Posts Tagged ‘DRM’

Walled City: SimCity Goes Offline Today

By Craig Pearson on March 18th, 2014.

In a final [humiliating capitulation]/[act of goodwill and community empowerment] Maxis will today release SimCity’s offline mode, freeing city builders everywhere from the terrifying fear that a cleaner at the Origin data center will accidentally unplug the servers as he hoovers up the hopes and dreams of the developers. At the time of writing (lunchtime on Tuesday the 18th), the servers are down as the game prepares for the update that will mean the next time the servers are down, you’ll be able to play.

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Shadowrun Returns DRM Punched, Flung Into A Pit, Killed

By Nathan Grayson on November 14th, 2013.

When Shadowrun Returns was first conceived, it came with the sparkly promise of pristine freedom – not a speck of diabolical DRM to be found even in its grimiest cybergutters. But then, due to some behind-the-scenes shenanigans, Harebrained Schemes went back on their word, shackling all future updates to Steam, which – while not the end of the world – was absolutely a form of DRM. Now, however, PLOT TWIST: things have changed… again! Harebrained was recently seen beating its own DRM into a mangled, bloody pulp, lighting it on fire, and then reading it passages from this fan fiction. Meanwhile, onlookers watched in horror until they realized this was cause for celebration and started cheering. Some even joined in. Experts described the scene as “just a really great time” and “hahahaha wheeeeeee yeah!”

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So I Thought I’d Play Battlefield 4′s Single Player. About That.

By John Walker on November 13th, 2013.

Our coverage of Battlefield 4 got rather interrupted by the arrival of a baby. It happens. So in trying to catch up, I wanted to play through the single player campaign, see how it compared to COD: Ghosts’. Yeah. That would have been nice, wouldn’t it. But then EA happened.

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CDP Spells It Out: No DRM For The Witcher 3

By John Walker on October 31st, 2013.

Here’s some very good news: CD Projekt Red are keeping their promise, and The Witcher 3 is to feature no DRM whatsoever. It’s odd, because they feel like the sort of company that never would in the first place – what with their connections to GOG and all. But CDP have stuck their fingers in the icky pot of DRM in the past. And of course they were embroiled in the epically dick move of threatening alleged pirates with bullying lawsuits. It seems that this ill behaviour is behind them now, and they’re making efforts to reassure people that there’s to be not a drip of DRM in The Witcher 3. Hoorah!

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Today’s GOG Sale Is Quite The Thing

By Craig Pearson on June 21st, 2013.


You have about 20 hours left to take advantage of GOG’s DRM Free sale, put togeether to celebrate today being the longest day of the year. The games are free of the lumpen, ugly additional code that bootstraps their code to your PC. If for some reason you own a million PCs, you would be allowed, nay encouraged, to install them on each and every one. I wouldn’t, because that would involve a lot of work, not least in acquiring an entire planet to source the resources for such a PC collection, but the hypothetical scenario still stands. You really should look over the whole list, but below I’ve gathered a few treats to entice you in.
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The Power Of Silence: Why The SimCity Story Went Away

By John Walker on April 22nd, 2013.

Why has the SimCity story gone away? It’s a good question. And the answer for it reveals much about how both the games industry, and the games journalism industry, work.

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SimCity Boss’s “Straight Answers” Seem Pretty Wiggly

By John Walker on March 16th, 2013.

GET IT?

What Maxis are doing is frankly peculiar. Earlier this week we posted a story revealing that claims that SimCity required online servers to run non-regional computations were not the case. That night we were promised a statement from the studio, but heard nothing. Repeated emails to EA have resulted in no response since, and the whole situation has become more muddy with each day. It’s since been revealed that population numbers are nonsense, even down to leaked Javascript code featuring “simcity.GetFudgedPopulation” as a function. We’ve learned that city size limits are arbitrary, pathfinding is rudimentary at best, and Eurogamer’s absolutely superb review lists many more bugs, broken features, disappearing pretend-money and never-arriving resources.

So it’s all the more odd to see Maxis head Lucy Bradshaw acting as if none of this is happening, and instead just carefully rewording her mantra of how SimCity is only supposed to be played online, but this time leaving out the bit about server-side computations for local play.

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Far Cry 3 Servers Down Already: Ubi, This Is A Mess

By John Walker on November 30th, 2012.

Update: Ubisoft have tweeted an apology, saying they’re working as fast as they can to get the servers back online.

So, like many others, I’m very excited to play Far Cry 3. After Jim’s review, and many similar elsewhere, I’ve been dying to play it and finally have the chance. Today is my day off, hooray! And so far I’ve been treated to a horrible, horrible time, and all at the hands of the technical mess that is Uplay and idiotic mechanical choices. And right now? Ubisoft’s servers are down. On launch day. You can still play in offline mode, but ho boy, this isn’t a good start.

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Why Might Ubisoft Have Changed Their Minds On DRM?

By John Walker on September 6th, 2012.

The staring eye of change.

So, Ubisoft, eh? It’s been quite the 24 hours for the publisher. Having spent a few years seeming to actively seek the loathing of PC gamers – despite releasing a stream of good games – there appears to be a concerted effort to turn their reputation around. And this is something we certainly welcome. With an official pledge to abandon their deeply silly DRM, and a promise to try to release PC versions as close as possible to the console versions, they’re meeting gamers’ demands like we’ve got their families held hostage. (We don’t, do we?)

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Interview: Ubisoft On DRM, Piracy And PC Games

By John Walker on September 5th, 2012.

Faints.

For a couple of years we have been petitioning Ubisoft for an interview with those involved in their DRM decisions. We’re very pleased to report that this has finally happened, as we spoke to Stephanie Perotti, Ubi’s worldwide director for online games, accompanied by corporate communications manager, Michael Burk. Perotti is involved in all online technologies at Ubisoft, and works with many different studios and teams, with DRM part of her remit. We asked about the evidence for the various figures that have been quoted in the past, whether they have any proof for the efficacy of their extreme DRM, and whether Ubisoft has any regrets with how the matter has been handled in the last few years. And we also learn the rather enormous news that Ubi have abandoned always-on DRM, and will now only use one-time activation for all their PC games.

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Ubisoft Scrapping Always-On DRM For PC Games

By John Walker on September 5th, 2012.

Blink.

In an interview on RPS today, Ubisoft tells us that they will no longer use their controversial “always-on” DRM. In fact, they quietly scrapped it months ago, but haven’t made that official until now. In what is a really remarkable turnaround, the publisher pledges that from now on they will only require a single online activation after installing, with no activation limits, nor limits on how many PCs it may be activated.

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