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PC Copy Protection info

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One of the programmers has post on the BF blog regarding the DRM being used in BC2.


[updated 2010-01-27 15:27 GMT+1: Added clarifications about


- online authentication and multiplayer,


- copy protection and Steam,


- copy protection and EA Online


now, if you excuse me... there's a Closed Beta which needs some attention!]




Hi all!

I'm the lead programmer on the PC version. You have asked for more technical information on the PC version, and the blog about our audio system was very appreciated, so here's another one... this time about a more sombre subject: Copy Protection.






BFBC2 PC uses SecuROM as its copy protection mechanism. SecuROM comes in many shapes and forms. I will describe the specific version that is being used in BFBC2 PC.





SecuROM in general

The version which we use is a wrapper around the main game executable. It does everything it can by running as a “normal” program; it does not install any sort of kernel software.


What this means is:


* No software is permanently installed on your machine.

* SecuROM is ONLY running when the game is running

* When you uninstall the game, you will also uninstall the SecuROM software.





SecuROM and the Closed Beta

The main game executable (BFBC2Game.exe) of the Closed Beta will be wrapped with SecuROM. There is only one reason for this: to make it difficult to hack the Closed Beta client to run the final game.

SecuROM is configured to be passive. All it does, is make it more difficult to modify the game client.


When the Closed Beta is uninstalled, all traces of the game and SecuROM will be removed from your machine.




SecuROM and the final game

The final game will also use SecuROM. The main game executable (BFBC2Game.exe) will be wrapped with SecuROM. Some support files in the game’s installation directory also belong to SecuROM.


When you install or start the game, you will be required to authenticate the copy of the game. That is how you prove that the installation of the game you are running is legit.

You can do that in two ways: by putting the original DVD in the drive, or by going online once. If you bought the game on disc, you get to choose; if you have purchased it digitally, your only option is going online.





Authentication by DVD

You can authenticate by putting the DVD in the drive.


If you choose this method, you must have the DVD available every time you want to play. With this method, SecuROM will not go online at all. You can then play the single-player campaign 100% offline.





Authentication by going online

You can also choose to authenticate by going online once.


If so, this happens the first time that you start the actual game. You will be asked for permission. If you allow it, SecuROM will talk to a master server, which counts on how many computers your serial key is currently in use.

When the installation has been authenticated online once, SecuROM will no longer go online. You can then play the single-player campaign 100% offline, without needing the DVD. Also, you can play multiplayer online without needing the DVD.


You can have the game authenticated on up to 10 machines at the same time.

One authentication is valid for 10,000 days. Thus, if you authenticated once on launch day - March 2nd, 2010 – that authentication will be valid until July 18th, 2037.





Online authentication … what about de-authentication?

You can de-authenticate the game. De-authentication means to return one authentication to the “pool” of available activations (which started with 10 available).


You do it one of two ways:


1. In the Games Explorer in Vista: right-click on the game’s Icon and select “Deauthorize this machine”

2. Uninstall the game; uninstallation will automatically invoke the de-authentication process.


After de-authentication, you are told how many authentications are now in the “pool”.


SecuROM needs to go online to de-authenticate.





Online authentication, and modifying hardware

If you have authenticated the game, but then changed a lot of hardware in your machine, then SecuROM may deem that your current authentication will no longer do.


If that happens, do this:


1. Uninstall the game. That will return the old authentication to the “pool”.

2. Install the game again. The next time you start the game, you will get a new authentication.


You need to change a lot of hardware for this to happen. Just changing the processor or graphics card is not enough to make the authentication obsolete.


If you run out of activations – perhaps because your PC breaks unexpectedly, several times – then contact EA’s technical support to get an extra authentication added to your “pool”.





Online Authentication and Steam

The Steam edition will also have SecuROM. We are working closely with Steam to make the integration well-functioning.





Authentication versus EA Online entitlements

When you purchase the game, you can authenticate it on up to 10 or 11 machines (1 DVD + 10 online). This allows you to play the singleplayer campaign on several machines at the same time.


When you purchase the game, you can also entitle one EA Online account. When you want to play BFBC2 PC multiplayer online, you need to log in using an account that has been entitled specifically for BFBC2 PC. Only one machine can be logged in at a time using the same EA Online account. Thus, one purchased copy of the game allows one person to play online.



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