Following a beserk reaction to some fairly stringent anti-piracy measures planned for the PC version of Mass Effect, BioWare’s “done a Moore” and volte-faced on several of the decision.
Players will now no longer have to keep the disc in a drive to play the game after installation and there’ll be no automatic authentication every ten days, as originally planned.
There’s a Q&A with BioWare community manager Jay Watamaniuk after the link. The game releases on May 28 in the US and June 6 in Europe.
Q: What is the difference between the old PC disc authentication solution and the new online model?
A: Two things have changed:
• First, authentication of discs has now gone from the physical format to the online format, freeing the need for consumers to have a disc in the drive at all times.
• Second, 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.
Q: Will EA or BioWare take any personal information from my computer during an authentication?
A: Absolutely not. We do not take any personal information from your computer. The system simply verifies that a valid CD key has been provided and assigns that activation to that PC.
Q: What happens when I’ve reached the maximum # of computers for my game and I need more, say due to theft of computer, computer crashes, etc?
A: EA customer service is on hand to supply any additional authorizations that are warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by contacting customer support.
Q: Why are BioWare and EA implementing this new authentication process?
A: This serves to protect our software from piracy. It has the added benefit of allowing consumers to activate the game on multiple machines without needing the DVD in the drive when playing the game.
Q: Did BioWare and EA change their mind on requiring that the game be re-authorized every 10 days?
A: BioWare has always listened very closely to its fans and we made this decision to ensure we are delivering the best possible experience to them. To all the fans including our many friends in the armed services and internationally who expressed concerns that they would not be able re-authenticate as often as required, EA and BioWare want you to know that your feedback is important to us.
Q: If the game isn’t going to require an authentication every 10 days, will it ever require re-authentication?
A: Only if the player chooses to download new game content.