ÜberFAIL: Ubisoft DRM

The Ars Technica article, “Ubisoft’s new DRM solution: you have be online to play,” describes the plan Ubisoft has in the works to curb piracy of its games:

the company’s upcoming “solution” to game piracy is much worse than anything we’ve seen in the past. The gist is simple: every time you want to play your game, it has to phone back to Ubisoft before giving you permission to play. No Internet connection? You’re simply out of luck.

Talk about things going the wrong way. This is another example of your having to get the company’s permission to play the game that you paid for. You did the right thing, and you’re the one who’s inconvenienced.

This article reminds me of another from early this month, called, “EA shuts down 25 game servers, including Madden 09.” Electronic Arts maintains the servers that allow on-line multiplayer use of their games. To encourage players to buy the current versions of their EA games, and cut costs, they’ve decided to eliminate on-line play support for 25 of their games, including Madden 09 and NASCAR 09. So one can presume that from now on, any EA game you buy is going to have a lifespan of a single year, at least as far as on-line gaming goes. And that’s true only if you buy it soon after its release. Wait for it to hit the bargain bins and you may not get any on-line play at all!

Should Ubisoft ever pull something like this, the situation will be far worse. You’ll be unable to play the game at all. I wouldn’t put myself in that situation. I know I’d be pissed, and incredibly frustrated because I walked into it knowing what could happen. No thanks.

Read the small print on the software. Games will tell you in clear language that you require Internet access for activation/on-line play/play, and they’ll also tell you that they reserve the right to shut down the gaming servers any time they feel like it. Then put the box back on the shelf and move on.

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One Comment

  1. Shawn
    Posted January 28, 2010 at 07:54 | Permalink

    Remember a few years a go a story in the news where some guy spent a crap load of money to get all the NBA games on video and then they discontinued the DRM they were using and went with a new company, stranding this guy with no way to authenticate what he had purchased. And since it was past the 1 year warranty, the resonse was tuff luck. My rule at home is to NEVER buy something that requires me to go back and by prorietary consumables. That way when the product is discontinued, I can still use it.

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