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Ubisoft's Draconian DRM Patched? 233

An anonymous reader writes "It appears that Ubisoft's controversial DRM scheme launched last year that required players to have a permanent connection to the Internet has been patched to no longer stop the game when connectivity drops, though an Internet connection is still required when starting the game."
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Ubisoft's Draconian DRM Patched?

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  • Re:Ubisofts DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @12:57PM (#34730612)

    DRM shouldn't get in the way of enjoying the game for legal owners. I hated companies that made my old 1541 disk drive hammer itself into oblivion with their crap copy protection. I'd end up finding a cracked copy that would load in 15 seconds instead of 4 and a half minutes. I don't mind paying for something useful but I hate buying crippled shit. I really don't play games anymore but if I did I wouldn't want anything that forced me to put up with a bunch on needless BS.

  • Morons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by potat0man ( 724766 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @01:06PM (#34730676)
    The guy who thought this up is a dope.

    "Hey, let's make our product shittier and harder to use, I bet that will make us some money!"

    I hope Ubisoft fires the moron who first pitched this idea to them over a year ago. I haven't purchased an Ubisoft game since they announced this last February.
  • Re:Ubisofts DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @01:07PM (#34730684)

    Why would I throw money at a game where they can cut off access to it at any point in time for ALL of their customers, just because they don't want to pay the bill on those servers anymore?

    So don't. The more of us who refuse to buy games which allow them to cut off users at any time, the less games will be released with such draconian DRM.

    Personally I now only buy games that are DRM-free, or games which only use Steam for DRM as it can be run in offline mode.

  • Re:Ubisofts DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 01, 2011 @01:17PM (#34730752)

    or games which only use Steam for DRM

    Steam cultist remind me of Apple fanboys. "Oh but it's Steam, it's GOOD DRM!" Hilarious! It's still DRM that can disable your games at any time of their chosing.

  • Re:Morons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @01:21PM (#34730796)
    Isn't likely to happen. Most likely that moron is the CEO.

    Personally, I won't be buying until they back off quite a bit more. I personally don't think that a failure to have internet access is a valid reason to keep me from playing a game I've paid for. Well, unless it's an online only game, like a game which has no single player game play.
  • by devent ( 1627873 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @01:59PM (#34731056) Homepage
    As long as the people still buy the games from Ubisoft, they will not drop any DRM. My guess is that it was calculated (i.e. x% are pirats, y% are pissed, z% will still buy) and it makes more profit with the DRM then without. A lot of people just don't care until the servers are stopped or changed for a new game. In that case it will be just a press release "We are very very sorry but we have to terminate the activation service. Look at the EULA it's perfectly legal and you can do shit about it. So please just forgot this game and buy our new games now with more DRM because the pirates are forcing us to protect our IP.".
  • Re:Ubisofts DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @03:28PM (#34731678)

    Whether Steam is or can be cracked is irrelevant, Steam is helping to push us farther and farther down the path of us "leasing" our games instead of buying them. As it stands now, when I "buy" a Steam game I really have no idea whether I'll be able to play the game five years from now or even a month from now when the game makes its mandatory check in with their servers. All I have to go on is the good will of some faceless corporate entity and the assurances of Steam fans that this could never happen or that there will be some wonderful work around that will be less convenient than just being able to install my game and play like I should be able to.

    The worst part is, it's as easy pirating a game today as it was 10 years ago when all that was on games was Safedisc. Really brings home how ridiculous all of these inconvenient measures are, right?

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @03:50PM (#34731862)

    And that's exactly what's wrong with copy protection: It hurts the honest customer and rewards those that copy the content. DRM is free market in reverse. And, oddly, the studios wonder why it fails.

    When you usually buy something (compared to buying it "off a truck"), you get something extra. You get warranty, you get additional goodies packed with them, mail in rebates (ok, dubious value, but still), you get support, you get all the "comfort" you will lack when you buy it from some shady source. The honest customer that buys it legally gets additional protection and additional bonus material for his money.

    With content and DRM, it's exactly the opposite. You don't get any sensible warranty anyway, you don't get any goodies anymore with your bought games (remember those good ol' days when there were some tidbits and trinkets packed with games? Or even a manual worth the name?), hell, you often don't even get sensible packaging. And on top of it all, you get your computer infested with drivers of dubious quality that sometimes also open up gapping security holes in your system.

    As someone copying the content, you don't get anything "extra" either (so there's no difference here), but you also do not suffer from those copy protection drivers, "insert CD" nagging, mandatory online connection or are subjected to other patronizing.

    Is it me or is it just plain STUPID to artificially devalue your product? Especially if you're up against someone who already hands it out for free?

    Dear studios: The old tale of sun and wind betting who could get someone out of his coat applies fully here. You can NOT force people to buy something. You can convince him, but for that you have to give him what he wants! How much does it take to get that through your skull?

  • by seebs ( 15766 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @04:04PM (#34731978) Homepage

    When they shipped a single product with this, they went off my vendor list.


    There are way too many companies making games for me to deal with one like that. Same deal as with Belkin and their router which randomly redirected sessions to an advertisement. You screw up that blatantly or obviously, even once, and you're off the vendor list unless you are a genuine monopoly on something I really need.

    Since Ubisoft can never be a monopoly on much of anything, they're gone.

    Note that this is not an attempt to make them behave better. That would be "off the vendor list until you fix this". That is a recipe for companies like Amazon, which patent troll and spam, then back off a little bit until the complaints die down. I don't want to deal with companies I have to watch constantly because they've learned to just go ahead and do evil stuff and see who complains.

    For utterly replaceable companies, the policy is "you're gone, bye". If they eventually die, great! Everyone wins. If they merely stop selling me stuff, because I don't buy from them, at least I win.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @05:44PM (#34732696)

    When EA starts to take away all of Ubisoft's sales. Now maybe I'm wrong, maybe Ubisoft's sales won't be impacted, however the fact that they patched it implies that they have. Perhaps their new games have not sold as well on the PC as they wanted. They figured with their new DRM they'd have far more sales, and in fact have had significantly less. If that's the case, and people keep boycotting it, it may go away eventually.

    After all EA has backed WAY off on their PC DRM and they seem to be doing quite well. They seem to have found a balance between checking for pirated copies but that doesn't interfere with legit uses at all.

    I can speak only for myself, but I won't buy Ubisoft's new games. Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers 7 were on my list to buy, but I have not sue to the DRM. I didn't pirate them instead, I've just given them a miss. There are plenty of good games out there, I have games I've not yet even installed that I own, so I do not lack for options. If others do like myself, well it'll continue to hurt Ubisoft and in fact have the opposite effect of what they want. Their DRM will cost them more money to implement (as it is fairly complicated) but they'll get less sales as a result.

    I'll meet companies half way. I can accept some DRM. Steamworks is ok, for example. However it can't interfere with my ability to play and enjoy the game. Requiring a net connection to play counts. Part of the reason to have single player games is to have something to play when my net connection dies (which let's not kid ourselves still happens even with good ones) or when I'm traveling.

  • Re:Morons (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Scarletdown ( 886459 ) on Saturday January 01, 2011 @06:11PM (#34732906) Journal

    As someone who works at Ubisoft, I can guarantee you that this practice will NOT stop. The CEO pretty much said so ... often.

    Please deliver this hand gesture message to your CEO.

    1: Hold your right hand up, palm facing you, and thumb tucked in.
    2: Wiggle the four raised fingers rapidly for a few seconds.
    3: Wait for the CEO to ask what that was.
    4: Tell him "It's an encrypted one of these..."
    5: Lower all but the middle finger.

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.