By John Walker on July 18th, 2008 at 12:26 pm.
Piracy, as we are so frequently told, is wrong. Apparently it funds child abuse and terrorism (by means they’re not quite ready to explain just yet). It’s a serious business folks. Which makes it a bit odd when Ubisoft get spotted apparently doing it.
People who bought Rainbow Six Vegas 2 via Direct2Drive were having a bit of a problem with the 1.02 version of the game, with it refusing to install. So Ubisoft or Direct2Drive released a v1.03 patch to fix it. Unfortunately for them, canny people took a closer look at the solution in place.
So what happened? Well, to ensure that players no longer needed the CD to play, the iniative was taken to use a No-CD crack. For those unfamiliar with the seedy underworld of piratic evil, a No-CD crack is an illegal patch that when installed means a game will run without the CD in the drive. This means you can then do such horrifically despicable things, like lend the game to your friend. (Or worse, play a game you’ve bought without having to find the disc every time). But, see, the problem here is Ubisoft didn’t botch their own No-CD fix, but rather, er, one was borrowed from cracking group, Reloaded.
So, in short, Ubisoft or Direct2Drive took a bit of a silly shortcut, and nicked an illegal crack and put it in their code. Which raises the question: is this an official endorsement of No-CD cracking? Or is it their belief that since the game is theirs, and these people illegally created code to manipulate it, they believed it morally theirs to take? Or is this piracy of piracy? While it’s a little unlikely that Reloaded will be suing Ubisoft for the theft of their intellectual property, it’s slightly amusing that this is essentially what has happened.
The discussion thread on the Ubi forums has now been locked, with a closing comment from UK Community Manager, Ubi.Vigil:
I’d say this discussion has run its course, as such it is now locked.
The file was removed from the site over a week ago now and the matter is being thoroughly investigated by senior tech support managers here at Ubisoft.
Needless to say we do not support or condone copy protection circumvention methods like this and this particular incident is in direct conflict with Ubisoft’s policies.