Feeds

BioShockers delivered from DRM hell

Rapture on up to five PCs

Business security measures using SSL

After howls of pain from gaming addicts everywhere, 2K Games has eased the draconian DRM restrictions on its much ballyhooed new title BioShock.

In the wake of the game's launch earlier this week, countless users - including a senior associate editor with PC Gamer - complained that BioShock's SecuROM copy protection software was ruining their lives, and though the company was initially slow to respond, 2K has now posted a solution to the official BioShock site: The Cult of Rapture.

"We have been reading and listening to your frustrations over SecuROM, PC activation problems, and technical support issues since BioShock launched on Tuesday, and we've devised a plan to help," wrote support rep Elizabeth Tobey.

Bioshock is a first person shooter developed by 2K Boston, once known as Irrational Games. In development for nearly three years, it's the spiritual successor of the highly-regarded PC series System Shock and System Shock 2. Set in 1960, the game puts you inside the brain of a plane crash survivor named Jack as he explores a ruined underwater Utopian society known as Rapture. El Reg hack Austin Modine calls it "totally rad-sauce".

BioShock

Totally rad-sauce

When the game shipped, users couldn't install it on more than two different machines, and each machine was limited to three reinstalls. After using his product code to activate the game on two test machines at his office, PC Gamer's Dan Stapleton was unable to get it running at home - even after he'd un-installed on the two work machines. "When I got [home] 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," he wrote. "What... the... $%~&!"

Adding insult to injury, the game won't play unless the DVD is actually in your PC.

Stapleton immediately contacted 2K technical support, but like so many users, he failed to receive satisfaction after bouncing aimlessly from support rep to support rep. Then, on Wednesday, the company's activation server went down, preventing some users from loading the game on even a single system.

One Reg reader has compared all this to the infamous Sony rootkit fiasco. But we think that's a little much.

In response to the screaming hordes, 2K has introduced a "5 by 5 plan," letting users load the app on up to five machines - with up to five reinstalls on each. Plus, it claims to be hard at work on a "revoke tool" that allows users to detach a product key from one machine and move it to another.

Naturally, the company also says that it's working to alleviate tech support problems, shifting at least some of the burden to the makers of SecuROM.

"We are also working with SecuROM and 2K customer service, so that when you do need to call in support problems, you get answers to your questions faster, without much waiting or being bounced around. SecuROM has been given much more autonomy to help fix your problems quickly and effectively," Tobey said. "I am personally sorry for anyone who got bounced around in the past couple days (I even think I contributed to this problem) and we're going to make sure that does not happen in the future." We attempted to contact Ms. Tobey and 2K Games, but they did not respond.

The activation server? It's back up. But there's no relief in sight for a man who calls himself "Epiphyte". When he installed BioShock, his PC exploded. Really. He has pictures. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears
RIP 2001 – 2014. MP3 player beloved of millions. Killed by cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.