From Dust Doesn’t Have ‘Always Online’ DRM

By John Walker on July 28th, 2011 at 4:44 pm.

Run! Run from the flow of DRM!

Ubisoft has told VG247 that the delayed From Dust won’t require their wretched “always online” DRM. What DRM it will require is as yet unknown, but we’ve contacted Ubisoft to find out. It’s pretty likely that it will require a connection for a first-time authentication, but whether it’s going to demand the internet be there to launch each time is what we want to know. And why does From Dust escape it, and Driver: San Francisco not? Not even God knows. You can read Alec’s impressions of the 360 version of From Dust here.

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84 Comments »

  1. Pointless Puppies says:

    Again, goes to prove that for Ubisoft, the only way to release a game on the PC simultaneously for all platforms is to include their shitty always-on DRM, because they have this horrendously misguided belief that if they do anything BUT this on day 1, it will be pirated 300 million times, sales of EVERYTHING will plumment, and they’ll go bankrupt. Delaying the game at the last minute was most likely the only way for this DRM to not be in the game.

    Paranoia and treating your customers like they’re criminals. Way to go at being the absolute worst publishers in the industry, Ubi!

    • HothMonster says:

      So in what way will they convolute reality to blame it on piracy when PC driver sells like shit because of this DRM.

      Well that and probably also because its a driving game that “doesn’t handle well” with a steering wheel, wtf?

    • damien says:

      @pointless puppies – the number of assumption leaps in this post boggle my mind.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      @damien:

      Do tell, exactly where do I falter in logic? I’m merely applying the tweet from yesterday (“Bear in mind DSF is releasing simultaneously on all platforms”) and extrapolating it as to why they’re still using always-on DRM in the first place.

      Ubisoft has literally said “If we’re releasing the PC version on day 1, it’ll have always-on DRM”. That’s not open to interpretation, that’s a fact. I’m stating my opinion as to why that is. If you’d like to say why I’m making “assumption leaps” go ahead, but don’t expect me to take your post seriously if all you can say is “lolno”.

    • dirtyword says:

      Ha! I’ve got them where I want them. Instead of buying the 360 version, I can *puts on shades to sound of guitar solos* pirate the PC version.

      Just kidding you hopelessly out of touch execs at Ubi!

    • jokomul says:

      I live in the middle of nowhere with unstable satellite internet. So there’s no way in hell I’m buying DSF. It’s shit like this that ruins gaming for me…

  2. Alexander Norris says:

    Because, you see, Driver is a bigger game, so there will be more pirates! And as everyone knows, the greater the amount of people pirating your game, the more stringent a DRM system is needed to keep all the pirates out!

    (Publisher logic, eh?)

    • HothMonster says:

      I really should send them a link to a cracked version of their game before its even released.

    • Nalano says:

      Ubisoft reports having witnessed “a clear reduction in piracy” on DRMed games.

      I guess y’all know what this means: We need to pirate the HELL outta this one!

      (I keed)

    • Jim Reaper says:

      Well, I don’t know about a clear reduction in piracy, but I know it’s costing them a clear reduction in sales…..

    • WaveOfMutilation says:

      Quote from the article:
      Ubisoft see the DRM as a success, however. Speaking to us earlier today a Ubisoft representative admitted that the developer has seen “a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection, and from that point of view the requirement is a success.”
      EndQuote

      If there are any cases of piracy isn’t that proof that the DRM doesn’t work and is therefore useless? All a decreased case of piracy means is that your games aren’t as popular as they used to be.

  3. Ovno says:

    THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And if a couple of weeks delay for Ubi pc games is the only way to be free of this stupid DRM then so be it

    I’d prefer any game to be a couple of weeks late than having to boycott it because of the DRM…

    • Commisar says:

      I know, I would much rather wait 2 weeks than have the craptastic always on DRM, can’t we do back to typing in a damn CD once and that’s it?

  4. smi1ey says:

    DRM is one of the main reasons I don’t like buying games through Steam… as inevitable as it generally is. I can’t stand needing to be online or having a 3rd party application running in order to play a PC game.

    • qwiggalo says:

      You do know Steam has an offline mode that works very well now?

      As for having it running… get a better computer.

    • Dana says:

      You dont have to be online, and Steam is one of the least intrusive and unfriendly DRMs.

    • magnus says:

      You never forget your first tin foil hat do you?

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I’d much prefer it if Steam didn’t force you to launch through the client, and offline mode doesn’t always work, but Steam gives me a lot of incentive to overlook the negatives associated with it. Ubisoft’s and most other DRM does not.

    • ankh says:

      I use to be a kid addicted to cs. I had a clan, played online everynight then steam came along (with 1.6 i think). I was on a 500mb capped 56k connection. Steam ruined my life. Like ten years ago or something. I do not forgive.

    • Buckermann says:

      I’m like smiley, I don’t like any third DRM software running in the background.
      And I also don’t like rainy days. But still, if I need to buy some milk (not whiskey),want to visit my girlfiend (certainly no hooker), or play a nice game of monopoly (never blackjack) with my friends, I need to face the rain to get to my enjoyment.
      Trade-offs, life is full of that shit.

    • Nalano says:

      Yes, Steam includes DRM.

      Steam also offers services in exchange for that DRM.

      Ubisoft does not.

      Edit: @ ankh

      Sounds like your beef’s with the throttled connection, not Steam.

    • ankh says:

      Probably from your point of view yes, but for me, everything was going just fine till steam came along. Everybody in my country hated steam at that stage for the same reason. Yeah yeah i know who gives a fuck about africa.

    • Nalano says:

      Touche, ankh.

    • Ovno says:

      I have to agree with Ankh actually, when steam first came out and forced us off gamespy, I bloody hated steam, but it’s got a hell of a lot better since then…

  5. Daiv says:

    We’ll still hear a week after release:

    IT DIDN’T SELL A HOJILLION COPIES IT MUST BE PIRACEEEEEEEEEEE!

  6. ZIGS says:

    And why does From Dust escape it, and Driver: San Francisco not?

    Because Driver is being released at the same time as the console version so there’s the danger of it being cracked on day 1, which in the publisher’s mind might cause some potential console purchasers to play it for free on the PC

    • meatshit says:

      I can guarantee you’ll be able to find a torrent of the console version well before the release date. Piracy on a console is incredibly easy now, so there’s no excuse for their horrible DRM or pushing back the PC release date.

    • HothMonster says:

      ^ what he said, if oyu know where to look you can get either version before it hits store shelves. The only people not bothered by this DRM, pirates.

    • Delusibeta says:

      I’ll bet good money that a 360 rip of Driver: SF will be doing the rounds on yer torrents and usenets five days before release.

  7. BeamSplashX says:

    Dear Eric Chahi,

    Go indie, please.

    Regards,
    Sid Menon

  8. Rii says:

    Who cares? Or rather, who cares enough about Ubisoft’s games to bother keeping track of which brand of disease they are and are not planning to ship with each particular game and if and when they may or may not plan to offer a partial cure? Ubisoft = INFECTED STAY AWAY. That’s the take-home message here for those of us who have better things to do than follow Ubisoft’s daily press releases I think.

    • Jumwa says:

      A more abrasive version of my own views, but I agree.

      Giving any money to Ubisoft is just saying “Keep it up! Great job, you guys. I LOVE your insulting treatment, the way you treat me like a criminal all the time, or how you purposely delay titles to the PC because you don’t think as a customer I matter much. Here’s some money to show you how much I approve!” But minus my sarcasm.

      I don’t bother to read about Ubisoft published titles anymore, I don’t even want to be tempted to give them my money. There’s enough great games out there that I don’t need to simperingly follow the news of what they’re putting out.

    • Rii says:

      Abrasiveness slightly reduced!

      Incidentally, I noticed nobody addressed the concern I raised in the previous thread: what’s to stop Ubisoft from enabling DRM that’s more draconian than the game featured when you bought it? The outcry? Hah.

    • Chris D says:

      Give a dog a treat when they crap in the garden instead of the living room and eventually they’ll learn to crap in the garden. Treat the dog exactly the same regardless and they’ll continue to crap wherever they damn well please.

    • Rii says:

      Except that instead of pooping in the bedroom with its plush carpeting they’re now pooping on the tiled floor of the kitchen. When they feel like it. So no, no treats for the French poodle.

    • Vinraith says:

      what’s to stop Ubisoft from enabling DRM that’s more draconian than the game featured when you bought it?

      Nothing. This is the reality of any game with an online check-in, including any game bought through Steam. They can be turned off at any time, the terms of service can be changed at any time, and the DRM can be changed at any time. That’s why one is wise to never pay more than rental prices for any game with such entanglements.

    • Nalano says:

      At this point I think a smarter answer would be to lobby to get the laws changed. I could have sworn we successfully passed at least a couple consumer protection laws so far.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Nalano

      Can’t we do both? I hate to say it, but with US politics as it presently is I suspect we’re more likely to get corporate protection laws than consumer ones.

    • Nalano says:

      @ Vinraith

      Well, corporations are people.

      *gag*

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      The games industry has lots of money, but typically few political connections.

      Also, Congress is composed largely of cranky old men who don’t like change. As ebooks and such become the norm, laws will be adjusted to properly handle them.

  9. Coins says:

    Wheee.

  10. Zaxwerks says:

    Ubisoft? Who are they? I haven’t bought a single Ubisoft game since they introduced their “we are a self-serving bunch of paranoid morons DRM” and haven’t missed them one bit. However, if they handcuff their next Anno game with “always on” or “online every time you start the game” crapness I might be forced to send their management an animated gif of me mooning them with a small insulting message written across my buttocks.

  11. Drake Sigar says:

    Ok, points for that. If it has online activation, forced subscriptions, or a timelock then I’ll wait till the price goes down though.

  12. AllahuAkbar says:

    I never had problems with that always on ubisoft drm, probably because I have an internet connection (which I used to write this comment here)

    • ankh says:

      This is the funniest comment sofar gotta give you that

    • Teddy Leach says:

      What is your strange future-world like?

    • Nalano says:

      I’ve never had problems with my cell phone because I always have reception!

    • Kadayi says:

      I must admit though I’m no fan of the always on DRM I do find the ‘my internet goes down every half an hour’ complaints faintly bemusing. If you have lousy internet maybe there’s a way you can get that addressed, by contacting your ISP or investing in a new router. I’m even more bemused by the fact that the very same people possess a seemingly infinite capacity to post on web forums about the tyranny of it at length also.

    • Nalano says:

      No no, Kadayi.

      You have to fold your arms, and smugly order them to “move outta the sticks!”

    • aerozol says:

      @Kadayi
      I reference you to Nalano’s post. Which neatly summarizes what I have heard enough times, from more than one ISP.

  13. Dana says:

    @Kaira-
    Yes, indeed. There has never been anything wrong with offline mode. For me, at least.

    • Kaira- says:

      Good for you. Unfortunately, not everyone is you.

    • Kadayi says:

      Given the frequency with which you post about the problems with Steams Offline mode I have to really how to wonder how much you’re actually impacted by it in reality Kaira, because you’re seemingly never offline, especially when a DRM discussion is on the cards.

    • Kaira- says:

      It works for me from time to time. Not always. And my internet is far from the most stable one. And as an added bonus, implying that offline-mode should not bother me because I can be online often is an quite erroneus – as a customer, I am concerned with my rights further than this very moment, status quo is not permanent.

  14. Zaxwerks says:

    Bring back Lenslok before Ubisoft decide we can’t play our games without providing a urine sample and a letter from our mothers!

    Ship the manufacturing out to China and you could probably produce a million of them for about 10p.

  15. Duoae says:

    Tough… I’m still not buying this. I don’t see myself buying any Ubi games in the short to mid term. I just can’t support their treatment of their customers.

  16. kuran says:

    Why does Eric Chahi need Ubisoft? He should have just gone indie.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    The only time UBIdrm gave me trouble was during that DDOS, and on the settlers demo. But that was even possible means they are defective by design, Still don’t own an always online game.

  18. Navagon says:

    It’s still a Ubisoft game though.

  19. Kefren says:

    Please can someone copy every anti-Ubisoft-DRM comment from all the RPS threads and various other fora and send copies to all the top Ubisoft shareholders/heads of board? That might make them wake up and smell the ashes.

  20. Brise Bonbons says:

    I would love to boycott Ubi’s games over this shit, but there’s just nothing else out there like Assassin’s Creed Multiplayer…
    Well, I guess there was The Ship and its sorta-sequel, but you need people actually playing for a game like this to work. You hear that indie devs? I have money sitting here with your name on it if you give me a way to avoid buying the next Assassin’s Creed game!
    Now excuse me while I go back to stabbing people. Quietly

  21. rocketman71 says:

    Why not use the DRM?. According to what some stupid representative from Ubi (yeah, I know, stupid and “from ubi” is redundant) said today to PC Gamer, their DRM “is a success”.

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/07/28/ubisoft-our-drm-is-a-success/

    Excuse me while I go laugh my ass off.

  22. Kittim says:

    I don’t care if it’s the best game of all time, I won’t be buying it. The problem with purchasing any software from Ubisoft is that it will give them money and that is all they care about. If they are to be successfully “schooled”, the only way to do so is hit them is in the wallet. That is the only way they will learn that legitimate users don’t want to be treated like they are criminals.

    I like computer games; I want to support the creative people that make them. I don’t want some asshat of a publisher treating me as though I’m a criminal for my troubles.

    You have to draw the line somewhere or the likes of Ubisoft will continue to push worse and worse forms of control onto their legitimate users. I’ve drawn my line and I will not step over it. I can survive perfectly well without owning the latest title from Ubisoft or any other publisher whose tactics I disagree with. With the money I save, I could purchase two or three Indy titles and support them instead :)

    Pirated versions hold no interest for me either, as it seems rather hypocritical to take a stand against one form of stealth-installed, difficult to get rid of software, only to risk the installation of another, even worse form of the same.

    In fact, with the type of shenanigans being pulled in the gaming industry at the moment, I’d go so far as to say that Ubisoft have decided that From Dust is not going to sell well. They remove their DRM from the game. Its sales will be poor and it will get pirated (inevitably). They will then release a statement a few months down the line blaming piracy for the poor sales and state that it reinforces the need for their DRM.

    I know it sounds cynical, but it’s capitalism in action. I’m not against capitalism per sae, after all I benefit from it too. But sometimes companies need reminding they are dealing with people, and in the absence of sufficient legislation, calling them out their ploys and refusing to buy their products is one of the best ways of dealing with them in a legal way.

  23. Jimbo says:

    “…a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection, and from that point of view the requirement is a success.”

    A success from a completely irrelevant point of view? Wow, good work, guys. The only point of view that matters is what it’s doing to total sales. No wonder Ubisoft are haemoraging money.

  24. Wozzle says:

    No longer purchase things from Ubisoft.

    Shame, From Dust looked neat, but I can’t handle the retardedness that is Ubisoft and this is the only way i can think of to make them learn.

  25. mkultra says:

    If Ubisoft actually made a game I gave two fucks about I would care about their DRM.

  26. Tom De Roeck says:

    NO COMMENT.

  27. Brynden says:

    Sorry Eric another world is one of my all time favorite and i intended to buy this game solely on it being from the dev of another world, alas you chose the lamest of publishers (why not someone like Cdpoject) thusly im going to pirate this game
    Fuck your DRMS and your money grabbing corporates
    ps
    (dont let all of them lie console games are getting cracked not only the same as pc but are always cracked before the pc version)

  28. Eclipse says:

    why steam continues to say “3rd-party DRM: Ubisoft Online Service” ? :-|