BoingBoing brings us word of one of the very few flaws in 2K’s beloved BioShock, the presence of an insidious DRM scheme within its PC release. While the article begins with the amazingly bias heading of “2K’s BioShock is easily the most overhyped game so far this year“, it does manage to raise some interesting points regarding the completely overlooked issue of what sort of content protection crippleware 2K managed to inject into its magnum opus in both Steam and retail box versions of the title.
It seems that BioShock has been coated in a crunchy candy shell courtesy of SecuROM, a DRM scheme that only allows for the title to be installed on two seperate systems. To enforce this limit, the software actively reports back to the home offices and prohibits any further installation and use of the game once the two PC limit has been reached. Of course, the dubious tactics employed here cause reputable anti-virus programs to freak the hell out and warn people away from even the demo version of the title.
In response to the outcry this has caused amongst techie gamers, 2K has been shuffling the blame off onto SecuROM’s customer service wonks, and almost unsurprisingly, SecuROM has been herding those same bleating sheep back towards 2K.
It would be socialist of me to decry 2K for attempting to secure their own intellectual property, but in a world where DRM schemes are broken before they’re even released attempting to lock down a beloved product with a system as draconian and debilatating as SecuROM is just underhanded. Shouldn’t they have enough faith in their product’s mass appeal that they wouldn’t have to punish buying customers in an effort to lock out the almost negligible number of people who have the technology and know-how to don the silicon eyepatch of piracy?
[UPDATE: As regards those of you saying it’s as simple as uninstalling the game before reinstalling it, well it isn’t that easy. I quote the BoingBoing piece linked above:
You’re required to right click the game in the steam menu and choose ‘delete local content’ before you can transfer the game to another PC. If you delete the game without following this procedure, you may end up in the same ordeal as retail buyers.
Besides that, it should be your property to do with as you see fit once you’ve purchased it, hence you should be able to install it on as many machines as you’d like.]