Consumer Group Finds SecurROM Snuck Onto DA2

Certain sectors of the internet have been awash with criticism for Dragon Age 2. Some has been legitimate - such as recycled environments belying the game's short development cycle - while others - such as calling the plot boring after a few hours of gameplay - ... not so much. Today's revelations are going to add more fuel to the fire.

Video game consumer group Know Your Game (Note: Site's producing a 403 error as of publishing) has uncovered the virus-like DRM software SecuROM on physical discs for the PC version of Dragon Age . What's more, as a perusal of the Bioware forums or our own posts on the subject will show, EA and Bioware made no mention of its inclusion. Bioware's Chris Priestly even stated that SecuROM would not be a part of the DRM package. Nor is it included in the EULA.

This isn't the first time EA's been caught sneaking in this troublesome piece of code. As Ars Technica points out, EA was smacked upside the head with a class-action lawsuits based on not disclosing the inclusion of SecuROM with Spore. EA's actions with regards to Dragon Age 2 will undoubtedly open the door to costly litigation. EA's had three years of legal issues with Spore's DRM - the fact that they tried it again with another blockbuster defies logic.

  • Razorfish

    According to Bioware's responses, as Blue's News reports, this is a misunderstanding about the functionality of the files installed on your computer. In light of statements like the ones in the article quoted below, it seems more like Reclaim Your Game may have simply been using a sensationalist approach to leverage their paid services at BioWare (which RYG claims that they offered for free under these circumstances).

    BioWare Live Team Technical Producer Derek "CrushBug" French made a couple of posts to our forums that discuss the matter. He says:

    "Sorry, but there is some confusion on this. We use Sony Release Control which shares some functionality with other Sony products (SecuROM), but we do not use SecuROM for the DRM. Once the Sony Release Control check is passed, Release Control self-destructs, removing the Release Control wrapper and it is never used again. Game updates will not use Release Control because obviously the release date is passed. Additionally, installing the game and then any future game patch will also remove the Sony Release Control check and it will never run on your computer."

    When asked about a running SecuROM process, he said: "There is no running process once it unwraps and self-destructs." In reply to a question about registry entries, he replies: "An inert registry entry that does nothing." Finally, when asked about files remaining on users' hard drives, he explains: "In a temp folder that is never referenced again. This part is sloppy and should be cleaned up, though. We will see about doing that in a patch."