Ubisoft’s Driver: SanFran Has Always-On DRM

By John Walker on July 27th, 2011 at 2:33 pm.

Driver: San Francisco without internet access.

At a certain point you have to wonder if Ubisoft is in the midst of some spectacular version of a Producers-style attempt to treat PC customers as abysmally as possible for some unknown goal. In the last couple of weeks they’ve bumped PC release dates on their last two games (Call Of Juarez and From Dust) just days before release – rather spitting in the eye of pre-order customers. And now they’ve now ensured that those looking forward to playing Driver: San Francisco can distract themselves with the knowledge that it will carry Ubisoft’s loathed DRM that requires you always be online to play both single- and multiplayer.

It’s a bit like a car manufacturer introducing a new type of car immobiliser that won’t let it start when it’s raining, and then proudly declaring they’ll be installing it in the next model too. Ubisoft’s always-on DRM doesn’t work. It’s not ambiguous. Most their games that have had the bloody thing enforced upon them have proven a miserable mess for players who just want to enjoy the game they’ve legitimately paid for. Instead they find that if Ubi’s servers are down (and in the current LulzSec-inspired culture, it’s hard to imagine this won’t happen after major releases). Or if there’s a drop in their internet connection, they simply can’t play.

To be clear, Ubisoft have confirmed for us this is the full version of this DRM where the single-player game will simply stop working at any point if your or their connection falters.

Even if the system weren’t a gross mistreatment of customers, unforgivably stupid and spiteful, it’s a DRM designed for a universe other than this one. My home internet, with the extremely reliable Be, drops frequently. A noise on our BT line causes problems, along with normal service outages, sudden blips, and all the times I trip over the phone wire and pull it out of the wall. Let alone if I want to do something crazy like, I don’t know, play a game outside of my house.

But wait, there’s more! Console customers now have Ubisoft’s U-Play nonsense that emulates other publishers’ attempts to take away basic consumer rights that prevent the purchasing of a working product second hand. So the hateful treatment of legitimate customers is being spread around.

Astonishingly, Eurogamer reports, when one customer complained on Twitter about the PC DRM, Ubisoft replied saying,

“Bear in mind though that the PC version of DRVSF is released simultaneously to consoles.”

Whether this was intended as an arch comment on the inevitable eleventh hour delays Ubi is frequently imposing on PC releases, or just plain rudeness, it’s an extraordinary response. Really? You think we’re supposed to be delighted when you don’t screw over PC customers with last-second “delays”? That’s supposed to make up for the idiotic and game-breaking DRM you needlessly impose upon paying customers? Good grief. Never mind that on current form, if they were going to announce a delay on the PC version, currently due on 2nd Sept in the UK, they’d not be doing that before the end of August.

EDIT: Oh, this one just keeps getting better. As reader Anarki points out, Ubisoft have now tweeted confirming the driving game will not support steering wheels!

__________________

« | »

, , .

263 Comments »

  1. DainIronfoot says:

    Well obviously you NEED DRM if you release at the same time as consoles because otherwise pirates will blubah bleh bleh bleh bleh bargle.

    • nofing says:

      Phase 1: Add draconian DRM to all your games
      Phase 2: ?
      Phase 3: Profit!

      Sorry, couldn’t resist… :)

    • President Weasel says:

      Pun time!

      Last time they tried this, it was widely described as a DRM debacle.

      Does trying exactly the same thing again make it a DRM re-bacle?

    • Lambchops says:

      We’re bring DeReM back
      You motherfuckers don’t know how to act
      We’ll probably delay this cos we’re really cack
      Haters just shut up and go buy a Mac
      Take it to the bridge

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Now THIS is worth complaining about. Quite loudly.

      I really wanted to try this one too. :(

    • President Weasel says:

      I don’t think that is worth complaining about; in fact, I think Lambchop should be praised for altering a well known song in amusing manner while still making a valid point.

    • drashen says:

      if anyone has any basic moral decency you wont buy this game just to show ubisoft it is not OK to treat your consumers this badly and expect them to be fine with it

    • IDtenT says:

      What I absolutely hate about this is that they ARE ADMITTING to delaying PC releases because of piracy related issues. Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with these people? Can they get more cocky?

    • brfritos says:

      Except, guess what, when the game is launched the pirates crack the DRM and you play without trouble.

      I understand some kind of protection for the producers need to be implemented, but in the end legit costumers get most of the annoyances, while pirates simply play the game.

    • sebmojo says:

      What puzzles me is that they could get nearly all the benefit and avoid most of the rage if they explicitly committed to removing DRM after a certain period (three to six months? a year?). People always say that the reason for the DRM is to preserve the vital first few weeks of sales, so it’s more justifiable. Pirates would be less eager to crack the Fort Knox of the latest bastard version. Taking off the DRM (and having a Steam style sale) would be a great marketing hook for a late burst of sales.

      As it is they’re losing everything and getting nothing, AFAICT.

      Ah well, thank god they’re not publishing any games I actually want to play.

  2. poop says:

    someone high up at ubisoft really hates the pc and comes up with these plans while he twirls his stupid french moustache

    • KenTWOu says:

      After Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood I thought that Ubisoft loves PC gaming so much. Cause AC:B hasn’t always on DRM. Instead it has the best visual, the best mouse control settings with profiles and all buttons support, the best PC HUD control tips. It even has console achievements! It was a glorious port. And they promised Revelation will not be delayed.

      But now I clearly see that I was wrong.

  3. Teddy Leach says:

    UBISOFT Y U NO BRAIN?

  4. simoroth says:

    When will the idiot suits at Ubi realise that a game with no DRM has a USP that pc gamers want and will pay gladly for.

    • Rii says:

      Of course this goes back to the industry (in common with a number of others) being fundamentally unethical in that it relies on deception and the propagation of unhappiness to survive. The more your customers know what they’re buying into, the less they buy into it. There are other classes of products which fit this description also … many of them are illegal.

    • Xercies says:

      So bad game that doesn’t get any sales = Piracy? I don’t get how that could work.

    • nafe says:

      “Ubisoft released Prince of Persia without any DRM whatsoever back in 2008 or so and it sold very poorly”

      I just can’t possibly see how it would have sold better if they had added DRM to it. I actually bought the super fancy edition purely on the basis that it had absolutely 0 DRM (and it was very reasonably priced). I may well be in the minority, but I just can’t imagine why people would pirate it because there was no DRM. There’s never DRM on the pirate versions – it changes nothing!

      Oh. and I liked it.

      Sod you all! :/

    • bwion says:

      @Xercies

      It’s simple, really. Piracy has the virtue of being an explanation for a game’s poor sales that, crucially, is not the fault of the developer or the publisher. And no one’s going to go to their next board meeting and say “Yeah, so we made a game that wasn’t really very good, and no one bought it” when they can say “PIRATES RUINED EVERYTHING ONCE AGAIN”.

    • rayne117 says:

      @frightlever

      Then why isn’t GoG out of business.

      BOOM ROASTED

    • Kefren says:

      I bought Prince of Persia in 08 too, just because of their ‘no DRM’ stance. I didn’t even want the game really, and only played it for the first time a few months ago. It was just okay, and I got to a point where I just wanted to get to the end so I could play another game. The point is, lack of DRM sold it to me – I haven’t had interest in Ubisoft since they reversed that policy. Why don’t big company shareholders ever come to online discussions like this and see what DRM really does to perceptions of their products? Grrrrr! Blam this POC!

  5. JohnH says:

    Good thing Ubisoft have stopped releasing games I fancy playing. Or maybe I stopped fancying Ubisoft games because they got this absolutely retarded drm?

    • Ricotta says:

      I just don’t buy Ubi games as a rule of thumb, it makes me less sad.

  6. gulag says:

    I can’t decide which to vomit first; rage or apathy.

    I’m going to go with Rapathy.

    • JackShandy says:

      You can’t say that and then not follow it up with a DRM-related rap.

    • abremms says:

      don’t copy that floppy!

    • pepper says:

      Watch my DRM’ed code as its sloppy(grab crotch in this part).

    • Xercies says:

      I thought that said repeathy…that would definitly put it under a different tone

    • Baconberries says:

      I read “Rapathy” as a kind of apathetic rape… as in, Ubisoft apathetically rapes the expectations of its PC playerbase…

    • Monkey says:

      That was Rap with a Capital C….. ah theres my coat

  7. Vinraith says:

    So much for “they learned their lesson,” eh? Dammit. I do wish Ubi wasn’t sitting on so many franchise licenses I actually care about. I don’t care about Driver, but this bodes poorly for future Anno, HOMM, and Assassin’s Creed entries, to name a few. They’ve already murdered the Silent Hunter and Brothers in Arms franchises, so I suppose the danger’s passed there.

    • Gnoupi says:

      The last Anno was already not well on the DRM aspect, it already prevented me from buying.

    • Vinraith says:

      Didn’t have any problems with 1404, it certainly didn’t require an always-on connection as I’ve played it offline many times.

    • MonkeyMonster says:

      Goddam them stopping me from playing Settlers with this fecking shitty DRM.

    • Hatsworth says:

      Heroes VI has been confirmed to not require online, however you get a gimped version if you’re not connected because the game has persistant unlocks etc.(terrible idea btw) that requires you to be logged in.

      Also, Might and Magic Clash of Heroes HD was finally announced for PC. I really hope it will be exempt from this, especially since it’s a game well suited for laptop play in more ways than one.

      Other than that the only upcoming Ubi game I’m interested in is Rayman Origins which funnily enough is announced for every platform out there except the PC — even though every major game in the series has been released on PC.

    • Carra says:

      They removed the DRM on Anno in a patch. After that I did buy it too.

    • Arclight says:

      Aparently that only applies to physical copies. Seems the DRM is still very much there for digital download.

      I could point out how retarded that is, but this being Ubi… don’t really need to point it out at all, eh?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Carra

      Thank you. I’d completely forgotten about that but yes, the original release had a severe and irrevocable install limit (which, despite being awful, still isn’t as bad as this always-on nonsense). When they removed that from the retail version, I picked up a boxed copy, which in turn is why I never had DRM problems with the game.

    • malkav11 says:

      I’ve read that the retail version of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood has no server check or other DRM, while the Steam version most certainly does (on top of Steam’s own DRM I mean).

  8. Warlokk says:

    Good thing I couldn’t care less about this game anyway…

    Besides, the cracked version will be out within 48 hours, guaranteed.

    • el_Chi says:

      Which would only reinforce their moon-logic that the DRM is necessary.

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      I also don’t care for this game. But now I feel so incensed by all this that I shall pirate the game and then sell said pirated game on the black second-hand market!

  9. Mana_Garmr says:

    “Bear in mind though that the PC version of DRVSF is released simultaneously to consoles.”

    If (read: when) this doesn’t happen, can people demand that the DRM be removed from their copy?

    • Ilinx says:

      From what I can tell from looking at the tweet that prompted that response, it seems that this Ubi saying, ‘We’re stretching so far to release the PC version at the same time as the console one, the only possible solution is to saddle Driver with the most incapacitating DRM in our arsenal’. Very odd.

  10. Rii says:

    I think this case-by-case thing they’re doing is actually worse than blanket implementation in that it creates uncertainty in the minds of potential customers. And it’s all tied into UPlay (or whatever it’s called) anyway isn’t it? What’s to stop Ubisoft from activating always-on DRM on titles that didn’t have it when you bought it?

  11. ran93r says:

    Was keeping one eye on this but now they can stick it up their backside.

  12. Coins says:

    What is it with publishers and being absolute twats these days?

  13. Juan Carlo says:

    If even Capcom (who has never been all that friendly to PC gaming in the past) can alter its DRM plans because of fan outcry, I don’t see what’s up with Ubisoft.

    Maybe it’s just that none of Ubisoft’s games have as passionate of a following as Street Fighter (and hence there’s less of a concentrated outcry because no one will buy them anyway?).

    • Bostec says:

      The French right? They can’t be caught surrendering yet again! what would people say?

  14. Taverius says:

    Meh, that’s one less game on my steam wishlist.

  15. Schaulustiger says:

    I really should’ve waited but I was weak and bought From Dust on my console toy. Boy, did I forget how butt-ugly most games look without antialiasing. I’m sure this game will look absolutely stunning on the PC. Gameplay-wise, I’m still not so sure about it. Playing god is fun as always, but it’s not very sandbox-y and it seems a bit light on the content side.

  16. Robin says:

    Why doesn’t RPS just stop covering Ubisoft games?

    I was looking forward to From Dust, too, but they’re not getting any more of my money while they persist with this idiocy.

    • Rii says:

      @Robin: “Why doesn’t RPS just stop covering Ubisoft games?”

      Not a bad idea.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      The Problem is there are few places like RPS that do genuinely good coverage of games rather than paid for PR pieces. If RPS stops reporting on how bad Ubisoft are that just means there is less to counter paid for praise.

    • Tony M says:

      Its a bad idea. Let RPS tell us honestly what they think of each game, AND what they think of the DRM, then let us make our own decision. In this case, my decision is to not buy Driver.

    • John Walker says:

      You may want to check back to see how much coverage the games with this DRM actually get here…

    • MiniMatt says:

      God no, the more RPS and similar major sites report on this sort of stuff, and any game similarly crippled, the more investors, shareholders, and devs will see reams of comments from potential customers saying “oh well, not be buying that then” and the more (we can hope) they’ll question Ubi’s line of “PC sales are crap because of piracy”.

    • Gnoupi says:

      On that topic, From Dust is going to have the same kind of protection? Anyone knows about it?

      (I hope also that it will be more interesting than some reviews seem to say. So far it seems like they have the great “move ground/water from one place to another”, and that’s all of the game, from first reviews)

    • dirtyword says:

      Note to Ubi PR reading this story: I am going to play From Dust, but I’m not going to buy the game if it requires I always be connected to the internet. Flaky connection drops should not (and won’t) affect my experience.

  17. Anarki says:

    They also just announced no steering wheel support. For a driving game.

    http://twitter.com/#!/DriverGame/statuses/95753634020724736

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Wow, the article needs to be updated to include this, it is just so absurd.

    • phlebas says:

      Apparently it didn’t fit very well with the gameplay.
      Not really doing themselves any favours, are they?

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Apparently it didn’t fit very well with the gameplay.

      So then steering wheels don’t fit well with a driving game.

      This only means that the DRIVING part of the driving game is shit if a steering wheel won’t work “well” on it. They just admitted their own game is shit.

    • Monchberter says:

      I think i just died from irony poisoning.

    • JellyD says:

      This was already pretty well known from previous interviews. And i’m probably going to get screamed at for this, but I sort of agree. It is a very arcady driving game. And driving in let’s say need for speed with a steering wheel just doesn’t really work all that well.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      What they mean is that they are unwilling to pay someone to put in the 5 hours or so of tweaking and coding required to make the controls have any sort of relevance to a steering wheel, 25 hours if you want to eliminate steering lag and make it feel realistic, 30 hours if you want it customisable so those with different brands of wheels can make theirs feel right.
      Steering in need for speed was awful unless you put in the time yourself to sort out the horrible physics engine – look up a guy called McNugget on youtube, he has the same car as one in the game and he did a whole video trying to get his car to react the same as in game, he had to load up the boot with a ton of paving slabs – then he shows you how to edit the physics settings to make it much closer to how cars do drive, but still nice and arcadey – most of that was done by tweaking the steering wheel settings. Makes the game really nice with a wheel!

    • JellyD says:

      But even here you’re talking about NFS:SHI(F)T2 I presume. this game is by the looks of it going to have physics more like burnout. Playing burnout with a wheel is rather difficult…

  18. Megalodactyl says:

    Ubisoft, WTF?

  19. chiroben says:

    Alright. Can I officially unbuy Ass-Creed 2 that I just bought on steam because it was less than a tenner? I only bought it because it was meant to be really pretty decent and Ubi had stopped with their stupid online DRM nonsense. This is the last straw.

    • Azradesh says:

      They didn’t back down in any meaningful way, it just went from always on, to always on when you start the game. No offline mode.

  20. Kismet says:

    Ubisoft is secretly paid by other publishers so that whatever DRM they may use “at last is not UbiDRM”.

    *puts on his tinfoil hat*

  21. Dana says:

    Are they not aware that by doing this, they will only increase the piracy of their product ?

  22. 12kill4 says:

    This is like walking in on your face and your palm together when they thought you were at work.

  23. Jockie says:

    Echoing what others said, it looked like Ubi had turned the corner to Sanity St, but it seems they’ve done a 180 degree handbrake turn and sped off back down Daft Avenue.

  24. magnus says:

    For fuck’s sake, don’t they ever learn? (MASSIVE facepalm)

  25. grundus says:

    And this is why Ubisoft can fuck off forever. They’re the Activision of games that aren’t made by Activision, in that their games suck for entirely different reasons but suck just as much all the same.

    As for boycotting, I propose we go further: Mass pirating! I for one will probably pirate this game even though I wouldn’t have bought it even if it didn’t have the DRM. Also I do hope Lulzsec hack the absolute crap out of them, if they could keep the DRM offline for long enough there would probably be grounds for legal action against them or something maybe. I dunno, I’m not a lawyer.

    • John Walker says:

      This will only lead to Ubisoft pretending piracy is the reason why no one pays for their defective games.

      A mass non-pirating would actually be the more powerful statement.

    • The Sentinel says:

      Yes, Grundus. Listen to John. Don’t be a berk. Just wipe your hands of the company and spend elsewhere. It’s the adult response.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      The problem with that is (I assume) that a lot of people can’t resist because they want to play the game in question one way or another.

    • Chris D says:

      The only message UbiSoft would take from increased piracy is: Needs More DRM!

    • Nalano says:

      The problem with that, John Walker, is that Ubisoft will blame pirating no matter what you do, because their execs think that piracy is the only possible reason for poor sales.

  26. Longrat says:

    Damn, there’s a lot of (well deserved) spite in this post.
    I just can’t understand what goes through the minds of these marketing managers. There’s just a HUGE logical failure here.

    “Well, customers were SUPER pissed at our Always Online DRM for AC2. They also managed to hack it anyway, it’s safe to assume that our mistreatment of customers has lost us a fair bit of loyalty, as well as increased piracy.”

    (Insert logical failure here)

    “Let’s do that thing again!”

  27. Ashpolt says:

    “Bear in mind though that the PC version of DRVSF is released simultaneously to consoles.”

    I read that completely differently to you, John: I read it as “Bear in mind that if you don’t want to put up with this DRM you can always buy it on console instead.” That’s terrible as well, of course.

    Good job I don’t care about this game, or any Ubisoft franchise other than Brothers in Arms, and what they’re doing with that IP makes me want to get all eye-stabby.

    • KillahMate says:

      What he said.

      This is the plan, the big scheme behind UbiDRM: they basically want you to buy the console version. They don’t want or care for the PC platform, and only support it with great reluctance, since the upsides are (in their eyes) marginal. If there was a way to train all PC gamers to want the console version, they’d do it. In fact they’re trying to do it now.

    • Ilinx says:

      That’s also how it appeared to me at first, but it was written in response to a tweet reading ‘So are you saying the lesson learned by Ubi with AC is reversed for Driver? ‘. Is that supposed to imply that it has to be DRMed up to the gunwales because it’s a simultaneous release? I don’t understand how that makes a difference to anything either. Might as well have replied ‘Bear in mind that Tanner is in a coma’ or something for all the sense that makes.

    • Urthman says:

      Nah, I think in their minds they’re thinking, “If we release PC version the same day as console version, PC piracy will reduce console games unless we have really great DRM.”

      And it’s not completely ridiculous. This new DRM scheme sometimes takes weeks or months to get completely broken. At least it took that long for AC2. That’s enough breathing room to protect those Day 1 and opening week sales from any dent that would be made by piracy.

      But whether piracy actually makes a significant dent in Day 1 console sales seems pretty dubious to me.

    • Ilinx says:

      “This new DRM scheme sometimes takes weeks or months to get completely broken”

      Oh, I had kind of assumed these things were broken in mere minutes. That does make a bit more sense then. But yes, it is also a strange assumption to think PC game piracy would affect console sales at all.

    • Zelius says:

      It’s a strange mentality. I very much doubt that someone who was going to buy it on consoles will suddenly go “Oh, so there’s a pirated version on PC now, I’ll just download that!”

      Edit: and to add, pirated versions for consoles aren’t rare either. They often even appear days before PC versions are pirated.

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s also a strange assumption to think that someone who was planning to pay 0 currency for a game (by pirating it) will suddenly be induced to run out and buy it at full retail price because they can’t possibly wait a few days or weeks for the pirates to crack the DRM, yet this seems to be a widely held theory in publishing circles.

  28. hazywaze says:

    Slow on the uptake.

    Lets be pateint and keep hitting them with the boycott stick until they learn.

  29. Pop says:

    Hmm – Now I’m boycotting Team Bondi, EA and Ubisoft. Thanks goodness for indie games.

    • Rii says:

      What’s up with EA?

    • grundus says:

      Probably this ridiculous overreaction to BF3 being an Origin exclusive.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Dumb part is… you can just buy the retail version. It’s not required to run Origin in the background, even if you bought the game on Origin. So just buy the damn game retail and not have to run Origin or Steam either one.

    • Phinor says:

      Sure about that? From what I’ve heard, the alpha requires Origin to launch.

    • Kaira- says:

      Or buy BF3 from like Gamer’s Gate or what else DD-services have it for pre-order.

  30. Kdansky says:

    I do not play racing games, but if I would, may I point you to the patch? It’s over there, can you hear them singing?

    Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.
    We pillage plunder, we rifle and loot.
    Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.
    We kidnap and ravage and don’t give a hoot.
    Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.

    In that bay, just over yonder. Have a nice day.

    • Octaeder says:

      Or you could just ignore the game completely?

      I’ve never understood the logic whereby if a publisher does something a person doesn’t like they proudly claim they’ll pirate instead? Why don’t you just not play it? That’s an option.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Especially a game as shitty looking as Driver. Even if I did want to pirate it just to spite Ubi, I wouldn’t want to waste entire gigabytes of my hard drive with crap games.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      And as John just pointed out earlier up in the comments, it’s a better way to show ‘em. Piracy is likely to backfire.. on all gamers.

    • Gar says:

      Here is one way of looking at it. If sales figures/trends seem to indicate that with this new release (with the ridiculous DRM) compared to previous figures:

      1. less people buy it and less people pirate it (like you recommend) seems to suggest that people just weren’t interested in the game.

      2. More people buy it and more people pirate it suggests there was a lot of interest in the game and people generally weren’t too bothered by the DRM

      3. More people buy it and less people pirate it suggests people are interested, and the DRM mostly works and/or is accepted (least likely)

      4. Less people buy it and more people pirate it suggests the interest is still there, but something is causing even more people to turn to piracy (likely the DRM).

      So, as far as just analyzing the market goes, it seems pirating the game could actually be making a stronger statement. People want your game but hate your DRM, and obviously the shit just doesn’t work! Of course, this is not necessarily the best way to go about things though, but If you ignore it all together, you’d be well off at least writing a letter to Ubi explaining how you wanted the game but refuse to put up with the DRM. I’m sure you can find one pre-written for a different game somewhere in a forum and just substitute out the game and publisher names :P

    • sqparadox says:

      @Gar
      Although I agree with your idea in principle the problem is that as far as I know, publishers have no way of accurately looking at numbers of pirated copies, so they can’t ever do a comparison of games pirated vs games sold. This clearly depends on the game and what type of DRM it’s using, but IIIRC in the case of Ass-Creed 2 they cracked the DRM itself (Ubisoft Game Launcher) so it never dials home and basically didn’t touch the game.

      I could be wrong on that but regardless Ubisoft clearly doesn’t recognize that one of the major attractions to piracy is ease of use, especially when games are saddled with such draconian DRM. This indicates that even if Ubisoft had access to data on games sold vs pirated, they wouldn’t compare it, nor consider that their DRM was its cause.

      However that simply puts pirating the game on equal ground to ignoring it. The best option is as you said, email Ubi and tell them how stupid they are, and/or sign a petition. You might not get heard but at least you said something.

    • Nalano says:

      Gar, that’s a pretty simple and rational set of results one could get with that data set.

      Why you expect an executive to be rational, however, is beyond me. Besides, they don’t have reliable info on how much a game is being pirated.

    • BeamSplashX says:

      But there aren’t any other games at all in which you drive a car. NONE.

      Granted, Driver: SF’s script was written in part by Tom Jubert, which is fantastic, but I don’t think he’d take it personally.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      There’s a very obvious solution to this: Don’t buy it. Don’t pirate it. Send them a nicely worded letter saying that you won’t be buying it until they’ve patched out the DRM entirely, and could they please e-mail you personally when they’ve done it.

  31. Hensler says:

    If there DRM actually worked, I might understand them bringing it back. But I’ve seen cracked versions of every game they’ve put it in within days of release.

  32. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    At a certain point you have to wonder if Ubisoft is in the midst of some spectacular version of a Producers-style attempt to treat PC customers as abysmally as possible for some unknown goal.

    Fixed that for you.

    With this move, Ubisoft have guaranteed that I will never purchase this game.
    For the same reason, I never purchased Assassin’s Creed II (I did eventually play it; I borrowed the 360 version from a friend) or the latest Settlers.

  33. Coins says:

    I’m actually really worried about the new, fantastic looking Anno game, the only game I’ve really been looking foward to. I hope it doesn’t come bundled with the TwatDRM system, but the chances are slim.

    • Wilson says:

      Yeah, the possibility of that happening makes me want to stand out in the rain and scream at the sky. It’s not raining here at the moment though.

  34. cmi says:

    What is strange about this: I remember there was some news some weeks or months ago, where ubisoft stated that they would not use this hardcore-drm anymore. Was this some April Fools Joke?

    I was looking forward to AC:Rev, but I guess this is either delayed to summer next year and/or combined with this retarted drm which is a no-go for me. Sad day.

  35. JoWoo says:

    Wow, Ubisoft are pulling so many dick moves at the moment they could be choreographed together to form a groundbreaking phallus ballet.

  36. Okami says:

    The managment of Ubisoft reminds of these guys:

  37. Schadenfreude says:

    This is all part of a plot to bring back StarForce.

  38. Wilson says:

    Huh. I really thought they were done with this. Silly Ubisoft.

  39. Octaeder says:

    On the plus side, this is going to save me £30.

  40. diamondmx says:

    When are these publishers going to realise that extreme DRM far from hindering piracy, legitimises it.
    Normal customers are going to be directed to cracks to get around the stupid limitations on everwhere that Ubisoft can’t moderate. They become more savvy as a result.
    Savvy customers may just pirate the game, and then pay Ubisoft for an unopened useless box. They become bitter savvy customers.
    Some of those bitter savvy customers may feel it’s not worth paying Ubisoft. They become pirates and they don’t feel particularly bad about it.
    The customers who already pirate the games know how to get around these stupid limitations anyway. They laugh it up because everything Ubisoft does costs them money and has no beneficial effect.

    When all your DRM does is irritate honest customers and make many of them feel either: a little sick for buying the game anyway, or angry because they refused to buy a game they wanted, or fall into irritated apathy because they refuse to allow themselves to stay emotionally attached to a brand/company/product – then you are failing epically.

    Go back to old style copyright protection – the basics that make it so a normal customer can’t easily copy, and doesn’t force them to learn how to – just to get what they paid for.

  41. ananachaphobiac says:

    Is it possible that Ubisoft have worked themselves up into a sort of “WE WILL NEVER NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS/PIRATES!” frame of mind? Where any relaxing of their position on DRM is considered to be a defeat, and is going to cause some sort of crushing wave of piracy, which will see them out of buisiness within the week, and dying poor and destitute at the end of the following week?

    That’s the only reason I can come up with for sticking with something that has demonstrably failed to do what it is designed for.

    But then what do I know? I’m just a consumer…

    • Durkonkell says:

      [Scene: Ubisoft Commissar shouting and waving a pistol at developers]

      COMRADE GUILLEMOT HAS SAID THAT THERE WILL BE NO RETREAT! IN THE NAME OF UBISOFT, NOT ONE STEP BACKWARDS OR WE SHOOT!

  42. Magnetude says:

    I have planned to buy this since I heard it had splitscreen on PC, but now I’m going to have to crack my legitimately bought game. I am going to have to resort to piracy in order to play a retail copy of the game without fear of suddenly being told I can’t.

    It’s like Ubisoft want people to pirate their games, in some kind of gambit that they hope will end in governments finally being forced to start breaking pirates’ doors down and end it once and for all. Outrageously stupid.

    • zipdrive says:

      Why buy and crack it? It will only signal to Ubisoft that they can keep doing this as it won’t hurt their sales.
      DON’T BUY IT! Get another game, there are plenty of good ones out there from companies who won’t treat you like shit.

    • Magnetude says:

      Oooohhhh, but it’s Driiiiiveeeerrrrrrrrrrr…

    • Khann says:

      And there then, is the reason they keep doing this: Because people keep buying their games, regardless of the shit that is rubbed in their faces.

    • Gar says:

      If you buy and pirate it, at least send them a letter saying you had to pirate the game to play your legally purchased copy, and that as a paying customer, you do not appreciate having to just through these hoops just to enjoy your game. If you’re not willing to do that, then you might not want to buy it. Show them that the interest is there, but that no one wants to put up with their crap DRM and that it obviously is not working.

    • Magnetude says:

      See, this is my problem. I want to play this game on PC. But buying it encourages this kind of behaviour, so my other option is piracy, which I’ve sworn off now I have a real job and no excuse not to pay for games. But pirating a game because of what I perceive to be draconian DRM is a bit of a cliche.

      So I guess I’ll just wait for them to drop the DRM I guess, and send medium-to-strongly worded emails in the meantime.

    • Nalano says:

      @Gar

      And watch them sue your ass for daring to sign that letter with your real name.

    • malkav11 says:

      There’s a fair few mega-DRMed games I’d like to play, but buying them sends entirely the wrong message. If you’re not willing to pirate (and that’s a perfectly laudable stance), just play something else. We’re a long way from the point where our only options are to have our consumer rights violated or to violate the copyrights of others.

  43. Snesso says:

    They also postponed the release of HoMM 6 by like 3-4 months when it was about to come out (after it had been up for pre-purchase for 1 month or so). Not just a few weeks, MONTHS. I would have kept my money and bought something else instead of prepurchasing something that I couldnt play for another 5 months :\

    • Vinraith says:

      Any sensible retailer/distributor would let you cancel your preorder under these circumstances.

    • diamondmx says:

      @vinraith But probably not Steam (assuming this is on steam like other Ubisoft titles)

    • Coltaine says:

      @diamondmx Steam does let you cancel pre-orders you just have to open a support ticket.

  44. El_MUERkO says:

    I’ll always have found memories of the first Driver, it was a game changer in so many ways, a milestone in gaming history.

    But since that first game Reflections have been incapable of repeating that success. I never intended to purchase the new game, and now I never will.

    But I’ll not forget the the enjoyment I felt careening around the first game, obliterating white picket fences as I power-slide around corners with the cops in pursuit.

    • Chauvigny says:

      Don’t forget losing hub caps and watching it all over again in replay through different camera perspectives which the video editor offered!

    • Khann says:

      I played the Driver 2 demo SO MUCH.

  45. Javier-de-Ass says:

    what a bunch of crap. ubisoft are complete idiots. this always on bullshit and steam seem to be the only two drm things they are willing to alternate between these days, easily the two worst drm systems out of anything that exists. absolutely mindblowing.

  46. Xtinction says:

    So would it be a good idea to download the pirate version and then delete it? I have no intention of playing this game, but I would like to give off a signal. Surely if piracy skyrockets because of their horrible DRM, they should learn a lesson..

    Oh who am I kidding, Ubisoft and learning…

    • John Walker says:

      No – the only useful message would be if piracy of the game dropped too. If people wouldn’t even bother to torrent something from them.

    • Khann says:

      But doesn’t that send the message that these practises have reduced piracy?

    • Gar says:

      But if the sales dropped AND the piracy dropped, wouldn’t that just suggest that people were not interested in the game or there was some problem with the marketing, etc.?

      If you are going to ignore it, you should at least reach out to Ubi and tell them you were interested in the game, but that the DRM prevented you from making a purchase.

    • Vandelay says:

      I honestly think that if you are interested in the game, but will not buy it because of the DRM, then you should let them know. One complaint about the DRM would probably go unnoticed, but I’m certain they understand that that one complaint doesn’t equal one unhappy customer. A few thousand people e-mailing to say they will not buy their game for the same reason would make them notice, as that would actually mean potentially tens of thousands of lost sales

    • Nalano says:

      I’m inclined to see it Khann’s way: To see a considerable drop in sales AND piracy won’t tell them that people are rebelling against their DRM. It’ll tell them that the PC market is a dying market, and they should shore up their DRM to squeeze out what few sales are left.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      The simple answer is this: Ubi will blame everyone but themselves and their shitty DRM.

      -If everyone buys the game and torrents the download, they don’t care. Ubi has no reason to change their ways.
      -If everyone torrents the game, they’ll simply throw a temper tantrum and pretend that the piracy in itself is justification for even more draconian DRM.
      -If nobody buys the game OR torrents it, they’ll simply say the PC platform is dying.

  47. zipdrive says:

    You know what the last Ubisoft game I bought was? RUSE. You know why? because it was a good game AND IT DID NOT INCLUDE YOUR STUPID DRCAONIAN DRM!

  48. Tei says:

    This is like the movie “All Quiet on the Western Front“.
    I can even imagine old people planning in a map how to stop the perceived enemy, and sending young developers to die in a absurd war.
    Game studios releasing games under this DRM are going to see less sales, but Ubisoft is not going to compensate these people for that. Ubisoft do experiments with other people hard work.

  49. Colthor says:

    “Bear in mind though that the PC version of DRVSF is released simultaneously to consoles.”

    I needed a laugh today, and that gave me one. Thanks, Ubisoft!