C&C Labs News Wire

— Thursday, May 8, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 3:17:06 PM ET

EA Expands Copy Protection, Interferes with Consumers

(Thanks PCNC) There's an article out detailing how EA plans on using ever-more restrictive copy protection on their new games, presumably including upcoming Command and Conquer titles. The new software "phones home" (connects with EA's servers) once every ten days. Should it be unable to do this (for example, if you are traveling and don't have access to the internet, or if you're experiencing connection difficulties), the game stops working. Worse, should EA decide it's not worth paying for the cost of the servers, as they did with the online gameplay servers for all the old C&Cs, the game won't be able to connect, and thus, you can't play. In short, your continued enjoyment of the game is entirely conditional on EA deciding to support it. This is an extension of a policy--not supporting older games--that proved entirely unpopular in the past.

What happens when an expansion pack or a sequel comes out? I wouldn't put it past EA to "nudge" everyone to the new game by simply making the old ones not work. If it makes business sense for them to stop running the servers for the fans of an older game, odds are, they will. If you're one of those fans, odds are, you won't like it.

It would be nice to see a blanket denial from EA promising that they won't use this sort of software on C&C games. If Apoc doesn't address the issue soon, I'll try to raise it with him. It's things like this that make people--myself included--deeply angered at times about how our beloved franchise is faring.

Edit: After a couple days of anger, it seems EA has backpedaled on their DRM copy protection plans.  GamersHell reports:
In this Official BioWare/EA Response to DRM Discussion thread, BioWare has annouced that Mass Effect will not require 10-day periodic re-authentication (story). With online authentication, consumers now connect to the Internet the first time the game is launched and are required only to reconnect if they are downloading new game content. A similar copy protection scheme will be used with the upcoming title Spore.
Last edited by Mike on Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 5:08:30 PM.