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Thanks to DRM, Some Ubisoft Games Won't Work Next Week

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the how-about-a-nice-game-of-chess dept.

DRM 332

hypnosec writes "Several of Ubisoft's biggest titles won't be playable as of next week thanks to a server move by the publisher and the restrictive DRM that was used in their development. This isn't just multiplayer either. Because Ubisoft thought it would be a smart plan to use always on DRM for even the single player portion of games like Assassin's Creed, even the single player portion of that title won't be playable during the server move. Some of the other games affected by this move will be Tom Clancy's HAWX 2, Might & Magic: Heroes 6 and The Settlers 7. The Mac games that will be broken during this period are Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell Conviction and The Settlers. This move was announced this week as part of a community letter, with Ubisoft describing how the data servers for many of the publisher's online services would be migrated from third party facilities to a new location starting on the 7th February. The publisher didn't reveal how long the transfer would take."

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Thanks to DRM, I stole your FIRST POST (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916251)

How does this make you feel?

Re:Thanks to DRM, I stole your FIRST POST (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916489)

How does this make you feel?

Is this Eliza?

>

Re:Thanks to DRM, I stole your FIRST POST (3, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916805)

Meta-x psychoanalyze-slashdotter

Re:Thanks to DRM, I stole your FIRST POST (4, Funny)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916707)

Gooooooood, especially when i look and i dont see any Ubisoft games on my shelf.

Re:Thanks to DRM, I stole your FIRST POST (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916791)

How does this make you feel?

Smug. DRM is why I stopped buying computer games a long time ago (I do miss the gaming scene sometimes). Yes, piracy costs sales -- they say DRM is for piracy, and DRM has cost them hundreds of dollars they would have gotten from me had they not treated me like the thieves they are. I'm sure I'm not the only one who refuses to buy anything that has less functionality than if I'd pirated it.

Stupid, stupid corporations.

Re:Thanks to DRM, I stole your FIRST POST (5, Insightful)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916933)

I hope someone ambushes the convoy and destroys their servers. The backlash from "lol sorry your DRM games are broken forever" would be the most hilarious ever in the history of DRM.

I Must Be Missing Something Here (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916285)

  1. Install software at new site.
  2. Test software at new site.
  3. Lock writes and edits to old database.
  4. Dump old database.
  5. Migrate old database to new site and populate.
  6. Switch DNS or whatever directs traffic to point at new site.

That should be a matter of minutes and since I would guess this is largely just a reading and verifying service, there shouldn't even be an interruption for game validation. There are other strategies to employ if that database dump takes a long time but nothing that should require an unknown downtime.

Uh, I do this stuff with two-bit websites that I don't even make a profit on. What the hell is money monger Ubisoft doing?

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (-1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916307)

Wow..your ignorance is monumental.. Try working in a real environment rather then 2 bit web sites.

"Switch DNS or whatever directs traffic to point at new site.
or whatever? Go learn something, then try to participate in the discussion.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916399)

It doesn't matter what mechanism Unisoft use.
The technology is available today to make the impact of this change be no longer than it takes BGP to converge on the internet if they move the IP addresses with them... or around the duration of a TTL expiry for a DNS record.

There is NO reason why it has to be any longer ..

If it is a REAL environment it should be obvious.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (5, Insightful)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916885)

It doesn't matter what mechanism Unisoft use.
The technology is available today to make the impact of this change be no longer than it takes BGP to converge on the internet if they move the IP addresses with them... or around the duration of a TTL expiry for a DNS record.

There is NO reason why it has to be any longer ..

No there is a reason. UBISOFT DOESN'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (5, Informative)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916413)

No, this is exactly how it is done. I work with some of the largest data centers in the world (not on the scale of Google or Facebook, but close behind it), and the only difficulty with scale is that moving the data takes a whole lot more planning. Especially if you're planning to keep writing to the old db for almost the entire time of the move. It took us a while, but we now move massive data clusters between geographically disparate data centers in what appears to be a 5 minute window. The reality on the backend is of course very different - but that's the point. Our customers don't give a rat's ass about how difficult the move is - all they care about is that they're paying us to make that problem go away. And therefore, we do.

What Ubisoft essentially did was the cheapest, dumbest way of moving a data center: switch of the database(s), replicate for a few days, start it back up.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (2)

cpaalman (696554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916549)

you mean like adjusting the TTL for the DNS records that you know you will be changing, well in advance of the day of the change?

Lesson Learned.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (3, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916559)

The procedure is reasonably accurate. Although to further minimize downtime, you dump your pre-move database while things are still running, keep the remote site up with replication, and don't write-lock it until you've switched your DNS (you've been dropping the TTL over the last couple days leading up to the move, right?) and put a static "site moving, refresh in a minute" page up on the old site. Obviously too simple for something of Facebook scale, but it worked quite well for a site with a handful of servers.

Of course, Ubi's setup for DRM servers will likely be wildly different than a bunch of web servers and a couple of DBs. I imagine a bunch of open connections with almost no data flowing over them

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (2)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916595)

"Switch DNS or whatever directs traffic to point at new site.
or whatever? Go learn something, then try to participate in the discussion.

I'm no DNS savant but I do understand how to temporarily change my records' TTL values to something like say, 5 minutes. Is that what you were referring to?

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916609)

Leave the ubisoft employee alone, he's right, in real enviornments everything is such a hack job that they probably forgot which computer the darned thing is running on.... that or its some ellaborate plan by the techies (who could do a seemless move if they wanted....) to cause an inernet outcry forcing their opporessive bosses to give up on DRM less they face another outlash!

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (2)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916681)

You realize pointing sites at a particular DNS set and using forwards to load-balance is a commonly used scheme don't you? And you do realize there are caching services that handle front end connections while the actual database servers or application servers lie behind them - you know like how Slashdot uses Varnish?

"or whatever" is about as accurate as you get unless you want to list out pages upon pages of different traffic handling schemes that only have DNS pointing at front-line servers.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916315)

You are missing the "give a crap about your customer step" that you take before all that other stuff automatically, and ubisoft does not.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916447)

Are you kidding?

This is the basic problem with DRM. It treats every customer as if they were a criminal.

Pirated game: always works.
Non-pirated game: customers suffer through shit like this.

And the companies wonder why things like no-CD cracks have been rampant basically forever? I mean fuck, we wound up hand-rewriting the stupid "black text on dark fucking red" sheets from games like Zak McCracken in the old days, and it wasn't a question of piracy, it was just so we didn't have to stand under a 300W floodlight to read the goddamn sheet!

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (0)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916683)

Pirated game: always works.
Non-pirated game: customers suffer through shit like this.

Ah, thanks. I'm not a gamer, but I was wondering why some clever geek hasn't just fired up snort to see what their server's saying to the game, then built a 'bot that interacted in the same way with it locally.

It's just easier to dl the cracked version than to go to the trouble of building a workaround for the non-pirated version. I guess it should have been obvious. Carry on.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916899)

If they (Ubisoft) were smart the handshake would be signing a date stamped random nuance (and probably the cd-key).

Client has Ubisoft public key, so they can verify the signature.

So, umm, if you can "build a 'bot" then go for it.

Easier to hack the client to have the the verification function always return true.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916945)

I'm not a gamer, but I was wondering why some clever geek hasn't just fired up snort to see what their server's saying to the game, then built a 'bot that interacted in the same way with it locally.

The same thing that prevents some clever geek from just firing up snort to see what your bank's server is saying to your browser, and building a bot that interacted with it in the same way locally.

I have no idea if they've actually done it properly, but public key cryptography can be used to prevent exactly the attack you described.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916491)

The whole point is that they dont think they have customers. They have thieves who have been thwarted.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (5, Insightful)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916337)

That would require duplicate hardware at the new site. It's hard to convince people to shell out, even when their pockets are deep.

The real question is why you need DRM on a game (or anything else) that's been purchased outright. And a related question, why do you need an Internet connection to play a single player game?

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (4, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916479)

One could always split existing hardware between a couple of sites if there's enough duplicate equipment, and suffer moderate outages instead of full-blown darkness, then once the switchover has happened, move the rest.

Or set up a virtual network between the two banks of hardware at different physical locations, and switch the traffic routing and whatever other addressing is necessary, and once the new location is up and working and backfeeding the old location, then down the old location and move the rest...

But I agree, it's stupid to use DRM for a purchased game, especially beyond initial activation at the time of installation. If I remember correctly, the id folks intentionally removed DRM once they'd sold enough copies of their software, and actually credited piracy with increasing the popularity of their games to the point that they became a known force...

I guess I look at piracy differently. Sure, there are some people who would have bought a product that now won't, but there are lots and lots of people who end up with pirated copies of something that never would have purchased it in the first place, or never would have purchased it at a price that the seller is willing to sell it for. One cannot count those kinds of pirates as lost sales, since there never would have been a sale. There is a third case though, where someone pirates something and exposes their associates to it, who then go out and buy it because it appeals to them.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916971)

This piracy thing must be a completely different experience for some people that others.

In the world I live in there are two very different categories of things: those that I have and those I do not. There is no in-between state where I have something but for some reason I still do not have completely.

So, if I have a pirated game then I have it. Period. I do not need to run out and purchase it for any reason. If it is a poor copy and partly unusable, then the pirating job was done poorly and there must be a better copy. Under no circumstances do I - or anyone I know - feel such overwhelming guilt that having a pirated game, music, book or movie I want to go out and pay for it. Such things are for the guilt-ridden who shouldn't be pirating stuff to begin with.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916527)

So you combine it with a server upgrade and sell the "value added" to management. Although in that scenario you don't even need to mention the move, it's just a minor detail that the new server is in a different location. On the other hand, getting management to understand that DRM is a bad idea is a lost cause.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (5, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916891)

MS is guilty of this dumb move early on. Back when optical mice where the new item, I bought a MS optical mouse for a system I was building on my coffee table. In the software installation, the optical mouse driver hung up the install looking for an Internet connection to register the software. I was like WTF and returned the mouse as defective and unable to function on a stand alone system.

Not everyone who plays stand alone games are connected with an always on connection. Many locations are still on dial up. Multiple machines mean many are not connected while waiting for the phone line. Tying up the phone line for hours is not an option either.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (5, Insightful)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916355)

Not hiring you, apparently. In seriousness, it is a very good question. I've done similar things not just for sites that don't make any money, but for sites that just sink more money than they ever have hope to make. Ubisoft is just showing a prime example of their incompetence here.

oh and since it's probably oblig: Guess who this move affects the least? the pirates.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (1)

codemonkey2011 (2563911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916363)

I agree, but there must be something involved with the whole game-server thing that we don't know about; maybe legit copies of the game have a hidden crypto key that must be transferred?

they don't want to pay for X2 the hardware / backu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916575)

they don't want to pay for X2 the hardware / backup hardware.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916697)

What you are describing (fully parallel hardware) is fine if the budget is unlimited.

I suspect UbiSoft isn't running their servers as the primary source of revenue and the budget for this migration is very limited. So limited that they aren't duplicating the hardware but physically tearing it down in one location and moving it to a new location. Not very nice, but it if you can't afford to replace 100% of the hardware it is what you are looking at doing.

It is nice to work with a huge operation where the external-facing server farm is the primary revenue source for the company and the budget for such a migration is unlimited. But, not everyone gets to work like that.

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916715)

this involves spending money to support games that have already been sold

the smart way is to turn off the servers
load into truck
move to new DC
unload
rack them
turn on and change configs

sure people can't play the game but the revenue is ours already. not like they can return it

Re:I Must Be Missing Something Here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916829)

That should be a matter of minutes and since I would guess this is largely just a reading and verifying service, there shouldn't even be an interruption for game validation.

You clearly have no experience with anything beyond "two-bit" websites.

Please keep quiet, your lack of knowledge is disturbing and gives professional sysadmins a bad name when you feed non-tech people such drivel.

You get what you pay for (5, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916297)

Complaints about this will NEVER MATTER until it impacts the bottom line.

STOP BUYING UBI GAMES.

Unless and until publishers see a recognizable impact on their sales that they can attribute to repressive DRM, they won't stop.

And remember, a lot of these guys BELIEVE the bullshit line about every pirated game is a "lost sale" so the negative impact of DRM would have to be a pretty massive number.

Re:You get what you pay for (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916327)

I WRITE random WORDS in caps SO I can YELL LOUDER for no apparent REASON

Re:You get what you pay for (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916749)

I suffer FROM eTourettes you INSENSITIVE CLOD .

Re:You get what you pay for (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916367)

This is what I did - across all platforms for games whose PC release contains this particular DRM. Actually, it's been surprisingly easy. Despite consuming games at a voracious pace (see my various journal posts etc), it's been quite striking how few of the Ubisoft franchises I actually care about. There have been times I've been vaguely irritated to be missing the Assassin's Creed sequels, which do look interesting (better than the first one, which I played on PS3 before the DRM plans were known), but even there... there's no shortage of alternatives.

I did buy one game by accident which included an "always online" DRM requirement - Command & Conquer 4. It wasn't made particularly clear when you bought the thing and, with it not being an Ubisoft game, I assumed it wouldn't be pulling a stunt like that. Ultimately, though, the best form of copy protection that C&C4 had was the fact that it was so utterly shit that nobody would want to play it (and I say that as somebody who liked C&C3).

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916565)

I did buy one game by accident...

Is that like tripping and 'falling into a lifeboat [cbsnews.com] '?

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916393)

You aren't wrong and I haven't and won't buy their games that have this DRM in it. The problem is they will just blame the low sales on piracy and not on the fact that they are making a bad product people don't want. They just won't get it.

But hey maybe that means they'll get out of the PC games business which maybe wouldn't be a bad thing. They can leave it to people that understand the PC business better.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916587)

Ubisoft have already stopped releasing some games on the PC, because of "piracy". Ubisoft Blames Piracy For Non-Release of PC Game [slashdot.org] . I rejoiced when I read that, because it means maybe Ubisoft will stop making their shitty games on the PC anymore and nearly tricking me into buying them (almost bought Anno 2070 until I noticed the Ubisoft publisher. Well, and the TAGES protection, but I noticed and decided not to buy it after seeing the publisher first.)

Ubisoft just doesn't get it. When you make crappy games with crappy DRM protection, of course people will pirate it instead of buying. It just isn't worth paying when you get less for doing so.

Re:You get what you pay for (2)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916467)

I already have. When I'm browsing steam these days, a EA or Ubi logo means I instantly go back and look for something better.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916473)

Complaints about this will NEVER MATTER until it impacts the bottom line.

STOP BUYING UBI GAMES.

Unless and until publishers see a recognizable impact on their sales that they can attribute to repressive DRM, they won't stop.

And remember, a lot of these guys BELIEVE the bullshit line about every pirated game is a "lost sale" so the negative impact of DRM would have to be a pretty massive number.

Sadly, and I speak from experience, if you don't have some DRM your game will be pirated and you will make zilch. But it doesn't have to be repressive and a good fundamental system design, how to validate users, hand out certificates, etc. could have been done very easily. Sounds like they hired some stupid system people or contracted it out to some stupid system designers. Even Microsoft handles this sort of thing better with software install/registration, and if they can get it right, with their empires within empires company structure, there's no reason UBI shouldn't be able to.

Re:You get what you pay for (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916709)

But if you do have DRM your games will *still* be pirated. I have yet to encounter even one piece of single-player DRM for games that defeated the pirates - it only takes one cracker, and their work will be all over the p2p networks in hours. Multiplayer is a different story, yes - you can use things like requiring unique serials then that really do bother the pirates - but single player? No, DRM is useless. Might buy a couple of days.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916935)

But if you do have DRM your games will *still* be pirated. I have yet to encounter even one piece of single-player DRM for games that defeated the pirates - it only takes one cracker, and their work will be all over the p2p networks in hours. Multiplayer is a different story, yes - you can use things like requiring unique serials then that really do bother the pirates - but single player? No, DRM is useless. Might buy a couple of days.

Cracking hand-written security is easy. Have an application create algorythms and your cracker will be spending a life-time trying to weed through the code

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

rioki (1328185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916979)

What good does your DRM do when it is software that can be altered? You know, patch a few NOP statements over your if statement. Unless it is multiplayer and your don't hand out the server (see how good that works) you have no real leverage with DRM. The only thing you are preventing is some guy installing his copy on 2 PCs. But if they really want to do that they will get a crack for that anyway. I see zero gains in adding DRM. If you don't sell your game it is purely because your price/value ratio is not adequate, reducing the value by adding DRM will not net you money.

Re:You get what you pay for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916573)

If this is news to you, a good place to start your new relationship with UBI is to observe "Return UBI Games Week", which is next week.

Re:You get what you pay for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916659)

Not a boycott;
I keep wondering it a class action lawsuit would be a better way to deal with a company that is obviously breaking the fair use law in the US. And between the US and maybe the European Union that is the bulk of the market. If you can find a good legal argument then it really does not cost that much from the clients point of view to pursue this, you just need to convince a law firm to go after them for their 30-40% of the settlement.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916793)

I have always avoided any game with an external dependency. You don't need the latest games, There are tons of older games that are DRM free and cheap (check out "good old games".

But that may come with age, I am perfectly happy only playing old games, but if you are young, and your friends have bought into glitzy add campaign, and are playing HotDRMGameX, you may also feel the need to play HotDRMGameX.

So, sadly, I think the younger generation will supply the game industry with the DRM captive audience they want, and there will be no real way to impact the DRM juggernaut taking control of future games.

Re:You get what you pay for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916831)

Great idea, except they will then attribute the loss of sales to piracy, build in more DRM and lobby for more draconian piracy laws.

Stop buying their games and enabling them (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916299)

You can

Re:Stop buying their games and enabling them (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916373)

You can

Right.

The next time I get a pile of their games with some piece of video hardware, motherboard, USB cable, guitar pick, can of condensed chicken fat or sack of kitty litter, I'll not install it.

Re:Stop buying their games and enabling them (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916553)

AC is right, you can. I don't have any ubisoft games not even free ones from video cards. Now that you mention it I haven't gotten a free/demo game from a video card in probably 10 years.

Re:Stop buying their games and enabling them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916561)

I don't install that garbage. I'd rather download the regular retail copy with the crack so I don't get affected by this BS.

The bundled game might look good enough to download in a few minutes over my 50 Mbps uncapped link. I did 2.8 TB last month. Netflix, and all, ya know.

I just... (5, Insightful)

trunicated (1272370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916317)

There's just so much wrong with this... it's amazing...

  • They're locking users out of game they have paid for
  • They're unable to move a set of servers without preventing downtime for customer facing attributes
  • They're completely oblivious to the reasons why these are bad things

It just leaves me completely flabbergasted. I can't imagine this entire process coming to this point without someone, somewhere in the decision process saying "Who gives a shit what they think? Just do whatever's cheapest right now"

Re:I just... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916407)

There's just so much wrong with this... it's amazing...

  • They're locking users out of game they have paid for
  • They're unable to move a set of servers without preventing downtime for customer facing attributes
  • They're completely oblivious to the reasons why these are bad things

It just leaves me completely flabbergasted. I can't imagine this entire process coming to this point without someone, somewhere in the decision process saying "Who gives a shit what they think? Just do whatever's cheapest right now"

The obvious gaffe is in the design - how they validate/deliver certificates, could have been done better.

Re:I just... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916487)

There's just so much wrong with this... it's amazing...

  • They're locking users out of game they have paid for
  • They're unable to move a set of servers without preventing downtime for customer facing attributes
  • They're completely oblivious to the reasons why these are bad things

Yes. They are completely oblivious to the reasons why these are bad things. Their entire concept of good and bad is a currency value flowing into the company, and people keep buying their games in enough quantities to justify their position as a world-class AAA publisher/developer. The hookers and blow keep on a-comin', and they see nothing wrong with that.

I don't see how you're flabbergasted at all. It seems trivially simple to me.

Re:I just... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916585)

The hookers and blow keep on a-comin', and they see nothing wrong with that.

So with any luck, their dealer and/or pimp will be trying to play Splinter Cell next week, and cut Ubisoft off in their rage at being unable to play!

Re:I just... (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916613)

I can't imagine this entire process coming to this point without someone, somewhere in the decision process saying "Who gives a shit what they think? Just do whatever's cheapest right now"

I think that about sums up Ubisoft's entire attitude towards video games.

Re:I just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916825)

They know what they are doing. In reality, they will be suffering zero consequences from doing this, other than maybe a couple cookie cutter complaints, and this can be addressed by taking down forums either overtly, doing mass deletions and bannings, or as an "unscheduled maintenance" type of item.

People not buying their stuff won't buy it anyway. The people who do buy Ubisoft games will continue to do so, and the DRM server outage will be completely and utterly forgotten about in a few weeks.

Total FAIL (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916323)

Failure in implementation of DRM, failure in how to build the DR portion of the datacenter, failure on how to do the transition, failure on how to provide some measure of compensation for intentionally breaking your customers' games.

Hello Ubisoft. Meet Sony. They'll show you around my shitlist.

Yarr! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916329)

I don't understand. I seem to be unaffected by this.

Now, on t' more pressin' matters. Where did I put that bottle o' rum?

Reward the pirates (5, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916343)

Since their DRM is ineffective at actually stopping pirates, here we have the perfect example of "defective by design". Anybody with a DRM-cracked pirated version will not have any disruption. Nice job, Ubi.

I get heated over this kind of thing every time I pop in a DVD from Netflix. They send you discs without any special features that are loaded with up to 15 minutes of unskippable advertisements and previews. If I had just downloaded the move, I could jump right in. I am willing to pay, but I see nothing but disincentives to do so! Fools.

DRM works (5, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916423)

First I stopped buying.
Then I stopped pirating.
Then I stopped caring.

Re:Reward the pirates (4, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916557)

I get heated over this kind of thing every time I pop in a DVD from Netflix. They send you discs without any special features that are loaded with up to 15 minutes of unskippable advertisements and previews. If I had just downloaded the move, I could jump right in. I am willing to pay, but I see nothing but disincentives to do so! Fools.

If you popped the DVD into a Linux system and used one of the Linux players, then you could skip all of that stuff since they ignore the "unskippable" bit.

It's still illegal, since it depends on the DeCSS code for breaking the encryption (fuck you DMCA). Morally, though, it's perfectly fine.

Does Netflix streaming service do that? I have only limited experience with it, when a friend used his account to stream movies to the Wii that another friend had brought, and I don't recall any ads unskippable or otherwise.

Re:Reward the pirates (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916737)

Last I checked, streaming doesn't contain ads. However, the newest releases can't be found there.

Re:Reward the pirates (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916727)

They send you discs without any special features that are loaded with up to 15 minutes of unskippable advertisements and previews.

That's to get you to buy your own DVD of the movie from Amazon instead of renting one from Netflix.

Re:Reward the pirates (2)

Technician (215283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916983)

They send you discs without any special features that are loaded with up to 15 minutes of unskippable advertisements and previews.

Have you tried playing it on GeexBox? I use that for any DVD with a malfunction in the menu.

I put the movie in and it plays.. What a concept. If I want a menu and extras, I can bring up the menu.

Needless to say, it isn't blessed by the DVD consortium.

Poor System Architecture (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916349)

This is news?

Next thing you'll be telling us Credit Suisse has bad data ...

oh, wait.

Far Cry 3 (5, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916371)

I really want to buy Far Cry 3. Chances are however I will not be. Because Ubisoft is no doubt going to put their "always on" DRM on it. This article is the exact reason that that is unacceptable to me. So, Ubisoft can go about all they want championing how they're "putting it to those evil pirates" (roll-eyes) but in the mean-time they are losing out on me, yes, the person who wants the game but isn't going to submit to their idiocy. So, I lose because: no executive with a testosterone problem is going to back-off and admit he has shit for brains. And the cycle continues.

And as Gabe Newell so succinctly put it: Piracy is a Service Problem [escapistmagazine.com] . So what's Ubisoft doing? Creating more value in the pirated versions. Way to go guys, golf-clap.

Re:Far Cry 3 (3, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916477)

Buy it used and then crack it? You get the game, Ubi doesn't get a new sale, and you don't have to deal with the DRM.

Re:Far Cry 3 (3, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916761)

It's not a case of "damage to be routed around": unless the unthinkable happens and Ubisoft does a 180 I'm not buying it in any way, shape, or manner - or going to pirate it either. I have plenty else to play and I don't want to have anything to do it until they smarten-up.

Put it another way: the extreme Ubisoft is taking makes me feel dirty by having anything to do with it so I won't.

Re:Far Cry 3 (1)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916959)

If Ubisoft, the company that made/publishes it, isn't getting any money from it...why even buy it in the first place?

Re:Far Cry 3 (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916859)

I think it's great, in a roundabout way. Now you have $50-60 to spend on something else. Go take a look around Steam's indie games. Support the little guys. Some of them are amazingly good, better than most of what companies like Ubisoft put out.

Ubisoft forgets one key thing: no one has to put up with their shit on the PC. On the console, while there are quite a few indie games, if you want a "good" (well, some of them are pretty fun anyways) game that you can spend 10-20 hours on, chances are you need to buy from a big-name company, because only they can afford the licensing and distribution costs. On the PC, I personally have spent 20+ hours in Terraria and know people who have spent hundreds. I have no need to buy from Ubisoft, even though, like you, I might have bought Far Cry 3. But I simply don't need to. There are so many other options out there.

Dont worry. Ubisoft has great technical support (5, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916379)

that fixes those things before they become an issue. they even have their own trendy name :

razor1911

class action lawsuit time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916395)

.. to compensate peiple for the lost value of not being able to play the games they legally purchased through no fault of their own?

Re:class action lawsuit time? (-1, Flamebait)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916497)

Someone should also compensate your mother for the child she wishes she had.

Boo hoo, you can't play some old games for a week (-1, Troll)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916425)

Maybe you can spend that week looking for a job, crybabies.

Re:Boo hoo, you can't play some old games for a we (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916499)

I have a job, a family, a home and when I have a break from taking care of all these I want to be able to play games I bought.

I don't want to hear, too bad you have free time now because you are not allowed to play for the next couple of weeks, hope you have some free time again.

Re:Boo hoo, you can't play some old games for a we (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916505)

Why? I can enjoy getting my mediocre CS degree and living on my parents tits instead.

Re:Boo hoo, you can't play some old games for a we (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916653)

Two hatefull comments from you in a row and plenty more in your post history.
Have you got some personal situation you'd like to share with the group?

"Delivering better uptime"? (4, Insightful)

daveewart (66895) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916457)

You can "deliver better uptime" by not using DRM in the first place. Voila, 100% 'uptime' with no infrastructure required.

You wouldn't steal... (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916469)

You wouldn't buy a new car that you had to call the dealer for permission every time you wanted to go for a drive.

You wouldn't buy a handbag that you had to ask the clerk to open for you every time you wanted to take money out.

You wouldn't buy a TV if you had to wait for permission from Time Warner just to watch the commercials.

So why buy DRM?

Brought to you by the Media Consumer Association of America.

Re:You wouldn't steal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916663)

Just download the DRM-free car! That's what I did!

Re:You wouldn't steal... (3, Insightful)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916821)

And they wonder why I won't buy Diablo III.

not competent (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916501)

Obviously not competent in how to move servers. But whether this is a case of bottom of the barrel IT employees, or idiot executives badly micromanaging (or both) is unclear. They can let us know which it is, if they know how to login to Slashdot (which I doubt).

Re:not competent (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916691)

Or they did a cost analysis of the situation and figured that it wasn't worth it to do it without downtime. And they'd probably be right, they probably won't loose any money on it.

Might & Magic 6 - seriously failgame (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916513)

* The single-player campaign is available in both online and offline mode (of course! Anything else would be outrageous!)
* However, if you ever lose connection in online mode, you're kicked out.
* Oh, and did I mention that in this overhead map strategy game, where a single map usually takes hours, campaign saves from "offline mode" are not compatible with "online mode" and you must effectively restart the game? LOL YOU CAN OF COURSE PLAY OFFLINE AT ANY TIM.. no, gtfo.
* And that a core component of the campaign mode are "Dynasty Items", "Dynasty Heroes" and "Dynasty Bonuses" which are unlocked during campaign mode and become persistent across games - except that they only work in online mode?
* So the story will make frequent references to wielding the Sword of Legendary Dragonslaying except that you have no such thing in your inventory and will never have it or any other uber-item because you decided like a chump to start in offline mode in case you were worried about losing connection while playing.

And that's aside from any other of the numerous gameplay issues and servers being down. A lobotomy of a game.

And of course (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916515)

You know the pirates won't be shut out by this server move. Remind me again why DRM is good and accepted?

A Novel Idea : GET A LIFE! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916517)

If not playing a silly kids game has you so riled up, you need to grow up and get a life.

No worries (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916563)

No worries; I'm sure there's a downloadable bugfix to repair these broken games.
Assuming your country hasn't blocked those websites yet.

If I were ubisoft, I'd patch it out and ditch srvr (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916583)

This seems like a waste of time and money. None of these are new games. Take a step of good faith towards your paying customers and patch the fucking drm out you assholes.

They're getting to all of you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916623)

I've noticed that people on this site have started referring to users who have cracked software/downloaded movies as "pirates". Is that even a viable term for the demographic in question?

Re:They're getting to all of you (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916785)

From my understanding, the term was first used in relation to copyright a long time ago and was intended to be insulting - but since then, those pirates have adopted the term as their own and see no shame in it. Many of them deliberatly take naval piracy as a theme inspiration and adopt the associated symbols, as The Pirate Bay does. So, viable or not, it seems to be a term both sides can agree on.

Small Claims Court (5, Interesting)

i8a4re (594587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916695)

Everyone who can't play a game during this move should take Ubisoft to small claims court. Lawyers are not allowed in small claims court, so this is an advantage for you. Just claim the value of the game as damages and the cost to file the claim. If Ubisoft doesn't make an appearance, you win by default. If they show up and you lose, you still caused them to lose far more money than they got from you for buying their game. If you win and they fail to pay your claim, you can put a lien on them or have an equivalent value of their property seized.

pointless and stupid (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916701)

First, the drm was broken just about instantly by the pirates. So this is at BEST pointless.

Second, if you're going to set up systems like this then you have to be committed to a strategy of NOT having the systems drop... EVER. I mean, if you have them drop for five minutes at 2 am on a Sunday... then that's excusable. But a whole god damn week? If you can't do better then you have no business setting up a system like that.

Basic rule of security is that if the hacker gets physical control of the code you're basically boned. The only way to protect yourself is to not give up bigger portions of the game code. Too much to be reasonably emulated. That way... best case... it ACTUALLY works. That will mean more robust servers and bandwidth to process whatever is being offloaded. Doubtless that's a cost benefit issue... do the curve and get as close as is economically possible.

Another option might be releasing games exclusively over some system like OnLive which retains the game effectively in the cloud and it never gets on the user's machine at all. A system like that should make hacking a game difficult.

HOMM 6 DRM FREE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916723)

http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6739165

I don't have UBIsoft (1)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38916771)

And generally this is why. I don't buy defective, faulty, or badly designed products and nor should you.

I do have sympathy with people over piracy, but creating the above in answer to it isn't tolerable.

And the lesson is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916835)

Don't buy Ubisoft games!!!!! Problem solved..

Ubi is a lost cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916843)

If we protest their DRM by not buying there games, they'll assume the lost sales are due to piracy, which they'll respond to with even more draconian DRM.

Mac App Store (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38916949)

Apple's terms of services for the MAS explicitly forbid any kind of extra DRM except the Apple provided receipts (which your app should check on startup). So, if you downloaded assassins creed from the MAS and it stops working, it will be interesting to see what the consequences are.

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