DRM removed

Software theme

Games that originally were copy protected but had it removed in some officially released patch.


Alternate name: Copy protection removed

The first video game about DRM removed was released on December 1989.

Bethesda Softworks, Blizzard and Deep Silver has published most of these games


* Media check removed
This does not automagically mean the game was also made available for free, freeware, public domain, OpenSource, source code available, or non-proprietary. Nor does in necessarily accompany any change in license. It simple means the mechanism designed to prevent copies was removed from versions published after. In some cases, the game still remains proprietary and continues to be sold.

Removing copy protection may be done to fix bugs that the protection introduced, remove annoyances that reduced the quality of the product, make the game easier to run or even easier to update, to compensate for botched means of satisfying the copy protection (game was shipped without a key, or without, feelies, or required the original media and does not recognize the newer media it was republished on, etc) or generally to remove restrictions on customers' fair use rights (such as running the game on an emulator).

Copy protection is often not removed when a game is officially declared free, freeware, public domain, or OpenSource. Instead, the company usually provides a means for bypassing the copy protection, as this requires less effort. Also a must in rare cases, the copy protection cannot be removed. Such as when pinhole protection is used.
This is actually what the copy protection makers recommend, but strangely few actually do it.

Product key requirement is not covered by this since it's often used to associate the copy with your account or used as simple GUID and is therefore NOT a real copy protection (although it does serve as an imperfect one). It is unlikely product key requirement is ever removed even if other forms of DRM are.

This also does not cover media checks when the media is actually needed to play (data is loaded from the media during play). Though this is uncommon for modern PC games.

Parent group

Digital rights management


Windows 35
Mac OS Classic 2
Mac OS X 1
Linux 1
Tandy Coco 1
X360 1
PS4 1
Xbox One 1

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