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So I got call of duty black Ops on my PC (Windows 7, 64bit, 8gig ram, 3.0ghz processor) but when I want to start the game I get this error message. Steam must be running to play this game.

I did a quick Google search for what steam was and it turns out its a game software technology for copy protection, patents, game-play and this like that.

I don't know how to fix this. I have tried reinstalling over and over but no success at all.

Is it like direct X you could just download and install or what...Any ideas will be GREATLY appreciated.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 16 '12 at 10:08

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You need to install Steam, create an account (all free) and then you can activate the game via the Steam interface (with the serial you've already got).

Please follow these instructions to activate a new retail purchase on Steam:

Launch Steam and log into your Steam account.
Click the Games Menu.
Choose Activate a Product on Steam...
Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.

The negative is, you may have to download it from Steam even if you already have it. The other negative is, Steam has to be running all the time (although is light weight) and you can't sell your game easily since the serial number becomes locked to your Steam account. It has been advised you create a new account for each Steam game you own so if you do want to sell a game, you sell the Steam account instead (which holds the serial).

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