Ubisoft Says Always-On DRM, "A Success"

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Ubisoft Says Always-On DRM, "A Success"

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Ubisoft's controversial "Always-On" DRM scheme has been dubbed "a success" by an Ubisoft representative.

The rep, talking to PC Gamer, went on to say that Ubisoft has seen "a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection."

Ubisoft's DRM scheme, which requires players to be connected to an authentication server at all times while playing a game, was first introduced with Settlers 7 before being implemented in several high profile titles including Assassin's Creed 2, it did not, however, make an appearance in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Just this morning, Ubisoft announced that the PC version of the upcoming Driver: San Francisco will also be using the same system. The fan response to the DRM scheme has been, shall we say, unenthusiastic.

The chief argument against Ubisoft's particular system is that gamers have no direct control over their internet connections. A service outage, either on the player's end or on Ubisoft's, can leave a customer without access to a product they've paid for. Many argue that rascally pirate-types simply avoid or remove the DRM altogether, meaning the only people inconvenienced by the system are legitimate customers. Several developers, including Capcom and CD Projekt, have pulled DRM from their games in response to fan criticism.

Ubisoft hasn't detailed exactly where it's getting its numbers regarding game piracy (though it warms my heart to imagine idiot pirates filling out questionnaires. "Do you steal our games? Y/N") so it's hard to make any judgement calls regarding the "success" of the system, at least from a numerical standpoint. It is, however, worth noting that popular torrent site The Pirate Bay, lists a copy of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, minus DRM, as one of its most popular PC game downloads.

Source: PC Gamer

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They are probably just trying to avoid looking bad.

Its not working.

THE STUPID IT BURNS

Oh, and the injustice burns, too. They're essentially saying, "You have no internet and want to play our games? HAHA FUCK YOU"

Fail.

That's really all I can say. If they consider their terrible, draconian DRM system a "success", Ubisoft clearly exists on some other plane of reality where consumers are treated like criminals and owls can juggle Honda Civics.

"Insane DRM reduces piracy" which seems strange considering that they probably count each legit purchaser that went DRM free piracy.

ddq5:
Fail.

That's really all I can say. If they consider their terrible, draconian DRM system a "success", Ubisoft clearly exists on some other plane of reality where consumers are treated like criminals and owls can juggle Honda Civics.

Hehe! I had a hoot imagining the owls.

OT: Nothing special. A sigh in Ubisofts general direction.

So basically they've decided to stick their fingers in their ears and go "lalalalalala" for the rest of their lives?

Always-on drm is a success: it has successfully persuaded me to stop buying Ubisoft products entirely. They don't care, of course, so fair's fair.

At first I wasn't interested. Now I'm going to avoid it like the plague.

You know what I want to see? an actual discussion of what this DRM means. I've seen lots of people who instantly sputter a gut reaction and condemn it immediately but that's incredibly short sighted. There are lots of issues to discuss here, not the lest of which is why people hate it so much (and don't give me that crap about you just hate DRM or your internet connection sucks there is more to it and you know it). I want to know why people keep blasting DRM and why stories keep getting put it. Its not about simply hating the thing, this is on the level of a zealot crusade and I want to know why. As far as I'm concerned though, it's never going to happen because people are just too angry to talk all they can do is yell. Ah well, maybe DRM should treat use like means spirited children, we sure act like it.

A self-proclaimed success I might add. As far as my little inner circle goes, none of my friends, including myself, bought anything DRM-related after Ubisoft pulled that stunt. That's several hundred dollars lost just right there. It might not speak for the world as a whole, but I'm sure many followed suit to some degree. So...if by working, they mean it's not working, then I agree.

Here's the deal Ubi, you are driving people away from your games.

The result is the same if someone pirates your game or if they don't pirate your game. You get $0 unless that person actually buys it. So while your games might see less piracy, you're not seeing greater sales.

So just because pirates don't feel it's worth their bandwidth to download your games, don't go thinking your DRM is a success.

Twilight_guy:
You know what I want to see? an actual discussion of what this DRM means. I've seen lots of people who instantly sputter a gut reaction and condemn it immediately but that's incredibly short sighted. There are lots of issues to discuss here, not the lest of which is why people hate it so much (and don't give me that crap about you just hate DRM or your internet connection sucks there is more to it and you know it). I want to know why people keep blasting DRM and why stories keep getting put it. Its not about simply hating the thing, this is on the level of a zealot crusade and I want to know why. As far as I'm concerned though, it's never going to happen because people are just too angry to talk all they can do is yell. Ah well, maybe DRM should treat use like means spirited children, we sure act like it.

DRM is a pretty wide reaching term but usually when users condemn it they're talking about specific products, like SecuROM, Starforce or Ubisoft's DRM scheme. Quite often people's opinions on DRM doesn't extend to things like Steam or Battlenet, purely because they don't recognise them as such.

Why do I not believe.... at all... any official statements from Ubiderp that this anti-piracy software is actually working...

Especially considering I'm sure they lose sales on PC with this odd and annoying strategy. Example: Fans burned by the DRM software on AC2 will probably be less likely to buy any titles to contain the same idiotic solution. I myself do not face this problem because I play AC games on the XBOX - but you can be damn sure I will never buy any of these games from the PC.

It HAS been a success. It successfully...wait

kyogen:
Always-on drm is a success: it has successfully persuaded me to stop buying Ubisoft products entirely. They don't care, of course, so fair's fair.

Yea that. That right there. While I'm only one person, I refuse to buy an Ubisoft product on PC. If I really want to play it I'll get it on console or just do without. As long as I'm being treated like a criminal they can continue to cheekily eat from the underside of my ass.

Completely out of touch. Not just two sandviches short of a picnic, but the basket, tea-cloth and even the refreshments.

They're actively praising their most hated point. Even Kotick doesn't do that.

This is pretty close when Kotick payed all those high up people to say he was a nice because eh sells the games and isnt afraid of anything.

Pretty close...

Grey Carter:

Twilight_guy:
You know what I want to see? an actual discussion of what this DRM means. I've seen lots of people who instantly sputter a gut reaction and condemn it immediately but that's incredibly short sighted. There are lots of issues to discuss here, not the lest of which is why people hate it so much (and don't give me that crap about you just hate DRM or your internet connection sucks there is more to it and you know it). I want to know why people keep blasting DRM and why stories keep getting put it. Its not about simply hating the thing, this is on the level of a zealot crusade and I want to know why. As far as I'm concerned though, it's never going to happen because people are just too angry to talk all they can do is yell. Ah well, maybe DRM should treat use like means spirited children, we sure act like it.

DRM is a pretty wide reaching term but usually when users condemn it they're talking about specific products, like SecuROM, Starforce or Ubisoft's DRM scheme. Quite often people's opinions on DRM doesn't extend to things like Steam or Battlenet, purely because they don't recognise them as such.

I don't know about Battle.net, but I know at least with Steam, a person doesn't have to be online to play the games they paid for.

Successes of the Ubisoft DRM.
It successfully encourages people to buy the games on console!
It successfully encourages people to pirate the games instead if they don't do the above!
It successfully shoots itself in the foot!
And it certainly is successfully taking money and shoving it away from themselves!

I don't see anything about preventing pirating there...

Yes... A sucess... Which is why I own RUSE, but not assasins creed II, even though I've spent longer playing the latter. I did buy HAWX 2, but that was more to do with a price drop at the time, and my not having payed for the original HAWX...

We also obviously have a different form of success for Ubisoft than for Steam. Ubisoft discourages buyers, and reduces peoples desire to transition from pirated to legitimate copies later on, where as steam game sales grow like the plague... Brought most of the games I've pirated through it over the years, and gifted people things so they start using and buying games themselves... For which the lower prices and accessability helps.

Restrive DRM vs Addictive DRM I suppose...

This is why I like to get certain games for console. Sure, you loose out on modding and so forth, but when my router busts a tit, or our net company shuts us down for some reason, I can keep playing.

That, and considering the few games I like of Ubisoft, I like enough to buy. I also don't think that piracy has gone down; I am certain someone figured out ages ago how to bypass the need for internet.

Its seriously just because no one bought the games. Even in my own circle of friends and list of aquaintances many people chose not to buy assassin's creed 2/brotherhood until long after they mattered, and were greatly discounted.

Ubisoft needs to get their heads on straight.

Grey Carter:
unenthusiastic.

TRANSLATION: Ubisoft fails at business, marketing, and economics.

In other news: Pirates around the world dance around and shout "Yarrr!" because of the success of the new job security which Ubisoft as provided them.

wtf are you smoking ubisoft
yeah it's a success... for a month then the games get cracked
potential costumers are scared away and during that month your real costumers feels like they've been fucked
I love your games ubisoft but this kind of shit is just leaving a bad taste in my mouth, it's not doing your reputation any good ubisoft
stop fumigating your offices with weed ubisoft

Ubisoft hasn't detailed exactly where it's getting its numbers regarding game piracy [ ... ] so it's hard to make any judgement calls regarding the "success" of the system, at least from a numerical standpoint.

They are pulling them out of their ass. No "study" attempting to quantify the economic impact of unsanctioned copying is credible, because you can't measure events (sales) that never happened. It is precisely analogous to asking the question, "How many times didn't you beat your wife last week?"

I hate games with DRM so much I refuse to even pirate them. Even if I did buy a game with DRM, I would feel no guilt upon cracking it.

So pissing off and alienating their customers is successful?

Well at least they're honest about being a bunch of dicks.

Twilight_guy:
I want to know why people keep blasting DRM and why stories keep getting put it.

Well, Shamus has already explained it far better than I can.

But, generally, if you buy a product, it is seen as rude, crass, unhelpful and irritating for you to continually prove that you've not stolen it.

Especially if this means that you are unable to use the product you've bought unless the manufacturer says so. And they make little effort to say anything.

In a nutshell: If a product is easier, cheaper and more effective to pirate - than to acquire legally - DRM is working in reverse.

Effective DRM, like Steam, provides bonuses for the constant "receipt-carrying", but it's still a trade-off. Ubisoft's insane DRM doesn't even work for legitimate customers. It's better if you pirate it - in every way.

(Note: Root does not condone piracy. Just leave them alone and play something decent like Witcher 2)

Sorry, Chahi, Ubisoft is just too...
I'll play Another World (MS-DOS) instead. $10 on GoG.com :|

What your failing to understand is they look at game sales like Golf. The less you make the better your doing.

My paranoid theory: They're getting their piracy numbers from THE SAME FREAKING PEOPLE who sold them the DRM. Some executive needs a slap upside the head if they think they got more sales because of this crap.

It probably means it forces people to buy the console versions instead of dealing with epic bullshit to play a game you paid money for. Gotta love these companies that just want to destroy PC gaming and its player base. We are all thieving scumbags who deserved to be punished while playing games we paid for. Thanks ass.

Somebody should design a system that electrocutes the people who make this decision every time they look away from the people from who they bought their food, sold them their clothes, or built their house. Lets see how they like that.

So. Are there any sales statistics relating to this? Is there a fall in sales? I certainly haven't bought the Settlers 7 because of Always-On DRM despite loving previous offerings from the franchise. Given that the majority of serious pirates aren't lost revenue as they wouldn't have bought what they pirate even if piracy was impossible I feel that it would be interesting to see how Ubisofts sales figures went.

You could take into account different outlets and consoles, indicating people choosing to avoid a draconian DRM system by simply buying a version of the product that does not have it. Would be interesting and a more accurate depiction of whether or not it was a success.

Oh, I see. Just basing success on stopping pirates. I guess stopping non pirates without online is unimportant.

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