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Windows 10 is finally rolling out to customers all over the world, but gamers should be aware of an issue affecting a small number of titles. Specifically, games that utilize SafeDisc or Securom DRM probably won’t run.
Granted, we’re not talking about a lot of titles here. However, if you are still addicted to the 2004 version of Flight Simulator, the OG version of The Sims or perhaps Crimson Skies, you could be out of luck.
This report comes to us via Rock Paper Shotgun, who pulled the details from a recent Gamescom talk from Microsoft’s Boris Schneider-Johne:
Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10. 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.
Schneider-Johne goes on to explain that the reasoning for this is actually rooted in user protection. That DRM jibba-jabba is also deeply embedded in the operating system, which is a great way for viruses to sneak in and run amok on your PC. Because of that, Schneider-Johne said some games with Securom and what have you that were released between 2003 and 2008 will not run unless they are provided with a patch that lets them run without a CD.
“We can just not support that if it’s a possible danger for our users,” Schneider-Johne continued. “There are a couple of patches from developers already, and there is stuff like GOG where you’ll find versions of those games that work.”
So, in short, if you’re running a disc-based game from 2003-2008 that boasts DRM or SafeDisc support, you’re likely out of luck if you were hoping to keep playing it on Windows 10. I imagine any super popular titles will get a helpful patch to clear up the issues but, otherwise, this isn’t likely to affect all that many players. And as Schneider-Johne pointed out, you can probably purchase a digital version of these games for a few bucks and keep right on trucking. Nobody likes to buy a game twice, but at least there are options to keep these games playable moving forward.
It’s not an ideal situation, but we don’t really blame Microsoft for this particular inconvenience. It shows off how dumb an idea these types of DRM were in the first place and, again, it shouldn’t have an impact on too many of your favorite older games.
Here’s another solution to keep you occupied while the kinks get worked out of the system: Play some more recent games. I understand there are quite a few popular PC titles these days, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding something to distract you from the loss of…um…Grand Theft Auto 3?