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Ubisoft: Our Always-Online DRM is a Success

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?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    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!

    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...

    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.
    Reply
  • bd26
    "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
    Reply
  • rhangman
    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.
    Reply
  • s997863
    hackers: our cracks are an even bigger success ...
    Reply
  • zybch
    Personally, I'm waiting for the return of code wheels and game manual lookup protection.
    Reply
  • razor512
    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
    Reply
  • kartu
    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.
    Reply
  • ct001
    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.
    Reply
  • It is quite successful though.
    Do you guys remember HAWX 2?
    Till now, it hasn't been cracked.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    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...
    Reply