GOG.com Secures its Game Installer With Password Protected RAR Files – Users Accuse of Using DRM Solution

Fahad Arif
Posted Dec 31, 2014
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Almost every major triple A video game on PC is protected by digital rights management system, which, according to many gamers, is just a formality that should be dropped as games eventually are cracked and pirated anyway and instead those who pay for the game suffer from different in-game technical issues that allegedly are caused by these DRM solutions. So now that GOG.com, aka Good Old Games, has started to install password-protected RAR files in their video game installers, users are accusing the company of introducing DRM system, which is something that GOG.com doesn’t stand for.

GOG.com Now Uses Password Protected RAR Files for Secure Transfer of Content – Users Claim it is a Form of DRM

GOG.com, which is one of the top PC video game content and movies distribution services, recently dumped inno’s own compression and introduced a password protected RAR archive that will be stored inside its video game installers. This move of the company has disappointed many fans, as many are complaining and accusing the company. According to fans, the introduction of password protected RAR files is basically a form of DRM, which is something that GOG.com doesn’t really support, as the company has always been famous for its DRM-free digital platform.

Talking about and clarifying exactly is going on, GOG.com’s developer Gowor explained that RAR archives are password protected because the company wanted to avoid people tampering with the archive and uploading it to torrent sites, and that because the team didn’t want a situation where when user will see a unprotected rar file, download and unpack it, and get a “broken” installation, because he didn’t use the installer.’ Gowor said:

“There were situations, when users would download just a single part of the installer, or try to unrar it manually (because apparently some browsers detect our new archives as rar files), or even try to open the .bin files with the VLC Video Player. In such a situation I think it’s better to give immediate “it won’t work that way” message, rather than allow someone to make a “partial” installation, which may or may not work, without any information.”

Gowor clarified that the installer has been designed keeping users’ ease of use in mind. He added that users won’t have to face any trouble due to those password protected files, as the installer doesn’t ask users to insert a password or a username because they are actually hardcoded into in it. He said:

“Mind you – if you are using the supported installation mode, you don’t have to enter the password anywhere. Nor is it in any way dependent on username, or hardware, or anything else. It’s more or less hardcoded into the installer (I see you guys already figured out how), as much as the decompression algorithm. You can still use the installer exactly as you could since the beginning of GOG, and install your games wherever, whenever, and however many times you want. It doesn’t detect where was it downloaded from either. That hasn’t changed at all. “

Of course there are some things that do get affected by the new password protected RAR archives. They actually prevent the use of tools such as innoextract that is used to dump installer contents. This method was used by a lot of users to set up games with DOSbos/emulators/ScummVM/Freespace 2 on Linux, phones and other platforms. Gowor concluded:

“We don’t really support installing the game by manually unpacking the archives (for whatever reason you do that). On the other hand, I see you already figured out the algorithm for obtaining the password, so you are still able to do as much. I’m not going to say “Hey, good job hacking into our software guys!”, but I’m not going to try and make the password harder either.”

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