Windows 10 shuts the door on some old games
IF YOU have been playing computer games over the last decade or so, chances are you have encountered DRM (Digital Rights Management) software before. But playing those old games on Windows 10, even popular ones dating back to 2008, will be a problem.
Many games in the past had some form of the copy-protection software embedded in them to prevent piracy. In reality, DRM has inconvenienced real game owners much more than digital pirates, who often simply install a patch to block DRM software.
It turns out that Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 10, takes issue with SecuROM and SafeDisc DRM, so much so that it would not even allow the programs to run due to potential security breaches that might compromise the OS.
That was confirmed by Microsoft's Boris Schneider-Johne at Gamescom 2015.
"Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10," he said. "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."
He said that DRM creates a "possible loophole for computer viruses", adding: "That's why there are a couple of games from 2003 to 2008 with SecuROM (and so on) that simply don't run without a no-CD patch or some such. We cannot support that if it's a possible danger for our users."
Before torches are lit and pitchforks lifted, we say that Microsoft is right.
SafeDisc has been proven to have dangerous vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit, while SecuROM is not much better. 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 issue, including popular games like 2008's Fallout 3 and 2002's Grand Theft Auto III.
The good news is that some developers have released official patches that have disabled the DRM protection in their games.
Buying the games digitally is another option, as versions on digital stores Steam and Origin are unaffected. But both services have their own DRM methods.
Digital games bought from GOG have no DRM, so it is probably the best bet if you would rather stay far away from DRM.