Despite Plenty Of Warning EA Still Decides To Follow Ubisoft Down The Wrong Path With DRM

from the this-is-a-mistake dept

Last summer, we wrote about some reports that EA was going to require a constant internet connection for Command & Conquer 4. At the time, many people argued that this was a bad, bad idea and would backfire greatly. Given EA's serious problems with bad DRM pissing off customers, you would think that EA would tread carefully here. In fact, late last year, EA gave some signs that it was moving away from annoying and draconian DRM.

On top of that, we all saw what happened when Ubisoft tried to require an online connection as a form of DRM. The game was cracked within hours of release -- and then the DRM servers crashed and were offline and slow for quite sometime -- pissing off all sorts of legitimate customers.

Given all of this, you would think that EA would know better than to move forward with plans to include this same form of DRM with C&C4. No such luck. Brian was the first of a few of you to send in the news that EA appears to be sticking with the plan. While that news report seems to indicate this is a new thing, it's not. It was announced last summer -- but it's really unfortunate that EA hasn't yet seen the strategic error in moving forward in this manner.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    It's still dumb, but not probably as big of a deal to gamers, as with an RTS they'd probably be mostly just playing online anyway.

     

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      A Dan (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

      Re:

      Seriously? Do you have any idea how many people are upset about StarCraft 2 requiring an internet connection when you start it up? And I don't think that's even required to be constant.

       

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      Designerfx (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

      Re:

      its a huge deal.

      do you know how many people buy products to play them on the road, EA shill?

      People do have reasons to RTS without being online. Ever heard of a lan? Most lans are not build to necessarily have an online connection.

       

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    LumpyDog (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    So much for my plans to buy that game. Thought the third one kind of sucked, anyway.

     

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    Dr X, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    They have always done this

    Back in the commodore 64 days, their copy protection on the 1541 caused most to become out of alignment or if you were lucky, completely destroy the drive. That is when these drives cost $500 or more. They will never learn and they will never change.

     

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    bob, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    I Wish

    That when the game reviews are published that they would do more than just give a press report from the game company.
    Including informing you what you need to do to make the game work including what DRM is use.
    The trouble is that he game reviewers who do a good job are fired for their audacity to tell the truth.

     

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    sniperdoc (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Need to get your facts straight

    The UBISoft DRM was NOT hacked within 24 hours. It was partially complete. You could not complete any missions in Silent Hunter V, you could only do the tutorial and in Assassins Creed 2 you could only free roam. As soon as you tried to enter the Animus in AC2 the game booted you to the Pause screen.

    This all may have changed since then, and I have personally not tried the pirated versions, although I have read extensive reports online about the "cracking" of the DRM.

    All I know, is that this bogus DRM needs to go. I'm not predisposed to LEASING my games for full retail prices. This is putting a restriction on ALL Single Player games that use this DRM. Due to issues that are NOT under the PC Game owners control, UBIShaft decides when and where we game.

    What's even more funny is that there was a post that I read that had a Ubishaft guy speaking about how Ubi provided the best service anytime anywhere... not so much apparently, if their servers go down and you can't play your game, eh?

     

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      BigKeithO, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 2:39pm

      Re: Need to get your facts straight

      You are correct. From what I've heard lately Ubi leaves some of the required game info on their servers. When you try to load a level the local copy needs to contact the server for some sort of data that will allow it to load the mission. I would assume that all of the art assets and such are installed on the local machine, it is unclear what is coming off of the Ubi servers.

      However Mike is indeed mistaken. Sure you can kind of, sort of play the game but not really. Take this all with a grain of salt, I bought the game months ago for the 360 so I have no first hand knowledge of the pirated PC version.

       

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    spencermatthewp, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 2:35pm

    You keep whining about the DRM ...

    But you keep buying the damn games. Stop buying them. Don't crack them. Just ignore the game altogether. How hard is that? You all act like it's the end of the world to not play the latest game to hit the shelves. As soon as these companies stop making money off the games, and the merchandise, and everything else gamers buy, they'll start to change. It's that simple. Just ignore the games.

     

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      BigKeithO, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 2:44pm

      Re: You keep whining about the DRM ...

      Who is this "you" you speak of? I don't think that too many people reading Techdirt are pirating the PC version of anything.

       

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      IshmaelDS (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 2:47pm

      Re: You keep whining about the DRM ...

      While I wish to agree with you, (and I do about not buying or pirating the game) I don't think that they will change, what they will do is what they have been doing for a long time now, and that is to ignore the PC as a game platform. For a long time a number of the bigger game houses have been making games for the consoles and then porting them to the PC. If we ignore the games completely on the PC then they will assume that most of the market has gone to the consoles because that is what they WANT to believe, as it's much easier to control things there.

       

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        Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

        Re: Re: You keep whining about the DRM ...

        I agree with you completely. The goal is to eliminate PC support. It's cheaper to develop for a known hardware platform.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 8:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: You keep whining about the DRM ...

          "The goal is to eliminate PC support."

          This then raises the question of why EA and Ubisoft don't simply drop support for the PC market, then. Surely, it'd save them time, money, effort, and reputation if they just bailed out of the PC market unceremoniously.

          It seems that they need an external agent to blame in order to justify dropping PC support. Once PC sales dry up from these DRM shenanigans (which they'll attribute to piracy, rather than boycotts), the publishers can pull out while saying "look what you made me do, baby" like the abusive spouse they are.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

      Re: You keep whining about the DRM ...

      That's been my strategy.

      Has worked well for me; DRM is not a problem.

       

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    DCX2, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Lame

    Hope EA and Ubisoft never go out of business. Otherwise, you're screwed.

     

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    A Pirate, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 3:09pm

    It's just a game, a game that we /will/ eventually crack.

    Resistance is Futile

     

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    manoj (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 3:17pm

    get upto date

    hey people...Get up to date on the technology. EA, Ubi, and all others can still have their so called DRM. Just get up to date on the technology. It is more "process controls". Software engineering is a science fellows. USE IT>>>>

     

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    Tom Landry (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    I mailed in the EA forum thread where one of EA's PR guys tried to convince folks that there was going to be "No DRM". Following that half the forum posted a link to Wikipedia's definition of DRM showing that requiring a constant connection is indeed DRM no matter what way you want to spin it.

    http://forums.commandandconquer.com/jforum/posts/list/35920.page

    PC gamers tend to be a lot more informed than their console counterparts when it comes to this kind of corporate fuckery so its a bit odd that someone at EA would even try to sell this "no DRM" line to the community.

     

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    william (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    another game on the no buy list.

    why do they keep on insisting punching themselves in the face with their own fist?

     

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    Jack, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 4:06pm

    DRM

    EA needs to learn its lesson, and while I'm pointing this out. I will also point out that upon my last search at 7:30AM PST there was already a crack out for C&C4 to totally bypass the DRM. Once again EA fails.

     

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    Pontifex (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    I'm disappointed. I thought that EA was taking the high road recently, with their lack of Intrusive DRM on Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2. This saddens me.

     

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    Steve, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 5:24pm

    @7

    Yes, it was cracked. and you can complete missions by editing the savegames with a text editor.

    as for downloading things off of ubisofts servers, it is a complete fabrication by ubisoft, not a single thing is downloaded.

    not that any of it matters, the game is only half finished

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 5:31pm

    Check out the Amazon review for some epic LOL's...

    overall the game is a piece of crap...

     

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    Bender, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 6:45pm

    Proper Reaction: Revolution

    Although I enjoy a good game of C&C, if this is the manner in which the game will be released I refuse to buy it. EA has been sliding slowly into a state of crap for years, with occasional highlights preventing its total collapse. Im sure I can enjoy my old games and new games by other companies more anyway.

    Honestly, the very fact that computers are so volatile and susceptible to downtime, is bad enough. But the fact that the corporate suits, working for a gaming company, seem to be unfamiliar with this concept is shocking. Stock tip: Sell Electronic Arts (ERTS).

    The other thing is, WHAT KIND OF TARGET is a machine that allows people the world over to play a game? Im no hacker but Im sure that has already occurred to them. If I were to be the guy in EA working on DRM, on top of getting rid of it, I would fire whoever came up with this weak idea in the first place because stupid people are bad for business.

    EA, gamers are your entire consumer base, and your pissing us off. Lawsuits can not make us buy your games, and with your current DRM methods, Im betting a lot of us won't. If you are willing to continue on your path, it may be brave, but as useful as it is, alone it wins you nothing. It must be coupled also with intelligence, like say, bravely starting a new business model.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2010 @ 12:30am

    I will not pay more than $10 for a game rental ...

    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 21st, 2010 @ 6:54am

    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media

     

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      BBT, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 7:19am

      Re:

      Personally, in the semantic war, I prefer to avoid the term DRM altogether. Call it DRR, Digital Rights Restrictions. Or if you want to use DRM, it's Digital Restrictions Management.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 6:25am

    With this kind of DRM, they should allow for rental of PC games. Im not going to give up my first sale right, so they better let me rent pc games instead.

     

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