Ubisoft Ditches Always-On DRM

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Ubisoft Ditches Always-On DRM

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Ubisoft claims customer feedback persuaded them to drop their controversial DRM policy.

After spending much time and effort defending its policy on always-on DRM, Ubisoft has announced that it will be dropping its always-on DRM effective immediately. In fact, it's already dropped it; Ubisoft's Worldwide Director for online games, Stephanie Perotti, claimed that this had actually been unofficial Ubisoft policy for several months now, but that the time had come for an official announcement. Activation limits? Gone. Can you install on as many different PCs as you like? Yep. Ubisoft only requires a single online activation once the game is installed; after that, you may do with the game as you will.

When reminded that in the past Ubisoft had claimed that always-on DRM had resulted in a clear reduction in piracy, Perotti called Ubisoft's previous claim "an unfortunate comment." "We have listened to feedback," said Perotti, "and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline." "Listening to feedback" seems to be Ubisoft's current mantra; when questioned, both Perotti and Comminications Manager Michael Burk repeated the phrase as though it could ward off evil. However neither went so far as to recant the DRM credo; when asked whether Ubisoft acknowledged that DRM only affected paying customers and not pirates, Perotti's response was "I wouldn't say that ... I think the fact that you activate your game when you install it is a pretty industry standard process." Neither was willing to say that always-on DRM had been a mistake.

Though Ubisoft's DRM is no longer a PC problem, it's worth noting that - according to Ubisoft's figures - PC sales made up only 7% of the total in the last fiscal year. When asked if console was therefore a priority, the response was that all platforms were important. "What we've been announcing at Gamescom for instance," said Perotti, "is a large portfolio of varied online PC games, games that are exclusively designed for the PC ." Perotti concluded by saying "I would just say that we listened to feedback, we adapt, we will continue to listen and adapt, and hopefully we will continue to prove to the PC gaming community that we listen."

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun

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I still don't trust them as far as I can throw them and the things they've said about the PC gamers over the years hasn't magically been unsaid yet. However, I am willing to give this gesture a token of approval by buying some game or another from them. Which one, eeeeh, doesn't matter I guess. Anyway, good job Ubisoft, but I still got my eye on you dogfuckers.

I wonder if the reason it only made up 7% of sales was because of the horrific and stupid DRM that actually made it preferable to be using a pirate copy.

This is almost certainly going to boost their PC sales.

The ground, it feels so cold...I think hell has frozen over!

Really though, I am thrilled to hear that Ubisoft are finally starting to take steps in the right direction.

Typical PR responses and no admission of fault in their logic... Probably the return on investment was not worth the bad press... At least the end result is more important than anything else.

Only 7% sales on the PC? That's hurts... right in the heart. *clutches chest*

Oh the other hand, there are still PC games being publishes by Ubisoft. That's nice though. Publish is a key word here though.

And it's a good thing they've ditched the DRM. But that means that probably definitely indeedly dee, a new client will be coming. Maybe, juuuust maybe, the uPlay thing might become a client. Like EA's Origin. <.<

Its the first step on the journey of a thousand miles and this step was one in the right direction.

Deviate:
I still don't trust them as far as I can throw them and the things they've said about the PC gamers over the years hasn't magically been unsaid yet. However, I am willing to give this gesture a token of approval by buying some game or another from them. Which one, eeeeh, doesn't matter I guess. Anyway, good job Ubisoft, but I still got my eye on you dogfuckers.

Yeah, between this and Epic suddenly deciding that "no, really, we've always loved the PC" I'm not sure what the fuck is happening but it's making me very suspicious.

Sorry UBI, but you've lost me already. Should have listened a year ago when the entire internet was telling you just how stupid this whole DRM thing was.

RhombusHatesYou:

Deviate:
I still don't trust them as far as I can throw them and the things they've said about the PC gamers over the years hasn't magically been unsaid yet. However, I am willing to give this gesture a token of approval by buying some game or another from them. Which one, eeeeh, doesn't matter I guess. Anyway, good job Ubisoft, but I still got my eye on you dogfuckers.

Yeah, between this and Epic suddenly deciding that "no, really, we've always loved the PC" I'm not sure what the fuck is happening but it's making me very suspicious.

Indeed. Like a dog that's suddenly widdled out on the lawn instead of on Daddy's Stereo, let's give them a little treat and hopefully reinforce their behaviour, but let's not remove the plastic on the electronics just yet.

Some will say this is too little too late, but I count this as a win for gamers.

RhombusHatesYou:

Deviate:
I still don't trust them as far as I can throw them and the things they've said about the PC gamers over the years hasn't magically been unsaid yet. However, I am willing to give this gesture a token of approval by buying some game or another from them. Which one, eeeeh, doesn't matter I guess. Anyway, good job Ubisoft, but I still got my eye on you dogfuckers.

Yeah, between this and Epic suddenly deciding that "no, really, we've always loved the PC" I'm not sure what the fuck is happening but it's making me very suspicious.

Simple, console sales are dropping like crazy and quite a few developers who give love to the PC are seeing an increase in sales. So now that consoles (still selling decent) sales have peaked and are dropping they are coming back to the PC with fresh drinks pretending they didn't leave the table for the pretty blond that stopped paying attention to him.

7% sales on PC will hurt ubisoft, especially since they have been pretending PC isn't as important as they want us to believe. I will be watching the next few ubisoft games with optimistic caution.

Of course I can't help but feel like this is another temporary PR stunt like their claims that PC has a 95% piracy rate, and of course the always on DRM prevents piracy(which they finally admitted in PR talk that it was a crap statement).

Incline of the Ubisoft? Apparently so.

Now which company are we going to put on our #3 worst publisher spot, behind EA and Activision?

Though Ubisoft's DRM is no longer a PC problem, it's worth noting that - according to Ubisoft's figures - PC sales made up only 7% of the total in the last fiscal year.

You do know WHY it was only 7% don't you Ubisoft?

"When asked if console was therefore a priority, the response was that all platforms were important"

Is that why they still barely support steam at all beyond selling dlc and charging bloated prices for all their products? Ubisoft has no one to blame for their lack of sales on the platform but themselves.

It's like they have no idea that admitting mistakes can go a long way towards restoring trust, or that refusing to admit them will destroy it further. Ubisoft: While you're listening to feedback, it might be in your interest to have people talk to the press who actually understand how humans talk to each other. The lizards you had speaking for you in this article just make you look worse.

Listen to the customers? My arse.

I think the traumatic cost level of the system is the reason they're giving up.

Every game they release requires space on the authentication servers, the servers have to run twenty four seven for all the games. Then after all that, they have to keep running for several years, long after the game has run out of useful sales potential.

Any kind of failure or removal of 'support' for games results in a PR disaster, no doubt the system has had an impact on sales as well.

I think the company accountants have looked at the system, what it does, how much equipment, how many people and collectively yelled What le furk are you theenking!? at the various executives who dreamed it up.

Alternatively, Ubisoft have dropped it in preparation for something even more stupid. Wouldn't put it past them.

Listened to feedback?

Of their Financial Accountants probably because listening to GAMERS is not something they have done for a long while.

I don't trust Ubisoft
Why give out rootkits in form of Uplay, why force Online in OFFLINE games why.. who is your master. Because it seems you run your business out of an Asylum.

No.. no.. just no!

What makes sure that in 6 months the Online DRM for Offline games isn't back? Nobody can trust you guys on your word. And without trust you have nothing. You'll have to dig a long time in the Trust Mines before you get on any level of Respect not worth spitting at.

However start by accepting STEAM as an acceptable method of selling games. Give it full support from your side, people love steam, well like steam.. it works. It isn't perfect but at least it works! Better then you Uplay!

Is this retroactive? I never bought Assasins Creed 2 because of the DRM scheme. Will buying a copy now not require the system? 'Cause the game boxes at the retailer still carry the always-online warning.

Well, that's one of the first signs of the appocalypse, I guess 2012 was not just pure ridicule after all!

Still this is a step in the right direction. Although I do feel bad for Activision/Blizzard now, Diablo 3 has no one else to support their DRM anymore... wait, actually I do not; Release the Krake- ehhh... justified angry mob.

TopazFusion:
Will this open the floodgates of rampant piracy? Only time will tell ...

I'd say the floodgates were already well open. Silent Hunter 5 (the very first victim of the system) was cracked inside a couple of months.

Assassin's Creed 2 was cracked within a week, within a month it was not only cracked, you could download a tool to remove the DRM from the retail version. Modders, hackers and pirates did more for AC2's sales than Ubisoft can dream, I would never have bought it if I'd had to put up with the log in system and mid-play dump outs.

It's nice to know that always online DRM was the best thing to ever happen to PC gaming right up until it was dropped for being the worst thing that ever happened to PC gaming. Funny how press releases work.

Metzeten:
I wonder if the reason it only made up 7% of sales was because of the horrific and stupid DRM that actually made it preferable to be using a pirate copy.

This is almost certainly going to boost their PC sales.

DVS BSTrD:

Though Ubisoft's DRM is no longer a PC problem, it's worth noting that - according to Ubisoft's figures - PC sales made up only 7% of the total in the last fiscal year.

You do know WHY it was only 7% don't you Ubisoft?

I am not going to defend Ubisoft here. But PC games get pirated on a MASSIVE scale; not just Ubisoft, every publisher suffers from piracy. Consoles have far less piracy and thus are more popular for devs.

The overall piracy rate for a popular game is between 50% and 75% on the PC and less than 20% on consoles.

Actually, games get pirated less because of DRM. The loss of people not buying the game because of DRM is less than the loss of people who pirate the game (who were potential buyers). The DRM gets cracked eventually, but it is just to prevent the game from being pirated for as long as possible, usually a week or 2.

Maybe I'll buy Assassins Creed 3 on the PC then, assuming I can afford it.

What I've seen of it has shifted me towards buying it recently.

Because why put in effort when you can just act like your laziness and incompetence make you morally superior amirite?

4RM3D:

Metzeten:
I wonder if the reason it only made up 7% of sales was because of the horrific and stupid DRM that actually made it preferable to be using a pirate copy.

This is almost certainly going to boost their PC sales.

DVS BSTrD:

Though Ubisoft's DRM is no longer a PC problem, it's worth noting that - according to Ubisoft's figures - PC sales made up only 7% of the total in the last fiscal year.

You do know WHY it was only 7% don't you Ubisoft?

I am not going to defend Ubisoft here. But PC games get pirated on a MASSIVE scale; not just Ubisoft, every publisher suffers from piracy. Consoles have far less piracy and thus are more popular for devs.

The overall piracy rate for a popular game is between 50% and 75% on the PC and less than 20% on consoles.

Actually, games get pirated less because of DRM. The loss of people not buying the game because of DRM is less than the loss of people who pirate the game (who were potential buyers). The DRM gets cracked eventually, but it is just to prevent the game from being pirated for as long as possible, usually a week or 2.

inb4 you being labeled as corporate sell-out :P

OT:
Well, this is good, right? So let's enjoy it while it lasts, for as we all know, big companies like to shoot themself in their feet. ;)

dangoball:
inb4 you being labeled as corporate sell-out :P

OT:
Well, this is good, right? So let's enjoy it while it lasts, for as we all know, big companies like to shoot themself in their feet. ;)

Meh, just explaining the situation.

You got two kinds of pirates:

1) People that don't CARE about the impact on the industry.
2) Poeple that don't KNOW about the impact on the industry.

The first group is hopeless to talk to, but I might be able to knock some sense into the second group ;)

I am not a fan of DRM. The usual ones, e.g. first time activation, are not so bad and I don't tend to have an issue with it. But Ubisoft went too far with the always online DRM. The install limit on some DRMs sucks also.

Is this going to apply retroactively to older games? Will I be able to play my Steam copy of Might and Magic Heroes 6 without uplay?

P.S. Thanks

FelixG:
The ground, it feels so cold...I think hell has frozen over!

Really though, I am thrilled to hear that Ubisoft are finally starting to take steps in the right direction.

In the next news report: "Flying Pigs Spotted Over Montreal's Skyline" XD

OT: Freaking finally, I guess. Glad they switched to a much less intrusive method.

Ubisoft games upgraded from "avoid like plague" to "steam sale"(minimum of 75% off). Can they hold this upgrade or will it slip through their fingers? Find out next time on The Evil Mr. Bean of Publishers!

I wonder how much money it cost them to annoy their customers. Why don't they release those figures?

4RM3D:

Metzeten:
I wonder if the reason it only made up 7% of sales was because of the horrific and stupid DRM that actually made it preferable to be using a pirate copy.

This is almost certainly going to boost their PC sales.

DVS BSTrD:

Though Ubisoft's DRM is no longer a PC problem, it's worth noting that - according to Ubisoft's figures - PC sales made up only 7% of the total in the last fiscal year.

You do know WHY it was only 7% don't you Ubisoft?

I am not going to defend Ubisoft here. But PC games get pirated on a MASSIVE scale; not just Ubisoft, every publisher suffers from piracy. Consoles have far less piracy and thus are more popular for devs.

The overall piracy rate for a popular game is between 50% and 75% on the PC and less than 20% on consoles.

Actually, games get pirated less because of DRM. The loss of people not buying the game because of DRM is less than the loss of people who pirate the game (who were potential buyers). The DRM gets cracked eventually, but it is just to prevent the game from being pirated for as long as possible, usually a week or 2.

Got the data for those statistics? If not please take those Fox News style stats to try and justify something that should never be justified in order to push an ignorant agenda and just go. Thanks

I'm not taking this seriously until they also patch it out of their older games. Which, admittedly, they are pretty likely to do since the alternative would require keeping the DRM servers online forever just to support older games. Or shutting them down and letting players suck it, but I'd like to think even Ubisoft isn't that stupid.

Hmm well they've made me reconsider getting Heroes of might and magic 6 but we'll see how things go...

Now we can work on that other issue - the one where I don't care for any Ubisoft IP.

LMAO that it took them this long to figure out that people don't like having to be connected online 24/7 to play single player games.

Also an LOL to the PC fanboys who say PC are taking over 7% sales LMAO.

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