We have been speaking a lot about Bioshock the newest First Person Shooter (FPS) PC video game from Second Take. We expected a very nice game in a complex environment with varied adversaries and game tactics. But we did not expected the most poweful adversary: The Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection against copy.
The game is using SecuROM protection. Unfortunately, on top of requiring an active Internet connection, it limits the number of installation or re-installations on a machine if you change the hardware. It started by allowing only two installations (if you have to upgrade your PC to run the game, you’re quickly out of legal installations; You must uninstall before upgrading your PC!).
Furthermore, AMD and nVidia had to publish last-minute patches and new versions of their drivers.
Finally, it seems that the management of wide-screen 16:10 displays is insufficient: You get black bands on the side of your lovely LCD display. 2K Games says that a patch/correction will come soon.
All that leads to two comments:
- Even if most video games run to the market with bugs in them, Bioshock is just not ready yet. It is probably better to just wait for it coming out of beta-stage.
- When I buy a $50 video game, I expect it to work onto my machine without having to call secuROM to explain that I am the rightful owner. This is not a $2 song for my Sony MP3 player (and I already consider that DRM on MP3 songs is a pain in the neck). This is just going to push legal players to downloading unprotected versions from BitTorrent or DirectConnect. When copyright-minded marketoids push users to illegality, things must have gone too far…
Update: If that was not enough, it seems that SecuROM is having trouble running when you use AVG antivirus (one of the vest free antivirus software programs for Windows, that I also happen to be using) or Mircosoft’s own Process Explorer (info from The Inquirer who suggests that you should avoid Bioshock like the plague for those problems – I am no longer decided to buy the game; Maybe later…).