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Confusion Surrounds Ubisoft Internet-Connected DRM Efforts On PC
Confusion Surrounds Ubisoft Internet-Connected DRM Efforts On PC
August 18, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

August 18, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
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    14 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Ubisoft is sending gamers mixed signals regarding a controversial DRM scheme that requires a persistent internet connection to play some of its PC games, with conflicting statements that seem to contradict reality.

Despite an earlier promise not to include such a DRM scheme in the delayed PC release of From Dust, Rock Paper Shotgun reports that the recently released single-player game does check for an internet connection when launched (a fact that has been confirmed by Gamasutra).

Ubisoft has updated the original forum post that said the DRM scheme would not be in From Dust, promising to check the details and post an official statement on the matter soon.

Meanwhile, another Ubisoft forum post has been updated to clarify that Driver: San Francisco will not require an always-on internet connection to play, despite a July tweet promising such DRM would be included in the game. The title will still require a one-time internet check when the game is played for the first time, however.

Responding to an outcry over Ubisoft's DRM plans last month, the company cited "a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection" in defending the practice.

Ubisoft's first began requiring a persistent internet connection to confirm the authenticity of most of its PC releases in early 2010, though the company removed the check in those games earlier this year, after consistent complaints from fans.

[UPDATE: A new Ubisoft forum post addresses the "confusion" surrounding the issue by clarifying that an internet connection is required whenever From Dust is started. However, "After you have signed in and the game is running, you no longer need the internet connection for that session and can disconnect and play offline you so wish."]


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Comments


Fábio Bernardon
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"a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection"

Any correlation with the reduced number of copies that have been sold as well?



I would love to play From Dust, but I don't want to put up with the hassle of the "always require an internet connection". Unfortunately for me (and the developers alike) I will be skipping over what appears to me as a very interesting title. Oh well.

Tyler Overby
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I own the game myself, you only need internet for the first few seconds of navigating the main menu. It seems a fair tradeoff, IMO.

Doug Poston
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@Tyler: A fair tradeoff for what? Being able to use a product you paid for?



I'm not anti-DRM, but I don't enjoy unnecessary hassles.

Fábio Bernardon
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My problem with this rather stupid policy is that I already logged in into Steam. Why do I have to log in into some Ubisoft server? That is a useless hassle.

Michael G
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From Dust has the same system as the new Driver will, you need a connection to log in to the launcher but it isn't an "always-on" deal like AC2. I think they're getting mixed signals from the community to be honest. There's a large group decrying it but a seemingly equal group supporting it. In my personal opinion I don't see that it's quite as benificial as they're making out. AC2, Brotherhood and From Dust have all been cracked, so the reduction in piracy is more likely for some other reason, such as the games not being that good. If the piracy rates are down but the sales figures don't improve much then it's not really a big win for the developer.

Paul Shirley
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It's also possible that they simply can't track piracy rates as well, given cracking will kill at least some internet access.



Of course the piracy rates are largely irrelevant since they wouldn't have bought the game anyway. Putting off people like me, that wait for nocd (and now no-internet) hacks before *paying* for a real copy of most games, that loses them real money.

Todd Boyd
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So... you log in once, at the start of your gaming session, and then you're allowed to take it offline? That still totally screws you if you want to START playing and an internet connection is unavailable. Sigh... I really don't see how that is any better than always-online.

Bart Stewart
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It addresses the problem of dropped connections, which was one of the objections to the "always-connected" scheme.



But the new "connect once for every launch" scheme still excludes anyone who doesn't have an available connection when they're ready to start playing.

Marc Schaerer
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I think its really interesting that Ubisoft is able to missidentify simple boycotts as "decrease of piracy".



Sure you can always turn it the way you want, but if you clearly lost connection to reality some years ago upon what is a DRM scheme and what only serves as a "hell will freeze before I buy anything from you ever again" scheme then I'm seing black for my beloved settlers

Jakub Majewski
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I think you hugely overestimate the number of people who care enough to bother with a boycott.

Ben Freund
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I think you hugely underestimate the number of people who care enough to bother with piracy.

Craig Dolphin
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"hell will freeze before I buy anything from you ever again"



+1. Has been my position for some time now.

Marc Audouy
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"hell will freeze before I buy anything from you ever again"



what a bunch of hypocrites...

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/08/08

Michael G
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Any of you remember 2K's response to criticism of the DRM in Bioshock. They said (possibly paraphrasing) "We successfully prevented the game from being cracked for 13 days.", publishers have become their own little bubble where they don't see how illogical that is.


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