PC Gaming DRM List

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by mindcycle, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. mindcycle

    mindcycle Golden Member

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    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

    __________________________

    Moved from Hot Deals
    moderator allisolm

    oops.. lol

    Temp sticky for a month by popular request
    -Schadenfroh (AT Mod)
     
  2. Desslok

    Desslok Diamond Member

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    Hot Deal??
     
  3. onza

    onza Diamond Member

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    I think wrong section.
     
  4. exar333

    exar333 Diamond Member

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    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!
     
  5. mindcycle

    mindcycle Golden Member

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    I like that. I'll add that section. Thanks man.
     
  6. coloumb

    coloumb Diamond Member

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    Definitely!! ;)
     
  7. Lonyo

    Lonyo Lifer

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    No listing for Steam?
     
  8. mindcycle

    mindcycle Golden Member

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    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.
     
  9. ArchAngel777

    ArchAngel777 Diamond Member

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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...
     
  10. mindcycle

    mindcycle Golden Member

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    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.
     
  11. Renob

    Renob Diamond Member

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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.
     
  12. mindcycle

    mindcycle Golden Member

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    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.
     
  13. YEPP

    YEPP Senior member

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  14. mindcycle

    mindcycle Golden Member

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    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.
     
  15. Renob

    Renob Diamond Member

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    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.
     
  16. Pia

    Pia Golden Member

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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.
     
  17. Martimus

    Martimus Diamond Member

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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.
     
  18. OCGuy

    OCGuy Lifer

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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.
     
  19. mindcycle

    mindcycle Golden Member

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    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.
     
  20. coloumb

    coloumb Diamond Member

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    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."
     
  21. Martimus

    Martimus Diamond Member

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    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.
     
  22. soybeast

    soybeast Senior member

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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?
     
  23. Maximilian

    Maximilian Lifer

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    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.
     
  24. mindcycle

    mindcycle Golden Member

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    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.
     
  25. YEPP

    YEPP Senior member

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