Well, somewhat new. Kinda-sorta new. CDV calls it “innovative”, but it’s really a twist on the shareware concept. They’re trying it out with Sacred 2.

So what is it? Essentially, you can give a copy to a friend. A fully-working, completely unlocked copy, which includes being able to use the multiplayer feature. The catch: the copy only works for 24 hours. Then you have to buy the game (or uninstall it).

We’ve seen something like this with the Spiderweb games. The difference is, with Spiderweb, only a portion is available; to unlock the full game, you have to purchase it. CDV is allowing full access.

Which sounds wonderful. Until you find out that they’re using SecuRom, which requires online activation. So they had a nice idea, and then messed it up with the DRM.

C’mon, free copy for a day or not, people are getting fed up with this SecuRom stuff. Under the circumstances, I don’t see this as being at all helpful in curbing piracy. It’s only going to drive more people to it. Sad.

Sacred 2 press release at official site