TransGaming to support Sony's SecuROM DRM for games

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It’s a bit of “inside baseball,” but the announcement paves the way for more PC games to come to the Mac. TransGaming on Wednesday announced that it will use Sony’s SecuROM Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology for its future Mac games.

TransGaming is the developer of Cider, a translation layer technology that the company uses to make games for Intel-based Macs by “wrapping” Windows games in a shell that enables them to run on Mac OS X. TransGaming claims this allows them to bring games to the Mac faster than has been possible in the past, when Windows game code has need to be translated line by line to run on the Mac.

Cider has been used by EA and other major publishers to bring some of its hit games to the Mac platform, including Spore, the new game from Maxis, makers of Sim City and The Sims. Spore will be released in the same box for Mac and PC on the same date, September 7, 2008.

SecuROM has been one of the more controversial forms of copy-protection employed by Windows game publishers because—particularly in older releases—the software could prevent users from deleting certain executable files. Users have also alleged so-called “rootkit” violations associated with SecuROM—that the copy-protection software somehow seized control of the computer hardware on which it was installed. More recently, SecuROM has come under fire for recurring validation, a technique where it periodically “phones home” and connects to the Internet to make sure it’s not being used on a pirated game.

Major Windows game publishers have come to rely on SecuROM technology in recent years; its licensees include Electronic Arts, Take Two Interactive and others.

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