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EA Copies Ubisoft's Restrictive Internet DRM

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 66 comments

Command & Conquer 4 "has no DRM," except for Internet-required DRM.

It's no secret that Ubisoft's latest DRM scheme isn't one that's garnering any fans. The requirement for a constant and stable internet connection constantly for one to play Silent Hunter 5 or Assassin's Creed II or the upcoming Splinter Cell Conviction means that gameplay can be halted with any break in connection or fault on Ubisoft's end.

Despite the public backlash over this system, it seems that it is gaining some popularity over at EA. In a forum post by a C&C Community Manager Apoc, it was revealed that Command & Conquer 4 "has no DRM," but gamers must be connected to the internet. Check out the post below. (Emphasis added by Tom's Hardware.)

First thing to be clear about, Command & Conquer 4 has NO DRM. Zip, zero, zilch, none. We already made this clear.

Second, you do not need the disc in the machine to play Command & Conquer 4, however the following is how it works:

-AFTER you install Command & Conquer 4 with the disc on your machine, when you try to LOGIN at the Launcher for the first time, it will ask you for your serial key. You will enter in your serial key to activate your Master EA Account. The serial key, like in our past games, can only be activated for 1 master account. You cannot install multiple EA Master accounts on one serial key. You can create multiple Commander Personas however, so if you and your brothers each want your own Persona account with experience, etc, you can do that. Just has to be under the same Master EA account as in our past games.

-You can install the game from the disc as many times as you want on any machine. Re-install, etc.

-You do not need the disc in your machine to play. Your EA account just needs to have been activated by your serial key. After that, you can play Command & Conquer 4 on ANY MACHINE that has it installed. All you need to do is login.

-
To play Command & Conquer 4, the computer needs to be connected to the internet. We've always made that clear as well.

So there ya go, no DRM, no disc in the drive necessary, just activate your account with your serial key and presto, you're ready to go. It's actually much easier than before.

It does appear that the internet connection is required to authenticate upon program launch, so it's possible that the game can continue being played even if the master server or your internet connection dies. We've contacted EA for clarification.

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Top Comments
  • 35 Hide
    brother shrike , March 18, 2010 11:55 PM
    I don't know what their definition of DRM is, but that is definitely DRM in my book.
  • 22 Hide
    chrisjust98 , March 19, 2010 12:01 AM
    It's not as bad if you only have to authenticate only at launch and not the whole time you're playing, but it's still super lame.
  • 12 Hide
    icepick314 , March 19, 2010 12:13 AM
    that's why after buying C&C Generals and Zero Hour, C&C 3 Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath, C&C Red Alert 3 and Uprising, I WON'T be buying C&C 4 eventhough I would LOVE to see what happens at the end of Kane's Wrath...

    I don't want to receive permission from EA when and where I can play games I purchased legitimately...

    is it THAT hard for EA executives to understand that people WILL buy if they want...

    only thing this authentication doing is inconvenience legit buyers....

    as they say, locks only keep honest people out....
Other Comments
  • 35 Hide
    brother shrike , March 18, 2010 11:55 PM
    I don't know what their definition of DRM is, but that is definitely DRM in my book.
  • 9 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 18, 2010 11:57 PM
    I suspect it won't be long before a third-party solution to the problem is developed. This authentication mechanism will only inconvenience the average non-technical legitimate gamers.
  • 22 Hide
    chrisjust98 , March 19, 2010 12:01 AM
    It's not as bad if you only have to authenticate only at launch and not the whole time you're playing, but it's still super lame.
  • 0 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , March 19, 2010 12:11 AM
    That's just like how company of heroes is. That's mostly ok. Though in company of heroes you only have to do that if you don't want to use the disc.
  • 12 Hide
    icepick314 , March 19, 2010 12:13 AM
    that's why after buying C&C Generals and Zero Hour, C&C 3 Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath, C&C Red Alert 3 and Uprising, I WON'T be buying C&C 4 eventhough I would LOVE to see what happens at the end of Kane's Wrath...

    I don't want to receive permission from EA when and where I can play games I purchased legitimately...

    is it THAT hard for EA executives to understand that people WILL buy if they want...

    only thing this authentication doing is inconvenience legit buyers....

    as they say, locks only keep honest people out....
  • 6 Hide
    nukem950 , March 19, 2010 12:31 AM
    So EA cant get past completely getting away from C&C style of play. They also have to go and make it so you have to have an internet connection too.

    Well at my university, they block game ports. Thanks EA, I guess you do not care about college students.
  • 6 Hide
    squarewheel , March 19, 2010 12:31 AM
    Isn't that the definition of Digital Rights Management? How are they not managing your right to the digital content?
  • 3 Hide
    Brent_NC , March 19, 2010 12:33 AM
    If a gaming company wants to copy something another company is doing for the good, then by all means. If company A does something so stupid that half the community is ready to boycott them, that is not the time to follow in their footsteps.

    It absolutely amazes me at how disconnected upper echelon folks at gaming companies can be when it comes to working with their community.
  • 4 Hide
    matt87_50 , March 19, 2010 12:35 AM
    oh my god, the companies don't get it.

    WE ARE NOT IDIOTS!!! the only people who might actually buy your crap about this not being DRM are the mainstream users who don't know/care about DRM in the first place!

    the people you are talking to, the people complaining about DRM ARE NOT MAINSTREAM KNOW NOTHINGS!! stop treating us like IDIOTS!!

    this sounds closer to the steam system than ubisoft. but you STILL need an off-line mode!
  • -1 Hide
    matt87_50 , March 19, 2010 12:39 AM
    "You can create multiple Commander Personas however, so if you and your brothers each want your own Persona account with experience, etc, you can do that. Just has to be under the same Master EA account as in our past games. "

    does this mean more than one person can play the game at a time? that would be an improvement on most steam games!
  • 0 Hide
    kingnoobe , March 19, 2010 1:18 AM
    No matt. I doubt that's what it means. It simply means you won't be sharing exp. and things of that nature. Actually most games have that in their own little way. Different characters.. etc. It wouldn't surpise me one bit that only one person can play at a time. Hell I'd be shocked if I was wrong, and then might let their drm slide.
  • -1 Hide
    basilh72 , March 19, 2010 1:20 AM
    This is DRM!!! EA is just playing with semantics. Just like I have boycotted Ubisoft I will now boycott EA. Not just this game, but all their products. I play on-line from home but travel too often to places with no internet access. I need games that do not require on-line access. I can understand some “non-DRM” like this for games that are on-line only but for games that have game play that is not on-line only this is more restrictive than other forms of DRM. DOWN WITH UBISOFT AND NOW EA TOO!!!
  • 2 Hide
    imageraiter , March 19, 2010 1:34 AM
    No reason to care anyways, no one will be buying this piece of crap called CNC 4. I should call it Command 4 because where is the conquer?

    Garbage game.
  • 0 Hide
    imageraiter , March 19, 2010 1:36 AM
    Oh and the storyline...

    Sigh
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 19, 2010 1:49 AM
    I have bought every C&C disk up to Red Alert 3, to include all expansion packs. I gave my hard earned money to them because I liked their product. I had planned on buying this one to, that is until now. Why is it that the stupid people think you are the stupid ones and will continue to give them your hard earned dollars when they don't trust you? As far as I know every version of DRM has been hacked or cracked. If someone wants your stuff bad enough they will find a way to take it. At the same time someone that likes your product and has paid for it over and over again will be insulted by your DRM scam to play a game the way you want them to and not the way they want to.

    Even though I used to Like EA's products, I now hope they fall flat on the A$$. I don't care what they say this is still DRM and they will not be getting my dollars this time.
  • 0 Hide
    FloKid , March 19, 2010 1:54 AM
    LoL I like the game and don't care about the login thing either. It's good to know that the game won't end when a connection is lost though. Multiplayer is what really counts, why would someone want to buy the game and play it once with their friends in like months. There are plenty of people out there, and it makes strategies more diverse. Well time to play it.
  • 5 Hide
    maigo , March 19, 2010 2:40 AM
    Once they crack this new wave of DRM we'll have 2-3 years before they figure out it doesn't work. Next it'll be encrypted thumb drives that you play the game off of
  • 0 Hide
    spoofedpacket , March 19, 2010 2:58 AM
    Hate_DRMI don't care what they say this is still DRM and they will not be getting my dollars this time.


    You know, if you had really bought all those titles, you would be well aware none of them have any offline play value. Even the first C&C was a turd in single player, and modem vs modem play was the only way to play after a few hours of exposure to the weak AI tactics.
  • 2 Hide
    john5246 , March 19, 2010 5:06 AM
    FAIL

    Someone will find a fix for this. You can set something on your network to make the software think it's connected to the internet, but it depends what it's looking for when it connects to EA's servers. Either way this is not the end of piracy.

    Companies need to realize that their price-point is wrong. They need to sell things much cheaper. Of course the Harvard Grads (who've had everything handed to them in life anyway because they're high-society) will argue that piracy keeps prices high. LMFAO!!! No it doesn't if more people bought their products they wouldn't lower the price they'd pay themselves more. More pay for the CEO that's it!!!
  • 2 Hide
    welshmousepk , March 19, 2010 5:13 AM
    seems to be happening more and more lately, and its shameful.

    not allowing a person to play a game they bought, because they don't have an internet connection, is ridiculous.
    what about those of us outside america? where stable Internet connections are very hard to come by?

    this whole DRM thing is becoming very disheartening. and i truly hope they learn a lesson before PC gaming dies.

    let it be said, that its not piracy destroying PC games, its anti-piracy DRM.
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