Thursday, 18 August 2011

PC Version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution Was Region Locked, Now It Isn't

Well this has been a strange series of events for square-enix. A few days ago, it emerged on Eidos' forums that the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution would be region locked for Europe, mainly that the UK would be it's own region with the rest of Europe as another. it all started with this support ticket

"The PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is region-locked.
Please be sure to purchase a copy from your own region, otherwise you might not be able to register the game.
If you should not be able to register your copy due to a region conflict, please return the game to your retailer. Square Enix cannot offer assistance in replacing incompatible registration codes."

This of course caused a huge reaction from people who had pre-ordered the game. Since games in the UK are much cheaper than mainland Europe, a lot of people now found themselves with pre-orders for copies that wouldn't work in their country. The same for people who pre-ordered from cheap CD key websites such as greenmangaming.com.

It later turned out that those who pre-ordered from greenmangaming.com were still safe as shown in this support ticket

"We have spoken to the publisher regarding their recent announcement that Deus Ex: Human Revolution would be region locked and they have confirmed to us that your Steam key will work regardless of what region/country you are in.
We have requested keys from the publisher and when we receive them, we will add one to your account.
You will be able to view your key by logging on to the Green Man Gaming Website, and viewing the download page for the game. This can be found under 'your games'."

So there was a collective sigh of relief from that side. However, those who pre-ordered box copies from sites like amazon.co.uk or play.com were still out of luck it seems. With many canceling their pre-orders and misinformation spreading like wild fire, and also facing the risk of breaking EU law, Square-Enix decided to forget the whole region lock thing and got rid of it.

"We’re aware of some discussion regarding the planned region-locking of boxed PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and after careful review we have decided not to implement this in the UK/Europe/US/AUS. Please note, this plan only related to PC boxed games, and not digital or console editions."

So there you have it. You can now play Deus ex on PC all over the world without fear of it locking you out. There is a post on Eidos' forums chronicling this whole debacle

This looks like one massive cock up by Square-Enix. Not just the fact that the PC version was region locked at all, but also due to the incredible amount confusion over it all. Going completely region free was about the only move that they could do now for fear of losing sales due to misinformed people. Not only that, but it also runs dangerously close to being illegal under EU market law. I'm sure the game will be great and I can't wait for it, but this whole thing has got everyone completely panicked over nothing now.

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