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Ubisoft's Authentication Servers Go Down 634

Posted by kdawson
from the single-point-of-well-you-know dept.
ZuchinniOne writes "With Ubisoft's fantastically awful new DRM you must be online and logged in to their servers to play the games you buy. Not only was this DRM broken the very first day it was released, but now their authentication servers have failed so absolutely that no-one who legally bought their games can play them. 'At around 8am GMT, people began to complain in the Assassin's Creed 2 forum that they couldn't access the Ubisoft servers and were unable to play their games.' One can only hope that this utter failure will help to stem the tide of bad DRM."
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Ubisoft's Authentication Servers Go Down

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  • LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bertoelcon (1557907) * <berto.el.con@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:23PM (#31395374)
    Ha, ha.

    I don't know anything else that should be said here.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:28PM (#31395410)

    Why would this stem the awful DRM? They have the money, gamers are still going to play, life moves on.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:28PM (#31395420) Journal

    Does it really matter though? If they're using something like this, they should had have hardened and test the system properly. Things like this are completely unacceptable. I would have thought they did as otherwise its going to backfire so good, but it seems stupid people never cease to amaze you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:32PM (#31395452)

    Stop supporting games with this kind of DRM

  • by peragrin (659227) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:36PM (#31395490)

    No it is called Digital Restrictions Management. They restrict how often you can play as per the current demands of parental and religious groups

  • I'm not mad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SolidAltar (1268608) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:38PM (#31395512)

    I'm sorry, I'm having a little trouble feeling sorry for people who support DRM (those who bought the game).
    They paid for it. They got what they wanted.

    Find someone else's sholder to cry on.

  • by m509272 (1286764) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:41PM (#31395558)

    Do I smell a class action lawsuit? Seems like it might make sense.

  • I already said it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:42PM (#31395560)

    Can't find it now, but definitly NOW the DRM protection WILL be the discussion topic on the schoolyard. And maybe company lunchrooms too. People who bought the game will ask around, especially their "IT clued" friends what they could do to play what they paid for, and they will be informed about how to get cracks.

    People who never pondered cracking will now be introduced to it. So far they did actually buy their games. Either because they simply didn't know about it or, worse, because they didn't want to go through the hassle and thought that paying 50 bucks is easier, faster and less of a problem than futzing about with cracks and copying this and cracking that and executing this registry tuner and writing that into the registry...

    Now they learn that buying games leads to more futzing, more frustration, more "it doesn't just work" than finding it in P2P and downloading it. Legal copies just lost the only edge they had over cracked ones: Ease of use and "just working".

    Great job, UBIsoft. Just as the software industry finally regained some footing in the battle against copying, you go and aim the bazooka at your (and the industry's) foot.

  • No sympathy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ebcdic (39948) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:42PM (#31395562)

    You knew the game had this DRM, you knew that it was susceptible to server crashes, you whined about it endlessly, AND THEN YOU WENT OUT AND BOUGHT IT ANYWAY. How stupid can you get? Ubisoft must be laughing their heads off.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:43PM (#31395570)

    Why would this stem the awful DRM? They have the money, gamers are still going to play, life moves on.

    Gamers have already paid for the game but you see the issue we have here is that gamers have only paid once for the game. All DRM schemes are about extorting more money out of customers. Whether by killing the 2nd hand market or planned obsolescence they want you to pay to keep playing your games.

    Mark my words, in 12 or 18 months time EA/UBI and so forth will start complaining that keeping these DRM servers online is costing them money, meaning they require more money from existing customers to keep them on line.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:45PM (#31395590)

    It doesn't really matter to the user, does it?

    And before you say "A DDoS wouldn't be UBIsoft's fault": Deliberately and needlessly introducing a single point of failure to your system is patently dumb, and most definitly the fault of the party that introduced it if it fails.

  • Re:I'm not mad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by noz (253073) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:46PM (#31395602)

    I'm sorry, I'm having a little trouble feeling sorry for people who support DRM (those who bought the game).
    They paid for it. They got what they wanted.

    Find someone else's sholder to cry on.

    Good call. As someone else pointed out above:

    Why would this stem the awful DRM? They have the money, gamers are still going to play, life moves on.

    The publisher has the customer's money. Support after payment is always awful. Until customers vote with their wallets, it will only get worse.

    Enjoy your intentionally defective products!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:48PM (#31395628)

    MOD PARENT DOWN

  • Let me just say... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Paintballparrot (1504383) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:50PM (#31395646)
    When I saw this story: *laughing for 5 mins* *gasping for air* *laughing for another 2 minutes* wooooooooooooooooooooooooo! ha ha ha
  • Murphy's Law (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bbqsrc (1441981) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:52PM (#31395662) Homepage
    Seriously, obey, or you will be fucked by it.
  • by FauxReal (653820) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:54PM (#31395684) Homepage

    First time I've heard of a DDoS attack being used to break DRM...

    It didn't break the DRM, it broke the game.

  • Re:I'm not mad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:55PM (#31395694)
    most people who purchased this game had no idea about DRM, you jerk off.
  • by Toonol (1057698) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:56PM (#31395702)
    I think the more likely option is that they'll be taken offline about the time Assassin's Creed 3 is brought to market.
  • Re:No sympathy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:56PM (#31395704) Homepage

    Did they? I didn't hear about the DRM until after the game was released. If I had not been waiting until it came down in price a bit, I might have purchased it based upon the merits of the first game and some early reviews which didn't mention the DRM.

    I might even have failed to notice the small print which said that an Internet connection was needed in order to play it. I certainly wouldn't have expected that to be a requirement.

    I bet a lot of people had no idea. This might do more to kill gaming on the PC than DRM, though.

  • Thank You Ubisoft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jjohnson (62583) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:56PM (#31395706) Homepage

    We should all send flowers or candy or something to Ubisoft Headquarters. They've done more with one game launch to torpedo the use of DRM than a thousand indignant ./ stories and editorials.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fëanáro (130986) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:57PM (#31395710)

    Ok, so please inform us how you would had hardened their systems against the DDoS if there was one.

    I guess the same way google, microsoft update or similar sites do it. Massive bandwith, redundant servers, a little black voodo.

  • Re:No sympathy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday March 07, 2010 @08:57PM (#31395712) Homepage

    "You knew the game had this DRM, you knew that it was susceptible to server crashes, you whined about it endlessly, AND THEN YOU WENT OUT AND BOUGHT IT ANYWAY. How stupid can you get? Ubisoft must be laughing their heads off."

    The non-technically inclined audience does not and did not know of the DRM and its effects. Not everyone knows what kinds of issues it might lead to. The fact that you knew about it does not negate that fact. As such, such audience got screwed by this and it is in no way their own fault.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dragonslicer (991472) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:00PM (#31395734)

    Deliberately and needlessly introducing a single point of failure to your system is patently dumb

    Quiet! You'll give them ideas.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:05PM (#31395766) Homepage

    ...which would have cost them more than the game will earn in profits.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:06PM (#31395782) Homepage

    Presumably they want to sell people a *second* game a year from now and angry customers usually aren't repeat customers

  • Re:I'm not mad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Floritard (1058660) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:07PM (#31395808)
    Maybe they should educate themselves then. Consumer abuse such as DRM is getting by largely because of public ignorance. Even if they have to learn the hard way, ie buying a defective product, they learn nonetheless. If they need to feel burned to start taking notice then I'm glad we have companies like Ubisoft around to burn them.
  • Re:I'm not mad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SolidAltar (1268608) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:10PM (#31395842)

    Now they know better.
    This is the best possible thing that could have happened to them.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:12PM (#31395852)
    you're only thinking of the hardcore that knows to hit forums. All it takes is 1 phone call or email and they've lost all the profit on the sale, even if the call consists of "Servers down, try again later!".
  • Re:LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:15PM (#31395882)

    How about I called it, [slashdot.org] as (I assume) did anyone who gave the entire stupid scheme more than a moment's thought.

  • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:17PM (#31395904)

    Don't tell your friends to crack the game. Tell them to go to the store and demand their money back.

    The software is fundamentally broken. You haven't gotten what you've paid for. Returns will be a lot more painful for Ubisoft. Pose 90% returned games vs 90% pirated games at a stock holders meeting, and they'd probably prefer 90% pirated, as the 90% returned will be more expensive in the long run.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:18PM (#31395924) Homepage Journal

    So let me get this straight: the pirated[sic]/counterfeit product is superior to the real thing, just like with Windows?

    I'm shocked. SHOCKED!

    Well, not that shocked.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:22PM (#31395948)

    Ok, so please inform us how you would had hardened their systems against the DDoS if there was one.

    I guess the same way google, microsoft update or similar sites do it. Massive bandwith, redundant servers, a little black voodo.

    Having servers in 2-3 (or more) distributed data centres and using anycast (or geo-based DNS). This way any DDoS only hits servers that is "closest" to the zombie, and the attack's traffic is centralized into one location.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:26PM (#31395968)
    Conceivably, but they could still wind up on the losing side of a class action suit by all the people that were unable to play due to the DRM scheme preventing them from doing so. I'd bet that it would only be a couple dollars a person at most, but losing a suit like that might just make companies think a little harder before screwing their customers.

    But, who am I kidding, they'll just chock it up to losses to pirates and shake their fists all the harder because they can't directly access people's bank accounts.
  • Re:I'm not mad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tynin (634655) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:29PM (#31396000)
    Agreed, honestly I had no idea about the DRM in it as I've had the xbox 360 version for a few weeks as it came out prior to the PC release. I don't have my 360 connected to the internet so I would have never assumed a working internet connection would be needed on the PC had it not been for the /. article a ~week ago. And really, for a single player game to require an always on internet connection has to be an all time low.
  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by barzok (26681) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:31PM (#31396028)

    No, it's a good thing! If one company patents it, no one else will be able to do it for 20 years without spending a shit-ton of money!

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sortius_nod (1080919) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:34PM (#31396068) Homepage

    It's just amusing that it's so close to the release that we've seen it happen. If people don't wake up and smell the coffee on this one we'll all be bent over a barrel with every new game release from now on.

    There's no way that an home user can afford five nines internet access, so even if it isn't the authentication server end that's a problem, well, you're screwed anyway. Hell, if there's problems at higher tier routing you're probably going to be screwed anyway. I've seen this happen before with MMOs. If the servers were hosted locally (ie, in Australia, where I am from) we'd still be able to connect, but due to international routing problems no one in Australia was able to play. I know that's a bit off topic, but it seems to me that warning signs like that dictate that moving down a server authentication method for a single player game is fucking stupid.

    Unfortunately the people who make decisions about protecting profits aren't exactly technologically proficient, let alone able to understand the intricacies in a global network like the internet. I doubt the team that programs the game even has anything to do the team programming the DRM other than having to somehow work it into their product.

    In essence, what Ubisoft here has done is given people a real reason to boycott their products in a major way. I can't say I've seen a grass roots boycott take off, but when you shit on your customers you essentially force the boycott through ineptitude.

    True, time will tell on this one, but I doubt it will be long before Ubisoft make the decision to take the same route as EA by rolling back DRM - well, that or their stock will tank and the company will go under.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:35PM (#31396072)

    Then implementing something that requires your servers to be available 24/7 OR ELSE is patently stupid.

  • Re:No sympathy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by masmullin (1479239) <masmullin@gmail.com> on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:38PM (#31396104)

    Actually I expect the technical types at Ubisoft are shitting their pants right now. They are probably working on their 25th hour of overtime (except they are salaried so they dont actually get overtime... heh) trying to fix the problem, grumbling about why they ever had to implement this stupid DRM in the first place.

    On the other hand management types who made the decision to go with this retarded (literally) DRM are probably comfortably watching a DVD and wont care about this until monday... at which point they will blame all the technical types and demand a fix immediately.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:42PM (#31396144)

    DRM manages rights the same way prisons manage freedom.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:47PM (#31396200)

    People have the long term memory of a goldfish. Politics alone should teach you that.

    They will buy. My only hope is that at least some will think twice, and that the PR disaster is expensive enough for UBIsoft to backpedal at least a bit in their DRM hunger.

  • Re:LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nabsltd (1313397) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:50PM (#31396214)

    There's no way that an home user can afford five nines internet access, so even if it isn't the authentication server end that's a problem, well, you're screwed anyway.

    Do you really need to play "Assassins Creed 2" continuously with only 5 minutes of downtime every year? If so, I suspect that your Internet connection is the least of your issues.

    Even three nines (eight hours of downtime per year) is more than reasonable for a normal home connection. That might even be good enough for a DRM server.

    I'm at about four nines from Verizon FiOS (about 5 hours of downtime in the 3 years I've had the service).

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Protonk (599901) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @09:56PM (#31396276) Homepage

    Ok, so please inform us how you would had hardened their systems against the DDoS if there was one.

    Uhhh..... Not have playing the game tied to an online authentication? That might help. I think that's kinda the point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:05PM (#31396330)

    Actually, it broke the game for the paying customers.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:10PM (#31396370)

    Ok, that's a bit of a stretch. While I would probably find it amusing if someone like the /b crowd went and messed with the auth servers to get a kick out of it, it's not what I'd consider something like a "political statement". Or a necessity because I'm so angry at them.

    I'm not angry at UBIsoft for creating that DRM scheme. While I find it quite disappointing that I can't buy a game that I thought would be great (companies make games and set the terms, but I, and only I, get to choose whether I accept them), it's not like I'm "angry" over it. If find it amusing, though, that time and again my prophecies about games and why I do NOT buy them come true. MW2: Lack of servers will make cheating run rampart. Result: True. AC2: Mandatory internet connection will hurt legit players and not affect crackers. Result: Judge for yourself.

    So I'm not angry. I'm smug.

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:13PM (#31396396) Homepage

    1) Firewall alert: assassinscreed.exe is trying to access the internet. Do you want to [Allow] or [Deny].
    2) Clicks deny.
    3) ???
    4) Profit!

    Another way would be to put "onlinenow.ubisoft.com" in your Hosts file.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:14PM (#31396414)

    30 lives, bro.

  • by izomiac (815208) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:15PM (#31396424) Homepage
    IMHO, that's rather backwards. Doing whatever I want with something I payed for ought to be legal. Receiving money for something then remotely disabling it ought to be illegal.

    This is common sense. This is societal expectation. Why is this not the law?
    (Thought question, no need for politics.)
  • by kpainter (901021) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:22PM (#31396470)
    Depends on your point of view. It is their rights that are being managed, not yours. Personally, I just won't buy this shit.
  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JohnBailey (1092697) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:33PM (#31396552)

    ...which would have cost them more than the game will earn in profits.

    I doubt it, but still a fatal flaw. Among many. The game only lasts as long as the servers are up and active. The servers are up and active as long as the game is still making a profit. The profitable window for games is not very long. So the game is fucked by design.. Long live stupid DRM. Every pissed off user is another nail in the coffin.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:37PM (#31396592) Journal

    Before they do that they would simply release a patch where those servers were not needed and allow you to download your save game.

    I doubt it. Once you have already paid for the game, your continuing to play the game costs them money. It is in their best interest to simply shut the servers down as quickly as their lawyers say that they can without getting a class action suit. They won't allow you to play offline because if you could play without their DRM servers, you wouldn't need to buy new games as often, and they can't allow that. This DRM seems specifically designed to insure that you *must* buy new games every year or two.

    It sounds exactly like Steam would be if Microsoft owned it.

  • by twidarkling (1537077) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:55PM (#31396734)

    No, proper means "That which is right, suitable, or appropriate." Digital Restrictions Management is a much more suitable term.

  • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tiberiumx (1221152) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @10:57PM (#31396748)

    My shitty TimeWarner cable internet is constantly having intermittent connection problems. It's happened at least three times already today. Most of the time I don't notice it, and I'd appreciate not having some horrible DRM system making the problem worse.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HeronBlademaster (1079477) <heron@xnapid.com> on Sunday March 07, 2010 @11:01PM (#31396768) Homepage

    How would they do that? As far as I know, the pirated version doesn't even try to phone home, so there would be no way to track pirates.

    I find it endlessly amusing that the only people who can play AC2 right now are the people who pirated it, despite the fact that the DRM is intended to prevent piracy. No pirates are inconvenienced by this outage; only customers who have already paid.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Master Moose (1243274) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @11:05PM (#31396806) Homepage

    The problem I see with this is "How do you keep it on the Cartridge?"

    Which is not different to trying to keep it on a floppy, a HDD a CD, a DVD or other.

    Once placed on the cart, it is nothing more than computer code that can be copied to any other medium. Even if the cart itself was a specific dongle, it would be no different to when games required a CD to work. "Virtual drives".

    Good thinking though.

  • Few reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @11:10PM (#31396834)

    1) Gamers may try and return the game. I suppose Ubisoft could refuse to issue refunds but that opens them up to lawsuits. Like it or not, a sold product does have an implied warranty of fitness, meaning that it will work for the purpose you sell it. If it doesn't, customers can get their money back and if you won't give it to them, a court can and will force the issue.

    2) It puts off people who haven't bought the game yet. Not everyone buys a game on the day it comes out. Plenty of people wait a bit. Well, they see this, realize that it is true if the auth servers are down there's no game to be played, and decide "Nah, I'll buy a different game." I mean we do not at all lack for good games these days, people can and will take their money elsewhere.

    3) It can lead to these people refusing to be customers again. Sure you got their money this time, however a business does not live based on selling one product. You need repeat sales. People who get burned by this (or just hear about it) may decide to give Ubisoft products a miss in the future because of it.

    The idea of "Oh well they got their money," is rather short sighted. When businesses operate like that, screwing people over and saying "We already got the money so who cares?" the end result is often the business suffering or going broke in the future.

  • Re:Down or DDoS? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by couchslug (175151) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @11:11PM (#31396840)

    "Then implementing something that requires your servers to be available 24/7 OR ELSE is patently stupid."

    So is buying a game from such a company...

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by totally bogus dude (1040246) on Sunday March 07, 2010 @11:27PM (#31396942)

    The thing is, it doesn't matter if it's up 99.99999999999% of the time. Because most of the time you're not trying to play a game that requires the internet connection. It only matters if it happens to be down when you want to play the game.

    The only way to achieve that is to have a connection that is either ALWAYS up 24x7 with 100% reliability; or otherwise is only down when you don't want to play the game. Neither is a particularly realistic proposition.

    Sure, it's not the end of the world if you can't play the game at some point. But that's just weasel-words to get around the real issue: Ubisoft have added a dependency on a component which is otherwise completely unrelated to the game. If you're playing a single-player game, your internet connection shouldn't matter. In fact, a single-player game is exactly the kind of thing you might decide to do if your internet connection does go down in order to pass the time while you wait for it to be fixed.

    And of course, it's not just your own internet connection that matters here: your ability to play the game is dependent on the reliability of things which are entirely outside of your control. Just because your connection to Verizon is up doesn't mean their connection to some other arbitrary network is working reliably.

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Monday March 08, 2010 @12:55AM (#31397456)

    What I love about this is the number of posts in previous threads over the last few months claiming that this was a nontrivial DRM, that it wouldn't be broken for weeks.

    Can we finally set to rest the notion that there is such a thing as non-trivial to crack DRM?

  • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mikkelm (1000451) on Monday March 08, 2010 @12:55AM (#31397458)

    If you're referring to the producer, then yes. Absolutely.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Raymond [wikipedia.org]

  • by v1 (525388) on Monday March 08, 2010 @01:27AM (#31397606) Homepage Journal

    right now... are the pirates?

    that's just completely hilarious. I posted in the recent thread on this saying the pirates were the ones that were going to ultimately get the better product, and looks like I was right. I want my cookie now.

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nazlfrag (1035012) on Monday March 08, 2010 @01:30AM (#31397624) Journal

    Not just all that but as crazy as it sounds I have gamer friends with no internet, but with all the latest consoles, games and ridiculously overpowered PCs. They own and enjoyed the previous Assasins Creed games but will never purchase this latest one. Congrats, Ubisoft, you just fucked over the only guy I know that buys around half dozen games monthly.

  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Monday March 08, 2010 @01:50AM (#31397710)

    It didn't break the DRM, it broke the game.

    Which forces the developer to remove the DRM from the game so that their paying customers can use the product.

    If this is a DDoS attack it's essentially a ransom. It's like creating the world's most secure data network only to have the CEO's daughter kidnapped and getting a ransom letter for the password.

    Instead of attacking the DRM you attack the human interests of those who have the keys.

  • by thsths (31372) on Monday March 08, 2010 @03:07AM (#31398024)

    > Dozens of customers complaining daily and it took them three months to finally figure out "gee the whole block is down, let's go look at the router for this block."

    That's what you get if you streamline your business by only hiring phone droids and cable monkeys. They are not paid to think, so they don't.

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Froboz23 (690392) on Monday March 08, 2010 @03:09AM (#31398030)
    All internet connection arguments aside, let's not lose sight of two simple facts:

    - The only people who can play the game right now are pirates.
    - The only people who are blocked from playing the game right now are those who legally purchaced the game.

    Which group would you rather be in?

    Welcome to Bizarro World...
  • by mikael_j (106439) on Monday March 08, 2010 @03:41AM (#31398190)

    The sad part is that it's likely quite a few of these actually have engineering degrees and real problem-solving skills but learned within a few weeks of starting their jobs that thinking for yourself and trying to find solutions that would not only temporarily fix a single customer's problem but also avoid having the problem happen to anyone else is not only not encouraged but downright discouraged, because thinking about things like that is what management is supposed to do.

    This is at least how my experience with working tech support was, a bunch of guys, ~50% of which were engineers or computer scientists, sitting in a room applying the same stupid workarounds all day every day and complaining amongst each other about how they weren't being put to good use.

    /Mikael

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @03:54AM (#31398254)

    If you paid for it, you own it. Learn how to install cracks to disable DRM for the software that you own. EULA are not legal because you already bought the software at the store based on the doctrine of first sale. You own that copy of the software 100%, don't let anyone tell you different.

    If you get on a jury regarding anything pirate and DRM related, do whatever it takes to get on the jury and then vote innocent.

  • Re:Well, duh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:22AM (#31398348) Homepage Journal

    Don't waste your time. Give the other publishers on the market your attention. If you pirate it, you don't let the rest of the market have its chance

    Any reason he can't do both?

  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:42AM (#31398424) Homepage Journal

    I do agree, though. Don't advocate breaking the rules. Advocate better rules.

    A friend of mine had to wait two weeks for his new computer to make it from the internal IT dept to his desk. The reason? Some kind of tangled mess involving license keys that were valid, yet didn't work. Lots of time on the phone with Microsoft, and finally he got his new machine. Then he had to go and download the software he needed from various websites, and click through all the questions and license agreements to get it all installed. Total employee time taken? I don't want to know.

    Meanwhile, I got my new computer, popped in my Linux disc, and used Aptitude to install my favorite software while I was having lunch. Total employee time taken? A little over one hour.

    The reason I could do that is that many people have rejected the conditions that come attached to the major proprietary software packages, and given their support to free software, instead. The same can work for games, too: play the games that don't come with onerous rules, and refuse to play the games that come with too many strings attached. Breaking the rules won't solve the problem, because it doesn't give the right incentives to the producers. We don't want to break the rules, we don't want the rules to be there in the first place!

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HungryHobo (1314109) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:51AM (#31398472)

    indeed, very likely it took some people who were very capable.

    But ubisoft did the stupid thing: bragged that their new system was going to be really hard to crack and there's few things that will get hackers hacking faster than telling them they're not smart enough to do it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:53AM (#31398486)

    No. Pirates can't play it.

    There is no working crack yet. That part of the DRM is actually working.

  • Send A Message (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FSWKU (551325) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:03AM (#31398524)
    Now is the time to send a message to Ubisoft that this sort of intrusive DRM will NOT be tolerated. If the servers had stayed up and people just refused to buy the game, they would have written the poor sales off as being caused by "pirates." Now, you have a chance to prove otherwise. Every single person who bought this game on PC should return it to the store. Yes, most will attempt to deny the returns due to policy, or to exchange with a new copy since that one is perceived as damaged/defective. Do not stand for this. Tell them that yes, it is defective, but ALL copies are defective. Let them know that the software itself works just fine on your computer, and in fact ran EXACTLY the way it was supposed to. However, you are forced to return it because it does not work properly on yours or ANY system, because Ubisoft's servers weren't online to allow you to play a game that you legally purchased and met all the requirements for being able to play.

    Ubisoft won't be able to shrug it off as "piracy" when their sales numbers for this game begin to shrink due to returns and angry retailers. THIS will hit them in the pocketbook more than a simple, dubiously effective boycott. When they are forced to start handing money back because of their failures, that will speak much louder than never having been paid that money to begin with.
  • Re:LOL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:50AM (#31398720) Homepage Journal

    There's still the small third group of smartass white-hats who purchased the game and then applied the crack to a legally owned copy :)

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:38AM (#31398952) Journal

    What is sad is I never thought I would see a day when EA would actually look like the better choice, but thanks to Ubisoft they look positively cuddly in comparison. Hey maybe that could be the new EA motto..."EA--Way nicer than Activision and not nearly as douchey as Ubisoft!"

    Seriously though when are these companies gonna wake up and smell the fail? It is really soooo simple: give the customers MORE value for their money and watch them pay, screw them over and watch the piracy shoot up, as this proves yet again that often the pirate version is the better choice. For an example EA got me to shell out $30 for MOH: 10th anniversary, even though I heard Airborne sucked (which it did) and how did they do that? By packing in MOH:Allied Assault with both expansions, along with the Director's Cut of Pacific Assault and an interactive timeline of the pacific war and finally the soundtracks. In other words they gave me MORE for my money, so even though I already had Allied and Pacific I bought it.

    But as long as they waste their time and the shareholder's money on stupid DRM that does exactly jack and squat to stop piracy while screwing over their paying customers we will continue to see the pirate version be actually more useful to the consumer than the retail version. it has gotten to the point I refuse to buy at release anymore, because I can never be sure if their crappy DRM will work with my 64bit OS. So I wait until a game hits the $30 bin before purchase, simply so I can have the No-DVD for the last patch ready to go at install. I used to buy all the big games at release, but this douchebag behavior on the part of the companies making the AAA titles has driven me away.

    Thanks to them it is the $30 bin and GOG [gog.com] all the way. at least with GOG I can back up the installer and don't have to worry about DRM borking my machines. And in this economy bitch slapping your paying customers is a sure way to drive them off, just as I won't be buying any more games from Ubisoft, even though I was looking forward to AC2 and the latest Silent Hunter. Great move Ubisoft, burn all your customers while the pirates laugh their asses off. real smart.

  • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:18AM (#31399372) Homepage

    What karma? People who already gave Ubisoft their money can't play. Looks to me that Ubisoft's dogma is alive and barking.

    Go on, argue that all those idiots won't be dumb enough to give Ubisoft more money next time. I'll bet that anyone retarded enough to do it once isn't the sort of person likely to learn from their mistakes.

  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday March 08, 2010 @09:18AM (#31399686)

    All internet connection arguments aside, let's not lose sight of two simple facts:

    - The only people who can play the game right now are pirates.

    - The only people who are blocked from playing the game right now are those who legally purchaced the game.

    Which group would you rather be in?

    Welcome to Bizarro World...

    This is the whole problem with DRM of any kind.

    It only ever works against the folks who actually paid for your game.

    The pirates have cracked the DRM, they've removed it or bypassed it or whatever. Your DRM is completely and totally irrelevant to the pirates. At best it'll take a day or two before it is cracked, so a few very impatient folks will pay for the game rather than pirate it... But that's the best you can hope for.

    Your paying customers, however, have to put up with whatever awful DRM you've wrapped your product in. They've chosen to do the right thing... To shell out their hard-earned cash for your product... Even though, generally speaking, they are able to get their hands on a pirated version. And you repay them by taking a big ol' dump on their computer.

  • by javakah (932230) on Monday March 08, 2010 @10:26AM (#31400320)

    Chances are pretty good that this outage was simply due to incompetence.

    That said, it raises a rather interesting issue. It really demonstrates that there is a single point at which the game can be brought down.

    I have to wonder if in the future, if other games include even more draconian DRM schemes that also require constant Internet access, if pirates might just intentionally attacking the servers involved (probably DDoS). I could see them doing this just to discourage such DRM (that may be harder to crack in the future, such as if more of the game data is held on the servers).

    DRM could really be turned against the publishers. Ironically, by trying too hard to stop the pirates at launch, they may just be making it easy for pirates to destroy the launch.
     

  • by Endo13 (1000782) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:08PM (#31405314)

    Here's the problem - that works wonderfully as a theory. It fails utterly in practice.

    Really? Based on what metric?

    The simple fact that PC game developers are still in business and still making money, despite wasting who knows how many millions of dollars every year on failed anti-piracy measures is all it takes to prove otherwise. And that's not even mentioning the small developers that are being successful despite using no DRM whatsoever. Here's just one excellent example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sins_of_a_solar_empire [wikipedia.org]. Here's a bit I'm quoting from the page itself: "As of September 2008, Stardock's CEO, Brad Wardell, has stated that the game has sold over 500,000 units, with 100,000 of those being digital download sales, on a budget of less than $1,000,000. It sold 200,000 copies in the first month after release alone." And since the sources for that quote are extremely relevant here, I'll link those as well. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=20026 [gamasutra.com] http://www.techreport.com/discussions.x/14383 [techreport.com]

    The only possible metric you can use that would make what you said in any way correct is the one the big corporations use: that every pirated copy is a lost sale. So I guess it "fails utterly" if your metric is that they aren't making near as much money as they "could" be.

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