PC gamers annoyed at Bioshock 2 DRM


In “Bioshock 2” you play as "Subject Delta" in an underwater city. Photo: Take 2

Take 2’s highly-anticipated “Bioshock 2” has been released this week to critical acclaim, but has faced a backlash from some players due to the high levels of copy-protection included in the game.

The game is a sequel to the 2007 first-person shooter “Bioshock”, set in the underwater dystopia of Rapture in an alternative version of the 1960s.

It was highly praised for this setting and story, particularly due to the mechanical Big Daddy creatures that protected infected little girls, known as Little Sisters, who roamed the city to collect a drug-like substance that increases a person’s strength.

“Bioshock 2” is set 10 years after the original game and is focussed around one of the original Big Daddy prototypes, Subject Delta. The new story and improvements to the combat have been praised by reviewers.

Charles Onyett, who reviewed the title for games website IGN, said: “[The] story, setting, and gameplay are expertly blended to create an experience that’s as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.”

Many gamers have not been as enthusiastic about the game due to issues with the PC version, particularly with the three different levels of digital rights management (DRM) systems included in the game to reduce piracy.

A thread about the DRM on the official Bioshock 2 forum has received over 1,500 posts. Many of the people posting have been expressing disappointment due to the limits. One person nicknamed Void(null) said: “Why should someone who is not paying for the product have less headaches than me, someone who is paying $50 to support the industry?”

Despite these attempts to curb piracy, the game is already available on many illegal filesharing websites. These copies include cracks that bypass the DRM.

This means that legitimate purchasers of the game have to put up with more inconvenience as they have to authenticate their copy through three different systems. One of these, Games for Windows Live, is not available in all of the countries that the game can be purchased in.

A community manager for developer 2K Games, Elizabeth Tobey, has said that the company is paying attention to the response from the community they have received.

“Feedback like this does not go unheard, and while this might not be the ideal protection for everyone, we will continue to listen and work with you in the future when formulating our DRM plans.”

Bioshock 2 is available on Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

3 Responses to PC gamers annoyed at Bioshock 2 DRM

  1. Sven Viking says:

    “Why should someone who is not paying for the product have less headaches than me, someone who is paying $50 to support the industry?”

    This is exactly what I’ve always thought. How can you expect to compete with “free” when you cripple your own products? Guilt/honesty will drive people to pay for games, but allowing pirates to supply a superior product is really stacking the odds against yourself.

  2. Luke says:

    Because DRM is designed to prevent 2nd hand sales not piracy.

  3. Marq Pas says:

    Well, their intellectual property is safe: noone is buying their DRM over here.
    Almost bought BS2 myself – together with a beautiful art book- but didn’t.. because of the DRM.
    Don’t know if they’ll ever learn. I just stopped buying games altogether. I’d rather “own” them, but not at this DRM-cost.

    Saved me a lot of money the last two years, actually.