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Thread: Activation limits removed on BioShock for the PC

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Activation limits removed on BioShock for the PC

    Good news! As promised, all activation restrictions, including install limits, have been removed from BioShock PC as of today. You donít have to patch or install anything for this to go into effect for your copy of BioShock Ė itís already done!

    Enjoy your time in Rapture, and thank you for supporting BioShock and the 2K teams.

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    thanks!! love to hear when DRM is removed! i bet you will see more sales from this alone..

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    Woo!
    Its like the end of the Cold War!

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    Awesome! Let me go whip up the world's biggest serving of crow for the naysayers....

  5. #5
    Most fantastic news!
    I used to hate you guys. Now I hate you guys a little bit less.

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    How'd you guys do it if I may ask...without patch or update?

    Just curious.

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    I was hoping you could clarify. Has SecuROM been fixed or has SecuROM been removed from BioShock?

    I hope it's just the conspiracy theorist in me, but when you say the DRM is "fixed" and that you don't need to apply any patch to receive said "fix" this leads me to believe that you have simply removed the rules (or whatever mechanism SecuROM uses) from the SecuROM software on the server side (e.g. your validation server always returns true or valid). This means that the SecuROM software would still be installed on my end when I purchase BioShock through Steam or B&M store. The whole reason why I haven't bought BioShock up to this point is the fact that I don't want SecuROM mucking up my PC.

    What happens if the validation server goes down tomorrow, or next week, or in a year, and my copy can't receive that warm fuzzy true from your system? What if you don't want to maintain the SecuROM server any longer, is my copy still going to work? What happens if 2K Games or SecuROM closes it doors and shuts off the servers X days in the future. Can I be assured that the copy I legally purchased will continue to work? I mean it is a single player experience, and I don't think it's asking too much that I continue to be able to enjoy the game I legally bought, is it?

    Sorry for going off on a small rant, but I believe this is an important question and one many hardcore PC enthusiasts is interested in knowing the answer to. If you truly have removed the SecuROM software from the client side of the game, then I will happily put down my $30 through steam tonight. But, if you still pollute your software with this crapware, I can only say that I will gladly wait for the rumored PS3 version and pay for it second hand.

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    Our other methods of copy protection remain. You will still have to activate your copy, and you will still need to keep the disc in the drive. SecuROM has not been removed -- just the activation limits on number of installs and number of computers you can install BioShock on simultaneously.

    As I promised that the activation limits would go away, I can promise that if we ever stop supporting BioShock in the ways you speak of, we will release a patch so that the game is still playable. I believe, as you seem to, that BioShock will be the kind of game we will want to revisit 5, 10, 15 or more years from now. I want my copy to be playable, just as you do, and so does 2K.

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    I'd add that anyone violently opposed to DRM should be prepared to miss all the biggest PC titles, since BioShock, Mass Effect, and Spore have all used (or plan to use) this software.

    Even Bethesda did a huge about-face and added SecuROM to the Game of the Year Edition of Oblivion.

    If 2K ever did release a version without SecuROM, there are so many other high profile games using it that it wouldn't matter. If it isn't already a common process on most systems, it soon will be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2K Elizabeth View Post
    Good news! As promised, all activation restrictions, including install limits, have been removed from BioShock PC as of today. You donít have to patch or install anything for this to go into effect for your copy of BioShock Ė itís already done!

    Enjoy your time in Rapture, and thank you for supporting BioShock and the 2K teams.
    Hey that's great, now give us the editor so we can really be happy.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    I'd add that anyone violently opposed to DRM should be prepared to miss all the biggest PC titles, since BioShock, Mass Effect, and Spore have all used (or plan to use) this software.

    Even Bethesda did a huge about-face and added SecuROM to the Game of the Year Edition of Oblivion.

    If 2K ever did release a version without SecuROM, there are so many other high profile games using it that it wouldn't matter. If it isn't already a common process on most systems, it soon will be.
    Fine, Game publishing companies be on note. Consumers are getting more and more annoyed by this behaviour and those in the know will not be buying your games. I'm all for you guys protecting your IP. I have not and never will pirate a game. However when I pay you guys full price for a game I expect to be able to play it, not jump through hoops and be treated like I'm a pirate. Thank you for removing the installation limit on BioShock. I may now pick the game up.
    Last edited by Raven-sb; 06-19-2008 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Added infomation

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2K Elizabeth View Post
    Our other methods of copy protection remain. You will still have to activate your copy, and you will still need to keep the disc in the drive. SecuROM has not been removed -- just the activation limits on number of installs and number of computers you can install BioShock on simultaneously.

    As I promised that the activation limits would go away, I can promise that if we ever stop supporting BioShock in the ways you speak of, we will release a patch so that the game is still playable. I believe, as you seem to, that BioShock will be the kind of game we will want to revisit 5, 10, 15 or more years from now. I want my copy to be playable, just as you do, and so does 2K.
    Thank you for your quick response. It is unfortunate that 2K couldn't bring about an acceptable activation system, because as we all know even systems like SecuROM are about as effective as a one legged man in an ass-kicking contest to the determined pirate.

    Quote Originally Posted by japester
    I'd add that anyone violently opposed to DRM should be prepared to miss all the biggest PC titles, since BioShock, Mass Effect, and Spore have all used (or plan to use) this software.

    Even Bethesda did a huge about-face and added SecuROM to the Game of the Year Edition of Oblivion.

    If 2K ever did release a version without SecuROM, there are so many other high profile games using it that it wouldn't matter. If it isn't already a common process on most systems, it soon will be.
    No one is saying they are violently opposed to DRM, and personally I think violent is too strong a word, I find Steam to be an acceptable level of DRM, and I will also be the first to say that even the all powerful Steam doesn't solve the issues I brought up in my previous post. What I don't find acceptable is that 2K is using this root level, third-party software, and I don't trust it on my machine.

    I have always loved to game on my PC, but I find myself purchasing fewer PC games these days because of these heavy handed tactics by developers. And it is, in part, the game developers which are, if not causing, aiding in the great exodus to consoles because of oppressive DRM schemes which do absolutely nothing to curb the piracy which has always, and will always, be prevalent in the industry (don't even get me started on console piracy). I can't speak for all PC gamers, but for me, SecuROM is not an acceptable level of DRM.

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    I think that's a reasonable response phu5ion. And I can respect it.

    I took exception to the terms "pollution" and "crapware", which is why I described it as violent opposition. If you disagree with DRM on principal, that's fine. But SecuROM resides on many, many, many systems without a single problem, operating invisibly to the user, with no system slowdown or security risks. So I felt your description was a bit harsh and inaccurate. (In contrast, I think Starforce deserved such harsh words---and much more.)

    As for piracy being unstoppable, if that is the case then kiss all gaming goodbye. Because piracy is getting worse every year. I find it difficult to blame publishers and developers for at least trying to protect their livelihood.

    I believe BioShock, which had incredible buzz upon release, lasted the longest of any game before being cracked. Most games are cracked withinin 24 hours or less. BioShock lasted roughly 2 weeks. That may not sound like much, but it is an increase of over 1000%. That is huge. Imagine if they can increase effectiveness by that magnitude with each iteration of DRM. If games start taking a month, two months, three months, etc before being cracked, that will discourage many illegal downloaders. (A miniscule percentage of pirates are actual crackers, the rest are just unscrupulous gamers who want free downloads and want them now.)

    I don't want to clutter this thread with griping and arguing, so I'll try to give it a rest. Doing away with activations is a huge gesture, and we all should be grateful. It doesn't motivate anyone (companies or individuals) to complain when they've just done something right.

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    I'm glad for this move and will be grateful once the whole SecuROM has been removed. 2k did a lot of mistakes with BioShock and this will certainly make up for some things and bring back a little trust. If I hadn't been so stupid to preorder the game I would buy it after removing of all SecuROM to show 2k that I don't endorse such customer-hostile behavior but DO support their game and hope they will be more bold and daring with BS2.

    thx

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    Well nevermind I sit correted. It still has SecuRom.

    :sigh.

    So close to perfection, but yet so far.
    Last edited by Rebelphoenix; 06-20-2008 at 12:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2K Elizabeth View Post
    Good news! As promised, all activation restrictions, including install limits, have been removed from BioShock PC as of today. You donít have to patch or install anything for this to go into effect for your copy of BioShock Ė itís already done!

    Enjoy your time in Rapture, and thank you for supporting BioShock and the 2K teams.
    Wtf!? Can't believe it ...

    I'm glad to see that thos stupid limitations has been removed and thx for the news. So .. finally i can buy it and play one of the "most wanted" games on my personal list and many ... others too!

    Please ... for the next time (Bioshock 2) ... do NOT do this again ... or you will lose many customers and their trust in you as you did with this Game. Online Activation is fine ... thats not the problem, it is those limitations! Hopefully It will be removed from Mass Effet soon .. so i can buy that too.

    greetz

  17. #17

    Nice, thank ye.

    As much as I wanna see Securom gone for good in all it's heinous forms, I gotta give ye a big sloppy kiss for this measure. I believe in your right to protect your IP against piracy, but trying to limit my private usage of the product I've paid for is pure bastardry. Nice to see those limits gone.

    Remember, only customers hate DRM. Pirates remove it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2K Elizabeth View Post
    Good news! As promised, all activation restrictions, including install limits, have been removed from BioShock PC as of today. You don’t have to patch or install anything for this to go into effect for your copy of BioShock – it’s already done!

    Enjoy your time in Rapture, and thank you for supporting BioShock and the 2K teams.
    That's nice to hear. Thanks a lot. However I still would prefer a patch that makes even the contact to the registration server unnecesary. You know, server's go down some day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marix View Post
    That's nice to hear. Thanks a lot. However I still would prefer a patch that makes even the contact to the registration server unnecesary. You know, server's go down some day.
    Please refer to post #8 in this thread.

  20. #20
    Will you guys ever supply a patch which allows for offline installation? When you don't have internet available is when you are most likely to play SP games. Not being able to install without internett makes it hard to play those SP games when you don't have a connection. Only legit customers have this problem, and IMO we deserve an offline installer patch in return for supporting the dev teams that made Bioshock. Removing activation limit is a step in the right direction (had like 1 install left cause of OS crash, testing Vista etc.), but making an offline installer would make owners of Bioshock much happier.

  21. #21

    Too little, too late

    Sorry, this is still not enough. Take 2 still has the control of the kill switch. You may have loosened the rules on the server, but if it's still there, it's because it is designed to say NO under some unclear circonstances (there is certainly a blacklist and some limits somewhere, although much larger).
    Your competitors try to at least justify online activation / hardware tying with a "Look! You do not even need the disk in the drive!" but that's not even your case.
    I'll stick with old-fashionned protection I can somehow understand and control and go on raising awareness about these issues.
    Best regards

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    Great, now I can finally go out and buy the game.

    Pity you thought to include this silly scheme in the first place as I would gladly have paid full price for it and you'd have got more money off me, but doubtless you knew what you were doing.

  23. #23
    This is good news. I cancelled my 360 and PC orders for this game when this all first kicked off. I will not be buying the game though, I ended up borrowing and playing my brothers 360 version. I enjoyed the game a lot, but it's done now.

    It's such a shame to see this happening to the PC games industry, I'll also not be buying Spore, Mass Effect and any other games that use limited activation.

    It is nice to see 2K living up to their word though, just a shame it had to be implemented at all though.

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    Haha I so called this before the game even came out

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebelphoenix View Post
    Well nevermind I sit correted. It still has SecuRom.

    :sigh.

    So close to perfection, but yet so far.

    So? Plenty of games do. All it does now is check your key and your disc and you're free to do what you want from there. How it should have been from the get go.
    Last edited by Kyorisu; 06-20-2008 at 03:33 AM.

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    I figured you would still have to activate it. From what I remember the executable file isn't even on the DVD and has to be downloaded during the activation process.

    I bought Bioshock the day it came out before I learned of it's install limits. I have refused to buy Mass Effect, and won't pick up Spore or Alone In The Dark either until their activation limits have also been removed since I have been forewarned on them. At least AITD has their revoke tool already in place before the launch, though it's even more restrictive - just allowing a single install so I can't have it on my pc and laptop at the same time.

    I had problems with the install limit on Bioshock. It ran choppy on my PC and I uninstalled it before the revoke tool was released. I went to run it on my son's PC and used another activation. He wanted to play it too under his user account and profile on the same PC and it asked to be activated a third time. His hard drive crashed shortly thereafter so we lost 3 activations with no way to revoke them. I finally got to play the game that I bought and paid for when they increased the install limit to 5.

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    Why isn't an offline installation for legal buyers allowed? I'm sure people who pirate the game can install it offline. This seems unfair to me. I'm still not going to buy it.

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    that's nice to read, but i won't get it anyway after you forced all the crap on your honest buyers.

    i may miss a really good game, but seriously, i stopped caring about it at the point where i read how you treat your customers. i do agree, that you need to protect your content, but i don't agree that pirates get more of an advantage than those who support you.

    and yes, i registered just to say that.

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    Great. Now, as others have said, bring out the editor.

  29. #29
    this is really awesome news!

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    Wait a second... So we are supposed to be happy that 2K lets you install your game as much as they want UNTIL they take the servers offline (At which point your copy is worthless)? Your product is still inferior to a hacked version. Its still puts DRM on peoples machines, and still effects their system performance.

    The fact that 2K games still refuses to take the DRM off peoples machines even after all the outrage while pretending to "listen to their customers" saddens me. Its made even worse by the way they pretend like they are doing us a favor by letting people install the software that they legitimately purchased.

    My boycott of 2K games will be continuing until securom is gone and not a moment sooner. At this point you have lost the sale of 4 games from this one customer.

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    Good, Elis!

    This helps my specific Securom Tech FAQ A LOT: expect an update soon

    Good decission, no more need of the deactivation tool

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2K Elizabeth View Post
    As I promised that the activation limits would go away, I can promise that if we ever stop supporting BioShock in the ways you speak of, we will release a patch so that the game is still playable. I believe, as you seem to, that BioShock will be the kind of game we will want to revisit 5, 10, 15 or more years from now. I want my copy to be playable, just as you do, and so does 2K.
    If you had been able to say that as clearly and precisely 9 months ago when the game was new, you would have turned things around completely.

    I would probably have bought the game, rather than returning it to the store.

    Instead, you deleted the posts from the game's actual lead developer which, in fact, only hinted at the removal of activation.

    Although there are issues that I still disagree with, and would contest in these forums, this is the kind of concession a lot of us were looking for.

    A hint of openess and a bonafide willingness to meet your community in the middle would have made a big difference. Instead there was a lot of secrecy, a lot of silence, and a lot of half answers. I believe that you were not allowed to release this information. Perhaps senior managers had not yet decided on a policy. Perhaps there was a contract with Securom to uphold. I don't hold this against you Elizabeth. But I do continue to hold this against 2K.

    It will continue to influence my buying decisions. Frankly this whole saga has been a chore, for both consumers and employees of 2K. At least the employees are getting paid for it.

    When the entertainment is sapped from entertainment products, I find it a lot easier to live without them, don't you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obturator View Post
    My boycott of 2K games will be continuing until securom is gone and not a moment sooner. At this point you have lost the sale of 4 games from this one customer.
    To make your boycott truly successful, you should make sure to avoid games by Bioware, Maxis, Bethesda, EA, Obsidian Entertainment, Ubisoft, and quite a few others. But these are all small game developers; I doubt they have too many titles on the shelves.

    That still leaves all of the Diner Dash games and those games where you look for items hidden in the picture. They can be quite fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    To make your boycott truly successful, you should make sure to avoid games by Bioware, Maxis, Bethesda, EA, Obsidian Entertainment, Ubisoft, and quite a few others. But these are all small game developers; I doubt they have too many titles on the shelves.
    Contrary to your beliefs there are plenty of games that dont use securom. I am playing sins of a solar empire right now (And it is amazing). And yes, I am boycotting those other companies as well on console as well as PC. I was just stating how many sales 2k has lost from me because thats all they should care about.
    Last edited by Obturator; 06-20-2008 at 08:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    I'd add that anyone violently opposed to DRM should be prepared to miss all the biggest PC titles, since BioShock, Mass Effect, and Spore have all used (or plan to use) this software.
    You forget to mention at least one, and possibly more, of these companies have since scaled back the offensively invasive levels of their planned DRM in direct response to massively negative comments from users. Most of these complainants are sensibly, not violently, opposed to DRM.

    A lot of these users were probably introduced to the issues surrounding overly restrictive DRM by Bioshock, and the way that this situation was handled. So I suppose that it was all good for something.

    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    As for piracy being unstoppable, if that is the case then kiss all gaming goodbye. Because piracy is getting worse every year.
    The biggest two opening day sales for an entertainment product go to Video Games. The first was this year. The second was last. Gaming is not in trouble, nor is it even close to being in trouble.

    At worst the problem of piracy scales with the size of the industry.

    Either way, one thing is clear: there are more people buying video games than ever before in history. This is unrefutable.

    You need to stop the "Piracy is killing gaming" line - it just doesn't hold true.


    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    Imagine if they can increase effectiveness by that magnitude with each iteration of DRM.
    All I can imagine is how much more restrictive and inconvenient they would have to be, from a purely technical standpoint.

    I also suspect that if DRM were ever perfectly foolproof, it would be massively abused - at least by some companies.

    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    (A miniscule percentage of pirates are actual crackers,
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    the rest are just unscrupulous gamers who want free downloads and want them now.)
    Demonstrably false.

    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    Doing away with activations is a huge gesture, and we all should be grateful.
    Uh, no. They want something from us, i.e. our business.

    I'd be grateful if this game was given away for free. That would be a gift. I would be grateful if they cut the price in half. I would be grateful if they invited me over for a picnic, or sent me a Christmas card. I'm not grateful just because they're doing what they should have done all along. I'm not grateful because they are offering me a product for money with borderline reasonable terms and conditions. At best I'm satisfied.

    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    It doesn't motivate anyone (companies or individuals) to complain when they've just done something right.
    I agree with this in part, and I think that we need to be clear that this is a step in the right direction.

    Good move 2K, genuinely.

    However, those of us with principles should not sacrifice them at the first sign of a concilliatory gesture. They are principles for a reason: we hold to them.

    That does not mean that a compromise can never be reached. Whilst I disagree with DRM, in principle, there are levels of inconvenience I am willing to accept. That does not mean that I suddenly agree with DRM in principle. It means that we have reached a mutually amicable arrangement.

    For nine months Bioshock didn't come close to meeting my standards. It didn't come close to meeting good business practice. It didn't come close to working in favour of its customers. Now it has gotten a lot closer.

    ...It's too late. I've already played it for free.


    (Legally).

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    Quote Originally Posted by japester View Post
    I think that's a reasonable response phu5ion. And I can respect it.

    I took exception to the terms "pollution" and "crapware", which is why I described it as violent opposition. If you disagree with DRM on principal, that's fine. But SecuROM resides on many, many, many systems without a single problem, operating invisibly to the user, with no system slowdown or security risks. So I felt your description was a bit harsh and inaccurate. (In contrast, I think Starforce deserved such harsh words---and much more.)

    As for piracy being unstoppable, if that is the case then kiss all gaming goodbye. Because piracy is getting worse every year. I find it difficult to blame publishers and developers for at least trying to protect their livelihood.

    I believe BioShock, which had incredible buzz upon release, lasted the longest of any game before being cracked. Most games are cracked withinin 24 hours or less. BioShock lasted roughly 2 weeks. That may not sound like much, but it is an increase of over 1000%. That is huge. Imagine if they can increase effectiveness by that magnitude with each iteration of DRM. If games start taking a month, two months, three months, etc before being cracked, that will discourage many illegal downloaders. (A miniscule percentage of pirates are actual crackers, the rest are just unscrupulous gamers who want free downloads and want them now.)

    I don't want to clutter this thread with griping and arguing, so I'll try to give it a rest. Doing away with activations is a huge gesture, and we all should be grateful. It doesn't motivate anyone (companies or individuals) to complain when they've just done something right.
    piracy is unstoppable. ANYTHING can be reverse engineered. also bioshock actually lasted -1 day before being pirated i remember checking torrentz.com. I bought the game however.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildquinine View Post
    A lot of these users were probably introduced to the issues surrounding overly restrictive DRM by Bioshock, and the way that this situation was handled. So I suppose that it was all good for something.
    What a pleasure to have you back, wildquinine.

    I won't play the game of picking apart posts, because we know that will go back and forth forever.

    I will make one clarification from your post above, as I think it is a critically important one. Users were introduced to the problems by reviewers of BioShock, not from first-hand use. Why do I say that? Because it was certain reviewers, after trying to install the game on every computer in their office, that ran into the install limit. I have watched these forums since the game came out, and actual users who ran into this limit are few to none. And while some users have run into software conflicts (such as with tools commonly used by piracy--though not exclusively by piracy), these numbers have also been small compared to the install base.

    So all this fuss is based primarily on principal--a principal which conveniently, and glaringly, ignores the reason for such measures in the first place.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildquinine View Post
    If you had been able to say that as clearly and precisely 9 months ago when the game was new, you would have turned things around completely.
    I apologize to you, then, if my words and actions made the situation unclear to you and made you think negatively of the team, the company, or the product.

    I try very hard to only give out correct information, and not promise more than I can very reasonably expect to deliver. I am not 100% certain that BioShock will be playable until the end of time, but I am very confident that our company knows how amazing this game is, and will respect that, and our loyal consumer base who loves this game right along with us.

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    Thumbs down Not enough for me...

    While I appreciate that 2K removed the activation limit, this does not motivate me to buy Bioshock. I have lost trust in this publisher, and this will not be changed by some kind gesture, which is anyway solely intended to generate positive PR.

    For me it is pretty clear that 2K will stick with this or a related DRM scheme for future releases. Therefore, I will continue to ignore any of their upcoming products.

    I'll only consider purchasing 2K games again if it is granted that the costumer can freely install and play them without online activation or data mining/malware. Until then, I will spent my money on games produced by companies that appreciate loyal costumers (like Stardock, Daedalic Entertainment etc.).

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2K Elizabeth View Post
    I apologize to you, then, if my words and actions made the situation unclear to you and made you think negatively of the team, the company, or the product.

    I try very hard to only give out correct information, and not promise more than I can very reasonably expect to deliver. I am not 100% certain that BioShock will be playable until the end of time, but I am very confident that our company knows how amazing this game is, and will respect that, and our loyal consumer base who loves this game right along with us.
    Its pretty easy to say you have loyalty when you have squashed all dissent on your forums. Locking threads, banning accounts, ignoring the complaints about securom, and pleas of your userbase to remove it until the detractors leave is a good way to ensure "loyalty".

    Congrats on a job well done. The majority of who remain are loyal, its a pity you had to lose so many formerly loyal users to keep pushing securom though. This community is a joke now and any pretext of "listening" to the public is a farce at best.
    Last edited by Obturator; 06-20-2008 at 09:19 AM.

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