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1. Musings 45: Penny Arcade and The Gripping Hand
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10. Musings: How DRM Hurts PC Gaming
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 May 07, 2008 - 11:14 AM - by Michael
* Game Phone Home

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Personal Stuff/Random News
Want to know why the PC games market's dying? This might have something to do with it.

If you buy Spore or Mass Effect, they will "die" if they can't phone home every 10 days. That's right: you BOUGHT a copy of a game, you play it single-player, yet it expects to phone home to the company.

After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn't become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.
I have some words for Bioware and EA, but unfortunately they all involve four letters.

[UPDATE]: EA have partially come to their senses - but only partially. It still has SecuROM crudware, it just won't phone home much.
 

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