Windows 10 has killed SecuROM and SafeDisc DRM

And potentially a load of games with it

Back in the days before Steam, Origin, or uPlay, the infamous SecuROM and SafeDisc were two of the primary types of DRM developers could use. In the name of “preventing piracy” (read as “preventing perceived lost profits because of second hand sales” if you want), the software would get right into your system, requiring way more permissions than they really should have needed.

For Windows 10, this deep embedding SecuROM and SafeDisc used is no longer allowed. According to Microsoft’s Boris Schneider-Johne, it’s due to their massive security loopholes they pose, and that they haven’t been updated to Windows 10’s standards. Courtesy of Rock Paper Shotgun, we have a translation:

Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10. There are just two silly exceptions: antivirus software and stuff that’s deeply embedded into the system needs updating – but the developers are on it already – and then there are old games on CD-Rom that have DRM. This DRM stuff is also deeply embedded in your system, and that’s where Windows 10 says “sorry, we cannot allow that, because that would be a possible loophole for computer viruses.” That’s why there are a couple of games from 2003-2008 with Securom, etc. that simply don’t run without a no-CD patch or some such. We can just not support that if it’s a possible danger for our users. There are a couple of patches from developers already, and there is stuff like GOG where you’ll find versions of those games that work.

On the one hand, this is a good move. SecuROM and SafeDisc always earned the scorn it got from people, due to it being incredibly insecure and at times just didn’t work properly. The fact they’re dead, at least for now, is a good thing.

On the other hand, this means so many older games now just won’t work on Windows 10 – Retail versions of games such as The Sims, Crysis, Mass Effect, BioShock, Grand Theft Auto IV and more use SecuROM. They’ll probably just become unplayable now.

It does feel like we’re potentially losing some actually pretty recent parts of gaming history because of this decision. Either that, or we’re thrusting the responsibility of archiving even recent games onto services like GOG, which doesn’t feel right to me.

It’s also a concern considering Microsoft’s recent stance on pirated software. We don’t know how this policy will apply to games that have been cracked to remove their DRM, so how are players expected to play the games they paid for if every possible option is blocked?

Windows 10 Won’t Run Games Using SafeDisc Or Securom DRM [Rock Paper Shotgun]

Joe Parlock