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Ubisoft Scales Back Driver DRM

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the step-in-the-less-wrong-direction dept.

DRM 121

We recently discussed Ubisoft's plans to bring back their controversial always-connected DRM for their upcoming racing game Driver: San Francisco. Gamers raised their voices in protest, and it seems Ubisoft listened, scaling back (but not removing) the DRM. Instead of requiring a continuous connection, the game will now require a connection only when the game launches. Unfortunately for Ubisoft, complaints are now arising that the company misled players with regard to the DRM implemented in the PC port of From Dust.

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121 comments

Too late... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148228)

the damage is done. Ubisoft, you've shot yourself in the foot. In fact, I actually pirate your games out of spite (well, the good ones anyway). Not until you remove your always-on DRM schemes entirely will I come back to respecting you as a game maker and producer.

Re:Too late... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148250)

*rustling leaves*

That's the sound of Ubisoft caring about what you've said.

Re:Too late... (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148362)

...and that's why they'll go out of business. I get the feeling that increasingly more gamers are starting to feel the same way as the parent.

Re:Too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37150580)

I actually suspect this is just marketing. I never would have heard about this without the controversy. Not that I'm going to remember it much longer after it leaves the main /. page, either... But it did bring my attention to it, for brief moments.

Re:Too late... (1)

the_bard17 (626642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148898)

That's also the sound of money staying in my wallet as I refuse to buy Ubisoft's products. See if I care.

Re:Too late... (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149008)

That's the sound of Ubisoft caring about what you've said.

I wonder if Ubisoft cares about how many people decide to wait for SKIDR0W's release before laying out $60 for their DRM-laden product?

I bet that sets some leaves a-rustlin' over at Ubisoft, huh?

You can show disdain for your customers for only so long before the favor is returned.

Re:Too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37150410)

People caring about or noticing any of this are not their core market. As long as their bullshit is profitable, they'll stick to it. That's the short version of their DRM policy.

Re:Too late... (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149420)

Well, they may not want to remove it, but in my case they honored the EULA and got Steam to refund my money (for a differnt Ubi game). I'm just not going to install and use the Ubi launcher. I got enough of that kind of nonsense from GTA IV.

Re:Too late... (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149928)

"chirp chirp. chirp chirp"

The sound of people NOT buying games from Ubistupid or Steam.

Re:Too late... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37150282)

I personally don't care about the steam DRM because I haven't really had any trouble with it, but when games from publishers like EA and Ubi end up on Steam with additional DRM that force me to register or install other software I get pretty mad. It's easy to get caught out by this if you don't read the small print on the store page of any game you want to buy. I really think Valve should force publishers to only use Steam DRM or at the very minimum require that games do not install any services or require users to register with external websites.

Re:Too late... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37150428)

I don't really mind Steam... better profile integration in more games so your save points are in steam would be cool. I'm not a fan ofDRM, but when it works, is transparent, and makes the buying, installing and play easier... not a huge deal. Though, I don't play much.

Re:Too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37151774)

Why the Steam hate?
FYI: Steam is offering refunds for people who purchased From Dust because of the false claims by Ubi.
I can confirm this because I got mine.

And for "That's the sound of Ubisoft caring about what you've said." above: Ubi is already feeling the pain of the mass Steam refunds.

until the next game... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148472)

each time the publisher would try to slip something like this in, and each time there would be an uproar, and they would back off (a little.)

my guess is that they'll keep trying, believing that if they do this often enough, eventually people would accept it as the norm.
perhaps there's statistical evidence to suggest that each successive uproar were... smaller than the prior?

Re:until the next game... (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148486)

You know what's hilarious about this, if I were to pirate the game I would probably have an easier and more reliable experience than someone who bought the game because the annoying DRM would be removed.

Re:until the next game... (2)

TavisJohn (961472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148582)

I have many older games that span back 20+ years that I go back and play often. I have been forced to pirate or crack many of those games because the DRM that is used does not work with modern DVD players, operating systems, or were crappy DRM schemes to begin with.

It is really sad that I have to pirate games I own in order to continue to play them.

Re:until the next game... (3, Insightful)

dexotaku (1136235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149018)

Cracking something you bought is clearly not piracy.

Re:until the next game... (1)

TavisJohn (961472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149254)

But having to download a pirate copy of the game, because the DRM in the installer does not work is still considered piracy.

And in many areas cracking DRM is illegal. Regardless if you own the product or not.

Re:until the next game... (0)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149322)

Indeed, the DMCA does prohibit breaking of copy protection.

Re:until the next game... (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149938)

In all reality it isn't. In a U.S. court of Law, however, it is.

Re:until the next game... (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149312)

Isn't this pretty much standard operating procedure though? Release game with "always on" mega-DRM, get free press (any press is good press) to try and bait the pirates in to actually buying instead of pirating your product; wait 24hrs -2 weeks after release, dial down the DRM to something bordering on reasonable. Get more sales from the PR of "lessening DRM". The most piracy happens in the first week anyways (most consumer's attention spans aren't that long - how long did you play Portal 2 after release?).
 
With a reputation like Ubisoft's, the bad press can't really hurt your sales at this point. If it weren't for the bi-monthly slashdot "ubisoft drm is bad!" article, I wouldn't know that they still exist; their franchise portfolio is pretty poor.
 
This is pretty much textbook ubisoft marketing 101. Has anything in this strategy changed at all since Spore (EA game)? I wouldn't really call this news anymore.

Re:until the next game... (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149820)

wait 24hrs -2 weeks after release, dial down the DRM to something bordering on reasonable. Get more sales from the PR of "lessening DRM".

Requiring an Internet connection when starting the game does not come anywhere near to reasonable. Maaaaaaybe on installation, but I still view that with suspicion because 95% of my games are from companies that no longer exist. Thankfully they employed in-game questions for the DRM.

Re:Too late... (1)

fremean (1189177) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148802)

Sadly they don't care what we think - if we pirate or don't pirate it doesn't matter as they will call you a pirate anyway.

A lost sale = pirate, no it can't possibly be that the game is shit so no-one bought it.... or the DRM is shit so no-one bought it.

As for those who are pissed off about "From Dust" having shit DRM - I have a simple rule for avoiding DRM: Does the box have a Ubisoft logo? Don't buy it.

Re:Too late... (1)

Llian (615902) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149170)

<quote><p>Sadly they don't care what we think - if we pirate or don't pirate it doesn't matter as they will call you a pirate anyway.</p><p>A lost sale = pirate, no it can't possibly be that the game is shit so no-one bought it.... or the DRM is shit so no-one bought it.</p><p>As for those who are pissed off about "From Dust" having shit DRM - I have a simple rule for avoiding DRM: Does the box have a Ubisoft logo? Don't buy it.</p></quote>

Is the game available from GOG.com? Or is it freeware? Avoid it as it will have some form of DRM on it.
What? That limits you and ISN'T what you do? Well now, so there are some DRMs that you are fine with....either that or you are a moron prone to hyperbole.

Re:Too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37149256)

Judging from your inability to quote someone properly, or to use the preview button, I feel that you sir are the moron.

Re:Too late... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148982)

I won't touch their crap anymore. Just add my small voice to the fray.

still unacceptable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148252)

But people will still buy it, so no matter these little ups and downs, on the balance DRM will keep getting more intrusive.

The only thing that works is to stop buying DRMed shit. But that concept is too difficult for most people.

Re:still unacceptable (5, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148268)

No, the only thing that works is to stop buying the product and stop downloading it as well. As long as 10s or 100s of thousands of people are downloading it for free Ubisoft is going to just go on thinking they need more and more intrusive DRM to fight piracy.

Re:still unacceptable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148558)

No, the only thing that works is to stop buying the product and stop downloading it as well. As long as 10s or 100s of thousands of people are downloading it for free Ubisoft is going to just go on thinking they need more and more intrusive DRM to fight piracy.

BS, The Witcher 2 had no DRM from gog.com and was pirated heavily. What did CDPR do? They stripped DRM off the boxed copies too.

CDP does just fine it seems financially.

Re:still unacceptable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148852)

I think you misunderstood the point.

When people download a game/movie/song, the publishers don't think "we need to be nicer with our customers to reduce piracy" instead they think "woah, look at all these pirates who love what we produce! We need to make tougher laws against piracy, imagine the millions we'll make once all these pirates are forced to buy our products!"

CDP I guess are just smarter and realize blocking piracy is not the right solution. They're doing well financially you say? Perhaps that's because instead of going after pirates, they learned their lesson and removed the DRM, thus generating more sales.

I feel the same as parent. I love music but I hate the MAFIAA for the way they corrupt the justice system and steal from artists. Hell, I even hate them for existing, because artists don't need a leech who steals all their money, artists today can publish their work on their own thanks to the Internet.

Normally I would pirate music since I like the music but I just don't want to pay the MAFIAA. However, I know if I did this, the MAFIAA would think if they could stop me from pirating, I'd buy their music no matter what. And I don't want them to think I need their music no matter how bad they behave, I want them to know that I'd rather do without music than accept their abuse. Therefore I don't pirate. It's a shame everyone can't go without music/movies/games for a while in order to make a point.

Re:still unacceptable (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149244)

BS, The Witcher 2 had no DRM from gog.com and was pirated heavily.

From what I remember, pirate versions of Witcher 2 were available before gog.com released it; I presume that was the Polish retail release which came out a day or three earlier.

Re:still unacceptable (1)

fremean (1189177) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148826)

You don't have to download it to be called a pirate - their logic is "we should be able to sell 20m copies but only sold 5m - 15m must have pirated" regardless of if anyone downloaded a less than legitimate version or not.

Re:still unacceptable (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149510)

You're not giving them money either way. Not only that, but do you really think they believe that DRM helps stop piracy? I believe they know that it doesn't. And if they don't, I'd say it's ultimately their own fault and that they are fools.

how many times now? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148266)

How many times have they claimed to have "scaled back" or changed their DRM schemes before release, only to have it turn out that the game is locked down tighter than the initial draconian scheme that they were supposedly scaling back from? I'll revoice Ben Kuchera's suggestion from the Ars article here:

Our advice is simple: don't buy From Dust. In the future, do not buy Ubisoft games at launch until their claims can be verified.

And to take it a step further: Don't buy ANY Ubisoft games. PERIOD. This is not how you treat customers, and anyone who chooses to be a customer of Ubisoft's at this point simply is a fool.

Re:how many times now? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148320)

Actually, that's too nice: we should buy the game, and then ask for a refund. The same way they lied to us, we can lie to them, and cost them oodles of money (restocking games is expensive, especially in countries like mine where it's a legal obligation).

Re:how many times now? (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148450)

Refund? Good luck with that--customer service at the store will immediately say, "we cannot prove that you did not buy this game just to copy and bring back, and it's been opened, so the most we can do is exchange with another copy of the same game."

You're fucked if you buy and then open a game, or pretty much any other piece of software. Try to explain DRM and they'd probably think you're nuts. Once opened, the most you can do is try to sell it either to a used games store that buys PC games, or to some random person you can screw second-hand by getting them to buy the DRM-infested garbage. You might be able to get a bit more money selling to some random person, if you can find someone paying, but pawning such despicable DRM onto them would just feel wrong.

Re:how many times now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148498)

I don't see where he say that you have to open the game.

Re:how many times now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148530)

Uhh, don't open it?

Re:how many times now? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148552)

He's not from the US. A number of European countries require merchants to take back software, because it's unfair to the consumer otherwise.

Re:how many times now? (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148780)

Ah, I didn't catch the last part of his post. That clears things up.

Re:how many times now? (4, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148770)

Refund? Good luck with that--customer service at the store will immediately say, "we cannot prove that you did not buy this game just to copy and bring back, and it's been opened, so the most we can do is exchange with another copy of the same game."

So return it unopened.

Re:how many times now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148952)

In which case the retailer just puts it back on the shelf, and the publisher never hears anything about it.

Re:how many times now? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149282)

They do if it happens often enough, and the return is always for the same reason.

Re:how many times now? (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149868)

I'd imagine the retailer would just assume a few people are griefing them. They know you bought it just to return it pretty quickly (who on earth would buy the game and then hand it right back unopened? If you are smart enough to read labels and notice the warning about the DRM, you would have been smart enough to do it before you paid for it. The only thing this idea would accomplish is to annoy one minimum wage EB employee.

Re:how many times now? (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#37150944)

I'd imagine the retailer would just assume a few people are griefing them. They know you bought it just to return it pretty quickly (who on earth would buy the game and then hand it right back unopened?

Or take it home, bring it back next time your in the area. Better still have someone else bring it back... it was a gift, they read the box, and don't want this defective piece of crap.

Re:how many times now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37149200)

Reading's hard, huh. 'Murka, fuck yeah.

Re:how many times now? (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 2 years ago | (#37150990)

Doesn't it say in the EULA of essentially every single piece of software that you can return it for a refund if you don't agree?

Buy it with a credit card and if the store won't take it back, ask your bank to do a chargeback.

Re:how many times now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37151354)

I just charge it back on the credit card and let them bitch about it. If they then charge my card again I have them for fraud. From best to worst card to use Amex, Mastercard, Visa, Discover for the level of harassment it takes to get an item removed. This is a real CC not a debit card.

Re:how many times now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37149698)

Last time I bought a game in a store (it was a birthday gift) the storekeeper told me I could not trade it back in, and that it required internet activation. So I knew exactly what I bought, and I wasn't lied to. It also stated on the front of the box that it needed internet activation.

I'll still refuse to buy "from dust" because it requires "always on" DRM. Activation DRM isn't so bad, closing the game when your internet dies for 2 minutes is. Purists will disagree.

Re:how many times now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148436)

Don't stop there, buddy. It's not just Ubisoft.
If you really don't like DRM'd shit.

Don't buy games on Steam.
Don't buy games that have any kind of key check.
Don't buy games that don't ship with the source code.
Don't buy consoles.
...and so forth.
 

Re:how many times now? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148572)

It's not DRM in general. It's the implementation. Steam is very good with the DRM... I haven't had any problems with it. A few with some of the DLC unlock codes for Borderlands, but that's it. I can play my games offline, I can play them on multiple computers, and so on.

The way Ubisoft does it is like how Blizzard does it... you're online, all the time. Period. If you can play at all offline, you get a gimped experience. Screw that. The only "concession" they've made is one to only check at startup, which is asinine. Check at install time? Sure. Check when playing an online game? Sounds fair to me. But checking all the time, or even "just" when starting? Screw that.

Re:how many times now? (1)

Brannoncyll (894648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149134)

Yeah, it doesn't really make any sense. If it requires a net connection to install and the test is passed, you have a legitimate piece of software and there is no reason for any further checks. Also, if pirates can beat the install check they can beat the startup check, so again there is no valid reason for startup checks.

The only possible reason for this check is that they can then control the end of the product cycle - 'From January 2013 we will no longer support this game and the verification servers will be take offline. If you wish to continue playing it you must purchase a further license.'

It's more than the implementation... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149912)

Steam is very good with the DRM... I haven't had any problems with it.

FWIW, From Dust is available on Steam, likely with the same DRM. Steam sometimes warns when a game includes "3rd-party DRM", and From Dust now includes that warning.

But what makes Steam work is that it's not just DRM, it also offers something for the customer, too. Set up a new desktop recently, I downloaded the Steam client, entered my username/password, and downloaded a game I was halfway through. Took half an hour to download (on fiber), and included all my settings (keybindings, even!) and savegames. I just fired it up, cranked up the detail (it was a new desktop, after all), and hit "resume".

Having some amount of mild DRM in return for that is a fair trade.

If it was just invisible, then no deal. I had no problem with DRM that checked my CD, but that's a ticking time bomb -- it'd break on new OSes where the game would otherwise run just fine (no reason a game needs to install a driver other than DRM), it'd break when the CD is scratched, etc. Steam is also a ticking time bomb -- if Valve goes under, for whatever reason, it seems unlikely we'd get the patches they promise, and difficult for them to pull off even if they have all the good faith in the world. It's just that Steam provides a few things that make it worth the risk.

Re:how many times now? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148648)

The problem with NOT buying something as a form of protest is that the company selling the product doesn't know that you didn't buy it for a reason.

We need some quantifiable and clear way to let Ubisoft know exactly how many sales their DRM has cost them, otherwise they will continue to blame everything but themselves for unexpectedly low sales.

Re:how many times now? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148714)

The problem with NOT buying something as a form of protest is that the company selling the product doesn't know that you didn't buy it for a reason.

But that doesn't matter, because when enough people do it they go bust.

Re:how many times now? (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149224)

The problem with NOT buying something as a form of protest is that the company selling the product doesn't know that you didn't buy it for a reason.

We need some quantifiable and clear way to let Ubisoft know exactly how many sales their DRM has cost them, otherwise they will continue to blame everything but themselves for unexpectedly low sales.

Sure they do: Piracy. All lost sales are due to piracy. I personally have pirated every game they have ever made! Of course by pirated I mean I did not aquire a copy by any means, legal or otherwise, thus depriving them of profits.

Re:how many times now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37150982)

Pre-order from somewhere that lets you cancel pre-orders, immediately cancel and cite DRM as the reason.

Re:how many times now? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#37150590)

I have already blacklisted all games from Ubisoft for this reason, along with games from Activision Blizzard, Atari and Sony.

ahh the old ubi DRM BS (1)

g00mbasv (2424710) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148318)

funny thing is... the "always connected" and the "login and play" DRM approach is enforced only for people that actually BUY the game, pirates will crack the shit out of the scheme and play offline. so there. so much for your DRM. ubisoft needs to understand that the more appreciation the gaming community have for you as a company has a bigger impact than any ridiculous DRM plans they might have. just ask the Super Meat Boy guys. and for ubi... well they are not big in the gamer community.nobody actually appreciate they actions as a company. they should get gabe newell to teach them how to build a fanbase.

Re:ahh the old ubi DRM BS (1)

Elbart (1233584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37151646)

It's the free market. Working game for free or "broken" game for x $/€/£/¥ - almost a no-brainer.

Defective by Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148324)

Still not buying it.

Nice try, marketing assclowns.

What's the difference? (1)

Loopy (41728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148382)

If I have to have a connection every time I launch the game, that's just as bad as needing it constantly.

Result: cannot play on laptop while in the car traveling.

End result: no sale.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148470)

If I have to have a connection every time I launch the game, that's just as bad as needing it constantly.

Result: cannot play on laptop while in the car traveling.

End result: piracy.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148556)

To be fair, not it isn't.

Their 'Always connected' DRM would boot you from the game with no warning if it lost it's connection to the network. Connection at startup isn't nearly as onerous, for my use case it probably wouldn't bother me except in very rare circumstances but I still won't put up with that level of DRM, all they have to do is pull the plug on their servers and *poof* "your" copy of the game is useless.

Re:What's the difference? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37150502)

you cant get booted when you cant even start the game so who cares

It's easier to bypass the DRM. (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149946)

I would expect it would be far easier to crack the game and maintain full functionality if there is only DRM on launch.
I don't think your data is so expensive you cant use your phone at the launch if you really wanted to play.

Ubisoft-Free and Livin' Large (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148428)

I bought Silent Hunter V, which was my introduction to this draconian slavery scheme. So I ditched Ubisoft, and now I don't have to deal with shifting heavy chains around like old Jacob Marley.

Military gamers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148446)

I guess if you're in the military and want to play Ubisoft's games and you happen to be stationed somewhere with a bad/non-existent connection, you can go ahead and fuck yourself.

Re:Military gamers? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148664)

If you're in the military you're a fucking retarded asshole anyway. So go ahead and fuck yourself, sub-human scum.

Re:Military gamers? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37149114)

+1

I'm sick of seeing US soldiers painted as heroes or anything respectable when in fact they took part in (and therefore allowed to happen) a war that has killed 100,000 innocent civilians.
And these deaths were entirely predictable, soldiers should have refused to go there. There's no excuse for helping such a massacre occur.

You're in Iraq, helping the war go on, which will somehow get more innocents killed. And you're just concerned about Ubisoft games not working there...

Re:Military gamers? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148672)

ahh the patriot card. well if you are in the military you are sponging off the general public anyway and you joined up you weren't drafted so if you start bitching well thats what you get for being a dumb ass. instead of playing games why don't you drop and give me 100 for being part of what's bankrupting your country. what exactly the fuck are you doing in afghanistan or iraq?

Logic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148550)

Extra DRM doesn't make pirates buy games. It just makes them put in that much more effort to crack it, and makes it more likely that potential customers turn to pirated copies instead. Forcing you to be online at all to play an offline game just doesn't make any sense, especially given Ubisoft's past issues with this kind of DRM (people being unable to play Assassin's Creed II for days on end, etc.). Plus, some people simply are without internet connections from time to time, like those who have gaming laptops or people with spotty internet connections.

I've yet to see any kind of correlation between DRM and game sales that implies DRM is actually remotely effective.

On a vaguely related note: (1)

bashibazouk (582054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148586)

Anyone play the demo that is currently accessible to the consoles?

I recognize buildings and striped down neighborhoods but this has to be one of the worst recreations of San Francisco in video game history. It just feels completely wrong. The tiered street do not tier at intersections. The streets are ridiculously wide with some strange diamond pattern in the middle. What little of the city available in the demo feels flatter than the real SF. Did any of the developers ever drive in San Francisco? Too bad really, even striped down in size for a video game there are some excellent passages through the city that would be fun to drive in video game form.

I'm on a console, so the DRM thing is accepted, but I won't be buying the game because of the piss poor job they did recreating SF.

Re:On a vaguely related note: (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148650)

Some changes are probably related to gameplay, San Fransisco just isn't made to drive through at 120 MPH; it wouldn't be more frustrating than fun. I suspect the reason it feels so jarring is because they tried to recreate a real place and then tacked the gameplay modification on top wherever they could. I'd think the GTA technique of designing maps that are good for gameplay then making changes to give the look of the city is probably more effective in actually feeling like the real thing.

Re:On a vaguely related note: (1)

bashibazouk (582054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148690)

Or the developers are in the UK and know SF from a map perspective and not a practical driving perspective...

Re:On a vaguely related note: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37148950)

You just want to make a point don't you? Don't like being told that you could be wrong.

Re:On a vaguely related note: (1)

bashibazouk (582054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149496)

Well, considering I have played the demo and have expressed an opinion, "wrong" does not come in to play...

No. I want to drive in a fairly realistic version of San Francisco. Something this game does not provide. "Changes related to gameplay" sounds to me like lazy designers...

Re:On a vaguely related note: (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37150652)

Some changes are probably related to gameplay, San Fransisco just isn't made to drive through at 120 MPH;

If utilized well that could actually make for quite a challenging and interesting gameplay.

It probably was easier to do exactly as you said, the management telling the designers to skip on realism and to try to cater to casual gamers as much as possible, but if the designers were given free reign over the map and quest design the game could've been a total blast.

Re:On a vaguely related note: (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149042)

Did they have to pay SF for using their likeness or did they just pirate a whole city?

Re:On a vaguely related note: (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149414)

They did an absolutely awful job of recreating SF in every previous iteration of the franchise, why would this one be any different?

Re:On a vaguely related note: (1)

bashibazouk (582054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149508)

First one I have ever tried. Glad I did not play the others...

Ubisoft can stop support or go bankrupt (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148612)

It doesn't matter. Ubisoft can stop support for the game or go bankrupt and people that purchased the game will be SOL.

I for one (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148728)

I for one am not going to buy any Ubisoft games for the foreseeable future. Its that simple. Lie to your customers, don't get my business. Not that they have very many games worth buying, for that matter.

Don't buy their stuff. (1)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148788)

Dead simple solution. End of story. Their DRM will no longer affect you. And if enough people boycott them, the problem will go away entirely. Either Ubisoft will back down, or they'll go out of business. Even if that doesn't happen, you'll still be free of their crap.

Still Not Good Enough (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 2 years ago | (#37148916)

That is still not an acceptable solution. If I install and launch a game, and suddenly my firewall is telling me that that game is wanting to phone home, my reaction would immediately be to deny the request and then uninstall the game faster than you can say "Go fuck yourself, Ubisoft". This is why I am a staunch believer in try before you buy. Fortunately in this case, we have already been warned that this game is spyware, so no need to even try it out first. Just give it a pass and find something better to play.

Ubisoft (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149002)

Go choke on your precious DRM, its yet another sale you lost from me.

Re:Ubisoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37149306)

Good,

I go one step further and email ubisoft everytime I see a game I'd like but wont buy because of drm.

I keep track at the bottom of the email of the total list of their games I wont buy.

No wheel... (1)

Trracer (210292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149160)

What broke this game for me was when they announced it wouldn't support steering wheels...
I mean, come on. A driving game with no steering wheel support?

Re:No wheel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37149260)

What broke this game for me was the demo. It looks like 1998 graphics and the gameplay sucks as well. Truly enjoyed the previous titles in this game, but sadly this one won't get another chance.

Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37149248)

Hokai, so we've got what, 30 or so neckbeards saying they won't buy Ubisoft games because of DRM, and no-one, NO-ONE has picked up on the fact that none of these people of basement origin can even run the fucking games under the steaming pile of turd that is Linux anyway?

Maybe if they hadn't lied last time... (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149272)

This might mean something except they said something entirely similar on From Dust. They lied. They're now trying to cover up that lie (unsuccessfully).

Sorry Ubi, you shouldn't use the same lie twice.

Re:Maybe if they hadn't lied last time... (1)

rockman_x_2002 (1791612) | more than 2 years ago | (#37151140)

I'm with you on this. Ubisoft has a history of lying about their DRM and other things, to the point that I don't even believe anything they say anymore, and have lost a great deal of respect for them as a company.

Ubisoft isn't beyond releasing the game with this "DRM on startup only" system, then forcing users to patch the game later in order to keep playing it to a full "must be online always forever until the earth rots" DRM a month hence.

They didn't learn from the Movie/Film Industry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37149462)

When the pirated versions of DVD-rips come with no trailers, warnings or other un-skippable segments, they are more desirable than the actual product. This concept is manifesting here in the games industry too, since it's easier to just download the DRM-cracked version of a game for free than spend money to get a crippled product. Sure, this is mainly a form of justification for people that are already pirating content, but surely there's a lesson to be learned here?

Are there any Ubisoft games out there that have not been cracked yet? I'm just curious why they would choose to continue inconveniencing the people that for their products when the pirates continue to work around everything they try?

This sucks... (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37149580)

I generally like ubisoft games, but after the crap I dealt with trying to play Assassin's Creed 2, there's not a chance in hell I will buy another one with this sort of DRM on it.

Boycott (1)

ProzacPatient (915544) | more than 2 years ago | (#37150250)

I refuse to buy anything from Ubisoft until they remove it completely. At least EA had the good sense to minimize their DRM, and in some cases removing it completely, when their new releases at the time went down in history as the most pirated games ever; more specifically Spore.

UBISHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37150314)

Ubishit games. If you buy them. You deserve anything you get.

And i will laugh at you.

I think i'll start now.

HAHA

So sue them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37151042)

Wouldn't that be considered consumer fraud though? Selling a product based on an advertised value, only to deliver a faulty defunct product? Why hasn't anyone sued?

my copy of FROM DUST works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37151482)

I dunno, the copy of FROM DUST i got from thepiratebay works flawlessly, i just had to use a cracked ubisoft launcher and insert a random number, wow ubisoft good protection there, it took what, 1 day to get it cracked?

Like someone said i pirate your games out of spite and seed them as hard as i can, i must have seeded at least another 3 copies considering the game is 1.4 gigs and i seeded 4 gigs after. Good times ubisoft, eagerly awaiting DRIVER. Oh btw, even if it took longer, i did play and finish assassins creed 2 brotherhood too, nice work there too with your drm.

Crappy internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37151620)

If my internet is down I am most likely going to get bored and want to play a computer game. This would make me want to set the building on fire.

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