Yeah yeah, I know, but I don't have any particular issues with registration keys and general copy protection. I'm ok with the idea that people ought to pay for quality media such as games, DVDs etc - I mean, there's a reason I bought the Mass Effect back catalogue rather than accepting offers to get it for free, and that's because I like Bioware games and want to give them money so they'll keep making games. I understand that if everyone fileshares all the time, then companies won't be able to pay for development of new games, and I like new games (and movies) so I'm ok with paying for my media.
However, it becomes an issue when DRM makes said new games/media unavailable for legitimate purchase. This is not news. I have ranted at length about the way that media distributors withhold shows from us in NZ while the rest of the world gets to see them, in order to extort as much money as possible out of our broadcasters. How we are not big enough to get Netflix because there's no money in it for them to set up here, and how I'm totally ok with pirating media when there's no legitimate way of purchasing it.
This is a bit different though. What's bugging me today is that I bought a copy of Mass Effect 3, right? I paid money for it through a legitimate agency and they sent me the disks and I duly stuck Disk 1 in my hard drive and...
... nothing. It churns away for a while and nothing happens, and when I try to force it, it churns some more and then pops open and goes "Please insert a disk."
Whoah, thanks for that helpful message.
Not to be deterred, off to Google I go. I'm getting pretty good at this business of finding and fixing bugs through googlemancy. So the first thing it suggests is that I update the firmware for my drive. OK, no problem, do that. Still nothing. By now it's time to go to work. So I've spent a bit of time this morning looking around to see what's up with this.
It seems that what the problem is, is that my drive is old - the latest firmware was published in 2008. That shouldn't really be a problem - it still works, can read and write, does what a disk drive is supposed to do by ubiquitously letting me access portable files. That is, until it encounters modern DRM, which is apparently what is making the disk invisible to my drive. It simply doesn't have the ability to read through the DRM software that supposedly protects the disk from my evil desire to steal this game from EA...
.. oh wait. What it's actually doing is preventing me from installing a game I bought legitimately. They already have my money, yet I don't yet have a game. Hmm..
And before the technocrats among you start saying "Well you are behind the times because your drive is more than four years old", please be aware that I have had no trouble installing other recent games, because they don't have this DRM software that makes their files invisible.
Anyway, my research has led to 3 possilbe solutions:
1. Buy a new drive.
2. Install the files through our network from another machine.
3. Download the game from Origin (11G).
I suspect I'll go for 2. I'm told that once the files are on my machine and I run setup, it'll take me to Origin and I'll be able to enter my product key and once that's done it'll let me read the disks. So I'm told, anyway.
However, isn't this just a little bit arse-backwards? I have to essentially fileshare in order to be able to get the distributors to recognise that I have a legitimate copy of their game? Yes, it's only one game, but in my googling around I found that it's becoming more of a problem, and the name that keeps popping up is EA. They are apparently one of the main instigators of this type of issue. I have no reason to believe this will become less of an issue in the future. And that's a shame, because they have control of the distribution of my favourite games.
I know I said that every upgrade I've ever done has been driven by a game, but in the past that has always been so that I can take advantage of improvements to graphics, gameplay and the like. For some reason, the idea of having to upgrade hardware just so that I can get around DRM to play a game I own sticks in my craw something chronic.
DO NOT WANT.
tl;dr EA you suck donkey balls and I hate you, you mistrusting arseholes. Etc.
Me and my supple mounds will be over here sulking if you need me.