Taking advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade offer Microsoft is running over the next year could break some games. That’s the takeaway from an interview from Gamescom 2015 just now making waves. Understandably, the news could have some worried about the older titles in their video game library.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun reports that Microsoft’s Boris Schneider-Johne confirmed that Windows 10 has a compatibility problem with older video games with Rocket Beans TV. More specifically, Windows 10 and games that rely on Safedisc DRM don’t work well together. The original interview is in German, but the outlet translated it into English.
“Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10. There are just two silly exceptions: antivirus software and stuff that’s deeply embedded into the system needs updated – but the developers are on it already – and then there are old games on CD-ROM that have DRM.” John goes on to explain why Windows 10 has a problem with these games, saying, “ The DM stuff is also deeply embedded in your system, and that’s where Windows 10 says ‘sorry, we cannot allow that, because that would be a possible loophole for security viruses’.”
Johne encourages users to download the latest patches and new versions of their classic games to get around the issue, and that only older games that use Safedisk & Securerom DRM have the issue. The technology itself hasn’t been in active development for years. It was one of the many video game creators, video producers and music owners used to fight rampant piracy of their content online.
By adding protection to their games, developers hoped to make the game harder to share for free with others online. Unfortunately, a security bug in SafeDisc also made systems vulnerable to attack. Since then, thoughts on piracy have mostly changed. Developers have opted to build in support for online services or require that users be connected to their servers before a game works.
Rather than continue to allow the exploit, it seems Microsoft decided that the limited number of games that used the technology were worth sacrificing in the name of making Windows more secure. Some are encouraging users to try repurchasing digital downloads of affected titles through sites like Gog.
Support for SafeDisk and SecureRom technology aren’t the first things to get cut from the free Windows 10 upgrade. In an effort to modernize Windows, Microsoft removed other apps solutions. Windows Media Player no longer supports DVD playback natively. Microsoft has offloaded support for DVDs to a new DVD player inside the Windows Store. It was always the responsibility of hardware makers to support DVD playback on their machines.
Microsoft completely removed Windows Media Center, opting to put the focus on the Xbox One as an all-in-one entertainment solution. Next year the company plans to rollout out DVR capabilities to the console.
Of course, why Microsoft made any of these decisions won’t matter to the millions who might be affected by them. This issue could put a damper on enthusiasm from the PC gaming community, a key community Microsoft is courting. Windows 10 extends the Xbox community into the PC gaming space in a big way.
Windows 10 users can record video clips from any game they own – even if that game was purchased outside of the Microsoft Store. Games downloaded through the store offer users the opportunity to uploaded those clips and pictures back into the Xbox community. Developers can connect to Xbox Live on PC too, providing multiplayer experiences and allow users to purchase on item and unlock it on Xbox One and PC versions of the same game.
Soon gamers will be able to download full titles directly from the Windows Store. Windows 10 is available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to download for free now. Microsoft plans to enhance the Xbox experience on Windows 10 devices over time.