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Ubisoft Scrapping Always on DRM

Ubisoft will stop using its always-on DRM scheme that required an internet connection to play their PC games, Ubisoft's Stephanie Perotti states in a Rock, Paper, Shotgun interview. The quotes about dropping the unpopular anti-piracy protection are highlighted separately, noting that it has been over a year since they last shipped a game using this DRM, and this will continue to be their policy going forward. "We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline," the publisher's worldwide director for online games tells them. "Whenever you want to reach any online service, multiplayer, you will have to be connected, and obviously for online games you will also need to be online to play. But if you want to enjoy Assassinís Creed III single player, you will be able to do that without being connected. And you will be able to activate the game on as many machines as you want."

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61. Re: Ubisoft Scrapping Always on DRM Sep 6, 2012, 00:23 ViRGE
Bhruic wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 19:07:
ViRGE wrote on Sep 5, 2012, 18:34:
That's an excellent point. Ubisoft's last experiment with DRM free games was a miserable failure (the sales to BitTorrent piracy ratio was something silly, and that's before casual copying), which is what led to UPlay in the first place.

That's a ridiculous point. While we don't know sales numbers, the idea that the sales-to-piracy numbers went up when they introduced UPlay is asinine. If anything, the piracy numbers went up, and the sales numbers down. That's the reason they are scaling back their efforts - because they obviously didn't work. So claiming that DRM free games were a "miserable failure" is absolutely incorrect.
No, it's not a ridiculous point. I can't remember who wrote the article - maybe Eurogamer or RPS - but they combed through Ubisoft's financial reports and that's exactly what they found. There was every sign that without any DRM paying customers were switching to piracy, which isn't all that surprising. It's the tragedy of the commons in action - why should paying customers pay for anything if the pirates get the same thing for free at the exact same time?

As for whether sales-to-piracy numbers went up when UPlay was introduced, that's equally well-founded. Remember, it took months for UPlay to be correctly cracked, which means no one was able to pirate it.
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