Ubisoft Clarifies New Online DRM Scheme

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That is still awful and retarded. They should really rethink this before they lose every sale ever.

Still a giant piece of crap, I'll bet Ubisoft will spit out an anger filled response to the crappy sales figures.

Random Bobcat:

To find something succesful, many stages have to be trialed before hand. It's like saying my current relationship is destined to fail because all my previous ones have. There will be a point where DRM is succesful, and thus the issue (for the company, which is the only thing that matters in the grand scale) will be resolved.

I have serious doubts about this.

server checks can be re-directed/removed and any tied-in game content repaired
1's can be made 0's and vice-versa.

I'm confident that it is impossible to create a truly successful DRM, as only one person needs to break it.

What a retarded idea. All it'll do is convince more people to try and pirate themselves a DRM free copy. Like sh*t am I going to loose progress offline because my net connection kicks out.

Altorin:

Random Bobcat:

Altorin:

Bit of a news flash for you. Crackers are smart. Almost all of them have day jobs where they make enough money to buy all the games they want. They see cracking these games as a challenging puzzle. They will absolutely LOVE cracking Assassin's Creed 2.

Spore had a similar "Must be connected" DRM (it wasn't nearly as draconian as this, but I digress). It was cracked and released to the web a week before it was released on the street.

All DRM does is cause problems for legitimate consumers. This is the worst idea in the history of DRM.

Don't even try and patronise me, I'm well aware there are individuals out there who's only purpose is to circumvent these failsafes.

These individuals also work for these companies implementing, said crackers are hired to aid them in creating new defences. Firewall manufacturers hire them, and now games companies do.

To find something succesful, many stages have to be trialed before hand. It's like saying my current relationship is destined to fail because all my previous ones have. There will be a point where DRM is succesful, and thus the issue (for the company, which is the only thing that matters in the grand scale) will be resolved.

...

are you Skynet?

It is, it is! RUN FOR YOU LIVES!

Hopeless Bastard:

Random Bobcat:
There will be a point where DRM is succesful, and thus the issue (for the company, which is the only thing that matters in the grand scale) will be resolved.

Well, so far they've tried hardware and software approaches. Both were quickly circumvented. Console piracy is also pretty rampant (and pathetically easy), but no one admits it.

Thing is, the current state of piracy is built around easy cracks that involve editing only a few lines of code. With come copy/paste here and there. The harder the copy protection, the harder they work. But to steal another's metaphor, its the frog (customer) in boiling water (DRM) with the pirates sitting in a boat. Every time the publishers turn up the heat (add more drm) the pirates only have to make small modifications to their boat (tactics).

*High fives* perfect simile!

I can see the announcement now:

"Due to the poor sales and high piracy rate of the latest Ubisoft PC games, we have decided to limit our future selection of games for PC."

And they would probably seriously blame the pirates, 100%, for ruining it for everyone.

Random Bobcat:

Altorin:
...

are you Skynet?

How much fun I would have if I was.

Just to clarify as well, I don't necessarily agree with all this DRM malarkey, I just see it in the manufacturer's eyes. Additionally I have the benefit of it not affecting me, so I can judge based on information rather than emotion (which seems to be fuelling a LOT of posts in this).

The normal consumers that do get stained with this; chin up basically. You're part of the demographic that is judged to be sacrificable for the greater good (profit margin).

If pirates didn't exist this wouldn't. If car thiefs didn't, I wouldn't have a garage. Don't hate the players, hate the game.

I have to say, that first post didn't really do much to sway me to the opinion that you are not an artificial intelligence bent on the subjugation and destruction of all organic life.

your second paragraph, I think that's bullshit. Paying customers shouldn't have to suffer so that the companies can make a miniscule amount more money. In your proposed dystopia where DRM finally wins, that will be a loss in the category for every gamer. Eventually this shit will make its way to the consoles. It already has in some ways with ME2 and DAO. Bought it new? Got some DLC? I hope you're connected to XBL, or else your DLC won't work. What? You're DLC doesn't work? Well, you can't load your save without it. I don't want to see a day when all games require such things, even if you're not so bold as to take some content that was offered to you, or that you paid for.

And finally, your third paragraph. It's more like.. Imagine if you bought a car from a car dealer that had installed an anti-theft device that kicked you in the balls everytime you put the key in the ignition. In this case, it would be an anti-theft device that kicks you in the balls everytime you hit the brakes.

I gotta say, I wanted to edit your post down and respond to it individually, but I couldn't bring myself to cut it. I say this without a hint of patronizing (I actually apologize for before, I didn't mean to sound like such a tool with my earlier post), but It was a work of art and I enjoyed taking it apart in its entirety without taking bits out of context to chew on them.

obisean:
I can see the announcement now:

"Due to the poor sales and high piracy rate of the latest Ubisoft PC games, we have decided to limit our future selection of games for PC."

And they would probably seriously blame the pirates, 100%, for ruining it for everyone.

mmmmmmm..... politics..... gotta love it!

Still not better. Still not buying anything with Ubisoft's fingerprints. I've never pirated a game, because I object from a moral standpoint. And you know what? I still won't. So hey developers, prospective game-idea people, etc, you want me to buy your game? Keep away from Ubisoft. Companies with more reasonable DRM, like, say, Stardock or Ironclad, are the way of the future. I'll support the market, but not companies that pull crap like this.

Even if it means I have to miss out on a bunch of titles.

I hereby vow to buy no games from Ubisoft on PC. Also, I hope nobody else does either and they suffer massive losses and take a massive economical hit due to STUPIDITY.

(I will buy their games on X360, though... until they figure out some stupid DRM there as well.)

"Where exactly you are reconnected in the game may differ from title to title," the rep continued. "Settlers 7 reconnects at the exact point where the connection was lost, AC2 reconnects you at the last checkpoint (and not the last auto save, as indicated in the CVG article). There are many checkpoints so you're back to the point where you got disconnected in no time."

And I wonder how this is ANY reassurance at all. What they are saying is "Yup, you guys! This sucks if your connection is flaky and this is a steaming pile of shit! Woo-hoo!"
I bet they will have GFWL too, to make things even more full of sunshine and happiness. OH WAIT.

Altorin:
Relaaaaaaax Guy..

image

seriously andy, that should have been the picture, or at least the inspiration

Totally. My thoughts as I read the title: "Relax guy... yeah... We're legit guy, yeah..."

My current reaction to Ubisoft:

image

as others have said: what about vacations without internet?

a new view: there may come a time where a player needs to cut costs, they can not resell the game, but they can cancel their internet service...which would make the single player game unplayable.

yes stable internet connections are numerous, but so are potholes and bad business practices, yet you dont see many taking advantage of those...oh, wait those crafty mechanics

edit: not to mention, at least in my area, weather can interrupt internet connections while leaving other services unaffected

Yet another in a long line of DRM ideas that just increase the number of people pirating the game. I give it a week tops before there's a flawless crack.

Random Bobcat:

Altorin:

Bit of a news flash for you. Crackers are smart. Almost all of them have day jobs where they make enough money to buy all the games they want. They see cracking these games as a challenging puzzle. They will absolutely LOVE cracking Assassin's Creed 2.

Spore had a similar "Must be connected" DRM (it wasn't nearly as draconian as this, but I digress). It was cracked and released to the web a week before it was released on the street.

All DRM does is cause problems for legitimate consumers. This is the worst idea in the history of DRM.

Don't even try and patronise me, I'm well aware there are individuals out there who's only purpose is to circumvent these failsafes.

These individuals also work for these companies implementing, said crackers are hired to aid them in creating new defences. Firewall manufacturers hire them, and now games companies do.

To find something succesful, many stages have to be trialed before hand. It's like saying my current relationship is destined to fail because all my previous ones have. There will be a point where DRM is succesful, and thus the issue (for the company, which is the only thing that matters in the grand scale) will be resolved.

Except the solution is to realize the entire idea is terrible and abandon it utterly - if any other industry was pulling the crap that the software industry routinely gets away with, you would have a world-wide consumer uprising on your hands. Software piracy is not a problem companies should be trying to 'solve' by foisting draconian systems on the people actually paying them for their products in a misguided attempt to "eliminate piracy".

Pirates are not your customers!!!!!!!!!!

If coders finally concoct a DRM scheme that is impossible to circumvent, companies will NOT see sales figures rise - they will probably remain exactly the same, or even fall, because the odds are good their 'perfect' system is highly annoying and intrusive, thus driving off some of the people who would have otherwise bought their title. The pirates? They weren't going to buy it anyways! So if you make it so they can't pirate your game, all that's going to happen is they won't be able to pirate your game. You cannot make honest paying customers out of a demographic that is defined by the fact that they steal your products routinely, something anyone with a modicum of common sense could tell you.

In the name of stopping piracy, publishers have been finding increasingly expensive and pointless ways to drive off the customers they have right now - this is by all metrics a terrible idea. They are spending not insignificant amounts of money to sell less games and not stop shit - all the while earning nothing but negative PR from irate former customers in the process.

So we can either conclude the bigwigs are painfully stupid, or piracy is just a straw man and the real enemy is the used games market, which nets them every bit as much profit as pirated copies of their games do, and those suits have wisely concluded that admitting this is the real reason they keep coming up with new forms of DRM would absolutely murder their public image. Fighting the dirty dirty pirates lets them take the moral high ground you see.

And everyone should be worried, because frankly, at this point there isn't a used games market for the PC to kill (nearly ubiquitous online activation has all but killed it off entirely) - with the increasing shift of development focus towards consoles for various 'blockbuster' franchises, it's not an unreasonable suggestion that publishers are using their smaller and less profitable PC divisions to test things they plan to somehow incorporate into future console releases. We're already seeing not so subtle moves in that direction, with publishers tying launch day DLC into accounts that then cannot be transferred when a title is resold. The day where you literally cannot trade in your old games because they all require online account-based activation to play may not be all that far off.

Companies have a right to protect their products, but if that means screwing over us, their paying customers in the process, they need to learn that we will not put up with that. Digital Rights Management has always been about eroding away any rights the customer might have once had in favor of those of content provider, and as such are explicitly designed to screw you over to a greater or lesser extent. There is therefore no such thing as 'good DRM', just as there is no benevolent way to shove sharpened sticks under somebody's fingernails. All that differs from one DRM implementation to another is just how much it screws you over, ranging from mild annoyances at best to retarded bullshit like this one at the extreme end of the scale.

I don't know about you, but I think defending companies metaphorical rights to shove sharpened sticks underneath my fingernails when I pay them money for their products is something only crazy or grossly misinformed people would ever defend.

Gildan Bladeborn:

Random Bobcat:

snip

snip... snip

You forgot to sign it "-Summer Galu"
XKCD reference aside, that is the truth, ther is also another side, pirating for sampling purposes, which is FAIR USE, I have done this on occasion and it has helped me avoid some really bad games

Clarifies that it is exactly what we called it out to be? OK, thanks, I thought I was complaining about nothing.

How much do people want to bet the first thing 85% of the people getting this game will do is find the 'Anti-DRM Patch' that every Game Hacker and their Grandma will produce at Day 0?

Saying it twice doesn't make it better.

Gildan Bladeborn:
-snip-

Your post was awesome. But theres one minor nitpick. The used PC game market was dead long before online activation was even a twinkle in a corporate shill's eye. The used PC game market was killed by piracy. People would buy the game, install it, crack it, then return it. Leading to every retailer of PC games to adopt a "no-returns" policy.

Rainboq:

Gildan Bladeborn:

You forgot to sign it "-Summer Galu"
XKCD reference aside, that is the truth, ther is also another side, pirating for sampling purposes, which is FAIR USE, I have done this on occasion and it has helped me avoid some really bad games

Ideally companies would provide demos for that purpose (and so we can determine if games will run at all before we buy them and then cannot return them since they've been opened hate that so much), but yes, that's one of the few reasonably valid reasons to pirate a game, provided of course you then purchase yourself a copy if you determine you like it.

In a funny way, the misguided crusade against piracy has created a system that drives otherwise paying customers to engage in piracy - with a console title, if you buy it and determine you don't like it, you can at least trade it back in (at a substantial loss of course). With PC games, retailers have long ago assumed anyone trying to return opened software has already ripped a copy and is therefore trying to game the system, so they'll only let you exchange opened software - and since online activation came into vogue, reselling PC titles is increasingly less and less possible.

So because everyone assumes their customers are miserable pirates, they actually turn them into pirates. Irony, thy name is DRM.

Hopeless Bastard:

Gildan Bladeborn:
-snip-

Your post was awesome. But theres one minor nitpick. The used PC game market was dead long before online activation was even a twinkle in a corporate shill's eye. The used PC game market was killed by piracy. People would buy the game, install it, crack it, then return it. Leading to every retailer of PC games to adopt a "no-returns" policy.

Well no, not really - what those policies killed was the customers ability to get their money back if something legitimately would not work/was found to be way more objectionable than they thought/other valid reason for wanting to return something goes here/etc. Trading in your used games isn't returning them, as companies like Gamestop don't offer anything even remotely approaching a full refund against the purchase price - you get a small fraction of it back at best.

It's one thing to give customers their money back when you know they've doubtless still got their mitts on the product, and another to keep almost all of their money in return for a copy of the game you can now sell again. The used PC-games market was still around for quite some time after "No refunds for opened software" was a de facto industry standard - I used to pick up quite a few of my games that way.

Macgyvercas:
I'm glad I don't have to put up with this (Console gamer, FTW).

I wonder when developers will figure out that everyone hates DRM and stop using it.

Your statement is logical and reasonable, but you fail to see that dumbassed developers and the people that create DRM do not fit into the "everyone" that hates DRM. How about your quantify your statement to say "everyone that isn't involved in making and/or selling DRM hates it"?

Still a huge no. When my connection drops, it drops for a couple minutes, and it does this frequently. AC2 will be completely unplayable for me as long as this exists.

I don't suppose the Steam version might be void of this crap?

Gildan Bladeborn:

Rainboq:

Gildan Bladeborn:

You forgot to sign it "-Summer Galu"
XKCD reference aside, that is the truth, ther is also another side, pirating for sampling purposes, which is FAIR USE, I have done this on occasion and it has helped me avoid some really bad games

Ideally companies would provide demos for that purpose (and so we can determine if games will run at all before we buy them and then cannot return them since they've been opened hate that so much), but yes, that's one of the few reasonably valid reasons to pirate a game, provided of course you then purchase yourself a copy if you determine you like it.

In a funny way, the misguided crusade against piracy has created a system that drives otherwise paying customers to engage in piracy - with a console title, if you buy it and determine you don't like it, you can at least trade it back in (at a substantial loss of course). With PC games, retailers have long ago assumed anyone trying to return opened software has already ripped a copy and is therefore trying to game the system, so they'll only let you exchange opened software - and since online activation came into vogue, reselling PC titles is increasingly less and less possible.

So because everyone assumes their customers are miserable pirates, they actually turn them into pirates. Irony, thy name is DRM.

.... they need to let you write articles on this subject

Gildan Bladeborn:

Ideally companies would provide demos for that purpose (and so we can determine if games will run at all before we buy them and then cannot return them since they've been opened hate that so much), but yes, that's one of the few reasonably valid reasons to pirate a game, provided of course you then purchase yourself a copy if you determine you like it.

You've detailed the only way in which a demo is reliable. There have been a lot of great demos for shitty games. Just as there have been a lot of good trailers for shitty movies. Thats what a demo is. A trailer. A cynical showcase of the best the gameplay has to offer, which is intended to imply the rest of the game is as good or better.

PhunkyPhazon:
Still a huge no. When my connection drops, it drops for a couple minutes, and it does this frequently. AC2 will be completely unplayable for me as long as this exists.

I don't suppose the Steam version might be void of this crap?

Maybe we'll get lucky and if your in offline mode it won't need to connect

Brilliant! Turn your PC games into shit and blame it on piracy when it fails! After all, it's not like the very DRM that is supposed to stop piracy is driving away legitimate customers. I don't know why they don't just say "Fuck you PC gamers" and just stop making PC games.

Woodsey:
Still shit, and now we're going to have to hope the game we're playing is one of the ones that resumes from where we left off. PC Gamer interviewed them, and they even admitted it'd get cracked straight away.

The benefits are (this made me laugh) that you can install as many times as you like, on as many computers you like. I used to be able to do that with every game, when there was no such thing as DRM.

That's the reason why people pirate in the first place. And the people who don't have a 'net connection can't play the game, but they can hardly download it illegally either. If you don't have a connection no one's going to let you borrow theirs for the hours it takes to download a torrent.

Petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?ew15dl94&1

I'd love a contact email address where we can send polite and informative emails to Ubisoft, telling them what we think. Maybe a member of staff working at the Escapist could provide this? Or contact Ubisoft who can then announce the address directly?

Keep up doing all the good work, dude!

OT: Even though I have internet on my PC, and it's pretty good(the youtube vids load up really nice), it's really unstable. Some examples: there are days when my net provider has problems(or does maintenance) and my connection's down for the day;this happens about once every 2 weeks.

+ Some times I can't even log on average sites like the Escapist(every 2-3 day's for about 2-3 hours I simply can't access The Escapist)

When your connection drops about 5 times a day for no reason for varying legths of time, connection speed doesn't quite matter when you have no connection.

Its straight up bullshit, and I can't believe their trying to do this. Its like EA's "online check every 10 days" only worse.

Said it before, I'll say it again: Used to be a PC gamer, but now a console gamer. DRMs are a big, big part of the why.

Truth be told, I don't like Ubisoft anyway (As a general rule, not an absolute one) So, really, all they're going to do is lose paying customers. Not really my problem.

MR T3D:

I ... it.

I'm sure there was a time when electricity was thought impossible.

Altorin:

I have to say, that first post didn't really do much to sway me to the opinion that you are not an artificial intelligence bent on the subjugation and destruction of all organic life.

Unusual

Altorin:

your ... for.

Your entitlement to do so I suppose.

No, they shouldn't. However we don't live in a world full of care and respect, we live in a world starving for money and desperate for margins.

Yes the current boom of DRM measures is a nuisance, one I could do without as could many others. Your mentioned examples are small however, optional relatively useless items in an overall product.

The issue and solution as far as I am concerned lies with the hardware. Consoles can easily be programmed to have a trip that fries the motherboard - it just costs a bit too much to implement on a grand scale in its present form. DLC for consoles is primarily about the second hand market - it having a DRM esque side effect is just unfortunate. However if you can download you can be online - not so much an issue in this instance.

Altorin:

And ....

Yes, it is. That's the reality.

Gildan Bladeborn:

Except ... [/u].

First of all; good post. With all the abuse and picture spam its pleasant to read something of substance. I'm not going to respond to each point, because from a consumer point of view I agree.

However, this anti-piracy isn't necessarily circling the desire to ensure more people buy your product, its to ensure no one gets it for free.

So many companies would happily burn than to toil for thieves to benefit from their work.

I'll disagree with your final paragraph though, companies can do what the hell they like with their own products, whether that's programming the game to be one use only or to sell you things in pieces. As long as they inform that's what they're doing; no problems. Opportunity cost is what will ultimately guide their decisions so if it proves a bad investment it will go. Like the other DRM presented so far.

As an overall aside however, I like how the companies are coming across as the overlords and the pirates as heroes. It really does seem backward to me.

One final point, with all this quote spam I seem to be quite popular for not falling in line of the shouting hordes so I'll say this:

Consumer point of view I hate this, from a corporate point of view I understand. I won't acknowledge quotes anymore.

I shall be torrenting a cracked version of this game just because of the DRM, heh . . . i might even play it. . . maybe. but atleast i won't be paying for it.

Jarrid:

Macgyvercas:
I'm glad I don't have to put up with this (Console gamer, FTW).

I wonder when developers will figure out that everyone hates DRM and stop using it.

Your statement is logical and reasonable, but you fail to see that dumbassed developers and the people that create DRM do not fit into the "everyone" that hates DRM. How about your quantify your statement to say "everyone that isn't involved in making and/or selling DRM hates it"?

Fair enough. But it still begs the question of why developers use this when I'm fairly certain they know we hate this crap.

Random Bobcat:

SAVE JOHN CONNOR!

EVERYONE ELSE IS EXPENDABLE!

In our feature story :

The PC version of Assassins Creed II sells 6 copys all around the world.

4 of these people went crazy after having problems, being paused for more than 10 minutes, or being dropped to the main menu while trying to end their current mission because their connection dropped out for the rest of the day. They all through the disk up in the air and shot them to pieces, each individual using different choices of weapons, from revolvers, through shotguns, one user was sent to jail for blowing up the disc with a grenade in his backyard ...

The 2 other customers seem to be well, progressing through Desmonds memories just fine.
We asked them about their opinion:
Robert: I almost got through the game, I love that the DLC's are included, hopefully I can play through the game, without spending any more money - since I started I had to buy two new keyboards, a new mouse, and three routers... I think, next time I will rather break the disc ...
Tim : Well, It's a great game, I like it, my net...it causes problems, but than I just take a pill or two or three or more oh gooood I need to calm down...please call my pschychiatrist!!!! DAMN UBISOFT!!!

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