Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Windows 10 Game Denial Scenario

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 18, 2015

CrimsonSkiesBoxI haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 yet. I will have a laptop with Windows 10 in a few weeks, and I may eventually upgrade my desktop. I avoided the Windows 8.x fiasco entirely. I don’t particularly trust Microsoft, though I don’t harbor any resentment towards them. I’m still of the opinion that Windows will no longer be my “primary” (and never my “only”) launch platform for games… which is a matter of distrust rather than dislike.

That’s natural. They are a big company. The guys in charge of various divisions change pretty regularly, and each new regime change brings a whole new personality. And as a whole, Microsoft’s corporate goals do not align to my own. Why would they? Where their goals align with mine (for the time being), awesome. Where they don’t… well, I have to make sure I limit my dependence on them.

Anyway, my delay of upgrading to Windows 10 was at least in part due to the fact that I had a big demo to pull off in the middle of the upgrade period, so there was no way I was going to throw that particular variable into my preparation for Salt Lake Gaming Con. Once again… limit my dependence. I don’t consider myself particularly paranoid (especially when I assume it’s not paranoia when they really are out to get me… 😉 ). But I find this pair of news bits about the unexpected “features” of Windows 10 to be… amusing in combination.

First off…  this report that the new EULA specifies that Windows can detect and automatically remove cracked / pirated versions of Microsoft products. Like, games. Okay. Considering how Microsoft still doesn’t like to recognize or accept the fact that I have an older version of Microsoft Office that I like to reinstall on newer machines, I really don’t have warm fuzzies about the potential here, but so far it’s just potential.

But wait, it gets better: Windows 10 won’t run games using certain DRM!  Oh, well, we knew that was coming, didn’t we? We retrogamers have been worried about this for a long time. Ah, well. In most cases, we can find a hacked / pirated version of games *we already own* if we feel the urge to play them again. I’ve always resented the fact that pirates ended up with superior versions of the games I bought legally, and that sometimes I had to resort to downloading sketchy patches from sometimes even more sketchy websites to get my legally-purchased game to work.

But what’s this? Some of the games that have this awful DRM were… Microsoft Games! Including several that I own (and at least one that I still play). So… in theory, not only will it no longer run on modern versions of Windows, but Windows may automatically delete it if I try to hack it so it does run!

Okay, now, in all seriousness, I have major doubts Microsoft will take such steps to make sure their decade-old (or older) products no longer function whatsoever. It doesn’t make any kind of business sense, but there’s always a chance you’ll get some peevish anal-retentive person heading up the organization in charge of such things long enough to screw things up for a while. But I was amused by the one-two combo.


Filed Under: Mainstream Games, Tech - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • mogwins said,

    There’s been a lot of misleading talk about this. The “disabling pirated games” refers specifically the Xbox and possibly the Windows store. And the removal of Securerom and Stardock should really be welcomed. They’re malicious little bits of software.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yep, that era of anti-piracy measures on PC is (mostly) behind us, but we’re still stuck with games that just won’t play under modern technology *as originally shipped*, which sucks.

    If Steam ever goes toes-up, or the management gets taken over by gamer-hating dorkweasels, we’ll have a whole ‘nother set of DRM restrictions to worry about. I don’t see this happening on a large scale any time soon, but we’ve already seen some individual titles become unplayable or uninstallable because of their online license-checking.

  • mogwins said,

    Good point about Steam. I sometimes forget it’s essentially DRM and that my ability to play all those games is tied to Valve’s servers being functional.

    I don’t understand my own relationship with Steam. I’m strongly anti-DRM, but if a game is available on Steam or GOG att he same price, I’ll always go the Steam route. I think they’ve somehow tapped into the hoarding/collecting side of my psyche. I need to break that habit!

  • Weekly Links #84 « No Time To Play said,

    […] impact the honest people who bought the game, while pirates will have no problem — again. But as Jay Barnson points out, some of those games that won’t run anymore are Microsoft’s own! Securing their […]