Feeds

Grand Theft Auto IV PC debut gets SecuROM sideshow

Steal in this game. Don't steal this game

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The upcoming PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV will install SecuROM 7 on customers' systems, although the game maker claims its properly de-fanged the detested DRM technology.

Rockstar told the gaming site IGN that GTA IV's flavor of SecuROM won't limit the number of installs of the game, nor will it restrict the number of machines it can be put on.

Those were arguably the most reviled SecuROM checks previously used on games such as EA's Spore, which have put many gamers up at arms. EA later backed down on the number total Spore installs, but kept the PC limit capped at five.

A Rockstar spokesperson told IGN:

GTA IV PC uses SecuROM for protecting our EXE until street date has passed, to ensure the retail disk is in the computer drive, and is used for Product Activation of the title. Product Activation is a one time only online authentication when installing the game.

The anti-DRM crowd will still have the rest of SecuROM's questionable repertoire to wag a finger at. It had been known to cause hardware problems for some, and even after a game has been removed from your system, uninstalling SecuROM is no easy task.

The latter point explains why the Rockstar rep added that even if a customer uninstalls and re-install GTA IV, it won't require re-authentication. (Unless a customer changes to "major" components on the PC, such as CPU and video card). "Active functions" of SecuROM are removed on the game's installation but "some traces will remain," according to Rockstar. The company said it's presently "working" with SecuROM just to post information on its support pages on how to remove the DRM completely.

Although an internet connection will be required for activation, the game maker said it will provide for rustic customers to activate the game using someone else's machine with web access.

To ward off those looking for the inevitable pirated version of GTA IV with SecuROM removed, the Rockstar spinster went with the angle that property theft isn't as easy, profitable, and amusing as each and every game in the GTA series would suggest:

Aside from the fact that warez are a great place to pick up a Trojan or key logger, using a cracked copy of GTA IV PC will result in varying changes to the game experience. These can range from comical to game-progress-halting changes.

It sounds a bit like the company is leaking bugged versions of the game on file-sharing sites. That may even keep freetards from getting their paws on a stolen digital copy for one — maybe two days tops by our estimate. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.