Epic Fail! Gears of War Expires

Epic Fail! Gears of War Expires

Keep it up and you're going to need that gun Cliffy.

Phill: Own Gears of War? Not any more: The exe files for Gears of War have expired today. That means that without hacking the date and time of your computer, you cannot play Gears of War on your PC from today, until Epic release the (inevitable) patch. Similarly, the setup.exe goes dead on the 22nd of February. So, as Stalin says below, when you bought the PC version of Gears of War, you were essentially buying a demo, only it’s much, much worse than something like an issue with reinstalls and the like, just because it utterly destroys any futureproofing you thought your game had. Hell, I still play games from 10 years ago; surely something that’s only a year or two old should last a little longer?

While Cliffy ‘PC is full of pirates, Dude Huge, I invented chainsaws on guns, Clifford’ B has made faux pas in the past in relation to Epic’s relationship with the PC audience, this really is a big kick in the teeth. Even when it gets fixed, the intention will still be there that they didn’t think people would want to play their game pretty soon after it was released. That shows a disregard for both their product and their audience. Astonishing, really.

Forceful retirement is never pretty.

Greg: Epic just cannot get it right can they? Or do they even want to? They create a multi-million dollar franchise, and seem to be determined to keep it from the grubby mits of PC Gamers. Even when they actually give us the game, we’re only allowed to play it for a little while according to beleagured gamers on the Epic forums. We can play it – but only when Cliffy B gives us his good graces to do so. Maybe they even consider the PC version a demo – you can play it for so long. Then you have to buy a 360.

The long catalogue of PC Gamer baiting measures by Epic just don’t seem to end do they? We made Epic. Unreal. Unreal Tournament. Unreal Tournament 2003/4. We bought them by the bucketload, and now what? Tossed aside while Billy G flashes with nipple tassles with Dollar Bills attached to the ends.

I’m sure they’ll release a patch re-enabling it. But how many people in the time it takes for it to release are going to download hacked ones? And what’s the point? Those who already pirated it won’t have this issue? They’ve already got the game. It’s only those who bought it who are going to wake up to find their game not running. This is by far, the stupidist move in Epic’s increasingly long history of screwing the PC Gamer over, whether intentional or not.

Congratulations Cliffy. You’ve given us and a thousand other sites another reason to display that oh-so-flattering pic with the Gear Gun again. Bask in it mate. Bask in it.

Chris: I have tried this out myself, and through the following images you can see that what is happening over on the Epic Games forums can be reproduced. This was a totally new install of Gears of War, and issues such as this are totally unacceptable. Epic have made a big blunder here, if they don’t take action soon then this will escalate further and further.

Check out the message I got when i tried to load the game, and the message you get when looking at the certificate for WarGame-G4WLive:

Message when trying to launch game
Out of date certificate

(Click on the images to get a bigger picture.)

Update: Epic have stated on their forums that “We have been notified of the issue and are working with Microsoft to get it resolved. Sorry for any problems related to this.” Guess it’s all being sorted then.

10 thoughts on “Epic Fail! Gears of War Expires

  1. To make up for this, me and a mate are going to play UT99 all night and pretend anything Epic did after that didn’t happen.

    Also, it is best if we refer to them as “Epic Megagames” from now on.

  2. Pretty dumb move, but at least not as dumb as deliberately designing the limitation. It’s a side-effect of using a certificate to check for tampering that Epic presumably didn’t consider, not a killswitch purposefully built into their code.

    The correct way of doing this would have been for Epic to issue a certificate of their own with no expiry date. But then I’m quite sure they understand that now!

    (Incidentally, do other GFWL games work like this? Ruh roh!)

  3. I should point out that an expired certificate doesn’t by itself cause a program to stop running. Epic decided to make everything stop without one of their own accord.

  4. If Epic want to desert their roots thats fine by me, the PC can manage fine without the dross they’ve been producing lately.

    As for Cliffy ‘I am a god of game design, you should bow before my awesomeness’ B, he needs to take a look at what happened to John Romero and deflate his ego beforer it explodes on him and he ends up making this generation’s Daikatana and pissing everyone, not just PC gamers, off

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