Bioshock 2 DRM: SecuROM, activation limits, and bears

Bioshock 2 will come both as a boxed retail product and a for-pay digital download if that's more to your taste. Looking at the game's page on Steam reveals something disappointing for those of us against invasive DRM: the game will utilize SecuROM and comes with a five-machine activation limit.

2K Games dealt with this decision head-on via its official forum. "BioShock 2 is using a standard Games for Windows Live activation system, much like other games you have played in the past," a 2K Community Manager writes. "That doesn't mean you always have to be online to play or save the game-you can create an offline profile for the Single Player portion of the game (you just won't earn achievements and you can't play Multiplayer, of course.)" Of course

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Somnipotent3220d ago

yeah, this is why i'm getting for [insert console of choice]. besides graphical enhancements, what benefit does one get from buying this for pc? at least with the console version i could buy it, beat it, sell it, or even rent it. pc gaming sucks for this reason alone.

CoderDunn3220d ago

Maybe because you can use a mouse and keyboard for controls?

It's also nice to be able to chat by typing sometimes :)

Jamescagney3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

The superior graphics and the control system alone is enough.

BattleAxe3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

This is one of the reasons I like playing on consoles better. The only game I own for PC is Crysis, and the 3 things I really don't like are:

1. the game is buggy
2. you have to use an activation code
3. you can't trade in PC games anywhere anymore
4. there is major cheating online

If a slight graphical improvement is the only advantage, then I should just forget about PC gaming all together. I bought a gaming PC, but I'm starting to regret it.

Letros3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Its no big deal buying it on PC. Have fun paying $65 and getting $25 for it.

And it won't be long before PC games are resellable,

If this takes off, Steam will adopt it, and unlike console resales, publishers actually get a cut.

As for PC renting, Some decent titles, but nothing outstanding, its growing, owned by Metaboli.

Sarick3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Developers are becoming more restrictive every day. Now days even most of our game saves on consoles have been made copy protected. You can't always just pop in a CD play the game, beat it and then pawn it off for cash. They've also started the packaged content deals. You buy it new with included one time DLC. Basically you buy the game and it includes free expansions that are highly DRM protected and can't be transferred to 3rd parties.

The next step is licensed console games that have activation codes just like PCs. So please don't assume owning a console will save us from the developers who mandate DRM in all their software. If they want to copy protect game saves or sale software that requires activation they'll do it. If they want to sale software licenses with disc so that they only work on one console they can do that too. They're already doing it with DLC games.

I can say this with confidence because I wrote blogs about copy protected saves and other DRM. These where mostly ignored by the gaming community. Don't believe me check my blog. Journalist also won't touch DRM rights because isn't a hot issue. It's simple, only a minority is willing to stand up to developers who abuse these practices. Based on my experience I foresee even more DRM in our future and at this rate it's not to far off.

BattleAxe3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

@ Letros,

you make some valid points, but at the end of the day I just want to put a disc into the machine and play. I don't want to go through a registration process and be limited to however many machines I can play it on. Consoles are just so much easier in every aspect, and the gaming experience is excelent.

One of the things that is lacking in PC gaming is quality control. There are nowhere near the problems with console games as there is with their PC counterparts. D2D and Steam will sell anything the Publishers want to put on there. If you go on the forums for almost any PC game, Far Cry, Far Cry 2, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Crysis ect. ect. there are always problems. I just want to play the game without hastle, and on consoles its usually a flawless experience. I game mostly on my PS3, but I bought a gaming rig for PC/ xbox 360 only titles, but now I think its more trouble than its worth unfortunately. I might buy Metro 2033 and STALKER: Call of Prypyat as these games are looking really good, but I can't see myself really indulging in the PC gaming world like I do with Playstation.

@ Sarick

The PS3 hasen't had any piracy problems yet (BluRay), and personally I can't see activation codes comming to PS3. Activation codes are there to combat piracy, not the used game sales industry.

Sarick3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

You're missing the 3rd party used sales aspect that so many developers complain about. Just because a game isn't pirated doesn't mean developers are less interested in making more profit. Third party sales from used games are also on their hate list as profit losses.

These sales aren't piracy but big developers see them as losses. As for DRM, the PS3 includes several games that have added DRM. The copy protected saves aren't thought out fully. Why are these protections needed? Who pirates game saves? The answer is because the developers are also protecting themselves from cheaters and hackers that can use the saves to bypass DRM.

Just because the PS3 hasn't been publicly hacked yet doesn't mean developers don't have other reasons for adding extra DRM in their products. They have interest in generating as many sales as possible for their products. Even the small percentage of used game sales amount to losses in their bookkeeping.

I'm sure some developers have thought about it and would rather sale console games as software licenses to combat used resale. There really isn't much difference between pirating and used sales to them. After all when they sale a game they're making a profit off the content not the game disc itself. If that disc can be freely transferred to other third parties each time the content is used by a new party it's like another person who pirated their content.

This is why they would do it on consoles.

Letros3220d ago


You have valid points as well, and I think the quality control is much greater than you believe, granted I know what you are talking about and it was probably more of an issue many years ago. Microsoft actually has Games for Windows(not just LIVE) titles tested to make sure they meet bug free gaming. Steam games are guaranteed to work on your system or your money back. But I will not argue that Console gaming is of course more reliable.

Beware of Call of Pripyat though, don't let it ruin your PC gaming return if that's what you plan it to be, those developers have a terrible track record for producing bugged out launch games, later patched. Though the STALKER games are still very good...

BattleAxe3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

@ Sarick,

The one thing that can be said for used games sales is that unlike PC Piracy, there at least has to be the initial purchase of a blu ray disc. If you want a game for PC, theres no initial purchase required, you can just go to a torrent site.

I do agree that places like EB Games/ Gamestop, Best Buy/ Futureshop ect. should have to pay a royalty to the developers. This could get legislated in different countries in the future. I know that for me, I don't realy see the savings in buying a used PS3 game as they are only $5 cheaper than a new copy. If used games were priced as cheap as they should be, then I think it would be a far larger threat.

@ Letros

Yeah, I've read the reviews about previous STALKER games, so I'll keep an eye out for that. I actually support Games for Windows, as I have a Xbox 360 controller for PC which as you know will work for almost every Games for Windows game. The one game that I know of that was Games for Windows that had a huge amount of bugs was Gears of War. I wanted Gears of War so bad, but its been discontinued because of all of the issues it had. Ultimately I would like to see Games for Windows get bigger because I think its the coolest thing to have what is essentially a console on your PC. I refuse to buy multiple consoles, and I think its handy to have a PC that can do everything along with a flawless gaming experience, which is what I hope happens as the PC evolves over the next 5 or so years. I wouldn't be surprised to see the PSN come to PC one day so that Sony doesn't have the headache of building expensive consoles.

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rawrockkillz3220d ago

Why use SecuRom when the game is on Steam?

CoderDunn3220d ago

SecuRom is only for the retail copies and steam atm is unknown

Nihilism3220d ago

The securom is just a disk check, it's not eh evil kind ( disk check has been in pc games for 15 years ) BUT

even the steam games will have to use GFWL for activation and it will have a 15 install limit, straight from the horses mouth, 2k foums managers told all in a thread there.

mrv3213220d ago

Because all those features will work... sarcasm.

Xdrari3220d ago

My thoughts exactly.

This won't stop major pirating of the game + a possible leak like every major game release this gen.

SaiyanFury3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

I liked the original Bioshock on my PC as it performed far above the consoles, but being restricted to those means, deters me from the sequel. I'll have to wait and see how things develop. I subscribe to PC gaming for freedoms, not more subjugation from developers. Bethesda only issues disc checks with their games, not big freedom limiting security checks like SecuROM. Maybe it's my love of freedoms, but as long as the PC version has these big restrictions, I won't be getting it.

Axecution3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Honestly i cant be the only person to HATE playing games with a mouse and keyboard. I honestly hate it. I play plenty of FPS games on the PC (Postal, Bioshock, Unreal, etc) and if i have the option to play with a controller i always take it. A mouse and especially keyboard just seems so much LESS precise in my opinion. WASD is only 4 buttons, so 8 directions. It's like walking around in a game with the D-Pad...
And sure, the mouse can sense insanely precise movements, but its not like that's ever necessary. I can pull headshots off in Resistance just as well as i can with a mouse.

Am i seriously alone on this one? o.o Not only that, but getting to the keyboard buttons is dumb even with a gaming keyboard. Sure, the F button or a macro on a gaming keyboard is fine since it's right beside your finger but isn't it better to push, say, Triangle? Just saying...

So anyway. Thats all. Even though it was off topic. xD Oh well.

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