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Ubisoft Working On a New Anti-Piracy Tool

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the surely-to-be-welcomed-with-open-arms dept.

Games 377

Ubisoft recently revealed that their game sales have seen a 50% drop over the past quarter, blaming the overall market slowdown and piracy (particularly on the DS) for the low numbers. They also announced that four of their games, including Splinter Cell: Conviction and Red Steel 2, would be delayed until 2010. The company's CEO, Yves Guillemot, now says they are working on a new anti-piracy tool that should be ready by the end of 2009. He didn't offer any details about how it would be implemented.

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377 comments

Spend your money right (5, Insightful)

dk90406 (797452) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849515)

Ubisoft: Your development budget is better spent on developing good games (I am not saying your current games are bad - I have no experience with them), than yet another copyright scheme that will be broken.

Re:Spend your money right (3, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849791)

I am not saying your current games are bad

Well, you should. I haven't bought OR pirated an Ubisoft game for the last six months for the exact same reason: they suck. The last game I did buy was the new Prince of Persia, which I was deeply disappointed with. Prior to that, I bought Assassin's Creed, which I was mildly disappointed with and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent which was terrible.

I usually do not pirate Ubisoft games because they don't warrant the effort. The only one I have ever pirated was Beyond Good and Evil, which I might have enjoyed if it didn't come up so often as a "perfect game" in the rhetoric of a certain kind of critic.

Ubisoft, next time someone pirates one of your games, thank them. Because that's far more than I would be willing to do with one of them.

Re:Spend your money right (3, Insightful)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849925)

Bummer. You let critics ruin what would otherwise have been an enjoyable game.

Re:Spend your money right (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849927)

Good games? They have no clue what the hell that is, they're too busy pumping out trash like Imagine Babyz [gamespot.com].

(No really, that's not my misspelling.)

Re:Spend your money right (4, Insightful)

tehSpork (1000190) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850069)

I am not saying your current games are bad - I have no experience with them

You've saved yourself some money and hours of crappy gameplay then. Assassin's Creed was almost enjoyable (if it hadn't been so buggy), other than that I haven't really enjoyed an Ubisoft title since Chaos Theory (released in 2005). I had been looking forward to Splinter Cell Conviction, however with the way they keep delaying it and changing things by the time we get it I doubt it will resemble the original franchise at all.

A note to game developers: Just because a franchise is successful doesn't mean that it will survive a substantial change in gameplay like we got with Double Agent. Furthermore, after a bomb like Double Agent it would be wise to return more towards the style that popularized your game in the first place before branching out in new directions. I'm not asking for EA Games Madden-esque repetition here and not saying that taking franchises in new creative directions is not good, but when you fail so badly take it back to base before you try again.

Also: If you notice game sales going down it probably has a correlation to your games sucking, regardless of the actual effects of piracy. Since the industry has pretty much stopped offering demos often times the only way to try a game is to download it first. If it sucks why would you bother purchasing it? "Better" DRM isn't going to help you on this front, however games that don't suck would. =)

Anti-privacy tool? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849517)

At first I misread the title as Anti-privacy tool, on second reading i realized this might be close to the truth.

Anti-piracy tool (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849527)

they are working on a new anti-piracy tool that should be ready by the end of 2009

In other news, hackers are working on breaking Ubisoft's new anti-piracy tool. They expect it to be cracked by the end of 2009 plus one day.

Starforce again? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849673)

Brought to you by the same assholes that loved [gamespot.com] Starforce [wikipedia.org] (until they were sued [techdirt.com] for their crippleware).

Guess SecuROM isn't intrusive enough for them.

Re:Starforce again? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28850103)

That's the reason why I don't buy Ubisoft games anymore (and EA for that matter). They have a long track record of using various intrusive DRM layers. I want to play games without having to spend a lot of time getting rid of some stupid DRM that has infested my OS.

To stop Usenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849529)

They could start offering free porn. Everyone knows that illegal downloading of games and so on is just an excuse for downloading porn of Usenet.

Re:To stop Usenet (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849567)

s/Usenet/torrent/g

Welcome to 2009.

Re:To stop Usenet (5, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849587)

Edit -> Find and Replace

Search for: Usenet
Replace with: torrent

[ ] Match case
[*] Match entire word only
[ ] Search backwards
[ ] Wrap around

[Replace all]

Welcome to 1995.

Re:To stop Usenet (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849695)

How is this modded as insightful? Funny would be far more appropriate. After all, the vi syntax (which actually is PERL syntax IIRC) is somewhat quicker and more compact.

so is chineese, but do you know it? (2, Funny)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849751)

Chineese writing can be more compact, but dude, unless you do a 7hr course, most laymen will go WTF are you
writing this 1970s crap for.

Lobby intel to put regex in the cpu next in microcode.

Re:so is chineese, but do you know it? (1, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849877)

Chineese writing can be more compact, but dude, unless you do a 7hr course, most laymen will go WTF are you
writing this 1970s crap for.

Actually, the 1970s crap is much faster to input and eyeball-parse, and this is supposed to be a geek site, where people know about vi, perl and/or sed. Not to mention this is a text post.

It's like arguing against Chinese writing in China.

The new anti-piracy tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849535)

Will be a gun that they point at their feet and shoot themselves with.

Details (4, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849537)

He didn't offer any details about how it would be implemented.

Because he doesn't know, obviously. Oh, and there is no copy protection that won't be cracked on release day. Again, there is one and only one method I've seen so far that worked: make the server you control essential to gameplay, see WoW. (Oh, and Blizzard actually releases their client without copy protection whatsoever.)

You don't control my computer, and you deserve to go bankrupt for trying.

Re:Details (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849653)

Oh, and there is no copy protection that won't be cracked on release day.

Really? because it took quite some time to crack Starforce when it first came out. And, even then, the first cracks were only workarounds that made it look like you were using an external SCSI drive which, for some reason, allowed the binary to run. At least, that was the eventual "crack" for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.

Handhelds can't play MMORPGs (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849799)

Again, there is one and only one method I've seen so far that worked: make the server you control essential to gameplay, see WoW.

The summary mentions games for Nintendo DS, which are often played miles away from Wi-Fi hotspots. Bundling a 3G to Wi-Fi adapter (such as MiFi) and 3G data service with your game is cost prohibitive.

Re:Handhelds can't play MMORPGs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849859)

solution: put the "server" on a chip, inside the game cartridge :-)

Re:Handhelds can't play MMORPGs (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850089)

solution: put the "server" on a chip, inside the game cartridge :-)

They tried that in the Super NES era, with the "DSP" and "Super FX" and "SA-1" and "SDD-1" coprocessors. All ended up cracked.

Re:Details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849891)

Maybe they will require you to be online to play single player.

Re:Details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849933)

> Oh, and Blizzard actually releases their client without copy protection whatsoever.

Mm, sure. And in exchange they install Warden on your machine. Close your eyes and try to pretend real hard - Blizzard doesn't do anything evil.. Right.. now I have this cheap bridge I want to sell.. Interested?

I don't care... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849541)

I don't pirate ubisoft games. Their products are not worth the price of FREE.

They make crappy knockoff copys of good games. or buy a good game dev and ruin it.

Fuck you ubisoft. It's not piracy hurting your profits. It's producing endless numbers of shitty buggy ass games.

But you go ahead and waste a few million developing your new anti-piracy tool. And i'll bet you it will be cracked within 6 months anyway.

Re:I don't care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849601)

IF I had points I'd mod you up informative! (except the '6 months' comment, you can bet your ass it will be hours to a day at most)

Re:I don't care... (2, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850019)

One of the best ways to get rid of DRM and make the DMCA appear irrelevant would be if the dedicated pirates didn't crack ubisoft's new system for a few weeks, but sales sucked just as much anyway. The challenge of beating a new system quickly means crackers focus attention on the game even if there's little reason for anyone else to want it once cracked. Then they flood Usenet and torrents as part of bragging about their success. Companies interpret all this attention as demand, which would theoretically otherwise result in sales. That's the first source of pressure for DRM measures.
      The second source comes about when people download these cracked versions, just because it theoretically costs so little to find out if this game sucks as much as the last one, or for bragging rights to friends and similar reasons. This model is a mistaken cost analysis. The downloaders aren't taking into account the hidden costs of encouraging companies to think real demand exists for games which actually suck. The result is more sucky games and more companies falsely thinking they have a product that would sell like hotcakes if they could just get a DRM solution that was actually uncrackable, at least for the first month or so.
        Unfortunately, since downloading numbers are hard/expensive to estimate with any accuracy, the smaller companies have to go mostly on the time it takes for the software to be cracked and uploaded. Thus it only takes one guy to start the DRM ball rolling if he targets a smaller company. Companies that can actually afford to get some independent estimates of how many people are sharing a torrent or downloading from a particular Usenet provider might occasionally get a reality check if dowmloads are flat, but that group consists of a few large movie or music distributers, and very few gaming companies do much in gathering download data. Most of them feel they simply can't afford it, beyond maybe paying someone to watch for it to be initially uploaded to usenet wares groups.

           

Re:I don't care... (3, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850065)

Even better ; if all the cracking groups publicly announced that "We played your new game, and it's not worth cracking because it's shite".

But that won't happen because the crack is the game to them...

New anti-piracy tool, eh? (5, Insightful)

Caboosian (1096069) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849549)

Here's your best anti-piracy tool: Drop the price on new PC games to $40, and ffs, stop treating your customers like thieves.

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849693)

Sure we post on Slashdot stating that it is the companies fault. Prices are too high or some other excuse. Face it the real truth for most people is the reason they download pirated software is to get it for free. They could be selling it for $1.00 and still they would pirate it. Probably coming up with some excuse that it is so cheap that it should be free anyways. The correct way to protest high prices is not to get the game threw any channel. You can live without a game. High piracy rates show that there is demand for the game however the piracy channel is too affordable priced below market value. So all it tells the company that Piracy is the competition not their product

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849749)

I pirated a $3 game. (just to fuel the fire)

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (5, Insightful)

borizz (1023175) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849761)

Actually, no. At $1 I'd buy a shitload of games.

I'm just not ready to drop 50 euros on a game (which is what they ask where I live). For example, I waited until Left 4 Dead was on weekend special on Steam so I could get it for under 20 euros. That's a price I'm more than willing to pay.

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (1)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849775)

Jellomizer, I don't think that Ubisoft's piracy complaint is directed at causal piracy for the DS. I have a very hard time believing that kids ages 6-14 are busy cranking out duplicates of DS cartridges. Also, we've not had a new console recently to drive sales and many game publishers simply thirve and starve based on when the next big thing comes out.

Really? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849851)

My 64 year old mother has Acekard's for both her DS's and my 68 year old Dad bannerbombed his Wii.

The only console I've never compromised is my 360, I don't want to get banned from live. It isn't price that has driven me, it's the depth of the online experience I get from the 360 that not only keeps me from pirating, but keeps me paying MS $50 per year.

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849909)

But DS piracy is so easy - you just need a flash cart. The ROMs are relatively small compared to modern bandwidth ; when people were posting N64 ROMs for use with UltraHLE they were in a similar size range, and speeds have gone from dial-up to 8Mb/s since then. You can copy your own legitimate ROMs easily too.

Once you have a flash cart, even for a legitimate use (the absolute best thing about it is not having to carry around all your ROM carts), the barrier to casual piracy is extremely low. In fact, why on earth would anyone pay for pirate ROM carts when they can download it in less than 5 minutes? Or clone your entire ROM library to a friends flash card in the school computer lab? It's quicker and easier than piracy in the analogue tape era was, and much less costly.

I wouldn't be surprised to find that cloned DS ROM carts were being produced, but I'd be amazed to find that the copy count was larger than the number of DS ROM downloads.

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849839)

Bull. I used to buy computer games all the time until I tried getting SecuROM off of my machine. I don't download pirated games, but I certainly would had I not had a run in with some kind folks a few years back over illegal file-sharing. If you put a virus in your software, I am not going to buy it. Period. If I cannot buy the PC version because of the virus you put in it, I will absolutely not buy the PS3 version, either. DRM provably does not work, it is a total farce and it will sink them, as well it should.

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850061)

They could be selling it for $1.00 and still they would pirate it.

They could try paying people to take their games. That would beat the pirates! I guess that would be a pyrrhic victory.

But no, I actually agree with you. If you don't like the price and/or DRM scheme the appropriate response is to not buy it and not pirate it. Pirating the game just adds fuel to the fire and will lead to an escalating arms race between publishers and pirates that ultimately only hurts the honest consumer.

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850085)

When I was employed, I had plenty of money to afford games, and I was willing and ready to spend it. I wrote this journal entry [slashdot.org] describing that situation:

If Mirror's Edge comes, say, as a Steam game -- not like Bioshock, but actually just a Steam game, with no additional protection -- I'd buy it in a heartbeat. On opening day. Make it DRM-free, and I'll consider preordering.
If it comes with anywhere near the level of DRM you're currently requiring for Spore, even this "relaxed" version, I will head over to the nearest torrent site and download a copy. I have plenty of money to spend, yes, but not plenty of time to waste proving that I own something.

Now, understand, I'm not saying everyone is like me. But I was pretty much their ideal customer -- young, male, computer enthusiast, I love games, and I had money to spend on them. If they're losing me as a customer, it raises the question: Just where do they think they're going to get customers?

As it is, I'm unemployed, so I don't have that money -- nor do I really have much time to game, when it could be spent looking for a job. As you say:

You can live without a game.

You also made a good point without realizing it:

Piracy is the competition

Any company that actually realizes that piracy is their competition has taken the first step towards fighting it. If you treat piracy as this evil, criminal act, and try to stop it with force, you will get nowhere. Instead, you can stop it by making the legitimate copy a better product than the pirated one.

Now, to address your other points:

They could be selling it for $1.00 and still they would pirate it. Probably coming up with some excuse that it is so cheap that it should be free anyways.

If this were true, don't you think the same would happen to Amazon MP3 and the iTunes store? Yes, people pirate, but those stores are still wildly successful.

In fact, that's probably the point.

High piracy rates show that there is demand for the game

They show that there's demand for the game at zero dollars. They don't show that any single person who pirated the game would've been willing to pay for it, if piracy wasn't an option.

As I said, I'm currently unemployed. My choice now is to either not play games, or to pirate games. I mostly choose to not play games, but the effect on the developer is the same -- they don't get my money.

And I'd think they would rather have me pirate the game than not play at all.

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (0, Flamebait)

MrSands (1605441) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849699)

Anti piracy technology does not treat customers like thieves. The people who pirate the games aren't buying from them so are not technically their customers. Albeit it might treat some customers like theives, those who like to create their own backups and run games from their hard-drives but those compose of a very small minority. Most of the people who create their own 'backups' and want to run from their hard-drives most probably got their copies from a warez site or a friend of theirs own a copy and they want one too. I highly doubt reducing the price would help. Say its 60, the 'customers' (although not really since they wouldn't be buying the game from them) will say its too expensive, why should I buy when a pirated one costs $2. They bring it to $40, $40 is still greater than $2, and they will still choose to pay the $2 still. Pretty much the only way to satisfy their customers is if they sell the game for the cost of a blank disk (ie give it away for free).

Subnotebooks and spawn installations (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849837)

Most of the people who create their own 'backups' and want to run from their hard-drives most probably got their copies from a warez site or a friend of theirs own a copy and they want one too.

Even if "most" have pirated the game, some have purchased a lawfully made copy and want to run it on a smaller laptop, and smaller laptops happen not to have a built-in optical drive and a battery to support an external optical drive. And if a friend owns a copy, then perhaps the other people are trying to simulate the "spawn installations" of the original Starcraft and the "DS Download Play" of Tetris DS, which don't need a pirated copy in order to become player 2, 3, or 4 on a LAN. Make legitimate ways for these to buy your product for a reasonable price (that is, not $200 for a family of four or $200 for a DVD-ROM drive and an extra battery), and they'll stop pirating.

Re:Subnotebooks and spawn installations (1)

MrSands (1605441) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850075)

I don't think you get the gist of what I said. What I was trying to explain was that while there are legitimate buyers, most pirates are the ones who choose not to buy in the first place.Most of the people who pirate choose to pirate and thus would not be considered 'customers' (at the same time legitimate customers who need to make copy for their purposes are not 'pirates'). Thus investing in anti-piracy technology is still worth it, even though it will be cracked it becomes increasingly harder for the cracks to be implemented (for example while before pirating was a straight out burning of the cd, now they need to use specialized burning software, etc. To legitimate users these measures are annoyances, however they should blame the pirates for forcing the developers to implement this technology in the first place. If there were no pirates there would be no need for anti-piracy measures (pirates in this case are the non legit customers not the customers who legitimately purchased the products but need to make a copy). These technology will affect legitimate customers, but they are few and far between compared to the amount of pirates preferring to be handed freebies. Reducing the cost is not an option, it will lead to a price war that pirates will eventually end up winning because pirates will always be able to sell cheaper (they don't have to pay for the development cost, only the cost to copy: which is the price of a blank media). While we all would like to live in a world where all software is free, many people who work in the software industry paid lots of money to go to college/university to learn the skills they have. Most certainly did not do so, so that at the end of it they can make software to give out free. They have mouth(s) to feed and are in need of a roof over their heads. Pirating will ALWAYS be cheaper than buying legitimately, and pirates will always exist as a result. However it is in their best interest to minimize this pirates while maintaining the ability to make money.

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (3, Insightful)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850113)

I don't like piracy (check my history if you don't believe me), but I do dislike having to type a 20-digit number to play a game I bought. I think that is what is meant by "treating like thieves". For the windows-crowd, you also hear about more serious issues, like CD-burning software stopping to work. I have no first-hand experience there.

Now DVDs are pretty bad. Sometimes they force-show a movie about not copying. Hello?! If I am watching the DVD, I patently did not copy it illegally. At least, I doubt the "pirates" actually include that bit :)

Re:New anti-piracy tool, eh? (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849949)

Exactly, I stopped looking at their stuff for the same reason I stopped looking at EAs and for the same reason I buy very few PC games that aren't £10 or from gog.com. It's a f'ing hassle to get legal copies running.

When will they learn (5, Insightful)

raymansean (1115689) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849559)

When will they learn that lack of sales != piracy? Lack of sales implies that people are not willing to pay the price you want for what you have to offer. This may be a direct cause of a tanked economy or your product sucks. There are plenty of reasons why your product will not sell piracy is not one of them.

Re:When will they learn (0)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849607)

There are plenty of reasons why your product will not sell piracy is not one of them.

The fact that people can get a product for free isn't a reason for it's sales to drop?

It is a reason, just not as big a reason as they want us to believe.

Re:When will they learn (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849813)

I don't see any immediate reason why piracy would be up on the PC at the moment ... it hasn't gotten easier or more difficult really.

The DS is a different issue, flash card penetration and availability has still been growing.

Re:When will they learn (3, Insightful)

raymansean (1115689) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849987)

I would guess that piracy is lost in the noise of monthly sales. The entertainment industry uses piracy as a scape goat in order to convince the bond holders that neither the quality of the product nor the current price of the product is driving sales down substantially. "If you only invest more money, we will be able to develop this new almost unbreakable scheme that will stop piracy. Then our sales will rebound." Two facts of life: 1) Piracy is the oldest profession. There will always be dishonest men. 2) Anyone can predict the future. They very rarely are correct.

Re:When will they learn (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849985)

Of course. This is just pandering to the shareholders who may not take kindly to the news that the games aren't selling because they just aren't good. They can't technology the "problem" away because: 1) piracy isn't what's killing their game sales and 2) copy protection doesn't work. But they can point to their new protection scheme and say to the shareholders: "Look look! We're fixing it."

Unfortunately all this crying wolf over piracy eventually results in actual legislation to attempt to rein in the free world of the Internet.

Re:When will they learn (1)

eiMichael (1526385) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850031)

I completely agree. There will always be those unwilling to pay for games. Either they don't buy it and don't play it or they don't buy but do play it. I know piracy is a crime, it has been for hundreds of years. Yet people still do it. Get over it and cater your products for paying customers.

Just because Ubisoft made Tom Clancy's Ice Cream Shop 4 doesn't mean it will sell twice as many copies as TCICS 2. Despite what thier marketing department told them about 4 being twice as much as 2. A 50% drop in sales just means your product line is 30~40% worse this time of year, while your competitor's offerings are better. I didn't bother to RTFA, but the two reasons in the summary indicate that Ubisoft thinks their drop in sales has to do with everyone but Ubisoft.

Delaying sounds like a good strategy (4, Funny)

janek78 (861508) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849561)

If they keep delaying their titles that will surely teach the pirates a lesson. Look at Duke Nukem Forever, no-one has cracked that one yet!

Let's see what ubisoft's successful games are... (5, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849573)

...FarCry, Unreal, heroes of might & magic, & Prince of Persia.
All these had their day and now are as dead as Duke Nukem. The Rest of Ubisoft's vaunted arsenal of games are either unplayable or so bad that using them as coffee coasters seem an insult to the coffee.
Ubisoft's CEO seems to have his head so far up his a$$ that he gets high on his own "perfume".
Instead of blaming his company's utter failure to produce good, replayable games with deep themes and good graphics, he blames an outside factor that his beyond his ability to control.
What makes him think he will succeed where the Evil Empire Sony's SecuROM and other hundreds of copy-protection have failed?
His Capitalism 2 doesn't play on Windows 7 64-bit. When asked, his company's cold reply was that i switch back to Windows XP.
Uru was a rockin' failure and a complete insult to Myst.
As usual, corporate CEOs are so far removed from reality that they can continue to fool stockholders every single day with more fairy tales of their own.
I would start shorting Ubisoft's stock from today, if i can.

Re:Let's see what ubisoft's successful games are.. (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849697)

As usual, corporate CEOs are so far removed from reality that they can continue to fool stockholders every single day with more fairy tales of their own.
I would start shorting Ubisoft's stock from today, if i can.

Oh but they do! Until the company goes under that is...

Re:Let's see what ubisoft's successful games are.. (1, Insightful)

Caboosian (1096069) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849893)

<p>Really? You couldn't do 3 seconds of research? Aside from essentially the entire Tom Clancy catalog of games (which is easily one of the most valuable IPs in the game industry), Ubisoft owns Assassin's Creed (potentially huge IP), Brothers In Arms (pretty big IP), and Beyond Good & Evil (great game, "meh" IP). When you combine those IPs (that's not all of them, but that's what 3 seconds of research got me) with your previously mentioned FarCry IP and Prince of Persia IPs, maybe you'll begin to realize that Ubisoft, as a developer, is still one of the top-tier powerhouses in the industry, right alongside Blizzard and Valve.</p>

<p>That's just as a developer, too; as a publisher, they rival Microsoft Game Studios, EA, Activision Blizzard, Valve, and Bethesda (amongst others). Simply put, Ubisoft is a monster, and is one of the biggest players in the industry - I'm pretty sure that their CEO isn't fooling those stockholders.</p>

<p>*Sigh*. Sometimes I wish there was a -1, Misinformed mod. </p>

Re:Let's see what ubisoft's successful games are.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28850123)

Brothers In Arms (pretty big IP)

lol

Ubisoft, as a developer, is still one of the top-tier powerhouses in the industry, right alongside Blizzard and Valve.

lolol

anti-piracy tool (4, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849577)

Repeat with me, there is no such thing as an anti-piracy tool for offline gaming.

After 30 years of gaming, I was hopping that maybe they will get it.

Re:anti-piracy tool (1)

RobDollar (1137885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850015)

Repeat with me, there is no such thing as an anti-piracy tool for offline gaming.

The game Steel Beasts pro did a pretty good job by having a physical key (I beleive in the form of a serial dongle) attached to your system.

Seems to have kept the pirates at bay (harhar) so far.

The DS fails commercially at the most basic level (4, Interesting)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849637)

For less than the cost of a single DS game (and they're only about $30), you can buy a cartridge and microSD card that can hold all the games you could ever want and then some *and* lets you play old school [s]nes/gameboy games. No juggling or losing cartridges, it's all just there.

Why would I want to participate in the for-pay DS economy when the pirate experience is far superior?

Re:The DS fails commercially at the most basic lev (0, Troll)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849675)

For less than the price of a car (and they're only about $10,000) I can buy a crowbar and learn to hotwire which lets you steal any car you could ever want and then some *and* lets you live games like GTA in real life. No weekly repayments or repossessions, it's all just there.

Why would I want to participate in the for-pay car economy when the thief experience is far superior?

Re:The DS fails commercially at the most basic lev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849769)

*facepalm*

Re:The DS fails commercially at the most basic lev (2, Insightful)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849783)

Stealing a car is illegal, reading a game from an SD card is not.

Patents (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849861)

Stealing a car is illegal, reading a game from an SD card is not.

It is if the DS Game Card interface is patented.

Re:The DS fails commercially at the most basic lev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849795)

This analogy doesn't work as well as you seem to think. In the case of stealing a car, you are much more likely to get caught. You also are depriving someone of property that is theirs. In the case of pirating games, did you actually deprive someone of playing the game? The difference is pretty obvious, and it gets pointed out every time anyone brings up this strawman argument, so please stop.

The better way to argue against piracy is:

If everyone did it, the people who make the games that we love would be out of work. It is getting too easy to pirate games via torrents that include collections of every game you could ever want to play + programs that make it dead easy to install custom applications to play these games on your DS. This combination is clearly a bad thing, and we need a better solution.

Re:The DS fails commercially at the most basic lev (3, Insightful)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849845)

I realise that, I was (partly) joking. The "I pirate because X" crew really are frustrating, as each time whatever their gripe is (DRM, need disk to play, etc. etc.) is fixed they shift the goalposts ("Okay, the game no longer needs the disk to play, now I want them cheaper"). The argument is a strawman, it's been refuted to the point of inanity and its frustrating that you can't skip past it on DVDs, but it does help to give people who (claim that they) pirate because pirating grants them a feature they don't have a little perspective.

Re:The DS fails commercially at the most basic lev (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849823)

Because that is NOT a superior experience. You have to drive without a window or an screwed up door, you have the risk of getting beat down by the owner or the police, and there are a host of other problems (most notably convenience, the main factor cited above). The thief experience is, in most cases, not superior. People who take the thief road usually choose it if it because it can be lucrative, at the convenience/comfort level it is usually called petty larceny.

Re:The DS fails commercially at the most basic lev (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849875)

For less than the cost of a single DS game (and they're only about $30), you can buy a cartridge and microSD card that can hold all the games you could ever want

For less than the price of a car (and they're only about $10,000) I can buy a crowbar and learn to hotwire which lets you steal any car you could ever want

Who said steal? My DS homebrew setup lets me run MoonShell, DSOrganize, and homemade games such as MegaETk, Lockjaw, and Setsuzoku no Puzzle. Exactly what am I "stealing" by running homebrew instead of commercial games?

Re:The DS fails commercially at the most basic lev (1)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849917)

Why would I want to participate in the for-pay DS economy when the pirate experience is far superior?

Because you like the game, and want to support the developer creating more of those in the future?
Just a wild guess here...

Re:The DS fails commercially at the most basic lev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28850097)

Because you enjoy supporting good game publishers and development companies that release awesome content for $30 (instead of $50+) and buying affordable games that price drop quickly used because of the huge DS market?

Best way to fight piracy... (1)

woutersimons_com (1602459) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849641)

..offer your products at very reasonable prices and make them available for easy download.

I do not need a box for a game, nor do I like going to the stores for one. I want a free preview download with one level and if I like it I will buy it when the price is right. EA got it right in my eyes, I got a free trial of C&C and then went and bought it through their online store. My download went at 1.2MB/s filling up my 10Mbps connection. The price was also slightly less than getting the boxed set in a local store.

Re:Best way to fight piracy... (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849883)

That depends on how they do the digital distribution. If they did DRM-riddled downloads then a) I wouldn't buy much because I've only got a 2Mbps line with a 2GB/mo cap and b) I would buy even less because I didn't own the damned thing (especially if it did online authentication as well).

I think it's more important to make them good than to make them downloadable. Making them good will bring in customers whether they're downloadable or not. Making crap games downloadable just gives you more ways to get crap games. More downloads should be cheaper than the physical product as well since you don't have the same overheads and generally have more restrictions.

Downloading is not for everyone (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849897)

My download went at 1.2MB/s filling up my 10Mbps connection.

Good for you, but downloading a big PC game from an online store is not for everyone. In some places, the two options for high-speed Internet access aren't cable and DSL but instead satellite and 3G, and these usually have monthly usage caps between 5 GB and 8 GB. If you had such a cap on your Internet connection, would you still download from the publisher's online store?

They should make... (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849687)

... consoles that have a ROM chip with the game on it, that can only be played on that particular instance. The console would be hooked to the TV, and that's it. You have to buy the whole thing if you want to play. Not that consumers would care or anything. They don't now, and why would they?

TV games (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849923)

... consoles that have a ROM chip with the game on it, that can only be played on that particular instance.

Desolder, dump, copy over the Internet, and emulate.

The console would be hooked to the TV, and that's it. You have to buy the whole thing if you want to play. Not that consumers would care or anything.

Such handheld TV games [wikipedia.org] tend to have NES- or Sega Genesis-quality graphics, not even the GameCube-quality graphics that Wii players expect.

Couldn't just be (2, Funny)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849703)

that the games they have released were crap and they are delaying Splinter Cell yet again..

If virii can be hard to hack, why not games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849705)

There are two ways to combat piracy.

The first is to try and limit the (re)distribution of programs. That's almost impossible because they generally need to have all the instructions laid out in memory to execute quickly, thus they're prone to examination by other programs - i can easily imagine Xen being of tremendous use here. It doesn't matter if it gets encrypted or not - the only requirement for piracy is that whatever it is can be saved, duplicated and given to someone else to use.

The other is to make the correct operation of the game dependant on something that can't be so easily examined. A tamper resistant USB fob, for example, that contains part of the executable image. The impediment here is the cost of these. But the key is to not put just data on the fob, but to also have the fob *do* something that is more than a "yes" or "no". What if the fob were to render the scene or implements the core logic that govens how "you" interact with your environment? So long as you can't get the extra instructions off the fob, it doesn't matter if you can duplicate the DVD/CD, it is useless without the fob.

Best Antipiracy Tool (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849711)

The best antipiracy tool is to make something that is good enough that people are willing to spend money on it. Quality. That's your best antipiracy tool.

Re:Best Antipiracy Tool (4, Funny)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850121)

Rubbish, you best anti-piracy tool is lack of quality. Make the game so shit that nobody in their right mind would even want to waste their time downloading it. Many publishers seem to be currently working on this strategy.

The end of Ubisoft (1)

DoChEx (558465) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849713)

.. I won't shed a tear. As pointed out not, they have no games of worth. I enjoyed Assassin's Creed enough that'll I get the squeal. But they have no other titles of worth. Stop making games for the PC if you're worried about Piracy. But it's your lack of a good product that will be the death of you not the cold steal of the Pirate.

Copy Protection (5, Interesting)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849719)

The only type of copy protection that won't be cracked is the one protecting something nobody gives a shit about.

Re:Copy Protection is shit (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849789)

Just take a huge dump in every box you ship that way pirates will get messy hands.
Your customers will understand.
I believe this is a metaphor

Looking forward to it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849787)

Mr. Guillemot, be sure that I'd be there to crack it. See ya!

Suicide? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849805)

They're already losing sales because of a bad market of bad competitiveness, and their answer to that is to lose even more sales by reducing the free advertisement piracy provides and make their users angry, thus committing suicide?
Are they out of their minds?

Try - A Reasonable Price (TM) (0)

smartin (942) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849815)

A company will sell 3 times as many games at $20 than at $50. It also helps to make the game actually worth the $20 in the first place.

These are console exclusives. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849941)

You guys are kind of missing the point. There making new anti-piracy systems, for xbox 360 and wii games. The wii is easy to pirate on, sure, but it can be quite a hassle on the 360 from what Ive seen (please correct me if I am wrong). They are worried about piracy? They need to be worried about used games sales instead, that has to be a much much much higher % of sales lost then piracy. start converting THOSE customers.

The 360 is fairly easy to pirate on (1)

wernox1987 (1362105) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850013)

It's also pretty risky too. I used to work at a factory, the 360 was fairly popular with the hourly guys there and I'd say roughly half of them had hacked their DVD drives to be able to play pirate games. But, every big release resulted in one or two of them getting banned from Live too.

How about... (2, Insightful)

planetoid (719535) | more than 4 years ago | (#28849969)

How about you lazy Ubisoft shitheads fix the UI bugs in Chessmaster that have plagued the software since release instead of worrying about preventing pirated copies of the next Imagine Babiez?

Oh man I sure love being in Academy mode, moving a chess piece as the tutorial requests in a drill, and then getting stuck in the tutorial because moving a piece made it suddenly think I'm in Game Edit mode, which isn't supposed to happen when you're in a tutorial.

Ubisoft workers are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28849999)

... the first ones to leak sdk's and other things to pirates, so it is funny to see this. It is kind of cynical.

Particularly on the DS? (1)

Knifethrower (765840) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850101)

They blame piracy for their awful shovelware DS games not selling? Are they crazy? I think the market has just hit the limit of how many ANIMAL/ACTIVITY-z (like Catz,Babiez,etc) titles it can take.

Anti-piracy measures killing sales? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28850115)

I forget what big titles Ubisoft came out with recently.. but I remember a discussion in my forums where most people were saying they didn't give a shit how good the game was.. They wouldn't buy it because of the DRM. I gotta admit that I'm now in the same boat.. The vast majority of pc gamers in my forums were saying the DRM would prevent them from buying the game.. PC Gamers aren't retarded console gamers.. They do their research on the game AND the DRM that comes with it..

I have been told I had to buy an internal cdrom drive because my external usb wasn't valid.. (wtf) because of drm issues.. I have been told to 'wait until the Tages servers are back up' before I can play.. I've had cd keys just all of a sudden no longer validate. And, I've had games install all sorts of crappy software on my 64bit windows xp that weren't made for 64bit.. so it causes problems.

Entertainment sales and recession (4, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850129)

Entertainment sales dropping during a continued recession isn't exactly a surprise. People have less money, so they buy less.

That's why I thought Time Magazine's conclusions [time.com] last year were just ludicrous, as they predicted that entertainment sales would go up.

Yet another reason to skip Ubisoft games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28850137)

Excessive DRM is the reason why I haven't touched a single Ubisoft game since Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and the whole Starforce DRM debacle surrounding that.

it's obvious. really (1)

verbatim (18390) | more than 4 years ago | (#28850153)

because, you know, with a global recession and all, a decline in sales of luxury items... hmm... I guess if I hadn't taken economics in school, I might be able to see a co-relation between the two. Now all I can think of is two lines on a graph, with one moving left, the other moving down, and companies like Ubisoft trying to keep P higher than it should be. So it goes...

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