Ubisoft DRM Interview

Ubi DRM: Their side of the story on PC Gamer Magazine explains Ubisoft's perspective on their planned online DRM scheme, arguably the only perspective Ubi themselves have taken into account in creating a scheme that requires a constant internet connection to play any of their upcoming PC games (thanks KilrathiAce). Along the way Ubisoft explains their plan stems from frustration with the PC market, though their new DRM is not likely to lessen that for users: "No, we're not trying to kill the PC market. Are we frustrated by the PC market? I think everyone is. In the end it all comes back to one single truth: piracy is a big, huge, hairy problem. It's a market that suffered a lot because of piracy, and we're all just trying to figure out what we think is the best way to deal with it."
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100.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 25, 2010, 12:25
Prez
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 25, 2010, 12:25
Feb 25, 2010, 12:25
 Prez
 
I can't believe that not one gamer on Blues has thanked Ubi for the added benefits they tell us this system will have for us. Bunch of damn ingrates on this site...


Smartass
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99.
 
Re: Offline Mode
Feb 25, 2010, 08:32
99.
Re: Offline Mode Feb 25, 2010, 08:32
Feb 25, 2010, 08:32
 
I've Got The News Blues wrote on Feb 24, 2010, 15:56:
The last non-beta Steam client update supposedly fixed offline mode not working, but Valve didn't explain exactly what was fixed about it or what caused the problem.
What about it was broken?
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
98.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 25, 2010, 06:11
98.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 25, 2010, 06:11
Feb 25, 2010, 06:11
 
I just can't believe that Ubisoft are doing this and it's gotten to the point of me no buying their games anymore so that is a big FU to Ubisoft.
97.
 
Offline Mode
Feb 24, 2010, 15:56
97.
Offline Mode Feb 24, 2010, 15:56
Feb 24, 2010, 15:56
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Feb 24, 2010, 15:31:
Or can you actually configure specific games to be set for off-line play and not get a connection attempt when you launch them?
You can now select offline mode as a command in the menu but offline mode is an all or nothing setting not game specific. Plus you can't go into offline mode if you didn't successfully login to Steam and save your password the previous time you ran Steam before choosing or entering offline mode. So, for example if you are locked out of your account or it is banned, you can't just select offline mode from Steam's menu and play your games offline.

The last non-beta Steam client update supposedly fixed offline mode not working, but Valve didn't explain exactly what was fixed about it or what caused the problem.

This comment was edited on Feb 24, 2010, 16:03.
96.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 24, 2010, 15:31
96.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 24, 2010, 15:31
Feb 24, 2010, 15:31
 
Semi-random question about Steam: Last I used it, literally years ago, you couldn't actually configure it to NOT connect and to play off-line. What would happen is if you weren't connected, it would try to connect and then come up and say something like "Connection failed, do you want to play in off-line mode?" ie... the only way to play off-line was to BE off-line. Is that still the case? Or can you actually configure specific games to be set for off-line play and not get a connection attempt when you launch them?
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
95.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 14:45
95.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 14:45
Feb 23, 2010, 14:45
 
Oh I know that some games do have extra DRM on Steam, but from what I'd read, EA either didn't include or has removed it from some of their games.
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94.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 14:31
Dev
94.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 14:31
Feb 23, 2010, 14:31
Dev
 
I don't know the exact current situation with each of EA's titles with regards to steam. I do know that some of them at some point had DRM such as securom layered on top of steam. I think I heard that EA removed that from some of the older ones.
Any publishers can tell steam that they will have extra DRM on top of it. Valve probably doesn't like it, but it happens.

Regardless, you have ubisoft stating in no uncertain terms that this drm WILL be in all digital software sold from them.

And I understand EA is now going to experiment with something similar for the next C&C game.

Bioshock 2 for example:
"Other Requirements: Initial installation requires one-time internet connection; Ability to save game, earn achievements, receive title updates and online play requires log-in to Games for Windows LIVE; software installations required including Microsoft Visual C++2008 Runtime Libraries, Games for Windows LIVE client, Games for Windows LIVE Client Patch, Sony DADC SecuROM, Microsoft DirectX. "
93.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 14:25
93.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 14:25
Feb 23, 2010, 14:25
 
shponglefan wrote on Feb 23, 2010, 12:26:
Dev wrote on Feb 23, 2010, 12:03:
EA does the same thing with its securom, they require it even in steam.

Do they? Because I was under the impression that various EA games (Mass Effect, Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, for example) didn't have SecuROM in the Steam versions.

Dev's dead-on here. Non-exclusive titles on Steam use whatever DRM they are wrapped in at the publisher on top of Steam security. There may be some exceptions, but they are few.

^D^
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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92.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 14:21
92.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 14:21
Feb 23, 2010, 14:21
 
Dev--

I got to thinking last night that we probably won't see full impact of any shift in steam hardware that's a consequence of the MW2 population until the next cycle---reason being that it could be argued that a good portion of those numbers were Christmas presents that may or may not have made it into this round.

Yeah, I was the one that stated most users would probably tend toward broadband, given what the service does. I guess that's why I'd be *very* interested in seeing how the connection speed dispurement looks on a Steam DRM title that has storefront and steam exposure (like MW2 or HL2). That would tell you exactly what the stratification looks like, rather than obscuring it in the more general aggregate numbers. I doubt we'll ever see that, though, unless we become VAC/Steam Licensees.

Pew is pretty reputable; I've looked at some of their stuff in the past, which was pretty dead on at the time (PEW does other statistical research as well). It looks like your estimate of how far off the Steam numbers might be was pretty accurate.

5-7% sounds pretty reasonable. My brother up in rural NH was only just able to get broadband last year, so it looks like they're finding justification to reach into many of the "sparsely populated" areas that had a poor ROI in the past.

Re: the "unaccounted for 30%": I tend to agree with you--I think they are looking at total households, including those without internet, and 30% probably covers the people that don't want it, or can't get it due to geography.

^D^
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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91.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 13:40
91.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 13:40
Feb 23, 2010, 13:40
 
What would be great is if they get less that 5% of their expected sales. Man, that would rock. That might even change their minds, or make them give up the PC platform. Either of those results would be fine by me.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
90.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 13:06
90.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 13:06
Feb 23, 2010, 13:06
 
Dev wrote on Feb 22, 2010, 19:54:
My point remains though, making games is quite expensive. Its no longer what 1 or 2 guys can do as a hobby (aside from some indy titles which often have surprisingly good gameplay).
There is a quote feature by the way, using it makes things easier to find.

You might want to go check through your last round of comedy and romantics. Most are over the 55m budget, with the costs being eaten by actor salaries.

Games being developed was never a 2man job, not even back in the vic20 days. The development of 2-man dev companies, did come from the ancient way-back days when people got their games published in Commodore Magazine.
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89.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 12:26
89.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 12:26
Feb 23, 2010, 12:26
 
Dev wrote on Feb 23, 2010, 12:03:
EA does the same thing with its securom, they require it even in steam.

Do they? Because I was under the impression that various EA games (Mass Effect, Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, for example) didn't have SecuROM in the Steam versions.
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88.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 12:03
Dev
88.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 12:03
Feb 23, 2010, 12:03
Dev
 
Jeraxle:
I mentioned it in comments in one of these threads since ubisoft said it would apply to all the versions including digital. EA does the same thing with its securom, they require it even in steam.
87.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 10:45
87.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 10:45
Feb 23, 2010, 10:45
 
I'm not sure if this has been posted or not yet, but even the Steam version of AC2 is going to require this draconian software.
Adding signatures to message boards since October 7th, 2012.
86.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 07:07
Dev
86.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 07:07
Feb 23, 2010, 07:07
Dev
 
^Drag0n^:
I could be wrong, I just like to debate fine points like that And we differ mostly on degree of change on something like broadband, rather than actual change (I agree that there is SOME differance). I would say if the hardware survey changes significantly in next couple months you were right. So don't give up just yet Something I just spotted that gives your side of the argument some hope is that checking the supposed Jan 2010 survey, some things like the graph that covers the change over a year of graphics cards, it says it only includes data going back to december. I think MW2 only came out half way through november so thats not much time to include its results.

Yes, I can argue both sides

My personal belief though, is that while that might be the valve statistic most off in terms of comparision to average gamers, its not that far. Steam says 3% approx. I would guess at most its double, so 6% or 7% for average gamers. I would be surprised if it was 10%.

Edit: I did a quick google (I'm now curious about this, I'm not just doing this to debate):
http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0906/
"Meanwhile, US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew to 94.65% in May"
Keyword being "active"
"Overall broadband penetration across all US homes grew to 63% in March 2009, according to a survey by Pew Internet (see Figure 1). Broadband penetration grew 8 percentage points from 55% in April 2008 to 63% in March 2009. Dial-up users decreased from 10% to 7% during the same time period."
3%-6% makes sense in terms of valve's customer base, since I think the majority of its customers are active internet users (after all, steam has to be running to start a game). I'm not sure why there's such a huge gap at 63% broadband penetration with only 7% being dialup. Who are the other 30%? Perhaps they are the population without the internet entirely, probably by choice? But anyway, if dialup are only 7% of the population in total, then I can't see the valve numbers being over 7% ever, since as you (or was it someone else) said, valve would have a tendancy to attract broadband users more than dialup users.

JohnnyRotten:
Good point, has ea EVER patched a game to not require authentication or to remove protection when they took down the game servers? I have not checked, but I seriously doubt it.

This comment was edited on Feb 23, 2010, 07:26.
85.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 00:49
85.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 00:49
Feb 23, 2010, 00:49
 
Dev--

Point taken. I yield, sir.

^D^

This comment was edited on Feb 23, 2010, 03:21.
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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84.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 23, 2010, 00:34
84.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 23, 2010, 00:34
Feb 23, 2010, 00:34
 
Overon wrote on Feb 21, 2010, 14:59:
Right now Ubisoft is relying on end user ignorance. The masses don't know about this DRM scheme, they are not informed but they will quickly learn when it goes bad and they can't play.

Or in 18 months when they take down the DRM server because the game didn't sell well (I'm looking at you EA).
83.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 22, 2010, 23:51
Dev
83.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 22, 2010, 23:51
Feb 22, 2010, 23:51
Dev
 
How about a game that doesn't stop being fun while you play it to the end?

Games are supposed to be entertaining, if they become a boring slog that causes people to stop playing them before beating it, thats no longer entertaining, thats work.

I've really enjoyed playing the lego star wars/batman/indiana jones games, so I went and looked at the info/reviews for the latest indiana jones lego game. And they went and took out all the features I enjoyed. I'm not going to purchase the newest one because it doesn't sound worth the money to me.

How about assassins creed 2? Is that going to be fun and entertaining to play with the DRM screwing up game play? I think not.

^Drag0n^:
The latest steam hardware survey is from Jan of this year, so it already includes the vast majority PC MW2 users (unless they hit the button to decline the survey, or were one of the minority to buy it 2+ months after release)).
82.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 22, 2010, 23:49
82.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 22, 2010, 23:49
Feb 22, 2010, 23:49
 
Dev--

Good point.

The reason I'm holding out for what I call "The MW2 Effect" on the survey is that it will be the largest non-valve game that has wide appeal which also relies entirely on Steam DRM, and also would have a reasonably large pool of people that would play the game for it's SP component only.

I guess we're in violent agreement...I'm just not sure the numbers are telling either of us what we want to know yet.

^D^
"Never start a fight, but always finish it."
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81.
 
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview
Feb 22, 2010, 23:20
81.
Re: Ubisoft DRM Interview Feb 22, 2010, 23:20
Feb 22, 2010, 23:20
 
Creston wrote on Feb 22, 2010, 23:01:
Eh, no. Most games are most definitely NOT worth their money.

Then you need a new hobby, since you obviously don't seem to be enjoying this one very much.

There's really only a rare few games that are still worth what the publishers are charging for it.

What the heck does "still worth" even mean? Especially since, again, games are actually cheaper on an inflation-adjusted basis.
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