Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DRM Games

Ubisoft Considers Always-Connected DRM "A Success" 224

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
Ubisoft made headlines a couple days ago for bringing back their restrictive DRM for an upcoming racing game. Speaking with PCGamer in response to the overwhelmingly negative feedback to this news, a Ubisoft representative said the company has seen "a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection," adding, "from that point of view the requirement is a success." One wonders how they measured this, and how they compare it to sales lost due to the bad press it's generated.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ubisoft Considers Always-Connected DRM "A Success"

Comments Filter:
  • It is a sucess (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Osgeld (1900440) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:39PM (#36926770)

    I spend much less on games now

    • by g00mbasv (2424710) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:56PM (#36927102)
      This was a triumph! I'm making a note here: "huge success!!" It's hard to overstate My satisfaction. Ubisoft: We do what me must Because we can. For the good of all of us. Except the ones who are buying our games.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 29, 2011 @05:18PM (#36927508)

        But there's no sense crying over every mistake.
        You just keep on buying every game that they make.
        Even if they're not fun
        The corporations have won
        They own everyone who is alive.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          But there's no sense crying over every mistake.
          You just keep on buying every game that they make.
          Even if they're not fun
          The corporations have won
          They own everyone who is alive.

          Too bad you're an AC, that was insightful, and it's one of the biggest reasons I got out of the gaming scene (although my daughters are still heavily into it).

          Besides, I have hundreds of games, if I can get them to run on modern equipment is the big "if".

          • by Javaman59 (524434)

            Besides, I have hundreds of games, if I can get them to run on modern equipment is the big "if".

            I suggest that you try the old games under Win7. I have Need For Speed - Porsche (year 2000), which ran under Win98, but not XP or Vista, and I installed it in Win7 and it ran first time, with full graphics and force-feedback steering wheel. :)

        • by ShakaUVM (157947)

          >>You just keep on buying every game that they make.

          Not me. I haven't bought a single Ubisoft game since their new DRM bullshit came out a couple years back.

      • by dadioflex (854298)
        So here I am, massively hungover, singing in my underpants. Nice job, Slashdot, nice job,,,

        Ubisoft may be winning the battle (the one they see in their head) but they're losing the war (the one we see for our wallets).
    • I was going say 'Thanks Ubisoft', it save me more money also. I guess it is a success for me too....
    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      I know the DRM is about PC games, but I just got an XBOX 360 not too long ago.

      I have bought several games, and plan on buying more. I prefer cheap new games than used, but when it's an Ubisoft title, I make sure to get it used. I don't know if I'm helping or not.

      http://www.ubi.com/us/games/search.aspx?pltag=xbox360 [ubi.com]

      • as my AC sibling points out, by buying used games, you are giving (part of, the middle man takes a BIG chunk) money to someone who doesnt boycot ubi, and thus, some of your money still flowes to ubisoft.

        I enjoyed assassins creed a lot, then they pulled that always online DRM out of their hat for part 2, and even though i only play those games on the xbox, i stopped buying them altogether, fuck ubisoft!

    • by antdude (79039)

      I play much less games these days. The newer ones aren't fun as the older simpleer ones. I mostly play Flash games.

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        I will agree with this, (to a point I do have some new favorites) but they spend millions on art, direction, story, marketing and technology but somewhere post PS1 developers forgot how to make their game fun

  • by spidercoz (947220) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:40PM (#36926802) Journal
    I hope you succeed all the way to bankruptcy
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Heh... They're "Succeeding" much like Sheen was "Winning".

  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:41PM (#36926818) Homepage

    While most software development companies (Microsoft as the biggest example) had long ago given up copy-protection for software, game development companies seemed to be a strange exception to the rule.

    But it's no anomaly: As games have drifted more toward the category of movies and away from the category of software, it's only natural that they've begun to see things the MAFIAA way.

    • by cwrinn (1282510)
      Microsoft gave up on copy-protection software? What universe do you live in? I still get checked for Windows Genuine Advantage anytime I install something from microsoft.com. Windows Games checks your serial numbers of games for pirated licenses, so on. Palladium Lives. :D
      • by 3vi1 (544505)

        I'm sure it was an honest mistake; the GP author probably simply uses pirated copies that remove WGA and serial checks.

        It's easy to ignore how much a pain in the ass Microsoft makes everything when you spend days looking for and installing pirated versions instead, and in the process turn yourself into a criminal. But, it's so much easier than spending an afternoon learning your way around the desktop of a free and perfectly legal alternative.

        • by Compaqt (1758360)

          Oopsies, it's been a while since I've had to deal with that. Just for the record, Windows XP came with my HP, and I'm now using Ubuntu.

          Anyway, I still do think the more that games have moved from something a programmer would come up with to something a scriptwriter and other assorted creatives would come up with has something to do with the increasing affinity of game developers for MAFIAA thinking.

      • by zlogic (892404) on Friday July 29, 2011 @05:41PM (#36927866) Homepage

        WGA is not as bad (just a serial number check for installation of optional software). Windows Activation is much, much worse. If your PC dies then have fun calling support and proving that you're replacing a PC and not installing the same copy everywhere. Too many reinstalls? Suspicious activity. This is almost as bad as buying virtual stuff in online games.

        • "Proving your not installing the same copy everywhere" only involves them asking "Have you removed it from all other machines?" and you saying "Yes".

          I'd had to call Microsoft at least 7 times from 2007 to 2008 because I'd had really bad luck with hardware I'd purchased and had no issues whatsoever from Microsoft support regarding activation.

    • by BLToday (1777712)

      Microsoft giving up on copy protection???? You don't use Windows Vista/7, Office, Games for Windows, or any Microsoft product? I can't think of a MS product that doesn't have "xxxxx Genuine Advantage" or some sort of authentication.

    • by petsounds (593538)

      I'm not sure where you're getting "most" from. Adobe still has net-activation DRM on all of their software. Or a better example, the audio recording industry. Pro Tools, the industry "standard", has hardware DRM. A frack-ton of highly-acclaimed AU/VST plug-ins for Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, and their ilk still use the ghetto iLok system, which is a USB dongle.

      I'm in no way supporting what Ubisoft is doing here, but it's not much worse than 80s games with their challenge-response systems ("What is the 3rd wor

  • I know that I stopped buying Ubisoft games when they first added this feature. It hurts the customers more then the pirates.

    • I know that I stopped buying Ubisoft games when they first added this feature. It hurts the customers more then the pirates.

      They probably attributed the reduced sales to "this game sucked more than the last one."

      In all seriousness, suits forget that they are supposed to maximize profits (which often correlate to maximized revenue) and that it's better to have 1 more sale even if it means 1,000 more pirates (this ignores extra load on multiplayer servers, but CD Keys will keep the multiplayer-playing pirates from adding significant cost).

      • by tepples (727027)
        A thousand more pirates are a thousand more people not having time to buy and play the other games that a given publisher publishes.
    • by Draek (916851)

      Not really. You see, the Orwellian DRM was tried only *after* they tried putting games [slashdot.org] out there without any copy protection whatsoever, and saw sales figures tank as a result.

      Sucks to be us, but we've nobody to blame for this one other than our fellow gamers.

  • Lost sales are just that: Nothing. They don't exist. There are unsold units, but just because you have unsold units doesn't mean you have lost sales.
    • Lost sales are just that: Nothing. They don't exist. There are unsold units, but just because you have unsold units doesn't mean you have lost sales.

      No one knows how many freeloaders convert to customers when the ability to freeload is removed or reduced. It's certainly more than the zero you imply, but also certainly less than the 100% Ubisoft implies.

      From Ubisoft's perspective, anything more than zero is a win if they assume it will more than offset those who won't buy because of the DRM. Not a happy thought, but I suspect the numbers add up the right way for them.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        How many sales are lost due to this DRM though?
        I avoid games with really bad DRM, steam is about as much as I would tolerate.

        If you convert 1000 pirates but lose 500 other buyers and had to spend another 501 players worth of profit on DRM you might as well not have done it.

      • by Sancho (17056) * on Friday July 29, 2011 @05:18PM (#36927494) Homepage

        I know so many people who used to pirate music before music became DRM-free. Then Apple got through to the studios, and people still pirated because they didn't want to deal with iTunes. Finally, when Amazon started offering mp3s and no crappy software to download, 8/11 of the people I still keep in touch with switched. There were two big changes: they'd all grown up and could now afford music, and the music was easy to buy, download, and use. No messing with bloated programs, no DRM restricting where you could play the songs, no problems.

        I feel largely the same way about movies and TV. Right now, I use Netflix and Hulu with smatterings of Redbox to get my video media, as well as OTA signals. I'd buy digital downloads of movies and TV shows from Amazon in a heartbeat if I could play them anywhere, any time, without an Internet connection. I've been tempted many times to buy them anyway, however because they won't play on my iPad or offline laptop, I won't. I could buy from Apple, but those videos won't play on my laptop at all. So I won't buy there, either.

        I genuinely want to give these people my money. They just don't (yet) offer a product I'm willing to pay for. So instead, I use free or cheap options that almost certainly don't help them.

        • by Nyder (754090)

          I know so many people who used to pirate music before music became DRM-free. .../p>

          WTF are you talking about?

          What you are saying there, is that music used to not be DRM free, and people would still pirate it.

          Here's a clue for ya stupid.

          Music was DRM free in the beginning. It wasn't until the last 10 years that shitbrains started to put DRM on music, because they were finding that CD's provided exact copies of the songs, unlike recording a LP or Cassette tape. Then with the advent of iTunes, we started getting a lot of DRM on some online music.

          But there was always sources for the same

        • by bedouin (248624)

          Finally, when Amazon started offering mp3s and no crappy software to download

          I haven't downloaded anything from them in a while, but last time I did I seem to remember using their downloader.

          I could buy from Apple, but those videos won't play on my laptop at all.

          Well, obviously they will in iTunes if you're using Windows. Snce Apple dumped all the Carbon code it feels like a new app in OS X. I don't know if that switch affects or even trickled down to Windows though.

          Apps that support FairPlay (even via a plugin) should be able to play them as well, like Safari and QuickTime.

      • by dissy (172727)

        From Ubisoft's perspective, anything more than zero is a win if they assume it will more than offset those who won't buy because of the DRM. Not a happy thought, but I suspect the numbers add up the right way for them.

        Personally I somehow doubt they would announce anything at all different from what they just announced, no matter what the numbers are.

        Sales up? "We did the right thing! Go us!"
        Sales down? "We did the right thing! Go us!"
        Piracy up and sales non-existent? "We did the right thing! Go us!"
        Cat died and car blew up in the parking lot? "We did the right thing! Go us!"

  • Every pirated copy is a sale lost. therefore any apparent reduction means sales are up.

    duh.

    on a side note i've been boycotting Ubisoft since before Spore came out due to crap like this.

  • If they want to stop their nose bleed by putting a tourniquet around their neck, that's their business.

  • just a thought... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MichaelusWF (2225540) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:46PM (#36926904)
    but perhaps they should spend more time and energy on making games that are worth paying for, and less time and energy on making people regret paying for their games?
    • What I don't get is why they think they'll make more money this way. In the olden days, they'd sell games and never hear from the customer again. These days, they need servers and people on phones to authorize people to use the copy they paid for. Since they have to pay for these services, now every satisfied customer is drilling away at that profit the earned yonks ago.

      I honestly can't believe with all the money grubbing these companies do this is the approach they took.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      The sad thing is that they do make games worth paying for. They make Assassin's Creed and Far Cry and Splinter Cell and Beyond Good & Evil and more. They make lots of innovative titles that are well worth playing. And yet I don't buy their games any more, because the copy protection just got to be too much of a pain in the ass.

      They don't need to spend more time working on their games. They just need to drop the copy protection. It's a case of addition by subtraction if ever there was one.

      • by carou (88501)

        Assassins Creed II had a reputation of being one of the best games in years. Yet, when the Mac version came out I didn't buy it (a) because of the DRM, (b) because of reports of sucky performance. Months later, Steam got it from a fraction of the original price and I finally caved. So although my purchase might be counted in the sales figures for this "successful DRM", actually Ubisoft got much less money from me than if the DRM were absent.

        Unfortunately it turns out my fears on (b) turned out to be justifi

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:47PM (#36926910)

    Or an overall lack of interest? Ubisoft hasn't been putting much good out for a while now.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      Not since they bought SSI I think. Yeah ok IL-76 was decent back in the day, despite the lack of a real campaign generator.
  • It works! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Leslie43 (1592315) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:48PM (#36926934)
    Ubisoft has created the perfect DRM system.
    Combine horrible DRM with horrible gameplay and no one will pirate it. Of course no one will play it either, but hey, it's the perfect DRM system.

    I almost feel as though I should be thanking them for all the time and money they are saving me.
  • >> a Ubisoft representative said the company has seen "a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection,"

    Notice how he was careful to avoid mentioning the corresponding reduction in actual sales.

    Anyway I think his statement must be blowing smoke. I personally would never buy any product with such restrictive DRM, but say I had bought the game, I for one would have also immediately downloaded a hacked version just so I could play it offline, and so I could play af

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Anyway I think his statement must be blowing smoke. I personally would never buy any product with such restrictive DRM, but say I had bought the game, I for one would have also immediately downloaded a hacked version just so I could play it offline, and so I could play after they turn off their DRM server when the product is no longer making them money. It seems to me, overly restrictive DRM would necessarily cause more piracy not less.

      What they do is simple. You advertise it as storing your game saves In T

      • I thought the always-on DRM stopped the game from being played mid-stream if the Internet connection was lost for more than a brief period of time. At least that's what I remembered from earlier discussions of it.

    • by Draek (916851)

      It seems to me, overly restrictive DRM would necessarily cause more piracy not less.

      That's what they thought three years ago [slashdot.org], they tested that theory, and it failed.

      • by kyrio (1091003)
        Stop linking your retarded link. The game didn't sell because the controls were too complex.
        • by Draek (916851)

          The... what? have you even played a Prince of Persia game in your life? I've heard "easy", "linear" and more than a few that disliked the art style, but you're the first person I've ever seen calling PoP 08 "complex".

          Besides, it wasn't the only game: the first Assassin's Creed game also had only a disk check on the retail version and relegated itself to whatever DRM, if any, was used on DD stores and Ubisoft still saw a sales increase with AC2 and AC:B. I'd love to see your excuse for *that* one.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ubisoft would probably want other developers to get on board with this scheme so that it makes it feel like what they're doing is not wrong. To that end, it's conceivable that they would lie about their success or failure in order to sell it.

    Maybe it's time we took a harder stance against companies like this; in essence they're reducing games into short-term playable, non-ownable rentals. That 'always-online' game won't work after Ubisoft takes down the servers or goes out of business. And they hold ult

  • I would warrant they are seeing a reduction in piracy because no one wants the game, not because your DRM is scaring them off.
  • Unless people like you care a whole awful lot
    and instead of buying DRM'd games they do not
    nothing is going to get better. It's not.

    Based on the history of fan rage vs. fan action, I think Ubisoft will do just fine.
    • by Svartalf (2997)

      I'm disinclined to buy anything they're putting out, console or otherwise, with this tripe included in the product they're selling. I can't imagine I'm the only one.

  • Seems to me it is impossible to measure the lost sales caused by their insane always-on DRM system. PC gamers are a fairly savvy crowd, so I doubt its insignificant. Just seeing your games less torrented doesn't say shit about potential lost sales.
  • by LordZardoz (155141) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:55PM (#36927070)

    Most game companies (Ubisoft and EA for certain, Activision and the rest highly likely) have API's that have the app phone home and send metrics / telemetry data back about the usage stats. This is even done in games that have no multi-player component. Some of this is done for determining how much ad revenue is generated from ingame advertisements. Some of it is just marketing and research data. (ie: If only 2% of users actually use the mode that took 15% of the development resources to create, chances are that the mode will be dropped or at least not developed any further. If 90% of users die in the room with 13 snipers, they may patch the game to remove some snipers). I suspect that some portion of this data includes unique user id / cd keys.

    I would expect that titles with a great deal of piracy are somehow detected by this. If they know that they have actually sold X units through retail, and they have X+Y connections, then the number of pirated instances is Y.

    Lets say a game without this DRM has 150 000 users, and that 75000 users are legit. If they are taking a beating in the press, but the number of legit users has increased, the system is a success. Ubisoft is happier to have 80 000 legit users in a pool of 90 000 total users, even if they drove off 46% of the total user base to do it.

    Losing a user means nothing except in subscription based games. Losing a sale means a whole lot more.

    END COMMUNICATION

    • by ccguy (1116865)

      Losing a sale means a whole lot more.

      Well, what you described doesn't measure the number of sales lost in future Ubisoft games by pissed off customers who did buy the current game (and playing it legally).

      I don't know why Ubisoft assume that where there's a console there must be an internet connection. Some of us when going on vacation (beach house of whatever) take the console with us to play whenever we're bored *precisely* because we don't have an internet connection there (or it's mobile and just used for basic stuff).

    • by Baloroth (2370816) on Friday July 29, 2011 @05:16PM (#36927458)

      Given that I am not aware of a single DRM system that hasn't been cracked, online requirement or no, I somehow doubt that the DRM is what is reducing piracy. I'm more inclined to think it's the shitty quality of their games making people not even want to pirate it. Just a thought.

      Or maybe it just looks like they have reduced piracy, since the new cracks stop the game from even phoning home (they'd have to to crack it), while the old ones didn't. Just a thought.

    • by Svartalf (2997)

      It doesn't work over-well when you factor in used sales there...

    • by NickFortune (613926) on Friday July 29, 2011 @06:38PM (#36928618) Homepage Journal

      I would expect that titles with a great deal of piracy are somehow detected by this. If they know that they have actually sold X units through retail, and they have X+Y connections, then the number of pirated instances is Y.

      Assuming, of course that none of the pirate strategies involved short-circuiting the phone-home feature altogether, or communicating with a dummy server. Otherwise they can't see the pirate instances at all. Which would render their estimates on the optimistic side, at best.

      The thing to remember is that some people at Ubisoft has spent a hell of a lot of Ubi's money on this strategy. These guys are seriously invested in DRM being successful. Or at least appearing to be successful. It stands to reason they're going to try and spin it as a success.

      The interesting thing to note however is that they're telling us how piracy rates have dropped due to DRM, rather than how sales have risen for DRM'd titles. If sales had so risen, they'd be fools not to shout it from the rooftops.

      Since they're not doing that, I find myself wondering if some poor sod has been given one last chance to salvage his or her career by showing that always-on DRM isn't just the expensive, ineffective sales killer it appears to be.

      Losing a user means nothing except in subscription based games. Losing a sale means a whole lot more.

      Well, except that when you pollute your brand identity enough, all lost users are lost sales. Because if people start to think "Ubisoft" == "can't play my game because the servers are always down" == "waste of money", then they don't buy any more Ubisoft games, and it's not just one lost sale, but all the future sales they might have made to that user. Apply that across a significant percentage of the brand's userbase, and the bottom line starts to hurt.

      But nevertheless, I take your point. And yet what I'm not hearing from Ubi is "sales are rising despite DRM".

      Interesting.

  • by farbles (672915) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:57PM (#36927128)

    When Ubisoft makes it so a pirated version of their game provides better functionality and convenience than their own product, it is safe to say that they are NOT GETTING IT.

    Gee, Ubisoft, I can give you money and be stuck with crippling and inconvenient DRM, or for free I can download a nice clean cracked copy that will play at once conveniently whenever and wherever I want it to. Decisions, decisions.

    I blame MBAs. There is something in their sense of entitlement and smug assurance they know the best no matter what the facts may dictate that leads them to live out The Peter Principle and rise to levels of authority where they have no competence. I'll betcha there's some MBA or group of MBAs telling Ubisoft to stand firm on the DRM.

    In the meantime, Valve will take my money without the crazy bullshit DRM and I can play my games even if the Internet is down. If I want to try an Ubisoft game, I'll know where to go.

    • by strikethree (811449) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @05:25AM (#36931366) Journal

      In the meantime, Valve will take my money without the crazy bullshit DRM and I can play my games even if the Internet is down. If I want to try an Ubisoft game, I'll know where to go.

      I keep seeing this meme being propagated... Have you ever seriously tried to use steam in offline mode? I have. It does not work.

      Yes, if you have had an internet connection recently, it *may* work. Let me tell you about my offline experiences with steam though.

      I was being deployed to a remote location so I ensured that steam and all of my games were updated properly and set it up to work in offline mode. After a few weeks of travel and "settling in" I finally had a chance to play some Half Life 2 so I launched steam and it said that it had to update itself. WTF? How could it possibly know there was an update since it could not communicate with anything? Fuck me. So I eventually fly out to a less remote location and am able to use a satellite terminal and the steam client downloaded a 200 megabyte update for itself. Over satellite. WTF? Is the steam client even 200 megabytes in size? What the hell? Okay... so it is updated again, offline mode tested, and I go remote again. The next time I open the steam client, it said some sort of ticket was invalid and that I needed to connect again before I could play.

      I am no longer as remote and I have a 40mbit pipe to the internet now. The steam client is constantly updating itself with hundreds of megabytes of data. I have no idea what it is doing or why and I have no idea how all of the bandwidth usage is making my offline games any better. All I know is that steam adds no value to my single player games and that offline mode, while theoretically possible, is not actually viable.

      I am glad you are satisfied with steam. I have no intention of telling other people how to spend their cash. The DRM is far too onerous for me though. I will not buy any more games that require/use steam.

      strike

      • by Kjella (173770)

        My impression of Steam's offline mode is that it's designed to work through a network outage or a long weekend trip. If it lasts longer than 3 days like your "after a few weeks of travel" then it'll throw up $random_excuse why it will not work. I can understand their business reasons for doing so, or we'd see pirate versions where Steam was forced into a "we're on a remote mission in the Antarctic and won't have Internet for the next six months" mode. They will always make sure there's some catch to make su

        • I can understand their business reasons for doing so

          I understand their reasons for doing so as well. My point is that it is DRM that gets in the way while the OP was saying that it is a harmless "out of your way" DRM because offline mode is available.

          strike

  • by Superken7 (893292) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:57PM (#36927132) Journal

    Note how NOTHING is said about sales, only that piracy has decreased. Less piracy does not equal more sales, in fact it could have been less piracy AND less sales (or just average sales).

    The most important data was missing :P

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      I'd have to go look on BN, but I seem to remember that Ubi's last 3 quarters were losses on all fronts except PC games. Which was slightly profitable.

      • Where have you seen them break down profit by platform? Looking at their official numbers, [ubisoftgroup.com] all I was able to find was the distribution of sales by platform (page 4):

        Nintendo DS 4%
        Nintendo 3 DS 1%
        PC 11%
        PLAYSTATION®3 19%
        PSP 2%
        Wii 27%
        XBOX 360 36%
        Other 1%
        TOTAL 100%

        Of note is that the PC figure was 7% for Q1 last year, up to 11% this year. So the PC, while not comprising most of Ubisoft's sales, has been increasing in marketshare even while their DRM was on hold.

        I would be interested in seeing a profit breakdown by platform, though. With some publishers saying that 90% of their sales are digital, [pcgamer.com] it wou

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Well we're trusting them even with that statement. My last Ubisoft game launches a local server to register the game against when it starts. I doubt the fact that they came up with a DRM scheme that was cracked in the week of the release has somehow contributed to a reduction of piracy.

  • ... is: never admit failure. Just talk about what a wonderful success whatever you're being asked about has been. If the product really is a failure, keep talking about its success until the people who make the decisions get around to canceling it. After that, if you're asked about it, dismiss it as yesterday's news and change the subject to what wonderful successes your other products are.

    The Mac Cube [wikimedia.org], for instance, was a major stinkburger. [wikimedia.org] Did Apple ever say anything to that effect publicly? Nope. They were always bright and sunny about how well the Cube was doing, until the day they killed it. [apple.com] At which point inquiries about the failure of the Cube were answered with glittering stories of how well their other Macs were selling.

    In other words -- what a company's spokesperson says about the success or failure of something like a DRM system is meaningless. They will always say it is a great success. The only way to learn the truth is to watch whether the company puts more effort and money behind it, or less.

    • by tunapez (1161697)

      In other words -- what a company's spokesperson says about the success or failure of something like a DRM system is meaningless.

      No truer words have been typed on /.

      'DRM system' could be substituted infinitely and still hold true.

  • I recall Ubisoft talking big about copy-protection a decade ago, in particular when they acquired Blue Byte and Thomas Hertzler went on several rants about how strong copy-protections (DRM in today-speak) were the difference between good sales versus poor sales. What a horrible way to assume the behaviour of your customers. I tried to fire up a few of those games recently and the copy-protections made the compatibility issues even more problematic. As a customer, they sold me less of a product and as of tod

  • Still boycotting you from the first time.
  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Friday July 29, 2011 @05:11PM (#36927378)
    Fuck you, Ubisoft. Your DRM is 'working' because your games suck balls. Nobody's downloading them because they suck. You've succeeded only in alienating your customers. How can you call this success? Bullet, meet foot.
  • If less people are interested in a game due to this DRM, or due to the game just not being very good, that will also translate to less people interested in pirating it...

  • If by "clear reduction in piracy" they mean "Skidrow released our connection-required titles days earlier than retail with the online requirement patched right out," then I wholeheartedly agree. That did happen.

  • ..but I wouldn't bother, now.
  • by Tom (822) on Saturday July 30, 2011 @07:42AM (#36931820) Homepage Journal

    So reduced piracy.

    Does that translate into more sales? Because piracy doesn't matter, sales do. Piracy is only important in so far as it reduces sales. We point that out all the time when they make the foolish equation of "x illegal copies == x lost sales", which isn't true.
    Likewise "x less illegal copies" does not equal "x more sales".

    In fact, if they would release both of these numbers, we would finally see some actual hints on what the correlation is. So if they found a 50% reduction in piracy, but only 5% additional sales, we'd have a first data point for an equation.

    Funny how they don't seem to be interested in that... I wonder why...

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan

Working...