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And so the rumblings with Bioshock and SecurROM rumble on.

At some point 2K decided to "generously" increase the install limit from 2 to 5. Yes, well, way to miss the point; it was never about the amount of limit, it was that such a limit existed in the first place which got everyone up in arms.

Also, there is now some doubt, in my mind at least, as to if the 'uninstall to regain an activation' ever worked in the first place. With reports from users, including the Senior Associate Editor @ PC Gamer.com, of uninstalling the game properly only to still be told they had used up their activations and now the addition of a 'revoke' program being worked on by 2K you really have to wonder whats going on?

In addition to this;
- 2K have denied that SecurROM is a rootkit; this is despite MS certified software saying it is. (and even if it isn't by some twisted definition it still puts registery keys and folders on your system which it doesn't clean up and is next to impossible for you to remove.)
- Still no support numbers outside of North America (apprently the rest of the world doesn't exist...)


Also claims of 'just phoning up to get a new activation', as with Windows, have proven to be far more difficult than that;
Originally Posted by PC Gamer.com
8/22/07 - DRMShock

By Dan Stapleton, Senior Associate Editor

Yesterday began as a joyous day. By the whim of the mailroom gods, my copy of BioShock was the first to arrive at my desk. After I finished dancing around the room rubbing it in everyone's face, we needed to install it on a DX9 and a DX10 machine to compare.

"But wait," I said. "This product requires activation. What if, by installing it here, I cripple my copy and am unable to play from home? "So Greg called the 2K support line and talked to a support rep, who told him that it would be fine as long as we uninstalled the game before installing it on another machine. Ok, that's fine... a little annoying considering the game also has a DVD check to make sure the disc is in the drive, but I can handle that.

So we installed on one machine, then uninstalled and installed on another with no problems. So far, so good. I got in about an hour of play time, but I do the majority of my game playing at home, where I've got my heavy-duty gaming rig set up, so I was really looking forward to bringing it home with me. I uninstalled the game from my work machine and happily headed home...but when I got there and went to activate, I was stopped dead by a failure message that informed me I'd installed with this code one time too many. What... the... $%~&!

Ok, still not a disaster. I've had this happen with Windows XP before--all I have to do is call the number in the manual, read off the reactivation request code supplied by the activation wizard, and they'll give me an unlock code. Well, not so simple in this case--the support number for the US listed in the manual didn't work, giving me a "We cannot connect your call at this time" message. So I called the Canadian number, which went through. After four minutes on hold, I was told that the only way they'd unlock it is if I take a photo of the disc and the manual and email it to them. Wow... even Microsoft doesn't make you do that.

Having now jumped through all their hoops hours ago, I'm currently waiting for 2K to get around to allowing me to play my legitimate copy of the game on the system of my choosing. Meanwhile, the pirates who cracked Windows Vista's activation in a matter of days are already at work on the game, and I sincerely doubt that the BioShock copy protection wall will still be standing a week from today. And while those pirates play their ill-gotten games without a care, those of us who came by our copies legally will have to put up with draconian obstacles that will then serve no purpose whatsoever.

Well done 2K, well done indeed.

Note the highlighted section... [wow]
Yeah, as noted, not even MS make you jump though those kinds of hoops to get a new activation.

There are, despite this insanity, still people who don't see any sort of problem here and I suspect even console owners/players are a little 'meh' about it, however someone on the 2K forums brought up this intresting point;


If this thing becomes successful for the publishers I think it'll be only a matter of time before it reaches the consoles too. Probably not this generation of consoles but the next. They'll do this to squash the used games market and rentals. I remember there was a rumor Sony was thinking of doing this to the PS3 so it's not out of the realm of possibilities. Right now as PC gamers we are the guinea pigs.

And they have a point, in a world of 'always on' connections how long before games are linked to consoles as a form of activation?
Far fetched?
You might think so but go back a few years and I dare say no one would have dreamed of this current situation existing and yet, here we are. Also, given how consoles make back their money on games killing the used games and rentals market probably would be a nice dream for the console makers so the idea doesn't seem that far fetched after all.

I'd like to finish by asking "Is this the death of free gaming or is it a point where gamers stand up and say 'we will not stand for this!'?", however it's already looking like the former and not the latter, between those who don't know, those who don't care and those who think it's "alot of fuss over nothing" it is unfortunately the loud few who are making a noise and standing up for themselves.

RIP free gaming, you were taken too young.
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