As with Spore before it, the new Chronicles of Riddick game, subtitled Assault on Dark Athena, is getting some backlash via major online retailer Amazon, among many, many other places, due its restrictive digital rights management (DRM).
As it stands, the game, courtesy of the TAGES protection scheme, limits the player to installations on up to three machines in total, with "an unlimited number of installs on each assuming that you don’t change any major hardware in your PC or re-install your operating system." Further, online authentication is required the first time you install the game on a machine, with some claiming the game "phones home" constantly (something known to impact performance), so a permanent connection is required.
Publisher ATARI noted further in its forums:
"If you reach the maximum number of installations you can contact the Atari hotline and if it’s a legitimate request you can get a new activation code.
We implement this protection in an effort to avoid early piracy."
Currently the game holds a one-star rating with 73 customer reviews, 71 of which slam the implemented scheme -- the remaining two give it five stars (one still opposes the DRM, the other, addressing the protesters as "13 year-old idiots", isn't taken upon kindly).
Some, like user J. Hesselink "49", feel strongly they should be treated with more respect by the publishers, as they are willing customers:
"Unfortunately publishers still don't understand that legitimate customers hate being treated like criminals and still force installation limits down our throats. It's one thing to require the DVD in the drive or even an initial online activation, but to say I can only install this on 3 computers, well that's a little too much. I have the money to upgrade my hardware every 8 months, and I do, so why in 2 years should I have to call a customer service rep and hope he/she believes me when I say I need a new key? Another customer lost Atari, well played."
Update: Atari has elaborated on their stance here. They're certainly not beyond reason -- it seems pirates are as much the enemy as publishers and DRM vendors, here. What to do?