SafeDisc and SecuROM games not playable on Windows 10

If you've been playing PC games for the last decade or so, chances are you've encountered DRM (Digital Rights Management) software before. Nearly every game has some form of DRM embedded in them to prevent piracy. That's the theory anyways. In reality, DRM inconvenienced real owners much more than pirates, who simply install a patch to block the DRM software.

While the draconian DRM methods of the past may be long gone, its effects still can be felt today, especially if you're a gamer who has just upgraded to Windows 10.

It turns out that Microsoft's new OS takes issue with SecuROM and SafeDISC DRM, so much so that it won't even allow the programs to run due to the potential security breaches that might compromise the OS.

That was confirmed via a quote (translated from German) from Microsoft's Boris Schneider-Johne at Gamescom 2015:
"Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10. There are just two silly exceptions: antivirus software and stuff that's deeply embedded into the system needs updating - but the developers are on it already - and then there are old games on CD-Rom that have DRM. This DRM stuff is also deeply embedded in your system, and that's where Windows 10 says 'sorry, we cannot allow that, because that would be a possible loophole for computer viruses'. That's why there are a couple of games from 2003-2008 with Securom, etc. that simply don't run without a no-CD patch or some such. We can just not support that if it's a possible danger for our users. There are a couple of patches from developers already, and there is stuff like GOG where you'll find versions of those games that work."

Here's the video, courtesy of Rocket Beans TV, in case anybody's interested:

Before torches are lit and pitchforks lifted, we'd like to point out that Microsoft is completely right. SafeDisc has been proven to have dangerous vulnerabilities that hackers can use while SecuROM isn't that much better either. SecuROM protected games have issues of their own, ranging from activation problems to conflicting with other programs while in use.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of titles will be affected by this, including massively popular games like Fallout 3 and Grand Theft Auto 3. The good news is that some developers have released official patches that have disabled the DRM protection in their games. Alternatively, No-CD patches are readily available online though it is decidedly less legal to use them.

Buying the games digitally is also another option, as digital versions on Steam and Origin are unaffected. Be warned though, both services have their own DRM methods. GOG, on the other hand, has no DRM whatsoever, so it's probably the best bet if you'd rather stay far away from DRM from now on.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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