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PC Games (Games) Entertainment Games

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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  • Short Answer: No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ngarrang ( 1023425 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:07PM (#25919613) Journal

    "Has Rockstar gotten a better balance between draconian DRM and fair copy protection here?"

    No. The fact that any sort of DRM that requires access to some other device out on the interwebz when you install it means that someday when Rockstar gets bought/sued out of existence, you might be able to install the game ever again. Until, that is, someone releases a crack for the scheme.

    I have games from my DOS days that I can still freely install. THAT is software freedom. Anything less is not.

  • Re:no (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:21PM (#25919753)
    They lost my sale. I'm pirating it for sure.

    And here I was thinking "finally, a halfway decent game to pay full price for".
  • Re:no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:23PM (#25919773) Journal

    Yes, I realized after I hit submit the error I made, but really, the developers need to stand up to this crap. I mean the suits may have the power, but without the developers, they have nothing to sell.

    On the plus side, in the current financial climate, I should thank them for doing this since I've saved well over $100 this year that I would have otherwise spent on software had it not had ridiculous copy protection.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:37PM (#25919871) Journal

    I think a lot of it is appeasing idiot shareholders. "What are you doing to stop piracy?" they'll say. Rather than say "nothing" they can say lots of cool sounding words and said idiot shareholder gets a warm fuzzy feeling, unaware the schemes are a joke and completely broken.

    In fact I wonder if there's any sort of correlation between choosing draconian DRM and the publisher being a publicly held company?

    Still, it'd be nice to be able to make tens of thousands of dollars selling something that's broken like Sony do with Securom. What a business! Have people lined up around the block to buy your broken product.

  • by bhunachchicken ( 834243 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:37PM (#25919875) Homepage

    The main problem with buying a PC game is that you're pretty much stuck with it.

    What I mean by this is: if you buy a game for a console, you can be assured that if it turns out to be a bag of shit, you can take it back to where you bought it and either get store credit or just exchange it for something else.

    You can't do this with PC games (not to my knowledge anyway). Once you've bought it, it's with you forever.

    The risk involved in buying a game to play on your computer is far to high - It might be crap, it might not run properly, it might not run at all. There's too much risk.

    I think what PC games really need is some sort of subscription system, whereby the user will pay a certain amount of money per month or year to download a set number of titles at any one time (let's just say 3 titles). Effectively you'll be renting the games, rather like when console gamers trade in their old ones to buy new ones.

    Once you're bored of the game, you just revoke your lease on it and then get a different one instead. The data could stay on your hard drive in case you change your mind (and also so you don't have to download 6GBs each time you want to play).

    Doing so would eliminate a great deal of the risk attached to buying a game that basically turns out to be rubbish.

    (oh, and by the way - GTA4 is shit. That and Devil May Cry 4 are the worst games I played this year. You'll not care for either.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @07:47PM (#25919961)

    Really dude, give it a rest.

    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.

    Development of obviously a mess when you had Rockstar developers continually complaining about what a nightmare they were having dealing with the 360 hardware and development tools.

    And regardless of the 360 nightmare the main character and story is the lamest of all the GTA by a huge margin. GTA IV is the type of crap you would expect to happen when a company farms out development to another small no name studio to save development expenses.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:11PM (#25920207)

    I, for one, found the storyline and characters much more likeable than any previous ones. Niko is just a regular guy with a troubled past, trying to get away. Take CJ, from San Andreas, for example: a wannabe gangbanger that ends up storming airplane carriers to steal a jump jet, while sinking a flotilla in the process, crashing planes full of aliens, raiding military bases (alone against hundreds of heavily armed soldiers, to steal jetpack for an old hippy dude, or owning a casino with the chinese mob, or singlehandedly wiping out entire gangs (hundreds of gangbangers). Please!

    If you want that kind of crazy, then go buy Saints Row 2, and then come back to complain about the graphics, animation, shitty storyline, shitty character, mind numbingly dull character customization and overall poor gameplay.

    I say finally RockStar struck gold with IV, in every aspect -- storyline, characters, gameplay, graphics, physics. It's a refined, polished game, more serious than the previous iterations. Which is a good thing, seeing as most of the players of the last installments are now well on their late 20's/30's, so they probablu want something a little less childish. In my view, IV
      only lacked a few things to be perfect: police bikes, police women, bicycles and a silenced pistol. Oh, and the damn fingerless gloves :P Yeah, and a mission to bust Gerry out of the joint, that would have been awesome.

  • Re:no (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:19PM (#25920289)

    On the upside, we who pirate won't get an experience ruined by DRM.

  • Re:no (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nerdonamotorcycle ( 710980 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @08:37PM (#25920415)

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

    Yeah, that'd be me. I loved GTA:VC and GTA:SA; was looking forward to GTA4 in the worst way. Being the law-abiding, boy-scout-ish sort, I'm not gonna do piracy. (And besides, I don't wanna get sued.)

    Honestly, I"m thinking of migrating to a gaming console for gaming anyway. I'm tired of having to upgrade video cards and CPU year after year in order to play games. And as much fun as building a bleeding-edge PC is, I just don't need that kind of horsepower to do lightweight stuff like surf the web, read email, and chat over IM--which is what I do with my PC during the 90% of the time that I'm in front of it and not playing games.

  • by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @09:19PM (#25920717)
    There was a security guard AND the vault had a lock. Fuck em. If they can't trust their own customers not to steal, who can they trust? I mean, they make me use a fucking PIN code with my debit card like I'm some kind of hacker mastermind. Then I went to the mall. The expensive jackets had security tags on them. Fuck them! I will steal a jacket just to prove my point that security tags are VIOLATING MY RIGHTS and TREAT ME LIKE A CRIMINAL. No, but this is VERY DIFFERENT because this is DIGITAL MEDIA that we are talking about this and the marginal cost for an additional copy is zero plus it's COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT not piracy and did you hear they sent a subpoena to a 72 year old woman without a computer for downloading movies and the balance of rasonable security should be ONE MILISECOND OR ONE BYTE OF MY TIME is worth more than ANY right of the company to reasonably protect its product against infringement who the hell they think they are the COPS? OMG I can't believe they sent the COPS against some college kids who pirated 10,000 mp3s this should be a CIVIL MATTER. WTF they SUED individuals for copyright infringement who the FUCK made them POLICE JUDGE JURY AND EXECUTIONER?

    / same bullshit slashdot arguments, different thread.

  • Re:no (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:00PM (#25921049)

    It also says "I think I am more important than you, and that what I want is more important than what you want, and I am willing to break the law to act on my self-centered desire".

    There is no ethical obligation to a corporate entity. As a natural person, yes, I am more important.

  • Re:No thanks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jmccarthy ( 228531 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:38PM (#25921309)

    ...and I can sell the game to someone else without any attempt on the part of the game maker to limit my resale right.

    You haven't been paying attention to gaming news within the last month or two, have you?

  • Re:no (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SausageOfDoom ( 930370 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @10:54PM (#25921419)

    I already have it on the xbox 360, but was considering buying it again for the PC, for the mouse input, free multiplayer and modding capabilities, but this DRM's put me right off.

    I'm not going to pirate it - I'm not that bothered - but they lost a sale. Guess the thing is, will they care? Even if the numbers are substantial, will they even notice? Or just put it down to piracy?

  • Re:no (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jmscott42 ( 205767 ) on Friday November 28, 2008 @11:05PM (#25921509)

    It is amazing how developers seem to assume low PC sales automatically equals piracy. The thought that people may have decided to NOT buy it, or maybe picked up a used copy for a console or something (Which they see no money from) as a protest, never seems to cross anyone's mind.

    How can you vote with your wallet when it's assumed you must be stealing if you do?

  • Re:no (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29, 2008 @01:21AM (#25922313)

    Instead, you've shown that you'll go to any length to get the game, and that if they can create secure enough anti-piracy measures they'll get your money.

    That might have had a kernel of truth to it if downloading the game was in any way difficult. The reality is that it's even easier to download the game than to buy it legally. So the fact is, all that's been shown is that people in the know aren't willing to pay for software designed to fuck with their property.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted@slashdoA ... inus threevowels> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:04AM (#25922515)

    You say this as if it were a wrong thing. Which means you're totally brainwashed to be a "good citizen", who has no right to decide for himself what is right an wrong, and needs laws (made by others) for it.

    You would be the tool of an epic win in a milgram experiment [].

  • Re:no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nugneant ( 553683 ) <> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @03:26AM (#25922897) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, peaceful, non-harmful, "honorable citizen" Democratic-approved non-threatening "protest" really gets results. After all, that's how President McGovern was able to end the Vietnam War...
  • Re:no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Fourier404 ( 1129107 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @03:41AM (#25922977)
    So the fact is, all that's been shown is that people in the know aren't willing to pay for software designed to fuck with their property.

    Yeah, but the vast majority of people who download aren't 'in the know', they just want free games. I happen to be both, so even if they removed DRM I'd probably continue pirating games. Realistically, the only way they would be able to stop this majority would be extreme DRM (call home every 5 minutes, requiring internet even for single player games). Removing bad DRM may get a few customers back, but it would get games up on thepiratebay faster, and probably lead to even more people downloading.
  • Re:no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nugneant ( 553683 ) <> on Saturday November 29, 2008 @03:49AM (#25923027) Homepage Journal
    Twist it around. By not pirating the game, you're putting some trust in Rockstar to attribute the shitty sales of the game to the copy protection, rather than one of the myriad "'old Hollywood' style" excuses of the past ("they didn't like it because the lead character was from Eastern Europe / because the packaging contained too much muave / because they were confused by the "open world" / because it was released on an odd-numbered day"). By not pirating the game, you're trusting Rockstar to get over the perhaps-well-intentioned but certainly-shallow advice of the suits. By not pirating the game, you're trusting the little guys of Rockstar to strike a blow for common sense, rather than go all Milgram [] on our asses. By not pirating the game, you're trusting Rockstar to give a fuck.

    Why should we, the potential consumer, trust Rockstar, if that's how the majority of large game companies act?
  • You're both wrong. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pathological liar ( 659969 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @04:25AM (#25923231)

    This is one of those amusing situations where stealing the game online is no different than stealing it in a store. Suppose you'd shoplifted the CD instead of grabbing it from a torrent, would you be saying that it makes a statement that "If you beefed up security here, you'd get more money from me"? Would you be saying it makes the statement that "If you got rid of the rent-a-cops I'd buy the game"?

    The only message it sends is that you want the game but for whatever reason are unwilling to pay for it.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theaveng ( 1243528 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @06:16AM (#25923667)


    I see amazon has diabled reviews. I guess they don't want a repeat of the previous debacle where gamers warned other gamers about the DRM Virus/spybot. So much for word-of-mouth.

  • Re:no (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 29, 2008 @02:21PM (#25926433)

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

    I'm not buying it if it comes with this DRM garbage. I didn't buy Fallout 3 for the same reason and I really wanted that one too.

    I've been waiting and waiting and goddamn WAITING for this game to be released on PC. I've watched every video on YouTube from the console people - at least twice. I've been watching the calendar for months. And now this.

    I can't even describe how goddamn pissed off I am at this news. I frigging WANTED this game. I have bought - and still play regularly - GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas.

    I am not a thief, a pirate or any other form of criminal. I'll be damned if I'm paying them $50 to treat me like I am. Fuck you Rockstar. Burn in Hell.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by superbus1929 ( 1069292 ) on Saturday November 29, 2008 @04:04PM (#25927183) Homepage
    OK, now here's the question:

    How many people are going to do that? If every person that didn't buy DRM laden software - especially SecuROM, since some of them are not as intrusive, such as Uniloc - told the company they didn't buy it because of DRM, would it matter? Would it have any negligible effect on sales? Would they write those sales off to piracy? Despite the negative PR that comes with it, companies still use SecuROM, and they're not punished for it, because every big release that's had SeucROM is still reviewed highly - guarantee GTAIV gets in the 9s - and still sells extremely well; the best selling PC game of all time is The Sims, which uses SecuROM.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein