back to article BioShockers delivered from DRM hell

After howls of pain from gaming addicts everywhere, 2K Games has eased the draconian DRM restrictions on its much ballyhooed new title BioShock. In the wake of the game's launch earlier this week, countless users - including a senior associate editor with PC Gamer - complained that BioShock's SecuROM copy protection software …


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  1. The Mighty Spang

    will wait for warez version

    actually i wont, i tried the demo out and it doesnt run with all the nice stuff turned on on my laptop which kinda defeats the point. plus it all seems like yet another fps on rails, quite dull.

    as for limiting reinstalls and an activation server, bugger that. I re-installed Deus Ex a couple of days ago and playing that yet again, a game from 2000. Could I do that with limited reinstalls and perhaps an activation server that might not be there 7 years later (though it looks like the bioshock gameplay doesnt warrant that amount of replay anyway)

    one more thing is it important its set in 1960? cause the environment looks more 1930s art deco to me.,

  2. Chris Hedley Silver badge

    More aggro than I can be faffed with

    Sounds like that's one game I'll just have to live without. I know life will be hard, but I can't be bothered with all that sort of aggro: if 2K think I'm going to put up with that sort mucking about, they can stuff their... well, you get the idea.

  3. Serandin

    They've lost a sale

    Sadly, a nice looking game that I am morally obligated not to buy. I was really looking forward to it too.

    As a game developer myself I understand the desire to get paid for your work...but harassing all your paying customers is just stupid and counterproductive. Plus It'll take at most a week for a hacked version to get out in the wild.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re:will wait for warez version

    I think it's set in 1950s but Rapture itself was built in 30s i think. But i am the proud owner of a 360 so none of this will bother me :)

  5. Morely Dotes

    DRM == lost sales

    That's it. End of story. I won't steal it, but I won't buy it, either.

    DRM is properly termed "Technology Users' Rights Denial System," or TURDS for short.

    I don't buy anything that contains TURDS (except lawn fertilizer).

    I really want this game, too. Ah, well, I'll buy a new MP3 player - one without TURDS - instead.

  6. Andy S

    Limited reinstalls?

    Which F*cktard thought that one up? Like most people i have a finite amount of space on my pc, and when i get a new game, i tend to unintsall an old one to free up space. there are only so many 2-10GB games that you can have installed at once. if i want to play again i wait the 10 mins extra it takes to install it again. I also find i tend to reinstall windows at least once a year to keep it happy, 5 attempts at that and i have to buy a new copy?

    I will not buy a game with such restrictions. i notice its available on steam, which shouldn't be like this so i may get it there. Most likely i'll avoid the risk and just download a pirate version. great business model though, make a game so restrictive you actually encourage people to pirate it!

  7. Ian

    RE:will wait for warez version

    I'd have said that too once.... But now the games aren't even worth downloading nevermind finding a clean copy.

    The games of today are just the same old same old shite like they were in the late 80's before the VG industry collapsed.

    Can't wait for the next big one... I feel it coming :P and I hope EA is the first to go LOL.

    Bit like football in the UK, too big for their own boots and the supporters are only willing to pay so much while they same teams win over and over again. (and dont start me on the SPL :P )

  8. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    Half-Life 2, anybody?

    At least these dudes are going to supply a "removing tool" for licensing. I remember reading somewhere that a dad was pi**ed off b/c his kid installed HL2 on his brother's machine, but couldn't install it later on his own machine, *even if the damned game was uninstalled on the other one*. Sierra basically told them "you're screwed".

    That's the main reason I have not bought that game.

  9. Nagy, Balázs András


    This is ... well, I wanted to say hilarious, but since I was planning to buy it, I'd say sad indeed.

    First, I have a number of old games (like one mentioned Deus Ex) that I like to just dig up and play with. Hell, I can't count the times I installed, played, then uninstalled Albion, Fallout 1-2, Max Payne 1-2, Starcraft, Broken Sword 1-2, Dungeon Keeper, Imperium Galactica 1-2... just to name a few in my sight. I have them all in original, and thankfully not limited to only 5 PCs and 5 reinstalls. Mind you, I changed mine more than that from the time I first opened any of these.

    Second, a single player game with a rootkit and mandatory internet activation. Again, when the crack comes out -because as with all before it, it is not the question of if, but when - the very same thing happens: those who bought are suckered, those who download and crack it laugh.

    So... before this misery, this copy protection started, I knew I paid because the studio earned it, by making a great game and not kicking me in the pants. Now? There are some companies that caught up with this, and patched their game to be non-CP (eg: X3) or didn't even use it to begin with (Oblivion).

    All in all, we are _NOT_ delivered from DRM hell, just tossed a tiny bit further from the center of it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another one that won't be buying it

    I'm a massive fan of the System Shock games and I've been looking forward to BioShock ever since I heard about it, but having read about these ridiculous restrictions I will not be buying it ever. Which is really disappointing, because it looks great.

    I just can't believe that someone actually signed off on this - heard the proposal, thought about it, and decided yes, let's make life as difficult as possible for our paying customers as well as making their game useless a few years down the line, even though we know full well that the copy protection will be cracked in a matter of days. How can it be considered good business to make the pirated version of your product more appealing than the official version?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Effectively your renting the game, and if they make a profit then they'll keep applying this kind of crap in future.

    So ask yourself, do you wanna rent all your future games? or own them?

    Like a dog, Games should be for life - not just for 5 installs. (They'll be selling installation tokens next).

    Don't buy this game! let them learn the consumer rules...

  12. Chris Clawson

    Not quite a rootkit

    "One Reg reader has compared all this to the infamous Sony rootkit fiasco. But we think that's a little much."

    Perhaps, but it seems a bit ironic that SuckyROM is owned by Sony...

  13. Name

    Re: Another one that won't be buying it

    Next time you get a free moment at work, walk down to your marketting department (or whatever they're calling themselves - ours term themselves "Company Creative Vision Department") and see the calibre of people that pursue a career in semi-sales. Then you'll see the kind of person who would sign this off.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    it happens that people have to get the broken version to keep a game running. It happened with me that I had to get a drmless binary, just to get a legally intalled game running, altough I installed the game from the original cd, but the makers of the game are long gone, along with their servers. (my oldest games that I keep playing are running on an amiga emulator, and yes I had the original hardware)

    5 installs mean you are really buying play time for the game, much like you do on the xbox360 or most pay to play mmorpgs. Windows vista tries to bring this kind of renting the hardware, the network capability and the game binaries thing into the pc world.

    If oblivion used drm, it wouldn't became a hit that it is. And imagine if you could only install starcraft 5 times. The game would have never had the chance to be a national pasttime in Korea and it would probably disappeared a few months after its release. So is bioshock so bad, that they want it off the market within a year or they just want to make it an xbox360 exclusive? (where your computer probably dies before your licenses run out)

    ps: The game seems to be happening after 1959, because the city's last peaceful moment was the new year's eve in 1959, but it was built earlier. The problem is that it isn't obvious how many years have passed since the collapse of society. Btw I would like to know if it's playable to the end with the use of conventional weapons only...

  15. Greg Nelson

    Well Done! Really, Really Well Done!

    !!!! Great! ( no I don't think that's enough exclamation marks even tho more than three is thought to be mad )

    Gaming needs just this sort of DRM. I'm not being facetious. Gamers are a near feral, hungry bunch, I know, I'm one of them. The worst cases are those who play fps games like Biosphere. If you're a feral, hungry gamer then you'll know or intuit a golden rule of life: Faster nervous systems eat slower nervous systems. It's just the way it is. FOSS is a super fast nervous system that is closing fast on DRM driven software. 2K Games has done well to grab the cash while it can because it's on the menu. The sort of DRM shit 2K is force feeding it's customers is required to wean gamers off the MS platform and onto gaming developed for Linux and FOSS. You say it'll never happen? You're wrong.

    FOSS developers think fast, move fast and don't like impediments. The characteristics of FOSS developers are those of a rapacious predator rather than a virus laden, communist hippie. Throw up a road block they move around it. Circle the wagons, build a fort, so much the better ( you stay inside your compound, grow old and eat the grandchildren ). The barriers to trade and play necessary to the status quo in a capitalist venture make work of play and slow processes to a degree that makes a meal of proprietary works for hungry FOSS developers. Jacking into Biosphere may be a fine rush but it's really not as much fun as eating 2K, MS, Sony and their ilk for lunch. Once up and running FOSS games will give gamers what proprietary game developers can't, endless extensions, countless variations on themes already established. Themes that are as old as stories themselves and only need to be newly skinned.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good excuse to save some money.

    I'll not be buying this. Not a chance.

    I will not buy it for myself, or as a present. The nieces and nephews tend to call -me- for tech support on gift games. I can just imagine the response I'll get when I tell the SecuROM people that I'm trying to debug three different installations in three separate physical locations.

    - The Garret

  17. Matt Haswell


    Was really looking forward to this.... but no way am I going to buy something with that stupid DRM. I don't mind DRM that means you need the DVD (I buy *all* my games unlike some people) but this just seems utterly stupid.

    It reminds me - I have a copy of "Freedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich" which I have never played. I installed it once but then needed the space before I got around to play it. Went to install it about 6 months later and was hit by the stupid Star-Force protection install which requires it's own code that wasn't on the manual. Yep - it was on a bit of paper that has gone missing during that 6 months. ARGH.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid mistake

    Bioshock is seemingly the most favorably rated game ever, and if its gameplay matches up to its art direction then it will probably prove to be a real classic. The industry needs these beautiful games to help the non gaming public understand what games can offer. Wtf were 2K thinking to wrap it in DRM like this? I've gone from considering buying a 360 to play it on to really disliking this game on principle. 2K have really shot themselves in the foot. 2K you nubs.

  19. Matt Haswell

    Just realised - Freedom Force made by Irrational Games/2K Games too

    Damn them.

  20. Mike Plunkett

    No Problems Here

    Bought Bioshock yesterday, installed it and it activated first time with no trouble whatsoever. Funnily enough I had exactly the same experience with Half Life 2 - installed and activated with no issues or glitches at all.

    Good game too, although it seems to suffer from some technical/stability issues at the moment (as most games seem to when first released). Just like System Shock 2 it is very successfully scaring the crap out of me :-)

  21. Sampler

    When the pirate version out?

    For all those saying "when not if a pirate copy is available"...

    Erm, it hit the net as early as Wednesday - before the UK launch I may add - so just what is all this money they've spent on securom keeping secure?

    From a business point of view it's a terrible investment, EVERY game without exception has had it's copy protection cracked and the vast majority before launch - so why pay for what evaluates to nothing? Well actually, it's worse than nothing, nothing wouldn't piss off customers and reduce sales as stated above.

    Soon as game houses realise this and companies like securom and starforce go under the better for everyone - more money for the game developers not being spent on the (in)security and a better end user experience by the customers.

    Those who don't want to pay for it won't, regardless of what measures are put in place - copy protection doesn't increase sales, good gameplay and a pleasant end user experience does.

  22. D. M

    Who cares

    We will only see more DRMs. The future is depending on how stupid people really are.

    People are stupid, "we" forget that it is the consumer drives business. If we gave in easily, then they (business) will feel free to rip us off, and force us to accept what ever they feel like.

    Stop buying any product from any company who support DRM for a year. We will be fine, but they will be gone.

  23. Matthew C.

    For folks who bought this off Steam.

    Based on what I've read and heard, from this being called a rootkit to this being a simple addon to prevent protection, it does quite a few things including hiding copies of itself and resulting in a rather unfriendly removal process. I myself bought the copy through Steam and besides the sudden 300 meg download after the game was set to go live. I had no problems.

    I've gone through the process of removing SecurRom as you can find a few guides around and have in fact run into zero problems playing the game after this. Considering Steam already requires you to be online in most cases to play most games, yet having no CD I'm at a lost as to why this was needed. Even the demo contained this, I've heard to limit the playtime, but why such drastic measures for something like that I don't know.

    Rootkit or simple protection, a backdoor service is still a problem. If the game refused to run without that said protection, I'd have asked for my money back on the spot. Just my two cents.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fat chance

    The day I'm stupid enough to pay for anything that restictive please shoot me.

    If I play this game it definately won't be a copy containing any activation or limitations.

    Oh and "will wait for warez version" why wait, it's often available before local retailers have it, "ingenious" going with this game.

  25. Graeme McKeague

    Half Life 2,

    I have installed half live 2 on 3 PC's without a problem, I done a full backup of steam and restored it on the other PC's. worked without any problems

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear, yet again DRM rears its useless head.

    They just dont learn do they.

    Make life uber awkward for the genuine paying customers and watch them flail about trying to understand why the game they spent 30 or 40 quid on wont work on the kids PC's as well as 30 something game playing dad. Just like iTunes.

    Then watch as the local computer nerd shows em how to download it for fuck all using torrent and newsbin and watch as the previously paying customer never buys software again but always seems to get hold of office 2k7 and vista ultimate and all the mp3's they could ever want on every device they have. For free...

    Ahh, keep the DRM coming cos you can only spend so much developing systems that will be broke in hours...

    God i love DRM...

  27. kev conroy

    works perfectly on my 360

    PC's are just for email, web, photos and TV. Gmaes are on my 360.

    makes life a lo easier, I don't have to buy graphics cards twice a year, nor do I have to upgrade to a quad-core processor to run them.

    Get a VGA cable and plug it into your PC monitor, no install issues, looks and plays a treat.

    It's a thoroughly engrossing game, especially played from the comfort of my sofa, in the dark, decent surround system and a whopping great projector image. It's anything but "just another on rails shooter".

  28. Ryan Stewart

    Thanks for reminding me about the rootkit thing

    Now I really am cheering for HD-DVD and that Blu-Ray dies a horrible death. I dont want Sony to have any control over a media format. Their DVDs already mess with software players.

  29. steve

    im in sheer shock

    so for the people who have over 20-30 games imagine the following.

    all them games only allowed you a 5 re-install then your screwed

    but here's the snag you can't load onto a pc at 1 time 20-30 games it would

    not only mess the entery's into the registry up but most people dont have

    that much hdd space to install all that crap on all at once just in fear of

    never being to re-install it.

    i for one keep 1 or 2 games max on my pc if i wanna play something else

    i will un-install the other games to play new games and visa versa.

    this is basically saying once im installed we dont want you playing any other

    games and if you do were going to punish you by not allowing you to replay this

    i can't beleive this is even legal is it legal? are they breaking the law doing this

  30. Chad H.

    I was thinking about buying it

    Not anymore....... Thats just crazy.

    When will Developers and publishers learn that this is a waste of time.

    The fight against piracy reminds me of one of those simpsons episodes where SIdeshow bob is trying to kill bart... You know the one where he keeps walking into the rakes....

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    remember frontier

    The copy protection in frontier elite 2 was so annoying I got a pirate version just to avoid it (enter code from manual once every hour or two). This was back in amiga days, so games companies driving customers to the pirates is nothing new. If I remember right it robocop 3 with the dongle that 'would end priacy' that was broken in 3 hrs. You'd think they'd have learned by now. I hate having to put cd/dvd in to play a game. When deciding whether to just click icon to start game or hunt out disk from drawer and search for box for cd currently in machine before starting a game, guess which I usually go for. And if I've played one game a lot more than the other and both games have sequel come out guess which one I am more likely to buy.

    Game makers note, drm will hurt your sales and encourage your customers to find pirate sites to bypass it, and having been pushed by you towards the pirate site, next time they might just go straight there to bypass the buying part as well as the drm part.

  32. James Cleveland

    I love the way

    That they screw legit consumers and pirates get away unscathed.

    Its just completely the wrong direction to take. Don't they get it? Who on earth has a brain small enough to make these decisions, it is ridiculous. There is absolutely no reason to have copy protection beyond checks for internet play (which is pretty effective in stopping pirates multi-using a single key).

    Steam is a shining example of this system (eventually) working.

    Won't bioshock be through steam anyway?

  33. Adrian Esdaile

    DRM license fees

    When, oh, when will games developers realise that putting rottweiler DRM might get them 2% more sales than if they hadn't, the license fees for shiteware like SecuROM will probaly cost them in the end. Nor do their beancounters factor in the loss of face the company suffers; look at Ubisoft - I'm one of the many who won't buy their games ever again after getting burnt in the StarFarce fiasco. I don't care if they use it or not now, they are a stupid company for using it, and stupider for playing ostrich when loads of people discovered it's "features" (and somewhat aggressive coders!)

    Bioshock was looking interesting, but not now. I would buy it on Steam, as Steam is a great system that works really, really well, because it cuts you a bit of slack - I've brought all my Steam games across about 5 rigs now, and it's installed at work as I speak (network bandwidth testing. critical!) - they realise it's a bit hard for me to play it at home when I'm at work.

    2K - learn from Valve or "you are the weakest link. Goodbye" and I'm thinking the android version, here!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People try to get us down / just because we play computer games


    Three reinstalls is madness. Five is better - but at the very least, make it so that the player can contact the software company and arrange for more reinstallation credits (a la Microsoft's system whereby if you upgrade several of your PC's components, Windows XP stops working until you contact Microsoft). I am reminded of the situation which happened after Ocean and Digital Image Design collapsed, several years ago; the "download patches" feature of their games stopped working, which meant that several of them became unplayable as Windows was updated.

    Presumably the ultimate goal is a move towards client-server games, which run entirely on the software company's servers, and send out screen updates to dumb terminals; that way, you would not own the game at all, you would rent time on it.

    "Gmaes are on my 360. makes life a lo easier, I don't have to buy graphics cards twice a year, nor do I have to upgrade to a quad-core processor to run them."

    No, you don't have to buy a new graphics card when new games demand it. You have to buy an entirely new model of XBox. And with a PC, even an old-fashioned graphics card can at least run modern games, with some of the detail turned down; with a games console, there is no forwards compatibility of any kind whatsoever at all.

  35. Bleak Outlook

    Warez aint gunna be that easy!

    those who use "downloaded" games will know how it works

    those that have installed or should i say tried to install Bioshock will know the steps

    1 install game

    2 connect to internet/server download valid game .exe

    3 enter valid key

    install an invalid key and the game deletes itself install fold and all

    so a cracker will need to come up with a valid keygen or bypass the need for one.

    find/hack/bypass the downloaded game .exe maybe with some sort of loader?

    its a clever ploy that 2K have pulled its gunna slow them down

    but as we all know crackers are an ego centric bunch

    and will have to do it just to prove they can

    but i dont expect it to happen any time soon maybe give it 1-2 months

    a steam version maybe sooner?

    people bugging over the life of the server , wots to say that 2K wont release a patch removing the need to activate it this way in 5 years

    bioshock dont have the legs to be makin them money in 3 years time

    so why continue to get the hassle from pissed off people ?

    wot ever its all just my opinion

    i only downloaded the demo to see how my system handled it

    as it was sposed to be a bit monster

    i was pleased with the result, i may or may not get the full game i'll see how i feel when the hype died down

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Faulty caps

    His computer did blew because of a faulty caps, not because of the game. He has the series of caps that where faulty in the manufacturing process few years back.

    As for the game DRM and limited re-installs, they can go straight to hell and #$#$%&#$&#$&&&%. Thanks for the warning.

    I won't buy a game that imposes this type of nonsense up on it's users.

  37. Maty


    My comp has a copy of Civ IV on it. I got hooked with Civ I. A game which came without much in the way of DRM. I didn't pay for my copy of Civ I, but if I had not got that copy, I would never have brought II, III or IV.

    I don't like playing with hacked versions, because I don't know what 'bonus' material a hacker has added to the software. Think about it, a 1>gb prog needing system level privileges at many levels - the potential for nasty easter eggs is huuuge.

    So if a legit version is available, I'll pay rather than get the free. But if it's too much hassle, I'll walk away. There's lots of good games out there. Get one where the marketing is as intelligent as the programming.

  38. Steven Marks

    Why wait?

    Bioshock as warez is available now as others have said.

    The warez groups usually have this stuff released before the official launch date as copies are made available by people in the industry (exactly the same as with movies).

  39. Outcast


    Aaah.. the days of the Amiga.....

    Buy XcopyPro (with the hardware bit) and make a perfect mirror copy of whatever copyprotected disk.

    It even copied Pc formatted disks.

    I'm surprised no enterprising fellow/s haven't released something of the ilk for CD/DVD's.

    To the peeps that have never heard of Xcopy (n00bs)... It basically synchronised floppy drives to each other and copied the whole disk as a mirror image. So you got a perfect recreation of original including the copy protection, but it didn't matter if you stuffed a disk up then.

    I even backed up my DV-in enabler disk for my Vx9000 using my A1200 !!

  40. Dam


    2K, you dumb asses...

    Learnt it all from the music industry didn't you?

    "Oh look, let's fck around with customers until they can't take it anymore and ditch their bought game, then dl a pirate version"

    Oh wait, why buy the original when you'll be *forced* to use the pirate version anyways?

    Oh lookie, here, an NFO that describes how to get around the game's protection:

    Now this is a real dilemma to me, buy a game that I won't be able to play anymore in 3 years because of the stupid DRM, or get a not-so-legit version?

    I've made my choice haven't I?

    2K have lost a sale.

    Meanwhile, Nintendo won one, as I bought a wii game yesterday, although my wii is *chipped*

    Continue like so 2K, keep shooting in the foot, and prove to everyone how the Evolution Theory works.

    You're retards, you'll disappear first.

  41. Gregor Kronenberger

    Glad I read this...

    I was rather excited about Bioshock, but at least now I know that I won't be buying it. After the huge amount of trouble I had with the much less draconian DRM in Titan Quest last year (which broke my roaming profiles on top of it) I am going to steer far away from any consumer protected title.

  42. Janine Rawnsley


    My entire life I've been completely anti-piracy. I like collecting games, and keeping them in mint conditoin. I'm a programmer, I like to support the hard work people put in to good games. Bioshock was no exception, I got the collectors edition.

    Had I known about these "restrictions" beforehand though, I would have downloaded the warez version.

    If this is the way things are going, I will stop supporting software companies and start downloading games from now on. Simply because, they have no right whatsoever to dictate how many times I install the game on my own PC. I can understand from a legal standpoint the lmitation of "x machines" but to limit how many times I can put it on my own PC is.. well it's just beyond words.

    I build and rebuild my machine all the time. This is pathetic. They may as well promote piracy because that's what they're doing in effect.

    "Do I get the official version for 40 quid which I can only install x times, or do I download it for nothing 2 days later and skip the CD key checks and install it as many times as I damn well please". hmm. Toughie.

  43. Richard Silver badge

    RE: Warez aint gunna be that easy!

    It's already done.

    I just checked around for a few torrents out of journalistic interest, and found about 50-60 labelled "BioShock" that contain the DVD, and about ten copies of a BioShock crack.

    The torrents are between 2 and 6 days old.

    I have not tested any of these of course, mostly because I don't have much time for games anymore, but given the number of seeds available I think it probably works.

    That is exactly how good DRM is.

    It offers less-than-zero value for money:

    1) No reduction in piracy given that the mean-time-to-crack is of the order of days.

    2) Massive reduction in good-will due to irritated customers.

    3) Large expense at the Customer Services dept, answering calls from those irritated customers.

    And what if I have no internet connection?

  44. g lane

    Treat your customers like criminals?

    A small percentage of the customers will misbehave so the company feels justified in treating ALL customers as thieves.

    Not only does it annoy the honest customer, DRM doesn't even stop the dishonest ones from misbehaving.

  45. This post has been deleted by its author

  46. Greg

    Why not just buy it off Steam?


    While I do worry about how the games I own on Steam will be maintained in the long term (yes, I might want to play Prey in ten years time, which is why I have the DVD), I'd much rather buy BioShock from Steam, even at $55, than buy a DVD with that kind of crap on it.

    Wait a minute....maybe that's the plan! That's genius! Evil genius, mind.

  47. Craig Ringer

    Get them at the discount bin when even the publishers get sick of it

    "Normal" PC game copy protection is quite bad enough.

    Requiring the CD/DVD to be in the drive is ineffective (show me a game that hasn't been cracked) is noisy, annoying, and increases the chance of damaging the media. Which I can't duplicate for regular use, since it'll beak the copy protection. Not that I'd need to duplicate it if I wasn't forced to have it unnecessarily in the drive.

    That's if it works. It'll break if it detects anything on the system that it even vaguely suspects might be in any way suspicious. Or it's Tuesday.

    I've cracked most of the games I've legally bought because they're more convenient (no noisy, must-find-the-damn-thing DVD) and they're more reliable. This won't work with Internet multiplayer stuff, which I must simply endure.

    I'm sick of it, and seriously doubt I'll bother buying any big name games or upgrading my desktop for gaming in future. Gaming isn't fun with this sort of crap, and I'm sick of having a worse "customer experience" than the people who aren't customers at all because they downloaded the damn thing off the Internet.

    I work at a newspaper, and the most evilly licensed software we use (things like QuarkXPress, $1500 publishing software) are about on par with a $100 game from a publisher with a massively overinflated sense of self-importance. High end, oft-pirated software from saner companies like Adobe and Microsoft (yes, Microsoft!) has much smoother and saner licensing than a cheap ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT.

    Many of my favourite games had the copy protection patched out in later versions because even the developers/publishers got sick of it. Maybe it's best to just buy games if and only if the devs cut the crapware out of it - get it at the $20 discount box. It'll save me a bunch on video hardware, too.

  48. Mectron

    Illegal DRM again

    I hope this game will go in history at the most pirated and the ciminal company who publish does not deserve any busniness from any one.

    DRM punish LEGAl users and IS 100% un effective at stoping any kind of piracy.

    NEVER buy any game from 2k.

    2K just join the rank of openly criminal company (like sony) who are no longer legitimate in any way.

    When do companies will understand that illegal DRM is not the solution and never will be. like many of the poster here. i got my licence of XP and Vista, (and many more) by i never activated my computer with them., because DRM is too restrictive! i want to be able to re-install my OS (and any software that i have for the right use) as many time as i want PERIOD. and illegal DRM prevent me from doing that. When people pirate something it's because it is TOO EXPENSIVE! from over vista os to designer watch to game.

  49. steve

    why do you all keep saying about STEAM?

    lol you all think buying this via steam is going to cut out this activation

    re-install problem ... im sorry to inform you that is not the case

    steam purchases and steam users are just as up in arms about this too

    because not only has steam got their own validation DRM they are also

    using the same SecurROM protection within the steam client on bioshock.

    3-5 installs and boom! same problems as the retail bought copy.

    so stop saying STEAM is going to be different it's actually on steampowered

    homeFAQ page right now explaining its no different at all to the retail DVD.

  50. Konstantinos



    I hope this game will go in history at the most pirated and the ciminal company who publish does not deserve any busniness from any one.

    DRM punish LEGAl users and IS 100% un effective at stoping any kind of piracy.

    NEVER buy any game from 2k.

    2K just join the rank of openly criminal company (like sony) who are no longer legitimate in any way.



  51. Jonathan Samuels

    General posting here seesm to be

    I won't buy something with DRM but I will steal it.

    This is exactly the reason software companies use DRM

    Being able to install uninstall the software 3 times is sufficient for 99.9% of users.

    The fact is 99.9% of people ARE dishonest if they think they can get away with it, thats human nature.

    DRM has been around for a long time and is here to stay

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I never buy anything DRM...


  53. RRRoamer

    Stupidity of it all

    [quote]The fact is 99.9% of people ARE dishonest if they think they can get away with it, thats human nature.[/quote]

    No. Actually, they are not. If you can't look around your own life and figure out why this quote is total and complete nonsense, there is no point in me pointing it out to you. It would be over you head.

    Frankly, DRM has been responsible for spawning more pirates than it prevented. How many people have been in the situation where they buy a game, install it and then try to run it only to have the copy protection prevent it from running on their system?

    What do they do? Normally, they call a friend or relative that knows a lot more about computers than they do. And this person shows them how to "get it running" by downloading and using a cracked executable. Now, they are happy. They are playing the game they bought.

    But the next time a game comes out (especially by "that' publisher), they might just check to see if a crack is available before they buy it. Just to be sure.

    And what do they find? The entire game ready for download. And who knows? They might be tempted to download it and "try it" before they buy it. And that is where the true human condition comes and makes them a full pirate: laziness. Why would they go to the store to buy the game when they are busy playing it already? It's not that they don't INTEND to buy it, it just they never get around to it. One sale lost.

    Of course, the next time one of THEIR friends calls with a problem on a game, they know just what to do to get it "working".

    Frankly, the game industry is in worse shape now than they would be if they had just left it alone. The downloads are STILL available, but now you have people who download the game simply because they are still pissed at you because of all the trouble your last copy protected game caused them.

    Plus, I find it amusing that EVERY SINGLE GAME just HAS to be worth $50 (in the US for a "standard" PC game). Oh really? I have seen plenty of games that I would be happy to spend $20 or may be $30 on, but in no way would I spend $50 on it. Some of those games, I have purchased when they got dumped into the bargain bin. Others, by the time they hit the bargain bin, I had no desire to even try them. Not even for $10.

    Is every single car on the road worth $400k? There are a few cars that sell for that much, so why don't car makes price ALL their cars that high? If they thought like the game industry does, they would try it.

  54. Nix

    Response to "General posting here seesm to be"

    No, atually the general posting here seems to be 'I was going to buy this, but you've locked it down so tight I no longer want to'.

    This game was the top of my list of PC titles to purchase, but if I can't even reinstall the bloody thing after five installs (and I often DO go back and play old games, or uninstall due to space restrictions) then I certainly won't be shelling out good cash for this.

    It would seem most folks don't appreciate basically renting a game for $60; if their company's idea of saving money is losing sales, then bravo to them I suppose.

  55. Simon

    No sale

    To develop a game everyone is interested in and then fall flat on their collective asses with DRM stupidity - what a shame.

    Better stuff the corks back in the champange bottles boys, I'm not buying.

    If I was a shareholder, I'd be pissed.

  56. Peter Mc Aulay

    It's unfair to blame the developers for the mistakes of sales/management... buy the game, then crack it. Problem solved. (OK, in the US that's still illegal, but for lots of people it'll work.)

  57. Nathan Boal

    Pointless but will be removed eventually

    I agree wholeheartedly with all the comments posted so far, I am totally against DRM in any shape or form.

    Saying that, I remember reading somewhere that games companies tend to put heavy copy protection on their products when they are launched due to the massive number of people anxious to play the game, thus making sure they get the maximum number of people buying their own copies of the game. Then after a year or two they remove the copy protection through the latest patch as the demand for the game dwindles.

    I suspect the same thing will happen with Bioshock, although rather than just discontinuing a simple CD/DVD check, they will have to disable the SecuROM protection too. I suspect they probably pay SecuROM for providing this 'protection', so they will probably discontinue it once the sales of the game drop below a certain point where it doesn't make financial sense to keep paying for the SecuROM functionality.

    The whole 5 installs/5 reinstalls business is absolutely scandalous. As a former top-end gaming rig owner (I have a Mac Pro these days, with a Xbox 360 for gaming), I understand a lot of people like to rebuild their PCs regularly, or reinstall Windows from time to time. This will do nothing but totally rub their top customers up the wrong way.

    Another nail in the coffin of PC gaming I think... the 360 version is as always far simpler for the consumer and the graphics are still amazing on a big HDTV.

  58. A. Merkin

    Secure = Cheap?

    Since this game is "unpirateable", it must be selling for $14.99, right?

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: stuff 'n' junk from Jonathan Samuels

    Lets see, DRM is designed to prevent piracy.

    BioShock is already cracked and available as WAREZ: Check.

    Honest Customers that have bought the game are annoyed by this scheme: Check.

    Company is going to loose sales because of this DRM: Check.

    So tell me again why anyone sane would put this junk into their product? The only thing it achieves is annoying th f#$%k out of people that actually spend money on the game...

  60. Rachel

    Got to love it

    You have to love it when they screw over the few people who actually pay for legit copies of the game.

    They are ensuring that there are widely available cracks and warez copies available for this game. So, where-as the newb little warez want to be might not have been able to find a working version and might have had to resort to begging mum and dad for a legal copy, now there will be an amass of easy to find cracked and ripped copies.

    Personally, I don't deal with technical support unless I'm trying to get a replacement for a broken legit cd/dvd. If something doesn't work, I'm going to find a fix or a crack online.

    And yes, after reading this, it discourages me from purchasing a copy.

  61. Mectron

    Read between the line!

    1. I won't buy something with DRM but I will steal it.

    i does not matter if i buy or not, DRM FORCE me to use alternate version if i want to enjoy the product. As the store legal version is so cripple with illegal DRM that is it unusable.

    2. This is exactly the reason software companies use DRM

    Company use DRM (in this particular case) to mimic the MPAA/RIAA way of doing business: STEALING MONEY FROM CONSUMERS. after 3 installation you have to buy again. in other words: PAY PER USE. if this is the case why not make the game the price of a rentel: 4$?

    3. Being able to install uninstall the software 3 times is sufficient for 99.9% of users. Ask any REAL gamer, how many time they un-install/re-install they whole computer/Games in a year.

    4. The fact is 99.9% of people ARE dishonest if they think they can get away with it, thats human nature. Before accusing your peers of been all a bunch of whould be criminal. Look at the clearly criminal activities of certain companies: Sony, MPAA, RIAA, 2K games, Macrovision etc.,,, and try to figure out why they have not been stop yet!

    5. DRM has been around for a long time and is here to stay. I might be so. but even if DRM is becoming very complex it seem that by-passing them is becoming easier each year

  62. Mike P

    @Jonathan Samuels

    Wow, man! Are you a 3rd Reich freak or somewhat? Btw, in 1000, 99.99% of people thought the Earth was flat. So it is flat, then?

    >>Being able to install uninstall the software 3 times is sufficient for 99.9% of users.

    99.9% ok for most users... most users without children I guess then.

    >>The fact is 99.9% of people ARE dishonest if they think they can get away with it, thats human nature.

    God, pity yourself. What a prose. Hopefully "Jonathan Samuels" is a nom-de-plume... But I'm afraid you just blew up your chance with that one.

    >>DRM has been around for a long time and is here to stay

    Yeah. Are you the new Nostradamus? BTW, you just miss this news (

    But I'm a fool. It's clear now that you're a troll, and I've just been trolled.

  63. Rick Brasche

    it's definitely the spiritual successor of System Shock

    Turned off the lights, put on the studio headphones, and fired up the demo.

    I *hate* having to run from things in the dark, making strange noises, while I'm unarmed...brrrr.

    Tho I'm tempted to wait a while, since I also gotta make room for Starcraft 2 when it comes out-I pray Blizzard doesn't pull a stupid stunt like this.

  64. Geoff Reed

    it is not only the "retail" version

    the "Demo" installs the SecureROM software also :(

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: will wait for warez version

    Me 2, buy retail install warez.

  66. Bob Bobson

    HL2 FUD

    'At least these dudes are going to supply a "removing tool" for licensing. I remember reading somewhere that a dad was pi**ed off b/c his kid installed HL2 on his brother's machine, but couldn't install it later on his own machine, *even if the damned game was uninstalled on the other one*. Sierra basically told them "you're screwed".

    That's the main reason I have not bought that game.'

    This is complete FUD. You can install HL2 on as many computers as you like. That's the joy of the steam system. It won't let you play two copies of the same game simultaneously, but it will let you install the game on as many places as you like.

    I think whoever told you that story is just full of shit and trying to stop people playing HL2. It's simply the exact reverse of the case.

  67. Alistair

    new games new games new games .....

    Lets just see how well that copy protection stuff works on wine..........

    Oh -- darn - Not implemented?

    drat -- have to skip this one too..... .bye!

    (and as more users head for linux .....

    sure -- its a trickle now -- wait till you **cannot** buy XP any more ....)

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me...

    ..of when i bought FSX not to long ago, installed once, machine couldn't hack it, upgraded my machine (new motherboard, different RAID controller, therefore full reinstalled), reinstalled, it activated, upgraded again (another new motherboard, gfx, processor, pretty much everything), reinstalled, activation failed, phoned up, told there was no way to reactivate as I'd used my installs up and there was nothing I or they could do.

    So I spent £60 ($120) for a 1 hour time limited demo.

    Well, they had said there was nothing I could do. That wasn't strictly true, 10 minutes later I had the full version running again with a crack. Never again will I buy a DRM protected game.

  69. Rob

    You're all a bunch of whiney little girls...

    Just buy the game, install it, play it, enjoy it and then forget about it.

    Anyone who comments on a "REAL" gamer uninstalling and reinstalling their PC numerous times a year isn't a "REAL" gamer. A real gamer would be up on their system enough to know that they will always need massive harddrives and know how to maintain their system properly so that they don't have to keep formatting their machine every 6 months.

    These people write games for a living, now grow up and pay them their dues for it. Otherwise - shut the hell up.

  70. Steve Mason


    even if they completely remove the "5 installs only" DRM, I still wouldn't buy a piece of software that installs a rootkit that can't be uninstalled when I uninstall the product. if I uninstall a game, I don't expect parts of that software left behind clogging up my system - I wonder how much information this spyware would collect even if the game it was designed to monitor wasn't installed!

    windows apps are bad enough at leaving crud behind in the registry and hidden files/folders without this sort of behaviour.

    no thanks.

  71. Mectron

    RE: You're all a bunch of whiney little girls...

    A REAL gamer will make sure is system is running at its peek, and anybody (including those who hate little girls) knnow that windows slow down over time just by normal use.

    I have no problems paying game writers for they work (very good work in this particular game) but if nobody buy that great game because of the ILLEGAL SONY DRM infesting it. next time 2kgames will think twice before using product from a openly criminal company such a SONY.

    It is not about getting the game for free, it is about not paying for having your machine infested with rookit, malware and illegal DRM. i wonder how welll will be the sell with a big Sony securom logo ont the box?

    Copy protection has ever worked... how much cheaper the game will have been with no Sony infection on it?

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