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DRM Games

Ubisoft Brings Back Always-Connected DRM For Driver: San Francisco 261

Last year Ubisoft introduced DRM for their PC games that required a constant internet connection, going so far as to terminate single-player games if the connection was interrupted. After facing outrage, boycotts, and DDoS attacks, Ubisoft seemed to have softened their stance, issuing a patch for two games that allowed offline play. Unfortunately, it seems the change wasn't permanent; Ubisoft's upcoming racing game Driver: San Francisco marks the return of the contentious DRM.
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Ubisoft Brings Back Always-Connected DRM For Driver: San Francisco

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  • That's ok (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2011 @06:40AM (#36905890)
    I'll re-institute my boycott of Ubisoft, and nothing of value was lost.
  • Re:That's ok (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Thursday July 28, 2011 @06:47AM (#36905920) Homepage

    Obviously since you refuse to buy it, you're just a filthy pirate.

    Arrr. At least according to Ubisoft.

  • Simple solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NimbleSquirrel ( 587564 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @06:49AM (#36905928)
    Don't buy their games.

    They come out with the most amazing game in the world, but if they insist on doing this, they won't be seeing any of my money.

    Seriously, they wonder why people pirate their games. Yes, there are people wanting it for free, but there is a growing number of people who pirate it just to get away from the DRM.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @07:06AM (#36906024)

    Sorry, but if the maker of a game I want to play requires me to be connected to his server all the time just to play it, I will not accept this deal. It pretty much means that this maker will dictate for how long and under what circumstances I may play the game. He can change the rules later and impose even more drastic control over it and I could not do anything about it. He could turn off the server and I doubt I'd get my money back if he does. Essentially, I pay for the game, but the control over how, when and if I play it remains in the hands of the entity who sold it to me.

    The console "look and feel" due to more and more games being nothing but cheap ports after being developed for a console is a problem, agreed. But invasive DRM is not the answer. We won't get better games just 'cause DRM will keep the PC gaming platform alive. They will still do cheap ports without adjusting for the different controls and stack the DRM on top of it. But it has its advantages. When I saw R.U.S.E., I wanted it. Badly. I saw the DRM and I abstained. By now, I now that it's just a cheap console knockoff and hence I'm pretty glad I didn't waste my money on it. If more games had invasive DRM at release, I would have let a few more slip and wouldn't be angry at me now for buying a game that pretty much requires a console controller to be played sensibly on a PC.

  • Re:That's ok (Score:4, Insightful)

    by myurr ( 468709 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @07:22AM (#36906104)

    But the severity of the reaction will diminish each time they pull this stunt. By the 5th or 6th iteration it's likely to be such a subdued reaction that they'll get away with it completely. It seems to be human nature that each time we are outraged by something, the impact each time it happens slowly diminishes until we accept it as part of life.

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @07:24AM (#36906114) Homepage

    But I do boycott overbearing DRM schemes. Seriously, this serves nobody's interest at all. It's now more difficult for me to even *look* at buying your games because I have to check if it has junk like this attached to it. So when it comes to purchasing decisions, if I see "Ubisoft" I have to expend more effort to check the product first before I buy it. That means that unless it's something fabulous, the chances are I just won't bother, and the name Ubisoft will put me off everything (it's already starting to now!).

    And this time next year Ubisoft will be saying that sales of game X slumped because of completely unverifiable piracy when in fact it was just people annoyed with either previous or new purchases that have shite like that and either pirate or stop buying that and other, completely unrelated, products from Ubisoft.

    Not everyone has a perfectly stable Internet connection, not everyone has a perfectly stable wireless connection, not everybody wants their PC constantly communicating online and taking up bandwidth for no good reason (how small the bandwidth is is irrelevant - it's more than it should be and adds up if every game were to go this route, you play a lot, and you have low bandwidth caps in the nation you're in). Just someone uploading photos as you try to do something can kill the average ADSL connection, now it means the game pause/saves/quits.

    The people who don't have that stuff will be buying single-player games or games with lots of single-player content and still you force a completely ridiculous requirement on them.

    A reliance on a constantly-available Internet connection to a third-party server in order to play a game is ridiculous. Hell, I might as well VNC into a damn computer on the other side of the world and play that way, there's little difference in practical terms between that and this DRM. Connection lost? Bye-bye game, or at best constant pauses and saves because it thinks it's gone.

    In work, I have literally told companies to get lost after they tell me that the new iteration of their software is an online-only, access over the Internet, lose your session if it dies, affair. It's not that it won't work most of the time, but the point is that we lose control over when it does work. If local software dies, I can restore an image, or rebuild a machine, or do something to get it back and working. If remote software dies, we just have to twiddle our thumbs until their support line frees up.

    It's a ridiculous thing and solves no problem that exists. Pirates will crack round it in days. Consumers don't have any problems without it but have massive ones with it. And console versions OF THE SAME GAME don't have that stupid requirement, despite consoles being online nowadays.

    I loved the original Driver. The series got a bit lost after that but I was actually eyeing this up on Steam with the intent to buy it. Saw a thread on the steam forums pointing to those same articles, read them, saw the Twitter comment from Ubisoft itself and instantly removed it from my wishlist. My life is too short for that shit, my gaming time is gaming time, not tech support time. Ubisoft has forgotten that they are providing entertainment - that means "get everything out of my way because I want to have fun". Strangely, I don't want to be diagnosing my wireless/Internet in the middle of a game session, and will just choose a game that doesn't require that.

    P.S. The game also doesn't support steering wheel controllers. A driving game. Seriously.

  • Re:pirate it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flimflammer ( 956759 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @07:36AM (#36906178)

    This is why I don't understand DRM these days. DRM doesn't stop pirates. Pirates never have to deal with DRM, and even this advanced form Ubisoft is throwing around has been rendered useless in previous games infected by it. All this sort of thing seems to discourage is actually purchasing the game at all.

  • A better protest (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Comboman ( 895500 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @08:09AM (#36906428)

    A better (and legal) form of protest is to give the game a one star rating on Amazon and note the DRM problems in your review.

  • Re:That's ok (Score:2, Insightful)

    by g4b ( 956118 ) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @08:15AM (#36906480) Homepage

    viruses do not only transport personal data out of your pc.

    sometimes viruses do different things. like particullary delete the personal data right where they are.

    actually, viruses were around before the internet, even if it sounds pretty unbelievable.

    oh back in the days, something that transported out data was called a trojan.

  • Re:DRM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TaoPhoenix ( 980487 ) <> on Thursday July 28, 2011 @08:16AM (#36906498) Journal

    It's not about the pirates.

    It's about sliding us into a Guilty-Until-Proven-Innocent culture!

    The TSA will like this. "To prove you are not a terrorist, you must be constantly connected to our Trusted Citizen network. If you lose your connection, then you lose your trusted status and will be treated like the terrorist you have become until we clear you again."

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!