By now, everybody should know that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Let's apply that to EA, shall we? The publisher is giving away copies of The Sims 2: Ultimate Collection, for free... and not mentioning that it includes the controversial SecuROM anti-piracy software.
SecuROM has been around for years, and most people aren't too bothered by it. Created by Sony, it's a bit of software designed to prevent video game piracy, by resisting duplication devices and preventing reverse engineering. It's not altogether a bad thing, necessarily, but it's copped a lot of negative attention over the fact that it is not removed when you uninstall the game from your system. It also throws a number of false positives for piracy attempts, including not recognising the authentic disc in the drive, and generally monitors your software use even when you're not playing the game. Opponents have labelled it spyware.
Now, Reclaim Your Game has done a little snooping around "under the hood", and found that The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection contains SecuROM Version 07.40.0009. (The site also claims EA is shaping up to sell the Ultimate Collection, once the free download period has expired.)
As far as we know EA has decided to provide everyone a free, but unscrubbed copy of Sims 2 Ultimate Collection, which is no different to the previous versions of Sims 2 that EA have supplied / sold in the past.
From the site's tests, the DRM software is present, and lurks quietly in the background, denying admin access to some files and registry keys.
Trying to remove Sims2 UC, Origin and SecuROM... all is successful except a SecuROM License key in the registry won't delete at all. I will have to work on this further and hopefully I can find a way for it to be deleted.
After more trial and error, a solution was discovered: TrashReg can be used to delete the SecuROM License key from the registry.
If you're bothered by the inclusion of SecuROM in your copy of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection to the point where you want the game and the DRM off your machine, here's a handy SecuROM Removal guide that should help - including details on how to scrub the last traces from your registry.
...if you're okay with it, grab your free copy of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection now - the offer ends this weekend.
UPDATE A third option: If you'd like to play a game without SecuROM, the latest patch for Borderlands removes the DRM, easily and legally.
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Jimmy the Geek