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PC Games (Games) The Internet Games Your Rights Online

Future Ubisoft Games To Require Constant Internet Access 497

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-will-go-over-well dept.
Following up on our discussion yesterday of annoying game distribution platforms, Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "This seems like such a bizarre, bewildering backward step. Of course we haven't experienced it yet, but based on Ubi’s own description of the system so many concerns arise. Yes, certainly, most people have the internet all the time on their PCs. But not all people. So already a percentage of the audience is lost. Then comes those who own gaming laptops, who now will not be able to play games on trains, buses, in the park, or anywhere they may not be able to find a WiFi connection (something that’s rarely free in the UK, of course – fancy paying the £10/hour in the airport to play your Ubisoft game?). Then there's the day your internet is down, and the engineers can’t come out to fix it until tomorrow. No game for you. Or any of the dozens of other situations when the internet is not available to a player. But further, there are people who do not wish to let a publisher know their private gaming habits. People who do not wish to report in to a company they’ve no affiliation with, nor accountability to, whenever they play a game they’ve legally bought. People who don’t want their save data stored remotely. This new system renders all customers beholden to Ubisoft in perpetuity whenever they buy their games."
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Future Ubisoft Games To Require Constant Internet Access

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  • But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by avm (660) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:54AM (#30915412) Journal

    How can this even remotely be considered a good idea? I do understand the burning desire for customer dependency, demographic information and all that, but seriously...I'd be very irritated if I were in a tricky spot, my network dropped briefly, and the game responded in such a fashion. Probably irritated enough to return it, if I hadn't been aware of the issue beforehand.

  • Backward step? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jojoba86 (1496883) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:55AM (#30915428)
    Geez, I thought Steam had shown the way and we'd got over this idea of needing a permenant internet connection for single player games. Obviously not then...
  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:56AM (#30915436) Homepage Journal

    Pirated games are simply superior.

    Pirated games treat me like admin of my own computer.

    Legitimate game do not.

    I really do not need any other reason to refuse to use anything but pirated games.

    It is MY hardware, not ubisoft / Ea / etc

  • Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:57AM (#30915448) Journal
    It's as though somebody managed to take everything that sucks about cloud computing and combine it with everything that sucks about local client computing.

    All of the high system requirements and per-machine installation(and probably a dozen background processes and some kernel-mode driver that breaks your DVD drive) of a local application, combined with all the vendor lock-in, violation of First Sale, and high connectivity requirements and costs of a cloud app. Good work, guys.

    I suggest a slogan. "Ubisoft: We make single-player games that require more internet access than Gmail, for fuck's sake."
  • by Spad (470073) <slashdot@NOSpam.spad.co.uk> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:58AM (#30915450) Homepage

    This is either stupidity or an intentionally over the top "announcement" designed to soften people up so that when they release the actual platform people are relieved that it only phones home every hour instead of continuously.

    Very few people are going to accept requiring 24/7 connectivity to play their games; given the number of times a day that I lose connection to Steam for a couple of minutes for whatever reason, if it had a system like this I'd never be able to play any of my games without interruption. And God help you if you're playing a multiplayer game and you lose connection to Ubisoft but not to the server you're playing on; forget blaming lag, you can just blame the fact that your game was paused for 30 seconds while it re-established a connection to Ubi.

    Oh and we're sorry we deleted all your save games, but these things happen and the agreement you signed means we don't have any responsibility to protect your data while it's sitting on our servers. Again, Steam has it right here with their cloud settings, you *sync* the information with the local machine, you don't store it all remotely.

  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Amarantine (1100187) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:59AM (#30915452)
    And who is "legally bound" to patch the games if Ubisoft ceased to exist?
  • Re:But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c-reus (852386) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:59AM (#30915454) Homepage

    I guess someone thought it would be an effective way to prevent piracy

  • Re:But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:00AM (#30915458) Journal
    Ho ho ho! "Return"? Silly consumer, "returns" are for "products" that you "buy" not "content" that you "licence" subject to onerous terms of use.
  • by rebelwarlock (1319465) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:01AM (#30915466)
    I'm not the first to say this, and I certainly won't be the last, but this sort of copy protection nonsense is just another reason I'll be cracking games that I've paid for. Services constantly running on your computer are not acceptable. Punishing people who give you money because not everyone who plays your game gives you money is not acceptable. It's not as though there will ever be a magical, uncrackable copy protection system. Furthermore, this will push some people who would have actually bought the game to download a pirated version instead.
  • by Amarantine (1100187) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:04AM (#30915482)
    While i in no away agree to Ubi's view... It is your hardware, but not your software. If everone plays only pirated games, there will be no more games to pirate. Did that occur to you? There are numerous situations where DRM restricts legitimate users (well, all cases where DRM applies, really) but pirating is not the answer.

    Just don't play their games *at all* if you wish to make a statement. Now, you only give them ammunition to justify plans like this.
  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vadim_t (324782) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:07AM (#30915512) Homepage

    Screw that. I'm not buying any game that requires a connection for single player.

    But, of course, if enough people think like me, and sales go down, that'll be blamed on "piracy" as well.

  • by BeardsmoreA (951706) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:09AM (#30915530) Homepage
    It. Is. My. Software. Once. It. Is. On. My. Computer.
    If you do not want it to become my software, do not sell it to me. You may maintain copyrights over it, but the bits are mine. Let me use them.
  • Re:But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:11AM (#30915542)
    And then someone cracks and patches this in three... two... one... and yet again the legitimate customers are the ones who get screwed.
  • by Zencyde (850968) <Zencyde@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:11AM (#30915548)
    I think what he's saying is that this is the wrong direction for companies to be going. Ubisoft will have to release something pretty fucking amazing before I'd be willing to drop some money into it. Especially now that they have this system in place.
  • by michelcolman (1208008) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:13AM (#30915570)
    Let's see...

    Legally bought: can only play it at home or wherever I manage to find a free and reliable internet connection that does not suck (which is a minority of them)
    Cracked: can play it at home, in the backseat of a car, on the bus, on the train, on the plane, in the park, at the airport, ANYWHERE.

    And the best part is that the cracked version is free! Why waste money on an inferior product, then?
    The only downside is that the cracked version is only released about a week after the official version.
  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:17AM (#30915608) Homepage Journal

    _____EXACTLY_____

    Praise the spaghetti monster that someone actually gets it.

    I have purchased the odd game, ***AFTER*** a good crack game out for it, that allowed me to install it and play it and still be admin of my own computersputnik.

    There are no games out there for an "admin" of my mind set to buy, there is only stuff that I cannot differentiate from malware / trojan infested crap.

  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:18AM (#30915616) Journal

    Because then you go and buy some other game, increasing business for their competitors who are doing it correctly.

  • by imakemusic (1164993) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:18AM (#30915618)

    If you want to make a statement play pirated games and make an anonymous donation to the company that created it with a note explaining your position.

  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:21AM (#30915642)

    I'm sure they'll whip out quick patches, just like they have promised to fix bugs in current games but never do (ex: Far Cry 2)

  • Cloud Gaming? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by starbugs (1670420) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:23AM (#30915654)

    A while ago I decided that I'll switch to PC only gaming.
    This was for one reason: I will always be able to play the games I own.

    Consoles break, hardware can become irreplaceable, chips can burn out, backup batteries die, ROMs have questionable copyright.
    But PC's will be forever.
    I can even play some older games on QEMU right now. In 50 years I will be able to play today's games on an emulated system with an emulated GPU & CPU.

    Many (if not most) of today's games have the multi-player component as a critical part of game-play. Playing them on a non-networked computer would be virtually pointless. The benefit of this setup is that I could go to an internet cafe, a friends house or work and start up a game, while being in exactly the same place in the game as at home. But haven't some games had that ability for many years?

    Either way, without stand-alone gameplay - I'm not interested. I want to make sure that someday (in the far future) I will be able to play the games I play today with my great-grand-kids, instead of receiving a message like "Sorry, Can't connect to server", "ipv9 not supported", or "Gameplay not available, server offline since 2011".

  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vitani (1219376) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:26AM (#30915674) Homepage
    "If any service is stopped, we will create a patch for the game so that the core game play will not be affected."

    If Ubisoft can create an "offline" patch, then so can crackers, and I'll bet they do a better job of it too.
  • African market?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ultral0rd (1595449) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:30AM (#30915722)
    Ubisoft can kiss any ideas about tapping into the african market goodbye.. South Africa, which has one of the more "advanced" telecommunication networks in Africa has less than 10% of its population on Internet, and most of those are dial-ups. The rest of Africa is so far in the dark that the countries finally embracing the world of Internet are bypassing fixed lines and going straight for cellphones.. I can hardly see them jumping on this idea soon.. Long story short : Permanent internet requirement == no 3rd World users
  • Ubisoft? Pfft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by oGMo (379) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:31AM (#30915724)

    So Ubisoft is going mandate ridiculous DRM measures. Ubisoft. This is the company/publisher who, as far as I can tell, has barely produced one game that didn't suck in a long time. And that's just because compared to Assassin's Creed 1, it'd be hard for 2 not to look good. Yeah. So long Ubisoft, I can't say it was fun.

    Maybe this is a good thing, though. Someone like Blizzard doing this would have people grumbling and moaning and everyone would still put up with it because they need their WoW or Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2 or whatever. If someone like Ubisoft does it, and it's just one more reason for people not to buy their crap, and they go under, maybe it will make other companies think twice before trying similar stupidity. Maybe.

  • Way to go! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Holammer (1217422) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:31AM (#30915728)
    Great to see that Ubisoft continues the time honoured tradition of screwing over the actual customers. Who ever thought they could make a system even more obnoxious than the code wheel? I'm not going to ask for permission to play my games so blow it out your posterior Ubisoft.
  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:37AM (#30915780)
    Yet another example of a company attempting to make life difficult for pirates but managing only to annoy and inconvenience legitimate users. People who actually buy the game are going to be faced with restrictions that will, at some point, hinder their ability to use the copy of the game they legally bought while pirates will find a way to crack the system in less than a week and will then be able to use their ill-gotten goods the way they want.

    I understand major media companies consider piracy to be a major problem. I understand we're not likely to ever change that opinion. But. It would be nice if they got everything in perspective and realized that they should not hinder legitimate customers in their war against pirates. All that will do is either drive those legitimate customers away or, worse, turn them in to pirates.
  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:42AM (#30915808)

    Or, if 80-90% of your potential customers are willing to expend the effort of piracy rather than purchase your product

    Because the pirated version is BETTER because it doesn't have all the copy protection in the way of the game experience. Gaming is getting pretty weird psychologically, one minute you're having a blast playing something scientifically designed to be fun because you paid money and the game designers love you, next minute you're suffering through copy protection because the game designers hate the folks whom pay them money. Makes you wonder about the average non-pirate gamers sex life (if any)

    perhaps your product is overpriced. You may not feel it is. You may feel entitled to greater pay for your work. The market cares not.

    The stereotypical $1000 video card gamer doesn't care about the game price. Looking at the economics of it, I don't think price is why pirates pirate. Now cellphone gamers, they have a reasonable economic reason to pirate because cell phones are cheap. I've never pirated a game that doesn't have copy protection / CD checks / printed manual questions / etc.

  • No no no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ludomancer (921940) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:43AM (#30915814)

    Blame *greed*.

  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:44AM (#30915818)

    Linking to an article that that quotes the same made up number without any backing doesn't add anything except more FUD.

  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:44AM (#30915820) Journal

    I think the rampant PC game piracy (almost 80-90%) can be blamed for this somewhat.

    No, the idea that piracy matters is to blame for this. Caring about piracy is bad business. Two things matter when designing a good business plan:

    • People who will buy your product.
    • People who might buy your product.

    The entire purpose of your sales and marketing strategy is to move people from the second category into the first. Some pirates are in a third category: people who definitely won't buy your product. Any money spent on this market segment is wasted. If they won't buy your product whatever you do, then it doesn't matter if they pirate it or just go without. It's frustrating, but that's an emotional issue and basing corporate decisions on emotions is rarely a good idea.

    Some of the pirates are in the category of people who might buy your product. How do you turn them into people who will buy your product? There are several ways, but making your product worse, and making it comparatively worse than the pirated version, are not on the list. And yet, for some reason, they are the two strategies that most people involved in The War on Piracy seem to be choosing. Oddly enough, they are having about as much success as their counterparts in the wars on terror and drugs.

  • SecuROM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KlausBreuer (105581) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:45AM (#30915836) Homepage

    They're the ones using it.
    They did create some very good games, but I'm not buying anything with SecuROM in it, no matter how good the game. Now they want to add 'needs permanent net access'? If I wasn't already blocking them on my shopping list, I'd be doing it now...l

  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chelloveck (14643) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:47AM (#30915844) Homepage

    Remember when Amiga died in large part due to piracy, and all the gaming moved to PC?

    Um, no, I don't. I remember when the Amiga died in large part due to mismanagement by Commodore. Did it die more than once? 'Cause I totally missed the piracy death.

    Remember when the Apple ][ died in large part due to piracy? No? There was at least as much game piracy on that platform. Maybe piracy isn't a big contributing factor.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:48AM (#30915854) Homepage Journal

    Steam does not have it right. I cannot restore a backup and play it without an internet connection. If steam goes away, and either I have not already downloaded the patches they promise to make available, or those patches are never made available, I cannot play my games. I will have to warez them. So why not just do that in the first place, and avoid the whole potential for a problem?

  • Re:But why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:50AM (#30915868)
    Maybe, maybe not. If important parts of the game are handled by the server, that's a nontrivial task. You're potentially talking about server emulators for each game, which could take months or years to properly develop.

    Making every game functionally an MMO is a scary future, but probably an inevitable one.
  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:52AM (#30915892)

    The easiest way to do this is to write an app that intercepts connections to the server and just responds to them the same as the server does.

    And the funniest part is the UBI guys have to write and build a server farm to scale to "millions of users" and instant response to keep total system latency down and interoperate with multiple versions of multiple games. However, the pirates only have to scale to a whopping one user and since it's local there is no transmission latency so there is plenty of time for slow simple unoptimized code, and only interoperate with the one version of one game that its distributed with... Also the UBI guys are small in number to develop their complicated proprietary server compared to the resources of the whole pirate community sharing a semi-openly developed server emulator.

    Epic fail for UBI.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:59AM (#30915930)

    Pay to be treated like a criminal

    OR

    Become a criminal to be treated like a human being.

    What a fucking world we live in.

  • Re:But why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:11AM (#30916022) Homepage

    Because they hate their customers, or their management are a bunch of incompetent idiots.

  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:13AM (#30916034)
    You are so incredibly delusional. What makes you think pirates would actually buy the game if they couldn't pirate it? People don't have infinite amounts of money. Why do you think piracy is so rampant in China? People don't legitimately have any money to spend. They can't justify spending money on entertainment when they have to feed their families.
  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:17AM (#30916072)

    Yeah, because paying lawyers to sue a bankrupt corporation because my video game quit working is a totally viable option that fixes the issue at hand.

  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:17AM (#30916074)

    The plural of anecdote is not data ...

    "...500 seeders and 300 leechers..." this means that the majority of people who wanted it already have it (seeders > leechers) and that only accounts for 800 copies ...If this is 9 times the copies sold then the top games list is really really odd ...

    How are they deriving the 90% figure, from looking at torrent sites occasionally? ...this is a meaningless snapshot, it does not include many copies and includes copies that may never be played?

    It does not mean that these are people who actually want the game (Just hosting)

    It does not mean that these are people who would consider buying it

    It does not mean that these are people who have not already bought it for one platform and are pirating it for a second one

  • I think... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gaelfx (1111115) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:21AM (#30916118)
    ... I can summarize the comments here rather succinctly. Fuck Ubisoft and fuck their games.
  • by ymenager (171142) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:28AM (#30916178)

    Well no doubt about, the pirated versions of ubi games will be ridiculously superior to the actually buying the game from ubi

    However, i don't really like to download pirated software for security reasons, so I guess I'll just NEVER AGAIN BUY AN UBI SOFT GAME.

    Between the choice of paying ubi to screw me and not playing their games, it's a no-brainer decision.

  • Re:But why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Montezumaa (1674080) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:31AM (#30916214)

    They are purchasing them. You need to stop acting like an industry fanboy and screw your head on straight. I hate it that development companies are targets of theft, but so are other industries.

    Hell, money is stolen every damned day, but you do not see the Federal Reserve require U.S. citizen to connect to the internet to validate their bills. I do not have to get on the internet or call Hostess and ask permission to eat a Twinkie because some assholes have stolen them in the past.

    This is asinine and I will not support a company that does this. While I have access to real broadband internet sometimes, I do not always. Some of the week, I have to use Verizon Wireless broadband, and I am limited to 5GB. That will go quickly will this crap.

  • Re:But why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:34AM (#30916248)

    They're just adding complexity in the hopes that they can shore up their advantage over indie developers and FOSS hobbyists. The amount of stuff that's not only freely available, but legally available is getting larger every day.

    Personally I don't care much for a game that doesn't have an active and involved modding community. Whether or not I'm involved in the community, it just makes the game higher quality. As more and more high-quality FOSS engines show up, it's entirely plausible that modders can move in and do everything.

    Especially in the shooter department. Eye-candy is nice, but if I want a shooter the Quake engine is perfectly adequate.

  • by Logical Zebra (1423045) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:50AM (#30916438)

    But far too many game review websites are completely beholden to the companies that buy advertisements on their site, oftentimes giving games rave reviews just because their publisher advertises on their site. How many game review sites said that Need for Speed: Shift was an awesome game, even though it totally sucked?

  • Re:But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:57AM (#30916516)

    If important parts of the game are handled by the server, that's a nontrivial task.

    It's also a nontrivial expense to run that server.

  • Re:But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:05AM (#30916618)

    But this is a trend even in Xbox360 games. The new Mass Effect 2 does this. in order to even play the game you have to register with easports.com (in game they link to your xbox live account info) and it sends a lot of info there as you play. Plus the game has turned from a great cinematic experience to a "you have to buy all this crap" in order to have the good gear fest.

    Except for the pirates, who've not only had the game available for days, but have the DLC packs too.

    Sometimes I think that game publishers are trying to self-destruct.

  • Re:But why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eudial (590661) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:11AM (#30917522)

    I guess someone thought it would be an effective way to prevent piracy

    Once you've started a legitimate copy of a game, what process do they figure will turn the copy into an illegitimate one during gameplay?

  • Re:But why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:21AM (#30917688)

    It's an obscene expense to run that server the day $blockbuster_game 2 is released. If they're doing it properly, there's going to be an actual cryptographic handshake between the client and the server when you start the game, and maybe intermittently while you play. That costs a surprising amount of CPU time, especially in the aggregate.

    Their servers will get hammered and nobody will be able use the game they just bought for the stupidest of reasons, and the people who do manage to play the game won't be able to save (unless they've relented to reality and put local saves back in).

  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:48AM (#30918152)

    Why does everyone assume this is about piracy? Software companies have been eyeing the used game market as lost sales for a long time...

    If you were a company and there were two sources of perceived loss of revenue, which one would you focus on?

    The one that is technically 'illegal' and where the "potential" lost customers willingness to pay money for your product is extremely hard to quantify?
    or:
    The one that is technically 'legal' but has hard and fast numbers and displays concrete percentages of people who are willing to purchase your product at a discount.

    Of course as a company tackling something people consider as a 'right', you are probably smart to pretend your system is in place to prevent the first option, as opposed to your real goal of stopping the 'evil' bastards who are competing with your full priced games with their used 'discounted' copies...

  • by michelcolman (1208008) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:11PM (#30918510)
    At least if the official version is the same as the pirated one, most people will feel good about buying the official one, support the others, not be a criminal, etc. When the pirated version is only slightly better (enabling certain cheats, etc...), some people may actually download the pirated version and still buy the official version too. But when the official version is intentionally crippled, all my good intentions go out the door. If they want to punish me for buying their game, I'll just take the pirated game and feel that my action is completely justified. So basically, they are pushing away exactly those people that still used to buy games even though they were illegally available for free.
  • Re:But why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:21PM (#30918690)

    Also Subscriptions are A) Free money, and B) Stable money.

    However, unless your name rhymes with "POW", ensuring DRM and $$$ like that will just make me go "no thanks, I'll pass".

    I can understand WHY they would do it, however if they do it across the board they run a very large risk of alienating their client base and doing a really good job of putting themselves out of business.

  • Re:Cloud Gaming? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:46PM (#30919058)

    HA!

    Exactly. I dug out Masters of Orion 2 (Circa 1995) not too long ago and got it to work on my current Vista system. It is still lots of fun!

    Having an updated online option would be nice though... Considering the original option is to connect to the now defunct TEN (The Entertainment Network) it gave me a few laughs.

    Players that think this isn't a big idea should think about what if MOO2 required authentication from TEN to even function? Ridiculous! How a modern gaming company thinks this is in any way acceptable to anyone is somewhat amusing.

  • Won't last long (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jamyskis (958091) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:56PM (#30920100) Homepage

    I sincerely cannot imagine this system lasting long. If UbiSoft have even remotely anticipated the number of gamers that will be playing Settlers 7 and Assassin's Creed 2, they'll know that this will place an extreme load on the servers. We're not just talking about one-time activation. We're talking a constant stream of packets. The traffic will be horrendous.

    Of course, there are legal considerations as well. Of all the companies that have made use of Digital Restrictions Management, most have 'promised' to release a patch that neutralises the DRM some day but absolutely NONE have enshrined this in their EULA or any binding agreement. That's right. Zilch, zero, nada. Strange, innit?

    In any case, I do not buy any games contaminated with DRM. These will be no exception.

  • Re:But why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @02:18PM (#30920504) Homepage Journal
    That's why being a legitimate customer is overrated.
  • Re:Blame piracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @02:48PM (#30921142)
    In general, I like the concept of Steam. However, since they still control your ability to get to your game in the future, that's a deal breaker for me. If they would allow you to download your game with a cd-key tied to your Steam account (so that it would prevent people from giving away their non-DRM'd offline copies) to use as a backup, then I'd be perfectly fine with using Steam. I refuse to pay money to a company that maintains control over my property, since it means that they can take away my right to use what I paid for at any time and without warning.
  • Re:But why? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:05PM (#30921640)

    It's more onerous than that. This would be like buying doors with locks on it that can only be unlocked with the permission of the doormaker. Say they have to give you a passcode to unlock the door, even though your key is already in it. Then, to keep using your door, you have to call the doormaker every few days so that they can make sure that you're not using more keys that they think you should be allowed to. Gave one key to the spouse, one to the kid, and one to your parents for safekeeping? Too bad, you were only allowed to let three people access your door, not four. Now the doormaker terminates access to your door, that you paid for, because you used it in a way they didn't like. So now you have a door that doesn't work and keys that are useless. The doormaker's solution? Buy another door, at a significant cost. But, since you've already paid actual money for a door that no longer works, you go to Joe's Discount Doors in the bad part of town, where they have doors from less-than-reputable sources, but they don't require permission to put up, will never be disabled by the people who manufactured them, and you can make all the keys you want.

    If we applied this way of thinking to things other than software, it becomes clearer how dumb this method is.

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:28PM (#30927252)

    I don't pirate games, I buy maybe 2 or 3 new games and a handful of used ones from eBay over the course of a year - otherwise I'm revisiting old titles from my collection, installing mods, updated engines, etc. I'm currently having a great time replaying Duke Nukem 3D and additional episodes with eduke32 [eduke32.com], runs nice on Windows & Linux...

    However, copy protection isn't just about piracy, piracy just gives the games companies an excuse to foist the protection on everyone.

    In reality, this is because a whole heap of very rich people don't like the fact that you or I *own* stuff, they'd much rather we *rent* stuff, set up a nice bank debit to pay them some money each month and threaten to stop the stuff working if we stop paying them.

    The games companies are now also starting to hate the PC. The combinations of different hardware and OSes make games more difficult to produce than on a "same the world over" console, plus the fact that the PC is an open platform means you can install all manner of applications to crack their games open.

    It's quite obvious that the current strategy is to make life as uncomfortable as possible for PC gamers so that they give up PC gaming, buy consoles and get their games fix on those instead.

  • by mykos (1627575) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:55PM (#30929058)

    Actually, they're cutting off their own nose to spite pirates.

    This holy war against pirates needs to end. They think that every downloaded game is a lost sale, and that every single person who can't pirate a game will buy it.

    Do they honestly think that if they lock down a game to the point of near-unplayability that it will magically result in millions of dollars in sales?

  • by mykos (1627575) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @11:01PM (#30929092)

    Piracy = theft.
    Agreed. Also, assault and battery = murder

    Exceeding the speed limit = rape

    Public intoxication = distributing child pornography

    Any other minor crimes that we should rename to more serious ones for no good reason?

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