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Digital Download Of Tomb Raider Requires PSN Connection Each Time You Play

A little slice of DRM for you in the morning.

Tomb Raider, Square Enix’s latest title and a considerably successful reboot, appears to come with some kind of DRM (Digital Rights Management) when you buy it from the PlayStation Network in the US. According to the description on the Store [via] it can only be used by one PS3 system every 24 hours (something we’ve seen before), can’t be used by any other account and – get this – requires you to sign into the PSN before it’ll work.

“No more than one activated PS3 system within a 24 hour period. Content may not be used by any other account. You must sign in to PSN each time you start the game,” lists the small print.

Chances are if you’re buying it digitally you’re going to always have an internet connection, but what if you want to take the PS3 to a friend’s? You’ll have to set up the network settings each time. And what if the PSN goes down (as it did this week) and you can’t connect at all?

Capcom tried doing something similar with Final Fight back in 2010 – that game also required a PSN connection and it also locked out other accounts on the same console. An admin at Capcom said this was “employed to combat the rampant ‘PSN Sharing’ that has been going on” and Tomb Raider does seem to fall under the same protective umbrella.

There’re a few other games that also used this method of DRM.

Yesterday Polygon changed their review for EA’s brand new Sim City (from a 9.5 to an 8) after network issues meant that the single player game was effectively unplayable, something that didn’t sit well with everyone in the industry afterwards. Sim City uses an “always-on” method of DRM, more restrictive than Tomb Raider but a similar kind of principle.

Tomb Raider is out this week, and is likely to employ the same methods in its European PSN release. We’ll find out today when the PSN Store updates.

Update: Square Enix have issued a statement on this, saying the DRM references were in error.

  1. kassatsu
    Since: Jul 2009

    I think the reason for allowing you to stay signed in during maintenance periods is for this DRM case. Now they just take the store, account settings, etc down but leave the ability to sign into the network.

    I think this is same DRM that BCR2 uses if I remember correctly.

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 06:39.
  2. Sad Panda
    Since: May 2010

    Or you could buy the disk for considerably less and have fewer restrictions.

    Me personally, I bought it on Steam for £27, it still runs when steam is in offline mode.

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 07:34.
    • psychobudgie
      Since: Nov 2009


      bought it on pre-order for the PS3 for £24.99. Still, what is the point of the DRM for the Download version as you can only run it on 2 activated consoles anyway? I have 3 consoles at home and it’s a pain in the a-hole as it stands without publishers making it a bigger pain.

      Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 07:46.
    • jimmy-google
      Since: Feb 2009

      Very messed up that the DRM isn’t consistant between platforms

      Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 11:58.
  3. hazelam
    Since: Feb 2009

    bloody stupid.

    game sharing is only up to two ps3s now anyway, the number of people they drive away from the game with this crap is gonna far outweigh the numbers of people that would have shared the game with somebody else.

    net loss for them.

    but then most drm is counterproductive, driving people away more than stopping piracy.

    and only on one account?
    what if it’s a household where the ps3 is shared?
    i don’t know how many save slots you get, though watching Hannah from Yogscast play it, it looks like there’s only three, on xbox at least.
    so you could have a few players, three at least, with their own saves, but i’d assume they’d also want to get the trophies for their own accounts.

    all these publishers would prefer the games sold online like this, but then they pull crap like this.
    like i said before, bloody stupid.

    still at least the disc version isn’t infected with drm.
    and will likely be considerably cheaper.

    it’s like that ad, with the clever/dumb balance.
    they didn’t use an online pass, so to balance that good decision they they had to do something stupid like this.

    i haven’t seen a single positive comment about this.

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 08:29.
  4. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    We’ll likely see a lot more of this next gen. Another reason to pause and reflect on the wonders that next gen will bring..

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 08:42.
    • bacon_nuts
      Since: Mar 2011

      Why I’m going to wait a while. If there’s loads of extra added crap then as much as I love playstation I’ll just switch to PC. It’ll be a sad day if it ever comes, but what must be done, must be done.

      Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 11:47.
  5. tyrant161
    Since: May 2009

    Who in their right mind would buy a full game digital download when most of the time they cost around £40 or £50 each. I can buy the (use it on any console or account) disc version for around £30 to £35 from tesco or asda. It’s strange how some retail disc based games have a digital download version with no paperwork (intructions) or box and disc yet they cost more to download from the network. As for the DRM always on connection and use on only one account to stop game sharing, you only have 2 console activations now anyway and i myself have 2 ps3 consoles. Surely this restriction with DRM and the usual high price of new full game digital downloads will put people off from buying from psn…..discs all the way!

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 09:44.
    • jimmy-google
      Since: Feb 2009

      In the UK I imagine digital sales aren’t that high because of the price difference but across the rest of Europe the prices are more competitive.

      It seems the Sony control the conversion of either GBP or EUR into other currencies for SCEE countries (based on exchange rates) accorinding to Scott Hyman of Creat Studios. They get to set set only the Euro and GBP price only.

      I guess it’s easier to take a sales hit in the UK to to guarentee the higher (but still competitve) prices across the rest of the SCEE region. Retail in the UK is heavily discounted compared to other countires.

      Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 11:44.
      • igotmy9milli
        Since: Apr 2010

        This is not true.

        Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 16:22.
  6. freezebug2
    Since: Dec 2008

    Oh dear!
    I wonder if they’ll get the free TR digital comic code by way of compensation? No wait….that came with the pre-order retail disc version :$

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 09:51.
  7. JBoo
    Since: Oct 2011

    This comment is hidden.

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 10:48.
  8. quinkill
    Since: Oct 2010

    Screwing the average consumer because a minority are sharing accounts? That sounds about right. If this is what’s coming next gen count me out.

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 11:28.
  9. OnlineAssassin77
    Since: Jun 2012

    I can sort of see why they did it as they only get paid once if Bob is giving it Terry down the road not saying I totally agree with it think of it from a business point of view though you would be losing money possibly thousands maybe even millions and could end up losing your business in the end. The having to have always on internet connection to PSN is a bit daft as you wont be able to play the single player portion. Warhawk had a very similar thing where you couldn’t play it on another console or account for 24hrs at a time but obviously you had to be signed into PSN as it was an online only game.

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 11:47.
  10. Bilbo_bobbins
    Since: Jun 2009

    So here it begins in slowly getting people used to next gen DRM.

    Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 11:58.
    • Kennykazey
      Since: Mar 2010

      Too true. :-(

      Comment posted on 06/03/2013 at 15:03.

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