user's computer, named secdrv.sys. In addition to enabling the copy protection, it grants ring 0 access to the running application. This is a potential security risk, since trojans and other malware could use the driver to obtain administrator access to the machine, even if the programs are running under a limited account. (from wikipedia)

Game Title / Publisher / Other

Call Of Duty: World At War / Activision /
Dynasty Warriors 6 / AKoei /
James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace / Activision /
Space Siege / SEGA /
Spiderman Web of Shadows / Activision /

__________________________

Steam

# Online validation: It is necessary to validate every Steam game online before it can be launched, although an offline mode is available.
# Forced auto-updates: By default, to play a game offline, Steam and the game itself must be fully updated. When Steam starts online, the system checks to see if there are updates available. If there are, the user is forced to wait for update process to finish before being able to play again, though games can be streamed online.
# Resale Limitation: Games bought through Steam cannot legally be resold due to the unsuitability of current proof of purchase laws.
# Regional Pricing: Although Steam is an entirely virtual entity, Valve allows developers and publishers to geographically restrict where a game is available, and at what price. This means some games will not be able to be activated and played until a certain date based on the country you live in.
(info taken from wikipedia)


Game Title / Publisher / Other

Empire: Total War / SEGA /
Left 4 Dead / Valve /
Silent Hill: Homecoming / Konami /

__________________________

Uniloc

#Online activation and install limits
#More info soon


Game Title / Publisher / Revoke / Other

Football Manager 2009 / SEGA / Y / http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php?t=60817

__________________________

Impluse

# Download service by Stardock
# Games downloaded from this service require you to authenticate online before you can install/re-install.
# Other DRM protection may be included, they leave it up to the publisher. Check the game description.

Game Title / Publisher / Other

Demigod / Stardock /
Sins of a Solar Empire / Stardock /
The Witcher Enhanced Edition / Atari /

__________________________

No DRM

# These games contain no DRM
# Confirmed for retail disc based versions only (download versions may contain DRM)

Game Title / Publisher / Other

Baja 1000 / Activision / *not fully confirmed yet
Bully Scholarship Edition / Take 2 Interactive
Demigod / Stardock /
Kudos 2 / Positech /
Penumbra Requiem / Paradox Interactive / *not fully confirmed yet
Prince of Persia / Ubisoft /
Sins of a Solar Empire / Stardock /

Good Old Games offers older DRM free games for direct download. http://www.gog.com/

__________________________

*Note, this list will be updated as new info becomes available and is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. Most publishers wait until the last minute to announce what DRM their game uses, or they don't announce anything at all. So don't be surprised if you don't see a game you've been waiting for on the list. Chances are you won't find out about the DRM until after the game is released. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if it's a new EA game it will have activation based SecuROM. It appears Ubisoft may be following that trend now as well.

The list reflects DRM for N/A releases only. Sometimes the DRM will differ for releases in other countries.

If you find a game with confirmed DRM not listed here, let me know. I will also update the descriptions as I do more research.

__________________________

More Info

For those of you who want more info about these protection systems.

SecuROM on Wikipedia
SafeDisc on Wikipedia
TAGES on Wikipedia
Steam on Wikipedia
SecuROM info on ReclaimYourGame
List of SecuROM protected games on ReclaimYourGame
Great In-depth article on SecuROM
A user account of Spore / SecuROM activation hassles
Steam No DRM Group
DefectiveByDesign.org

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Moved from Hot Deals
moderator allisolm

oops.. lol

Temp sticky for a month by popular request
-Schadenfroh (AT Mod)
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:27 PM   #2
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Hot Deal??
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:28 PM   #3
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I think wrong section.
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:54 PM   #4
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Default PC Gaming DRM List

What about having a section for confirmed NO DRM? Then people can see games that have verified no DRM like "The Witcher."

OP - Great thread idea!
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by: ExarKun333
What about having a section for confirmed NO DRM? Then people can see games that have verified no DRM like "The Witcher."

OP - Great thread idea!
I like that. I'll add that section. Thanks man.
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by: Desslok
Hot Deal??
Definitely!!
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:18 PM   #7
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No listing for Steam?
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by: Lonyo
No listing for Steam?
Most DRM on hard copies is on the Steam versions as well.

I will add a Steam section for games that are only using Steam for DRM. Like Left 4 Dead.
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:39 PM   #9
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Mind looking up any info in King's Bounty: The Legend?

I purchased the game last night on D2D against my better judgement... I need one install for my main PC, and one for my Laptop... So two authentications were used up. The last time I bought an Atari game with DRM, I was only allowed two installations. That was bull shit. Test Drive Unlimited was the game and I installed it on my main PC, then on my second PC. I went to do a rebuild and had to dial some number, read off a million digits (ones that make MS Vista process easy!) and then got my addition unlock. That was kinda bull shit though, because the phone number isn't a 1-800 number... Luckily, it looks like Digital River is located here in Minnesota, where I live so the number was local for me. Pirating games is getting damn tempting with how bad some of this shit is getting...
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by: ArchAngel777
Mind looking up any info in King's Bounty: The Legend?

I purchased the game last night on D2D against my better judgement... I need one install for my main PC, and one for my Laptop... So two authentications were used up. The last time I bought an Atari game with DRM, I was only allowed two installations. That was bull shit. Test Drive Unlimited was the game and I installed it on my main PC, then on my second PC. I went to do a rebuild and had to dial some number, read off a million digits (ones that make MS Vista process easy!) and then got my addition unlock. That was kinda bull shit though, because the phone number isn't a 1-800 number... Luckily, it looks like Digital River is located here in Minnesota, where I live so the number was local for me. Pirating games is getting damn tempting with how bad some of this shit is getting...
Apparently DRM has been removed with the Russian 1.6.4 patch, which should work with the english versions. Not sure about the D2D version, but i'm assuming it would work the same.

http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/showthread.php?t=4518

Scroll down a bit for info on the different patches.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:23 PM   #11
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wow when are people just going to stop crying about this, I have had at least 5 game with this on both an XP and Vista 64 systema and never had a problem.

I have many gamer friends and they have never had problems.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by: Renob
wow when are people just going to stop crying about this, I have had at least 5 game with this on both an XP and Vista 64 systema and never had a problem.

I have many gamer friends and they have never had problems.
I don't see anyone crying here.. Some people may be interested in what protection they are "buying" along with their game. That's the whole point of this thread. If you don't care then that's fine. This thread is for people who do.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:55 PM   #13
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Alone in the Dark does offer the ability to revoke, it is limited to being active on two PCs at the same time.

<a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="https://www.aitdunlock.com/">https://www.aitdunlock.com/</a>

Two Worlds is another game with limited activation, 3 activations. Don't know what system it uses, think the DRM is built into the game.

http://www.2-worlds.com/
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by: YEPP
Alone in the Dark does offer the ability to revoke, it is limited to being active on two PCs at the same time.

<a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="https://www.aitdunlock.com/"><a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="https://www.aitdunlock.com/"><a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="https://www.aitdunlock.com/">https://www.aitdunlock.com/</a></a></a>

Two Worlds is another game with limited activation, 3 activations. Don't know what system it uses, think the DRM is built into the game.

http://www.2-worlds.com/
Thanks for the info. I've updated the list.

Edit: I couldn't find any info on the DRM used for Two Worlds. If anyone finds something let me know.
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
If you don't care then that's fine. This thread is for people

Fair enough! "crying" might have been a little harsh, I just feel that at times people worry just a little to much about this isseu, maybe I have just been lucky to not have had a problem.
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:33 PM   #16
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Renob, if I was just concerned about practical problems, why would I not warez everything?

It's a question of principle. When a developer attempts to make a quality game, they absolutely deserve compensation.
On the other hand, if they deliberately make the product worse than the copy pirates will be circulating, that's a) ridiculous, b) not an activity I am going to encourage and reward.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:28 PM   #17
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Very nice Mindcycle! I hope this gets stickied, since this could be very useful to people over the next few months when we go out and buy Christmas gifts.
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:37 PM   #18
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Its the wave of the future, get used to it. Pony up the $50 for a game, or go play your Xbox with 3 year old tech.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by: Ocguy31
Its the wave of the future, get used to it. Pony up the $50 for a game, or go play your Xbox with 3 year old tech.
It's only the wave of the future if we continue to buy and support games with invasive DRM. I'm mainly against online activation and limited installs. I bought Fallout 3, and although I don't like that it uses SecuROM for disc checking, I can live with it. Others are opposed to even that.

If the customer knows what they are buying, then they can make an informed decision about it. Right now that isn't happening. Publishers try and hide what DRM they are using since they think it will hurt sales or cause a controversy. That's not the right way to treat your customers IMO. That's why I created this thread.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by: mindcycle
Quote:
Originally posted by: Ocguy31
Its the wave of the future, get used to it. Pony up the $50 for a game, or go play your Xbox with 3 year old tech.
It's only the wave of the future if we continue to buy and support games with invasive DRM. I'm mainly against online activation and limited installs. I bought Fallout 3, and although I don't like that it uses SecuROM for disc checking, I can live with it. Others are opposed to even that.

If the customer knows what they are buying, then they can make an informed decision about it. Right now that isn't happening. Publishers try and hide what DRM they are using since they think it will hurt sales or cause a controversy. That's not the right way to treat your customers IMO. That's why I created this thread.
Actually - the EULA's do cover what is installed - most people blindly click on "accept" without reading the EULA. Here's an example from Dead Space:

"
B. Technical Protection Measures. Our Software uses access control and copy protection technology. An internet connection is required to authenticate the Software and verify your license. EA reserves the right to validate your license through subsequent online authentication. If your license is not valid you may not be able to use the Software. The first end user of this License can install and authenticate the Software on a set number of machines which may vary by product. The installation of EA Download Manager, the registration of the Software, and the acceptance of additional terms may be required to access online services and download and apply Software updates and patches. Only licensed software can be used to access online services and download and apply updates and patches. If the Software permits access to additional online features, only one copy of the Software may access those features at one time. If you disable or otherwise tamper with the technical protection measures, the Software will not function properly."
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by: coloumb
Quote:
Originally posted by: mindcycle
Quote:
Originally posted by: Ocguy31
Its the wave of the future, get used to it. Pony up the $50 for a game, or go play your Xbox with 3 year old tech.
It's only the wave of the future if we continue to buy and support games with invasive DRM. I'm mainly against online activation and limited installs. I bought Fallout 3, and although I don't like that it uses SecuROM for disc checking, I can live with it. Others are opposed to even that.

If the customer knows what they are buying, then they can make an informed decision about it. Right now that isn't happening. Publishers try and hide what DRM they are using since they think it will hurt sales or cause a controversy. That's not the right way to treat your customers IMO. That's why I created this thread.
Actually - the EULA's do cover what is installed - most people blindly click on "accept" without reading the EULA. Here's an example from Dead Space:

"
B. Technical Protection Measures. Our Software uses access control and copy protection technology. An internet connection is required to authenticate the Software and verify your license. EA reserves the right to validate your license through subsequent online authentication. If your license is not valid you may not be able to use the Software. The first end user of this License can install and authenticate the Software on a set number of machines which may vary by product. The installation of EA Download Manager, the registration of the Software, and the acceptance of additional terms may be required to access online services and download and apply Software updates and patches. Only licensed software can be used to access online services and download and apply updates and patches. If the Software permits access to additional online features, only one copy of the Software may access those features at one time. If you disable or otherwise tamper with the technical protection measures, the Software will not function properly."
Right, because your $50 purchase is worth spending an hour of your life reading the monotonous EULA. It isn't reasonable for a consumer to read through long license agreements for small purchases, and the courts have backed this with their rulings. Even so, it isn't printed anywhere on the box, and once you have opened the software to install the game, it is too late to return it (also wasting your time for such a small purchase, it would be easier not to buy PC games at all than have to worry about this crap.)

This thread makes those decisions easy, so you don't have to put much effort into deciding what is acceptable to put on your machine or not.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:28 PM   #22
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I think this thread and/or list should be made a sticky and continually updated.....unless there's a website out there does the same thing?
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by: coloumb
Quote:
Originally posted by: mindcycle
Quote:
Originally posted by: Ocguy31
Its the wave of the future, get used to it. Pony up the $50 for a game, or go play your Xbox with 3 year old tech.
It's only the wave of the future if we continue to buy and support games with invasive DRM. I'm mainly against online activation and limited installs. I bought Fallout 3, and although I don't like that it uses SecuROM for disc checking, I can live with it. Others are opposed to even that.

If the customer knows what they are buying, then they can make an informed decision about it. Right now that isn't happening. Publishers try and hide what DRM they are using since they think it will hurt sales or cause a controversy. That's not the right way to treat your customers IMO. That's why I created this thread.
Actually - the EULA's do cover what is installed - most people blindly click on "accept" without reading the EULA.
Yeah for good reason, they are extremely long and incredibly boring. Im glad theres people out there that do read the thing because i sure as hell dont want to.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by: coloumb

Actually - the EULA's do cover what is installed - most people blindly click on "accept" without reading the EULA. Here's an example from Dead Space:
That's true. The only problem is by the time you read those you've already bought and opened the game. Most stores won't accept returns on opened games.

A better option would be including DRM info on the box and online in the game description, or at least a link to find out more info. It can be in the fine print, but the fact that it's almost never present bothers me. We should have the right to know what we're going to be installing on our computer.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:00 PM   #25
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Steam version of Stalker: Clear Sky is crippled by a 5 time activation limit and comes bundled with Tages as well.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/20510/

http://techgage.com/news/stalk...time_activation_limit/
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