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DRM Bug Games

Thanks to DRM, Some Ubisoft Games Won't Work Next Week 332

Posted by timothy
from the how-about-a-nice-game-of-chess dept.
hypnosec writes "Several of Ubisoft's biggest titles won't be playable as of next week thanks to a server move by the publisher and the restrictive DRM that was used in their development. This isn't just multiplayer either. Because Ubisoft thought it would be a smart plan to use always on DRM for even the single player portion of games like Assassin's Creed, even the single player portion of that title won't be playable during the server move. Some of the other games affected by this move will be Tom Clancy's HAWX 2, Might & Magic: Heroes 6 and The Settlers 7. The Mac games that will be broken during this period are Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell Conviction and The Settlers. This move was announced this week as part of a community letter, with Ubisoft describing how the data servers for many of the publisher's online services would be migrated from third party facilities to a new location starting on the 7th February. The publisher didn't reveal how long the transfer would take."
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Thanks to DRM, Some Ubisoft Games Won't Work Next Week

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  • Yarr! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:43PM (#38916329)

    I don't understand. I seem to be unaffected by this.

    Now, on t' more pressin' matters. Where did I put that bottle o' rum?

  • Re:Far Cry 3 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:51PM (#38916477)

    Buy it used and then crack it? You get the game, Ubi doesn't get a new sale, and you don't have to deal with the DRM.

  • by TWX (665546) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:51PM (#38916479)

    One could always split existing hardware between a couple of sites if there's enough duplicate equipment, and suffer moderate outages instead of full-blown darkness, then once the switchover has happened, move the rest.

    Or set up a virtual network between the two banks of hardware at different physical locations, and switch the traffic routing and whatever other addressing is necessary, and once the new location is up and working and backfeeding the old location, then down the old location and move the rest...

    But I agree, it's stupid to use DRM for a purchased game, especially beyond initial activation at the time of installation. If I remember correctly, the id folks intentionally removed DRM once they'd sold enough copies of their software, and actually credited piracy with increasing the popularity of their games to the point that they became a known force...

    I guess I look at piracy differently. Sure, there are some people who would have bought a product that now won't, but there are lots and lots of people who end up with pirated copies of something that never would have purchased it in the first place, or never would have purchased it at a price that the seller is willing to sell it for. One cannot count those kinds of pirates as lost sales, since there never would have been a sale. There is a third case though, where someone pirates something and exposes their associates to it, who then go out and buy it because it appeals to them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:54PM (#38916513)

    * The single-player campaign is available in both online and offline mode (of course! Anything else would be outrageous!)
    * However, if you ever lose connection in online mode, you're kicked out.
    * Oh, and did I mention that in this overhead map strategy game, where a single map usually takes hours, campaign saves from "offline mode" are not compatible with "online mode" and you must effectively restart the game? LOL YOU CAN OF COURSE PLAY OFFLINE AT ANY TIM.. no, gtfo.
    * And that a core component of the campaign mode are "Dynasty Items", "Dynasty Heroes" and "Dynasty Bonuses" which are unlocked during campaign mode and become persistent across games - except that they only work in online mode?
    * So the story will make frequent references to wielding the Sword of Legendary Dragonslaying except that you have no such thing in your inventory and will never have it or any other uber-item because you decided like a chump to start in offline mode in case you were worried about losing connection while playing.

    And that's aside from any other of the numerous gameplay issues and servers being down. A lobotomy of a game.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:56PM (#38916557) Homepage

    I get heated over this kind of thing every time I pop in a DVD from Netflix. They send you discs without any special features that are loaded with up to 15 minutes of unskippable advertisements and previews. If I had just downloaded the move, I could jump right in. I am willing to pay, but I see nothing but disincentives to do so! Fools.

    If you popped the DVD into a Linux system and used one of the Linux players, then you could skip all of that stuff since they ignore the "unskippable" bit.

    It's still illegal, since it depends on the DeCSS code for breaking the encryption (fuck you DMCA). Morally, though, it's perfectly fine.

    Does Netflix streaming service do that? I have only limited experience with it, when a friend used his account to stream movies to the Wii that another friend had brought, and I don't recall any ads unskippable or otherwise.

  • No worries (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Friday February 03, 2012 @12:56PM (#38916563) Homepage

    No worries; I'm sure there's a downloadable bugfix to repair these broken games.
    Assuming your country hasn't blocked those websites yet.

  • Small Claims Court (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i8a4re (594587) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:05PM (#38916695)
    Everyone who can't play a game during this move should take Ubisoft to small claims court. Lawyers are not allowed in small claims court, so this is an advantage for you. Just claim the value of the game as damages and the cost to file the claim. If Ubisoft doesn't make an appearance, you win by default. If they show up and you lose, you still caused them to lose far more money than they got from you for buying their game. If you win and they fail to pay your claim, you can put a lien on them or have an equivalent value of their property seized.
  • Re:Far Cry 3 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by headkase (533448) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:08PM (#38916761)
    It's not a case of "damage to be routed around": unless the unthinkable happens and Ubisoft does a 180 I'm not buying it in any way, shape, or manner - or going to pirate it either. I have plenty else to play and I don't want to have anything to do it until they smarten-up.

    Put it another way: the extreme Ubisoft is taking makes me feel dirty by having anything to do with it so I won't.
  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:09PM (#38916791) Homepage Journal

    How does this make you feel?

    Smug. DRM is why I stopped buying computer games a long time ago (I do miss the gaming scene sometimes). Yes, piracy costs sales -- they say DRM is for piracy, and DRM has cost them hundreds of dollars they would have gotten from me had they not treated me like the thieves they are. I'm sure I'm not the only one who refuses to buy anything that has less functionality than if I'd pirated it.

    Stupid, stupid corporations.

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:42PM (#38917363)

    The problem with locking writes to the database is that all the games mentioned save their save games to Ubisoft's servers. Meaning that as soon as the DB is write locked, players are (essentially) locked out of their games.

  • by Mr.LightFoot (2566795) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:50PM (#38917489)
    I do this for a living. Migrating sites for major companies the size of FB and MS and the like. I can tell you, with a well planned execution w/database moves, loads, etc., it takes months of planning to make sure everything works well. The general plan above is accurate in terms of the basic/high-level steps. There will be outages. For a DB such as this, I'd estimate at least 1/2 a day is required but it can be several days to get all the bugs worked out post migration. DNS takes about 15-30 min to replicate to the TLD and then spread across the DNS caches out there which can take up to 24-48 hours depending on where you are located and what ISPs do. Some ISPs cache DNS for a longer than TTL so I've seen up to a week when we migrate large sites before it becomes available to end users. Mileage may vary.
  • Anti Consumer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by poly_pusher (1004145) on Friday February 03, 2012 @01:58PM (#38917701)
    This really is getting ridiculous. I buy an obscene amount of games. Partly because I want to help support artists and creators like myself. That rationale is starting to wear thin for me now.

    For instance, I bought Arkham City, an absolutely amazing game. One of the best I've played in years. I got 89% through the whole game "2nd play through, 440 riddler trophies, most of the challenges, all sidequests," Then there was a problem with my internet connection, entire neighborhood went down. After I got my internet back I started Arkham City up again and oh look, my save files disappeared. The reason it disappeared is DRM. Saves are managed by Windows Live and encrypted to be specific to your system. They were trying to keep people from cheating and instead they've ended up punishing people who play their games.
  • Re:I just... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rary (566291) on Friday February 03, 2012 @02:09PM (#38917909)

    You're missing the best part. They're creating a period of time during which the only people in the world who can play the game are the pirates.

  • by MogNuts (97512) on Friday February 03, 2012 @04:06PM (#38919799)

    You should get back into gaming. I think most people forget that there are SO many games out now that one doesn't have to waste 1 second on a game that is bad, has bad DRM (Ubi), etc. I have so many games picked up on a whim that the next 20 years are set for me. And that's after I go through my library and find a stinker and move on to the next. I haven't played 75% of my collection yet.

    Try something different. Always play the same genre? Play something new.

  • by Tom (822) on Friday February 03, 2012 @04:32PM (#38920133) Homepage Journal

    It's still illegal, since it depends on the DeCSS code for breaking the encryption

    I host it on my site till this day, despite being a named defender in the DVDCCA case. They served me papers, but they never served me an order to take it down.

    No, it's not as easy as that. We've had three court cases around DeCSS. The one in Norway was dropped, DVDCCA vs. The Internet was decided in our favour and Universal vs. Reimers was decided against us.

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