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Spore and Mass Effect's intrusive authentication scheme canned

by Steven Williamson on 12 May 2008, 09:32

Tags: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA)

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10-day online re-check scheme scrapped

The debate that kicked off last week over Bioware's decision to implement SecuROM technology in both the PC versions of Mass Effect and Bioshock has spawned mixed reactions from the gaming community.

Whilst some gamers said they were perfectly happy with the system, which requires an online re-check of the product every 10 days, and believed that it doesn't really affect them because they're always connected to the Internet anyone, others worried about forced lock-outs by EA, with some people even saying that if the system goes ahead they'll simply grab a pirate copy.

Well, it appears we can all now rest at ease as Bioware has obviously paid attention to the online debate and have now backed down on their decision to implement the system. They will instead check for authentication only the first time only when you install the game and will allow gamers to play either Mass Effect or Spore without the need to have the game disc in the PC.

To clear up the matter once and for all, Bioware has released the following Q &A:

Q: What is the difference between the old PC disc authentication solution and the new online model?
A: Two things have changed:

• First, authentication of discs has now gone from the physical format to the online format, freeing the need for consumers to have a disc in the drive at all times.

• Second, with online authentication consumers now connect to the Internet the first time the game is launched and are required only to reconnect if they are downloading new game content.

Q: Will EA or BioWare take any personal information from my computer during an authentication?
A: Absolutely not. We do not take any personal information from your computer. The system simply verifies that a valid CD key has been provided and assigns that activation to that PC.

Q: What happens when I’ve reached the maximum # of computers for my game and I need more, say due to theft of computer, computer crashes, etc?
A: EA customer service is on hand to supply any additional authorizations that are warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by contacting customer support.

Q: Why are BioWare and EA implementing this new authentication process?
A: This serves to protect our software from piracy. It has the added benefit of allowing consumers to activate the game on multiple machines without needing the DVD in the drive when playing the game.

Q: Did BioWare and EA change their mind on requiring that the game be re-authorized every 10 days?
A: BioWare has always listened very closely to its fans and we made this decision to ensure we are delivering the best possible experience to them. To all the fans including our many friends in the armed services and internationally who expressed concerns that they would not be able re-authenticate as often as required, EA and BioWare want you to know that your feedback is important to us.

Q: If the game isn’t going to require an authentication every 10 days, will it ever require re-authentication?
A: Only if the player chooses to download new game content.

Source :: Kotaku

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