Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
PC Games (Games) Entertainment Games

EA Loosens Spore, Mass Effect DRM 249

An anonymous reader writes "In response to recent criticism, EA has decided to eliminate the periodic validation of Mass Effect and Spore. 'Specifically, EA's plan to dial in to game owner's computers every ten days to check whether they were running a legitimate version of their software has been scrapped, ShackNews reports. EA had planned to use the validation method for upcoming titles Mass Effect and Spore. EA now says that validation will now only occur when a user attempts to download new content for either game. Chief among the voices in opposition to this measure were members of the armed forces, who pointed out that they could not rely on having an internet connection every ten days.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EA Loosens Spore, Mass Effect DRM

Comments Filter:
  • Life goes on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday May 09, 2008 @11:42PM (#23358206)
    There probably isn't a lot of love for EA around here (or many parts of the internet in general) but you do have to admit that they responded fairly well to the situation. From what I've read the approach that they're planning to take now is actually pretty good, if not better than what most of us are probably used to dealing with. The fact that I don't need to have the CD in the drive while playing the game [] is a nice touch, especially for anyone who likes to switch between games frequently.

    The only thing that you could really complain about is the necessity of an internet connection to validate on install. The only other time it bothers to validate is if you're downloading an update or using some other online feature which means you're already connected to the internet.

    As someone who was a little put off by the overly encumbering DRM that was originally planned to be included, I'd like to tip my hat to EA for listening to their customers and making a wise decision.
  • by Barny ( 103770 ) <> on Friday May 09, 2008 @11:50PM (#23358260) Journal
    Yeah, are we sure this is:

    a. EA
    b. Worded correctly

    Just doesn't sound like EA....

    I'm scared ;(
  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:19AM (#23358404)
    My understanding from my following of the game since it was first announced is that due to the way in which the various creatures that inhabit a universe are defined, it's possible to download thousands of them with relatively little effort. I forget which conference or event it was at, but Will Wright explained that due the fact that everything in the game is proceedurally generated, it is possible to express a creature design not in terms of graphics skins and other large files, but as something very similar to DNA. The game reads a few thousand bytes worth of data and is able to take that information to recreate the creature that someone else uploaded. Even if you're playing on dial-up, you'll be able to get this new content ridiculously fast.

    You've also made the assumption that you have to enter a validation code. Why wouldn't the game just store the key that was used to register it and automatically take care of it? It probably won't be a hastle unless the key has been orgied out to all of your friends and the authentication server flags it as suspicious and bans it. There might be a few false positives but for the most part I don't forsee you getting locked out unless you're playing with a pirated copy.
  • Re:Phew! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by statemachine ( 840641 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:32AM (#23358446)
    ...after the intial install an online registration you never have to bother validating your copy of the game if you don't want to get new patches or play online... they dropped the overly silly requirement of having the CD/DVD in the drive while playing the game

    Shelving the new requirement of needing a connection every few days, and then dumping the old requirement of occupying my DVD drive with a disk, is excellent news. Alcohol 120% will be out of business, but I'm glad I won't need them.

    This is a win for both sides. Company saves money on non-game related development and infrastructure; customers' frustration level drops.
  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @12:32AM (#23358452)
    I don't want to come of as pro-DRM, but I have a simple question for you?

    Do you plan to purchase or play this game?

    Considering that it's a heavily anticipated game and generally recognized as being one of the more creative and innovative titles to come in in a while, it's probably reasonable for me to expect that you want to play Spore. Your stated hate for DRM leads me to believe that you couldn't bring yourself to actually pay for any product that comes with any type of DRM. Assuming that you both want to play this game and don't want to deal with the DRM, would you pirate it?

    If so, you're contributing to the reason why these companies think they need to have DRM. I can understand why people will pirate things when cost is a factor since I did it myself once upon a time, but if you pirate this game simply to spite the paid version which has DRM you're probably not doing the cause any help.

    I appologize in advance for potentially mislabeling you or constructing a situation involving you from so little information, but I have a feeling that there are a few people who will pirate the game just because they dislike the notion of DRM despite the fact that they're going to play the hell out of it and had the money to easily purchase it.
  • MIA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Whiteox ( 919863 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @01:14AM (#23358590) Journal
    I know I'm missing something here. Whatever brain cells I have left aren't firing properly, BUT:
    WTF are US troops playing video games on? Laptops?
    Pay a few $ at an Iraqi internet cafe?
    Also, what kind of minimal system requirement do these new EA games need to run and can military issue hardware cope with it all? Are they running XP or Vista or their own custom OS?
    The reason for why EA is doing this as reported seems to be a con. Just doesn't make sense

    Chief among the voices in opposition to this measure were members of the armed forces
  • by chrisb33 ( 964639 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @02:03AM (#23358776) Homepage
    I was thinking the same thing - could they really have been serious about the 10-day DRM? It wasn't as if people's reactions were unpredictable, so I find it hard to believe that they honestly thought people wouldn't complain. As you pointed out, this seems more like a conscious "Door-in-the-face" technique [] than a legitimate retraction.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by ( 1195047 ) <philip.paradis@p ... net minus author> on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:19AM (#23359260) Homepage Journal
    I was in the top 5% of my graduating class, and was a professional software developer for several years before joining the Navy. Kinda messes up your worldview, huh? You're an idiot.
  • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:48AM (#23359380) Journal
    Eh, let's get one thing straight about Eichmann, since his name pops up in a lot of talks about what people do when ordered, including the "yot too are no better than Eichmann" Milgram bullshit spin.

    From the same Wikipedia page:

    By 1945, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had ordered Jewish extermination halted and evidence of the Final Solution destroyed. Eichmann was appalled by Himmler's turnabout, and continued his work in Hungary against official orders. Eichmann was also working to avoid being called up in the last ditch German military effort, since a year before he had been commissioned as a Reserve Untersturmführer in the Waffen-SS and was now being ordered to active combat duty.

    Eichmann actively disobeyed direct orders, and kept hunting Jews after he was explicitly ordered to stop. He kept rounding them up and sending them to some camps which were being dismantled or didn't exist any more, and generally didn't want the fruit of his work any more.

    Refusing to show up when called to his division to go to the front, actually makes him a deserter too.

    He pretended to have an official job that he didn't actually have any more, and commandeered troops and resources that just weren't his any more. Just because he wanted to hunt more Jews. And obviously he wasn't too afraid of the consequences for _that_.

    He was _appalled_ at the decision to stop exterminating Jews.

    So let's put to rest the idea that he was just following orders, like everyone else. That guy didn't just continue his work when no longer asked to, he actually continued it _againt_ direct orders to stop. He also had no trouble deserting when he no longer liked the orders he was given. So, you know, why didn't he do it before, then?

    There's a _world_ of difference between (A) doing what you're ordered and coaxed, like in Milgram's experiment, or out of fear of a court-martial, like many soldiers do, and (B) what Adolf Eichmann did. Past a point, he actually acted against the orders and laws, and was no more than a common (mass) murderer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @09:29AM (#23360418)
    I am an active duty Marine and there is a decent chance I'll be in Afghanistan and without a internet connection when this comes out. I was going to have it mailed out to me but if it requires a internet connection for installation, well, then you can forget about periodic checks, I can't even install the thing.
  • by ShadowsHawk ( 916454 ) on Monday May 12, 2008 @09:49AM (#23377340)
    I've already installed Bioshock twice due to a hard drive failure. Why should I have to call up a company after a certain number of installs to request permission to install a game that I've already purchased? Fuck that. I did legally purchase Bioshock, but I also have a pirate version just in case something were to happen. I will not patronize any further attempts to limit how often I can use the software that I paid for.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous