Since Bon Voyage a new controversy has appeared in Sims community forums, regarding the new copy protection used with the expansion pack. Although it was already used with H&M Stuff and The Sims 2 Deluxe, it may not have been used so far due to later expansion packs being installed, all of which used SafeDisc for piracy protection. Now SecuROM version 7
is being used, developed by Sony, to prevent copies of the game from running. This version installs a local service (invisible background program) on the computer, which people claim
to cause lag or have memory leaks. In general, the copy protection is troublesome, even with other games, causing random lock-ups, failure to recognize legal discs, and more. The service will not be removed if you uninstall the game, nor does the end user license agreement (EULA) seem to mention
that this software is installed. The UAService that is being installed remains and is used to make SecuROM protection available to accounts without administrator privileges in Windows. Sony, producer of the SecuROM tool, was accused
of installing rootkits with their music CDs in 2005 as well.
EA pretty much denies there are problems with the copy protection, and claims it is not causing any problems with the Sims - ignoring the fact and controversy in previously released games from other vendors. A post
by Sam Player asks for some help, whereas MaxoidVanquish
denies any problems with the protection. Until now the controversy remains.
[Update 6 October, 23:07]
A new blog post
by MaxoidViolet with more details about what programs SecuROM detects and blocks, and how to solve some basic issues. More advanced problems can also be solved through EA Customer Support, and instructions are in the same (two part) blog post
. There's also a dedicated BBS forum
for SecuROM problems now.