Posted on June 18, 2008, Jonathan You Can Only Install Mass Effect on PC Three Times
It looks like the controversial DRM for the PC version of Mass Effect is rearing its ugly head once more. Prior to the game‘s release, many gamers were upset when they learned that Mass Effect’s copy protection software essentially required internet re-authentication every ten days. After a fierce outcry from the gaming public, EA dropped the authentication aspect of the copy protection, but did still limit the game from being installed on more than three computers. Many assumed that this would be a similar case to BioShock’s DRM, which would allow you to install the game on another computer, provided you uninstalled it from another first. Apparently though, this is not the case with Mass Effect.
Recently, a few consumers have noticed that simply uninstalling the game doesn’t give you an activation back. A thread on Mass Effect’s forums shows the odd runaround one consumer was given in his efforts to find out if this really was the case. Finally, he received this simple answer:
Unfortunately, you will not gain an activation by uninstalling the game.
So essentially, you get to install the game three times. That’s it. Any more than that is probably going to involve you contacting EA Support line, which is probably inviting unnecessary pain.
Of course, this raises almost as many issues as the previous DRM controversy. For one, it pretty much kills the used market for this game, since the disc is basically worthless after three installs. For another, PC gamers tend to uninstall and re-install programs all the time, so this is something that’s bound to affect a lot of people. Besides all that though, this just comes back to how ridiculous it is to treat legitimate customers like criminals. I’ll bet the people who bought Mass Effect on the PC are real happy to learn all this after the game’s been on store shelves for awhile.
Via The Consumerist