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On Ubisoft's Online DRM

A post to the PC Gamer Blog discusses playing a prerelease copy of Assassin's Creed II for the PC, which includes Ubisoft's new DRM requiring a constant online connection. The story indicates that fears about such a system being disruptive are not unfounded, saying: "If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected." They give an example, saying: "So I tried a different test: start the game while online, play a little, then unplug my net cable. This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers'. The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen - all my progress since it last autosaved was lost." They point out that this is what will happen to even the most stable net connection if Ubisoft's master servers go down, saying: "playing a current Ubisoft game is kicked out of it and loses their progress. Even massively multiplayer games aren't so draconian about the internet: you can't play when the server's down, but at least you don't lose anything for getting disconnected."

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72. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 20, 2010, 21:14 CythrawL
 
Elf Shot The Food wrote on Feb 18, 2010, 08:14:
People still play PC games?

You obviously work for Ubi, as you said you are a developer, and I would bet my left nut you are the one who thought up and programmed this DRM crap.

I see UBI going Console only in the next 12 months and then no-one will care anymore. I was gonna buy Assassins Creed 2, but as it stands now I hope their shitty DRM is cracked within hours of release and a non restrictive crack will be available. May buy it then and apply the crack, or I may just skip it completely.

They have effectively laid the gauntlet down saying this is uncrackable. Remember folks WOW was only served on Private Blizzard servers, now you can play that on non-legit servers - Only be a matter of time..
 
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71. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 19, 2010, 21:42 Dev
 
LOL!! Get a load of what BS they are saying in that interview:

But they also believe that their online services will make PC gaming better. "The real idea is that if you offer a game that is better when you buy it, then people will actually buy it. We wouldn't have built it if we thought that it was really going to piss off our customers."

They say that they arne't really going to upset anyone and its BETTER this way!!

Also all of thier games will include it regardless of if its through steam or retail box:

All announced Ubisoft PC games will include the online services, whether sold online, or from brick and mortar stores. That includes Splinter Cell, Silent Hunter 5, Assassin's Creed 2, Prince of Persia and the newly announced Ghost Recon. "It's hard for us to say, yes, from now until the day that we all die all of our games are going to include this," says their spokesperson, "but most will."

In other words everything from here on out until people pound sense into them will include it

How will I know what I'll lose?
"You'll have to wait for the reviews, and to hear what your peers are saying."


In other words, we aren't going to say what you'd lose if your net connection went down because it would look bad.

They also upfront admit that any time they feel like doing maintence you won't be able to play your purchased games.
 
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70. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 19, 2010, 20:34 KilrathiAce
 
UBIsoft spokeperson answers questions about their new DRM: http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=235596&site=pcg

If my internet connection goes down during play, will I lose my progress?
That depends on the way the systems have been implemented. The two examples we have now, Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII, show differing implementations. In Assassin's Creed, if your connection cuts out, you'll be taken back to the last checkpoint. "With Settlers, your game will resume exactly where you left off," says Ubisoft's spokesperson.

we have been clear from the beginning that the game does need an internet connection for you to play. So if it goes down for real for a little while, then yeah, you can't play.

SO, I assume they did a census of how many PC users who also are considered target base are on constant reliable internet connection and that number must be high ????? After all if you plan to sell single player game to a PC user and force him to be online at all times to play it must indicate they feel confident everyone has stable internet connection.

If you thought ubi had bad support with their PC titles wait for all the additional problems spawned by people with internet issues trying to play their single player games lol.

This comment was edited on Feb 19, 2010, 20:39.
 
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69. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 19, 2010, 10:37 shponglefan
 
Dev wrote on Feb 19, 2010, 03:12:
ubisoft would be particularly stupid if they confirmed with PC GAMER which is obviously working on a print magazine review, that this was the final DRM if it wasn't.

Just because they say that now doesn't really mean anything. There is nothing stopping them from modifying or removing it via a patch, even if it's in the retail copies of the game. They've received so much flak over this so far, you have to wonder if they'll really be this short-sighted to stick with it. Hell, you have to wonder who at Ubi thought this would be a good idea in the first place.
 
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68. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 19, 2010, 03:12 Dev
 
I've seen several posts saying they would wait until confirmed... but ubisoft confirmed to the article writer that this was the final DRM and would be in the final product.

"We've just received Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII for review, and verified with Ubisoft that the DRM is the same as the boxed product."

ubisoft would be particularly stupid if they confirmed with PC GAMER which is obviously working on a print magazine review, that this was the final DRM if it wasn't. DRM this bad is at least going to get a mention in one of the (if not the) largest PC games print magazine's review. I imagine that any press reviewing it is at least going to give it a passing mention if nothing else. PLUS, this blog bit has been up for days garnering attention and negative press. ubisoft would have contacted them to correct it by now if it was wrong. Thier silence is an added confirmation all on its own.

Also note this bit from the article that was added recently:

"Addendum: Some people are inferring that your savegames are only stored online - that's not the case. You can set the Ubisoft Game Launcher not to upload your saves, and even if you permit it, it seems the saves are made locally first and then uploaded when you exit the game. Whichever setting you choose, you still need to be online to launch or play the game."
 
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67. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 16:28 shponglefan
 
Verno wrote on Feb 18, 2010, 15:43:
I sent Ubisoft a calm email with a picture of all of the Ubisoft titles(about 20 for PC and consoles) I own on my shelf and told them that I won't be purchasing any for the PC or consoles for that matter if they go forward with this plan. If they don't listen then that's their problem, my money will get spent elsewhere while they have their little fruitless piracy battle.

Agreed. I was thinking of going a step further and sending my UbiSoft games back to them with a letter stating they've lost a customer.

But I'll wait and see if they still go ahead with this stupid system first.
 
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66. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 16:09 DG
 
no way I'll buy a Ubi game with this. Before I even consider how offended I would be by this on principle, this just lowers the overall quality of the product so far I can't imagine any game being good enough to warrant my hard earned cash.  
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65. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 15:43 Verno
 
Fair enough. I think just making a stink like people did with EA and Spore makes a more effective statement personally. Threatening piracy just makes you juvenile and muddies the message is all I'm saying. I sent Ubisoft a calm email with a picture of all of the Ubisoft titles(about 20 for PC and consoles) I own on my shelf and told them that I won't be purchasing any for the PC or consoles for that matter if they go forward with this plan. If they don't listen then that's their problem, my money will get spent elsewhere while they have their little fruitless piracy battle.  
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64. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 14:43 Riker
 
Verno wrote on Feb 18, 2010, 10:11:
Threatening to pirate their titles isn't exactly a smart way to have dialogue with the publisher unfortunately.
I'm not under the illusion that we're having a dialogue with them, but their sales figures from us voting with our dollars will send a very loud message. They're in for a rude awakening one way or another.
 
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63. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 13:42 Omni
 
on-line check are easy to bypass with emulators nowadays but it still doesn't change that fact that ubisoft is digging a grave for the paying customers if they have any at this point.  
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62. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 13:36 Tumbler
 
I think this is what most PC pubs want the platform to become. MMORPG's have very little problems with piracy for obvious reasons so the pubs are trying to slowly make all game work the same way. The major issue with this is that MMORPG's are typically exclusive to the PC, but the game they want to bring under this umbrella are available for purchase, trade, and even renting on other platforms. Expecting this level of control to work on the PC for basically the same price as a console version ($50/$60) is a pipe dream. They could make this DRM work but the cost of the game would need to be nuked down to like $9.99 or something akin to a rental cost.

I think Bioware and EA are on the right track to encouraging ownership with free DLC. Forcing people online will kill the PC gaming platform for games like these. (it obviously works for online games like WoW and such.)
 
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61. Get some new material. Feb 18, 2010, 13:00 I've Got The News Blues
 
Elf Shot The Food wrote on Feb 18, 2010, 08:14:
People still play PC games?
Get some new material. This wasn't funny as post #1 either.
 
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60. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 12:46 Elessar
 
Muscular Beaver wrote on Feb 18, 2010, 05:21:
This problem is easily solved by simply not buying any more Ubisoft products and making sure the word gets out to everyone else to do the same.
I agree with the sentiment, but I think it's more detrimental in practice.

My concern with fools like those at Ubisoft is, they implement these ridiculous "solutions" that will only drive PC gamers away. Problem is they'll blame the PC gaming market (or lack thereof in their minds) and just not make PC versions in the future. Which is fine if you don't care and choose to boycott them anyway. But, like it or not, it's yet another big hit against the hobby we enjoy.

I find this all frustrating, mainly because the situation is out of our control. We get to sit back and watch these TERRIBLE decisions being made to the detriment of PC gaming as a whole.
 
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59. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 12:31 Jerykk
 
The problem is that they're trying to marry it to singleplayer games as a DRM method and offering literally nothing in return to the consumer.

Now hold on there, mister. Thanks to this revolutionary new user-friendly feature, players no longer have to have their discs in their drives while playing the game! This was never possible before now!

Im ready to head to newegg and order ACII for my PS3 right now with news of this crap.

You do realize that buying AC2 for the PS3 would still be supporting Ubisoft, right..?

 
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58. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 11:06 Verno
 
It's pointed out in the article but basically you lose all progress from the last checkpoint you hit. If you don't have internet, you can't play at all. No one knows what happens if the company goes out of business, it will probably depend on the company in question. It's essentially people's worst nightmare in terms of DRM for a singleplayer game.

If you mean with regards to my idea, I'm simply saying that I don't mind the IDEA of a game with a persistent internet connection(much like MMOs), I just want it to make sense for that game instead of being used as a DRM method. Such a game might or might not have a limited lifespan, I don't know. I'm just saying this kind of thing isn't totally out of bounds or something, just look at MMO games. The problem is that they're trying to marry it to singleplayer games as a DRM method and offering literally nothing in return to the consumer.

This comment was edited on Feb 18, 2010, 11:11.
 
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57. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 10:55 Ant
 
Verno wrote on Feb 18, 2010, 09:55:
I don't mind the idea of gameplay being married to an internet connection. I mind the fact that in most cases it's a transparent DRM method which won't stop piracy anyways. Give me a fun and innovative game that actually uses its persistent connection to the internet for something useful and beneficial to the player then I'm all for it. I forget the name of that game that was a conspiracy theory type thing where the game would call you, email you and other stuff but that kind of game would be well suited to this idea.
So what happens if your Internet is down, company goes out of business, etc. when you want to play this game?
 
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56. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 10:11 Verno
 
Threatening to pirate their titles isn't exactly a smart way to have dialogue with the publisher unfortunately.  
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55. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 10:02 Riker
 
This isn't acceptable, Ubisoft, and I won't be buying your games if this is how it's going to be. Oh, I'll download and play cracked versions of them, but you won't see a cent from me. I hope it'll be worth it for you and your developers.  
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54. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 10:01 dryden555
 
If true, a genuinely absurd moment in PC gaming that will fail.  
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53. Re: On Ubisoft's Online DRM Feb 18, 2010, 09:55 Verno
 
I don't mind the idea of gameplay being married to an internet connection. I mind the fact that in most cases it's a transparent DRM method which won't stop piracy anyways. Give me a fun and innovative game that actually uses its persistent connection to the internet for something useful and beneficial to the player then I'm all for it. I forget the name of that game that was a conspiracy theory type thing where the game would call you, email you and other stuff but that kind of game would be well suited to this idea.  
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Playing: The Last of Us Remastered
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