After one Starforce scare with Dreamfall (which worked out in my favor because Ubisoft dropped the malware due to consumer outcry), and two wastes of money (one due to SecuROM with Sims 2: Bon Voyage, which I’m going to see if I can ebay for at least part of my money back — I made the mistake of opening the box before checking the copy protection — and the other due to Starforce with Obscure, which I purchased several years ago and almost installed on my computer a few minutes ago) I am at the point where I’m not sure I can continue to be a consumer of PC games.
I am not a criminal.
I am not a pirate.
And yet, companies treat me as if I am. The onus falls on me to make sure that I am not buying malware from so-called legitimate companies, rather than on those companies — and some of the biggest offenders are corporations like EA and Sony — not to silently bundle increasingly invasive and harmful copy protection products with their games. Products, I might add, which always get cracked within a few weeks of their release.
Sure, with a very simple google search I could access step-by-step instructions on how to bypass the software. And you can bet your buttons that I looked into it when trying to figure out if I could salvage the 20 bucks I spent on Obscure. But, in the end, I don’t want to have to jump through hoops just to safely play my legitimately purchased game. I also don’t want to risk damage to my machine, seeing as maintaining gamer-quality computers takes a lot of money.
Which means that I will most likely no longer be making any PC gaming purchases, excepting those that use different approaches to copyright protection such as MMO’s and games such as Galactic Civilizations II. I love PC gaming, but it’s just not worth the hassle anymore. I feel like telling all those gaming companies, “Congratulations, assholes, with your bumbling and futile attempts to stop pirates you have just lost yourself a customer who — despite having the knowledge and ability to pirate — has been making a conscious and concerted effort to be a legitimate consumer.”
Oh well, at least I still have console games.