Has Ubi’s DRM Been Cracked Already?

By John Walker on March 4th, 2010 at 11:55 am.

Stealthy

Edit: we are informed by an anonymous tipster that the DRM is indeed removed. Apparently the 1.1 patch released by Ubi today was cracked within minutes.

The rumours are circulating that Ubisoft’s new draconian always-online DRM has been cracked only one day after the release of Silent Hunter V. At this point we cannot verify if this is true, but the reports are that it is already possible to play the game without connecting to Ubisoft’s servers, storing save games locally. While Ubisoft never claimed that their DRM was impenetrable, it was possible to infer they had long-term hopes for the system.

If this proves to be true this is clearly a huge blow to Ubisoft, bt certainly not one that they weren’t loudly warned about. It highlights the most serious problem with increasingly prohibitive copyright protection: you inevitably end up only further punishing your paying customer base.

If Ubi’s system is now irrelevant to pirates, then the consequences of the DRM are now that only those who pay for their game will suffer from the game refusing to play when your internet’s down, or when away from a reliable signal. Those who illegally download the game will be the only ones who do not have their privacy invaded every time they play. This is incredibly serious.

We are looking forward to when Ubisoft backs down and removes this DRM so we can enjoy their games again.

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327 Comments »

  1. Dave says:

    It was never about piracy though was it? It’s about killing the second-hand trade. The DRM is just hung on the piracy band-wagon and the death of second-hand is an unfortunate side effect that means they can’t be held responsible for breaking the First Sale Doctrine.

  2. Seniath says:

    They (Ubi) have put out a statement on the matter; http://www.edge-online.com/news/ubisoft-no-drm-crack. Not cracked, apparently.

    Allegedly.

    So they say.

    • Haywire says:

      and i had such high hopes. still, could be damage control as it states “their version is not complete” not that it isnt cracked.

    • meeper says:

      It’s pretty easy to release a crippled version of their game on torrents simply to imply that it’s unhackable.

    • Hypocee says:

      Well, of course it isn’t complete; it lacks, for example, Ubi’s awesome server-based savegame backup system!

    • l1ddl3monkey says:

      Well it certainly appears to be legit (not that I’m using it) but you can find enough forums full of Warez kiddies who are apparently using it with no problems.

      I just realised that I stopped using Ubi games when Rainbow 6 Vegas made me wait for a fuck-off massive patch to be downloaded so it could advertise the launch of The Kingdom on DVD on billboards plastered all over Vegas (prior to that I think it was Axe deodorant; the US branding for what we Blighty’s call Lynx – which is more aptly named as most of it makes you smell like a large cat has pissed on you).

      Evil Turr’ist Killing War Porn and deodorant chiefly marketed at 12-18 year olds? Is that what you think I’m buying games for now? How about you fuck right off, Ubi?

    • Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

      Sure, Ubisoft. Why don’t be even more vague about it, I’m sure people will start believing you then.

      What a farce this is turning out to be. If only this whole debacle would end in heads rolling in the upper echelons of the industry. Sadly, nothing of the sort will happen.

      As a sidenote, can someone in the know check this out? I’m not on Usenet or on the right IRC-channels, but someone reading here is bound to be.

  3. rocketman71 says:

    Good.

    Now if only they recognized what a failure they are and removed this POS with a patch, I *MIGHT* buy again from them.

    Sadly, they’ll say piracy is bad and also the cause for all those people not buying (because of the DRM, doh), and will roll 2.0 of their POS DRM which will be even worse and drive even more customers away.

  4. chaosgasket says:

    This is the same thing that happens with every DRM. The pirated version always ends up removing the irritating restrictions that the publisher adds in and the only people who suffer are those who pay for the game. Which doesn’t make piracy right but sure does make DRM wrong.

  5. Clovis says:

    We are looking forward to when Ubisoft backs down and removes this DRM so we can enjoy their games again.

    And, luckily, someone has already written the “patch” for them!

  6. Demon Beaver says:

    They already nudged a bit, with their latest patch for AC2 (yes, patched way before release…). Now your gameplay will restore from exactly where you were cut off by the internet, instead of the last checkpoint. It doesn’t make it any better, but I’m sure they’ll get rid of the whole tirade soon… what a waste of money, I hope the stockholders will give them hell for it.

    http://www.ubi.com/US/Games/Info.aspx?pId=7731&tab=download&dcId=63

    • meeper says:

      That’s a pretty big deal — if they’re storing the game state locally between sessions in the case of interrupted connection, then that’s a vector for a possible hack.

  7. robrob says:

    “We are looking forward to when Ubisoft backs down and removes this DRM so we can enjoy their games again.”

    The lack of DRM still won’t make AssCreed 2 enjoyable.

  8. tapanister says:

    Silent Hunter is already out on numerous torrent sites, cracked and ready to play. Ubisoft decided the best course of action was… To actually save the game after a player disconnects at the exact point they disconnected instead of throwing them back to the last checkpoint. I’m not even kidding, this is what the jackasses did.

    I mean, personally, I’ve never played (neither bought nor pirated) a ubisoft game in the last 10 years or so, so I really don’t give an F. But still, their idiocy is astounding.

  9. fuggles says:

    Interestingly there is a game on the PSP called SOCO Firestorm Bravo 3, or some such, which comes with a one shot activation code that you register to get your game online. However, should you not have a code because you have say bought it second hand or torrented it, then you can pay $20 to get a new one generated by Sony.

    In relation to the Ubisoft statement:

    ““Please know that this rumor is false and while a pirated version may seem to be complete at start up, any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version will find that their version is not complete.”

    Why of course it’s not, you don’t have the DRM or the experience of not being able to play your game when the server crashes.

  10. MrBRAD! says:

    …and down they fall.

  11. Gap Gen says:

    I wonder whether by considering the time it took music executives to realise that their DRM policy was ruinously stupid, we can work out when game and film executives will realise the same thing and stop hurting their own businesses. Since DRM was removed from most online music, I haven’t bought a single physical CD that I could buy via mp3. Before, I wouldn’t touch iTunes with a shit-covered barge pole.

    Sure, selling information online is a tricky business, but it would help if the industry’s upper echelons was at all clued in on what they were actually selling. I think this is one of the biggest arguments against the current model of business – it doesn’t punish the incompetent nearly enough in many cases.

  12. Sarlix says:

    ‘Uhm’ linked to this earlier and in another post, it seems fairly conclusive.

    http://www.infoaddict.com/ubisofts-new-drm-cracked-in-under-25-hours

  13. Ffitz says:

    Let’s hope so. This is an incredibly stupid idea and one that only guarantees to sabotage everything it aims to achieve.

    Personally, I’m simply going to avoid buying Ubi games until this has gone. It’s a shame because I was really excited about SH5, and AC2. But really, they’re just games, and it’s Ubi’s loss.

    I do have to say that when I first read this, my reaction was along the lines of “excellent, I can buy the game and download the crack”. On reflection, I’m not going to do this because a) buying the game sends the signal to UbiSoft that I’m prepared to be treated like dirt, and b) I don’t trust that cracks et al. won’t introduce nasties onto my PC.

    Option c) of just pirating it was never on my list, because I believe in paying those who make things that interest me, whether it’s books, games, music or films.

    • Sarlix says:

      1 Buy it from Ebay then it won’t count as a sale for Ubi

      2 There are sites that make sure cracks are virus free etc before publishing.

    • Ffitz says:

      I’m not going to ebay it, because I’d like to give Ubisoft my money for Sh5. I’d like the devs who did all the hard work on it to get paid.

      Onviously I’m not going to, while this insane system stays in place.

    • bill says:

      developers should really all put up paypal donation buttons on their website. ;-)

  14. Spatula says:

    ubisoft PO-DRM = Fail.

    Morons, utter morons. I was actually looking forward to Silent hunter, no way in satan’s ice skulpting classes will i be buying it now.

    I will simply not buy anything with DRM like this- or anything with limited activations.

  15. Turin Turambar says:

    Nope, still not.

  16. Melf_Himself says:

    ““You have probably seen rumors on the web that Assassin’s Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 have been cracked,” Ubisoft told us in a statement this morning.

    “Please know that this rumor is false and while a pirated version may seem to be complete at start up, any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version will find that their version is not complete.””

    Lol? They just confirmed for us that the torrents that are doing the rounds actually work. Usually I just assume that if it’s not legit, it’s several GB of granny porn. Now I know different and will download immediately, thanks Ubi!

  17. Tei says:

    The piracy groups are predictible to the extreme. If you want something to be cracked before the dinner, label it “unhackable” or raise the awaresness of such protection.

    On the other hand, copyright protections are temporal. You are supposed to give to the society your intelectual production after a number of years. If you put meassures that block that, you are cheating, and I doubt you sould be protected by the law. These people say that will release a patch once the product become public domain, but is all lies, we all know by the time something enters public domain, theres not way to contact the owners of the product, since the original company has disbanded. Ubisoft is “abusing” the law to cheat society, killing rights like first hand doctrine, and the whole reason copyright has a protection.

    Google is tryiing to with the idea “opt-out copyright”, I will copy all stuff available, If you don’t want to, tell me it. Of course, some people is angry, but If you are angry, you can contact Google and “opt-out”, only people dead will be “abused”, but the notion that dead people sould be protected is dumb.

    Ultimatelly is the Hackers that have the control of the Information Technology and (sadly) the ones that understand the nature of information. Everyone else seems playing in the digital world with the old analogical rules. Putting round block in square holes. :-/

  18. DollarOfReactivity says:

    I feel like, as a more hardcore sim, SH has a dedicated fanbase that will be particularly vocal about their unhappiness with the new Ubisoft DRM. I can only hope that as the vangaurd of their new DRM scheme that cracks, bad press, and unhappy series fans will help Ubi change their minds on this going forward.

    Unfortunately I assume the people making that decision are so far above the development houses that we’ll have to wait for bad quarterly reports or year-end reviews before this really gets their attention.

  19. Clovis says:

    I’m actually quite surprised about this. If you have the requirement of a constant internet connection then there are all kinds of things Ubi could have done to make this system extremely hard to crack: bits of game code held server-side, encrypted bits of whatnot, etc. They must have known there would be a terrible outcry against this. So why did they do it if the DRM wasn’t even that strong??

    • DollarOfReactivity says:

      One thought would be that the programmers just didn’t try that hard; they would realize what a difficult task it would be to make it super-secure (meaning it takes just a little longer to crack).

      Or more realistically, Ubi has some guess of how the pirated game market is broken up. There are hardcore pirates who will pirate your game no matter how difficult. But then there is some segment of “casual” pirates who will do it if it is easy and fairly seamless (including not breaking DLC, introducing instabilities). Maybe they think this will dissuade the casuals, and that’s a big enough group.

      Plus, this is just super-DRM version 1. They see the response and they adapt.

    • Boldoran says:

      I don’t think thats how it works. The Cracker groups are out for “respect”. They will try to release a cracked Version of the game that is playable out of the box.

      There is not really a hardcore pirate only a hardcore cracker. The pirates just have to wait for the cracked version to be handed out.

  20. Wichtel says:

    I think that there was never a case where so many people were informed about a pirated version of a game. :D

  21. The Diddler says:

    Problem, UBI Soft ?!

    *smirk*

  22. DRM is fail says:

    Not only is the original release cracked, but also the 1.1 Update.

    This is not a rumour.

    Their (Ubi) spin is not that it isn’t cracked. It is that it’s “not complete”, as was I believe the spin for Spore and Sims 3.
    “any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version will find that their version is not complete”
    Well yes. Obviously the “feature” of saving in a cloud and having to be online is removed.
    Man, the pirates sure are going to curse when they find out they are missing THAT feature!

    Propaganda and lies.
    Obviously they are simply trying to scramble to prevent everyone from realizing their giant self-rape ploy has worked perfectly, and their whole “Anti-piracy, pro-consumer feature” lie has been exposed as what it is, a sophisticated way of scaring off customers while not even briefly pausing the piracy juggernaut.

    I say let them go broke NOW. Lies, damned lies and videotape.

  23. Ginger Yellow says:

    “I could never believe that Ubisoft had any hope of their DRM remaining uncracked for very long. That’s why I can’t see why they went to all the trouble to aggravate people by implementing it if it was mainly for piracy.”

    If I remember correctly, the comparison made in the PC Gamer follow up interview was that some games’ DRMs had held up for several weeks. Ubisoft implied strongly that they would be satisfied with that result, although obviously they hoped if it lasted longer. It does seem that publishers’ main concern is with Day Zero piracy, and then first week piracy, which does make some sense – after all, those are much more likely to be lost sales than people pirating long after release. Of course, that doesn’t justify what Ubisoft did to their legitimate customers , and the DRM’s apparent failure makes that even more obvious.

  24. Nimic says:

    “We are looking forward to when Ubisoft backs down and removes this DRM so we can enjoy their games again. ”

    And I’m looking forward to the day I sprout wings and fly. And I’m not a religious person.

  25. Adam says:

    It’s not even a complicated crackfix:

    1. Unpack release
    2. Mount image or burn it
    3. Install
    4. Copy the content from the SKIDROW folder on the DVD to your installation directory and overwrite
    5. Play the game
    Additinal Notes:
    Don’t install/use Ubisoft launcher, or simply block any connection to internet. Install game and copy crack, it’s that simple!
    Support the companies, which software you actually enjoy!

    from Silent.Hunter.5.Battle.of.the.Atlantic-SKIDROW

    I said it previously in the BioShock2 release, where pirates were playing the game a week before EU/UK users could. Now it’s the same for this release, and Ubi are living in a dreamworld if they think their game is uncrackable.

  26. tssk says:

    Fat lot of good it’s going to do me though. If I buy a Ubi game (and no I’m not going to crack it) I’m going to abide by their conditions.

    And in this case…the conditions are too onerous. I won’t buy the game. Or yarr it.

    They can p*iss up a rope as far as I’m concerned. I’ll play games by their competitors by companies who treat me as a valued paying customer.

    • Torgen says:

      The problem is, Ubi is the *only* one putting out naval sims, and any potential backer of another dev house is only going to look at the retail numbers, not the reasons for them.

  27. itsallcrap says:

    Why doesn’t CliffyB chip in on RPS DRM debates anymore? I miss seeing him insisting that it was only fair that gaming experiences be ruined in the vain hope of reducing piracy and then being called an idiot by everyone.

    Ah, happy days…

    • jarvoll says:

      Because he abandoned the PC to make mediocre, power-fantasy-filled, testosterone-poisoned trash on children’s toys. He has no business on a PC blog any more, and I for one don’t miss him.

    • arqueturus says:

      I think you’re referring to Cliffski of Gratuitous Space Battles fame. To my knowledge, CliffyB has never replied on here.

      Cliffksi does chip in now and then but I’m sure he’s sick of debating with cock-ends and/or he’s too busy with making excellent games with no DRM at all.

  28. terry says:

    So Ubi’s implementation was to blame – the game was feature complete a week or so before the DRM was hamhandedly shoehorned in at the last minute, necessitating only a minor fix to bypass entirely. I daresay future games will have some sort of nasty FADE-type stuff or checksumming going on, but meantime it looks like the grand test case ended up exactly the way Ubisoft wanted – cracked within a couple of days, proving their point neatly. Exit PC platform with heads held high (up own asses). PC gamers spawn of satan, moral imperative to concentrate on consoles, blah blah blah.

    I can only hope that the implementation was deliberately shoddy as a sort of passive resistance to this idiotic scheme, but knowing Ubi’s level of “polish”, chances are good it was just incompetence.

  29. faelnor says:

    Good, the games are out. Now, dear journalists, do what you have to do with the review scores.

    • Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

      Agreed. This is a golden opportunity to show the world some backbone. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure all the games using this ridiculous DRM will get acceptable scores from pretty much every major site. The only ones who will be vocal are the guys whose voices are already drowned in the littered world that is gaming journalism.

  30. sfury says:

    Inconceivable!!! o_O

    /s

  31. Meat Circus says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    etc.

  32. Ashen says:

    As far as SH5 is concerned, it’s fully cracked and works without a hitch.

    AC2, not so much yet. A russian version has leaked and it’s been partially cracked, but isn’t working completely. It’s not an “official” release yet.

  33. Eamo says:

    Since the game did nothing except constantly poll the server before quitting of course it can be easily hacked. All Ubisoft have to do is make it so that some vital part of the game logic can only be done serverside and this problem goes away completely. This could be as simple as only storing all in-game text on the server though that could, eventually, be brute forced and a fake server constructed. Go a couple of small steps further though and store not only the game text but calculate how characters will react serverside and suddenly it is very very hard to remove the DRM.

    It is the oldest rule of network design, you never trust the client. As long as the client doesn’t need the server then the server is redundant. If however the game sitting on your PC is incomplete with some vital game logic or content stored serverside then it becomes pretty much impossible to hack the game.

  34. Out Reach says:

    I loled hard.

    But i doubt Ubisoft will ever admit it was a mistake. It’s going to go down screaming and on fire, thinking its awesome to the very end.

    (but if it does admit it was a mistake, I’d be very pleasantly surprised and might go buy one of their games)

  35. toni says:

    sorry for all bold, there’s no edit-function ;(

  36. squirrel says:

    I read from Wikipedia that Half-Life 2 is the first single player game to implement online activation requirement. With this commercial success it’s not surprising other game publishers would follow suit…… until EA got burnt in 2007. The correction taken by EA in the following years to remove such nasty DRM then restores confidence to me that EA actually really cares about PC gaming market, not intending to kill it off.

    While UBI removed DRM for Far Cry 2, I was mistaken that they learnt, and it turned out UBI didnt……

    • cheal says:

      And Half Life 2 was the first game where I argued against DRM of this sort for any singleplayer game. It’s a ridiculous concept.

    • Gorgeras says:

      The important thing is that Valve didn’t use the DRM on Half-Life 2 to stop pirates; much of HL2 had already been leaked. They made a good service out of it eventually. Steam titles are not uncrackable; what they do is provide excellent value for legitimate customers.

      Steam is different because of a very subtle emphasis that Ubisoft made a transparent token gesture towards with the talk of ‘oh it’s a benefit because of cloud saving etc’ which no one bought. They couldn’t polish a turd. Ubisoft’s DRM has nothing to do with good service and everything to do with their own irrational self-interest. Fine if it’s rational self-interest, but it ain’t: it’s completely obtuse and irrational.

  37. DF says:

    Why imply that you would need to setup external servers at all.

    You could just run local / LAN servers and use DNS / IP redirection.
    And if they start chopping up games so that part of them remains on the server, then basically as long as it is a “fixed” game and not a constantly evolving one like WOW, you could still manage to “leak” the server side, patch it around a bit and locally host / emulate that other side as well.

    Sh*tloads more work perhaps, but anything that is programmed can be unprogrammed, anything that is digital can be manipulated..etc. You get the idea. It’s just a time, access and effort equation.

    I also never understood the time argument.
    A DRM doesn’t fail if it staves off the first 2 weeks of pirating?
    Dunno, I honestly believe that those pirates that pirate will pirate, and those customers that want to buy will buy, regardless of whether they play the pirated version for a week first because it was out before official launch..

    But maybe I’m just guessing wrong.

  38. Spartan says:

    I can confirm it has been broken. I have secured a pirated version and it in fact works. Yeah for the pirates! DRM is pure evil and should be stomped out! It is the bane of legit users.

  39. cliffski says:

    I don’t see this as a great victory for anyone. A few warez kiddies get erections because they cracked the DRM, w00t. And now ubisofts shareholders if they have any sense will say “See, the PC is a lost cause. fuck it. make xbox games in future”.

    So we now get less high quality PC games in future, or nothing but MMOs.
    How exactly should anyone on the PC be celebrating this?

    No doubt that even after this, a lot of children will vote down the game on sites like amazon, so actual pc gamers, rather than internet angry men will have no idea if the game is good or not…

    • squirrel says:

      I understand your concern, but we also have a point to not worry about this. If game publishers push it so far to this, maybe they really no longer PC gaming market, or they are trying to kill off the currently existing one and reestablish one which they can manipulate as they want to. Have you notice that they speak so often in the last few years against 2nd hand game market? Let’s not be naive to think the spreading of this DRM disease and the above opinion is just a coincidence. To think it further, would it be ideal to continuously profit from a single player game for years by manipulating the gaming pattern? Say, regularly releasing expansions (so-called DLC). In that way you pay more than USD50 to a game that they say would only cost you USD50. There are also other kind of manipulations, such as price discrimination over regions, which are no strangers to us.

      Gaming industry is interesting to the fact it is competitive, and at the same time it is monopolistic. You have so many different games to choose from. But for a particular game, you can only buy from a particular producer. We can easily say that let it be to lose the access to a certain game, but by doing so we lose it forever. However, it’s not hackers’ and pirate games’ fault. It’s corporate greed’s fault.

    • jackflash says:

      PC gaming isn’t going anywhere. PC gaming as we know it, is. I don’t think that’s really a bad thing, do you? Is it a bad thing that the mega publishers are dying by their own hand, and independent studios are filling the void (albeit slowly)? No, I think not. Granted, no two-man team could make a game like SH5. But some of the big guys (see EA) seem to actually understand that their DRM systems only lost them sales. Dragon Age’s DRM was acceptable, in my book, though its back-door implementation via DLC is frustrating and implemented in a crass manner.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      Ubi claiming to release a virtually unhackable DRM and it getting cracked day one should be a fairly clear message to the shareholders: “The people who made this decision are morons.”

      That could be considered a victory.

    • Clovis says:

      Honestly, cliffski, you are your company’s worst advertisement. I love supporting indies, but I always pause before considering a Positech game. I suppose you aren’t defending Ubi’s DRM here, but you are still being rather harsh. Why is it so childish to give a game a low rating because of the DRM? What’s wrong with using Amazon’s system to make it clear to the possible buyer’s what they are getting? It is one of the few things gamers can legally do to make a tiny difference.

      I guess what annoys me is that it always seems like you’d be happy if they could create a draconian system that actually works, even though it is terrible for consumers, destroys first sale, and turns all game purchases into rentals. Awesome.

      Oh, and this is a “great victory” for legitimate buyers of the game! What’s wrong with me removing their idiotic DRM after I pay for it?

    • Robin says:

      “So we now get less high quality PC games in future, or nothing but MMOs.”

      It’s funny how it’s never Blizzard or Valve implementing DRM systems that overstep the line of punishing users, but always second-tier publishers trying to shuck out poorly optimised console ports with the absolute minimum of marketing creativity, effort or engagement with the PC community.

      You’re right that cracking it achieves nothing though. Ultimately it will take continuing bad press and the threat of class action lawsuits to get Ubi to back down.

    • bill says:

      if it had gone the other way it wouldn’t be a great victory either. But at least this way it’s funny.

    • Mythrilfan says:

      The main arguments have been presented before but to put it bluntly – we don’t actually need Ubisoft. It’s true that they publish many nice games for the PC, yet we would be perfectly okay with all of their future releases canceled. People would obviously complain, but there are many other studios publishers who do a nice job as well. They would not hurt the market by leaving the platform. They are currently hurting it. As for the studios they own – they’ll eventually manage. Some will leave the company, some will migrate to the consoles.

    • cheal says:

      I do think this is a good day. One of two things will result. Ubisoft will remove this DRM system for something more sensible, or Ubisoft will leave the PC market and the profits it provides them. This will only serve to reinforce the message that DRM will not protect mediocre games from pirating. There are plenty of occasions where good games get pirated and they shouldn’t, but there has also been success stories in overcoming piracy without restrictive DRM.

      Personally I would have never bought another Ubisoft game if it included this particular DRM, so I couldn’t give a monkey if they leave the PC market, and if the numbers who still would buy their games aren’t enough to justify continued development for the PC then that is a business decision. Eitherway the breaking of their DRM has probably made very little difference toward them staying with the platform or going, but it does send out a negative message regarding the business sense of DRM.

    • DF says:

      Just would like to add / reply to the post above me:

      What is wrong with cracking a game you bought is simply the fact that this is illegal.
      Because the sad state of affairs is that we all like and endorse the idea of being able to use whatever we bought any way WE would like to, while it’s the other way around for the publisher side.
      And, sadly enough, the law is on the side of the copyright holder and THEIR rights, not the consumer.
      There is no more fair use, fair balance ideal, there is just “Swallow it all down and hand over your money NOW” in the last 20 years of IP / Copyright development.

      I would rather have a completely dead and annihilated music / movie / game industry and start with idealistic people on both sides from zero than retain a model that essentially says we can tell you how to consume and what and we could actually care less about the writers, actors, programmers, talents involved in this.

      Publishers and corporations need to go away again..they came from a boom that was caused by INDIVIDUALS, and in turn as a “reward” went and took all the individualism out of music and art(this includes gaming to me).

      It is little wonder the indie scene, where this individualism is still alive, is getting more and more attention.

      IMHO the “industry” and their respective law/government lobby can go to hell and never come back.

      Again, I would be perfectly content if this meant not a single new game, movie or album for years, first.
      Better than eventually having to implant TPM chips into your neck to play a game or something eventually(Syndicate anyone?).

      I have paid for music, movies and games before, in case anyone is wondering and I have also created creative content myself.

    • LintMan says:

      @cliffski: I completely disagree about value of people slamming the game for its DRM at Amazon, etc. It is absolutely fair game, and I think it’s one of the very best things that gamers can do to voice their unhappiness. I believe that the Spore controversy on Amazon had a lot to do with EA’s turnaround on DRM – it raises the awareness level of those who might not otherwise understood the issues with DRM.

      Offensive DRM like activation limits, UBI’s crap, etc are anti-consumer and the best way for consumers to respond is not through piracy but through tried-and-true consumer responses:
      - word of mouth
      - bad publicity
      - don’t buy the product (ie: boycott)

      @Clovis: This crack is NOT a “great victory” – it’s just another step in the escalation. The end result of which will be single player games we have to log into online like MMO’s. If you don’t like UBI’s DRM methods, don’t buy the game and then get the crack:
      Just dont buy the game.
      If you buy it, you’re telling UBI that you’re OK with what they’re doing. You bent over for them: they’ve got their sale and they’re happy. And then they count all those downloads of the crack as lost sales – even those for people like you who bought the game – so they resolve to make their next DRM version tougher.

      Honestly, what I’d like to see is some mediocre “major release” game come out with obnoxious but uncrackable DRM – and then have it *flop*. Massively. Then there’d be no excuses, no way to claim “pirates cost us eleventy-billion in sales this quarter alone!”.

    • JKjoker says:

      @Robin: what are you on about ? Valve released one of the first few online activated games forcing Steam down the throats of everyone who wanted to play their games and Blizzard is about to smite gamers with their Bnet2.0 that is apparently very similar to Ubisoft’s DRM including a DLC store that will keep trying to force crap down your throat (not yet known how annoying it will be)

    • Urthman says:

      I don’t see this as a great victory for anyone.

      It’s a great victory for the game developers, because it removes the stupid DRM that was standing between them and their legitimate customers like me. I’m not buying an AC2 that won’t work without an internet connection, but I would buy AC2 if there’s a crack that removes the DRM.

    • Robin says:

      @JKjoker There is a vast difference between online activation and requiring a constant connection whenever the game is running.

      I don’t know anything about BNet 2.0, but if it was as similar to Ubi’s system as you claim I’d expect to have heard outcry from beta testers (or indeed from RPS) before now.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      It’s a psychological victory. Sure, it might be ruinous for the actual interests of PC gamers, but in their minds, they’ve “stuck it to the man”, so they don’t care.

      Guy 1: *blows hole in ship’s hull with C4*
      Guy 2: “WTF are you doing?”
      Guy 1: “I’m blasting this fucker!”
      Guy 2: “But we’ll all drown!”
      Guy 1: “lol, who gives a shit? The important thing is we showed the goddamn greedy cruise line they can’t tell us what to do!”

      And no, there are no life boats on this one.

    • Clovis says:

      @LintMan: Oh, I agree. I will not buy ANY game from Ubi (even older ones) until they remove this DRM, and even then only from the bargain bin. And sure, it is no “great victory” I guess, I was just using cliffski’s words. It will be helpful to people who bought the game without undersanding, or fully understanding, what they were getting. Some might want to support the developer and so they’ll buy it anyway and they can use the crack. I’d say that’s the wrong thing to do, but it is not completely unreasonable. Piracy is obviously also wrong, especially if you want to sent a message to Ubi.

    • the wiseass says:

      Cliffsky on his anti-piracy crusade again. Don’t worry mate, I never pirated any games of yours simply because I do not like them.

    • JKjoker says:

      @Robin: you said “It’s funny how it’s never Blizzard or Valve implementing DRM systems that overstep the line of punishing users”
      at the time Stream was released disc check + program blacklisting was the worst kind of DRM, and then online activation each time you ran the game (there was no working offline mode at the time either) felt just as bad as Ubisoft’s new feels now, you are just used to swimming in that level of crap now (and they have sweeten the Steam deal a little bit since then), some ppl suffer PTSD so bad after swimming in it that they claim disc checks are not DRM, sigh…

      the beta users of SC2 are not using the final version of bnet2 or have final game features to play with, Blizzard betas have always been bnet multiplay only, there is no point complaining about having to be online for that, it will supposedly force you to connect to bnet every time you run the game which is a little worse than Steam (no offline mode) but better than Ubisoft’s madness, not sure if it keeps rechecking periodically while you play tho, you will of course get kicked out if the connection drops during the beta but who knows what happens during single player

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      @JKjoker: Considering that it seems all the SC2 beta single-player loader does is boot you straight into a map, you only need to be online to log in to access multiplayer/achievements/community features.

  40. Clavus says:

    My usual download spots are already filled with tutorials for cracking AC2; yes, even with the possibility to save your game.

    • cliffski says:

      “my usual download spots”

      downloads purely for backups of legit bought games surely?

    • Joe says:

      You would win any unpopularity contest Clifferton; as long as Ubi doesn’t participate as well, that is.

    • Ozzie says:

      Yeah, funny, cliffski… :-/

    • cliffski says:

      *sigh*

      People wonder why game developers don’t join in on debates like this?

    • Joe says:

      And you wonder why some people wouldn’t take you serious as a game developer if you created the next “The Sims”.

      Going by the amount of public posting and forum / comments / torrent site trolling you do, it’s actually a miracle a single line of code ever gets written.

    • Lilliput King says:

      He’s always seemed fairly reasonable to me.

      And he’s got a point. Since this Ubisoft debacle began there seems to be a gathering movement proclaiming pirates wise prophets and piracy the messiah, come to lead us to a better plane of gaming existence.

    • terry says:

      Did you pay for your copy of Photoshop? If so, you might want to read the manual.

      edit: no, lilliput king, sorry that was a josh aimed at that guy who’s name I can’t see because of the edit window but began with C’s original comment. This comment system is a game all of its own (or is it DRM?)

    • Lilliput King says:

      Who, me?

  41. Inigo says:

    There is no DRM crack.
    We have always been at war with Eurasia.

    • WildeAnarchist says:

      “There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”

  42. Ffitz says:

    Anyway, next up is the DDoS attack on Ubi’s servers. Any bets on a timescale?

  43. Grey! says:

    darn. drm won’t last forever. silent hunter 5, assassin’s creed 2. wake up ubi!

  44. Steve says:

    UBI’s leet DRM has officially been torped and Sunk!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
    etc.

  45. Will Tomas says:

    While I don’t endorse piracy, I think this sort of thing is only to the good. Companies need to learn not to be so insanely punishing towards their customers, and the fact that this stuff isn’t picked up in the wider media given the implications for other forms of content is genuinely scandalous, and a sign that for all their success, the wider media still doesn’t treat games as ‘serious’ or worthy of proper coverage.

    However, it did remind me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSIjlUMV6Is

  46. Hentzau says:

    Ubisoft were a lost cause as soon as they implemented this DRM; it was only ever going to end in tears for both them and their potential customers. The one good thing that might come from it is that it’ll hopefully dissuade other companies from attempting to implement equally dumb DRM measures.

  47. Azradesh says:

    How would you propose sending the message that we will not accept this? They are not like you, they will not listen to feedback like you did.

    P.S. I really want to buy your latest spacey awesome game, but the back will not let me have a crebit/debit card and it’s not in retail. How can I give you cash money in exchange for the game?

  48. fiftyfour says:

    pc gaming dead?!..no way…YES WAY!

  49. Myros says:

    The only thing they have accomplished is to make there failed attempt front page news on games sites around the web. With their claims of a ‘better’, harder to crack DRM they just painted a big target on their backs with ‘please crack us quickly’ written on it. Hackers love a challenge, of course it turns out there was no challenge at all ;p

    Sorry ubi …. FAIL on all fronts.

  50. Sagan says:

    I am going to say, that this might just be a crappy implementation of the DRM. For example, the only way that I can imagine that they got saving on the local computer to work is, that it was in there already and they just had to enable it again.

    So maybe the next game will be much harder to crack.

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