EA Ditches Controversial Authentication System for Mass Effect and Spore


When it was announced that the upcoming PC versions of Mass Effect and Spore would make use of a ridiculous security feature that would automatically re-authenticate the users CD key every ten days — and lock the game entirely if for some reason it couldn’t do so — gamers responed almost unanimously with outrage. Boycotts of the game were organized and many people stated they would illegally crack the game than make use of a frustrating security feature. Well, luckily EA has seen the error of its ways and realized that it’s not a good idea to treat your paying customers like criminals. As such, both Mass Effect and Spore will no longer require authentication on a regular basis. Instead, you’ll authenticate your copy once after installing it and each time you choose to take the game online or download new content, like most other PC games. You’ll still be limited to having the game on three computers max, but the new system will allow you play the game without the disc in the drive and without being online. So basically, they reverted it back to a security program that’s more in line with that of other popular games out there. And yes, this decision comes from listening to all the complaints from gamers. There will probably still be a fair number of people pirating the games — that’s to be expected — but at least most of them won’t be out of spite.

Via Kotaku (Mass Effect, Spore)

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14 Comments on EA Ditches Controversial Authentication System for Mass Effect and Spore


On May 9, 2008 at 6:24 pm

Way to save yourself, EA.

Remember, there is nothing you can make that they cannot steal. Music, models, artwork, sound, levels, engines, just don’t ask ‘em to.


On May 9, 2008 at 6:26 pm

Seriously, whoever makes all the stupid decisions at EA needs to be fired.


On May 9, 2008 at 6:29 pm

This didn’t help much of anything… the Online system is still there… The fact that you still only get 3 installs and you can no longer play the game is still there. I had complications with BioShock when it came out and still have not been able to play it (Tech support tells me theres nothing they can do because my keys are at max use which is BS as i’ve never even played the game). Just as well, I upgrade my system every 3 to 5 months… so a game like this is of no use to me.


On May 9, 2008 at 7:59 pm

The line “take the game online” is very confusing….considering it is very clear that MSPC will be single-player only.

Anywho….much better. I can live with Bioshock’s activation scheme, but I couldn’t live with the 10-day bullcrap


On May 9, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Eh .. Semi good news. I’m still not much of a fan of limited installs ..


On May 9, 2008 at 8:29 pm

So when do we finally stop them? Shut EA down? They are trying more and more to screw gamers as hard as they can. They keep pushing just to see what they can get away with. There are the 3,000 Sims games, the issue with the new battlefield and buying weapons, and now this? How long before they start really reaming us?


On May 9, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Personally, I feel that EA is starting to get more than a bit power hungry. With all the buyouts that are going on, it looks like they’re going for a monopoly. EA is going to become what Ma Bell was for the telecom industry. I’m torn. On one hand, I support BioWare and don’t mind paying for their work, but since it’s being published by EA, I feel the need to take away from their profits. Of course, this is all irrelevant since I do most of my gaming on an Xbox 360, but what happens when they get control of UbiSoft, Bungie, Infinity Ward, and Take Two? (Yes, I know they blatantly refused the offer, but a hostile takeover is still possible.)
We’ll be seeing skateboards in every game, and shoddy annual releases. It will kill the industry.


On May 9, 2008 at 8:34 pm


Of course, there’s still the issue that Securom hates me, my computer, and my software, and if I bought Mass Effect or Spore I’d have to crack them ANYWAY just to get them to run at all. But still! A step in the right direction!


On May 10, 2008 at 8:55 am

Did I just see the devil on ice skates? EA bows to customer pressure…this is insane, hell must have just frozen over. Bear in mind I don’t forgive EA for this, and to be honest I’m a bit perturbed at the behavior of Ken French on the Bioware forums mindlessly supporting this. I swear developers are becoming more and more detached from their target demographic. The thread there was 48 pages of angry, but intelligent, discussion about how it was, well we all know what it was, useless . I’d like to say I’m happy they chaged their mind, but in actuality I’m just a bit disturbed they had made that decision in the first place.


On May 16, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Actually this didn’t really help at all. Like some other people mention, the three activations thing is still there. It’s not ‘only on three computers’, it’s you can only activate it three times, like, say, if you have to reformat or even just if you change hardware that’s one of your activations. Nevermind how it used to be where you could actually own a game and re-install every so often, now you’re paying $60 to rent it. Oh, and keep in mind this doesn’t affect people who pirate, only those who actually buy the game. The real reason for the surge in piracy is because paying customers are treated like crap. Personally, after the bioshock fiasco, I think they planned this where they announce an even worse system, then ‘listen to the gamers’ and go back to exactly what they had for bioshock. In summary, there hasn’t been any improvement, it’s still as bad as bioshock. And I was really looking forward to spore…

fyi, Shamus at http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/ sums this up much better than I


On May 16, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Well, let me see…. nope, not a single origonal game on my shelf. All my games are cracked copies, they run better and faster as well as having the added advantage of being easily upgraded.

Why the hell should I pay for a game that cannot be trusted to run after I bring it back from the shop.

I doubt that anyone reading this comment has more than 2% of their music on original, shop bought CDs or more than 20% of their DVDs on original, shop bought discs.

I get the copies, downloaded P2P, I try them and if they work and if I like them then I go out and buy the original, same with films and music.

The more they try to f**k with consumers and this DRM madness the more inclined I will be to screw with them and simply download from illegal sources as would anyone who had half a brain on his/her shoulders.

Bast**ds they are.


On July 17, 2008 at 5:59 am

The three install limit is unacceptable. Period.


On August 3, 2008 at 9:00 pm

:arrow: No way man EA :!:

If they do this I for one and all my mates just get cracked version i am not paying for a game where there will be unlimited charges for the player.

Not sure if you all know but when you use your 3 uses you have to call tech surport to get new key and its prem charge number.

Rip Off :!:


On August 3, 2008 at 9:06 pm

EA you think of us all as thiefs but at end of day reason we hack crack burn copy is simple.

Reason is we are fed up paying $40-50 for games that when we get them home are full of crap or just broken , lack of content, enjoyment , or just basic goodness.

We do this so we protect our self of course some people do it just because mabye they are poor but still enjoy gaming and mabye a few do cos they evil.

I for one if i enjoy a game i will buy it i have a shelf at home with over 100 games on i have bought over year but if i bought ever game i tryed i would have 1000 at home and 900 would be utter crap.

Let me ask you this if you went for some thing to eat and you thought you was getting a burger and they brought you out a hotdog would you still pay for it or would you ask for your money back i rest my case.