EA has said the PC version of Red Alert 3 will use a "more lenient" version of SecuROM in order to curb piracy and make fans happy at the same time.
The game will only need to be authenticated online once after installation, according to a developer post on the official forums, and can be reinstalled up to five times. EA support can be contacted if further installations are needed. Red Alert 3 will also run without a CD.
These procedures apparently did nothing to stop Spore from being pirated successfully before the official release. The real effect of the installation limit, critics argue, is on game trade-in shops such as Gamestation and GAME.
This also effectively renders legitimate copies of RA3 useless at some point down the line, whether reinstalling to save hard drive space or through upgrading hardware or combating viruses, since EA support for that title may have been shut down at that point given past precedents.
"Do you ask for Sony's permission to use your PS3 when you turn it on for the 50th time? Do you ask for Honda's permission to turn on your motor in your car after 100,000 miles? No. You purchased these systems, and they are now yours to do with as you wish," writes one particularly angry member of that official forum.
There's also growing concern about the third-party SecuROM software, which users are forced to install, and which lingers even after the game is removed.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is due for release in October.