Dragon Age: Origins skipping SecuROM PC DRM

EA and BioWare confirm upcoming fantasy RPG will not require maligned piracy-prevention software or online authentication for offline play.

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Last month, EA made a significant concession in its ongoing conflict with digital-rights management opponents. After the digital-rights management on last year's Spore sparked a popular uproar and a legal dispute, the publisher first relaxed the game's SecuROM security software to let users install it on five different computers instead of three, and then released a tool that deauthorized PCs so that they would not count against the title limit.

Pirates will instead be felled by broadswords.

Today, EA took one more step back from the much-maligned theft-prevention software, confirming that its wholly owned subsidiary BioWare would not make use of SecuROM in the upcoming PC release of Dragon Age: Origins.

"We're happy to announce that the boxed/retail PC version of Dragon Age: Origins will use only a basic disk check and it will not require online authentication," confirmed community coordinator Chris Priestly on BioWare's official forums. "In other words, the retail PC version of the game won't require you to go online to authenticate the game for offline play. We have chosen not to use SecuROM in any version of Dragon Age that is distributed by EA or BioWare."

Dragon Age: Origins is expected to arrive on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC this fall. Check out GameSpot's previous coverage for more on the fantasy role-playing game.

Discussion

155 comments
weemies
weemies

Sweet. I'm buying it. Good choice, BioWare (and EA). I skipped Mass Effect because of the SecuRom crap.

bronzeman77
bronzeman77

I was in two minds to buy this game, but now I will to show support for not using evil Securom!

_Striper_
_Striper_

AWESOME. After The NWN2 debacle of having to email support many times, install patched .exes and not being able to play a game I purchased, this is terrific news. SecuROM = EVIL

Beastcake
Beastcake

This should throw away all the risk, and pains, and hassles. This is fantastic news.

chimchim83
chimchim83

I will agree that it is indeed great news that they have done away with securom on the Bioware end, but again that is only a subsidiary of EA as the article says and that it does not state EA is doing away with it completely. First off I too would like to be reimbursed for the money I had spent on bioshock after installing and finding out the pains of Securom. So in short I agree with whyteknight222 , great point.

whyteknight222
whyteknight222

N.B. online activation for offline/single player games is also unacceptabe.

whyteknight222
whyteknight222

Securom removal: great. Limited installs: unacceptable. As i've stated b4, I think Ea has stepped in the right direction, but any long-term Pc user knows there are various reasons for re-installing games/OS's. If EA negates this stance aswell, then all will be well as far as this customer is concerned. Moreover, I find it ironic that after buying & playing some of these infested titles that I had then to uninstall them and reinstall my OS to regain my clean gaming rig (thereby losing an activation). Those titles now remain listless upon my shelf, activations used up, wanting to be played but unable. On a board that's concerned with piracy & theft, i ask if i'm the only person feels robbed for having paid for these? Hopefully, EA (& others concerned) will soon rectify this and regain the FULL trust of those who wish to expend their hard-earned disposeable income on their products. I look forward to DA:O and a new, improved EA.

D3CLINE
D3CLINE

This is excellent news. If they actually hold to this, I'll buy it. They could have had my money on several other EA titles over the last couple of years if they had taken this stance sooner.

madglee
madglee

This is a great move, much like skunknuts said. They're probably not concerned about being "repaid by millions of dollars in losses as the game is happily pirated," because they realize that neither SecuROM or any other security to date has stopped media from being pirated. This shows respect for the consumer and I'm confident the majority of gamers will support Bioware (EA) by purchasing the game.

magusat999
magusat999

Why does EA need securom anyway? - Their scheme makes it unnecessary - inundate the player with so much pressure to get online and spend "EA Bucks" on DLC which includes, well... anything the makes the game fun; and anything that makes the game complete; and anything that makes the game a real game. Since they aren't going to sell you a whole game in the first place, there's little to protect...

skunknuts
skunknuts

EA has made a good move here - they're showing respect for their customers. Hopefully they're not repaid by millions of dollars in losses as the game is happily pirated. Do the right thing, and prove that DRM can safely go bye-bye. I'll be buying my copy on day 1.

Bladescorpion
Bladescorpion

securom contect menu broke my right click on vista... i hate it. have to disable it.

bashcash007
bashcash007

About time EA realized this was the way to go in the first place! As has been said, DRM does nothing in the way of stopping piracy. It's just a hassle and an annoyance for legit buyers, and it's extra resources the publisher has to spend that go towards doing absolutely no good for them, their property or their customers. Piracy is part of the platform (all platforms actually, with the current exception of the PS3, but expect that to change quickly as BD burners and discs become cheaper), accept it and move on. Instead of fighting it head-on, find ways of making your product more appealing, and reward the people who buy your games instead of punishing them. DA:O is now back on my to-buy list! Can't wait! :)

Vasot
Vasot

chikahiro94 said: DRM doesn't stop pirates. DRM annoys customers. +1

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

They said no SecuROM but what if they use another DRM? But if there is none present = awesome. I think the main reason Spore was the number 1 pirated game of all time was cause of DRM. They learned their lesson.

arijit_2404
arijit_2404

@chikahiro94 My personal opinion is a DRM is a DRM, no matter how simple it is. If it's no securom then it's annoying disc-based solution. I never liked it either. All I want is after buying the game, I should be able to install the game and play it without any disc or other 3rd-party softwares involved (read Steam etc.). Since it's not possible in current scenario, I always go with most convenient and less hassle way - online activation / registration. The games I'm currently playing (CoH, FM2009) are these kind of games - that requires one time internet check and I can play it without disc. I was talking about my perspective previously and I am still supporting my views. But I do believe in your views too! That's why I said that both disc-based check and online activation should stay, it's user preferences which way he wants to go. (read my previous posts)

24k_Solid_Gold
24k_Solid_Gold

Personally I don't like online authentication. It doesn't make any sense that I should have to go online just to play a game that I'm going to play ofline, or is singleplayer. i.e. Mass Effect (awesome game by the way). If I want to play online, then I'll go ONLINE. But oh well, it's not too much of a drawback I guess.

RussianRAGE
RussianRAGE

Well guys i just don't know. I like how EA is doing something about piracy, but its 3-5 PC limit seems very sadistic. I personally think that the best way to stop piracy is to have games bound to Steam, like pretty much ALL Valve games, DoW2, Fear2, and so on. These games are much harder to crack than others since they have to be steam bound. Steam is convenient, but it does have its flaws. I get into trouble with Steam when my internet connection gets low, since steam in completely online, so if your internet is dead so is your hope of playing them until your connection is restored. In addition, if you've accumulated a lot of games on your steam account, having your account compromised means a lot of money potentially lost if left unclaimed. On the other hand, since your games are bound to Steam, then that means if you lose your game disk, you can still play your game. I'm NOT trying to be a jerk and advertise Steam, this is just my opinion. But i do think steam really is the best answer to stopping piracy and i am personally happy with their service and constant game discounts.

gzader
gzader

Looks like it's on my buy list then. Way to go EA!

VexedLucifer
VexedLucifer

I stopped caring about this game once they announced The Old Republic.

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

Whoa! Code wheel memories! Or, even worse, answering a ridiculous question that could only be answered by reading a specified paragraph from a page in the manual.

Blue_Tomato
Blue_Tomato

Good, this kind of DRM is useless to fight piracy and just makes it hard to be a loyal paying customer. Hopefully they will understand that they need to make choosing to buy games a better option than to pirate them. Which means no DRM, quick and easy digital distribution regardless of the customers location and lower prices. Apple got it pretty much right with itunes, making mp3 based music a profitable business instead of just a synonym for pirated music.

pituf080
pituf080

SecuRom and other so called "Anti-Piracy" Softwares are not only bad for the legitimate customer but they cost the publisher a heck load of money too. People say they have to find a non intrusive way to protect software... well that aint so easy for games and programs that dont need to connect to a life server to use the program. The thing that annoys me most is that we, the legitimate costumer, have to jump through loops just to get a game up and running, while pirates can get to play without the hassles. DRM WILL NOT STOP PIRACY, it will just delay the inevitable and piss off the legit customer.... which for some publishers is acceptable!!! I for myself will not buy any more games which are protected by such invasive systems like SecuRom, Starforce or similar. Their methods come very close to spy/malware.

soeppel
soeppel

I don't think this in any way can be described as "great news". But a cold "congratulations for finally coming to your senses" would be in order. Man, I still haven't gotten over EA's decision to postpone Dragon Age. F$*%tards.

AnarchyRising
AnarchyRising

@stakex007 - Us thieves will break into your houses and steal your games instead. SecuROM hurts more retail than it does pirates. Its a fact. And all OnLive will do is make a new challenge for crackers. Nothing more, nothing less.

Targzissian
Targzissian

This decision by EA/Bioware will help more people make the decision to buy the game. If it increases piracy as well, it won't really matter, because a pirated version of a game acts a lot like a demo, and many people who play the pirated version will want to buy a legal version of the game.

starbead
starbead

First The Sims 3 and now Dragon Age. It looks like EA got the message about how customers feel about SecuRom. @stakex007: I completely disagree with you. There is a serious legal issue involving the use of SecuRom. The pirates weren't complaining about it- Spore was the most pirated game last year. Most of the piracy is occurring on the development/production/distribution end and the publisher's response was draconian/illegal action that hurt only the legitimate consumer. SecuRom has all but killed PC gaming for me. I play inferior 360 versions of a lot of games just because I don't want their malware on my computer. (I also buy any 360 versions of said games used so that the money-grubbing publishers don't make a dime off of my purchase.) Hopefully 2K games will get the message as well and SecuRom is in its death throes.

Ohaidere
Ohaidere

If you pirate games I hope someone breaks into your house and steals your wallet at least once a month. Yeah you dirtbags, it really is the same thing.

dan_3
dan_3

You guys do know it's just as easy to crack securom as it is any of the other crappy things they use to "protect" these games? Securom is a joke, anything that has it is crackable. Everything is crackable, the 360, the ps3 (to a very minor extent) and especially the Wii (that's ridiculously easy to crack). Piracy will always work, do I agree with it? No, but it's going to happen.

stakex007
stakex007

@mysterylobster - EVERY game requiers a disk check... its to prevent you from installing the game on all your friends computers without doing anything else. At least with a disk check you have to go through some effort to do so. If its so annoying to you to make sure you have the disk in your computer, just buy the damn thing on Steam. The funny part about all the complaints aimed at SecuROM and all other anti-piracy programs is that the people who complain the most, are likely thoes who want to pirate the game. Its truely sad the game industry can't come up with a compleatly non-invasive anti-piracy software so the pirates can't pretend to be actual customers and complain about how they are "being inconvinienced". Hopefully OnLive actually works and replaces the current video game systems so there is no more piracy... what will all you thieves do then?

mysterylobster
mysterylobster

I think it's ridiculous that this game requires a disc check. Thieves will easily break this, so the on;y people it inconveniences are actual customers. People, get your 1-star reviews ready. They're going to hear from us.

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

I'm wondering about why some people don't agree about DRM annoys customers, it's the true. :(

teirdome
teirdome

Darn, I was really hoping for an early 90s code wheel.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

@arijit_2404 The game would've been pirated with or without DRM. Gamestop breaking the street date made sure that there would be pirates at launch. And Wardell admitted they ignored the numbers provided by other publishers - them having 100k pirates on the official day one is by NO means surprising, record breaking, or anything else - its par for course. DRM doesn't stop pirates. DRM annoys customers. Besides - the pirates never got to play online through Impulse. The problems they had would've come up anyhow, and Wardell admitted as such (networking issues, the automatic checking for updates, legit or not, etc). Wardell doesn't blame the pirates for their mistakes that lead to the real problems.

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator moderator

Congratulations EA on making a very good decision. I was already extremely excited about the next great Bioware RPG. This only makes the anticipation that much sweeter.

zgreenwell
zgreenwell

I am not really concerned about DRM. As long as the game I buy will play I'm fine. Despite having bought some of the games other people complain about, my computer doesn't seem have any slow down, and I've always been able to reinstall multiple times if I need to.

sentencer
sentencer

This was a very smart thing they have done. All SecuROM does is limit the legitimate buyer of a product as crackers come up with bypasses for all these alleged "anti-piracy" methods. I know I have gotten cracks for my legally purchased games just because of the hassle of SecuROM working only when it feels like it; so I am glad that DAO will not have it!

Vasot
Vasot

Bozanimal...Bioshock has been cracked too.

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

Solid move; I still haven't played Bioshock, among others, due to its use of DRM. I hope more developers and publishers follow suit.

XDoggLegacy
XDoggLegacy

Good secure rom is stupid, I stated in the past that anti piracy software is pointless because crackers or pirateers only end up cracking software anyway and the people that suffer are those individuals whom buy it and have to go through all the bs just to play the game that they were normally overcharged for. ( not to mention all the games that are barely shelf ready that pass out into retail quickly by EA and other hungry companies) FYI this is mostly a multiplayer game anyway, pirating it will just limit you to the single aspects. So I guess the company realizes if you want to pirate it you cheat yourself out of the wonderful moding and multiplayer experience. I still have my doubts although, I have this game on preorder big fan of nwn. Only thing that I worry about is the pausing combat style, I dont care much for final fantasy fighting I like real time.

Vasot
Vasot

GREAT ! Wise move from Bioware for not using an unfriendly DRM for their game . It would be also a waste of space since everything gets cracked sooner or later. Even the Chronicles of Riddick-Dark Athena advanced DRM solution has already been cracked. Putting unfriendly and complicated DRM is not going to stop the pirates from cracking and only makes the buyers life difficult

LagMan_pt
LagMan_pt

I guess it doesnt matter much, what systems they use to protect their products from piracy since hackers are getting better and better, there isnt a single piece of software that hasnt been cracked. Anyway people who like gaming will allways buy their favourite titles because of the low price or some added value (collectors editions, multiplayer, dlcs etc) or just because nothing will replace that feeling of buying that original you love so much. In simple Good titles with large fan base =less piracy, Call of duty 4 is a good example of it

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

I still believe Stardock had it right when they said that most people who pirate software are people who have no intention on buying the product in the first place, even if they couldn't find some way to get it illegally. Sure it's affecting the gaming industry, but not nearly as dramatically as people would have you believe.

Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

Thank Goodness! Great news... I will definitely buy now! I hate EA a lot less now... BioWare haven't been killed it seems. EA == Lawfull neutral now!

69
69

lol, i pirate games all the time. That being said, i own a rather large collection of legitimately purchased games on CD/DVD, as well as about 25 games purchased through steam. Even though i've pirated a fair bit, I'm willing to bet i've spent more money on legit software purchases then most of you people posting :P @ uberjannie: I've bought a lot of games i've tried before. I just bought DeadSpace like an hour ago. There is way to much generalizing going on in this thread to make any good points. For the record tho, I'll happily pirate a secure game if I've read about any problems the security has caused for legit customers. Lol, a while back i had pirated a game that ran totally fine on my pc. I liked it, so a few weeks down the road, i bought it. The legit non cracked version glitched/crashed/froze like crazy, but the pirated version played nice the whole time. Wtf is that about!

Barighm
Barighm

And you guys wonder why Microsoft seems to be trying to steer away from PC game development. And lol @ TehElite. That was funny. :P

boyplaybox
boyplaybox

like this gonna stop the pirate lol the only reason why this is happening is because secuROM fails

TehEliteElite
TehEliteElite

Sweet! Go Bioware! :D Sounds like EA's alignment just shifted a couple points away from Lawful Evil!

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

This is good news... I find it reprehensible that companies see it fit to catch legitimate consumers in the crossfire on their quest to stop software piracy. That's like executing everyone in a police lineup because one of them was the killer.