EA Releases Spore De-Authorization Tool

EA Releases Spore De-Authorization Tool

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It's a bit late, but EA has finally got around to releasing a tool that will "de-authorize" Spore installations so the game can be more easily reinstalled in the future.

In a classic case of "better late than never, but not much," the tool has arrived three months after EA vowed to ease off on Spore's DRM restrictions in the "near future." With the tool, Spore installations can be de-authorized at any time, even without uninstalling the game; if that happens, and the game is launched again in the future on that machine, it will attempt to automatically re-authorize.

Unsurprisingly, however, there are limitations to the tool's capabilities. It only works with current installations, so installations on older machines that were not cleared with the tool remain unavailable without a call to EA's customer service department. The limit of five systems on which the game can be concurrently authorized also remains in place, and naturally it will do nothing to address complaints about hardware and software incompatibilities with SecuROM.

On the upside, the tool will help ensure that authorizations aren't unnecessarily lost to system upgrades; owners who install a new video card, for instance, only need to de-authorize the game with the tool, install the card and then start the game, at which point a new license will be automatically created.

EA's new Spore De-Authorization Tool can be downloaded here. To learn more, have a look at MaxisCactus' message at Sporedum.

via: GameCyte

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This raises a big question. Who would want to reinstall Spore?

SomeBritishDude:
This raises a big question. Who would want to reinstall Spore?

man, i laughed so hard at that. you have no idea.... its funny because its true.

This will open the door to folks being able to sell the steamin' pile of poo to hopefully recoup $1.95 on eBay for their trouble.

Basically EA admits they have been served please stop sending them copies of pirate versions of spore and a serviet.

Just after taking a quick look at the SecuROM site this just jumped out at me:

Easiest To Use - 200 million discs protected since 1997.

Now I don't have any hard sales figures in front of me, but to me 200 million discs in 11 years seems like a tiny number considering many hundreds of millions more will have been sold, perhaps even billions more.

Now just get around to releasing a de-authorization tool for Mass Effect and Dead Space and I might hate you a little less, EA.

Hooray, EA realized they're not the brightest company when it comes to anti-piracy.

Why can't they just remove the DRM limit like Bioshock did? The only reason I can even slightly think of is resale but that has never been that big of a problem for computer gaming, or at least it hasn't been blamed like piracy has.

thedrop2zer0:
Now just get around to releasing a de-authorization tool for Mass Effect and Dead Space and I might hate you a little less, EA.

Yep still holding off myself on both of those games because of the DRM so thats two legitimate sales they have lost, I'm sure there are many others like us waiting for the same thing.

Hooray they finally released a worthless tool that fixes almost nothing.

On the upside, the tool will help ensure that authorizations aren't unnecessarily lost to system upgrades; owners who install a new video card, for instance, only need to de-authorize the game with the tool, install the card and then start the game, at which point a new license will be automatically created.

Why didn't they lift the install limit as well? The Bioshock devs did it.

oneofm4ny:
Why didn't they lift the install limit as well? The Bioshock devs did it.

That would make the customers happy, thus it would be completely against EA's code of ethics.

Too bad, most people already have a pirated copy of Spore anyways.

Which means, that YOU have one? I don't I didn't want to buy and and I didn't buy it.

The De-Authorization tool doesn't make me getit, though. The problem is, that, if all games would be DRMed like this, you wold have to run 50 de-autorization tools before you re-format your PC. And usually, if you have a reason to re-format your PC, you aren't able to run these tools anymore (if your PC runs well, why re-format it?)

Got this for Red Alert 3 after I finally gt the opportunity to download the patch. I think it's a step, at least.

So how does this work? You get another EA shitassed program on your PC to fix things that should be done server/account side without me having to hassle anything..

Well at least they're trying I guess.

Malygris:
On the upside, the tool will help ensure that authorizations aren't unnecessarily lost to system upgrades; owners who install a new video card, for instance, only need to de-authorize the game with the tool, install the card and then start the game, at which point a new license will be automatically created.

I think you've over-simplified the procedure. It's more likely to be a case of:
1. install new graphics card.
2. try to run the game.
3. it moans at you.
4. swear profusely at the game.
5. optionally, elect to permanently lose an installation now. if selected, skip to step 11.
6. swap the graphics card back again.
7. run the deauth tool.
8. swap the card back yet again.
9. start the game.
10. swear at the game again.
11. repeat steps 2-10 for the 50 other games that also use an authorisation system (since you forgot to do them earlier).

Lt. Sera:
So how does this work? You get another EA shitassed program on your PC to fix things that should be done server/account side without me having to hassle anything..

The problem with doing it server side is that would have required some account/login system, which the game would have to check every time it started up. (Which, needless to say, people screamed bloody murder at.) This is essentially how MMOs and Steam work, incidentally. (Though Steam also has an offline mode, thankfully.)

Authorize one time per uninstall (at the time of uninstalling), seems like a good middle ground, no?

Miral:

Malygris:
On the upside, the tool will help ensure that authorizations aren't unnecessarily lost to system upgrades; owners who install a new video card, for instance, only need to de-authorize the game with the tool, install the card and then start the game, at which point a new license will be automatically created.

I think you've over-simplified the procedure. It's more likely to be a case of:
1. install new graphics card.
2. try to run the game.
3. it moans at you.
4. swear profusely at the game.
5. optionally, elect to permanently lose an installation now. if selected, skip to step 11.
6. swap the graphics card back again.
7. run the deauth tool.
8. swap the card back yet again.
9. start the game.
10. swear at the game again.
11. repeat steps 2-10 for the 50 other games that also use an authorisation system (since you forgot to do them earlier).

haven't thought about that *g*

Miral:

Lt. Sera:
So how does this work? You get another EA shitassed program on your PC to fix things that should be done server/account side without me having to hassle anything..

The problem with doing it server side is that would have required some account/login system, which the game would have to check every time it started up. (Which, needless to say, people screamed bloody murder at.) This is essentially how MMOs and Steam work, incidentally. (Though Steam also has an offline mode, thankfully.)

I don't think it works that way. Bioshock for instance comes with a unique keycode. So their authorization server just checks this code when you install the game, increases the install count for this code, checks it against the install limit and grants permission. They just have to set the install limit to infinite.
I think the spore drm works similarly. Honestly I don't know. Haven't played it.

EDIT: Typo

oneofm4ny:
I don't think it works that way. Bioshock for instance comes with a unique keycode. So their authorization server just checks this code when you install the game, increases the install count for this code, checks it against the install limit and grants permission. They just have to set the install limit to infinite.
I think the spore drm works similarly. Honestly I don't know. Haven't played it.

You're essentially right about both the Bioshock and Spore DRM -- they basically generate a key on the user's computer based on their hardware (which is why you'd need to swap the graphics card back again), and then register that key server-side along with the unique id of that particular copy of the game. Try it again on a different computer (or one with sufficiently different hardware) and it'll see the same copy of the game being used with a different key, so it'll use up the second installation, and so forth. The deauth tool they've released will presumably let you cancel one of those records, but it must be run on the same PC as the original install so that it can generate the same key.

What I was talking about is having a server-based account and key management system, whereby the user could go to a website and deauthorise a previously generated key (freeing it up for a different computer) without needing to have access to the PC that the key was generated for (thereby making it PC-extinction safe). The problem is that nobody will be willing to do this unless they can have some measure of assurance that any computer that's been deauthorised like that will no longer be able to run the game (without reauthorising) -- and there's simply no way to do that without the game contacting the server periodically (ideally, every time the game starts).

This is actually the direction that was initially tried for Mass Effect, but generalised fan outrage at repeated activation for a single-player game resulted in a reduction to single-activation status -- also removing any chance for an online license management system. (Not that they probably would have done that anyway, since they're EA and they suck.)

It's also the approach used by MMOs and by Steam. They require you to log in prior to play, at which point they can check whether you're actually supposed to have that game you seem to have, and that you haven't tried to log in simultaneously from different PCs. (Although Steam does have an offline mode, which complicates my argument a bit.)

[And just since that makes a nice segue: apparently Mass Effect is available on Steam now, with just the standard Steam DRM instead of its own flavour.]

It's not like it even matters at this point. Spore has already been proven to be garbage, and EA isn't going to reverse the damage they've already done with their dictatorial anti-piracy war (protecting their property would be one thing, but they hit the line and kept going.)

This would have been a much more important revelation if EA had released another big name game at the same time, perhaps without any kind of installation limit or malware/spyware-infested write protection.

Well this is great for all those people who bought it and no longer have it on their machines and the DRM less pirated versions. Great solution EA! Maybe instead of putting a useless band-aid on Spore you could have kept a few jobs.
.

Malygris:
It's a bit late,

That was the first thing that came into my mind when I read the topic title in the index.

That's nice and all but after trying to reinstall Far Cry 2, I think I can safely say that "De-authorization doesn't FUCKING work."

um, just un-installed my legitimate installs of Mass Effect, Spore and some crappy Lord of the rings game, despite it asking me to revoke during un-installation and then confirming it had revoked successfully this "tool" after a reboot reports those games as having an activation used, further the individual removal tools it links too for each title spit up a ""There is a problem with verifying ownership of your game. Please verify your game registration code and reinstall your game."" error...

Don't know about anyone else but I may well obtain SecuROM protected games in future but I'll never pay for one again until they fix this nonsense once and for all.

...additional edit

Sorry, just saw I was doing some necromancy, thought this topic was the more recent "tool" release topic.

 

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