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Games Using Invasive DRM Methods SafeDisc and Securom Won't Run on Windows 10

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  • Games Using Invasive DRM Methods SafeDisc and Securom Won't Run on Windows 10

    Over at Rock Paper Shotgun is word that Windows 10 will not run any games that make use of either SafeDisc or Securom DRM methods. This should be limited only to disc based versions of games but may impact some older digital games that still have Securom and SafeDisc hooks buried in them. Some of these games include Spore, Far Cry 2, Dead Space, BioShock, Crysis: Warhead, and many others.

    I can at least attest to games like BioShock, Mercenaries 2, and Fallout 3 working just fine with their digital counterparts since I have played all three on my Windows 10 machine as recently as this afternoon. These, again, are the digital versions of the games and the issues seems to mainly impact the disc based versions.

    Why the issue in the first place? Microsoft apparently deemed those intrusive forms of DRM too insecure for their new operating system. Microsoft's Boris Schneider-Johne spoke about this briefly at Gamescom this past week.

    Yes, Microsoft has just suggest users that have this issue seek out a "patch" to get their old disc-based games working again. Microsoft allegedly removed he SECDRV.SYS file that SafeDisc needs in order to function properly. Since it's not there, it doesn't work.

    SafeDisc and Securom were under constant fire in the early to mid-2000's due to the issues they caused on users' machines. With how they hooked into an operating system, security holes were found that allowed people to take control of someone's PC. Beyond that, these DRM methods also imposed artificial install restrictions on users. For instance, BioShock could only be activated twice before you had to call to get your limit reset. Separate users on the same machine counted for an activation each. This was later bumped up to five activations and then later removed completely.

    Spore was another huge example of Securom controversy when it came out in late 2008. Spore was one of the first titles that initially required a user to authenticate their game once every 10 days. The game also had a restriction of three activations and was later raised to five after complaints, though only one of those activations would actually be allowed access to online functionality. As a result of these restrictions, Spore amusingly became one of the most pirated games of 2008 due to how legitimate owners were punished just for doing the "right" thing. Lawsuits were filed against EA due to the inclusion of Securom in Spore.

    It's because of things like Securom and SafeDisc that there was a massive uproar from the gaming community to completely stop using DRM in games. So if you find that your old disc based games aren't working now, chances are they used Securom or SafeDisc. Either find a digital copy of the game through places like Steam, GOG, or Origin, or seek out a patch.

    Oh, are you worried about how Microsoft is apparently going to disable your illegally downloaded games? Don't be. It should be apparent that they will disable those illegally acquired games and software that are first-party offerings from Microsoft. Meaning, don't go trying to pirate games that they sell through their Windows Store and you won't have any problems. That seems to be something that most other sites are overlooking in their efforts to scare you and bait you into clicking their news headlines.
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