Electronic Arts couldn't have predicted the unprecedented backlash from outraged gamers following Spore's release, or at least not the extent that they would take the anti-DRM crusade. Protests ran the gamut from blasting the title with thousands of negative user reviews on Amazon to not just making the game available on warez sites, but actively encouraging consumers to pirate the title. If you thought it might be awhile before SecuROM saddled another high profile release, think again.
Despite all the recent raucous, Rockstar has decided to implement the DRM scheme on GTA IV for the PC. But before you cry foul and grab the pitchforks and torches, Rockstar says its version will be much more user friendly than the one found on EA's Spore.
"You will only need to authenticate the retail disk once per Windows account per machine," Rockstar said in an interview with IGN.com. "Even if you uninstall and re-install the game, it will not have to be re-authenticated."
Should you change two 'major' components (think CPU and videocard) or install GTA IV on different PC under a different Windows account, Rockstar says it might be necessary to re-authenticate the game, but unlike Spore, you can install and uninstall as many times as you want. This also means you can gift your game away once you're finished playing.
"Vocal 'board posters' seem to be most down on the SecuROM feature that limits the number of installations. We recognize that the installation limits have been a major issue, so we have not limited the number of installations for the retail disk version of GTA IV PC."
Despite the increased flexibility over Spore's implementation, the move can be still be seen as controversial as consumers continue to become less tolerant of DRM in any form. But it's not just Rockstar who is being tested, but the gaming community as well. Rockstar is correct in pointing out Spore's installation limit as the biggest aggitator among those who criticized the game's DRM. Without an install limit in place, should the game also find itself the center of a crusade, right or wrong some will inevitably conclude that gamers might simply be looking for an excuse to pirate rather than pony up the asking price.
What are your thoughts on Rockstar's decision outfit GTA IV witha modified version of SecuROM?