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Ubisoft's Constant Net Connection DRM Confirmed 631

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-getting-flamed-by-the-entire-internet dept.
A few weeks ago we discussed news of Ubisoft's DRM plans for future games, which reportedly went so far as to require a constant net connection, terminating your game if you get disconnected for any reason. Well, it's here; upon playing review copies of the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII, PCGamer found the DRM just as annoying as you might expect. Quoting: "If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected. The game first starts the Ubisoft Game Launcher, which checks for updates. If you try to launch the game when you're not online, you hit an error message right away. So I tried a different test: start the game while online, play a little, then unplug my net cable. This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers.' The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen — all my progress since it last autosaved was lost."
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Ubisoft's Constant Net Connection DRM Confirmed

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  • Let'see.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Renraku (518261) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:28AM (#31181110) Homepage

    Well the article is good enough to tell us which games to avoid due to horrible DRM. Maybe they're making some kind of 'level of DRM annoyingness' versus 'copies purchased' graph.

  • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:31AM (#31181128) Journal

    Don't buy the game, and send them letter to let them know why you're not buying the game.

  • Well done Ubisoft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:34AM (#31181142)

    I was going to buy this, but they can shove that rubbish fair up their arse.

    Another fine case of screw the people who actually paid for it and the pirates don't have to put up with any of it.

    Well done UbiSoft, you are a complete bunch of arsehats.

  • Re:Finally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:39AM (#31181174) Journal

    My thoughts exactly. Briefly dropping Internet connection is not at all uncommon - quite often you don't even notice it because you're just staring at a web page at the moment, or maybe the page doesn't load, and you shrug and move on. But with this kind of thing, every disconnect will have a very visible, pronounced, and highly annoying effect.

    I wonder if Ubisoft could actually be sued over this. Oh, sure, they'll slap "Internet connectivity required" on the box - but it could be argued that a reasonable person's understanding of "Internet connectivity" is the one that isn't five-nines, and if the game can't really handle a typical real-world connection properly - because of deliberate regression - then it's a clear case of malicious false advertising.

  • Yeah, fuck that. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Leptok (1096623) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:41AM (#31181184)
    I know that's a vulgar comment, but that is vulgar DRM.
  • Re:Finally (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:41AM (#31181190)

    OH man these are the worst support calls. Yeah Ubisoft painted a big sign that says "kick me" on their customer support team's asses with this snafu. Luckily for them, they're at least 6 deep in a phone system of hell and evil. Anyone else feel like they're playing an adventure game and trying to get the right dialog option? At le

  • by zebslash (1107957) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:44AM (#31181208)

    Your comparison is completely inappropriate.

    1) I can perfectly use IMAP or POP to download my Gmail emails and read them offline.

    2) For all kind of web-based communications such as emails, HTTP or SSH I do expect to need a network connection. It does not need to be Gmail, but my personal email system is exactly the same. What you say is equivalent to: "I need a phone connection to be able to phone? What a scandal!" This is not the case for a game though, wghich I expect to work on a plane, a train or on a remote holiday location with no internet access.

  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:47AM (#31181226)
    ...is the superior one. If you care about quality, choose your favourite release group!
  • Re:Let'see.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mattventura (1408229) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:51AM (#31181250) Homepage
    No, the Ubisoft execs will make a 'Level of DRM annoyingness' vs 'Number of copies pirated' graph. They will see that less people bought it and more people pirated it, and they will come to the conclusion that the games need even more DRM to stop people from pirating it. The next generation of games will such have more DRM, and the cycle will repeat.
  • Won't do shit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thegrassyknowl (762218) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:52AM (#31181252)

    This will just annoy the people who did buy the game. The real issue is that most users aren't technical and will just buy it, put up with the shit and accept that's the state of affairs. One day somebody will offer them a crack and suddenly they'll realise the shafting they got.

    What's worse is that I predict that there will be an enormous amount of cracks and hacks for this game. It'll be so bad that all software companies will use it as an example of why we need even more and better DRM and how evil consumers really are.

  • by mykos (1627575) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:53AM (#31181260)
    Some people don't pirate because they haven't been bothered enough by DRM to seek out DRM-free copies.

    Ubisoft is creating a new round of pirates from formerly legitimate customers.
  • by Itninja (937614) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:53AM (#31181266) Homepage
    These really aren't Pyrrhic victories; they're just victories. The ill effects of these terrible decisions don't come around until the executives have long since cashed in their stock options and retired to wine and wealth. I think of these more along the lines of 'mortgaging the future of the industry in general'. But who cares? The gaming community will just bend over and take as they always have done. Remember the outcry against Spore with its oppressive DRM? That was about as organized and vocal as the gaming community have ever gotten, and Spore is still selling and still has brutal DRM.
  • BRING IT ON !! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:02AM (#31181318)

    Bring it on ourselves !! We pirate games because it's easy. If your customers somehow took 85% of your revenue, you'd do something - anything - to stop the hemorage. From another vantage, your boss deducted 85% from your pay, and "not because he needed but because he could - he would not have hired you if he couldn't". Sound faimilar? You'd be screaming bloody murder, hypocrits !! If you don't want the game, or you don't want the job, go elsewhere.

  • by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@justconnected . n et> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:02AM (#31181320)

    This - or something this annoying - has been coming down the line for years now. It was only a matter of time.

    I can see the day where a game is going to come out and basically not sell - except for the number of copies required to crack the game.

    In other words, the question's been less and less ambiguous as to whether DRM actually hurts sales and drives people to piracy. It's been obvious to *me*, but I could see how a reasonable person might think otherwise.

    We might be at the point where a reasonable person can no longer lay the blame anywhere but at the feet of outrageous DRM.

    On a sidenote - in 25 years when we want to play Bioshock again and relive the experience, what will most people think of the pirates? I'd imagine that we'll come to think of them as archivists putting themselves at risk but allowing us to enjoy a classic game.

    Super Mario Bros came out in 1986, almost 25 years ago. Imagine if Nintendo required an always-on direct modem connection to Nintendo of America to play - and they shut off the modems 15 years ago. What would we think of the "dirty rotten pirates" who got a ROM dump and hex-edited out the watchdog code? It's not far-fetched to say that they'd come off like Robin Hood...

  • Re:Let'see.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:04AM (#31181336)

    I don't like this concept, but I'm not willing to change my behavior for somebody else's crusade...

    You mean that you don't value your rights as a consumer or care about what you purchase being usable in a few years. That's the real problem with any DRM that has activation limits / requires online activation - at any time they can turn off that activation server and the software / media you bought is useless. You being dumb enough to buy it is exactly why they put this crap in - because they know that you'll buy it no matter what. You're like the dumb girl who keeps going back to her abusive girlfriend. YOU are the cause of the problem.

  • by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr@bhtooef[ ]rg ['r.o' in gap]> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:07AM (#31181348) Homepage Journal

    Piracy will help archive the games, ultimately rewarding Ubisoft for their contribution to culture.

    The best thing to do is to NOT pirate the games. Obviously, don't buy them, either. But, also, don't review them. Mention them in the same hushed tones that ET for the Atari 2600 is mentioned with.

  • by ghmh (73679) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:10AM (#31181374)
    But I for one (and I'm sure there are many others), still haven't bought it for that very fact.
  • Re:Let'see.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Techmeology (1426095) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:16AM (#31181400) Homepage
    "Please pirate our game! Please please please! We promise to make our DRM so annoying you're sure to have lots and lots of grateful people loving your clearly superior version!"
  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:17AM (#31181404)

    so what changes if that 85% didn't pirate? oh right, nothing. the profit doesn't change because that same 15% still bought the game. more draconian drm just pisses off the legitimate buyers who have to put up with it, the pirates strip it away. publishers are killing their golden geese because they're immature childish control freaks.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sarahbau (692647) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:23AM (#31181446)

    The problem is, DRM seems to more often inconvenience the people who DO buy the game rather than those that pirate it. Pirates crack the game so it doesn't need the CD, doesn't need an online connection, etc. Sure, DRM might be difficult for most pirates to overcome, but it only takes one pirate to crack it, and then the rest have access through torrents. Then the only people inconvenienced by DRM are the legitimate purchasers, who can't play when their internet goes down or when Ubisoft's DRM server is down. Also, if someone wants to replay a game 10 years from now, will Ubisoft still be running the server?

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mikael_j (106439) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:37AM (#31181546)

    Except there are plenty of people who don't go to bars precisely because it is too expensive, a lot of these people drink at private parties (where you bring your own beer or the host provides beverages), how many of these people do you honestly think would start spending $100 per night in bars if "home use" of alcoholic beverages was made illegal?

    /Mikael

  • by evilsofa (947078) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:38AM (#31181548)
    DRM has nothing whatsoever to do with fighting piracy. All those billions and trillions of dollars that pirates don't spend on games never existed, and spending money to chase money that never existed is, besides being insanely stupid, never profitable. Money spent on used games does exist and there is a lot of it; Gamestop alone had 8 billion dollars in revenue in 2009, and the game industry wants that money. If the game industry as a whole spends a few hundred million dollars to prevent tens of billions of dollars of used game sales, that is profitable and not stupid.
  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:40AM (#31181566)

    The added services to the game (unlimited installs

          Wow, they make it sound like they're doing me a FAVOR by allowing me to install the game more than once. Screw the right of first sale, they're going to be charging you per install in a few years.

  • Re:DDOS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msclrhd (1211086) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:41AM (#31181574)

    Or another ship cuts the trans-Atlantic internet cables.
    Or a power cut that takes out your router.
    Or someone adding a wireless router in the same channel as the one you are using.
    Or microwaves/other device/weather interfering with the wireless signal.
    Or ...

  • Re:Let'see.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @05:14AM (#31181732) Journal

    That's not the answer.

    Answer is to not either pirate or buy it, but spend the money on competitors product who is doing it correctly. That's the only way to fix things, otherwise you're just telling the company you love their products but they need even better DRM, and since you're spending your time on their pirated games, their competitors wont get your business either.

  • Re:Let'see.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by khellendros1984 (792761) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @05:19AM (#31181766) Journal
    Every month around the 15th or so, I lose connectivity. It always takes a reboot of the modem to get the connection back. And this will happen sometimes a dozen times in 6 or 8 hours, and might happen for a couple days. If there's a game that I have a legal license to play, but I'm prevented from playing it by the game itself, that's fraud on the part of the company as far as I'm concerned. I don't give a shit what they're trying to prevent; the fact of the matter would be that the publisher would be preventing me from playing my legally licensed game. There's enough other quality content out there. If some company wants to screw with me, I'll take my business elsewhere.

    Note: Yes, I pirated constantly in college. Since getting an honest-to-goodness job, I haven't pirated a single game, even though I end up in possession of 10x as many as I ever did during college. I'm one sale, but I'm a sale that will remember. A PC game with DRM more onerous than anything that would be tolerated on a console? Screw it. They can keep their shit.
  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @05:20AM (#31181772) Homepage

    Sure, DRM might be difficult for most pirates to overcome, but it only takes one pirate to crack it, and then the rest have access through torrents.

    Yes, and UbiSoft know that. DRM on (PC) video games is all about the "time to crack". Look, this is how the modern piracy scene works and why UbiSoft are doing this.

    A PC copy protection scheme on a major game will attract the attention of professional reverse engineers. These guys are likely paid to do it, because pirated games a the perfect way of getting people to install viruses and malware. The "pay per install" scene is largely based on torrents because it's so much easier than finding browser 0days.

    Given this, it's not surprising that DVD-binding based DRM is weak. The techniques to defeat it are well known and the montary incentive is there.

    So why move to internet based DRM? There are two reasons I can think of. Firstly, it's much stronger. Secondly, it solves the problem of people making backup DVDs, which is the traditional reason cited for why media binding is an unwanted technique. Internet connections these days are pretty damn reliable. Mine croaks maybe once or twice a year, and usually only for a few hours at worst. Trading a few hours of downtime a year for the ability to make backups seems like a pro-consumer move.

    So what about strength? My gut feeling is that internet based DRM can be made significantly harder to break than media-binding based DRM. Even if it's still eventually done, if it reliably takes a month or two after release then it'll be considered a wild success. Consider the range of techniques available when an internet connection is active. The goal is to stop people sharing accounts, and to stop people removing the need for a connection. So, make every asset encrypted under a unique key that isn't stored on the DVD. As the player progresses through the game, it informs the server of where the player is up to. The server sends a small program to the game which then runs and gathers a hash of various bits of in-game state (like the values of certain memory locations) which "prove" the player has actually played that part of the game. The results of those hashes unlock the keys for the next areas. Of course all the usual anti-debugging tricks can be used, which are actually very effective (most cracks these days are about emulating the dvd drive rather than removing the checks, right).

    In a non-linear game this approach will prove difficult to crack, because the cracker will have to play the game over and over to ensure he has actually reached every room, every level, every boss, every weapon. If he misses one, he produces an incomplete crack that will crash the game for some players. Of course the cracker might not care - pirated games are very often unstable and buggy compared to the retail version, as they only care about getting you to install their virus anyway. But it still increases the amount of work significantly.

    AACS style broadcast encryption can be used to ensure every player who plays the game ends up with a uniquely watermarked/decrypted set of files, so the leaked version can be traced back to a credit card or buyer. So now the pirate also has to use a stolen CCN too. It's all about raising the bar.

  • by upuv (1201447) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @05:22AM (#31181798) Journal

    I know others have said what I am going to say. But this is nuts.

    With people moving more and more to various wireless net connections more and more people are going to have intermittent connection issues. People are simply going to download the hacked version in order to play the game. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that people will once again learn that the hacked version of the game is the most user friendly.

    This DRM tactic is going to kill any potential profits.

    MORONS.

    I remember looking forward to SPORE. This game took forever to hit the market. Then what do they do. They put crippling DRM on it. So what happens. It becomes the most pirated game in history. I simply gave the game a miss all together.

    DRM failed for the music industry. It's failing for Video. It is and will fail the game industry. DRM is only there to make greedy execs comfortable. It only results in yet more lost money and it hurts the customer.

  • Re:Let'see.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Totenglocke (1291680) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @05:36AM (#31181886)

    Except that it's rarely "$1" plus $1 times a shit ton of games / downloaded ebooks / mp3's / movies is a LOT of money. This DOES effect everyone because the companies ARE trying to push it to a pay-per-pay system where you are nothing more than a renter paying every time you use what you purchased

    I'm well aware that asshole companies and people like you who just bend over and take it will destroy the gaming industry. When that happens, I'll simply stop getting new games and just replay all the ones I've built up over the last couple of decades.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdotNO@SPAMspad.co.uk> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @05:53AM (#31181980) Homepage

    A PC copy protection scheme on a major game will attract the attention of professional reverse engineers. These guys are likely paid to do it, because pirated games a the perfect way of getting people to install viruses and malware. The "pay per install" scene is largely based on torrents because it's so much easier than finding browser 0days.

    Really? I don't think I've ever seen a 'scene' release that contained any kind of malware (apart from the occasional false positive due to the mechanisms involved); that's not to say that 3rd parties don't *replace* cracked files and keygens with malware and torrent them, but the people actually breaking the copy protection really don't seem to be involved in anything (additionally) nefarious. Besides, it's not in their interests; the scene groups largely do what they do for kudos and churning out malware-infected releases would seriously damage their reputation.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @05:53AM (#31181986) Homepage
    That's nice. How did your protest against DRM work out? Spoiler: the story we're discussing here contains the salient evidence.
  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @05:59AM (#31182020) Journal

    If there aren't any cracked versions available for the first months, most players who want it (including those who would had pirated it) are going to buy it as everyone else is playing. That's what counts mosts to the companies, since most sales are made during that period.

    If a pirate has to wait several months to get their version, it's a huge win for the publisher. And with this case exactly that will happen, because it's completely new system and relies on online parts. It won't be cracked anytime soon.

  • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @06:02AM (#31182038) Journal

    Pirates will be remembered as archivists, scribes...

    ... not as thieving scumbags, and Settlers VII will be remembered as a holy text, not forgotten as a completely meaningless piece of entertainment.

    If you want to put pirates on a pedestal, go right ahead. Just remember that they are just as responsible as the game corporations for DRM.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gmack (197796) <gmack@innerfir e . net> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @06:06AM (#31182058) Homepage Journal

    I wish I had your internet. Here in Spain I can count on telefonica dropping my connection a couple of times a day.

    This actually reminds me of one of my co workers last year. He bought a PC and a bunch of games and then ended up having to go hunt down a cracked version of one of the games because it required internet access to install and we didn't have internet access at home yet.

    And on that note. What about Laptops? What if I want to play something during a two hour layover somewhere and internet access happens to cost $1 a minute?

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Mighty Buzzard (878441) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @06:12AM (#31182076)

    Internet connections these days are pretty damn reliable. Mine croaks maybe once or twice a year, and usually only for a few hours at worst.

    Horseshit. Around forty percent of the US still do not have broadband and dial-up has never been reliable about disconnects. Even on broadband, if your line quality isn't top notch you're looking at a complete inability to play the games for hours at a time. That is not an experience I'd care to pay money for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 18, 2010 @06:23AM (#31182140)

    Always-connected DRM does another thing: player-monitoring statistics that they can collect and sell to ad and marketing companies: how many play, from where, which demographics, which games, and for how long. It is yet another way to indirectly double and triple-dip from each sale all the while gradually chipping away at any shred of privacy that's still left.

  • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @06:27AM (#31182160)

    No, pirating only sends one message: the pirated version is a superior product and lower cost.

    That developers are too stupid to understand it is irrelevant, there is still only one message being sent.

    Trying to up the cost of piracy with DRM is a losing proposition because it always damages the value of the real product faster than it can increase the cost of piracy (which, let's face it, will pretty much never be anything other than just north of zero), and the equation remains tipped in piracy's favor.

    The only real solution is to make the paid version superior to the pirated version--this ain't hard to do either, in fact it's probably easier than a DRM arms race.

  • by swilver (617741) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @06:35AM (#31182198)

    Maybe they should hire some of the hackers... apparently they can add these "services" without requiring a permanent online connection -- and they don't even need the original source code.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tridus (79566) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @06:45AM (#31182242) Homepage

    And like every DRM scheme before it, this stops piracy... how exactly?

    The people buying the games are choosing to do so. It's best not to cripple the game to the point that the pirate version is inherently superior to the one that costs money.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcvos (645701) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @07:04AM (#31182346)

    If there aren't any cracked versions available for the first months, most players who want it (including those who would had pirated it) are going to buy it as everyone else is playing. That's what counts mosts to the companies, since most sales are made during that period.

    You mean they don't care about sales to me anyway? I never by a game right away. I always wait until it's patched, there are some mods, prizes go down, and hopefully there's a no-cd patch out.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @07:13AM (#31182396)

    I can't afford to by beer at my local liquor store. I make my own it cost me less then $0.80 a bottle, it's stronger and has much more flavor then what I can buy in the store. Liquor store beer works out to be nearly $2.00 a bottle where I am.

    I take the same stance with games; if a store wants $60 for a game that I think I want, but I'm not sure I'll pirate it and see if it's worth all the hype. If it's ok I'll wait for the price to drop. If it's really good I'll sacrifice something else to buy it.

    I've been a sucker too many times buying games for the $60 standard price because I've read reviews of the game being so great or seen a commercial where basically only the best parts of the game are shown. Then I'm extremely disappointed when I start playing or try to play the game, yes I've been screwed over by DRMs in the past. The industry is getting what they deserve as far as I'm concerned. I find it hilarious that by trying to fix the problem with DRMs all they're doing is alienating they're existing paying customers and turning them to piracy in order to play a game they legitimately bought. I'm sure once a lot people finds out how easy it is to pirate a game, and how much cheaper it is, few end up going back to buying games before at least trying a pirate version first.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @07:17AM (#31182418) Journal

    I can't afford to by beer at my local liquor store. I make my own it cost me less then $0.80 a bottle, it's stronger and has much more flavor then what I can buy in the store. Liquor store beer works out to be nearly $2.00 a bottle where I am.

    I take the same stance with games; if a store wants $60 for a game that I think I want, but I'm not sure I'll pirate it and see if it's worth all the hype.

    That's not the same thing. In your example if you wouldn't want to pay for the game, you'd make your own.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nitage (1010087) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @07:40AM (#31182544)
    To play one of these games in a moral and convienient way, you'd need to buy a genuine copy and then download a pirated version that allows you to play when you're on a plane, when Ubisoft's servers go down, when your connection goes down etc. The stated intent of DRM is to make it easy for gamers to do the right thing - but they achieve exactly the opposite, as users who do the wrong thing get a better gameplay experience.
  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @07:43AM (#31182560) Journal

    You're oversimplifying it. It's trivial to add encryption to the protocol, which means you're going to be disassembling and debugging the code. Majority of those unlimited number of programmers drop off.

    Then the new server will need to implement saving/loading and all other features the Ubisoft server does. OK, still fair enough.

    What about when the game dynamically pulls some small pieces of content or gameplay scripts for the game when you reach specific parts? You can't program that in to your generic server, and to get all of that content you need to play the game in every possible way so you're sure you've got all the pieces, and still you can never be sure about it. That progress would be impossible with any little bit more open game too.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nitage (1010087) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @07:44AM (#31182572)

    Trading a few hours of downtime a year for the ability to make backups seems like a pro-consumer move.

    Except laptops capable of playing games are more popular than ever - and laptops are frequently taken to locations with no internet access.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @08:43AM (#31182892)

    I don't blame them either, and until recently, before the push for more and more insane DRM hoops to jump through set in, it was actually a good way to discourage at least "casual" copying.

    But when it comes to DRM, it is all about acceptance. And I mean acceptance on the user's side. And of course comfort. Hence Steam and similar platforms are popular. They are convenient and the invasion is (at least to the eye of the casual user) minimal. Hey, nonexistant, you don't even need to search for that CD!

    When the nuisance exceeds the acceptance level, people start to look around for a solution. It's no longer comfortable to "just buy" the game. Cue schoolyard:

    Geek: Hey, I got me now $cool_game!
    Non-Geek: Yeah, me too, but it sucks, I get booted off every few minutes 'cause $provider stinks and discon's me.
    Geek: Huh? You bought it?
    Non-Geek: Yeah sure, why?
    Geek: Dude, I haven't bought one in ages. I'll get you a copy tomorrow.

    Non-Geek installs and is happy. Next day:

    Non-Geek: Thanks a bunch, that fixed it. What's that?
    Geek: Cracked copy. Got it from $torrent_site.
    Non-Geek: Uh? Can ya show me how?
    Geek: Sure, drop by after school.

    Let's rewind and see that dialogue with CD only DRM:

    Geek: Hey, I got me now $cool_game!
    Non-Geek: Yeah, ain't it awesome? They really make the movments and gore look realistic!
    Geek: Yeah, tried using a rocket launcher into a packed room? Paint it red, baby! ...

    No discussion of how to get the game or how to get rid of the game stopper. Sure, Geek didn't buy the game in this version either. But he will not anyway. No matter what you do. It is not possible to stop a professional cracker (professional in the sense of "knows what he does", not "does it for money") from cracking a game. And ONE crack, world wide, is enough to crack the game for good, distributing it via the internet is trivial and fast.

    So the difference in DRM only affects whether Non-Geek buys the game. Nothing else.

  • Re:Let'see.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by biryokumaru (822262) * <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @08:44AM (#31182900)

    Heck, I might be willing to pay more than retail for a DRM free version.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @08:46AM (#31182912)

    If there aren't any cracked versions available for the first months

    What's the last game you remember that didn't have its crack ready at release day, usually a few days before? The newer and more invasive the DRM, the more the cracker groups egg each other on to be the first to crowbar it.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @08:59AM (#31183020)

    It doesn't seem that way. It is that way.

    DRM is usually no big deal to overcome for cracker groups. As you correctly identified, it only takes ONE group to overcome it. And after it's gone, the only ones affected by it are the ones that bought the game honestly.

    Nobody who ever downloaded a game ever crossed anything resembling DRM. It's been stripped clean before the game reaches them.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @09:02AM (#31183032) Homepage

    If games are dumped out when a connection to an Ubisoft server is lost, then there is a serious problem awaiting and an obvious target for attack as well. Send a DDoS to Ubisoft's servers and kill all games running everywhere. I think that is quite likely to happen. It reminds me of what happens to Blackberries when RIM's network goes down... it gets a LOT of attention and people get pissed off when they realize how dependant they are on this single vendor.

    So, a simulated Ubisoft server? I expect to see some pop up in 5, 4, 3, ...

  • Blade Runner (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:07AM (#31183772) Homepage Journal

    "Time to die"

    Would you people PLEASE stop shelling out your hard earned cash on companies that insist on fucking you over like this? Mod me flamebait if you want, but Ubisoft should die and their stockholders should all lose the money they invested in the company. It's the only way this shit will stop. If DRM kills Ubisoft, other companies will think twice about these stupid DRM schemes.

    I guess they learned from Sony that even putting a rootkit on music CDs won't stop people from buying their poison products. Jesus H. Christ, people, stop letting these bastards fuck you over. Put them out of business.

  • Re:BRING IT ON !! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:16AM (#31184714)

    It is a sad, sad day when illegal underground crackers care more about their reputation than the company that makes the games they're cracking.

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