Just when we thought the Bioshock DRM fiasco was going away, a 2k Games rep told a customer that he needed to buy the game for each user account on his PC.

“The other way to view this, is one USER has purchased the game. Not the whole family. So why should your brother play for free?” [2k Forums via Digg]


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  1. Ben Popken says:

    I have nothing of merit to add except that Bioshock rules.

  2. Phildawg says:

    I love Bioshock so much, it’s visual and audio appeal is worth the DRM! I’m about half way thru the game and can’t wait to finish it this week or next and then an expansion pack =)

  3. moorie679 says:

    I was just about to buy the game until I read all this stuff with the DRM…. This is ridiculous…. They are making it difficult for people who ACTUALLY purchase the game…..then they turn around and complain why people use hacked software…… congrats bioshock…….

  4. warf0x0r says:

    Yes, event though my friends all said its a great game I will not be buying a copy because of the DRM. Sure I will miss out, but 2kgames is going to miss out on my 50 to 60 bucks.

  5. squikysquiken says:

    This is where having an xbox 360 is better. No DRM, your brother can play it too.

  6. KivaWolf says:

    Bioshock may be a worthwhile game but the DRM is really going to hurt the company. When Area 51 came out for the PC a few years ago the company who made it heard their fans cry for freedom from SecuROM. Well guess what?! They immediately released a patch to eliminate all sources of that awful protection. Game still works without a hitch. I understand they want to protect themselves from piracy but this is just going overboard. If they don’t want it to get pirated, then they should just make the game and lock it away forever never releasing it. One way or another its going to pirated sooner or later.

  7. warf0x0r says:

    @squikysquiken: Until it red circles you.

    See todays Xbox posts.

  8. dbeahn says:

    @KivaWolf: “One way or another its going to pirated sooner or later.”

    It’s already available on the internet in a cracked, DRM free version.

    So let me see if I have this straight. My choices are to buy a game from a company that is illegally restricting my fair use rights, or get a free copy from the internet.

    Seems like either way, a law will be broken. But only ONE way breaks a law AND costs me $50.

    And companies wonder why consumers don’t feel bad about downloading….

  9. Hawkeye1659 says:

    I bought it and it’s a great game but the DRM sucks. Keep in mind it also doesn’t play nice with AVG Antivirus if you use that. You need to deactivate your antivirus to play it because it recognizes the DRM as a virus. What crap for a paying customer to have to deal with…

  10. hoo_foot says:

    I was looking forward to Bioshock for over a year and salivating at the chance of using it on my new PC. I missed buying it on release date adn I’m glad I did. After reading about the asinine DRM that comes with this game, I refuse to buy it. I don’t care how good this game is, the way 2k is treating its customers is atrocious and they do not deserve any support.

    I ended up spending the money I had saved for Bioshock on another game.

  11. letoofdune says:


    While not the best logic, it’s true. If I bought a game that wouldn’t allow me to install it whenever/where ever I’d like, then I’d be pretty pissed off as well.

    Video game publishers and the public need to find a happy medium between locking up games and having them wide open. This is the same sort of problem the RIAA and MPAA are running in to – they’re a step behind their customers.

  12. itmustbeken says:

    The other option is to wait a week or so until one of those lovely hackers finds a way to remove the DRM and for 2K to realize that their name is now crap.

  13. Trai_Dep says:

    The one sharp, piercing regret I have in being a Mac guy is that Half-Life 2 (and now Bioshock) doesn’t play nice on Mac OS. Or at all. Valve is one of the few game publishers that doesn’t. Have to say, I’d think twice about the latter, though, on principle. But gawwwwd, Gordon Freeman, why have you forsaken me?!

  14. Geekybiker says:

    I got the game for my 360 instead of PC because of the DRM. I see myself playing less and less PC game because of the DRM issues. They tend to screw up the normal operation of your machine.

  15. huginn says:

    @KivaWolf: Hackers did some damage as well removing it. Same with StarForce.

    I’m very glad I got it for the 360 actually, its a dream of a game with a very, very bad developer enforcing these rules.

    and cute icon :)

  16. QuantumRiff says:

    @Hawkeye1659: Keep in mind it also doesn’t play nice with AVG Antivirus if you use that. You need to deactivate your antivirus to play it because it recognizes the DRM as a virus.
    So AVG is probably the only company that accurately categorizes the DRM?

  17. mac-phisto says:

    @warf0x0r: that guy was a tool. he should have just sent it in. i think the lemon laws kick in after the 3rd repair & he could have gotten his money back.

    doesn’t their enforcement of this type of DRM clearly violate fair use? if so, couldn’t a purchaser of the software simply demand a new copy of the software when their installs run out? it would seem to me that TT’s refusal to do so would violate copyright law, specifically the user’s rights under the first-sale doctrine.

    no biggie, i guess. serials & hacks will be all over the tubes by thanksgiving.

  18. MikeB says:

    Following and reading the link from the post makes me want to buy Galactic Civ II [forums.galciv2.com] Great take on DRM.

  19. ShadowFalls says:

    DRM is killing PC gaming, there is one thing protecting your products, it is another treating your customers as thieves. I wouldn’t mind if its design allowed it to connect to the net or something to validate your key every so often, that is reasonable I suppose, but the activation stuff is a pain. What are people going to do when a company goes out of business or no longer supports the game to allow further activations?

    This is a problem for activation whether it be Adobe, Microsoft, or any other company who uses it. The loyal customer is the only who suffers here, the protection always seems to get bypassed.

    AVG has released an update to address. But it does make you wonder if they had already got it right the first time.

  20. Buran says:

    @trai_dep: Do you have an Intel Mac? Try dualboot.

  21. Buran says:

    I’d get it through Steam. Steam will let games on your account work as long as you enter your username and password. If you log into your Steam account on another system it’ll freely let you download games that are not installed on that computer. My bf bought Half-Life 2 but not Half-Life: Source, but when I logged into Steam on his computer it happily let me add HL:S to it.

    Steam – BioShockâ„¢

    I’ll probably pick it up when the price drops some, since I’ve got a bunch of other stuff on the to-play list. I get a lot of games when they get cheap, and play them as I get to them.

  22. Buran says:

    @Buran: I should add that I had to be logged into Steam for it to let him play, though, so that’s how they make sure you’re who you say you are. I didn’t actually do the download, since he didn’t need it, but the “install” button was there.

    If I logged out and let him log in, the option disappeared.

  23. Genocyde says:

    Looks like an update was just posted over at Maxconsole:

    2K Games has got in touch to let us know that their forum moderator who was famously quoted as saying something along the lines of ‘you buy Bioshock for your yourself, not for your brother’ in response to a user issue is strictly not a member of staff (read). They would like to make it clear that the forum moderator ‘JT TECH 2K’ is not an employee of 2K Games and works for an outside tech support group. Moreover 2K will be looking into the validity of his comments.

  24. Trai_Dep says:

    @Buran: I have a PPC iMac. :(

    Though, I’ll probably be in the market for one of the new iMacs pretty soon. Has anyone on an Intel Mac tried Half-Life 2 via dual boot? My concern is that if Valve is so incredibly hostile towards legitimate, paying, honest customers running approved configurations, Valve & 2K would set off a neutron bomb on the lap of someone (gasp) running an unsupported configuration.

    Anyone try this?

    PS: Valve, 2K: awesome way to limit your customer base. Two for two!!

  25. faust1200 says:

    I have installed Bioshock on XP and Vista and my AVG did not indicate anything. BTW, it actually looks and performs better on my Vista partition. (I’m using the most recent Nvidia beta drivers for both OS’s.)

  26. 5h17h34d says:

    Xbox? No DRM? Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahaah!

    squikysquiken you are a tool!

  27. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Ben Popken:

    It could raise my IQ 50 points, cure cancer and end poverty, and I still wouldn’t give it a chance if the DRM is this bad.

  28. TechnoDestructo says:


    If the DRM really bothers you, and you want to make a statement about it, not buying the game at all would be a better way.

  29. Phildawg says:

    Honestly, the DRM isn’t nothing like a few are making it out to be. I have it installed on my machine and my brothers machine… it installed just like any other game. It did say during the install that the computers are required to have internet to activate and be playable… but since my pc’s have internet, I never saw it activating or anything out of the ordinary.

    And I’m going to be very honest here, I “know” a major newsgroup whore and he can generally download full release games as soon as they go gold, that’s how bad and easy the pirating has become (if it’s single player, you get to play the game 1-5 weeks before paying users can even buy it! This game in particular, according to my friend, didn’t show up until a few days before release, and there were many bad cracked posts. In 3 days, the game was posted on 1 news group about 12 times, all claiming to be a legitimate crack. Piracy is easy access if you know how to find it.

    I understand why developers are turning more and more to DRM and in my opinion, it’s the reason why the PC market has went hand over fist to the MMO genres. At least with MMOs, companies can actually get their money and not worry about pirating. The more people boycott DRM single player games, the less there will be. You are killing your game market. (Not that you will matter much longer, Europe is now a larger gaming market and obviously Asia is the largest).

  30. Jesse in Japan says:

    It’s exactly because of shit like this that people go out of their way to warez things.

  31. darious says:

    I’m one of the paying customers who got fulled hosed by securom. The only internet access available to me is where I work so I figured I would bring the box in and activate the game here.
    No dice. While I was able to run the required updater to install, the activation was blocked by the work firewall.
    I have contacted 2kgames via email to attempt a manual activation and received a form message back saying something along the lines of “there was something wrong with you activation, try again”. A quick message on their forums went unanswered and when I called their tech support line I couldn’t get past the tech’s “well the box says on the back that internet access is required so it’s your problem not mine” standard answer. I didn’t feel like paying long distance rates to argue with him that the 3 point font on the back said nothing about needing specific ports open on a firewall.

    Even though I have not been very persistent in trying to find a resolution to this, I have made three attempts to do so. If I were stateside I would be looking at joining another 2kgame forum poster and taking them to small claims court over this.

    That’s not feasible for me so all I can say is that this will be the last 2K Game that I buy.

  32. BobbyMike says:

    @hoo_foot: I haven’t had that problem running AVG. Do you have the Steam version (that’s what I’m running)?

    BTW 2K is saying the supposed 2K Tech who posted that information isn’t speaking for them and that they’re “investigating the validity of the post”.

  33. MalichiDemonos says:

    Another way of looking at it is if you buy the game for xbox you can borrow it to your friends to play. But… because it’s for PC it makes a difference. Since no one copies console games… LOL. People copy xbox games and burn them to their hard drives too. There’s no reason for the copy protection software. There’s always going to be the one person that hacks it and gets it to work. I agree entirely with the whole I buy it I own it philosophy. If this whole intellectual protection issue gets any more out of hand soon garage sales are going to be charged fees for selling goods that they do not legally “own”. This issue is just a stupid excuse to sell more copies and make more money. That’s what add-ons and expansion packs are for. Example… Half life (original). You buy the game you buy counter strike, blue shift, and then opposing forces. Because it’s a great game you buy all the expansion packs and enjoy playing the game. That’s where the money is and not in limiting the buyers playing experience.

  34. Phildawg says:

    @MalichiDemonos: I’m sorry but half-life 2’s DRM was just as bad, it was the first mainstream game to require an internet connection and even a steam account to play. And if you ever lost your acct, once you registered your key to the steam acct, it was lost forever, who cares if you still had the physical copy.

    I do know half-life 2 is different now with a way to recover the key, but that took a year or two to implement, lol. So yea.

  35. Phildawg says:

    @darious: I feel sorry for you, but you are an extreme case. Most people wouldn’t have a PC capable of playing bioshock and no internet. I would have to believe you are a very extreme case as to why you don’t have internet. Maybe your military living off base in a foreign country? I’m not sure, but this does suck for you, but you are a very very small part of the base and I have a lot of military friends who would love to play MMOs but can’t because they have internet, but it sucks so bad where they are stationed. So this is just something that goes with the territory. I do believe you should be able to get a refund on the game though.

  36. FLConsumer says:

    Two words: Bit Torrent. If it’s not there yet, it will be soon.

  37. Trai_Dep says:

    The irony of this is that there are many tech-savvy people that buy digital goods when they know of how to get warez. Feeding the people that give us joy. Then publishers (or music labels) pull this DRM crap and we’re very likely to cross over to the Dark Side(tm).

  38. Saboth says:

    Meh….I wanted the game and looked forward to it. I have the money for it, and even spent $800 upgrading my computer to run new games like this. I built my machine, and maintain it and all the software on it. I refuse to pay $50 to install DRM/malware on my machine. I am the PAYING CUSTOMER. I paid for a game, not spyware. This is like buying a car that pokes you in the back with a stick every 5 minutes to prevent thieves from stealing it. Sure it might not actually be bad for your machine, but remember the Sony Rootkit fiasco? That was deemed safe too, and look at the machines that got screwed up.

    Seriously, are they trying to kill PC gaming outright? I’ll buy Bioshock if they come out with a DRM-free version. I don’t do warez or torrents, I pay for stuff, but I won’t pay for this, so I’ll do without.

  39. Phildawg says:

    @FLConsumer: hehe torrents are so elementary, some prefer getting their game on the second a title goes gold, way before it hits the torrent scene =)

  40. FLConsumer says:

    @Phildawg: There are certainly plenty of other methods, but torrents certainly are a popular method today.

  41. MalichiDemonos says:

    This is actually becoming a pirating message board. LOL anyone have a cd key? LOL If you want to play the game… BUY IT. If not, then you become the reason that they are so anal about their security features. Plus whos the say that 2K games didnt all ready put out a release of the game on Bit Torrent. I wouldnt doubt if they do an theres some sort of tracking software or virus or something attached. Sony has been rather good when it comes to screwing people over. Just look at the PSP firmware crack release that rendered a lot of peoples psp useless.