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Second Take: Bioshock's DRM Problem

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August 24, 2007 6:03:20 PM

Ben and Rob discuss the controversy surrounding the Securom DRM on the PC version of Bioshock.

Watch The Video: http://www.twitchguru.com/site/flash_videos/second_take_the_bioshock_drm_problem.html

What do you think about this issue? Should there be DRM at all? If yes, what is an appropriate level of control?

-Ben

More about : bioshock drm problem

August 24, 2007 6:38:58 PM

Is the steam version any better or did 2k really **** up and include the securerom in addition to steam's vastly superior system?
August 24, 2007 6:59:11 PM

bennyblanx said:
Ben and Rob discuss the controversy surrounding the Securom DRM on the PC version of Bioshock.

Watch The Video: http://www.twitchguru.com/site/flash_videos/second_take_the_bioshock_drm_problem.html

What do you think about this issue? Should there be DRM at all? If yes, what is an appropriate level of control?

-Ben


People will just hack Bioshock because of this or in spite of this. I haven't seen a game yet that wasn't. Just look at Colin McCrae Dirt for example. Its hardware specs for great visual graphics are over the top extreme on the order of FSX. Part of the problem was the security was running in the background polling to the internet constantly. People found out and within days there was a cracked EXE posted ON THEIR FORUM, that bypassed the polling, No CD and improved performance. As much as some people hate hacking, cracking, etc. its not going away. DRM can be excessive to the point it hurts the paying customer the most and pushes others that wouldn't otherwise bother with cracks to seek out and find them.
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August 24, 2007 7:21:38 PM

It's basically no different.

2K are coming out now with 5 installs on ONE PC, and 5 installs on different PCs, still sucks really. And they are coming out with an uninstall tool LOL.

Hopefully no other game i'm waiting for will have this.

I'm with rob on not pirating, I saw simpsons movie, rush hour 3, transformers, 300, and etc in the theatre, all were worth it (even though i'm a sucker for paying for the simpsons as homer says, we can get it for free on TV).
August 24, 2007 7:59:34 PM

While I was listening to this, the same theme kept on coming up in my mind... licensing.

Essentially, DRM has turned entertainment software into business software by limiting the "licenses" available to the user. I think this is why I, and so many other people, have a problem with the concept.


I was watching another runthrough of this theme, and I kept asking myself why 2k didn't just go to a steam-based version. Include all of their hardware keys in steam's database so that users can register their copy w/steam and then steam will regulate their copies as well..

Gamer is happy, 2k is happy.
August 24, 2007 8:28:15 PM

Greetings!

Three things:
1- In the video its still two simultaneous installs. 2K already said they were going to bump it to five.
2- SecureROM is detected as a Rootkit by Rootkit Revealer.
3- I reserved the game after playing the demo, un-reserved it when read the only two installs, re-reserved the game after the news came of the five installs and definitely un-reserved the game after the Rootkit was found.

So, will play the demo once more and uninstall it from my system. Hopefully I dont have to reformat to get rid of the SecureROM Rootkit.

2K = :fou: 
August 24, 2007 8:36:14 PM

impar said:
So, will play the demo once more and uninstall it from my system. Hopefully I dont have to reformat to get rid of the SecureROM Rootkit.
2K = :fou: 


There's a way to remove it, check somewhere in the other bioshock threads, I got the link or go to the 2k forums and do a search (i'm assuming it hasn't been stickied and is probably on page 10 because of all the complaints that are being posted.)



Yea, I put System Shock 2 right there in the middle, and I forgot some games, GWEN and ETQW are just the preorder things. I don't pirate games, and this DRM issue is really pissing me off.

PS I miss the days of big PC game boxes.
August 24, 2007 9:01:01 PM

I too am curious. Are the people who purchase the game through steam having the same issue?
August 24, 2007 9:13:46 PM

played the demo and loved it i was ready to go and buy the game, im now downloading it for free, i refuse to have anythng on my pc that uses DRM to make it secure.

ive never bought a game that uses DRM.

on the legal front if you install the game then upgrade your pc say new HDD and gfx and Processor, can you only play the game on a machine that has been upgraded less than 5 times?

if anyone doesnt believe me about buying games legally that dont use drm. i can post a pic of all of my games that i have bought legally, i just hate DRM and therefore wont fund it in anyway, and i dont see why anyone else has to have DRM on there PC, stand up for yourslf and say No to the asshats behind it.
August 24, 2007 9:28:18 PM

There should be no DRM period on any software, game, etc. If the game, movie and music manufacturers would make things AFFORDABLE (meaning someone who is not superrich could buy them without any problems) then there would be no reason to pirate games.

Personally, I have never pirated a game at all, except for extremely old NES, SNES and N64 games that I cannot get anymore so I can play them on an emulator on my computer (I had bought all of them that I downloaded at one time).

DRM doesn't keep people from hacking games, it doesn't keep the big pirates from pirating those games, and SecuROM has some farking huge problem with it, to the point where it has binned some people's machines.
The only DRM that I find acceptable is a DRM scheme where the game is verified online that SOMEONE bought it, perhaps binding it to an IP address or street address, and then you never see the DRM again because it is only in play that one time.
August 24, 2007 9:29:32 PM

TSIMonster said:
I too am curious. Are the people who purchase the game through steam having the same issue?


Yes, but there's something different, check out wikipedia's bioshock page and scroll down to sercurrom issues.
August 24, 2007 9:30:13 PM

Greetings!
TSIMonster said:
Are the people who purchase the game through steam having the same issue?

Yep. On top of the Steam check they have to deal with the SecureROM crap.
Or that was how it worked 2 days ago. This fiasco has a new episode every hour...
August 24, 2007 9:32:08 PM

Flakes said:
played the demo and loved it i was ready to go and buy the game, im now downloading it for free, i refuse to have anythng on my pc that uses DRM to make it secure.

ive never bought a game that uses DRM.

on the legal front if you install the game then upgrade your pc say new HDD and gfx and Processor, can you only play the game on a machine that has been upgraded less than 5 times?

if anyone doesnt believe me about buying games legally that dont use drm. i can post a pic of all of my games that i have bought legally, i just hate DRM and therefore wont fund it in anyway, and i dont see why anyone else has to have DRM on there PC, stand up for yourslf and say No to the asshats behind it.



Well, probably a quarter of those games I have in the pic have some sort of DRM, like starforce in c&c3, but my main issue is the installation limit, it's ridiculous, 5 installs on one pc, but you can install it on up to 5 pcs, that's sorta like 25 installations. I see 2k caving in soon, so I will probably buy Bioshock on the weekend and not open it.
August 24, 2007 9:51:29 PM

Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if they did it by IP? Maybe 2 or 3 possible IP's and that's it? Most of us have a single connection, and few with 2 (like myself). That way you can, in a sense, add an IP to the list and you won't have to worry about uninstalls/installs. Then if your IP ever changes, and you run Bioshock, it could prompt you saying would you like to add this IP (and if there are too many, you could remove an IP). Makes more sense to me, anyway.

Err, where did you guys read it was 5 installs per PC? I sincerely doubt that, and if it were true, an uninstallation would add an possible installation.

At any rate, I will be cracking this game anyway. I prefer to not have the Disc in the drive (quieter). It is just frustrating that I went out of my way to buy the LE and get screwed like this.
August 24, 2007 10:01:36 PM

Greetings!

My IP is dynamic, not fixed...
August 24, 2007 10:06:40 PM

Is there any other way to identify a location uniquely?
August 24, 2007 10:40:42 PM

I'm sorry but the guy on the right is one of THE most irritating guys I have ever seen. I had to register just to post how much he annoys me but I had to say something. He was trying to get attention all the way during the beginning and then he went on about how he was "hurt, really hurt" and how we wanted to jump out a window. Get a life! The whole format is so amateur - when you have a format that is based upon people having personality it is preferable to pick people that you don't want to stab repeatedly. Does anyone actually like his style or does he irritate everyone?

The issue itself is perfectly relevant, though - I'm not complaining about the topic.
August 24, 2007 11:05:44 PM

And I thought CD checks were annoying. I've actually worn out 2 CD drives by having to swap the CDs every time I fired up a different game, but this takes the cake.

DRM only blocks legitimate users from using the game. Quit wasting your resources. Pirates can and do break all DRM schemes, so it doesn't hinder them much.

I'm a bit torn on this issue. I loved the demo, and want Irrational to keep being funded to make more great games, but I can't morally support 2K's decision to add a rootkit-based DRM system to the game. I wish I'd known about these issues before I ordered the game.

I boycotted Ubisoft when they used Starforce on their games, but luckily they dropped it when the bad press came pouring in. If 2K doesn't release a patch that totally removes the DRM from the game, I will no longer purchase any games that they publish. Want my money? Don't treat me like a criminal. I should note that I don't download games, although I did have a friend send me a cracked copy of one game, so for that I feel bad. I do download no-cd cracks for any game that I don't play online 'cause it's hella annoying to swap CDs all the time.

I will add my Kudos to both id and Epic, who release patches that remove the CD checks from their games after they've been out for a reasonable amount of time. I wish every company did this. Well, I really wish they'd just let me play my game, that I bought, without treating me like a criminal, but at least they only treat me like a criminal for a little while.
August 24, 2007 11:21:07 PM

Also GPG (Supreme Commander), they removed cd checks with a patch.
August 25, 2007 12:03:46 AM

DRM is worthless, any one who thinks that their attempts at media control will work are fools.

DRM will never work as intended. Thieves and Pirates are legitimized by your attempts at controlling our rights. When we buy a game, video, or music, we now own the right to play that game or play that music.

We have locks on our doors to protect our belongings, and we control the locks, just as we control our belongings. Unless you plan on paying for infiltrating our houses with your batsh1t DRM, keep it in your pants, and away from everyone else.



August 25, 2007 12:12:30 AM

Meanwhile The console version of Bioshock will only be allowed to play on a maximum of 2 consoles. You will have to purchase additional copies if you plan on playing the game on any other console that you own. This helps ensure that legitimate buyers are even more frustrated as they attempt to use a product that they bought and payed for to a point that they might as well skip the game all together.


DRM in the year 2020::: Game titles limit spectators to just you and 1 friend, come with fingerprint IDs and retinal scan to ensure that only your copy of the game can only be played by you and 1 person watching. Any more people participating will have to purchase additional licenses.
August 25, 2007 12:44:27 AM

If they thought DRM would be useful to avoid BioShock from being "copied/distributed/torrented/emuled", well... bad move. Really bad move. Even Bill Gates said DRM is useless. Just remember: Piracy exists because "it is profitable". The only way to fight piracy is to stop it from being profitable. I just wonder how much this DRM thingie raised BioShock final price. Because without DRM, the game should be cheaper... right?
August 25, 2007 1:12:02 AM

theyarecomingforyou said:
I'm sorry but the guy on the right is one of THE most irritating guys I have ever seen.
The issue itself is perfectly relevant, though - I'm not complaining about the topic.


Yes, extremely irritating, and now a drama queen. :cry: 
August 25, 2007 7:56:57 AM

wicko said:
Is there any other way to identify a location uniquely?


MAC address.
August 25, 2007 8:58:13 AM

I was going to buy bioshock, but now I won't. I live in Turkey, and tho piracy is rampant, I try my best to buy legally. I own quite a number of boxed items, and I own quite a number of games on my Steam account. I employ some sort of Nocd hack on all of my CD based games. I am going to buy orange box, and crysis whether my system can handle it or not, to support the developers.

DRM has always worked against legal users, and it will continue to do so. Just leave the legal users alone! Let them play they way they want. I will have to repeat: I will *NOT* buy bioshock, for this sole reason.

Now, xbox360 version of this game will sell *a lot*. And probably owing it to this DRM scheme, it will sell quite less than it can, on the PC version. And they will start screaming that PC gaming is dying, because of piracy. Ironic!


August 25, 2007 9:35:48 AM

Greetings!

Gamespot has gone one step further in defending the legitimate users: :applauses:
Editorial: Sadly boycotting Bioshock
I am disheartened not to buy a copy of Bioshock. I want to buy it, I loved the demo, but I regret now installing the demo software.

http://www.gamespot.com/users/Bozanimal/show_blog_entry...;subject;1
August 25, 2007 10:17:29 AM

hesido said:

Now, xbox360 version of this game will sell *a lot*. And probably owing it to this DRM scheme, it will sell quite less than it can, on the PC version. And they will start screaming that PC gaming is dying, because of piracy. Ironic!


Actually this is a very good point, the devellopers are destroying pc gaming simply by using DRM. I cant help but think vista is gonna end up being a great success, simply because the OS is shipped pre-installed on systems and most of the people wont kno how to uninstall it, microsoft will simply look at the numbers and go that was another successful OS, i dunno about anyone else but im starting to wish MS and other companies would actually listen to there customers.

to be fair there are a few companies out there that do listen and i commend them.

August 25, 2007 11:10:03 AM

Zoron said:
MAC address.


True they could somehow try to link it to MAC address.

BUT depending on router and NIC it may not work. I am not sure which one it would pull. If it were to pull you outer firewall, you could likely have all the PCs in your house installed. If you have 5 installs/MACs you could give it to 4 friends.

I agree with a few of the posters here. NOTHING the software copies can do will stop the piracy. It only hurts the paying customers.
August 25, 2007 1:10:15 PM

I vote this game botched-launch-of-the-year! The devs should extend their vacation for a bit longer..
August 25, 2007 6:15:39 PM

Why couldn't they do it like regular games? If it plays online, anyone with the same CD key get's booted. Single player will be subject to piracy however have a patch that wipes out known pirated CD keys. Having the CD in the drive is an effective method since some CDs are contain irregular bits that make it difficult to clone. (much like how you just can't copy a PS2 game on a CD burner and just stick it into the drive without having a mod-chip installed). The MacAdress item can work. It would make pirating alot harder. Profesional programs like Quark and Maya uses your computer's mac address to generate a key. Of course this will be difficult if you want to bring the game onto your laptop or have to change nic card. Plus what Mac-address will it choose? the wireless one? the internal one? or the gigabit PCI one?

Seriously, the DRMs only hurt legitimate buyers while the pirates say to themselves "boy I'm sure glad I got a pirated copy, that way I don't have to deal with all the hassels of having a DRM" To me, the best DRM is the minimal one, just run the game with the CD in the drive.
August 25, 2007 9:44:07 PM

I will not be buying the game for this reason. This is ridiculous. I mean, seriously... I like to replay games every time I upgrade my PC and I do a fresh install of XP every now and again. What if I have a multi-OS system. This is dumb.... sorry Bioshock.. I was actually looking forward to this game.
August 25, 2007 10:27:54 PM

Figure this:
You buy the game, you install it, alls well and you're happy.
Oh ****! Harddrive crashes! You've just wasted one install token.

Then over probably just 1-2 years, you've accidentally formated before uninstalling once or twice, maybe you got a virus, maybe a new computer.

Eventually, and I'm sure this is gonna come sooner than you expected;
You spent all five tokens.

And then what the f*ck what?
Your game for 55USD suddenly isn't yours any more? What the hell?

I might as well not own it to begin with.

Steam here, albeit it's flaws at times, easily has the smartest solution.
You can install it anywhere, anytime, as many times as you like, BUT only one person at a time. (And not really that with offline mode and SP games...)

Edit: Nvm, same securom virus on steam apparently...
August 26, 2007 12:07:40 AM

I agreed with alot said in the video.

I understand the need for anti-piratcy.

But this is just bull ****.

What happens in the event of a pc, crash. They happen all the bloody time. And you can't uninstall the game. Bye bye 1 install

Rookit's, ahhhh. Didn't they learn from Sony and there DRM scandle.

I was thinking of buying this game. Read the 2 installs problem and was thinking steam was the answer.

But Rookit's - NO WAY. I have just had to format because of Rookit's and a virus. NOT AGAIN, NO WAY.

You just lost some business.

I believe Steam is the best system to prevent people copying games. I actually like steam. Too bad the developers had to include the rookit in the steam version too. Someone needs to be taken out back and shot over that.
August 26, 2007 7:11:46 PM

Amazing Game ... and yes fine, by all means limit the number of installs ....

But 2K are YOU LISTENING ? ....get rid of this Securom abhorrence now !

no messing ...sort it out!
August 26, 2007 7:56:37 PM

Greetings!

After trying the WiC single player demo that comes with SecuROM, went to look in Rootkit Revealer forums and it seems SecuROM gets flagged as a false positive:
http://forum.sysinternals.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=11253...

Still malware, though. If not for anything else, the pain to remove it from the system.
Might get Bioshock eventually when the patch with the added activations gets out.
August 27, 2007 12:09:05 PM

Apparently Ken Levine has stated that this system will be gone in a few months, it was put in place to "stop" piracy LOL.

How is this thing "removed" is there some kind of clock in the install that says drm time is over or do the servers just send an OK? Are you still gonna need an internet connection for this thing in 5 years?
August 27, 2007 12:53:07 PM

Copy protection is a waste of money there has been no copy protection that has not been cracked, and latest copy protection schemes cause problems in the games themselves.

I have bought games that have not been able to play because the copy protection didn't like my dvd burner and refused to install, in some cases the copy protection caused the game to lockup or caused performance issues.

In those cases i was forced to find cracks for my newly purchased game then it worked like a dream, the game stopped crashing all the time.

Stop piracy thats a pipe dream no copy protection has ever done that but secureroms bank account got alot larger.

Im not saying that piracy is a good thing but if drm on games cause it to crash then that drm does not belong on the market.


August 27, 2007 1:05:10 PM

Everyone seems to be forgetting to talk about the worst part of this SecuROM abomination, it INSTALLS ROOTKIT MALWARE!!

The SecurROM malware installs on your machine with the game, but DOES NOT UNINSTALL! When you remove the game, the SecuROM malware stays behind and is VERY difficult to remove. It's more difficult to remove than almost all of the worms and trojan horses out there.

This is as bad, if not worse than the Sony root kit disaster from a few years ago.
August 27, 2007 6:15:04 PM

Mac Address is not a viable solution, it's almost as easy to mask as IP address is. Heck, I can manually change the mac address on my router to be whatever I'd like.

There is no viable DRM solution. DRM must stop.
August 29, 2007 4:38:25 PM

My 2 cents and before I say these please understand that I have been playing video games since I was 4 on the Atari 2600, Commodore 64 starting at the age of 8, etc. and I've logged more hours playing video games that I would care to admit to. However, I would rather have _NO_ video games at all than have them with DRM.

I hope that I am not the only one and that companies like 2K realize that they have a choice between either making some money (no DRM) or no money at all (DRM). And besides, as many others have pointed out, DRM doesn't work. The pirates will just keep cracking and leeching regardless and the legitimate customers will be stuck with PC crippling rootkits. This corporate idea that DRM = increase in bottom line is a fantasy at best.

Vote with your wallets folks.
August 31, 2007 3:17:21 AM

Edited, because Dupre is too angry to post straight.
August 31, 2007 5:42:09 AM

DRM simply doesn't work. Software will be cracked, and people will still buy it. Call it guilt or morality or whatever, it will happen. If you look at all the protection methods used for digital media, they have all been defeated. Sure there may be a few oddballs that took longer. But I can't think of a single major offline title that hasn't been cracked.

Securerom-defeated
Starforce-defeated
Safedisk-defeated
DVDs-defeated
hddvd-defeated
bluray-defeated

Bottom line is that he PC gaming industry makes tons of money. DRM is not going to hurt pirates at all, after all they will be playing these titles with the DRM removed. DRM will only hurt the legitamate customer base. The game companies should simply put the DRM budget money into thier pockets, and allow for shrink. Get use to it, it's going to happen, and it's not going to ruin your business.
August 31, 2007 7:13:31 AM

Totally agree with Rob on cracking, just boycott, thats the best option.
August 31, 2007 9:15:46 AM

I am just not buying this pos. sucky models and crappy compared to system shock i format like every few weeks so screw that i will never ever support this bs. I will never buy another 2k game.
August 31, 2007 9:26:06 AM

This whole topic seems to have descended into the realm of paranoia. :sarcastic: 

Honestly, I think everyone needs to calm down. Smashing your game with a hammer (and ruining the desk while you're at it) is a perfect analogy for all this. Now you need a new desk! Long after the software developers fix this problem with their publisher, you will STILL need a new desk. :pfff: 

For one, I am confident that with the reputation of the development team that actually worked on the game, that this strangely restrictive DRM model they've used was not their idea. Some "genius" :pfff:  at the publisher forced this on them. Obviously it was a mistake. Having said that, I'm also sure that they're realizing now that they've just "offended their audience in the worse way possible" and will attempt to eliminate the mistake.

So they screwed up. Name us a company that hasn't. At least the game isn't beta software shoved out the door for Christmas. It's got a couple bugs to patch, but it works. It even supports an Xbox 360 controller if you plug it into your computer and want to run it just like the console version. And the game got great reviews. So there's nothing wrong with the cookies except the box they came in, so to speak, and I've seen too many games that weren't worth the time to play when they came out for incomplete development. And there are way too many games that just plain suck.

For now, because the anti-piracy software the publisher chose to use is manifesting like a nasty bug and the media has latched on (including THG) like bloodthirsty tabloids, it looks bad. But I agree with the sentiment that a model like Steam is a good idea.

Here's why: I don't steal games. I buy them. A lot of them. (Maybe even too many; there are games I've bought I haven't played yet collecting dust.) Being able to have online access to new titles without needing to find them at the store, and USUALLY PAY LESS FOR THEM is appealing in and of itself to me about Steam. It also provides simple copy protection. You log in, you play. You could log in from anywhere, on someone else's computer, download your stuff, and you're good to go. There IS NO disc to lose. You can go back and get it again at any time, or back it up yourself with their utility. In this particular case, I'm sure that Valve will resolve any problems with Bioshock; I seriously doubt their platform would tell you you can't get the game again because 3rd-party DRM would interfere with and is contra to their own relatively elegant system. They've already released a patch on the 22nd to quote "fix uninstall/reinstall issue with Bioshock." I'm sure there will be a couple more of those and then everything will be fine. And by then, hopefully 2K will have re-implemented their own system.

Back to the video: Rob keeps all his stuff. Well, great. And he's concerned about the people that don't. Well, I'm not so sure we should feel sorry for them. If you have a console game, and you ruin your disc, you're SOL. And if you lend out your favorite album on vinyl, that special collector's edition of so-and-so, and it gets lost, then you're hooped. If you lose your car keys, you're in trouble. Who is to say that it's an unreasonable thing to ask that you not throw out your game box or instruction book, etc.? No one feels sorry for you if you screw up losing OTHER things in life. Or, go with a digital distribution model that works, like Steam.

But in either case, the hysteria's a little hard to swallow. My advice is to do what MOST people do with PC games... wait for the price to drop and wait for the first couple of patches to come out, and THEN buy it. Or get the Xbox version. Or get it on Steam.

As for "rootkits" this isn't really a rootkit... it's an overzealous piece of copy protection software that we all know about now, and that is well documented. It's a lot like most of the OTHER CRAP we all install on our PCs that gunks up the windows registry. If it wasn't for that gunk, we wouldn't NEED to reformat our machines very often, remember? The whole thing is very ironic, dontcha think? :sol: 
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