Battlefield: Hardline DRM Won’t Let You Play the Game Due to Too Many Hardware Changes

Fahad Arif
Posted 2 years ago

Update: A user on reddit has posted an update about the hardware specific DRM and said that it is actually not a DRM related issue but the error is associated with an Origin-wide activation check. An EA spokesperson told PC Gamer that, “Origin authentication allows players to install a game on up to five different PCs every 24 hours”.”Players looking to benchmark more than five hardware configurations in one 24 hour period can contact our Customer Support team who can help,” the spokesperson said.

Is that better or worse? On the one hand, if the Origin client is responding to graphics card changes, that’s hardly the same as “five different PCs”. On the other hand, is such an activation limit something an average PC user is going to be affected by? Probably not. via Reddit (Many thanks to Oto for tipping us the update).

Planning to test Battlefield: Hardline’s performance on multiple PCs or graphics cards? Be prepared for your account to be locked by Origin with a DRM that hasn’t been officially mentioned by Electronic Arts anywhere on the game’s Origin page. Reports claim that Visceral Games’ new first-person shooter title in the well-known Battlefield video game series is infected with an awful digital rights management system that will lock your account if it detects too many changes in the hardware that is supposed to run the game.

Battlefield: Hardline Infected With “Tages-Like” DRM That Prevents You from Playing the Game on Different PCs, GPU/CPU

Back in 2012, Ubisoft took quite some flak for the digital rights management system used in its city building and economic simulation video game called Anno 2070, the thing was that the DRM would become active and lock the game whenever a certain number of hardware changes were made to a computer, like changing graphics card or other internal components. The DRM was a headache for many players, and now it looks like those who like to play on different PCs or graphics cards might face same trouble as a major game like Battlefield: Hardline is reportedly infected with a similar DRM system.

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PC Hardware website Guru3D discovered the ghastly DRM while testing Battlefield: Hardline’s performance on multiple graphics cards. According to reports, Origin locks players out of Battlefield: Hardline for playing the game on eight computers in a certain period of time, this means that the digital rights management system responsible for this act is naturally triggered if players change hardware components such as CPU/GPU of their PCs. While this DRM won’t cause any hindrance in gameplay for average PC player, it will be much trouble for anyone benchmarking hardware and checking the game’s performance on different specifications.

“Here’s what EAs DRM is doing” Guru3D writes. “EA don’t just verify the number of PCs you work on slash use, nope .. they dare to monitor hardware changes inside your PC now, which I am sure is a privacy breach on many levels. So once we insert new hardware (CPU / mobo or graphics cards) the hardware id # hash changes and if that happens a couple of times they are rendering your activation invalid. From what we now have learned, you get to have 5 hardware changes per license. Use them up and access to the game will be blocked for 24 hours per activation.”

Once the DRM detects that certain amount of hardware changes, a message appears when player tries to run the game. It reads; “Too many computers have accessed this account’s version of Battlefield: Hardline Digital Deluxe Edition recently. Please try again later.” Now, as the phrasing suggests, the player can access the game later, but for how long does the game remains locked is not known. Also, the number of computers that the game can run on before getting locked is not clear.

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Origin page for Battlefield: Hardline doesn’t mention anything about this annoying digital rights management system. Many find this really besides the point, as one who legitimately pays hard-earned bucks for a game should be able to at least enjoy the freedom of playing it on any/multiple PCs. It is hard to see how this act will help EA make things easy for its fans, all it might do is annoy its PC consumer base.

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