Posted by: talkjack | January 3, 2009

Two Worlds Epic Edition DRM info

I was lured into PC World by the January sales where I saw a shiny gold box on the shelf entitled Two Worlds Epic Edition. The game looked interesting, it was the poor man’s Oblivion style game with some extra multiplayer content. I checked the back of the box – no DRM info. No mention of the limited online activations which plagued the original release of Two Worlds on the PC. Good.

I almost bought the game there and then, but I hesitated because I have been tricked before by publishers withholding DRM restriction information at the point of sale. I remembered that the original retail release of Two Worlds had Securom-like limited activated installations. You could not even play the single player game without an internet connection to activate the game first, which is an issue for some people. This fact would limit sales, but cannily Southpeak do not put this information on the retail packaging, so the customer does not find out until they get home and cannot play the game they have paid for.

I waited to check the DRM info online before buying. As I feared, it turns out that this edition of Two Worlds also uses DRM to limit online activations.  The game does not use Securom, but it does emulate the unpopular limited online activations DRM restrictions of Spore, Mass Effect etc.

Two Worlds allows you to activate only three times. If you change your hardware, you have to reactivate the game on the same PC, using up another activation. If you run out of activations then the game will not work and you have lost your money – unless you contact the company’s customer support and talk them into lowering your activation count to allow you to play. Like any right thinking customer, I am not willing to jump through hoops at my own time and expense in order to get a product to work. More fool anyone who is – DRM is an artificial restriction on product use, not a genuine customer support issue.

So I decided not to buy Two Worlds Epic Edition. My money, my computer, my choice.

If you read the support forum for Two Worlds Epic Edition (click here for info) you will see that the forum moderator believes that their limit of three activations is nothing like Securom’s limited activations. In his own words, “Well this is nothing like SecuRom that is keeping many players from buying games.” Honestly, is this guy trying to deceive the public, or just ignorant?

Southpeak could have easily set their DRM to automatically roll back the activation count by one every month, so that customers are far less likely to run out. This would be so easy to do even I could write the SQL code to update any competently written DRM database! Instead, your activation count will need to be reset by customer support.The forum moderator says he will lower your activation count if you give him your serial number and are willing to give him your private email address. No wonder this guy thinks their DRM is great – Two Worlds customers are paying to keep him in a job!

Check out the DRM Charter for more info

(c) Copyright Talkjack 2009

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Responses

  1. DRM is the main reason I now stay away from PC games in general. My xbox 360 and PS 3 get more use nowdays and it leaves me to wonder why in the hell did I build a Gaming rig only to play old old games and a few newer ones I grab from Impulse? (And yea, You have to watch it on Impulse as well. At least they list whether the game has DRM or not.)

    Anyhow I have both of the 2 worlds games on xbox and the 360.


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