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PC Grand Theft Auto IV Features SecuROM DRM 531

arcticstoat writes "Game developer Rockstar has revealed that the forthcoming PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV will feature the controversial SecuROM 7 DRM system. Unlike some of EA's recent titles, such as Spore and Mass Effect, GTA IV won't limit the number of times that you can install the game, although SecuROM will be impossible to remove without leaving 'some traces' on your PC. Anyone hoping to avoid SecuROM by downloading the game form Steam will also be disappointed, as Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online. On the plus side, Rockstar says that it's 'working with SecuROM to post information on our support pages regarding how to remove these inactive traces of the program for users who wish to do so.' Has Rockstar gotten a better balance between draconian DRM and fair copy protection here?"
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PC Grand Theft Auto IV Features SecuROM DRM

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  • Re:no (Score:5, Informative)

    by jlarocco ( 851450 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:04PM (#25919583) Homepage

    Here's an idea: Don't buy the fucking game. Problem solved.

  • My email to Rockstar (Score:5, Informative)

    by daybot ( 911557 ) * on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:09PM (#25919641)

    I have a simple comment on activation in GTA IV PC - I would appreciate if you could pass this to a relevant person / department (preferably not "Deleted Items").

    Do I need to activate this game online?

    Rockstar: Yes, but to be clear, if you install the game on a computer that isn't connected to the internet, you can perform certain steps to activate your game on another PC with an active internet connection. Once the game is distributed, information on this method will be available on a GTA IV support page.

    Some of my favourite games were written decades ago by companies that no longer exist. GTA IV with its unique story line is an all-time classic, but the activation requirement will at some point in the future render the game unusable. It is for this reason that I refuse to purchase any game that requires activation.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Re:Better Questions (Score:5, Informative)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:35PM (#25919863) Homepage

    Simple: Because the person asking the "questions" is a shill.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Informative)

    by JonMartin ( 123209 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:46PM (#25919951) Homepage

    If you were going to buy GTA IV, and on this news now won't, please post. I mean they've lost my $50.

    Mine too. Was looking forward to it, but there are plenty of other games I can spend my time and money on.

    Rockstar: see this $50? Not for you anymore.

  • by LordOfYourPants ( 145342 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:46PM (#25919953)

    How things change in just over 15 years.


    Buy Doom after getting to try 1/3 of the game first.

    * Be able to play it via dialup modem or LAN for as long as you have the working equipment.
    * Be able to sell the game after you're done with it and have that second user have the game be just as usable to them.
    * Enjoy playing thousands of user-created maps and mods -- anything from a monster health editor to a porn graphic replacement mod.


    Buy game X.

    * Require internet permission to install it. Hopefully you haven't committed the mortal sin of installing it more than three times.
    * Require internet permission every time you wish to run the game.
    * Require CD checking despite the above.
    * Unable to sell the game to people who want something more than a coaster.
    * Multiplayer server for Game X goes down after year because Game X 2009 edition is now out. People who still want to play the original Game X via LAN/hosted internet games are SOL and anyone hacking together hosting capabilities likely receives notice from lawyers.
    * Have some type of over-zealous security check built into the game mess with your computer, internet connection, or both.
    * Deal with an over-moderated/sterile mod community.

  • by Sarusa ( 104047 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:48PM (#25919965)

    I can guarantee you that copies from and will be shipping without intrusive DRM or sales tax. Fast delivery. Why would you pay extra to get your machine raeped?

    Blah blah blah before the dumb replies, I'm not advocating piracy from companies that treat you with respect, like Stardock. I just won't be buying (or torrenting) this game, period, but this will surely increase the number of people doing the second.

    And just to be extra petty and remind you what evil bastards they are, whenever you see 'SecureROM', that's Sony just doing what Sony normally does. Screwing unaware legitimate customers.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Informative)

    by nobodyman ( 90587 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:17PM (#25920269) Homepage

    I don't really think publishers are "The Bad Guys" either. When publishers read stories of un-DRM'ed titles like World of Goo having a 90% piracy rate [], I imagine they feel justified.

  • Re:no (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:28PM (#25920343)

    Read the article.

    "Anyone hoping to avoid SecuROM by downloading the game form Steam will also be disappointed, as Rockstar says that all versions of the game will feature SecuROM, including digital versions online."

  • by Kagura ( 843695 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:36PM (#25920401)

    The game is garbage. It was heavily gimped to fit on the 7 gigabyte 360 DVD format and no standard harddrive and the graphics are shit thanks to being downgraded to run on the weak 360 graphics hardware.

    The PC version requires 18gb of disk space.

  • Re:no (Score:2, Informative)

    by nlitement ( 1098451 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:23PM (#25920761)
    What's Do you mean THEPIRATEBAY.ORG and if so, why wait for public trackers when you can.. ugh.. nevermind. Do you think San Andreas or Vice City was any different? No, they've always had SecuROM with GTAs and I've always applied a crack to my legit purchases because I don't want to keep or swap discs in my drive.
  • Re:no (Score:3, Informative)

    by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:27PM (#25921221) Homepage Journal

    People. PEOPLE. P.E.O.P.L.E.

    Not ppl, not PPL, not Ppl. People.

  • Re:no (Score:5, Informative)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:32PM (#25921251) Homepage Journal

    You won't run into problems generally with secuROM until you start having extra hardware. Two optical drives? SecuROM has disabled one almost every time. If you have a single optical drive in your system, and it happens to be SCSI, expect SecuROM to absolutely fuck it up. running Daemon tools? It's just having to keep one step ahead to stop SecuROM from disablign it, and Process Explorer recently had to be patched to avoid SecuROM preventing it's running.

    If you are a power user, you will have major problems soon enough.

  • by symbolic ( 11752 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:45PM (#25921343)

    My biggest worry was whether or not I'd have to update my video card (the spec says a minimum of 512MB of video memory). They've turned this into a non-issue. I will not buy defective products, and DRM is a defect- especially if it's of the SecurROM variety.

  • Re:no (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:58PM (#25921455)

    Harder to pirate? LOL!

    Spore was cracked and out on torrents 4 days before release.

  • Re:no (Score:2, Informative)

    by Pentium100 ( 1240090 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @11:24PM (#25921621)

    I *buy* games over steam. It is actually *easier* and *faster* than the pirated scene.

    Unless you are waiting for the download to start because "all servers are currently busy", in which case it is faster to download the files from thepiratebay, copy them to steamapps directory, start steam and let it update (updates seem to have a higher priority). That's how my friend got to play TF2 on one of the free weekends.

  • From TFA (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spacejock ( 727523 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @12:00AM (#25921815) Homepage
    Did anyone read the article all the way through, and specifically this bit? Emphasis mine.

    GTA IV PC uses SecuROM for protecting our EXE until street date has passed, to ensure the retail disk is in the computer drive, and is used for Product Activation of the title. Product Activation is a one time only online authentication when installing the game. GTA IV has no install limits for the retail disc version of the game, and that version can be installed on an unlimited number of PCs by the retail disk owner.

    I just searched through the comments here on /. and didn't see it mentioned.

    I've already ordered GTAIV and am looking forward to it. I assumed it would have all kinds of DRM crap, but that's why I now buy only one PC game a year (and I don't own a console.) I used to buy two or three per month, but I don't like digging around for the CD/DVD and I don't like having crap running in the background on my PC.
  • Re:no (Score:3, Informative)

    by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @06:33AM (#25923749)

    No. You seem to be suffering from the widely held delusion (at least among "content creators") that a pirated copy is a lost sale.

    I assume from the way you phrase that you aren't yourself a quote content creator unquote.

    Yes, it's common sense that a pirated copy is potentially a lost copy, because clearly that person wanted the game. Maybe they weren't willing to buy it at any price, and maybe they'd be willing to buy it if that were cheaper, but you have to pick some price point and there'll always be such folks. But amongst those pirates there'll definitely be some people who really want the game, and will pirate it if that's convenient and easy (and available quickly) but otherwise will just say, fuck it, and go buy the game.

    The existance of these people is provable both through sales figures - various game publishers have revealed stats on piracy rates for PC vs Console and increase in sales when broken DRM was repaired. It's also provable through common sense: companies wouldn't repeatedly and consistently spend money on DRM if they didn't have evidence it made them money. Unless you believe that almost every game developer out there is run by idiots, which clearly isn't the case.

    What evidence do you have that DRM can be made secure enough to make a difference? I've yet to see anything convincing from the industry on either of those points.

    Alright. Here's an interview with a game developer who used an extremely weak form of DRM (serial numbers only) []. Obsoleting the first generation of keygens increased sales by 70% overnight.

    Now that article is pretty balanced - breaking the keygens only closed one way to pirate the game (cracked copies with the protection code removed were still available), and a 70% increase in sales certainly doesn't equate to eliminating piracy. But it didn't have to.

    Your position is one that only makes sense if you assume you are, somehow, much smarter than all the major PC game publishers out there, despite having worse or non-existant access to the statistics you'd need to make a decision. I find that a pretty arrogant position.

  • Re:no (Score:2, Informative)

    by hellion0 ( 1414989 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @09:18AM (#25924323)
    I was actually contemplating buying this when I got my hands on a newer machine after the holiday season. Now I won't, and by extension, I've no incentive to buy the high-end machine, either.

    I'm sure the hardware manufacturers will really appreciate Rockstar and Sony costing them a sale as well.
  • Re:Stolen post (Score:3, Informative)

    by dcam ( 615646 ) <david&uberconcept,com> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @05:53PM (#25927945) Homepage

    You need to replace pirates with 2nd hand sales. DRM is about extracting more money from paying customers, not money from pirates.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn