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Ubisoft: Our Always-Online DRM is a Success

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 99 comments

DRM is the cost of PC gaming.

Legit PC gamers sometimes have it pretty rough when games publishers decide to lace their products with DRM schemes that are quite strict.

Gamers who have purchased Ubisoft games Settlers 7, Silent Hunter V, Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood know that a constant and reliable internet connection is required in order to play.

While this does make things harder for pirates, legit gamers who have a flakey internet connection or wish to play their games on a gaming laptop when away from a Wi-Fi hotspot are totally out of luck. Conversely, if Ubisoft's servers go down, that's also game over for players.

Despite all that, Ubisoft still sees its DRM scheme a success, and will be implementing it in its Driver: San Francisco that releases on August 30 in the US, and September 2 in Europe.

An Ubisoft representative told PC Gamer that the DRM scheme head led to “a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection, and from that point of view the requirement is a success.”

Have you been affected in a negative way as a result of Ubisoft DRM?

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 38 Hide
    s997863 , August 8, 2011 7:43 AM
    hackers: our cracks are an even bigger success ...
  • 35 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 8, 2011 7:35 AM
    Quote:
    While this does make things harder for pirates


    No it doesn't....

    What, Ubisoft, that DDos attack last time didn't teach you? Looks like you need some more schooling!

    Quote:
    Have you been affected in a negative way as a result of Ubisoft DRM?


    Nah, I don't play their games... and if I would, I'd crack them...

    Quote:
    legit gamers who have a flakey internet connection or wish to play their games on a gaming laptop when away from a Wi-Fi hotspot are totally out of luck. Conversely, if Ubisoft's servers go down, that's also game over for players.


    No REALLY? It's about time someone actually posts these very valid reasons to bypass that DRM in an article!

    Up yours, Ubisoft... DRM is the cost of PC gaming? Not if the warez groups can help it.
  • 29 Hide
    bd26 , August 8, 2011 7:43 AM
    "While this does make things harder for pirates" lolwut

    A person has to be pretty inept to think the online only drm, is hurting the pirates more than their legit customers. Silly ubisoft
Other Comments
  • 35 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 8, 2011 7:35 AM
    Quote:
    While this does make things harder for pirates


    No it doesn't....

    What, Ubisoft, that DDos attack last time didn't teach you? Looks like you need some more schooling!

    Quote:
    Have you been affected in a negative way as a result of Ubisoft DRM?


    Nah, I don't play their games... and if I would, I'd crack them...

    Quote:
    legit gamers who have a flakey internet connection or wish to play their games on a gaming laptop when away from a Wi-Fi hotspot are totally out of luck. Conversely, if Ubisoft's servers go down, that's also game over for players.


    No REALLY? It's about time someone actually posts these very valid reasons to bypass that DRM in an article!

    Up yours, Ubisoft... DRM is the cost of PC gaming? Not if the warez groups can help it.
  • 29 Hide
    bd26 , August 8, 2011 7:43 AM
    "While this does make things harder for pirates" lolwut

    A person has to be pretty inept to think the online only drm, is hurting the pirates more than their legit customers. Silly ubisoft
  • 25 Hide
    rhangman , August 8, 2011 7:43 AM
    Surely the measurement for success would be an increase in sales? The increase would also have to large enough to cover the cost of the DRM.

    A drop in piracy is irrelevant if it doesn't translate into sales. An increase in sales is also pointless if it doesn't more than cover the costs. For instance if DRM development, licensing, server costs, increased support, etc. adds 3% to the cost of a title and sales are only up 2%, then they are losing money.

    Even if sales have increased, you can't necessarily draw the conclusion that it is due to DRM. Also need to look at the drop in piracy vs. the increase in sales or any increase in sales of comparable non-DRM'ed titles.
  • 38 Hide
    s997863 , August 8, 2011 7:43 AM
    hackers: our cracks are an even bigger success ...
  • 26 Hide
    zybch , August 8, 2011 7:53 AM
    Personally, I'm waiting for the return of code wheels and game manual lookup protection.
  • 24 Hide
    razor512 , August 8, 2011 7:53 AM
    A friend of mine bought the game without consulting me, but was able to fix it, a single file was all it took and it did all of the work of making it so no internet connection is needed.

    it takes about 5 seconds to remove the DRM. And a pre cracked copy takes 0 seconds to remove the DRM.


    With DRM all it takes is 1 person to do the work of removing it and then they can release a DRM free copy meaning it is no additional work on a pirate as with all DRM, only a few need to do the work of cracking it.

    after which, the pirated and cracked copies will be of a higher quality as compared to the legit copy.

    PS No DRM has been able to stop a game from being pirated. which is why the best DRM is just one thats enough to prevent inadvertent piracy, eg just a simple cd check
  • 14 Hide
    kartu , August 8, 2011 8:34 AM
    They pretend to fight pirates (or maybe are really so dumb to care whether someone who would never every buy it anyway actually plays it) but in reality are killing "second hand" market.
  • 11 Hide
    ct001 , August 8, 2011 8:39 AM
    I would have bought Settlers 7 in a heart-beat but didn't due to their crappy DRM. I don't see how lost sales can in any way be considered a success.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , August 8, 2011 9:03 AM
    It is quite successful though.
    Do you guys remember HAWX 2?
    Till now, it hasn't been cracked.
  • 17 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 8, 2011 9:11 AM
    Quote:
    Do you guys remember HAWX 2?
    Till now, it hasn't been cracked.


    Remember what?

    Never heard of this game.

    Maybe no one cares about it, so no one bothered to crack it...
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , August 8, 2011 9:12 AM
    Haven't bought any of the new Ubisoft games due to the bad copy protection
  • 4 Hide
    eklipz330 , August 8, 2011 9:37 AM
    yeah i'm sure they've been selling a whole lot with their half assed console ports
  • 17 Hide
    razor512 , August 8, 2011 9:48 AM
    the hawx game sucks, the last person who cracked it got pissed off at the community because the game sucked and was buggy the other groups that do the tracking, only crack games they they like, meaning they will not crack a game they don't like unless enough of the community requests it and hawx is not a popular game and most people hate it.

    hawx 2 (for me, if someone were to give me a free copy, It wouldn't even be worth my time installing it. I tried it on the xbox 360 and it sucked)

    the DRM used on hawx 2 has been used on many other games (many of which were cracked within 24 hours of their release)

    they consider low piracy rates to mean the DRM was successful, but they failed to think about maybe the game was so bad that many people didn't feel it was even worth their time to download. (if you want to see effective DRM, look for some of the lowest rated PC games, (many of which have little to no DRM, you wont even find them on sites like the pirate bay (does that mean their drm was successful)?
  • 10 Hide
    hetneo , August 8, 2011 9:50 AM
    This is laughable.
  • 12 Hide
    Jarmo , August 8, 2011 9:52 AM
    Have I been affected in a negative way? I don't know, have I been affected in a negative way when I've refused to buy into and support such DRM practices? On the other hand I've missed out on these titles, but on the other hand I've had more time for other stuff (namely games with more lenient DRM). I think maybe both me and GOG ended up winning.
  • 8 Hide
    razor512 , August 8, 2011 9:55 AM
    Also wanted to say,

    To Ubisoft, believe it or not but sometimes even free is too expensive for a bad game, low piracy rates does not mean successful DRM
  • 9 Hide
    garage1217 , August 8, 2011 10:40 AM
    I accidentally bought an EA DRM game, I will NEVER buy another again from any vendor doing this crap. It is annoying for the end user to say the very least. Also, all of my buddies are in the same mindset, they will not buy either so looks like we are all stuck with console games or older titles until companies like this pull their head from their tail.
  • 9 Hide
    cyb34 , August 8, 2011 11:01 AM
    Every Assassin's Creed is cracked and can be played offline.
  • 10 Hide
    shin0bi272 , August 8, 2011 11:17 AM
    if microsoft can be cracked and they are the kings of drm, then any drm software can be cracked if its a big enough title. No one is going to crack the drm on knitting nannies 9: quilt or die because that game would suck for everyone but your nanna... So you may have to get a legit copy of it. Now the new version of windows or the next CoD will be cracked within a week of its release. All the crackers (lol) have to do is run the game without a cd or an internet connection and see what error it throws. Then open the game exe in a machine code program and search for that error. The line right below that is usually the line that points to where to go in the program to resolve the issue. So you just look for that conditional and/or jump and point it to the other line that says start the game. Then all your brilliant drm coding is cracked and there's a "NO-CD patch" out there in about 5 minutes. So why even bother? Why not just leave off the stringent hoops to jump through for legit gamers and let the people who are going to copy your game copy it? I mean its not like youre stopping them now anyway right? Its like locking your doors on your car... even with an alarm system people can still steal your car. When's the last time you looked out your window when a car alarm went off? Probably not in the last decade right? Has that stopped thieves? No. So why bother? Same thing with drm.
  • 6 Hide
    crewton , August 8, 2011 11:31 AM
    I was sad when I put in baldur's gate and I no longer had the cd crack :( (( looked for one online but they didn't work with windows 7.
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