Ubisoft's exceptionally dumb new DRM.
February 19, 2010

How do you make the DRM situation even more ass-backwards than it already is? By doing this.

If you don't want to read the article, Ubisoft is now requiring players to be signed on to their servers at all times for games to function. If they lose their connection, the game stops working, and any progress made since the last time the player saved is lost.

What an abominably stupid idea. Never mind the numerous ways in which this potentially screws over legitimate buyers of any future Ubisoft games. The absurd truth of the matter boils down to the same thing that this sort of thing always comes to: A publisher's desperate attempts to prevent piracy only work to encourage illegal distribution. Because the pirates will find a way around this system, as they always do. That much is certain. Meanwhile, those who actually shell out the money for a physical copy of the game get beaten over the head with this nonsense. Unbelievable. I understand the PC market is a tricky one, but punishing the people who are actually buying your games isn't the solution.

And here I thought SecuROM was already doing that. Ubisoft seem determined to take it to the next level.

(via Penny Arcade)

Most recent blog posts from Mike Suskie...

Halon Halon - February 19, 2010 (03:01 PM)
Funny thing is DRM doesn't even work. All it takes is one person to crack the game and it's everywhere, and there always is at least one person who bypasses it. If I wanted to I can easily pirate Crysis, Spore, Bioshock, Mass Effect, or any PC game with DRM.

Also what will people without high speed connections do? Steam and Xbox Live also make you go online but there's an offline mode for people with no internet connections in which the games work perfectly fine. You just don't get stats, achievements, steam cloud (for Steam) etc.

Well I don't really play UBIsoft games outside of Splinter Cell so I really don't have to worry much. Guess I need to track down an Xbox 360 to play Conviction.
honestgamer honestgamer - February 19, 2010 (03:07 PM)
I'm usually just fine with DRM because it does help to slow pirate scum, but I agree that this particular effort is foolish. The good news is that people hardly every buy PC games anyway unless they're niche titles from Steam or MMORPGs like World of Warcraft that don't have to employ this sort of defensive measure, so Ubisoft's ill-fated blunder likely won't have a tremendous impact.
Suskie Suskie - February 19, 2010 (03:09 PM)
sportsman: Exactly! I know it sucks that piracy is such a major problem for publishers of PC games, but sooner or later they'll have to face the fact that the pirates will always find a way to crack anything. All this does is encourage piracy by making the experience more cumbersome for faithful buyers. Requiring an internet connection for a single player game (the article covers Assassin's Creed II) is ridiculous.

And I thought it was bad that Take-Two was forcing BioShock 2 buyers to run SecuROM and Games for Windows Live at the same time. This is too much.

I rarely play current PC games since my laptop is crap, so ultimately this doesn't directly affect me. Still, I'm annoyed that publishers are taking measures like this.
zippdementia zippdementia - February 19, 2010 (05:13 PM)
Thank god for consoles. Honestly, everyone should just make console games. They are slightly harder to pirate.

Note I didn't say impossible. Just harder.
Halon Halon - February 19, 2010 (09:22 PM)
Funny thing is I've probably pirated more console games than PC games in my life. Most PC games that I've pirated are older games that I can't find anywhere anymore. On the other hand I must've pirated 30-40 PSX games back in the day, along with a bunch of Xbox titles until my modded Xbox broke. Then there are the ROMs...

But yeah, as I said Mass Effect PC version had that DRM where you had to register online 5 days after installing (oddly enough I never had to do this) and was cracked a day or two before it even came out. So it isn't helping at all. All it does is adds a slight complication but anyone who wants to play the game badly enough can easily get around it.
darketernal darketernal - February 20, 2010 (07:11 AM)
It's stupid. It will work for a few weeks and then it will be pirated. Piracy can't be avoided, no matter how you look at it. You can try, but you can't succeed and all you do is alienate those that do buy original games.

As for consoles being harder to crack, that's not really true. The reason why the only console so far that is not cracked(the PS3) is because it's not really worth it due to the Bluray stuff on it, but as you can see in the long run that only hurts Sony more then if they had dvd's(plus, the PS3 was cracked on a hardware basis a few months ago if I remember when some guy just wanted to prove he can do it).

The Xbox360 is a piece of cake and currently holds the title of favorite console to pirate games on, currently on the market(a title previously held by the PS2).
Suskie Suskie - February 20, 2010 (08:18 PM)
Shamus Young's weekly column recently covered a few major companies' plans with DRM, and he spent the entire second half ripping Ubisoft a new one. It's worth reading.

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