Friday, 21 October 2011

An open letter to Cyanide Studio regarding Securom

I make no secret of the fact I detest SecuROM. I detest intrusive DRM, but I have a special deep loathing for install activation limited games that treat me like a thief. It is a sad thing when a pirated copy ends up being a better copy then the actual purchased product - and a terrible way to encourage people to purchase your product. Its like the masses of unskippable ads and anti-piracy messages at the start of DVDs - I just bought your damn DVD and you're telling me in an unskippable manner that I shouldn't pirate the said video? If I pirated the damn thing, then I could just watch it! I will probably write a more full post on it later.

I bought Blood Bowl on sale late last month. I've finally downloaded it and installed it to discover that it's installed the SecuROM malware on my computer, and will use all of 5 activations with minor changes in my hardware or when I need to reformat after a crash if I lack the forsight to uninstall it (and everything else like it) manually before my computer crashes. It royally pisses me off when I feel treated like a thief when I've purchased a product. I just sent this open letter to Cyanide studio to the only address on their site I could find - support@cyanide-studio.com . For what it's worth, I'm placing it in the public domain, so you are welcome to copy it when you feel ripped off by SecuROM or other anti-piracy measures, and so Cyanide have the opportunity to respond if they indeed care to.

To Whomsoever at Cyanide Studio this concerns,

I've just finally finished my Steam download and am really disappointed to find the inclusion of an install-limited version of Securom. I know that I should have seen it whilst purchasing the game - or more precisely, preventing me from purchasing the game, but now I feel really very ripped off, and just a little violated.

Given how secure SteamWorks as a non intrusive, account limited DRM is, are there any plans at all to release a DRM removal patch or switch it across to SteamWorks in the future? If not, could I please beg of you to consider it. Blood Bowl is past its peak of sales, and removal of the overly strict DRM in favour of a non-limited one (such as SteamWorks) could only possibly increase future sales - any quick search over the internet quickly reveals people unwilling to even buy the product at 80% off due to the limited activations of Securom.

As somebody who barely plays multiplayer games, I feel like I'm getting a worse quality product then if I pirated it. Which is really disappointing, because it looks like a fascinating game that I'm looking forward to playing - only, with my consistent reformats as a minor game developer myself, it looks like I won't be able to play it long. I understand that there is a de-activation/uninstallation tool, however I don't understand why it is necessary to treat me like a thief when I do the right thing and purchase your game. And I shouldn't have to do a full restart because I'm running some tools I use to develop that happen to be detected by SecuROM - your game isn't the only thing I use my system for.

I've seen various people state that you care about customer feedback - and I beg of you to consider this piece of it. Until you remove SecuROM, I won't be purchasing any more of your games - which is disappointing because you seem to have some original games. I'll simply have to go without.

Yours legally and legitimately

Lachlan Kingsford

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