GTA IV PC Comes With a Free Rootkit… Sorry, SecuROM
But don’t get carried away.
Often, the mere mention of SecuROM causes gamers to proclaim that THIS is exactly why they refuse to pay money for games, instead leaching off the developers, publishers and other paying gamers. Those people can fuck off. If you think like that, you’re wrong. Buy it retail, then pirate a copy. Everybody wins.
OK, now I’ve gotten that out the way, it looks like GTA IV’s PC outing will be accompanied by that loveable piece of malware, the SecuROM rootkit. But all is not bad news. In an interview with IGN, Rockstar confirmed several rather enjoyable facts.
GTA IV PC uses SecuROM for protecting our EXE until street date has passed, to ensure the retail disk is in the computer drive, and is used for Product Activation of the title. Product Activation is a one time only online authentication when installing the game. GTA IV has no install limits for the retail disc version of the game, and that version can be installed on an unlimited number of PCs by the retail disk owner.
No install limits? Ability to install on any machine? And this is a PC game!? Granted, they also confirmed that SecuROM will steal your information run whenever GTA IV runs, but at no other time. Not that you can easily confirm this though due to SecuROM being one sneaky piece of software.
Oh, and there currently isn’t a way to easily remove SecuROM completely from your PC. Though Rockstar are “working with SecuROM to post information on our support pages regarding how to remove these inactive traces of the program for users who wish to do so”.
IGN also directly asked about the simple fact that even a minor utterance of “SecuROM” is met with very harsh criticism around the tubes.
IGN: The SecuROM name alone instantly scares away so many vocal online consumers such as me, why exactly has Rockstar decided to use it as well? I swore I’d NEVER buy ANY game with SecuROM, ever, based on principal. What makes GTA IV any different?
Rockstar: SecuROM offers a diverse toolset to publishers to help safeguard their IP and interests. Vocal ‘board posters’ seem to be most down on the SecuROM feature that limits the number of installations. But this SecuROM functionality is really nothing different than what iTunes has used for years now, which is used in over 500 millions files purchased from iTunes store.
We recognize that the installation limits have been a major issue, so we have not limited the number of installations for the retail disk version of GTA IV PC. The only installation limits will be the ones used by our digital distribution partners. If users are concerned about install limits, they should buy the retail disk version of the game.
So, it’s shit, but not completly shit.