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Ubisoft Testing PC Prince of Persia Without DRM

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the good-on-ya dept.

Games 254

Ars Technica reports that the upcoming PC version of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia will not feature any sort of copy protection. (Not including Steam downloads, of course.) After the backlash in recent months over the DRM in games like Spore and GTA IV, Ubisoft is giving gamers the chance to demonstrate that DRM actually increases piracy. One of Ubisoft's community reps had this to say about their decision: "You`re right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games. A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM we`ll see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine. Console piracy is something else entirely and I`m sure we`ll see more steps in future to try to combat that."

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How to make enemies and alienate people (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100557)

Treating people like criminals will make them lose respect for you and that's a really bad way to make a sale. And yes, that includes snippy little remarks about "how honest" they are. I, personally, will never buy another game from this company so long as this dipshit is at the helm.

Re:How to make enemies and alienate people (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100671)

I'm going to be buying the PS3 version, since I believe it to be a console game at heart. But after seeing this act of good faith, I seriously want a copy for PC.

Actions speak louder than words, and even if this asshat thinks we are all out to get him, the action is still beautiful. If you want this game for PC, please buy it.

I know already though, that what will happen is that the game will probably see (according to their stats), around an 80% piracy rate. I'm sure a good chunk of people in that stat will be people who are legitimately pirating the game. But I'm sure that there will also be the usual crew of people who download the game to demo it. Demos often don't give you the full sense of a game, and you need the full version to get a feel for whether you really want the game or not. Prince of Persia won't be everyone's cup of tea. And since there's no console demo (or PC demo, so far as I know), then even people who want the game for a console might be inclined to download it.

Nevertheless, I think it's pretty much flat out guaranteed that it will be pirated less than Spore. =)

Re:How to make enemies and alienate people (4, Insightful)

moranar (632206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101895)

legitimately pirating the game.

The word of the day is 'Oxymoron'.

Demos often don't give you the full sense of a game, and you need the full version to get a feel for whether you really want the game or not.

You seriously believe what you just wrote? It looks like a flimsy rationalization for pirating. These days, it's often simpler to download a torrent than going to a website, registering, signing in, downloading the demo, installing crapware (not always), etc. That would have been a 'better' rationalization, I think.

They already have their answer. (5, Insightful)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100877)

These people already has their answer. DRM prevents piracy. Sure, we all know that it isn't true, but judging by what their rep says, they are only seeking to prove that there is something good about DRM, and this "trial" is only to prove that they are right, not to actually gather information. No matter what the results are, they will claim that they have confirmation of what they already believe.

Re:They already have their answer. (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101365)

I actually find it strange. I thought someone trying to make money from selling software would be more interested in _sales_ (and profit). Instead of trying to prove whether DRM increases or decreases "piracy".

Here's a hint to Ubisoft wannabes:

If you make a really crap game, piracy will go down, but sales would go down too.
If you make a good game, both piracy and sales will go up.

If you make an online game (one where most of the fun bits are online, not just the DRM bits), you can reduce piracy to near zero - but your operating and upfront costs may go up too.

Re:They already have their answer. (4, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101503)

If you make a really crap game, piracy will go down, but sales would go down too.
If you make a good game, both piracy and sales will go up.

I don't know what the warez scene is like these days, but a couple decades ago folks would copy software for the sake of having the software. It didn't matter if the tittle was a useful / good or bad / useless. If it was another piece to add to the collection, the warez packrats would squirrel it away. It was kind of an illicit data version of Pokemon; gotta collect them all. I wouldn't imagine it's much different today.

That would mean that a bad game would get copied indifferently to the quality of the game. In fact, bad games may even appear to be copied more as the percentage of illicit to legitimate copies skews to the warez packrats.

Re:They already have their answer. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101755)

What is different today is that most piracy is not in "the warez scene", whatever that is exactly, beyond the cracking and initial release, but in peer-to-peer networks composed mostly of people who do not have infinite storage and bandwidth, and so more rarely will download games, and even more rarely seed them, if they do not expect to like them.

Re:They already have their answer. (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101455)

Wow, the denial on this thread is amazing. The test hasn't even started yet, and people are already writing it off on the grounds that it can't be a "real" test, or that they're doing it wrong, or whatever.

I think it's safe to assume it won't make much difference, because modern PC DRM doesn't seem very strong, but to make blanket statements about DRM is pretty absurd - it clearly does work in other implementations, like the consoles.

Let's wait and see what the numbers say. I know most Slashdotters made up their mind a long time ago, but at least Ubisoft is open to other ideas.

Re:They already have their answer. (4, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101549)

I know most Slashdotters made up their mind a long time ago, but at least Ubisoft is open to other ideas.

The reason "Slashdotters made up their mind" is due to the tone coming from Ubisoft.

"A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM we'll see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine."

It sounds like Ubisoft already has their minds made up. That's what "Slashdot" is picking up on.

Yeah - it'll be interesting to see what happens with this. It makes for a very interesting experiment and discussion. But I'll have to practice my "surprise face" just in case Ubisoft announces that their experiment has proven the need for DRM.

Re:How to make enemies and alienate people (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101045)

But you'll warez it, right?

I mean, because if it's not one reason to warez it there's always another excuse. He's not optimistic, and he has no reason to be. The general public has certainly shown it isn't to be trusted.

Re:How to make enemies and alienate people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101381)

No, what's happened here is that Ubisoft has shown it doesn't trust the general public (i.e., "people"). That's not the same thing as the general public showing it can't be trusted.

I never buy from someone that so blatantly mistrusts their custom. The thing about trust is that it is a two-way street. If you don't trust me (especially me personally, but even just "the general public") I sure as hell don't trust you. Why? I am worthy of trust and your misplaced mistrust makes me suspect you. Plus, it's insulting.

Fine, protect your games - there are people who would steal them, but don't tell me "people" are not very honest, because "pirates" are just a subset of "people". I am part of people, but am not a pirate. Claiming "people" are not very honest is the same as claiming I am not very honest. And for that, they can sit on it.

Re:How to make enemies and alienate people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101501)

But you'll warez it, right?

I mean, because if it's not one reason to warez it there's always another excuse.

Oh please. If I ever want warez, I'm going to get it. Period. I don't need an excuse. The people who know I'm getting it don't care (the likelyhood of the people who do care knowing is slim to none). And I'm not going to bother trying to fool myself in to some moral justification.

What I'm not keen to do is actually spend money and get screwed by the people I'm trying to support. And if said people don't care about fucking me over, then I'll go back to the warez scene.

This is not moral justification or some smokescreen. This is a warning. Listen or lose business. There's only so much I can do to help you if you're hell-bent on suicide.

Re:How to make enemies and alienate people (1)

BobSixtyFour (967533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101053)

I think that it is better for them to give us the benefit of the doubt, rather then assume that everyone's a pirate.

Re:How to make enemies and alienate people (4, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101113)

Treating people like criminals will make them lose respect for you and that's a really bad way to make a sale. And yes, that includes snippy little remarks about "how honest" they are. I, personally, will never buy another game from this company so long as this dipshit is at the helm.

I think it would be really easy to become very jaded about DRM and piracy when you're the one being pirated from. I DON'T think it's fair to heap abuse on someone from that background who is making a compromise.

The guy is making a game, and is likely annoyed at least with people who pirate it. Some are people who bought the game, but download the cracked version because of the DRM, probably. It's of course impossible to test whether that's most people or whether most pirated copies are downloaded by people who never paid a dime for it. This is one of the only ways I can see to actually test the idea that DRM encourages piracy.

Don't buy the games if you don't want to, but acting offended because the guy isn't giving away his product with a smile is, well, absurd.

Re:How to make enemies and alienate people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101347)

What a load of toss.

Game piracy is a function of how popular a game is. Copy protection will have a small impact that scales with the difficulty to crack said protection.

Seriously dude - get a grip on reality. The number of people who wont buy a game because they think Ubisoft doesnt respect them is limited to yourself and perhaps another couple of hundred obnoxious Slashdot twats.

Re:How to make enemies and alienate people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101353)

You are a real shrinking violet, aren't you?

I think the chap makes a good point. Let us see if the gamers put their money where their mouth is to purchase the game when it comes without DRM.

I am guessing that this game will get pirated more than games with DRM on.

Virus free keygens (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100579)

I look forward to not having to download virus/trojan packed keygens.

Re:Virus free keygens (4, Interesting)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100619)

Real nerds run them on a virtual machine, sandboxed in the copy of VMware they pirated years last week.

Re:Virus free keygens (1, Offtopic)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100711)

I recommend the All Windows DVD SP2 [thepiratebay.org] . I got it a few month back on the pirate bay, and now I have every version of Windows in virtual machines (I refuse to run windows directly on my hardware). Put it on a shared partition so both Linux and Leopard (hackintosh) can read it, and you're in VM heaven :).

Kind of ironic this is being said in this article's discussion, but I hope Ubisoft's stance stops people from blatantly pirating it so others can follow suit. One of the reasons I got those Windows DVDs from the pirate bay is mainly because of the older (hard to find) versions, e.g. pre-2k so I wasn't really pirating it, unless Microsoft wants to pursue me for pirating abandonware (which will become a future discussion topic as DRM software ages).

Re:Virus free keygens (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101531)

One of the reasons I got those Windows DVDs from the pirate bay is mainly because of the older (hard to find) versions, e.g. pre-2k so I wasn't really pirating it

Yes you were. Stop deluding yourself.

So sad you beat me to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101129)

So sad you beat me to this

Re:Virus free keygens (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101433)

Real nerds are aware that VMWare Server is free. ;)

Re:Virus free keygens (2, Interesting)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101655)

Wine is also a solution. Ran as a different user, of course. During the last few years once I had to run a small program, which I suspected to be carrying malware. I simply created another user on my machine and ran the program with Wine as that user.

The ~/.wine of the user immediately got filled with all kind of crap, the program what it was supposed to do correctly, while obviously filling the Windows system folders with all kind of malicious files. So I simply erased this folder and I had my job done.

Of course, Wine is not sandboxed, the malware can access the network, which is why you disable the network for this user with iptables, also it can read all of your disk, which is not much of a problem, and write in all places there is world write permissions (such as /tmp). I don't believe the malware will try to fill /tmp, or open your soundcard, or anything like that, but for files you can run find before you go to sleep to be sure that there is no crap left in the morning.

I got it illegally! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100607)

And it was crap!

Seriously, it was full of buggy lights that made the gameplay impossible to play... when everything turns so bright that you have no idea where you're going, it makes the game so boring that you don't want to play it anymore... therefore, i didn't want to buy the real game

Since the age of demos is long gone, the only way to try before we buy is to pirate the game... Off course, i'll buy a game that i think is great enough to be worth the money! Just like i got fooled into buying Mass Effect, it was a great game.... but the support for it is so crappy that it's impossible to do everything that it's supposed to do!

I download illegally games.... I'm not ashamed of it... It's like downloading a big demo... If only the game companies would understand that and the fact that most of the time, we don't buy their games simply because it wasn't an amasing game, therefore we are too lazy to get the real game and stick with the illegal version till we get bored of it...

Re:I got it illegally! (1)

Raynor (925006) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101333)

Well I'll steal a car from your dealership and give it a real test drive. Chances are I won't like it enough to actually buy one, so I'll just drive it around until I get bored of it... You, good sir, fail at logic. Stealing a car is "taking a long test drive" in the same way that Pirating software is "downloading a big demo" The sad thing is it's people like you who don't seem to understand why good games are becoming less and less frequent...

Re:I got it illegally! (1)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101421)

why is it that you can't test drive games anymore? i bought doom way back in the day because of the free demo. same reason i bought quake. you don't want me to test out your game because you think i might not like it? too bad. i'll download it from the pirate bay, play through an hour or three to decide if i like it, and either buy it or be bored and uninstall it. and all of this is unaffected by your drm. the only thing that's doing is pissing me off once i've actually purchased your game. good thing i kept the crack from when i first downloaded it...makes it so much easier to play what i actually paid for.

Re:I got it illegally! (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101689)

And where exactly was the theft here? Theft involves physical transfer of goods. Downloading involves making a copy. Until replicators are common place, comparing the two is comparing apples and oranges.

Besides, with a car, you can test drive it before you decide to buy. It's become increasingly difficult to do that with games. What's our only recourse of actions then? To blindly get ripped off? I don't call that being a smart consumer.

Re:I got it illegally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101803)

And where exactly was the theft here? Theft involves physical transfer of goods. Downloading involves making a copy. Until replicators are common place, comparing the two is comparing apples and oranges.

Even with replicators, comparing the two will be apples and oranges. theft involves the "physical transfer" of a SPECIFIC good.

Let's play legos. Say you built yourself an awesome blocky car out of a sea of legos. I say awesome and build my own copy of the awesome blocky car out of the extra legos. Did I steal your awesome blocky car? No, you still have it. I have my own now tho.

And there's my car analogy. vrooom!

Re:I got it illegally! (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101855)

No, you're right. I was just being stupid. I'm going to use the excuse that everyone else uses here... but I just woke up!

Maybe something else than cars? (1)

drx (123393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101909)

Can we change from cars to something else this time? Maybe dogs? I took your dog for a walk and then i decided i will buy a dog from SOMEONE ELSE!

Or, i had a dog, but it was hit by a car someone else was testdriving, so now i have to get a new dog.

Re:I got it illegally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101583)

it was full of buggy lights that made the gameplay impossible to play

I don't know what are you talking about. I've tested it and it works perfectly. This sounds like a problem with your PC (outdated drivers, bad settings like forcing AA). There's more support evidence in your other statement:

Mass Effect, it was a great game.... but the support for it is so crappy that it's impossible to do everything that it's supposed to do!

I don't know what's that supposed to mean, but the game worked flawlessly for me and a few others I know (including one which had a PC below the minimum reqs.)

Quality (1)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100615)

I've heard the PC version is a fairly decent port, with the ratings approximately equal to the console versions. Does this mean that quality won't be an issue for how well the game sells?

Re:Quality (1)

TheSambassador (1134253) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101243)

Been playing it, the PC version is perfectly fine.

It does seem much more "simplified" than SoT, WW, and TT. All you have to do to wallrun is jump into a wall (even if that's not really what you want to do), the story is very cliche, and dying really just sets you back to the last stable platform.

However, I haven't found any bugs, the game is beautiful, and the voice acting is good save for one thing - whenever the actors say "fertile." It sounds so weird and unnatural that it makes me want to blow up a dumpster full of babies. I don't think that this is a dialect thing, the actors just are clearly making a conscious effort to pronounce it fer-tile rather than their probably normal "fer-tle."

Re:Quality (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101677)

> and the voice acting is good save for one thing - whenever the actors say "fertile."
> It sounds so weird and unnatural that it makes me want to blow up a dumpster full of babies.
> I don't think that this is a dialect thing, the actors just are clearly making a conscious
> effort to pronounce it fer-tile rather than their probably normal "fer-tle."

Why do you hate the BBC?

Seed plz! (4, Funny)

tonto1992 (922918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100621)

ps, need crack

Re:Seed plz! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101271)

Sounds like someone's had enough crack for one day :)

What if piracy levels remain the same? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100631)

That would also show that DRM is moot as it has no effect on piracy. The fact is you will never lower piracy levels through DRM, as long as you can lock it up, there is someone who can unlock it. Copyright infringement is part of the cost of doing business in the gaming world.

Fact is people don't like to be treated like criminals, and if they well they might as well act like one to hold up their end of the bargain.

Re:What if piracy levels remain the same? (2, Interesting)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100707)

Alternatively, if they can skew the numbers to say that Prince of Persia was pirated on a larger scale than any of their other games, it will be the poster boy for DRM-pushers.

Re:What if piracy levels remain the same? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100893)

Alternatively, if they can skew the numbers to say that Prince of Persia was pirated on a larger scale than any of their other games, it will be the poster boy for DRM-pushers.

Considering how it might affect their business model, wouldn't be surprised if some DRM-creators try to push the "piracy" totals up. Would be great if they got caught at it though.

Re:What if piracy levels remain the same? (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101039)

Alternatively, if they can skew the numbers to say that Prince of Persia was pirated on a larger scale than any of their other games, it will be the poster boy for DRM-pushers.

On the other hand, since they aren't paying for the DRM, which I suspect is licensed per copy, not a one time purchase, there is actually a range, where its being pirated more, they sell less, and they actually make more money. It would be beyond funny if the actual results fell into this range.

That said, I figure the reality is that this game will be pirated exactly as much as any other. No more, no less.

Re:What if piracy levels remain the same? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101387)

That said, I figure the reality is that this game will be pirated exactly as much as any other. No more, no less.

How, exactly, would you determine sales lost to copyright infringement? Should be obvious enough that artificially low prices mean artificially high demand. How do you distinguish between a lost sale and copyright infringement where there would be no sale in the first place?

Piracy is a form of theft, copyright infringement is not. Giving it the title of "piracy" indicates that it holds the same weight or is similar to stealing. It isn't.

Copyright infringement: I copy your bits for free. No cost is incurred to any party beyond the medium for bit transfer. At worst, the selling party loses one sale.

Stealing: I deprive you of a copy, which means that you now have to buy another copy and have lost the ability to sell the copy. The loss is two-fold for the seller.

The fact of the matter is that they would like you to believe that copyright infringement is stealing, while in reality, this is not the case. It's not measurable without extremely invasive tactics.

Unfortunately, Ubisoft might learn a soft lesson here, when they deserve a hard lesson.

Re:What if piracy levels remain the same? (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101713)

How, exactly, would you determine sales lost to copyright infringement?

You can't do it "exactly". You can get a reasonable idea in this case by comparing sales figures and piracy figures to the figures for comparable games, from comparable franchises, with comparable review ratings, that were infected with DRM, and see whether this one had a better or a worse ratio of sales to illegal downloads.

Now, yes, of course that isn't what they're going to do: they're going to claim this is proof that DRM is necessary if even a single copy is pirated, because they're going to be getting a big discount from the DRM-mongers on their next title if they do that. But let's not jump from the sad fact that statistics are normally misused to the incorrect assumption that statistics are never useful.

Piracy is a form of theft, copyright infringement is not. Giving it the title of "piracy" indicates that it holds the same weight or is similar to stealing. It isn't.

You're about 400 years late with this argument. It is called piracy, period. Nobody thinks that implies boarding a ship at sea. Stick with the explanations as to why it's different from theft, where you actually have a strong argument and a hope in hell of convincing people.

Re:What if piracy levels remain the same? (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100807)

While I agree with your theory, i don't think that a negligible difference in piracy is going to help the situation.

It can be argued in one sense that "DRM hasn't altered the piracy rates, so why spend all kinds of cash to license a system that doesn't help us at all?" SecuROM's answer will be "Because there's alot more casual copying going on. People aren't going to The Pirate Bay to get a copy because they're just getting it from Phil, who got it from Jessie, who got it from Shanelle, who got it from Derek who got it in Chinatown on a street corner."

I agree that I have all intentions of purchasing the game - retail - full price - for the sake of principle. It is the single best way for me to show the companies that it is *more* profitable for them to ship DRM-free games (or at least client-side DRM, IMO UT2004 and UT3's preventing duplicate keys from logging in is an acceptable measure as it doesn't affect my machine at all).

I'll even take it a step further and recommend this game on amazon and give it a 5 star rating. This way, we can show that this works in reverse, too.

I've got plenty of respect for a company that is willing to take the first step in righting the wrong that is DRM. The way I've always seen it, both sides have a responsibility. It is my responsibility to keep my copy in my possession, not be handing out copies to everyone else, and not to steal it off a store shelf. It is there responsibility to take reasonable measures to ensure that I can use their product properly. Since they showed good faith in us and fulfilled their end of the bargain (well, at least took steps to not introduce technology which is known to cause issues), I feel that it is our turn to reciprocate and show them that if you don't assume that we're criminals, we won't act like them.

Joey

Re:What if piracy levels remain the same? (5, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101091)

That would also show that DRM is moot as it has no effect on piracy.

No, this won't show anything either way, or if it does show something, it will be opened to interpretation. This is not a study. This is not a test. There is no control group. The game may do well, or not well. This will depend largely on how good the game actually is. Also, a criterion of success cited by one side may be cited as a criterion of failure by the other. So for instance, if the absence of DRM increases the word-of-mouth referrals and sales, that might be counted as a success by one side, but if that same spurt in word-of-mouth referrals increases the number of downloads from p2p -- that same company may see this as a failure (since it would be seeing all those downloads as a sign that imaginary dollars are walking out of the door).

So with no predefined criteria of success, and no control group of any kind, both sides are bound to repeat the same old arguments over again. It's just that all that rationalizing, framing/reframing, and arguing will be done with freshly acquired data, instead of historical data, and people from either side will probably just stick to their preconceived notions either way.

Of Ubisoft and DRM (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100659)

Ubisoft's actually bowed to customer pressure on DRM before. Consider Silent Hunter III and IV.

III shipped, if I recall, with StarForce---and Ubisoft eventually patched it out, and new bargain copies are completely DRM free.

IV, in response to the outcry over StarForce, shipped with SecuROM---which, of course, was patched out, and newly pressed CD's come without.

Basically, their habit seems to be to ship with DRM to try to preserve initial sales, and then bow to customer demand to keep bargain sales reasonable and keep old fans happy.

So, I suppose, the moral of the story is: don't buy Ubisoft games when they come out. Wait a year, until the game's down to fifteen bucks and they're stripped of DRM.

You cost Ubisoft most of the profit they might have earned from you had they released it DRM free, and then get the game DRM free at a dramatically reduced price.

Re:Of Ubisoft and DRM (2, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100739)

Basically, their habit seems to be to ship with DRM to try to preserve initial sales, and then bow to customer demand to keep bargain sales reasonable and keep old fans happy.

It makes sense when you think about it (and a few publishers admitted to that). The initial sales are the ones that matter. The big numbers, the fanboys raving, the little kids who need it NOW NOW NOW NOW... If you can stop piracy until the day -after- the game hit the stores, you catch all of the impulse buyers and OCDs, which is a seizable market. A week after the game came out, whoever wants to pirate it will, whoever wants to buy it will to, so it doesn't matter anymore. Same logic behind those schemes (I think its Valves who did that?) where the game isn't actually complete on the disks, you need to download the last couple of files, which are only available at launch?

DRM is only there for launch day, and to keep joesixpack from installing the game on all his friend's PC without effort.

Re:Of Ubisoft and DRM (2, Interesting)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101035)

If you can stop piracy until the day -after- the game hit the stores, you catch all of the impulse buyers and OCDs, which is a seizable market.

Yeah, but what they don't seem to understand is that this doesn't work. Take Spore for example - DRM'ed up the ass, and what happened? Pirated BEFORE launch day (as usual). In fact, even the Mac version was pirated, and we normally get screwed as far as games go.

What they need to understand is that DRM doesn't stop piracy, but intrusive DRM does make customers avoid the product, or causes problems with people's computers and results in the game being returned. Pirates don't care because they crack the DRM well before launch, so the only people you're causing problems for are paying customers.

Re:Of Ubisoft and DRM (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101875)

Makes sense, afterall if a game isn't popular like Spore it'll take at least a week to break the DRM, or that long for someone to make the attempt anyways imo.

Re:Of Ubisoft and DRM (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101047)

So, I suppose, the moral of the story is: don't buy Ubisoft games when they come out. Wait a year, until the game's down to fifteen bucks and they're stripped of DRM.

Wait, that's not standard procedure for games? I almost always wait for pricedrops.

Re:Of Ubisoft and DRM (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101651)

So, I suppose, the moral of the story is: don't buy Ubisoft games when they come out. Wait a year, until the game's down to fifteen bucks and they're stripped of DRM.

Wait, that's not standard procedure for games? I almost always wait for pricedrops.

Me too. I always wait to see if the bargain shelf version has no DRM. I'm till waiting to play Bioshock.
It doesn't reduce my gaming fun to wait, the steady stream of good games making it to SoldOut and other cheap game sellers is sufficient to keep me entertained.

I don't think it would help... (2, Insightful)

the1337g33k (1268908) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100661)

I don't think that it would help really, most people pirate because they can't afford to pay that much. I know people that have 8000 song music collections, do you really think that @ 99 cents a song at most music download places they paid $8000 for their music? I doubt it.

Re:I don't think it would help... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100829)

I have a fairly large music collection, but it came from CDs I've converted to mp3 so I don't have to dig them up any time I want to hear a song.

As a side note, I bought a good portion of them used (oh noes! None of that money went to an RIAA member!) for about $8-10 per album. Not only that, I can (ostensibly) listen to them anywhere, anytime, free of restrictions.

This post also had me thinking about the itunes pricing model, so I logged in to check how it works. It seems to me some albums wind up being a discount per song versus per album purchasing.

For example, NOFX: Punk in Drublic is $9.99, but contains 17 songs. Obviously, buying the whole album is a "deal" on itunes when compared to per song. Dream Theater: Octavarium, however, is the same price, but only contains 8 tracks (one happens to be 23 minutes long) which means purchasing it on a per song basis is a small savings.

So I guess if you're into itunes and you're a punk fan, you purchase per album; but if you listen to progressive you should probably purchase per track.

Re:I don't think it would help... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100845)

do you really think that @ 99 cents a song at most music download places they paid $8000 for their music?

Yes. Over time, the total amount of money one spends on music or movies or games or books or whatever else will add up.

Re:I don't think it would help... (-1, Troll)

dougallinux (1428827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100855)

Is your calculator one of those old solar ones you keep in a drawer? $0.99*8000 = $7,920

Back to the topic. This is a good idea, they save money on developing by not including DRM. That money they save needs to go to a demo to help limit the level of piracy.

Re:I don't think it would help... (1, Redundant)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101389)

Wow, you are a pedantic little fuckwad aren't you?

Re:This is the PROBLEM (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101457)

This is not insightful, it pisses me off. What in HELL grants them entitlement to 8000 songs, whether or not they can afford it? Nothing, you say? I thought so. While I understand the gripes people have about paying good money for games that suck, I don't think piracy is justified. If companies are motivated enough, they will figure out a way to let prospective customers make educated buying decisions. But to suggest that people have entitlement to copyrighted works is utter nonsense.

Re:This is the PROBLEM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101711)

This is not insightful, it pisses me off. What in HELL grants them entitlement to 8000 songs, whether or not they can afford it?

Actually, what real reason is there why people SHOULDN'T have 8000 songs? Let me answer that for you: there isn't any. Philosophically speaking, people are happier if they have all the songs they want, and there are no physical constraints involved, either.

This is different from, say, cars: obviously everybody would be happier with their dream car, but cars actually have to be built at a significant cost, so therefore, you cannot just give everyone a car more or less for free.

But songs? Why not?

If anything, the fact that most people cannot afford all the music they want despite the fact that it can be reproduced at literally NO COST indicates that there is a serious flaw in the current system.

Re:I don't think it would help... (1)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101675)

I have about three and a half thousand songs, all either ripped from CDs, bought from iTunes or actually legitimately free to download. I estimate it must have cost me about £2100 over the past five years. I'm probably just insane.

Re:I don't think it would help... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101695)

Insightful? Moronic. I can't stand the attitude that if I can't aford it I'll just take it because I want it. Oh the it's just 1's and 0's BS is just rationalization. No one died from not having 8,000 songs in their music collection. People are spoiled to death. If you can't aford the music it's called a radio and apparently most have computers since they are downloading and there's hundreds of stations on-line so no decent stations locally is no excuse. Need to fill up your iPod? Did you steal it too? Buying an iPod doesn't give you the right to free music anymore than buying a car gives you the right to free gas. I paid for ever song I own and some twice so what makes your friends so special?

Re:I don't think it would help... (1)

suffix tree monkey (1430749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101745)

To be honest, I don't think it's just that. In the country where I'm from (Czech Republic), pirating is the prevailing method of game distribution among teenagers and young adults (everyone does it, and it's "free", so why not me?). DRM, serial numbers, CD checks, none of that was ever a problem for us. Even young kids always check for a Crack/ folder on the game CD.

What really seems to be working (note that all of this is personal observations) is adding some functionality for players registered online. Good examples are Spore (except the DRM part) and Half-Life 2 - both of those had pirated versions circulating, but you wouldn't get access to updates or multiplayer (HL2) or new content (Spore, at least I think so) when you play the pirated version.

Of course, what works every time (for myself) is to have a really new, innovative game. Prince of Persia is not exactly hot new stuff, and even though its visual style is interesting, I'm not convinced there's anything new in the gameplay.

Re:I don't think it would help... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101847)

When people have over 8,000 songs, they're either wanna-be DJs and/or they're hoarding. Do they really listen to all those songs (at least more than once)? I seriously doubt it. This move is not designed to quell those hoarders/downloaders (at least, I hope not), it's designed to quell those customers who are on the fence.

Also, a large .exe file is not the same as many .mp3 non-executable files. Normally, people would be naturally afraid to download an executable from p2p, so the disincentive is somewhat there already. It's just that currently, people are more afraid to download/install an executable file from a game company than from a p2p site. Something is seriously wrong here. If you're a PC owner, your PC is considerably safer if you download a game from a well-known zero-day "criminal" than if you download that same game from a well known established company.

WTF? It's the world upside down. And who is to blame for this? Like I said, this is an area where a game publisher has the natural advantage in people's mind. It should be the other way around. People should trust game companies. And trust can not be earned back by just making one announcement, or by placing a new logo on the front page, it has to be earned through repeated consistent trustworthy behavior. Once again, the natural incentive not to download executable crap from p2p is already there.

I'm buying a copy just to support the concept. (4, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100683)

I've refused to buy games with intrusive DRM. Now that someone is actually assuming customers are not criminals, its worth supporting the effort. Even if the boxed game just gets chucked in the back of my car and forgotten about.

Its not much of a carrot, but if it got around that people actually went out of their way to buy games without DRM, software publishers may just loosen their stance.

Re:I'm buying a copy just to support the concept. (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100701)

Now that someone is actually assuming customers are not criminals

I'll do the same, a game without DRM (that I wanted anyway, but was going to get for console) is worth it. That said... I see that quote splashed all over... "They treat their customers like if they were criminals!"...though, they pretty much are :) Thats just human nature... people would be robbing banks, killing and murdering left and right if it wasn't for the fear of getting caught.. The 6 of us that wouldn't are just flukes.

Re:I'm buying a copy just to support the concept. (5, Insightful)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100745)

Now that someone is actually assuming customers are not criminals, its worth supporting the effort.

Hardly. The point is to release a game without DRM and then massage the numbers so they can turn around and say that the lack of DRM drove piracy up significantly. The point will be moot, because how do you gauge losses due to piracy? The same way Microsoft does: (Every single theoretical download) * (Retail price) = (OMGthehorror$$$)

Re:I'm buying a copy just to support the concept. (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101783)

No worries, they already thought of it.

They went and region restricted it (at least on Steam) to ensure a large amount of people will still find it more convenient to pirate.

Some will always pirate, of course. Those are not the target audience. It's those that are on the fence about buying or not they need to provide the game to in an as easy and convenient fashion as possible. In that area... major fail.

Re:I'm buying a copy just to support the concept. (3, Insightful)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101915)

Ubisoft spends considerable amount of money on DRM. If it can be shown that it's a waste of resources why on earth would they continue to support it? Hell, even if the numbers are ambiguous, it'll make them less likely to use DRM. Course it's possible this test will show an increase in piracy, but I don't think they'll jump to any conclusions considering that there's a considerable amount of money and time to be saved.

Re:I'm buying a copy just to support the concept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100783)

Erm no they are still assuming that everyone is a criminal, they are just doing it to say 'I told you so'.

$30 right now on GoGamer.com (3, Informative)

graymocker (753063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100859)

GoGamer.com currently has the game for $30, a great price for a recent release. Early reviews for the port seem very positive. I'll be buying this one. As far as voting with my dollar is concerned, I consider this a three-fer: (1) It has no DRM, (2) It has jettisoned the nu-metal "hardcore" posturing of the last two games that affirmed all the worst adolescent gamer stereotypes for the charming storybook quality of Sands of Time, and (3) It's $30, and I think the demand price curve for computer games is such that publishers should be pushing out more titles at lower price points. Oh, and (0) it's supposed to be great fun, as well, naturally.

Re:I'm buying a copy just to support the concept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101181)

Likewise, some people are refusing to buy games due to the DRM. I am well-acquainted with the less-than-stellar technical skills of the random Sims 2 series player, but I can also tell you that these people have been learning how to pirate the expansions packs and stuff packs at an astounding pace. They aren't doing it because they are unwilling to pay for the games. They are doing it because the no-cd cracks are free of Securom, and they are refusing to pay for anything with the newer more draconian Securom. They have even started a website about the evil of Securom, including how to remove it. http://reclaimyourgame.com/ [reclaimyourgame.com]

Re:I'm buying a copy just to support the concept. (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101525)

Anyone (other than the government, who have guns) wanting my money had better be prepared to offer me value in exchange.

Removing DRM will certainly remove one factor that lowers the perceived value of this Ubisoft title. Whether it will be enough or not, I don't know, I haven't really looked at this game. But buying it even if it gets chucked in the back of my car? Hell no. I demand a lot more for my dollar than a pretty box with no DRM inside.

Vote with your dollars by spending them wisely, not by throwing them away because someone happens to pander to your stance on a single issue.

Money anyways (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100697)

Alright

I'll spend my money on this one, just so I don't have to spend money on buying a legit Digitally Restricted game later.

Wait, what?

DRM is only one of many factors (3, Insightful)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100741)

DRM is only one of many factors.
Another is the game itself....the music, the graphics, the gameplay, and stability.

In that same way...if Microsoft were to release a DRM-free operating system but it was sluggish (even more than Vista) or blue-screened often (more than Windows 9x)...I doubt people will buy it or use it even if it was free.

Re:DRM is only one of many factors (1)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100835)

Microsoft is a special case. They've got a monopoly and there are so many people who think that there is no other choice. If they were to repackage windows 3.1 as windows 7.5 and put as much effort into selling it as they did Vista, they'd probably still be able to browbeat 50M people, worldwide into buying it.

Re:DRM is only one of many factors (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101269)

DRM is only one of many factors.
Another is the game itself....the music, the graphics, the gameplay, and stability.

I think there is also a question of how widely known it is that the game doesn't include copy restrictions. I mean, who'd assume that it was anything but in need of a crack?

It won't decrease piracy... (1)

TheFlyingBuddha (1373717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100743)

... but it will probably help sales. This is of course generally the more appropriate argument put forward by those of us who are anti-DRM. It's not about stopping pirates, the people who never plan on buying anything, it's about alienating the people who otherwise would buy the product. That of course is something they will choose to ignore, possibly, by just pointing at piracy traffic. And because they won't be able to directly gauge how many sales were directly from the lack of DRM, it is more likely they will look at the pirate traffic side of the equation, and claim they saw no difference. I honestly hope they can look at it from the positive perspective (sales gained) as opposed to negative (piracy traffic failing to drop). Or at least that the publicity generates enough good-will (and by that I mean good press) to be seen as a positive result in itself. All in all though, I'm happy to see a relatively bigger company willing to try this and keep the debate stirred up.

I for one will buy this game. (1)

mefdahl (93154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100753)

And yes it will be partially because of the fact that they did not include the DRM.

Although I feel in love with the game way back when it was 2d... I haven't played any of them since.

Re:I for one will buy this game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100867)

Sands of Time was the only of the truly excellent 3D Prince of Persia games. Warrior Within and The Two Thrones were okay games, but still very disappointing by comparison. Haven't played the new one, but I'm expecting the same. There's also Prince of Persia 3D for the Dreamcast, which I like to pretend doesn't exist.

Probably won't reduce piracy (1)

aerogems (339274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100789)

This seems unlikely to do anything for the amount of piracy, which will probably remain pretty constant, but it will save Ubisoft the license fees on DRM that will just be cracked in hours/days anyway.

People who want to pirate will pirate whether there's DRM or not. So while I understand the concerns of game developers/publishers, they may as well be burning the money spent on DRM license fees. That way, there would be some benefit to be had, fleeting as it might be.

Of course based on the comments of that Ubi official, it sounds like he's already expecting this to fail, and anything short of overwhelming figures to the contrary is going to be deemed a failure. If I were to don my tinfoil hat for a moment, I might think Ubisoft was using PoP as a justification for future DRM. They can point to how PoP PC had no DRM but it didn't affect piracy rates, so they obviously need MORE DRM in the future, and probably even more restrictive DRM. They seem all set to completely ignore that piracy rates (will likely have) remained constant and they saved the DRM license fees to boot, and proclaim the entire thing a failure. You can almost imagine that they have the press release already typed up and ready to be distributed.

As for myself, I imagine as far as Ubisoft is concerned I fall into the piracy category since I intend to make use of my GameFly subscription. If the game is good, I might look for a used copy for my 360, if not it'll just go right on back like Ninja Gaiden II.

Could it be, just could it... (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26100853)

Could it be that UbiSoft was a bit pissed at their former supplyer of DRM, because they themselves couldn't get rid of it from Rainbow Six when it caused too much trouble without stealing a crack from Reloaded? And when you couldn't find a new supplyer of DRM in time for the next release, hey, let's make a PR stunt out of it!

When God gives you lemons... well, I'd find a better God, but some just squeeze really hard.

Re:Could it be, just could it... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101215)

Could it be that UbiSoft was a bit pissed at their former supplyer of DRM, because they themselves couldn't get rid of it from Rainbow Six when it caused too much trouble without stealing a crack from Reloaded? And when you couldn't find a new supplyer of DRM in time for the next release, hey, let's make a PR stunt out of it!

Alternatively I'd suggest that it's fear over people giving negative reviews on Amazon about inclusion of DRM like they did for Spore. It'd be nice if I was right, the customers won one.

Re:Could it be, just could it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101507)

Crazy to say it, but I bought Spore, went through tech support to try and understand why the game wouldn't work, and found out that somoene had generated a key, and registered it already. Tech supports way of solving this? Take it back and exchange it.

Fucking pathetic. Wouldn't even let me fax them a receipt! How intelligent is that? DRM something, it gets cracked, and then not care about paying customers...

What may happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100907)

The way I see it, the decision to remove DRM from the game would have been a collective one, as opposed to one made by just that one guy who said "A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM we`ll see how truthful people actually are.". So what if it was a challenge, are people just going to use it as an excuse to actually pirate the game saying "you are sure we'll still pirate the game? so be it then, we will!" , of course they will. Humans are greedy and selfish by nature, its not a matter of a gamer being selfish. A gamer is human, if they can get something for free, they will, its not a matter of law or being a criminal. Gamers are not branded as 'criminals' from the beginning, they're just acknowledge as selfish human beings like everyone else who will get something for free if they can.

Now what 'may' happen?

1) This DRM thing is not going to lessen the amount of downloads since those people who would have gotten it for free before, would still do so anyway, specially with the reasoning that downloaders give "its not a lost sale, i wouldn't have bought it anyway". Developers worked on this game for shitty wages, you wouldn't buy the game anyway? then don't enjoy it.

2) The only ones who would download are the ones who can fire up a downloader. Most people are not knowledgeable enough for that. Some people play games and they don't even know how to install windows. But NOW, even the people who at least know how to burn a DVD can share one single copy to their friends. Which means lost sales.

At None of this did I call people who do this "pirates", they're just greedy selfish humans and its enough to look out your window to know that the majority of people are that way. Specially for something they feel is as trivial as computer games. Its not going to increase the amount of global warming.

Not really a DRM issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100909)

It's equal parts not wanting to pay and power and control. If it was just about DRM then music given freely on web sites with only a simple request not to repost wouldn't show up in minutes on download sites. There are a few people that have an issue with flexsibility but they are a small minority. The new POP will be on a download site within minutes of release since there is no crack needed and the downloads from such sites will dwarf legitimate purchases. Simple fact. The pirates will never quit so only two things will end the cold war, a fool proof copy protection method is devised or the game producers cry uncle and stop producing big title games. The number of people running pirates goes up steadily so eventually games won't be profitable, remember most loose money. Inspite of increasing grosses the expenses are going up even faster. Console games are at the biggest risk since the hardware with the exception of Wii looses money. Unless they make a good proof off the games they can't aford to make consoles. Casual games will survive mostly because people will make them for free if need be but the big title games may be facing a bleak future.

Nice move but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100933)

As an avid PC gamer who hates DRM I applaud this move. But I wonder about the motives behind it.

My concern is this: if piracy levels are as high on PoP as they are with DRM games, if Ubisoft is not moving more copies to consumers, and if the cost of game development is constantly increasing; then there is decreasing incentive for publishers to fund development for PC games. This ultimately hurts gamers like myself. Sure, there'll always be great developers like Steam and Id; but when major third parties abandon PC gaming (Epic and Crytek are notable devs that have expressed a desire to move to consoles) or cripple it (EA, Ubisoft) because there is no reason for them to cater to gamers like me, I ultimately am the one who loses from the decreasing selection of games on PCs.

In the hypothetical long term, when enough people leave PC game development, then others will fill the void. But then the interim looks kind of bleak.

While I think many game publishers have done a bad job of protecting their assets (with broken DRM schemes), I think people who justify "piracy" with the "normally I wouldn't buy the game" arguement have done just as thorough a job of ruining PC gaming. In any arms race, both sides contribute (equally) to the conflict, seem morally reprehensible to the other, and employ obnoxious propaganda to piss off those who just want to maintain the status quo (in this case, most gamers).

Don't forget to analyze sales. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26100981)

I hope they don't forget to analyze sales too. Some of the most pirated games are also the best selling, leading me to believe that at least a few pirates are just enacting their right to "try-before-you-buy".

After all, getting a refund from these companies is impossible... better safe than sorry!

Although in the case of spore, it was pirated a lot, and I really doubt anyone bought it after. :P

Good idea, Wrong game (1)

Rog7 (182880) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101031)

Quite honestly, Prince of Persia isn't as highly anticipated as Spore, GTA IV or a whole bunch of other games. Regardless of critical reception, it's a sequel, of a sequel, of a sequel that's gone on long enough they're re-using the original-original name. =P

Ubisoft may have put in a AAA effort (well, AA, since it's the Assassin's Creed engine already developed, right?), but it doesn't come across to me as an AAA title.

Now if they'd go DRM free on all their games for an entire quarter, or even a full year, then they'd have a real measure of the difference.

Instead they pick one game that isn't likely to appeal to the PC gamer segment (single-player strongly-console-like game in particular).

Re:Good idea, Wrong game (1)

sigmabody (1099541) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101177)

Totally agree with this sentiment. I purchased the game for the 360, it was reasonably fun, but not up to the level of Assassin's Creed IMHO and very console-y. I don't know how it will sell for the PC, especially coming out after? the console(s) release, and this feels like an excuse to blame piracy if their PC sales flop.

I'd love to see an independent study of how many copies are actually pirated based on torrent DL's, and not just based on Ubi's sales numbers, or lack thereof. Otherwise I call PR BS.

Re:Good idea, Wrong game (1)

Ravenger (715905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101819)

100% Agree.

POP doesn't appeal to me, so I won't be buying it even without DRM. If they made Far Cry 2 DRM free, I'd buy it, as I boycotted that due to the install limits.

No DRM to boost sales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26101139)

Why would they choose a game like prince of persia to ship with no DRM. It seems to me like they are riding the anti DRM bandwagon and releasing a not so great game with no DRM to boost sales. I mean how many posts are there here alone along the lines of "I will buy this game because it does not have DRM"

Bad metrics (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101141)

Measuring the number of pirated copies is pointless. The only relationship it has to sales is that the number of people who pirated the game is greater than or equal to the number who would have bought it rather than pirating if piracy was impossible. So if you have 10,000 pirate copies kicking about, you know that you lost somewhere between 0 and 10,000 sales.

Find a better measure. Hell, release two versions. PoP Red and PoP Blue one with DRM and one without, and compare the sales. Not the piracy rate. Actual sales! That's what makes money.

You'd have to be stupid to buy this bs (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101161)

This is predicated on a whole lot of nonsense. Who in their right mind thinks that DRM increases piracy. DRM has very little to do with piracy at all. It only affects the people who legitimately buy the game, not the pirates. That's the point. The amount of people who would deliberately download a game because it has DRM is so minor it's silly. Hype is the single most largest factor on whether a game is pirated and that is a double edged sword

Congratulations to Ubisoft on coming up with their publicity stunt. Hope everybody recognises this and doesn't buy their game (or play it).

Re:You'd have to be stupid to buy this bs (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101251)

Who in their right mind thinks that DRM increases piracy.

Just about anybody in their right mind, actually. Requiring the disc to play the game is annoying, especially on PCs. Not being able to back up said disc is offensively annoying.

The amount of people who would deliberately download a game because it has DRM is so minor it's silly.

Only if you don't think it through. Back in the olden days the easiest thing to acquire was a NoCD patch for any given game. Over time, connections got faster, and games started requiring more and more patches that would, intentionally or not, break the NoCD patch. So in order to play that game without the disc, you are best off acquiring the whole binary.

I could go into anecdotes. I could tell you about how I've downloaded two games that were probably counted as 'piracy' that I had actually paid for in the past. But that doesn't really help here. You see, you have no more frickin idea what the actual loss-ratios/numbers are than I do. You know people, I know people. You see web habits, I see web habits, nothing scientific about the whole mess. That's the funny thing. Nobody knows because nobody has been able to prove anything. There isn't, for example, a profit drop that corresponds to an increase in piracy numbers. Believe me, if they were armed with that we'd never hear the end of it. One of my personal favorites is the RIAA. They claimed that 2 billion songs were being illegally downloaded a month. Two months later, they claimed an increase in profits. Cute.

There's one other thing I'd like to mention about your first question. The pirated copy has more value than the official copy. Who in their right mind would assume the demand would remain equal if the pirated copy, for example, also required a disc to play?

Re:You'd have to be stupid to buy this bs (2)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101735)

Requiring the disc to play the game is annoying, especially on PCs.

For you, perhaps. I don't really notice it. I'm generally only playing one game at any one time, and games are the only thing my drive gets used for these days, so the disc just stays in there until I want to play something else.

If you want "annoying", go back to the days when games were played from 5.25" floppies, and you'd have like 8 discs for each game, and every 10 minutes or so everything would come to a halt and a little box would pop up saying "Now insert disc 5". That was annoying.

Not being able to back up said disc is offensively annoying.

Really? I can't think of one single occasion in my entire life where I've ever broken any of the numerous game CDs I own, or scratched them significantly, or had any other reason to wish I'd got a backup. Except on a couple of occasions when I lent a game to someone and they never got round to giving it back, but then it would be illegal for me to use a backup anyway, and heck, it's not like it'd cost a fortune to buy another copy if I really wanted to play something.

Re:You'd have to be stupid to buy this bs (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101737)

Yep, I've completely failed with conveying what I meant to say. Shortsighted on my part, but my point was that the only people affected were those who want/are to be legitimate customers and that DRM didn't make people "vindictively" pursue pirate options for the kick of it.

Re:You'd have to be stupid to buy this bs (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101403)

Who in their right mind thinks that DRM increases piracy.

Well, actually, everyone.

* If I need to put the disc in every time I play the game.. I'm going to download a pirated version which will run without the disc. That's purely because it's a headfuck to find the disc, put it in, wait for the disc to spin up at critical times when it checks it's still there and freezes while my DVD drive powers back on (takes a few seconds to spin up; old drive).

* If the DRM makes it incompatible with some drives people who paid for it will probably go and download the pirate version.

* If the DRM makes it unstable then people will pirate it without DRM

* If I am not sure if it's going to be any good, work on my PC, etc then I'll download a demo. Oh, demos are a thing of the past because it's all too fucking hard for the game companies now. I'll just pirate the full game and see.

* I brought the game second hand off some dipshit who didn't take care of it. The disc won't read. Said game company charges full price (or some other arm and a leg) to ship replacement media and I need to send them my discs and I may never see them again or it'll take weeks. Bugger it. I'll just download it.

* The list goes on.

So, we can say about piracy two things:

1. Some people who pirated the game actually paid for it in the first place and needed/wanted more convenience.

2. Some people who pirated the game liked it and went on to pay for it.

stupid (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101311)

How are companies buying into the DRM thing when every single DRM scheme has been cracked within days of release? Prince of Persia will probably be pirated at exactly the same rate as any other game, since every other game is on the torrent sites, DRM or not.

A semi-truth (1)

Pahalial (580781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101371)

I would be very curious to know which angle they're looking to pursue at the end of this story. Honestly, as someone who's downloaded a piece or two of software, I would be surprised if the lack of DRM itself made any significant dent in the amount of piracy centered around this game. That said: 1) In Canada at least, this game is selling for $30 at retail. That's 30 CAD (~22 USD) as opposed to the flat 50 USD on steam. A very good argument in favor of lowered piracy rates right there, clouding any results. 2) This doesn't even begin to take into account the "try before you buy" crowd/theory (however you want to look at it.) If we were to presume that a) the majority of pirates download games to try, and buy them if they're good and b) that PoP is a good game and c) that these particular pirates would be yet more inclined to buy a good game at the lower $30 CAD price than $50 USD, if in Canada - then... you would see exactly the same amount of piracy but more sales. That is a very hard correlation/causation argument and not one I see the anti-DRM suits winning, frankly. So.. essentially, what I'm left with as a conclusion is that this is a PR stunt. No more, no less. Any conclusions they draw or announce as to the effect of DRM on game piracy are likely purely tangential, statistically unsound, and a post-primary-push PR effort.

Re:A semi-truth (1)

Pahalial (580781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101379)

I apologise, meant to post plaintext but neglected to preview.

Clever marketing stunt by UBISoft (1)

MaulerOfEmotards (1284566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101629)

USISoft has been surrounded by a slew of PR mistakes the last years and have accrued one of the worst reputations and word-of-mouth of any games publisher, second only to EA. Their DRM implementations have generally been horribly executed leading to widespread usability issues. Meanwhile DRM has become a hot topic.

Corporations are not really about providing good service and quality to the consumers, they're about making money. DRM now is bad PR.

At the same time the relatively small studio Stardock, that for a long time has produiced DRM-free games, have been riding the wave of topical recognition and have gained much consumer credit.

Of course UBISoft sees this. They are not bad marketers. UBISoft sees this as one way of mending their abysmal reputation. There's nothing intrinsically good or ethical about this, it is just marketing: leverageing the current medial discourse and try to appear as the pioneer of a new movement, and so to usurp the percieved leader position. This is simply what is known as "positioning" and "differentiation" in marketing lingo, something that has been practiced throughout modern business history.

In sum, this is a cynical ploy by a company that has a track record of hating and alienating its customers. It might lead to something better, but it is still not a change from the goodness of their black hearts.

Where's the Demo? (2, Insightful)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26101729)

I honestly can't figure out why anyone would complain about piracy when there's isn't a visible demo for this game. The honest people are being forced to pirate this game so they can make an informed purchasing decision. This alone will skew any erroneous figures that they will ultimately make... When will these companies learn?

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