YOU MANIACS!

By RPS on February 17th, 2010 at 7:30 pm.

Image created by Charlton Gillen

We barely need to say anything here (but we will), as where we’re going we don’t need words. We only need righteous fury. PC Gamer have experienced the controversial new Ubisoft DRM first-hand, in the PC build of Assassin’s Creed 2. We already thought the paranoid new copy protection was pretty bad, requiring as it did an online check everytime you played and giving you a hard time if you tried to launch it offline.

What we didn’t think – what we didn’t believe they’d be mad enough to do – was that it’d kick you out of the game if your net connection dropped for any reason.

Or, as PCG’s Tom Francis rightly observes, even if Ubi’s servers happen to have a funny turn. (A troubling precedent for which has already been set by EA – Alec experienced something similar yesterday, when Bioware/EA’s servers suffering extended maintenance meant all his Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 DLC was deemed unauthorised, which in turn prevented him from loading any savegames which used that DLC. The point being: don’t punish your customers because you’ve screwed up).

Incredibly, the worst is indeed true in Assassin’s Creed 2 – and, it appears, will be for Settlers 7 too. No matter what you’re doing, no matter what the reason, the game will refuse to let you continue playing if it decides you’re not online. You’re dumped right back to a menu, losing any progress made since the last checkpoint. If you don’t have a constant, uninterrupted internet connection, you can’t play. Let’s list some of the reasons you might drop your net connection, shall we? Router crash, ISP problems, cat playing with the cable, microwave muddling your wi-fi connection, train going into a tunnel when you’re on 3G, Windows having a networking befuddlement, someone else in the house torrenting the bandwidth dry…

Incredible. In-cred-i-ble. It’s like someone taking away your food mid-meal because your napkin’s fallen on the floor. It makes us want to pull an expression we’re not physically capable of, like this. It’s also worth noting this is a day on which EA have turned off multiplayer servers for games that are only a year old – so it’s hard to have faith that Ubi’s activation servers will be around for many years hence. Hopefully they wouldn’t turn them off without first releasing an offline mode patch – but, given how unforgiving this system currently is, we’re hardly going to leap to such positive presumptions.

While we’ve not always gone full-pelt protest against excessive DRM, this is open contempt for paying customers, and, quite frankly, it’s the most valid reason yet for PC gamers to call a massed boycott. We’ll certainly be ignoring it with all the passion we can muster.

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809 Comments »

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  1. bhlaab says:

    Are… are ubisoft stupid?

  2. Flameberge says:

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

    Are they actually totally insane? Honestly, us “gamers”, if I must use that term, are totally useless at boycotts, but I agree, some sort of line has been crossed here. This is utter madness, not to mention entirely unfair.

    During my law degree I never really touched this sort of law, as I find it dull as hell, but in no other consumer transaction is this sort of nonsense allowed. Why do we have to put up with it? I’m not sure we ‘have’ to, it would be interesting to see what someone who knows this area of the law properly would make of this.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Seniath says:

    BRB, getting popcorn.

    Oh, this is going to be a doozy.

  4. BoycottLOL says:

    While we’ve not always gone full-pelt protest against excessive DRM, this is open contempt for paying customers, and, quite frankly, it’s the most valid reason yet for PC gamers to call a massed boycott.

    Eh, and we know how those turn out…

  5. LewieP says:

    It’s a good job that this DRM will be unhackable, or everyone would just pirate their games.

  6. Drexer says:

    Dear Ubisoft, please refer yourself to the shape my finger is currently making.

    And to think I was going to buy two copies of AC2. It must be noted that one of them was a gift for my cousin which only gets intermittent web access, so this was just a stupidly big decision by Ubisoft.

  7. Tom says:

    I just can’t believe it. Who on earth thought this was a good idea?
    I’m gonna torrent the nuts off this one, then whip up a quick vid with fraps and post it in Ubi’s forums with a big Thanks For The Free Game!

    • subversus says:

      I think that some game code might be running on their servers. So it could be not as easy as it seems.

    • Tom says:

      I’ve no doubt someone will figure out a way around it.

  8. jsutcliffe says:

    I was afraid of this. No Assassin’s Creed 2 for me then, which is a shame as I’d really been looking forward to it. I could always get it for 360, but that’s still rewarding Ubisoft for this utterly back-asswards approach to DRM. I appreciate the need to counter piracy, but this isn’t the way to do it.

    I love this idea of it kicking you back to your last checkpoint whenever your Internet connection dies. At peak times, my Internet connection can drop for a while every 5-10 minutes. Fun!

  9. Twyst says:

    Wow. That is a huge pain in the ass. I thought it was bad when i couldnt play Mass Effect 2 the night i bought it because the servers were down!

  10. Novotny says:

    I’m all for an organised total boycott of ubisoft releases. We simply should not accept this.

  11. Legionary says:

    They don’t care about boycotts. It suits their agenda just fine. These companies don’t want sucess, they want failure because failure justifies their decisions.

    Nobody’s buying their game? It’s because everyone’s pirating it! Pirates are killing the PC games industry. They need to tighten their DRM in response to the threat.

    These companies will drive themselves out of the PC market. It’s a loss for all involved, but it can’t be stopped. They’re in a cycle of cause and effect. Remember how the music industry stabbed itself in the face and is still struggling to right the situation they themselves caused.

    I don’t have much patience for DRM arguments. What will be will be.

    • itchyeyes says:

      Remember how the music industry stabbed itself in the face and is still struggling to right the situation they themselves caused.

      That’s what makes this all the more frustrating to us watching from the sidelines. This has all already happened before with the music industry, and the results of this kind of reaction are plain for anyone to see. The fact that not just the games industry, but the film and publishing industries are so keen to follow down that same path is incomprehensible to me.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Legionary

      It is almost as though this were a ploy to increase piracy rates to the point where they could simply justify pulling off the platform entirely, isn’t it?

    • Nalano says:

      I shed no tears for the music industry, because I am not beholden to the music industry for the simple reason that the music industry is not music itself. I shed no tears for games companies that shoot themselves in the foot like this, because their DRM is not the only place they have stuck it to their customers.

      They like to demonize their audience for making that “no pirating ever happens, but if pirating does happen it’s your fault, and if you try and stop us we’ll pirate your game on principle” justification, as if they are catering to an unpleasable base, but it’s primarily that unpleasable base that gave them all their money in the first place.

      People do what works best for them. Pirating is a direct response to high prices coupled with mediocre content. Napster was the logical response to the MTV generation of $18 albums of manufactured artists’ dreck. Bittorrent is the logical response to C&C3.

      The companies continue to make an antagonistic stance with their consumer base because they cannot admit fault for their short-sighted business practices. If they wish to succeed, they will have to give their audience a reason to want to support them again. Apple did that with iTunes. Valve did that with Steam.

      Anything less is suicide, and a stupid, pointless suicide at that.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Pirating is a direct response to high prices coupled with mediocre content.

      Mmm, no, piracy is a direct response to people’s desire to get shit for free.

      If the quality of said shit was poor enough that they did not, in fact, want it, they wouldn’t pirate it. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. It’s a terrible thing to do, for eachother and for the industry, not some high-minded campaign for liberal thought.

    • Nalano says:

      Then it’s funny how music is still being produced, considering just how many pirates are still out there, Lilliput King. It’s funny how games are still being produced, despite a full decade of online pirating.

      I’ve pirated a lot of games, for various reasons: Because they didn’t produce shareware or demos and the reviewers are all in their pocket. Because I lost my original manual with the serial number. Because the CD got scratched. Because the CD check took a full three minutes. Because SecuROM bluescreened my computer after finding CD burning software. Because the average game price went up 50% but my income didn’t.

      I’ve also bought a lot of games, for various reasons: Because it got legitimate acclaim from gamers. Because the price went down. Because it was easier to buy than pirate. Because I wanted to see that company succeed.

      Money is not an insurmountable obstacle. People will spend money not to go through flaming hoops. That said, if the flaming hoops are hotter after having spent that money, then any rational person is going to go and say, “hey, only people who spent money on this game have to suffer the nonsense of these activation servers when there’s a Day 0 hack already out to loop the request back to yourself.” And pirating wins again.

      Edit: It’s really just a simple logical conclusion to the parameters: “Nothing today is worth what they’re charging, but I still want to play games.”

    • Theory says:

      It’s unwise to project your own personality onto the population at large, Nalano.

    • Nalano says:

      I’ve only worked in the music industry for eight years, Theory.

      Paying 60 bucks for a seven hour game is the same as paying 18 bucks for only one good song is the same as paying 20 bucks for an Adam Sandler movie. You can’t help but feel that you just got robbed.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Paying 60 bucks for a seven hour game is the same as paying 18 bucks for only one good song is the same as paying 20 bucks for an Adam Sandler movie. You can’t help but feel that you just got robbed.

      That’s by the by. Something being not worth the asking price doesn’t morally justify trying to get it for free.

      It just doesn’t.

      Incidentally, saying “Well why is the music industry is still here, guy!?” is ridiculous. Something can be harmful to the industry without utterly destroying it. Do you think otherwise?

      It doesn’t matter if you do, because it’s beside the point. Many of your reasons for pirating a game are fair, though I’m not sure we can really count it as piracy if you already own the game concerned. But I find it astonishing how you can justify pirating a game on the grounds that it was too expensive. If you can’t afford it, just don’t get it. Getting it for free without the owner’s consent (carefully avoiding ‘stealing’ here) – how can that be right?

      Again, Nalano. It just isn’t.

    • XerxesQados says:

      Getting it for free without the owner’s consent (carefully avoiding ’stealing’ here) – how can that be right?

      If it rains in the desert, the guys selling water are shit out of luck. That’s life.

      The Internet has caused it to rain information. Music, movies, books, and, yes, games, are all, when you get down to it, information. They used to require physical products to transport, and thus the publishers, distributors, and retailers could all reasonably expect to control their proliferation.

      But physical products are irrelevant now; as technology has progressed, any artist, musician, filmmaker, game developer, or corporate representative thereof cannot expect control over their work’s distribution. It is a delusion on par with believing that the Sun revolves around the Earth. (A belief that, analogously, was illegal to disagree with for a period of time after it was disproven)

      It is not immoral to have zero patience for a delusional person or group of people. Perhaps you’re a good Samaritan if you try to educate them, but there is no logical or moral reason to indulge them in their deluded fantasies.

      Furthermore, publishers are in a business. In business, if the market reality changes, you change your business model to compensate for it or you die. It’s that simple.

    • Nalano says:

      What Xerxes said, Lilliput.

      The product (or “license” bullshit they propagate) isn’t worth the price they’re charging. There is insufficient desire for the product at the price listed, but alternatives abound. Filesharing’s easier than CD-swapping, but the principle is still there.

      The music industry as it was – the CD album format with a single’s worth of content – was a cabal. That cabal was broken once people found a viable alternative. The music industry’s inability to adapt is not the consumer’s fault. You can’t go on saying how it’s the consumer’s fault the businessman failed to realize just how untenable his business model was, like it’s our job to line his pockets.

      Many people have pointed out that it’s still very much a viable industry. iTunes took over and is beating out pirates not for price (and not by DRM) but by service. Steam is beating out pirates by service. We buy water in bottles, Lilliput King. Water is the single most common product in this world, and clean water is as simple as boiling it. Yet people spend a dollar a quart on it, because it’s convenient.

      We now have the cheapest, most powerful information system in the world. That’s a revolutionary boon for anyone willing to cash in on its convenience, and lo and behold those people are succeeding. Stop blaming the pirates, Lilliput, and start seeing the industry for what it is.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I’m not mourning the death of the publishers. Times are changing, and they need to keep up if they want to survive. You both make that point elegantly. I’m not, in actual fact, ‘blaming the pirates,’ either.

      But they aren’t our champions. Like Wulf further down in the post, you seem to be saying that people pirate because the product isn’t worth the asking price, but the evidence (90% piracy rate on WoG, almost nothing on consoles) suggests people pirate because it’s easy. Publishers need to combat this by providing a better service, or by making piracy almost impossible. Both ways have been proven to work. One way we will like. The other, we will not.

      Piracy is still morally unjustifiable. Publishers need to shape up and protect themselves because people do morally unjustifiable things. But we won’t necessarily end up in the best of all possible worlds as a result of the whole affair, and as such, we really shouldn’t cuddle up to pirates. They don’t have our best interests at heart.

  12. Psychopomp says:

    And pirates won’t have to deal with that bullshit!

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    Lim-Dul says:

    Ha, ha – and yet again the ones that will be “profiting” from this DRM the most will be software pirates. I bet the protection will be cracked before the game is even officially released. Customers will have to suffer while the DRM will do exactly nothing to prevent piracy – perhaps even raise it. When will publishers understand that the simplest and least troublesome DRM solution is ALWAYS the best one if you have to have DRM at all. People who don’t want to buy your game won’t buy it no matter what and will know where to find cracks – a simple system might just discourage the few guys in the “grey zone” – anything beyond that is madness.
    Retarded things like that make me side with StarDock a lot more even if it leads to Demigod-like fiascos from time to time.

  14. wiper says:

    There are no words.

  15. gryffinp says:

    Jesus. Now I feel bad for getting Assassins’ Creed 2 for Christmas and playing it on my little brother’s PS3.

    Nice job Ubisoft, you have made me so appalled that I regret having already played your game. I don’t care that that’s an illogical response, I just hate this so much.

  16. Smurfy says:

    Golly, this “Francis Tom” character sure knows his stuff!

  17. PurpleSteve says:

    EA are getting worse as each release passes. Oh, and if the servers are anywhere near as bad as they are on Skate 2 (360) then get ready for a LOT of disconnections.

  18. CC says:

    Hahaha, I wonder how many times it’ll be illegally downloaded? I bet it will be the most pirated game ever.

  19. itchyeyes says:

    I’m at a loss for words. Have we really reached this point? In a way, I sympathize with producers. I really do. There are large amounts of people out there using their product without paying for it, and there’s literally nothing they can do about it. That’s got to be a terrifying to them.

    But this? This is not the solution to their problems. The games still get put on the torrent sites, and anyone interested in pirating them still can. If anything it compounds the problem by making illegitimate copies of their game even more appealing to people who would otherwise have been quite willing to buy it.

    Whatever kind of twisted logic that is leading us down this path needs to be snuffed out, and fast.

  20. Spyglass says:

    Its hard to believe a game company like ubi could take it so far…..whats next, your going to have to play with one of the game developers behind your right ear? This deserves a boycott for sure.

  21. standardman says:

    PIRATE OUR GAME PLEASE.

  22. Sobric says:

    Is this even legal?

    What if I bought a copy of AC2, then if/when their server/my internet went down and my game stopped working, I were to promptly sue Ubisoft?

    This seems like a huge blow to consumer rights, never mind PC gaming in general.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Consumers don’t have rights.

      Not legally, anyways. Otherwise this would be illegal.

      I boycotted Modern Warfare 2 (to the point I haven’t even watched the infamous Russian airport level) and shall be doing the same for any Ubisoft product.

      To be fair, I didn’t care so much about Assassin’s Creed 1 and I can’t even think of any game they make I’d want otherwise.

    • Flameberge says:

      Um, consumers do have legal rights…
      To know exactly what they are, if any, in this circumstance, would require a solicitor with far better knowledge of the various Sale of Goods and Provisions of Services acts, along with knowledge of other stautues like the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, as well as how that all interelated with Copyright and intellectual property law, than I have managed to glean from 3 years of undergraduate lawyer-ing.

    • Nathan says:

      Digital consumer rights are a hideously complex thing largely uncodified under traditional consumer rights laws and virtually unexplored in case law. So it might be legal… but it might not.
      Ubisoft would certainly claim that they sold the game whilst making it clear on the box that an active internet connection is required for online play (presuming that this is the case, but I can’t imagine they’d miss that out) and therefore the product was sold as described.

  23. skizelo says:

    Goddamnit, I was looking forward to Beyond Good & Evil 2.

  24. medwards says:

    I’m not saying these events vindicate internet nerd rage on DRM, but I think the crowd that normally shat on people who are angry over the every increasing intrusiveness of digital locks should maybe take a step back and consider that they were kind of being dicks too.

  25. Drakkheim says:

    Damnit! I was really looking forward to Settlers!…

  26. Jimbo says:

    The Ubisoft end of it will be emulated about 0.0000005 seconds after release. Pointless.

  27. Bogie says:

    Well i’m in the military and serving on a ship with no net connection for my gaming laptop. So there is another no buy for me. I’ll have to download the cracked version so I can play it.

    How retarded are these people?

    Nothing like shooting yourself in the foot.

    UBISOFT you can poke it I will not buy a game from you while you condone this crap.

  28. WilPal says:

    This calls for the word “ludicrous” to be used.

    Alas, thats ludicrous!

  29. Vinraith says:

    Thanks for keeping a fire under this one, RPS. It’s completely unacceptable, and the only way there’s even a slim chance of Ubi coming around to reason is if the gaming press gets after them about this and makes it an issue. They’re impervious to all the customer howling in the world as long as they can console themselves that most customers don’t know/care about their little scheme, but the further the word about this insanity is spread the weaker that position becomes.

    It’s a damn shame I won’t get to play Assassin’s Creed 2 because of this idiocy, though.

    • Clovis says:

      The boatloads of XBox 360 and PS3 copies provide them with plenty of console-ation, hurr hurr.

  30. MadMatty says:

    thats pretty bad.

    anyways the only game i might be wanting to get is Beyond Good and Evil 2- and why is the assassin white as a snowflake?

  31. You Be Soft! says:

    Hrm. Will their future games offered through Steam also do this shit?

    Was looking forward to Splinter Cell and Beyond Good & Evil sequel (if there ever is one)…not anymore.

  32. Mistah J says:

    Commence laceration of multiple female canines.
    There’s a reason offline mode (however half-assed) is incorporated into even Steam with all it’s Community “goodness”.

  33. l1ddl3monkey says:

    THANKS, I INTEND TO.

    Disappointed as my console type buddies tell me Ass Creed Eye Eye is the game the first one could have been and I was kind of wanting to play it.

    I do have an X Box, but I’m not buying this (or anything else by Ubi) on principle now.

  34. Awesome Robot says:

    The solution is simple.
    1) Don’t buy the game

    2) Rate the game 1 star on Amazon and explain why the DRM means this game is unplayable offline and is therefore broken.

    3) Don’t pirate the game, or any other game. I know some people will tell you the opposite, and I agree that this just encourages piracy, but pirating the game will just make things worse. Don’t punish everyone who worked on the game, it’s not their fault. Just boycott the game until they release a patch that fixes the DRM issue.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      @awesome robot

      Easy, tiger. People who post reviews of things that don’t own or haven’t experienced break the usefulness of customer reviews.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Jsutcliffe

      I understand the sentiment, but in cases like this I disagree. The copy protection in this case represents a serious playability issue. Potential customers (who don’t read game press sites) need to be informed of those problems before they make a purchase. I shouldn’t have to buy the game to be able to tell people the game is broken. I already know the game is broken, Ubisoft told me so and I think they’re a reliable source on the matter.

    • Eggy says:

      Then UBI picks and chooses their statistics. If everyone pirates the game, they simply howl that piracy is running rampant and their DRM is necessary. If people refrain from pirating the game in order to try to reverse the process, they claim that their new DRM is working and was therefore justified.

      Either way, we’re fucked.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      @vinraith

      But you’re still not reviewing the product. You’re reviewing something you believe to be true about the product. I don’t think customer reviews are the correct venue for spreading that information.

    • Flameberge says:

      @jsutcliffe

      I would have to respectfully disagree with you there. One would be reviewing the product: The DRM is an inescapable, and therefore inherent ‘feature’ of the game. It is therefore part of ‘the product’ being marketed to consumers – most of whom will not be the, how should I say, ‘enlightened’ individuals who post here, or on the PC Gamer forums – that consumers need to be aware of. No one else is going to tell middle aged Mrs. Smith that the new-fangled PC game she is buying for her nephew will not work unless he has constant internet connection.

      Furthermore, stating what “you believe to be true about a game” essentially defines a review, surely. No review is actually the simple stating of ‘facts’, and in many ways, reviewing a game on amazon, to let purchasers know what they are getting in to is closer to being a factual statement than a subjective value judgment on the quality of the gameplay mechanics. It is rather the further condemnation of the DRM (Ha! Should be called Digital Rights Deprivation), that is a subjective opinion, and hence proper review of a feature of the product, and therefore is entirely valid as a review, in my humble opinion.

    • MWoody says:

      Awesome Robot, I don’t know if you are indeed a mechanical being, but you are indeed worthy of awe. Well said.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      On the topic of giving the game low ratings on Amazon as a response:
      It’s a matter of experience. If you’ve not experienced something, what makes you think your opinion is accurate?
      I have never been to the Grand Canyon. I understand it’s pretty sweet though. Am I qualified to write a review of what it’s like? I have been to canyons that are reputedly prettier and more impressive than the Grand Canyon. However, I don’t feel like I can say that they are a better destination.
      I haven’t tried the Ubisoft DRM scheme, but I understand it’s a pain in the ass. Am I qualified to write a review of it? I have been subjected to other invasive DRM schemes that are reputedly less obnoxious than the Ubisoft DRM. However, I don’t feel like I can say that the Ubisoft thing is worse unless I experience it myself.
      I understand your basic point — how is nice Mr. Anderson going to know little Jane’s game might not work for her? — and I also understand that the Amazon reviews are a convenient location to let Cpt. Mr. Anderson know about potential issues, but there is the potential to mis-state the facts or exaggerate them or just be plain wrong if you have not had first-hand experience of the DRM and are relying on hearsay. That helps nobody.

  35. The Diddler says:

    >We only need righteous fury

    I’m a born and raised Catholic, I’m full of self-righteous fury

  36. Smurfy says:

    EA went through all of this years ago with The Great Spore Shitstorm of 2008. After that they released their games sans DRM on Steam and released deactivation tools – wasn’t perfect but it was better than the relentless public uproar that preceded it.

    Ubisoft clearly didn’t watch and learn so now they too are going to have to be tied to a lamppost and raped until they learn their lesson.

    • kromagg says:

      Dude, Dragon Age (an EA game) and Mass Effect 2 (an EA game) BOTH require you to be online to play. Unless you don’t want any of the DLC including the one that is shipped with the game. So uhm, EA didn’t learn shit.

    • Half says:

      ME2 requires a single online authentication, not permanent internet connection to install DLC, which is fairly reasonable considering it is downloadable content.

      Dragon Age allowed you to play in offline mode as well, after a single online authentication.

  37. Premium User Badge

    HermitUK says:

    It boggles the mind that noone who worked on this ever realised how staggeringly stupid this is.

  38. Jerome Koehler says:

    This is just totally insane. I promised I would boycott any and all Ubisoft games once this crap is released and it looks like I will be following through. What in the world where they thinking?

  39. Velvet Fist, Iron Glove says:

    I guess I’ll be giving Assassin’s Creed II a miss then.

    Or rather, I’ll just wait until it’s out on GOG in 5 years time. ;)

  40. TCM says:

    Ordinarily, I see people exagerrating how bad DRM is. Usually, it’s not as bad as they think.

    This is that bad. Maybe worse.

    This is indefensible, inexcusably, excrutiatingly terrible. My god, this may actually convince me to side with the pirates.

    And that’s terrible.

    • Dominic White says:

      “Ordinarily, I see people exagerrating how bad DRM is. Usually, it’s not as bad as they think.

      This is that bad. Maybe worse.”

      So true. I’m in the same boat – most of the complaints about DRM really are wildly exaggerated, but what Ubisoft are rolling out here is an abomination. Not even sealed-box consoles like the 360 and PS3 kick you out of the game if your connection falters.

      As others have said, the only way I’d consider buying any Ubisoft game on PC in the forseeable future is if there’s a confirmed working crack out for it. My connection is still fairly stable where I’m living now (although it still drops once or twice a week), but my last home in Wales had a seriously wonky ADSL line where you’d likely just lose all connection 2-3 times a day, sometimes for extended periods of time.

      This DRM, plus that line = Unplayable. game. I really do feel for anyone in that boat right now.

      Fuck you, Ubisoft. Fuck you.

  41. PaulMode7 says:

    I think that if Ubisoft want to adopt an anti-piracy scheme that is this controversial, they HAVE to position it somewhere within the slalom poles of sanity.

    I thought this (from the original RPS post)…

    They also explain that if your connection drops while playing, the game will pause while it tries to reconnect, and then will apparently allow you to carry on without the internet.

    …was an enormous get-out clause for them; probably the most vital part of the whole thing.

    If that’s truly gone then they should be congratulated on devising a system that alienates even those who sympathise with what they’re trying to do in principle.

  42. JohnH says:

    So basically they’re saying they want us to crack their games? /sigh

    This is beyond stupid honestly!

  43. Rakysh says:

    I wasn’t intending to get it at all, but I’m seriously tempted to thieve it now. Not to play, or anything unprincipled like that, just so I can say that I too was a soldier in the Great DRM War of ’10.

  44. Fatrat says:

    This is so funny. When it’s cracked (in no time at all, as usual, i’m sure) by pirate groups, they will find a way around this. So anyone who downloads the game will have zero problems with the DRM, the only ones affected will be the customers.

    Are these people really THAT out of touch with the world, don’t they realise and learn that this is how it happens? Every. Single. Time.

    The only thing that will be selling well will be eye patches, parrots and wooden legs… then they’ll blame piracy (yet again) for the reason PC titles sell badly, and stop releasing games on the format. Joy!

  45. CloakRaider says:

    Grab a seat folks, the next few releases are going to be a FUN RIDE

  46. Clovis says:

    inb4 Ubisoft yields to all this “pressure” and only has the game phone home every 30 minutes and we all suddenly find that acceptable …

    • Gnasher says:

      Quote : “inb4 Ubisoft yields to all this “pressure” and only has the game phone home every 30 minutes and we all suddenly find that acceptable …”

      Exactly… Make the DRM absurd at launch, wait for the uproar, and then reduce the restrictiveness to make it seem like you’re complying with consumer demand (when all you’ve really done is set the DRM to the level that you originally intended, and put a good PR spin on it all.)

  47. Crusoe says:

    Games that carry this – and am I to understand it’s all future Ubisoft titles – should be marked down in all reviews. I personally will never purchase a game that uses the ‘always online’ rule. Ever.

    I had no idea this scheme was just around the corner. Honestly, it makes me want to weep.

    • Sonicgoo says:

      @Crusoe

      Since this particular article was posted by ‘RPS’, I’m also wondering whether this will mean that if they review it (chances are at least one of them will), they will take this into account. After all, it is a ‘feature’ of the game. Though I’m sure the Dave Tossers amongst the gaming journalists will keep rolling out the 9s and 10s anyway…

    • tomz says:

      They should have to create an elaborate server to parse the save game data for each game released. Ubisoft has the resources and documentation to do this easily, but attempts from outside groups are suddenly a lot harder.
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  48. Jocho says:

    Sounds like I won’t buy that game after all. A shame, I kind of looked forward to it.

    Don’t think a shouted boycot would help, but.. boycot?