Posts Tagged ‘DRM’

Fred Wester: “DRM Is A Waste Of Money”

By John Walker on January 25th, 2012.

He knows. He KNOWS.

The ever quotable Fred Wester CEO Of Paradox Interactive (as his mother calls him) has laid down some views on DRM, and extolled the virtues of PC, at Gamespy at the end of last week. And wouldn’t you know it, the man’s speaking some sense.

“It’s so much simpler to develop for the PC — you can decide everything for yourself… The PC is very rewarding because the audience is very knowledgeable about the games, they’re very hardcore, they’re very quick with their feedback, and we have a great relationship with our customers.”

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Ubisoft BlueByte Changes Anno 2070 DRM

By John Walker on January 21st, 2012.

Such liberty.

If making a fuss keeps working, it’s only going to encourage us. In the last week we’ve – among others – reported on the extremely peculiar choice in Ubisoft’s chosen DRM for Anno 2070, to have it use up an activation every time you do something so simple as change a graphics card in your PC. Assuming this was a mistake we contacted Ubi, who genuinely surprised us by coming back to say it was completely intentional, wasn’t a problem, and that was that.

Well, after attention was brought their way, co-developers BlueByte got in touch with Hilbert Hagedoorn at Guru3D – who first brought the issue into light – and gave him more activations for the game. And now it’s just been reported that they’ve changed the DRM such that the game will no longer spit up if you switch a PCIe slot.

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Ubisoft: Anno 2070 DRM Works As Intended

By John Walker on January 19th, 2012.

Oh come on Ubisoft, do SOMETHING not stupid.

On Monday we reported the strange discovery by Guru3D that something so simple as changing your graphics card could use up an activation on Ubisoft game, Anno 2070. At the time I suggested that this was perhaps a bug in the DRM Ubisoft uses, Tages, meaning it was overreacting to hardware changes. It seems I was wrong, and Ubisoft have confirmed to us that this is how they intend the DRM to work.

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Ubisoft Activations Monitor Hardware Change

By John Walker on January 16th, 2012.

Um, how do people get into this town?

Ubisoft have managed to go a month or so without anyone loudly throwing their hands in the air and despairing at their DRM ways. They’ll be relieved to know the drought is over, with tech wizards Guru3D discovering that Ubisoft’s limited activations of their games are not just limited to specific machines, but specific graphics cards.

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Serious Sam’s DRM Is A Giant Pink Scorpion

By John Walker on December 7th, 2011.

This is actually what Ubisoft's DRM developers look like.

Some companies’ DRM is stupidly cruel, punishing only those who have legitimately purchased the game, and not those who pirate it. Well, most companies’ DRM is that. Serious Sam 3’s DRM is brilliantly cruel, punishing only those who pirated it. By relentlessly pursuing them with a giant invincible armoured scorpion. As revealed by Dark Side Of Gaming, only those who unlawfully duplicate the game encounter this immortal enemy, who haunts them from the opening moments. You can see it in action below.

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Good… New Games? GoG Is Changing

By John Walker on November 17th, 2011.

What will that O stand for now?

Good Old Games have certainly built themselves a brand. Over the last few years the Polish project has leapt forward from offering a few provincial classics to a really impressive catalogue of games that made the 90s and early 00s interesting. Clearly they’ve been letting in many more recent games of late, with Fahrenheit appearing last week for example. And they used it to launch their own game, The Witcher 2, earlier this year. But it seems they want to expand even further, going directly into competition with the likes of Steam, Impulse, GamersGate or Origin. Which is always a bold step, but one made much more interesting when you consider their DRM-free requirement.

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Oh, But Some Good Ass Rev News: DRM

By John Walker on November 10th, 2011.

He just wants to hold hands.

While we may be suffering a delay on Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, there’s some good news. Ubisoft have just confirmed for me that the game will not be coming with their hideous “always-on” DRM – a sign that perhaps, since it’s absent from such a big title, that they’re finally recognising it shouldn’t be anywhere near any of their products. Instead you’ll need to be online the very first time you play the game for an activation, and then it’s yours to play offline at your leisure. Goodness gracious, that’s bordering on reasonable! Hooray!

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Darkspore DRM Shuts Out New Players?

By Jim Rossignol on October 27th, 2011.

Oh dear.
We’re receiving reports that new Darkspore players are unable to play the game, and haven’t been able to play for over nine days, due to an error with the online authentication system. There’s an ongoing thread about the issue here, dated from October 18th. There’s currently no word on a fix.

Of course EA’s position on Darkspore was that it was an online game, and that it wasn’t DRM so much as how you played with other players, if you wanted to play with them. That means solo play is online, even though (as a Diablo clone) there was no reason for it to be. Diablo III will be using a similar system. I do not understand why any company thinks it’s acceptable to fail to provide an offline option for a game that can (and will) be played offline and solo by the people who purchased it.

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How Diablo III’s DRM Will Affect You

By John Walker on September 22nd, 2011.

Oh what a treat for everyone.

Diablo III‘s ‘always-on’ DRM is obviously a matter of much controversy, albeit a more nuanced one than that of Ubisoft. Where Ubisoft implemented the grotesque system purely as a claimed measure to fight piracy, Blizzard’s logic at least has some elements that offer benefits to the player. Battle.net, online ranking, drop-in-drop-out co-op, the auction house, and constant live monitoring of your progress, and monitoring to prevent cheating, can all be argued to be in the players’ favour, in a way that Settlers VII crashing its single player because the internet blipped does not. But it doesn’t make the problem go away, and I want to strongly argue that Blizzard reconsider their decision, in the face of its simply breaking their game. Because no matter how perfect your connection, it will affect you.

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Avalanche On DRM: “Does Nothing Useful”

By John Walker on September 6th, 2011.

You can always trust a Swede.

Like an angelic voice of reason amongst the grunting lunacy comes Christofer Sundberg, founder of Avalanche Studios. The Just Cause developer has told EDGE that “always-on DRM only says: ‘Thank you for buying our game, we trust you as far as we can throw you.'” Responding to the utterly unfounded and unevidenced defence of Driver SF’s always-on DRM from Martin Edmonson last week, Sundberg told the Edgeborg that treating customers with respect would be a far more effective means of dealing with piracy.

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Steam Is Offering Refunds For From Dust

By John Walker on August 24th, 2011.

Scenes inside the hearts of players.

With peculiar timing, Valve seem to finally be offering refunds on From Dust. Customers who bought the game under the belief its DRM required a one-time only activation angrily responded to the revelations (as brought to the world by the fine eyebrows of RPS) that the game required a connection for every launch. Demands for refunds were being met with stony silences in every direction, with Ubisoft pointing customers to the retailers. And while there were rumours of Steam giving some money back, most were being met by their questionable stance that they don’t offer refunds for anything. Well, despite the recent announcement that the DRM would soon be patched out, that seems to be changing, as it appears (from the text of Valve’s emails) Ubisoft have specifically asked Valve to return the cash. (Let’s put in a disclaimer here – this is based on reports from a couple of readers, and Valve are notoriously fickle in these regards.)

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Ubisoft U-Turn On From Dust DRM!

By John Walker on August 22nd, 2011.

Announcing the good news!

Well blimey, here’s a thing. After Ubi’s frankly dreadful performance over From Dust, there appears to be a degree of capitulation afoot. On the From Dust forums (which now appear to be the only way to learn such news from the publisher) it has been revealed that the team are working on a patch that will remove online authentication DRM entirely. Which would be, well, brilliant!

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DRM Research Continues At Fubisot HQ

By John Walker on August 20th, 2011.

Because sometimes you have time on a Saturday morning.

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