The common link is Windows 8, says Runic founder Travis Baldree. An update to the OS appears to be causing Torchlight II to detect "significant changes" to the system that require reactivation.
Well, okay, that isn't too bad considering that owners of the game are granted unlimited activations. The trouble however is that there'sthe license.
"Normally, when Reactivation is required, it automatically takes care of itself, and is a non-issue,” Baldree explains. “In the (normally) rarer cases where something goes wrong, we have a couple of tools that we send out to resolve the issue.” One of Microsoft's updates has severely upset the game and Runic are investigating what specifically.
"In this case they appear not to be working – our current suspicion is that something structural has changed in Windows 8 (or during the upgrade process) which fundamentally breaks the license. Windows 8 seems to be the common denominator between the tickets that we’ve received. We HAVE tested the game and the unlocks on Windows 8, both before and after release – including license resets – and it isn’t a universal problem, which makes it more difficult to isolate.”
Runic are issuing Steam keys to those affected by this weird bug as an apology, and to ensure fans can keep on playing the action-RPG. "...it isn’t our intent to cause our customers any pain, so we’d like to ensure that they can keep playing while we sort this out,” added the studio boss.
"If someone is stuck at this point and has NOT received a Steam key from us, we’d love for them to contact us, and we’ll provide one while we figure out what is going on.” If you're experiencing this pain in the rear issue then simply contact Runic at firstname.lastname@example.org, including a copy of your receipt and info on your OS.
Why does Torchlight II have this activation DRM? "The main reason we have a key system at all is so that we can provide an unlockable demo which lets you continue your character right after purchase,” reasoned Baldree.
Torchlight II released on PC in September 2012.