Tales From Ubisoft DRM: Latest DRM Goes From Horrible To Slightly Less Horrible

from the digital-rights-mutilation dept

We all know Ubisoft. That company that seems to think that piracy is such a huge problem on the PC and that DRM is the only way to stop it -- even when fans complain about how horrible the DRM is. So it is really no surprise to find out that Ubisoft is still at it. It still thinks that annoying legitimate customers is going to prevent piracy of its games. This latest story of Ubisoft DRM woe comes from Guru3d.

Gurur3d had wanted to do a benchmark test of one of Ubisoft's latest titles, Anno 2070, by installing the game on multiple PCs and switching out graphics cards. Unfortunately, Anno 2070 came with an activation limit of only 3 installs. Guru3d had not thought that would be a problem as they just wanted to see the difference between graphics cards. So they started switching cards. No sooner than they had begun, they hit the activation limit.
So yesterday I started working on a performance review. We know (well at least we figured we knew), that the game key can be used on three systems. That's fair, the first activation is used on my personal game rig. The second we installed on the AMD Radeon graphics test PC and the 3rd on our NVIDIA graphics test PC.

On the AMD Radeon PC we initially test the Radeon HD 7970, then to match the timedemo sequence we install the NVIDIA system, which has a GeForce GTX 580. So far it's all good, we have created a timedemo sequence, defined our image quality settings, took screenshots and the numbers for the first two cards.

For the NVIDIA setup I take out the GTX 580, and insert a GTX 590. When I now startup the game 'BAM', again an activation is required. Once again I fill out the key and now Ubisoft is thanking me with the message that I ran out of activations.
Not only does the Ubisoft DRM monitor the number of installations the game has been used for, but it also monitors changes to your hardware. So if you decide to upgrade your graphics card and nothing else, you just wasted an activation. Needless to say, this didn't make Guru3D very happy. So they called up the Ubisoft marketing department in the Netherlands and were met with indifference.
When contacting Ubisoft marketing here in the Netherlands, their reply goes like this: 'Sorry to disappoint you - the game is indeed restricted to 3 hardware changes and there simply is no way to bypass that. We also do not have 7 copies of the game for you'.
This is not the type of response that gamers would want to get from the people who sold them the game. This response basically reads "Sorry we screwed you over on your game and you can't play it. Feel free to buy another copy in order to keep using it." You know how most people will react to this? They will refuse to do business with that company, and/or they will decide to just download the DRM crack for the game and continue to play it. Neither option helps Ubisoft.

Lucky for Guru3d, they had connections and were able to get in touch with the actual developers of the game and were provided with an unlocked key so they could do their testing. However, this is hardly a solution for the average gamer. Very few will have connections with the developer of the game and very few will be able to get the attention of the larger gaming press. Lucky for us, someone at Ubisoft was paying attention and made a change to the Anno 2070 DRM:
Hi Hilbert,

Just wanted to let you know, that we now remove the graphics hardware from the hash used to identify the PC.
That means everyone should now be able to switch the GFX as many times as he/she wants.

Cheers,
So this is what it takes to get thrown a bone by Ubisoft these days -- have the press complain and raise a big stink for all gamers to see. Of course this isn't really a new thing for Ubisoft. It has always been blind to the will of its fans. There is no sense in thinking that Ubisoft has learned anything from this fiasco other than, "Do what we normally do and if anyone complains, ignore them. If that doesn't work, ease up just a hair." This will not fly for much longer. Gamers will learn to avoid Ubisoft products. Many already have. The question is will Ubisoft ever learn its lesson and provide its fans with the products they want?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 3:14am

    And we wonder why some people will buy the game, but install the copy they got from the "pirates".
    They would rather risk sketchy patches from unknown corners of the net than the DRM these companies ship.

    At least they handed out a review copy where they could discover this amazingly stupid use of DRM, because no real gamer ever updates their graphics card... *blink*

    One wonders what other changes to the system trigger it flipping out. Get Birthday money and bought new ram skippy? Ooh sorry that used up an activation.
    Your computer was used by your sisters persian as a catbox? Oooh sorry you had already installed it once and upgraded your ram... your outta activations.
    Your mom opened up an email from a Nigerian Prince and you had to reinstall... sorry buy a new copy.

    And with such customercentric thinking we still have people pirating their games, I can't for the life of me see why. /s

     

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  2.  
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    Adam Gorman (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 3:32am

    Things like this just make me think of Valve/Steam and how wonderful the steam platform is.

    They have said numerous times how the steam platform fights piracy by offering a far superior platform. Faster downloads, easy and very quick alternatives. I've never had issues with it.

    Not only can I install as many times as I want and re download as many times as I want.(Ive seen some places say you can install infinite, but can only download 3 times)

    I can go to friends computer and play using my own settings/saves and even install the same game on 100 computers. Only limit is that obviously I can only log onto 1 account/computer at a time. But since I am the one playing/owning it. That is fine with me.

     

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  3.  
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    IronM@sk, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 3:54am

    Re:

    Got some bad news for you mate. Anno 2070 is being sold through Steam, complete with region restricted pricing and fully functional DRM, you know, since Steam are such nice guys.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:10am

    Ubisoft: Pirates are stealing our products!

    Ubisoft: QUICK! Whip our customers more. That will show those nasty pirates.

    Customer: *sniff*

    Ubisoft: Shut up, you're all pirates anyway.


    (Non joking, this is why I don't buy Ubisoft games anymore)

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:11am

    Re:

    Until Valve decides to ban your account or whatever and then you can't play any of them.

    Personally, I'm not going to pay good money to "buy" something that the seller can take away on a whim. Nor am I going to "buy" a product that demands I allow it to phone home to ask for permission before using it.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:17am

    Yet again, we see the proof that DRM is only a problem for legal users of a product. Pirate gamers will get copies where the activation requirement has been bypassed before they ever try using it.

    "That means everyone should now be able to switch the GFX as many times as he/she wants. "

    So, what to take from this. Either Ubisoft are so unconcerned about their own customer that they didn't care that there's legitimate reasons why such a minor hardware change would happen frequently, or they're designing product with such a short shelf life that most gamers who change hardware would never see it.

    Also, I notice that they only specify that the video card checks have been disabled. What about other hardware changes? If I upgrade my RAM, then upgrade my hard drive, then replace a fried sound card, am I now not allowed to access the software I legally purchased?

    Sorry, Ubisoft, this isn't convincing me to go back to PC gaming as a whole, let alone buy the shoddy products you're shovelling.

     

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    Ben (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:24am

    Wait

    When did Paul Christoforo move to Ubisoft?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:32am

    Anybody knows if Penguspy is a good place to look for games?

    www.penguspy.com

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:37am

    Re: Wait

    About 2 years before you knew he existed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:46am

    Quote:There's an awful lot of media out there released for free (or at least very cheaply in some cases), directly by the artists, musicians, cinematographers, and game studios that make them. Some people like to argue that piracy doesn't harm anyone if you never would have paid anyway; I would contend that by pirating big budget, mass-market crap, you're hurting dedicated artists who are releasing their work for free, because the time you spend finding a pirated copy of whatever it is you want to download could have been spent discovering and talking about their works.
    .
    .
    .
    Viewing:

    SoundCloud
    Jamendo
    Some open movies
    Wikipedia's list of web television series
    Wikipedia's list of free and open source computer games
    Indie Game Reviewer
    GameBoom
    Armor Games

    Getting involved:

    Creative Commons
    Free Software Foundation
    Electronic Frontier Foundation

    Creating:

    Scirra Construct
    OpenGameArt.org (disclaimer: yeah, it's my site ;) )
    WeAreTheMusicMakers on Reddit
    BandCamp

    Source: The silver lining of the MegaUpload shutdown by Bart K at January 23, 2012

     

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  11.  
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    *|EFU|* 50kBTU (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:47am

    This is sooooo bad...

    ...and I am a fanboy of Ubisoft because most games they publish are excellent (Splinter Cell series, Prince of Persia series, Assassins Creed series).

    Darn, I keep ALL of my games. I still have F22 lightning3 from 1996, F22 F16 MIG29 from 1997/98 and Thief Gold from 1998 in mint condition, among many others. So, if I buy this Anno 2070 and keep it like I do, when I upgrade next year my video card or CPU/MoBo, there goes another activation, then when I fresh install my OS mid year to keep it running smooth, there goes another one... That's stupid.

    That means that I might buy all their games but install/play the pirated ones? Hmm! I don't know. I can keep clear of this game, like I did with BF3 and its Orion problems.

    Still with all the negative talk about Steam, it is good for me. And since I never go to my friends houses to play because 95% of the PC's in Puerto Rico can't handle my games and there are almost no hardcore PC gamers, I guess I will have no problem with Steam banning my account. (seriously, Steam have noticed when I use a different browser to access my account and they send me emails to change my password just in case... great service uh?)

     

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    sniperdoc (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:50am

    Stop buying Ubisoft Titles

    This is precisely why I've stopped buying Ubisoft titles after they released the USP DRM or whatever it is called. I will not give that company a CENT. I bought their games religiously, but no longer. After Silent Hunter 5 was released in its broken state, with ZERO support in sight, AND was one of the first games to have that DRM... bah.

    Ubishaft can go chapter 11 for all I care. They don't care about their consumers, so I don't care for them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:54am

    Youtube Linux Game Channel

    If it is more important to protect theirselves and not their users, move on.

    https://www.youtube.com/unknownhorizonsgame

     

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  14.  
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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:55am

    Not only Ubisoft

    You can add EA and ActivisionBlizzard to the list of companies with annoying DRM schemes. Ranging from "always online" (nice if you want to use downtime on the train or plane by playing the single player campaign of, say, StarCraft 2...) to fancy "your DLC couldn't be authenticated" errors while you have "redeemed" your DLC (and that is totally ignoring how horrible the concept of DLC is to begin with) with a valid and original code on their login page (though some DLC can be activated by replacing a single value in a certain XML file, which is btw, what customer support recommends if they can't get it working for you...). Long story short: all the big publishers with _very few_ exceptions do this horrible DRM shit. And I for one won't buy any of those games anymore. There are, after all, a lot of good older games in my collection (games which allowed you to read the disc in as an ISO and thus leave the original safely at home) and there is a tremendous amount of awesome new indie games (just look at the Humble Indie Bundles) which come with no DRM.

    Oh, and it would be nice to get the old games boxes back, you know the ones with lovingly designed manuals, often containing back story, maps, printed tech trees and other cool things.

     

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    dcee (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re:

    Ouch...

     

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  16.  
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    dcee (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:58am

    Re:

    Me neither... kind of sad since I liked Assassin's Creed.. stopped at the second.

    I just hope Mass Effect 3 will not be DRMed to the death. I won't let this one pass, I'll pirate it if it is.

    Okay, hear me EA: I WILL NOT PIRATE YOUR GAME IF YOU RESPECT ME AS A CUSTOMER.

     

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    dcee (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:03am

    Re: Not only Ubisoft

    "Oh, and it would be nice to get the old games boxes back, you know the ones with lovingly designed manuals, often containing back story, maps, printed tech trees and other cool things."
    Big publishers: "Fuck you, costs money and people still buy it if we don't give anything. And piracy."

     

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  18.  
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    MK, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:03am

    Game collections

    I am a 31 year old PC gamer. During the years I have collected a modest library of PC games. While many of them are played for a time and then abandoned to collect dust in the shelf, I do return to play many of the better ones even after several years.

    "Hmm, I seem to remember that this one game was quite fun. Let's see if I can get it work on my current machine and if it still holds my interest." Getting older titles to work can be problematic, and sometimes impossible or too much work, but hardware change tracking DRM (and activation servers in general) would most likely make it completely impossible.

    While I realize that for game companies there is no financial interest if someone does play the game years after the release, as a gamer I do like to have at least some assurance that if I wish to do so I do not face an outright blockage. Obviously there is no piece of hardware in my PC that has not changed multiple times during the years.

    So, Ubisoft, will your game continue to require activation in 18 years (Master of Magic, released 1994)? In 14 or 13 years (Battlezone 1998, Battlezone 2 1999)? In 12 years (Baldur's Gate II, 2000)?

    Ubisoft might succeed in creating a time-standing classic, only no-one can play it unless they succeed in finding an activation code that has only been used once. Of course used game sales are also under fire...

    For old DOS titles using an emulator is usually the easiest way to play them. I wonder if an emulator will be the solution for hardware change DRM?

    Some of the older games still enjoy a multiplayer community. "So sorry guys, but I must abandon our multi-tier Combat Mission (2000) tournament after three months because my new graphic card pushed the DRM activation over the last limit?"

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:04am

    Oh wow i can change my GFX...

    Gamers are known for upgrading to newer hardware.

    Upgrade RAM, use up an activation.
    Upgrade, or simply add a new drive, use up an activation.
    Upgrade the CPU, or replace your fried one that was overclocked a bit too much, use up an activation.
    Upgrade the motherboard, use up an activation.

    All of these things might happen multiple times.

    Then consider that entire systems get replaced every few years.

    Anyone who does any of the above, which includes everyone since eventually systems get replaced, would be a fool to pay money for a DRM product like Ubisoft is selling.

     

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  20.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:10am

    The bigger issue

    Is when did we give up our right to OWN what we buy when it comes to PC software? And why did we give that right up?

    If you don't understand what I mean by the above statement just search around. I don't want to get going on a long rant about this but I have been involved with the Tech industry for over 25 years and have seen the evolution of this concept.

    I will just give one example. When I buy software for my Xbox (i.e. a game disc) I own that disk. I can do anything I want with that disk including but not limited to reselling (first sale doctrine) but for a lot of software on the PC when you buy it you get to install it (with their limitations imposed inside the sealed package) sure and use it (in the manner allowed by them) sure but just about nothing else.

    We have given up somewhere, at sometime without being truly aware our right to own the software we buy.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:13am

    Ubisoft most likely won't be around in the next 5 years from these constant mistakes. It's pretty bad when even websites dedicated to some of your own games are filled with constant Ubisoft bashing of the DRM and constant bugs in the newer games.

     

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:15am

    Re: The bigger issue

    Forgot to mention that they are not happy with me being able to do with game disks what I want to so the next step it to stop you from playing used disks.

    How the next Xbox could stop you from playing used games

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2012/01/how-the-next-xbox-could-stop-you-from-playing-us ed-games.ars?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+ %28Ars+Technica+-+Featured+Content%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:21am

    Vote with your wallet!

    Instead of complaining about DRM all the time, just don't buy that crap! I've stopped buying games long time ago, because
    - DRM prevents legitimate use
    - servers of online games can be shut down at any time

    Play open source games! Contribute to them! Make them better!

    If the games industry doesn't get it and keeps selling unusable products, it will die slowly like the music/movie trolls.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:24am

    It should be abundantly clear that Ubisoft loathes the customers that buys their PC games. Why anyone would buy a product from a company that treats you as a piece of shit is beyond my understanding.

     

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    Simon, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re:

    I too have got to the point where when I see a game is a Ubisoft title I just move on, assuming it has awful DRM.

     

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  26.  
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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:27am

    It's simple

    If you don't like a companies DRM practices don't buy their goods. Eventually the company goes under, the company realizes the mistake, or the good developers go to a company where their work can be appreciated by consumers.

    Why buy something that could be rendered useless with a couple mistakes. Even Microsoft will work with you, to a degree, if your Windows/Office activation is having problems.

     

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  27.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:30am

    Re: Vote with your wallet!

    "Instead of complaining about DRM all the time, just don't buy that crap!"

    I keep saying this but:

    We do. It still doesn't work because the morons in charge assume that piracy is the reason, not their own stupid actions. So, they apply even more draconian DRM.

    I agree that moving to games from other publishers/open source may be the answer but the giants of the industry who control most of the mindshare also happen to be the biggest morons...

    "If the games industry doesn't get it and keeps selling unusable products, it will die slowly like the music/movie trolls."

    The same trolls, sadly, who are trying to destroy the internet, remove our rights and remove our freedoms because they can't adjust to reality.

     

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  28.  
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    CD Watters, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:52am

    Re: The bigger issue

    It's in the fine print on the box or on screen 200 of the end user agreement. My wife bought me an EA title as a gift, I read the statement on the back that installing and activating it removed all of my "purchase" rights. POS went back to the store. At least it was on the box.

    I *used* to do what several people have mentioned, buy the title, then download the pirated version or NOCD crack to bypass the crap of DRM. Now I wait (no more Day zero purchases for me), see what the reviews and how badly DRM'ed the title is before I buy. So what it reduces my choices - it's my money. That I've never resold a PC game isn't part of the equation.

     

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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 5:56am

    Re: Re: Not only Ubisoft

    "Oh, and it would be nice to get the old games boxes back, you know the ones with lovingly designed manuals, often containing back story, maps, printed tech trees and other cool things."

    Big publishers: "Fuck you, costs money and people still buy it if we don't give anything. And piracy."


    s/and people still buy it/and enough people still buy it/
    FTFY ;)

    Sadly, that is true. I can't understand it. Especially the download-only stuff where it's common, that you only acquire a limited license, which can be revoked almost solely at the discretion of the publisher (I know, that it isn't possible as easily in my jurisdiction, because the courts have ruled time and again, that surprising terms of a contract are moot, still I wonder who'd go to court over a 30 EUR game). Though that kind of licensing has crept into the terms of disc-bound games too lately.

    Still, it would be nice to get a decent box without having to pay the approx. 100 EUR for a "special edition".

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    Re: Squeee!

    Linux games, you say?
    Why yes, yes it apparently is a good place to look for games.

     

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  31.  
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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:17am

    Re: Game collections

    "Hmm, I seem to remember that this one game was quite fun. Let's see if I can get it work on my current machine and if it still holds my interest." Getting older titles to work can be problematic, and sometimes impossible or too much work, but hardware change tracking DRM (and activation servers in general) would most likely make it completely impossible.
    Getting older games to work sometimes even better than how they work under a native Windows in some compatibility mode (I have a specific one in mind, where I've seen this live on the same computer) is to use Wine, which is capable or running most games, including the new ones.

    For old DOS titles using an emulator is usually the easiest way to play them. I wonder if an emulator will be the solution for hardware change DRM?
    A full emulator (or fully virtualized machine, that is a VM with a fixed hardware set) would certainly work around this but leave you with retaining decade old OS's and still the online DRM problem. IMHO the only real solution for locked-down games is a free and open game client. Though that only happens for the most successful games/engines (there is, for example, an effort for a free and open reimplementation of the Infinity engine and IIRC also for Aurora) and might get you into legal trouble depending on your jurisdiction.

    Hence my final recommendation: vote with your purse, stay with the old DRM free games and buy only new ones, if they come without DRM (most indie titles or FLOSS games like Battle for Westnoth, 0 A.D., Nexuiz (classic), etc.). Maybe the studios/publishers will learn, if it hurts. On the other hand: probably not and enough lemmings will continue to buy this crap.

     

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  32.  
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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:23am

    Re: Oh wow i can change my GFX...

    Don't forget, that you might uninstall the game intentionally and try to install it later. But then the DRM will inform you, that you should just buy a new license, because the old one has "expired"... sure, there are other ways, but those are certainly bordering on the illegal.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re:

    I just hope Mass Effect 3 will not be DRMed to the death.
    The DRM on the first ME was barely acceptable. But at least, if you preserve %APPDATA%\SecuROM\UserData and its contents, you can keep the authentication indefinitely AFAIK.

    Apart from that: I didn't buy ME2 so far and won't until they release a version which at least contains all relevant DLC. Because DLC is just as awful as your average DRM.

     

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  34.  
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    fb39ca4, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:51am

    FUCK YOU UBISOFT IMMA T-REX!

     

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  35.  
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    DogBreath, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:52am

    Re: It's simple

    If you don't like a companies DRM practices don't buy their goods. Eventually the company goes under, the company realizes the mistake, or the good developers go to a company where their work can be appreciated by consumers.


    Or worse.

    The companies may still go under, but during their "reign" manage to get laws passed that undermine your legal rights and leave behind a steaming pile that you the customer have no recourse in ever rescinding. All because you don't have the money or power to fix the new laws that said misguided companies lobbied (wrote) to get passed in the name of "but, piracy!".

    Think of it as a long-term successful kamikaze run. Sure, some of these companies may go down eventually due to their own stupidity, but before they do, they're damn sure going to take some of your freedom down with them.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:58am

    Sooooo

    They want me to pirate it, I guess? That's the only conclusion I can come to.

     

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    Pennog, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:59am

    Re: Oh wow i can change my GFX...

    >>> Upgrade RAM, use up an activation.
    It's worse than that.
    Ever had dodgy RAM?
    I once had a batch that returned a different figure for total RAM on every boot, depending on how it coped with POST.
    Three activations would be gone in three boots.

     

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    Matthew (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 7:24am

    I am so fucking sick and tired of having companies treat me like a criminal when i try to do business with them. The easiest answer is to NOT do business with them.

    When will they realize that their DRM only drives away legitimate customers, not pirates?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Wait

    zing

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 7:33am

    Re: Not only Ubisoft

    DLC as a concept is wonderful. Execution has been hit and miss, heavy on the misses.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re:

    I don't know if it is true on all games but a couple games I have been able to play by going directly to the steam folder and running the executable of the game. Steam wasn't even running.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    DLC is only optional. They used to be called expansion packs. You are still able to play the full storyline of the game with out the DLC. I always thought DLC was kinda cool. Adds new content to a game and gets me back into an older game to check it out again.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re:

    Except that is 3rd party DRM, required by Ubisoft, not by steam.

    Ouch.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 7:51am

    Re: Re:

    Until valve decides to ban your account for what?

    You can download any game (except those limited by the publisher/developer) on steam as many times as you want, install it on as many machines as you want, and you won't get banned. Not sure what Valve would need to do that for, since as the OP stated, its tied to his Steam ID.

    Unless he gives out his username and password, Valve isn't going to do anything.

    By the way, when you move steam from one machine to another, it sends you an email with a code, and you have to keep activating each machine you log onto (which deactivates the last machine you were on). So you can have 15000 installations but only one will be active at a time.

    Not sure where people are getting this misinformation from.

     

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    matt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Join me in not supporting these companies

    I am only one man, and my wallet only has one vote. That being said I have passed up on at least a half dozen Ubisoft titles that I otherwise certainly would have purchased. I stopped buying games published by EA, and I have refused to install Origin. I was given BF3 as a gift, and I returned it for something without DRM from publisher that better values its customers.

    Note to publishers: bundle any DRM other than Steam and I will not buy your game. Add GamesForWindowsLive? Not buying it. Does your game require DRM, GFWL, Steam activiation, plus a log-in to a separate account on the publisher's website? DEFINITELY NOT BUYING IT.

    I don't see what is so hard to understand.

     

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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, it's not really optional because most(!) DLC is the kind "was ready when we shipped, but we cut it out, because we thought we could milk you for more cash", ie. party members, integral story parts, etc. Sure, there is some DLC of the "better item earlier on" sort, which has almost no appeal to me. Still it's annoying to know, that this kind of stuff would have been part of an old-style extension and is no sold for an extra two to five Euros.

    I don't have a problem with extensions per se. But they should really feel like one and not something they ripped out of the game to make more cash (in some instances the content was even shipped with the original game and you just needed to buy a code later on).

    Just as an example: if Diablo 2 would have been a DLC game, you'd have gotten the original game minus one char (e.g. the paladin, because he's cool enough for people to want him) and some of the side quests (e.g. the tower). Then they'd sold you the original game for 40 Euros + n times five Euros for all the cool DLC. The fifth act might have been a real expansion pack but then without the assassin (DLC again) or they might have sold the fifth act as DLC (for more than five Euros) again. Now, you could argue, that e.g. the tower is not an integral part of the game, but it is one of the early places where'd you might get halfway decent runes, so it'd be very tempting to many. And if you're at it: why not sell the more powerful-but-still-common rune words as a DLC pack too?

    No, really, this is not the same as a "one shot" extension like Lord of Destruction.

     

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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Not only Ubisoft

    DLC as a concept is wonderful.
    I can't find anything wonderful in the concept to squeeze out a lot more money out of me for things that'd been part of the original game in the pre-DLC era. Also DLC is bound to a person, which basically destroys the secondary market, in case you want to sell a game again. With a classic expansion pack you didn't have this problem.

    See, I don't have any problem with studios selling special items (look nicer, get a more powerful item earlier ie. unbalance the game, etc.) if it's really absolutely unimportant for your "average" serious gamer. E.g. the powerful item DLC could be for people who aren't good at a particular game type or don't have much time but still want to play it, sort of an official cheat to speed you on your way. But when it's stuff like an additional team member with a cool story (where you can be pretty certain, that they had this character finished before shipping the game), then it annoys me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 8:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I never bought any of the DLC for ME2 and enjoyed it completely. The whole story line was there and didn't see anything missing. I have not checked to see what the DLCs added but nothing appears to be missing. Maybe if I had read everything the DLC added I might feel differently but it was still an enjoyable game. On the other hand Borderlands had DLC and I eventually bought all of them. While the original was a great game the DLCs added new life to the game. Those DLCs certainly were not shipped with the game and they needed to be downloaded to use them. The closest game I know of the does the type of DLCs you mention was Dragon age. But if you buy the extended addition then you get all additional DLC.

     

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    MrWilson, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 8:28am

    Re:

    It's pretty simple.

    You don't know if the people who crack the DRM are malicious and out to screw you over.

    You know the software vendor is malicious and out to screw you over.

     

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    tracker1 (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 8:41am

    Not Steam's DRM

    The DRM mentioned though isn't using Steam's... Ubisoft is implementing their own, essentially bypassing Steam's. The bulk of the problem is Ubisoft, not Steam. I've honestly been a fan of what Valve has done since the original Quake 1 mod, "Team Fortress"...

    They do have DRM, but it's of the type that stays out of your way for the most part.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:24am

    None of the previous Ubisoft games with the absurd DRM were the sorts of games that I'd actually want to play, but Anno 2070 sounds like a really good game (that I very nearly bought from Steam a few days ago before reading about the DRM stuff and just assuming it would be normal Steam DRM).

    So I guess this will be the first game I don't buy because of its DRM.

     

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    AB, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The problem with something like Steam - or any online activation system - is that eventually the company will stop supporting the program and it will become useless. For those who stay 'cutting edge' and simply discard old stuff this may not matter, but to those like myself who like to revisit the past this becomes a major problem. It is simply not financially feasible for the software producer to maintain infinite support no matter how benign their intentions may (or may not) be. The whole idea of online verification is relatively new yet there are already quite a few programs that have been broken because their companies dumped them, were sold, or went bankrupt. And speaking of bankrupt, what happens when Valve has to start tightening it's collective belt? Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of Steam, I just don't think it's a good idea to place all your trust in something totally reliant on corporate goodwill.

     

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    Rob, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Except Valve could say "no additional DRM", since it's their platform.

    Ouch.

     

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    Rob, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Valve couldn't deliver on a game you bought, so you did a chargeback.

    Buh bye to all your games.

     

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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:29am

    ME2 DLC

    Well, at least three DLC packs (see http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Downloadable_Content#Mass_Effect_2 for a detailed list) of those not included in the Cerberus Network code you get with a new ME2 are, IMHO, important or feel like they totally screw me (Lair of the Shadow Broker (come on, ME2 without a real Liara appearance, really?), Arrival (it's the bridge between ME2 and ME3 and might have been turned into a full expansion pack in the pre-DLC era, like Arrival + Lair of the Shadow Broker + Kasumi + some additional items) and of course the squadmate they cut to sell extra: Kasumi (actually they cut two if you get a used copy of ME2, ie. without a Cerberus Network code, but most will have the other, I'd suspect)).

    Again, in the pre-DLC times the three DLC packs I named above plus the Overlord DLC and some of the others with maybe a few cool items (Aegis pack, ...) would have been an expansion pack for approx. 20 Euro. That'd be ok, now you pay at least 20 Euro for just the three DLC packs (note, that you have to buy the DLC using a virtual currency which has a very peculiar exchange rate, which is also dependent on how much of the virtual currency you buy at once, can't be changed back and comes in tranches which are incompatible with the prices you have to pay for the DLC (e.g. you can buy 1600 units but have to pay 560 for a "small" DLC pack), are dependent on EA/BioWare to provide the authentication mechanism indefinitely or loose the ability to play the DLC in the future. Oh, and of course, in case you should loose interest in the game, you can't sell the DLC alongside.

    So, basically, DLC reduces the value of a bought product in many ways:
    1. I get less to start with (can be sold extra)
    2. I have to use funny virtual currencies which don't even match between various vendors/publishers/distribution channels.
    3. I get something I can't resell.
    4. I'm dependant on the DRM authentication servers of the publisher.
    5. I have to hand in a lot of personal data to even be able to use stuff that comes "for free" with my main game.
    tbc

     

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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:34am

    Former German games journalist about "DRM hell"

    Because it fits the topic and was just recently posted, I'd like to point out the "open letter to the rulers of DRM hell" by a former German games journalist: http://kaliban.de/2012/01/ein-offener-brief-an-die-herrscher-der-drm-holle/ (English translation)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The DRM on the first ME was barely acceptable."

    That's not how I remember it. I remember reading the Bioware forums where prospective customers very eloquently laid out their objections to the DRM (Securom, which had made problems for legit players all over the place by then). They were steadfastly ignored. They couldn't even get an answer about what hardware changes would trigger an activation.

    I also recall people using up their 3 allotted activations in the space of a week just changing out cards and fans, being met with a message to "buy another license". They had to call EA for permission to play their purchased games again.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:41am

    Re: Re: Game collections

    Agree with the sentiment of your last paragraph completely, but the lemmings remark is a bit unfair. There are many, MANY people for whom DRM is an unknown concept - they don't become aware of it until after purchase when it bites them in the tookus.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 9:46am

    New generation of gamers

    Ubisoft is not targeting us with these games. They don't care about the true gamers, the ones that still play games from 20 years ago. They're targeting the new generation of gamers, the ones that won't buy a three month old game due to it's "bad graphics". They don't play games long enough to have a problem with this kind of DRM.

    What Ubisoft doesn't realize is the market that they target is fickle at best. They'll abandon a game, an entire line of games on a whim. It's those of us who actually keep playing games that make or break the industry. It's those of us that look beyond the pretty in the game that will keep coming back (or not in this case).

     

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    Gae, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 10:07am

    I can understand DRM that would allow you to have the game installed on only one (or a set number) of computers at any one time but I will not buy any game that puts a hard limit on the amount of times I can reinstall the game or change hardware.
    What happens if I spend a large amount of money on a big collection of games and then my graphics card broke and I chose to replace it with a newer model. It would just not be acceptable to have the response from the publisher of 'It's tough luck, go out and buy 300 worth of games again if you want to continue to play'.
    It is for this reason I chose to avoid 100% of Ubisofts games.

    This kind of DRM does nothing but reduce sales and increase piracy whilst inconveniencing legitimate customers and making them pay for the inconvenience - possibly multiple times.

     

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    AB, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 10:31am

    Re: Not only Ubisoft

    I absolutely agree, and I also miss the old days when publishers tried to create a complete package that users would actually want to purchase just so it would look good on the shelf. The same packaging concept applies to movies and music and is equally ignored there.

     

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    djhomeless (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 10:39am

    Not just on PC games

    I've bought Ubisoft games for years - mainly due to the fact that my son loves the Rayman series on the Wii. The simple fact is we have a soft-modded Wii as it was bought in the US before we moved to Europe.

    Enter "The Adventures of TinTin" which has new DRM that blocks the loading of Region-Code avoiding methods.

    Why? Why are gamers still restricted from playing perfectly legal games, just because they've moved?

    Well I am voting with my feet and returning the game and vowing to never buy another Ubisoft game!

    So there :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Preferably Masculine

    Dear Ubisoft,
    I love hearing about new games coming out, I do have some disposable income and do not mind purchasing fresh ways to entertain myself. I was a big fan of yours with Far Cry, and thought it was extremely entertaining.

    Sadly, that was the last game I ever bought from you. I am not downloading them, although I could. I am not willing to call you over and over to release what I should actually own.

    The only pirates preventing me from giving you money for Anno 2070 are the ones in your own board room. If you have any questions or concerns I could assist you with, please asphyxiate on a primary sexual characteristic.

    No Love
    Gamer with Cash

    PS Minecraft has kittehs!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Re: Join me in not supporting these companies

    I've skipped over Ubisoft just because DRM since Far Cry II.

     

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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    ME DRM

    I should have added, that I bought the game way after 2009 where the deauthentication tool had been released. And the version I bought just verified the disc IIRC, then wrote a hash/key to the previously named directory. I don't remember having an internet connection active (and as I run ME under Wine I'm pretty sure, no service was left running afterwards). Anyway: any DRM is bad and generally something barring me from ever buying (and playing) a game. ME was bought because I found a three Euro offer where somebody cleared out their storage... So in the worst case I've wasted three Euros, not nice but bearable.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Re:

    I've actually sent a few emails to Steam over this exact problem. Specifically, I've asked them why Steam, that lets me download and play on as many computers as I want (as long as I log in of course) has this 3 machine limit in one of its games.
    Sadly, I got a reply from Steam, that was a boiler-plate pre-written answer...talking me through technical problems with the DRM! Showed they didn't read the email at all. I wasn't looking for tech support, I was wondering why it was there in the first place on Steam.

     

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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Not only Ubisoft

    I absolutely agree, and I also miss the old days when publishers tried to create a complete package that users would actually want to purchase just so it would look good on the shelf.
    Yeah, several meters of boxes in fact (with only a handful of early exceptions for titles bought from the budget shelf). ;-)

    The same packaging concept applies to movies and music and is equally ignored there.
    AFAIR we never had cool packaging and goodies for film and music. At least not on the scale it was common for games. Sure some editions for films/music are also exceptionally well done, but they're rare and (again AFAIR) were always "special editions" for higher prices. But that might depend on the market/area.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh for fuck sake. Just got a reply from Steam, I'll quote it here (first I'll put the response I sent back to them, after getting the boiler-plate reply)

    Me: "Dear Steam,
    I am NOT having technical difficulties with this game. I haven't even bought the game yet. Your response was a simple form letter, showing you DID NOT READ my question at all!
    I want to know why Steam markets itself as allowing me to play games I buy on as many computers as I like, yet allowed this 3 machine limit DRM in anyway. Its a contradiction Steam! Are you "Play Anywhere" or not!
    I specifically asked STEAM.

    Now here is what you are going to do. READING MY FRAKKIN QUESTION, would be a good start. Then, answer it. Do not send me to Ubisoft/Blue-byte, I want STEAM to answer the question. Why is "Play Anywhere" Steam allowing in non-"Play Anywhere" DRM? Will Steam continue to do this in the future? Is Steam going to abandon its "Play Anywhere" marketing point? "

    STEAM:
    "Hello Damian,

    Most titles on Steam do not employ any third party DRM besides the Steam client.

    However, if a title does have other measures in place, it will be listed on the Store page under the "Game Details" section on the right side.

    If you have any further questions, please let us know - we will be happy to assist you. "

     

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    Drizzt, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Game collections

    Agree with the sentiment of your last paragraph completely, but the lemmings remark is a bit unfair. There are many, MANY people for whom DRM is an unknown concept - they don't become aware of it until after purchase when it bites them in the tookus.
    I obviously can only judge from what I hear from people I know (and there are a lot among them who don't know more than how to turn the PC on), but they're generally well aware of the DRM. They still buy the games "because of $random_personal_reason". And then whine again, if the nth DRM didn't like the malware installed by other games. Then they'll always be like "never again" only to tell you a few weeks later, that they've broken the "vow". And I really can't imagine many people watching DVDs/films in the theatre with this forced "you're a potential criminal, we don't trust you" ads in front and the big "this xyz is copy-protected" text on the cases of the things they buy to not notice, that there is DRM. The only thing, that can be common, is the ignorance with regard to alternatives like FLOSS or indie games.

    In closing, the "lemmings" remark was a feeble attempt to voice my frustration with how things are going. To make matters worse, I don't think that a full boycott would help either in the short term, because the big publishers would just claim piracy is the culprit and demand more draconian laws.

     

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    MikeVx (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

    Why do people put up with this stuff?

    The only time I purchase deliberately sabotaged software is when I am paid to do so. (Yes, people pay me to work with Windows.)

    Other than that, I don't buy anything that has lockdowns, activation codes, or other such garbage.

    Software that is designed to fail gracefully when things go wrong is not merely acceptable, but expected.

    Software that is deliberately designed to fail, regardless of the reason, is unfit to exist. If the programmer(s) logic is so distorted that engineered failure is considered acceptable behavior, can you really trust the program with your data? Of for that matter, on your machine at all?

    (Virtual machines, a cage for potentially feral software.)

     

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    IronM@sk, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Not Steam's DRM

    Yeah, I realise it's not Steam's DRM. I was simply trying to demonstrate that Steam are still passing on publisher DRM to their customers and so, aren't the knights in shining armour that Adam makes them out to be.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Steam too. I've been a subscriber since Half-Life 1 and have a hefty game collection purchased through them, although I refuse to purchase anything from the Ubisoft catalogue, or from other publishers with restrictive DRM practices.

    As Rob above mentions, Steam could well say no to publishers demands that they pass on their DRM to consumers and geo-lock their store prices to pander to local distributors (Anno 2070 is $79.99 USD for us Aussies), but they are too spineless to do so, instead preferring to line their pockets just a bit more.

     

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    IronM@sk, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Read my reply below. I know full well whose DRM it is. Steam is a great platform, but angels, they are not. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120122/08260517502/tales-ubisoft-drm-latest-drm-goes-horrible-to- slightly-less-horrible.shtml#c853

     

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    Rekrul, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not only Ubisoft

    E.g. the powerful item DLC could be for people who aren't good at a particular game type or don't have much time but still want to play it, sort of an official cheat to speed you on your way.

    Why would anyone pay for a more powerful item sooner, when virtually every game has cheat codes to give you every weapon & item in the game?

     

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    Moby (profile), Jan 27th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

    Next...

    I avoid all UbiSoft titles, have for awhile. A shame because I like many of their games. The headache and BS associated with DRM just isnt worth it to me. I can find other games to enjoy w/o feeling like a criminal just because I reinstall it or upgrade hardware.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 6:09pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Can't totally agree with the DLC issue...for games like halo where the DLC was something like a map pack that came out WAY after the game was released, I have no problem with those. In fact, I usually buy them if I'm interested.

    But ME2 was bullshit. PS3 users got ALL of the dlc for the same money I paid for my game, but I would have to shell out $30 extra if I wanted it for my pc version. I've never gone the freetard route in my life ever, but this bullshit that EA/bioware pulled seriously made me consider pirating all the dlc. Only reason I didn't is because of the lack of time I have to actually play the game anymore.

     

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    Ilfar, Jan 27th, 2012 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re: Not Steam's DRM

    Nextdoor, in New Zealand... Anno 2070 is USD$49.99...

     

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    MAFIAA Shill, Jan 28th, 2012 @ 1:13am

    Why is it that big companies always get the blame? Oh right, because they have more money, so people think it's fine to steal from them.

    So many things wrong with this story... 3 activations is 3 times more than some gamers need!

    I don't work for Ubisoft but here's how I see it:
    1) First, not every gamer does testing. And in fact if you do test and review a game, well you should pay a commercial license because as we all know, game reviewing is a lucrative business that makes billions of dollars of profit off the back of video games developed by other people. Commercial licenses are more costly licenses for private use, so don't be surprised to have to buy the game twice if you want to make a review. But if you really want to pay the game only once well I have good news for you: you can! You just need to play the game and not review it, which is what the game was intended for before you violated it's purpose.

    2) A small percentage of gamers install the game on multiple machines. Well I have an answer to that too:
    - If the machines you install it on are in the same building, well not only is this completely unnecessary (you only need to install the game on 1 device per building) but you're also wasting resources.
    You waste time, which you could use to do something useful (e.g. working and earning more money to buy our games). But you also waste hard disk space, which forces hardware manufacturers to build more hard disks and this contributes to polluting the planet; in fact if you're going to pollute, you should pay an environmental tax. Think of buying the game a second time as that tax and you'll find it's only fair.
    - If you install the games on multiple machines located in different buildings (e.g. one machine at home, the other at work), well let me ask you this: is it fair that in order to play OUR game in two different places, you buy two computers from Dell or HP (i.e. you pay them twice for the same thing) and yet you pay us only ONCE for our game?
    Let me repeat that: WE make the game and in order to play it, you pay Dell TWICE but you pay US only ONCE. OUR GAME.
    The answer is no, it's not fair. If you agree to buy two computers to play our game, it's only just to also buy our game twice too. I think there's something in the Constitution about equal rights and discrimination (but you've probably never heard of that as you're spending all your time stealing games on Napster).
    Also, if your computers are in separate buildings, you're paying 2 Internet connections (so that you can connect to our servers while you play and our DRM lets you access the game). You're fine paying 2 computers and 2 internet accounts in order to play but you only want to pay us once even though we made the game to begin with? When you go to McDonald's and decide you want fries with your burger, do you expect to pay the extra money to Ford?
    This is why we need more laws to protect copyright, clearly people just want stuff for free!

    3) A tiny percentage of players upgrade their hardware from time to time. But let's be honest here: most gamers don't know anything about PC hardware and do not do any upgrades whatsoever. If gamers knew about hardware, we wouldn't need to make consoles like the Playstation 360.
    As it is, gamers can't even read the system requirements on the back of a game's box and constantly get it wrong. So don't try to tell me more than 1/1000 upgrade their RAM, much less their video card. So this problem is really not a problem at all, it affects way too little gamers to be important.
    But for those who do upgrade their hardware: when you buy a game, you agree to play it with the current hardware you have. If you suddenly want to get more from our game by upgrading your hardware, I think it's only fair that you pay us a little extra for the new functionalities you get, such as better graphics.
    Now before you tell me that the better graphics are already in the game (i.e. on the disc) when you buy it and you're just enabling them by upgrading your PC: I know that. But there's a matter of license and Terms of Use. When you buy and install our game the first time, you agree to play with your current hardware. This is a legal agreement and if you want to make changes to it, then you should pay a fee. If you pay for plastic surgery and after signing the contract with the Doctor you decide that you want him to use a laser instead of a scalpel, he'll tell you that you need to pay extra. Why would it be different for games?
    Also, there's the same problem as with installing a game on multiple computers: apparently, in order to get better graphics, you're fine with paying nVidia or AMD twice (once for the old card, once for the new one) but you don't want to pay the makers of said game more than once. So hardware makers can make a double profit on our game, but we should be limited to profiting once on our own game. Makes perfect sense... /sarcasm

    4) DRM works. If you don't understand how, then that's because you're a pirate. You need to have faith in copyright and DRM to be able to understand.

    You people just want free stuff. Free, free, free, that's the only word you know. You want to play at work, at home, on vacation, at your in-law's and in your car, but this option should be free. You want to be able to improve the graphics by upgrading your video card, but that should also be free (besides the price of the video card). You want to play on Mac, Windows and Linux but that also should be free. You want multiple resolutions to be supported so that the game works with your monitor, but once again we should do that for free.
    How exactly do you expect us to make money? Talk about entitlement...

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Re: MAFIAA Shill

    Hi!

    Some thoughts on your posting:

    1) There was a time when publishers send free copies to computer magazines. Inexpensive marketing, if the game was great.

    2) Since most software licences only allow one installation on one computer, it's actually no topic to discuss. If multiple installations are allowed, that's fine.

    3) The standard user has a standard PC. He/She won't upgrade hardware, but also won't buy the latest games, because his/her PC is to slow or graphics to meager. The gamers going for the latest games are upgrading hardware all the time. A new game activation for each hardware upgrade is the most silly thing to require. Even the standard user needs to re-install his/her OS from time to time (malware/blue screens/etc.). 3 activations are hit quite soon.

    And regarding the "get more from our game" argument I have to say that a game provides the "more" already when buying it. It's just the question if one has the CPU cycles and graphics power to enjoy it. Or do you offer a graphics add-on each year for new&better graphic cards? That's a "more" you could ask money for.

    4) Really? If the DRM brakes after installing a recommended OS service pack and the game publisher doesn't offer a patch, the user will be very unhappy. Do you know how often DRM servers were shut down and users "lost" games/movies/music? I know enough people experienced exactly this.

    And no, we don't want just everything for free! We wan't to pay for a product/licence providing a fair way to use and enjoy the product. The DRM-restricted use reduces the value of the product. Why should I pay 60-80 bugs for a game which I may actually play only once? If you want to be successful as a game publisher you'll need to give customers a reason to buy. And DRM is turning down customers! Therefore I don't buy any games, but I also don't pirate. As someone wrote in another comment, game publishers seem to think that a lost sale is a pirated copy. It might be just a turned down customer voting with his/her wallet.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Drizzt, Jan 28th, 2012 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Can't totally agree with the DLC issue...for games like halo where the DLC was something like a map pack that came out WAY after the game was released, I have no problem with those. In fact, I usually buy them if I'm interested.Just to keep that in mind: in the pre-DLC era such map packs used to be given freely to the fans. Either as an extra download on the game's page or together with a patch. Thus I find this not a very compelling argument for DLC.

     

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  80.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Jan 28th, 2012 @ 9:27am

    easy answer

    If the game locks up due to DRM during testing, just mark the entire game down 50% or so.

    Score on geforce 90%... graphics amazing
    Score on AMD/Radeon 0%...graphics didnt work due to DRM

    Average score for graphics (whats on the review) 45%...could not get game to work on radeon system.

    A few wide-reaching reviews in this manner would drop sales and prompt publishers to drop DRM entirely.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Drizzt, Jan 28th, 2012 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not only Ubisoft

    Hm, that was poorly worded, probably. What I meant were items making it easier to succeed because they had totally unbalanced stats. And there are quite a few people with a job and not much time willing to pay for such stuff (otherwise there wouldn't be a market for MMORPG characters either).

    Apart from that, there have also been some games without (easy to use) cheat codes (I'd suspect, that anybody willing to pay for such items wouldn't want to edit some file with a hex editor).

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2012 @ 9:30am

    Re: ME DRM

    Ah, gotcha. That makes sense.

    Pre-release though - it was a thing of beauty, I thought, the calm, rational, lucidity of the Bioware fans' arguments against Securom and activation limits. It was so disheartening to see those concerns dismissed or ignored (by EA, perhaps not so much Bioware, who had no say I guess). Sad. The fans were right all along.

    Six class action lawsuits filed against EA for use of Securom and its effects a year later.

    Listen to your fans!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    icon
    Who Cares (profile), Jan 28th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Only complaining about that part of the DRM?

    What about the: "This is a single player game for which we require you to be online all the time so we know you are not a filthy pirate or we'll cripple it"-DRM.
    Oh and to justify this we tack on some online interaction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To risk scorn by mentioning a console in a PC discussion ;-) Halo: Reach has come out with DLC in the form of new multiplayer map packs. I bought the first one, and it was a little expensive, but I was OK with it. Turns out they were planning to screw me, because six months later when they came out with the second map pack, the first one became unusable without also buying the second. I didn't buy it, figuring that in another six months I'd have to buy yet another pack to keep using any of them, which turned out to be correct.

    This practice was started with the game by Bungie and continued by 343. Any other games doing the same kind of thing?

     

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  85.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Not only Ubisoft

    I can't find anything wonderful in the concept to squeeze out a lot more money out of me for things that'd been part of the original game in the pre-DLC era. Also DLC is bound to a person, which basically destroys the secondary market, in case you want to sell a game again. With a classic expansion pack you didn't have this problem.

    Those are both aspects of execution. It would be possible to offer DLC for cheap or free and, at least on some platforms, without being tied to any person. So what you don't like is the way DLC is done, not the concept of DLC itself.

     

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  86.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    *golf clap*

    And you actually fooled someone, besides the entertainment value. Well done!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Drizzt, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not only Ubisoft

    Those are both aspects of execution. It would be possible to offer DLC for cheap or free and, at least on some platforms, without being tied to any person. So what you don't like is the way DLC is done, not the concept of DLC itself.
    Which still leaves me with the authentication problem if the DRM servers for the DLC are shutdown (because if you get rid of that you can offer a simple expansion pack right away and you'd have uncored the DLC concept).

    On a different note (which might not be shared by many): I prefer a lovingly designed cardboard box with a disc in it to some random download which might go away anytime. The only exception is the whole FLOSS stuff, because I can redistribute that legally without any issues.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:42am

    I will NEVER buy another Ubisoft game after all their other DRM issues. All this does is confirm the boycott.

    And it goes on!

    DRM = Digital RENTAL Media.

     

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  89.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not only Ubisoft

    Which still leaves me with the authentication problem if the DRM servers for the DLC are shutdown (because if you get rid of that you can offer a simple expansion pack right away and you'd have uncored the DLC concept).

    Maybe we're using different definitions of DLC. I consider it to mean exactly what the acronym stands for: downloadable content. If an expansion pack is downloadable, or doesn't have DRM, I don't see what makes that not DLC. What is your definition?

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Drizzt, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    DLC definition

    I use the term downloadable content or its acronym DLC only for content that involves a micro-transaction (please note, that this must not in all cases be a monetary transaction or the money transaction might have occurred in "hidden" way*) and DRM. An additional requirement is the offered size of the bite: DLC is small (ranging from an item (or a set of items) to a small episode (maximum), generally not requiring much more than an hour or two to "play through").

    And that clearly separates it from e.g. patches (which in the pre-DLC era often included additional items, that'd now be sold as a two to five Euro DLC pack) and expansion packs (which generally added an additional 20 hours of play time (lower end)). Please note, that this doesn't necessarily mean, that e.g. an expansion pack comes without DRM (same problem as with all DRM-ridden software but at least it often just meant "disc verification", ie. no DRM server dependence) or might be offered through some download shop but as a rule of thumb an expansion pack is also available on a disc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It honestly depends on how close to the release the DLC comes out. If it's only a month or two, then yeah. They should either make it a freebie or a reasonable price. But if it's something where it gets released 2 years down the road, you seriously can't expect that for free. If you were a game dev and made an add-on 2 years down the road, I'm sure you would want to get paid for that extra work.

    But free map packs? Those were always pay-to-use. I remember a free map for halo 3 and I think GOW 1 or 2, but that's it. I don't know why you would expect DLC to be free...unless if it's painfully obvious it was just ripped from the game to make more money. But the games in the 2nd case usually aren't worth buying anyway,(*coughcough*every COD game after cod 4*coughcough*) so I doubt many people would have that problem. xD

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Join me in not supporting these companies

    Isn't games for windows live just the PC version of your xbox live account, to get things like achievements and marketplace items? Didn't think something that is basically the xbox dashboard for PC was drm...lol.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Nikica, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    Hello everyone, first I want to say that I hate Ubisoft just because they're trying to prevent piracy but instead it fu**s customers and fans,
    so my story is:

    I'm a big fan of well-known game Splinter Cell, I have all the sequels,
    So I bought Splinter Cell Conviction Colectors Edition, but I could not play because my computer is broken, so I borrowed a friend SC Conviction, and so for two months, the computer came to me with the repair, and I'm going to install the game, and asks me the key , enter it, and says that the key already in use, contact friend and he says that he does not remember account names or e mail, So I contacted Ubisoft and said what the problem was, they wanted me to photograph a bar-code instructions with the key, bill, etc.. and i done it all and send it, but they told me that the friend has to occur on the same topic that they would prove that the game is not stolen, and after a very long time and hassle with them to give them evidence that the friend he can not access account, and that they can not send any evidence, they simply concluded that the game was stolen and that they can not reset or whatever, cd key ...
    pathetic i will never ever buy anything from Ubisoft, just a bunch of annoying people who try to invent the wheel ....
    Thank you fo your time!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Nikica, Apr 4th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    Hello everyone, first I want to say that I hate Ubisoft just because they're trying to prevent piracy but instead it fu**s customers and fans,
    so my story is:

    I'm a big fan of well-known game Splinter Cell, I have all the sequels,
    So I bought Splinter Cell Conviction Colectors Edition, but I could not play because my computer is broken, so I borrowed a friend SC Conviction, and so for two months, the computer came to me with the repair, and I'm going to install the game, and asks me the key , enter it, and says that the key already in use, contact friend and he says that he does not remember account names or e mail, So I contacted Ubisoft and said what the problem was, they wanted me to photograph a bar-code instructions with the key, bill, etc.. and i done it all and send it, but they told me that the friend has to occur on the same topic that they would prove that the game is not stolen, and after a very long time and hassle with them to give them evidence that the friend he can not access account, and that they can not send any evidence, they simply concluded that the game was stolen and that they can not reset or whatever, cd key ...
    pathetic i will never ever buy anything from Ubisoft, just a bunch of annoying people who try to invent the wheel ....
    Thank you fo your time!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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