Last month, many reports came out on the obscene DRM that Bioware and EA were planning to deploy on newer games, Mass Effect and Spore in particular. The outcry from the community led to a quick backtracking of their original goals. EA, for instance, opted to dispose of the “phone-home” functionality of the DRM and instead switched to a limited activation policy. In essence, the software would no longer phone home every 10 days but could only be installed 3 times.
That “friendlier” but still unfriendly method of authentication has now proven itself to be flawed, as it seems that people are burning through activations so quickly that they have used them up less than a month after purchasing the game. Something as simple as replacing a video card can use up an activation, and gamers who constantly upgrade would obviously be hit by this pretty quickly. Interestingly, the solution provided by EA was for someone to buy another copy of the game.
A single OS reinstall followed by a GPU replacement leading to someone being forced to buy another copy of a game or do without seems pretty ridiculous, and just goes to show how DRM is nothing more than companies punishing paying customers rather than punishing pirates.