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Ubisoft Testing PC Prince of Persia Without DRM 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-on-ya dept.
Ars Technica reports that the upcoming PC version of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia will not feature any sort of copy protection. (Not including Steam downloads, of course.) After the backlash in recent months over the DRM in games like Spore and GTA IV, Ubisoft is giving gamers the chance to demonstrate that DRM actually increases piracy. One of Ubisoft's community reps had this to say about their decision: "You`re right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games. A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM we`ll see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine. Console piracy is something else entirely and I`m sure we`ll see more steps in future to try to combat that."
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Ubisoft Testing PC Prince of Persia Without DRM

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  • Virus free keygens (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13, 2008 @01:27AM (#26100579)

    I look forward to not having to download virus/trojan packed keygens.

  • I got it illegally! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13, 2008 @01:33AM (#26100607)

    And it was crap!

    Seriously, it was full of buggy lights that made the gameplay impossible to play... when everything turns so bright that you have no idea where you're going, it makes the game so boring that you don't want to play it anymore... therefore, i didn't want to buy the real game

    Since the age of demos is long gone, the only way to try before we buy is to pirate the game... Off course, i'll buy a game that i think is great enough to be worth the money! Just like i got fooled into buying Mass Effect, it was a great game.... but the support for it is so crappy that it's impossible to do everything that it's supposed to do!

    I download illegally games.... I'm not ashamed of it... It's like downloading a big demo... If only the game companies would understand that and the fact that most of the time, we don't buy their games simply because it wasn't an amasing game, therefore we are too lazy to get the real game and stick with the illegal version till we get bored of it...

  • by Aranykai (1053846) <slgonser.gmail@com> on Saturday December 13, 2008 @01:34AM (#26100619)

    Real nerds run them on a virtual machine, sandboxed in the copy of VMware they pirated years last week.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13, 2008 @01:47AM (#26100671)

    I'm going to be buying the PS3 version, since I believe it to be a console game at heart. But after seeing this act of good faith, I seriously want a copy for PC.

    Actions speak louder than words, and even if this asshat thinks we are all out to get him, the action is still beautiful. If you want this game for PC, please buy it.

    I know already though, that what will happen is that the game will probably see (according to their stats), around an 80% piracy rate. I'm sure a good chunk of people in that stat will be people who are legitimately pirating the game. But I'm sure that there will also be the usual crew of people who download the game to demo it. Demos often don't give you the full sense of a game, and you need the full version to get a feel for whether you really want the game or not. Prince of Persia won't be everyone's cup of tea. And since there's no console demo (or PC demo, so far as I know), then even people who want the game for a console might be inclined to download it.

    Nevertheless, I think it's pretty much flat out guaranteed that it will be pirated less than Spore. =)

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Saturday December 13, 2008 @01:49AM (#26100683)

    I've refused to buy games with intrusive DRM. Now that someone is actually assuming customers are not criminals, its worth supporting the effort. Even if the boxed game just gets chucked in the back of my car and forgotten about.

    Its not much of a carrot, but if it got around that people actually went out of their way to buy games without DRM, software publishers may just loosen their stance.

  • by LtGordon (1421725) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @01:54AM (#26100707)
    Alternatively, if they can skew the numbers to say that Prince of Persia was pirated on a larger scale than any of their other games, it will be the poster boy for DRM-pushers.
  • by Shados (741919) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @01:58AM (#26100739)

    Basically, their habit seems to be to ship with DRM to try to preserve initial sales, and then bow to customer demand to keep bargain sales reasonable and keep old fans happy.

    It makes sense when you think about it (and a few publishers admitted to that). The initial sales are the ones that matter. The big numbers, the fanboys raving, the little kids who need it NOW NOW NOW NOW... If you can stop piracy until the day -after- the game hit the stores, you catch all of the impulse buyers and OCDs, which is a seizable market. A week after the game came out, whoever wants to pirate it will, whoever wants to buy it will to, so it doesn't matter anymore. Same logic behind those schemes (I think its Valves who did that?) where the game isn't actually complete on the disks, you need to download the last couple of files, which are only available at launch?

    DRM is only there for launch day, and to keep joesixpack from installing the game on all his friend's PC without effort.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @02:22AM (#26100853)

    Could it be that UbiSoft was a bit pissed at their former supplyer of DRM, because they themselves couldn't get rid of it from Rainbow Six when it caused too much trouble without stealing a crack from Reloaded? And when you couldn't find a new supplyer of DRM in time for the next release, hey, let's make a PR stunt out of it!

    When God gives you lemons... well, I'd find a better God, but some just squeeze really hard.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13, 2008 @02:33AM (#26100893)

    Alternatively, if they can skew the numbers to say that Prince of Persia was pirated on a larger scale than any of their other games, it will be the poster boy for DRM-pushers.

    Considering how it might affect their business model, wouldn't be surprised if some DRM-creators try to push the "piracy" totals up. Would be great if they got caught at it though.

  • by Sentry21 (8183) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @03:03AM (#26101035) Journal

    If you can stop piracy until the day -after- the game hit the stores, you catch all of the impulse buyers and OCDs, which is a seizable market.

    Yeah, but what they don't seem to understand is that this doesn't work. Take Spore for example - DRM'ed up the ass, and what happened? Pirated BEFORE launch day (as usual). In fact, even the Mac version was pirated, and we normally get screwed as far as games go.

    What they need to understand is that DRM doesn't stop piracy, but intrusive DRM does make customers avoid the product, or causes problems with people's computers and results in the game being returned. Pirates don't care because they crack the DRM well before launch, so the only people you're causing problems for are paying customers.

  • by vux984 (928602) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @03:03AM (#26101039)

    Alternatively, if they can skew the numbers to say that Prince of Persia was pirated on a larger scale than any of their other games, it will be the poster boy for DRM-pushers.

    On the other hand, since they aren't paying for the DRM, which I suspect is licensed per copy, not a one time purchase, there is actually a range, where its being pirated more, they sell less, and they actually make more money. It would be beyond funny if the actual results fell into this range.

    That said, I figure the reality is that this game will be pirated exactly as much as any other. No more, no less.

  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @05:26AM (#26101503)

    If you make a really crap game, piracy will go down, but sales would go down too.
    If you make a good game, both piracy and sales will go up.

    I don't know what the warez scene is like these days, but a couple decades ago folks would copy software for the sake of having the software. It didn't matter if the tittle was a useful / good or bad / useless. If it was another piece to add to the collection, the warez packrats would squirrel it away. It was kind of an illicit data version of Pokemon; gotta collect them all. I wouldn't imagine it's much different today.

    That would mean that a bad game would get copied indifferently to the quality of the game. In fact, bad games may even appear to be copied more as the percentage of illicit to legitimate copies skews to the warez packrats.

  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @05:39AM (#26101549)

    I know most Slashdotters made up their mind a long time ago, but at least Ubisoft is open to other ideas.

    The reason "Slashdotters made up their mind" is due to the tone coming from Ubisoft.

    "A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM we'll see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine."

    It sounds like Ubisoft already has their minds made up. That's what "Slashdot" is picking up on.

    Yeah - it'll be interesting to see what happens with this. It makes for a very interesting experiment and discussion. But I'll have to practice my "surprise face" just in case Ubisoft announces that their experiment has proven the need for DRM.

  • by impaledsunset (1337701) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:08AM (#26101655)

    Wine is also a solution. Ran as a different user, of course. During the last few years once I had to run a small program, which I suspected to be carrying malware. I simply created another user on my machine and ran the program with Wine as that user.

    The ~/.wine of the user immediately got filled with all kind of crap, the program what it was supposed to do correctly, while obviously filling the Windows system folders with all kind of malicious files. So I simply erased this folder and I had my job done.

    Of course, Wine is not sandboxed, the malware can access the network, which is why you disable the network for this user with iptables, also it can read all of your disk, which is not much of a problem, and write in all places there is world write permissions (such as /tmp). I don't believe the malware will try to fill /tmp, or open your soundcard, or anything like that, but for files you can run find before you go to sleep to be sure that there is no crap left in the morning.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @09:13AM (#26102383) Homepage

    Being someone who has spent a LOT of time in meetings like they had about this..

    it's not about what they say. It's about not paying for the royalties and licensing for a DRM solution. I'm betting that putting no DRM in it brings the cost of the game development down to 3/4 the price.

    That means higher profits per unit sold.

    it's ALL about money. dont be fooled by any of their PR talk.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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