Posts Tagged ‘DRM’

The Power Of Silence: Why The SimCity Story Went Away

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


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

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?

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


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


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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Blizzard Acknowledges Diablo III Always-On Acts As DRM

Blizzard have finally admitted that their useless always-on DRM in Diablo III is partly to prevent piracy. Despite having previously insisted that it was purely to improve gamer experience (oops), in a post spotted by Eurogamer, Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime has pointed out that it does “help us battle” such issues. But then goes on to say that it’s still the best solution, that it’s essential, and while there are “some downsides”, it was “the best long-term decision for the game.”

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Epic Considering Always Online For Fortnite [Updated]

Update: Epic’s issued a statement clarifying its meaning, noting that – while nothing’s off the table – it hasn’t entered serious talks about how it’ll implement online play at this point. Here’s the official word, in full: “We’re not talking about our plans at this time, mainly because that plan doesn’t exist yet. Fortnite is an iterative, living project and many things are still being decided prior to its release in 2013.”  

Original article: Let’s start with some good news, shall we? First off, Fortnite’s looking quite nice and – based on an interview I just wrapped with producer Tanya Jessen (which you’ll see all of tomorrow) – the Unreal-Engine-4-powered survivor is, by and large, taking full advantage of every tool at PC gaming’s disposal. In other words, expect a constant flow of new content, some form of mod support, and impressively open-ended, procedurally generated worlds. It’s not all uncharacteristically colorful cartoon roses, however. At this stage, Jessen told me, a constant Internet connection requirement ala Diablo is still a possibility. She assured, however, that it’d be used first and foremost to improve the game – not as a last line of defense against piracy’s nighttime pillages.

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Devil May Buy: Real Money Auction House Delayed Again

Oh my god! Those skeletons had kids! Well, once. They're probably dead now.

Things haven’t been going so hot for the Lord of the Damned lately. At this point, his rocky start‘s probably better documented than, er, Rocky’s rocky starts, and then that whole hacking thing happened. Granted, somewhere in there, Diablo III also sort of became the fastest-selling PC game of all time, but honestly, millions and millions of dollars can only wipe away so many tears. At any rate, the fallout continues – this time with a second delay for the hellish hack ‘n’ slash’s controversial real money auction house.

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Blizzard Tries To Reassure Hack Victims, Results Vary

Perhaps the next version of the Authenticator should be a real-life Barbarian who physically assaults all hackers within a 30 mile radius.
Because the universe loves comedic irony, Diablo III’s online infrastructure specifically put in place to keep out cheaters and hackers is currently being besieged by cheaters and hackers. Yesterday, Blizzard acknowledged the issue, and today, the damage control process has officially begun. From where I’m standing, though, it leaves out one very important step: the part where it, you know, actually solves the problem in the long run. Perplexingly, the multiplayer-loving megalith has opted to calm players by pointing out that account compromises skyrocket with new game releases, ala WoW expansions. Fair enough. But why, again, is it supposed to be reassuring if it keeps happening?

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