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Games Your Rights Online

Ubisoft's Constant Net Connection DRM Confirmed 631

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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  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:42AM (#31181194)

    Ah I think I have it: Fuck Ubisoft.

    I was likely going to get Assassin's Creed 2. AC1 was pretty damn fun. I didn't get it when it came out because didn't seem like my kind of game, but I got it on sale and man, I liked it. So AC2 was on the list of potentials for me.

    Not any more. I will absolutely NOT put up with DRM like this. I have a fairly stable net connection but still, I don't care. This is way too invasive.

    I mean I'll meet companies half way. I'm ok with Steam, I can also deal disc based ones that don't cause a problem. However in either case I have to have a way to play if the net goes down. I am not ok with protections that limit the number of times you can reinstall a game (like SecuROM) or ones that need you to be online all the time. Goes double since I know what kinds of server problems companies can have, having played MMOs and such. If my MMO of the day is down, I'm going to be REAL mad if I can't play a single player game.

    So, no more Ubisoft games for me unless they change this, because it is retarded. The really funny thing is, of course, it won't hurt the pirates at all. Those versions will have it patched out so they'll have a good game experience. All it will do is drive legit customers away. This is a bigger problem than they might think just due to the sheer number of games these days. Currently, my problem is not finding games to play, it is finding time to play games. I have games I still haven't got around to yet because there's only so much time I can spend goofing off in a day.

    So if a given games maker starts being stupid, well I'll just stop buying their shit. Plenty of others to play.

    Speaking of which, I think I'll go play Mass Effect 2, which just has a simple disc check. It does like to talk to EA for content updates and such, but as I found out a couple days ago, doesn't mind at all if their servers are down and it can't connect. Game runs with no problems. That, I can live with.

  • by someone1234 ( 830754 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @03:43AM (#31181202)

    Mail servers are all like that.

  • by riT-k0MA ( 1653217 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:05AM (#31181338)
    Mod Parent Up.

    As a South African with a very limited and unstable connection, games using this draconian system will prove (almost) impossible to play.
    Not to mention the fact it will eat my limited cap.

    I call for a boycott of Ubisoft until they remove this ridiculous system.
  • by Spikeles ( 972972 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:10AM (#31181378)

    Because um.. well lets see.. From the Fine Article:

    We've just received Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII for review, and verified with Ubisoft that the DRM is the same as the boxed product.

    But i guess actually reading anything is beyond expectation for an AC.

    Secondly, from Ubisoft's own FAQ [].

    Is there an "off-line" option? No. The added services to the game (unlimited installs, online storage of saved games and the fact that you don’t need the game disc to play) require you to have an online connection while playing the game.

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:53AM (#31181634) Journal

    SMPT is a store and forward protocol designed to operate with sporadic network connectivity. Your SMTP daemon will keep accepting mails from the local machine and network even when the outbound network is down.

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

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @05:06AM (#31181698) Journal

    Hey now, don't be lumping GoG in there with that Steam DRM crap, as GoG purchases are DRM Free [] and can not only be re-downloaded any time you want, the installers are easily backed up to CD/DVD. And of course I would point out this part "and you can play it without an internet connection" which already makes them better than Ubisoft games.

    All Ubisoft has done for me is make sure this gamer won't be giving them any of my hard earned money. Thanks Ubisoft!

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

    by Loosifur ( 954968 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @08:24AM (#31182780)

    I'll go a step further and say, in the 14 years I've...had a friend who knows a guy who has downloaded warez, said guy has encountered one malware, and that was in a keygen. Not only do the various distributors have reputations to maintain, but people just in the scene tend to point out any malware pretty quickly.

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

    by snemarch ( 1086057 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @08:35AM (#31182840)

    Yep - it's a shame that legitimate customers have to be treated like would-be pirates, whereas piracy makes it as simple as
    1) download via torrent client
    2) install and apply crack
    3) profit

    Getting Battlefield 2142 (legit, of course) working was quite a dance for me... first I had to use EAs sucky download manager, then I had to create two accounts at different EA sites and get them linked (it wasn't exactly obvious how or what you need to do), and even then I couldn't play the game, bombing out with a nondescript securom error message. Turned out it considers sysinternals' Process Explorer a "dangerous thing to have running" - like, wtf?

    If I'm going to be treated as a villain when purchasing a game, I might as well just pirate it and save myself the hassle.

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

    by sqlrob ( 173498 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:22AM (#31183958)

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

    Not true. There are some that use more subtle checks that corrupt the game, and yes, these have made it to the wild. GoG recently got bit by one of these, it wasn't properly removed by the publisher. I recall some other game (Spyro?) that couldn't be completed with a cracked build, it made some things unavailable.

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

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:26AM (#31184878) Homepage

    Actual crackers have a very dim view of virus writers. These are two
    entirely separate groups of people. Crackers are also a distinct group
    from professional pirates that sell cracked works for money. Real
    crackers despise this sort of person too.

    Most of the virus problems I have ever heard about with games has been
    with the official factory stamped copies.

    The idea that cracked game -> virus is just industry propaganda.

  • Silly rabbit (Score:3, Informative)

    by BitterAndDrunk ( 799378 ) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @06:56PM (#31192552) Homepage Journal
    7Zip [] handles every format out there. Plus 7z is a damned good compression scheme.

    BTW mod this informative.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.