Ubisoft U-Turn On From Dust DRM!

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!

It’s oddly phrased, as it happens. The post goes:

“We recognize that one of our posts in the From Dust forum regarding the need for authentication in the game was not clear. We sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding. Our tech teams are working on a patch that should release in approximately two weeks that will eliminate the need for any online authentication. This development time is required as we are working to ensure that those who have already started the game, and who’s progress is currently saved on our servers, will receive and save their game information locally. Once the patch is ready, players who already have the game will automatically receive the update on their next login and subsequent game sessions will be 100% offline.”

Which would seem to be implying that the reason they are making the change is not because such DRM is obviously abysmal treatment of customers (Blizzard, I’m coming for you next), but because of the confusion caused in the forum with a post (now deleted) saying that there would be no every-time authentication.

It’s wonderful to see an apology, and to see a definitive response. Removing the DRM would seem to be absolutely the right thing to do. The version available to pirates had the DRM removed from day one, so it was performing no service beyond providing a barrier between legitimate customers and the game. As is, of course, almost always the case – it’s the central idiocy of DRM that makes the argument so very confusing to even be having. (“Try our new range of stable door locks, which automatically activate as soon as the horse has bolted!”)

We’re also hopeful that a patch with two weeks to be made might also include some other rather significant improvements for the PC game, such as graphics options, removing the 30fps cap, maaaany bug fixes, and the option to use the mouse as a cursor independently of movement. We’ll let you know when it’s released.

Meanwhile, I strongly hope that this is no aberration, and instead Ubisoft are learning from the experience. The issue was not that they had stated clearly to customers that they would not be using the DRM that was eventually included. That was extremely serious, but the real issue is why people were so upset by the DRM itself. Pointlessly punitive against legitimate customers, and not affecting pirated copies, it’s a ludicrous endeavour with no positives for anyone. I really hope that we can look forward to a similar reversal over the forthcoming Driver: San Francisco, and any future Ubisoft PC releases, so we can once again enjoy the games they release, rather than be forced to recommend no one touch them with a barge pole.

Big thanks to Citruspunch on the forums for the spot.


  1. busfahrer says:

    It’s called damage control.

    • Renfield says:

      Perhaps, but it gives (some of) us what we wanted. I’d rather such ‘damage control’, than Ubisoft begging for forgiveness, but not fixing the problem.

    • Nicholas Totton says:

      I would rather them just try this silly and unheard of thing called treating their customers like human beings. I KNOW! It’s a crazy concept in this day and age, but it’s so crazy it might just work…

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Honestly, to me it looks more like “same old” rather than “damage control”.

      Ubisoft has done this same thing several times. Release games with horrendous DRM, patch them out later. From Far Cry 2 to Assassin’s Creed 2. The fact that they’re removing the DRM from From Dust doesn’t really mean they’re actually “sorry”, or that they’re trying to make it better.

    • MadMinstrel says:

      Next up: Oh yeah… remember when we said we would remove that one-time activation? Yeah, we meant exactly what we said! We’re removing it for one session only!

    • Zogtee says:

      I don’t know about all this.

      Ubisoft has still not made any official comments about removing this ‘always connected’ DRM. Suddenly it was removed from a couple of games and everyone was happy, thinking that Ubisoft had changed their DRM policy. Then it suddenly pops up again in another game and now this. They’re going back and forth on this. The only comment that can be considered official was the recent one about how this type of DRM was working well and as intended.

      Fuck knows what’s going on over there. Don’t we have anyone here who works at Ubisoft and can leak some information?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Based on the information a colleague has told me (a colleague who has no interest in games at all, but is a fairly sharp consumer rights expert), Which? got involved, in all likelyhood, being in the spotlight of such an influential consumer rights organisation would have greatly influenced this action.

      Anyway, once this happens, I will re-purchase this game, I know it’s short and the porting is bad, but I still like the look of it.

    • Symitri says:

      “Perhaps, but it gives (some of) us what we wanted. I’d rather such ‘damage control’, than Ubisoft begging for forgiveness, but not fixing the problem.”

      Or, worse, saying they’re aware of the problem but don’t understand the fuss about it and how you can always play another game when you don’t have an online connection.

      I… I may be thinking of a specific case here *cough*Blizzard*cough*

    • Kittim says:

      Meh. Too little too late.

  2. killerkerara says:

    Beyond caring. At this point, I am willing to bet that this post will be deleted and they will deny that they ever made this statement.

  3. Hardtarget says:

    fuck the haters, From Dust is really really fun and I haven’t had any issues with it once I got used to the mouse (well and turned off mouse scrolling from the options menu)

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It is an interesting little thing. Perhaps a little empty.

      It’s worth pointing out that our coverage of the actual game has been tentatively positive. We love Eric Chahi (well, I do) and were looking forward to this. The friction is about how something we were looking forward to is being served up.

    • rocketman71 says:

      Fuck the haters’ haters.

      And fuck those that, like you, always come and post things like “hey, *I* have had no problem, so *you* all have no right to complain”. If you’ve had no problem and the game is so good, what the fuck are you doing here?. Go and play the game, and let us hate in peace.

    • Shortwave says:

      They seem to not care that it DOESN’T WORK FOR OTHER PEOPLE.

    • GLSteve says:

      I didn’t dislike it (played it on the 360), but I was completely off the mark on what kind of game it was – I was expecting something akin to Black & White, with maybe a bit of Populous thrown in (with regards to natural disasters).

      What we ended up with is essentially a pretty 3D puzzle game…

      As a puzzle game though, its not bad.

    • Commisar says:

      This is excellent news, once I get through Bastion, I’ll probably pick From Dust up. I also REALLY hope that Anno 2070 doesn’t have always on DRM

    • jokomul says:

      Basically what Rocketman said.

      I can’t stand it when people insert themselves into conversations just to say “Well I think it’s fantastic.” Nobody cares if you’re able to enjoy something when the majority of people involved in the conversation aren’t.

      OT: I still want my refund. This game has been way more of a pain in the ass than it’s worth. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m still skeptical this will be fixed. They were wrong/lied before, what’s stopping them from doing it again?

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Jim Rossignol: “The friction is about how something we were looking forward to is being served up.”

      Exactly. I love, love, LOVE Out of This World (stateside) and I love love, LOVE populous. The idea of the creator of Out of This World making a spiritual reboot of Populous (obviously, not a true mechanical reboot) was just too much joy for me to contain. unfortunately, it sits, unplayed, in my Steam list due to horrible performance and other issues. (turning off “mouse scroll” does not actually disable mouse scrolling, which is very aggravating for me)

      I find the game to be fun. Very fun. It’s challenging without being obnoxious, IMO, and the puzzles aren’t overtly complex, but require deft concentration and execution to properly pull off. It looks beautiful and the soundscape is wonderfully mastered. The storyline is a bit “meh” but it serves the purpose well enough and is more cohesive than some other blockbuster titles.

      There is a fantastic game underneath (assuming you care for the genre, of course), but it’s being choked out by technical inefficiency and harsh DRM tactics that are, quite honestly, extremely off-putting to many PC gamers. I, myself, despite being a huge fan of this games’ influences, would NOT have purchased had I known about the inflicted DRM method. Despite having a good connection, I do NOT support this kind of DRM. One time activation? Okay. Always on to launch? Not so much. Always on to run? Definitely not.

    • Hardtarget says:

      except i would say the majority of players in fact are enjoying from dust, it has been in the top 4 steam best seller list all week and for quite a while it was #1.

      yes, the DRM is complete balls, but aside from that most people are absolutely able to still play it and enjoy it (well assuming it’s your cup of tea as far as games go).

      If anything what this shows is the vast majority of people have no idea what DRM is or simply don’t care

    • Jebediah Adder says:

      If anything what this shows is the vast majority of people have no idea what DRM is or simply don’t care

      And because of that it’s a good thing that someone is complaining about the DRM, regardless of how good and fun the game is, since the vast majority of players are not going to stand up for their rights…

    • Prime says:

      “I just wish that we could stop the bullshit surrounding DRM because it makes us look so unreasonable. Steam is entirely tolerable, can’t we use that as an acceptable standard? It’s not perfect, but if we scream loudly about removing DRM from anything then we’ll only dig ourselves deeper, but if we point at something and say that it works and it’s acceptable to us then perhaps we can start bringing publishers around to our way of thinking. Yes?”

      No. That only works if you are prepared to accept DRM in any form. I don’t see why we should tolerate it, not even Steam. Steam may be a system that, when it works, is largely unobtrusive but the fact is that your consumer rights have been – and continue to be – damaged by it: you no longer have the right to sell the software you bought to a third party, as gamers have been able to do since the year dot, and you are able to do with most other products. DRM isn’t about piracy; that’s so obvious a lie when contrasted against the cack-handed way they manage it – they end up driving more people towards piracy then they deter. It’s about sabotaging our consumer rights to do what we like with our purchases, or did you think that was just an unintentional side-effect?

    • Urthman says:

      It’s worth pointing out that our coverage of the actual game has been tentatively positive.

      Are you referring to this:

      we can only suggest that you do not buy From Dust.

      or this?

      Again, we strongly suggest that until these many issues are resolved, you do not spend your money on From Dust.

      Because those both seem pretty positive.

  4. deanb says:

    Good to hear they’re reverting on it, though a shame they had the DRM in the first place. As I said when this first cropped up a publisher policy of always removing DRM after a set time (say a month or so) would go a long way with smoothing over customer relations.

    Didn’t realise part of the DRM locked up your saves on Ubi’s servers. I do like the cloud and all, but not as a vault to keep my game saves away from me.

    • Wulf says:

      Yeah, this is another thing that Steam does right. You get to keep your saves locally where the developer says they should be stored and then Steam can back them up and synchronise them to other systems. And Steam doesn’t at all interfere with the functionality of saves in any way. This is unlike UbiDRM where the saves are stored off-site and unlike GfWL where Microsoft dictates where saves are stored and the DRM can interfere with the saves.

      People can spread misinformation about Steam all they like, but it continues to be the most benevolent system of DRM, and I’m with deano in realising that DRM is necessary for the more paranoid publishers out there to feel safe. But the thing is, the more we kick up a fuss, the more they think we’ll never be happy and that we have no real standards, and that if we’re going to bitch about everything they do then they might as well just serve up the nastiest DRM and be done with it.

      This is why I stand by my position to only avoid the DRM that really inconveniences myself and my friends. Those games I don’t buy. I don’t pirate them either. Those are my convictions and I stand by them unwaveringly. This is something that perhaps a certain Mr. K could learn from. :P Standing by one’s convictions in regards to what rights we, as persons, feel we should have is important. It’s very important.

      I don’t feel that Steam has ever infringed against me in any way I can conceive. Not since I started using it years and years ago. Unlike GfWL and UbiDRM, the former of which caused me no end of trouble with the game I had that had it and that I had to crack, and the other has caused an important friend of mine issues and I’ve decided to avoid it.

      I just wish that we could stop the bullshit surrounding DRM because it makes us look so unreasonable. Steam is entirely tolerable, can’t we use that as an acceptable standard? It’s not perfect, but if we scream loudly about removing DRM from anything then we’ll only dig ourselves deeper, but if we point at something and say that it works and it’s acceptable to us then perhaps we can start bringing publishers around to our way of thinking. Yes?

    • p4warrior says:

      Deano hehehe

    • Chuck84 says:

      Well said.

    • Ravenholme says:

      Amen Wulf

    • TLGAthena says:

      “I don’t feel that Steam has ever infringed against me in any way I can conceive.”

      Maybe not you… but if you’re anything like me, your credit card which sits whimpering in your wallet may beg to differ…

    • Symitri says:

      Wulf summed it up better than I could, props to him.

      “Maybe not you… but if you’re anything like me, your credit card which sits whimpering in your wallet may beg to differ”

      link to steamcalculator.com will make you want to commit suicide in that case.

    • Urthman says:

      Wow. The “total value” of the games I’ve purchased on Steam is at least 5 times higher than the actual amount of money I’ve spent.

      That’s the only reason I don’t complain about Steam DRM and other constraints. It’s because they’re charging prices that allow me to comfortably think of these games as long-term rentals.

  5. skinlo says:

    Because I don’t heavily emotionally invest in games companies like some do, I was only sad by the constant ott DRM by Ubisoft, not angry like some internet men are.

    I am glad that Ubisoft has reversed this, it means I’ll probably pick the game up some time when its been removed. I do hope this attitude continues as well!

    • John Walker says:

      It’s not about investing in the company. It’s about wanting to be, as a customer, treated with basic dignity.

    • Shortwave says:

      Yea’ if it goes over smoothly I’ll also be purchasing this game.

    • skinlo says:

      Perhaps, but this isn’t a human rights issue, people seem to forgot its just a game.

      I do agree that Ubisoft effectively lying though was pretty bad however, and I feel sorry for those who thought you were getting a DRM free product. At least hopefully it will be resolved in a few weeks time, and hopefully the stupid DRM thing won’t pop up again.

    • Shortwave says:

      It sort of is a human rights issue (almost maybe sorta) when companies can just start walking all over their customers without penalty of any kind.. In my opinion. I think..

      Go to the grocery store.. Buy apples.
      Bring said apples home, core is full of worms!
      Do you not expect your money back or some kind if retribution..
      I would, and this rule sort of applies to everything.
      I’d feel robbed otherwise.

      Sure this product is functional to some.. But to others no.
      And to release a game without the most basic of functionality?
      We sort of just expect these things to be in games these days..
      Can’t blame people for being caught off guard..

    • John Walker says:

      It’s a consumer rights issue.

    • Shortwave says:

      Oh’ yea! Consumer Rights!
      Thanks John. : P

      Those are also important..

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Thank you, John. Yes, it’s CONSUMER rights. We’re not talking about genocide, here, true enough. But that doesn’t mean we should just fold and let companies do whatever they wish. That type of attitude ahs, quite frankly, driven us to the massive corporate malaise that now threatens to destroy our world economy.

      “Oh, who cares if they tanked the economy, will cause hyperinflation, and refuse to admit it. It’s not like they killed your parents.” Again, true enough, but it doesn’t negate the fact that what they are doing is fundamentally fucked up and should be discouraged and the propagators shunned.

      Just to clarify, I’m not saying Ubi’s DRM is directly parallel to the Great Recession and the corporations tied to it. what I AM saying, is that our own apathy can lead and does lead to our own exploitation. To quote an old punk band, “The problems that you suffer from are problems that you make. The shit we have to climb through is the shit we choose to take […] If the program’s not the one you want, get up, turn off the set. It’s only you that can decide what life you’re gonna get.”

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      I’ve never understood the “it’s just a game” argument. Sure, there comes a time when people make mountains out of molehills, but how is the reaction to this in any way taking it too far?

      Seems to me like more than anything you’re getting peeved at everyone else complaining about something that personally bothers you. While it’s perfectly OK to do that, I do find it strange that you’re telling people that “hey, they’re video games, you automatically have no right to complain”. Everyone has a threshold for their own definition of idiocy, and to many people what Ubisoft is doing falls far below their threshold. It’s that simple.

      Or, if you want me to put it on your terms, calm down. It’s just people complaining on an internet forum. You’re not emotionally vested on internet forums, are you? Then don’t complain.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Pointless Puppies

      It’s not people complaining that irksome, it’s what they bring with the complaining and the manner in which they do it which often is though. People making declarations about how they are going to pirate every game X company makes from here on in because they ‘LIED’ gets pretty tiresome tbh. As does the posturing about how ‘I’ll never play another X game again, EVER!!!’. As if somehow their personal boycott is some noble act in the face of some monumental social oppression and we should all somehow be justifiable proud of their sacrifice in this respect……

  6. Shortwave says:

    Hopefully they walk the walk, yea.
    Would be good news for their future releases and a valuable lesson learned, we can hope!

    I smiled so hard when Wings Of Prey patched out it’s DRM.
    I had owned the game for a year and never got to play it because the activation process was bugged for me. Which resulting in all my “uses” going up. They gave me another key which never worked after a week sending emails back and forth. Then after a few more days of explaining to them that me new key isn’t even valid I gave up.. Then one magical morning I woke up to read that the DRM was removed.. I reinstalled the game.. And, it, just.. Worked.. OMFG.

  7. vivlo says:

    is the world getting better ?

  8. paco says:

    I don’t really see much apology there.

    But at least its the start of a mea culpa.

    • John Walker says:

      “We sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding.”

    • thegooseking says:

      I thought the issue was that there was no misunderstanding though, and that they basically denied ever having said something they actually said and called it a misunderstanding. Though maybe I misunderstood…

    • TheLordMoosey says:

      To me, it seems like one of those sort of weasel-like apologies. Like, “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I’m sorry that you thought that”. It’s not so much an apology for their actions as it is a regret that we didn’t react well.

    • paco says:

      No offense, but there was no misunderstanding, and thus their apology is a nonexistent sop.

      They stated “One time activation and that’s it” then when the game came out “Oh nope, sorry”

      Then, here, a week later, they say “We’re sorry you misunderstood us.” That’s not much of an apology in my book. Just saying.

    • jokomul says:


      That’s exactly what it is, based on the very first sentence:

      “We recognize that one of our posts in the From Dust forum regarding the need for authentication in the game was not clear.”

      The post was perfectly clear. It couldn’t have been clearer. It’s almost as if they’re apologizing we weren’t able to understand what they meant.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      John, I love you, but you can’t see that? They’re not apologizing for what they did, they’re apologizing because we “misunderstood” the DRM.

    • Red_Avatar says:

      Typical dick head apology. Worth shit, and covers their asses. It’s more a lesson in PR than an apology, and only makes me lose respect for them not even wanting to confess THEY fucked up. It’s the equivalent of you throwing a rock at someone’s head and then saying “I’m really sorry you walked into the path of the rock I have thrown”.

    • Kadayi says:

      “John, I love you, but you can’t see that? They’re not apologizing for what they did, they’re apologizing because we “misunderstood” the DRM.”

      If they said they were always shipping the game with always on DRM would people still be demanding refunds over it? No, because those people would never of bought the game in the first place due to their strong principles on the matter. As it was, somewhere a long the way the message got garbled as to the nature of the DRM internally and the wrong message came out., Now sure you can cry that they ‘LIED!!!’ etc, but the plain truth of the matter is it rings more likely of someone not doing their job in the company when it comes to getting everyone on board with the launch DRM position.

      I think the differential in understanding, comes from those who work for a living and appreciate the house of cards nature of large organisations, Vs those who see EA, Ubisoft or Activision as omnipotent & omniscient malevolent single minded behemoths.

    • Harlander says:

      I think the differential in understanding, comes from those who work for a living

      Stay classy, Kadayi.

    • metalangel says:

      It’s a very corporate apology. If you’ve worked customer service (or had dealings with them) you will invariably say/hear “I’m sorry if you feel that way” or similar, when telling a customer who’s made a mess and is blaming you for their actions.*

      *not the case here, but that’s how UbiShaft see it.

    • Kadayi says:


      Classy enough not to quote half a sentence.

  9. ZIGS says:

    So they’re removing the DRM at a time it’ll be no longer “useful” (assuming it ever was) and spinning it so they look good in the picture at the same time, and RPS bought it? Interesting

    • skinlo says:

      At least they are removing it though. Many people who didn’t preorder will have held off purchasing it due to the DRM (and some of the issues). Hopefully these will be resolved.

    • Shortwave says:

      No longer useful?
      Theres a huge market for this kind of game.
      I for one plan on buying it once it’s fixed.
      No doubt it’ll have wicked steam sale prices and it will go like hotcakes..
      (If it’s fixed or not I’d worry but I have faith that this will get resolved)

      It’s not like a hardcore MP FPS where if it doesn’t get insta-patched it just dies.

    • Jeremy says:

      There’s nothing for RPS to “buy” here. They’re removing the DRM, which was originally stated wouldn’t exist in it’s current form. I don’t think anyone here is naive enough to think politics and market impact didn’t factor into that decision.

    • John Walker says:

      ZIGS, rather than just being madangry, why not look a bit more closely at what I wrote.

    • Berzee says:

      reverse reply fail! ZIGS, while I’m here by accident, I don’t think you sound madangry

    • D says:

      @ZIGS <- This, this, this. Furthermore, IMO all developers should invest in online-auth DRM for just the first release week, then drop it with a patch right as the crack comes out.

  10. diamondmx says:

    They refuse to admit fault, and claim it was our misunderstanding (another lie).
    I don’t see a change in attitude so much as slight backpedalling for damage control.

    • skinlo says:

      If the damage control benefits consumers, I don’t see a major reason to complain, at least on this thing.

    • Kadayi says:

      Children lie, companies mis-communicate. It helps in life if you stop imagining that EA, Ubisoft or Activision are omnipotent and omniscient as to their every action like some single minded entity, but are instead as likely to err as much as any other large organisation, like the tax office, or the phone company. Does that make it acceptable? No, does that make it understandable? Yes.

    • Harlander says:

      “Companies mis-communicate”, eh?

      Like the tobacco industry’s 1954 ‘miscommunication’, “We believe the products we make are not injurious to health”?

      Sometimes, companies do lie.

    • Kadayi says:

      “We believe the products we make are not injurious to health”?

      So something that occurred over half a century ago in an entirely different industry somehow proves your point? What next on the Harlander school of logic? Steam went down once for 2 hours 5 years ago, you just can’t trust Steam…..I’m pirating all Valves games from here on in. Fuck you Gabe Newell.

    • Prime says:

      Actually, DiamondMX, it is very difficult to say with any certainty that there was a deliberate intent within Ubisoft to deceive. Big companies are much more likely to have internal communication issues that give the appearance of deception; I’ve seen it happen in my own employment too many times to count. It’s very likely that was what happened in this case – it neatly explains the forum flip-flopping. Those guys weren’t told precisely what DRM the game had, and merely acted on incorrect information. It does look suspicious, but generally most people in big corporations are well-meaning, hard-working individuals who should always be given the benefit of the doubt.

  11. Jeremy says:

    I’m happy about this, I may actually give this game a try when the patch is all said and done. I wonder though, have they done enough to bring people back? While I think they’ve done a good thing here, I know that some will not purchase it, simply on principle now, even if the original cause for rejection has been removed. Will people forgive them(in this instance) after they’ve gone back to their original DRM promise?

  12. Om says:


  13. Ertard says:

    Not buying this game, nor have I pirated it for that matter. Frankly it seems quite interesting, but it’s just not worth the hassle. If you release your PC version with a framerate locked at 30 FPS, your game does not deserve to be played. Lying about DRM and breaking contracts is not that stellar either.

    I feel a bit sorry for Eric Chachi, who seems to be a decent guy (never played Another World). Too bad he got in bed with [please save such accusations for the email in which you send us your proof, cheers – Ed] – hopefully he just goes indie next time, as he should’ve here.

    • Eclipse says:

      Agreed. The DRM removal is great, but if the game is a shoddy port i’m not very interested, I’ll play deus ex in days and then Space Marine, and I still have The Witcher 2 and many other games, including indie ones, to finish. And I consider Another World my favorite game of all time, Ubisoft made a great job making me not wanting to play From Dust

    • Shortwave says:

      I’m not comfortable with saying “they” lied.
      That company is made up of so many people..
      Who knows what went down behind the scenes, clearly their was confusion.
      And clearly some people wanted it to change and others did not.
      I think.. I dunno.

      The whole “they lied” thing to me is a bit much is all.

      But yea’ the lack of basic functionality is pretty pathetic.
      I felt a bit scammed that Sect 8 Prej didn’t even have AA options..
      Thankfully CCC allows me to force it, but still. So I can hear you on that level.
      I’m hoping those issues are also address in two weeks. Putting that off would be a bad idea.

    • Kadayi says:

      “The whole “they lied” thing to me is a bit much is all.”

      This a thousand times. It’s tedious, as are the endless chest beating extortions of ‘I’ll never buy a game by these people again!!’ or that old chestnut ‘I’m pirating everything you make from here on in!!!’

      They’re games. Luxury entertainment goods by any measure.

    • Buzko says:

      @Shortwave and Kadayi – I don’t see what the problem is with saying ‘they lied’.

      Perhaps more precisely, Ubisoft made a false, misleading and deceptive statement on its official forum regarding the performance characteristics of its product. Where I come from, and doubtless elsewhere, that sort of thing is against the law. I suspect that Ubisoft’s efforts to make the previously false statement into a true one may have something to do with its potential legal liability.

      Or maybe they’re all just really nice people and they never meant to confuse us all. Either way, Ubisoft now has a chance of getting money from me, and I have a chance of playing this cool-sounding game.

    • Kadayi says:


      Because it implies that it was a deliberate deceit (devoid of any actual evidence to that effect) and makes no allowance for it simply being a resultant of error on someones part. Instead of focusing on the issue it turns the focus on the ‘perpetrator’ (whether they actually exist or not) and becomes all about blame and punishment. Gamers are up there with 9/11 theorists when it comes to conspiracies. It’s never a case that someone simply screwed up somewhere it always has to be a case that it was part of a deliberate plan. If only the real world was ever truly that efficient (I wish).

  14. scorcher24 says:

    I won’t buy it till UbiPlay Launcher is completely out of the game.
    I won’t let that software infest my computer.
    And I wanted this game badly.
    But I have backbones that need to be broken before I actually buy something with Uplay in it.

    • Markachy says:

      EDIT unneccessary

    • Kadayi says:

      Bravo fighting the good fight against the tyranny of Uplay. It’s good to know that you’re there in the trenches battling ‘The Man’ soldier. You carry on denying yourself those gaming experiences for the greater good, because everyone (and I mean everyone) fully supports you bold stance on this most pressing of issues (one day, one day all the games will be free range, as nature intended them to be). Even though they’re talking out the DRM, it’s just not enough is it is? It’s just not enough…..

    • jay35 says:

      Ditto on the “not buying anything with UPlay, so basically anything by Ubisoft.”

    • Laephis says:

      It’s spineless toads like you, Kadayi, that keep the industry in a perpetual state of stench. It must really drive you mad that other people in the world are willing to stand by their principles, while you mindlessly throw money at whatever shiny thing suits your fancy at a given moment.

    • jaheira says:

      “stand by their principles”

      Get over yourself Sydney Carton. All you’re doing is choosing not to buy a game. Congratulations you epic hero.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      There’s been a fully functional offline crack out for From Dust since day one. Bypasses the DRM, the Ubiplay launcher, and saves files locally. Works great with the Steam version. I finished the game tonight and highly recommend it. It’s basically a beautiful cross between a landscaping sim and civilization.

    • Kadayi says:


      Oh the fucking tyranny of it all. I’m a Gamer (I’m here because I’m all about the games). I’m not exactly sure what you guys are. Saying that though when I’m unhappy with something a company are up to I generally write an email to their customer Service and express my dissatisfaction that way, rather than waste my time thumping my chest on a forum they are never likely to read.

  15. BobbleHat says:

    Well that’s fine, I suppose. If only the whole farce hadn’t happened at all and people could have given them (mainly Eric Chahi) some support from day 1 of release. Now I’ll probably get it if it gets a proper PC patch, and if it turns up on sale, once I’ve played through Human Revolution, Space Marine and The Witcher 2.

  16. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Ubisofts schizophrenia puts me off buying anything they make, regardless of whether or not they’ve patched out the drm, this kind of behaviour makes it completely plausible they’d fuck me over in some other way in a heartbeat.

  17. theloz says:

    If this patch ever materialises I will be purchasing From Dust immediately. THAT’LL SHOW THE BASTARDS!!!

  18. phenom_x8 says:

    The power of PC gamers I guess!

    Will this things happen if it was happened in console ? Just look at those PlayStation hacked server case a few months ago that made their service offline for a month, console gamer rarely fight for their stolen ID and they quite happy when Sony back online by giving a few game for free to apologize towards their customer! Sadly the game they offer already owned by the majority of PS3 owner! When this kind of customer violation happened in PC, we stil have a lots of choice to spend our money anywhere else and we have the power to heard by that. We have option to choose for!

    PC gaming is belong to the community, not those big f***ing corporation!

    • John Walker says:

      “The power of PC Gamer I guess!”

      I beg your bloody pardon?

    • Coins says:

      I think (hope) he just forgot an ‘s’ there.

    • phenom_x8 says:

      PC gamer = Gamer who plays on PC !
      PC Gamer != monthly magazine about gaming in PC !
      Just curious how could they trade marked it ? Will they sue me because of this post?

      I’m sorry John for forgeting those ‘s’ thing!
      Fix it just for you. Feel satisfied now ?? :)

    • John Walker says:

      Now I can love you again.

    • sneetch says:

      Time for a group hug? C’mon you big lugs! Get in here!

    • Josh W says:

      What about the PC Gamer guys? Can they join the hug too?

  19. djbriandamage says:

    Proof that Ubisoft only gives customer service at gunpoint.

    • Shortwave says:

      If they release this kind of crap DRM in their future releases we’ll know if they learned nothing.
      Till’ then I’ll choose to be optimistic about it.

  20. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Well if they do remove it I’ll buy it after all with out hesitation.

  21. Zeewolf says:

    It is a rather enjoyable game.

    Glad to see the DRM out of the way, though in practice it isn’t more of a problem than Steam itself (which, as I said in another post today, would also stop working if my net connection went down, considering I never know when my net is going to stop working in the first place and thus never actually get the chance to activate the sometimes-i-work-sometimes-i-don’t offline mode).

  22. Fitzmogwai says:

    Splendid news.

    Now when are Ubisoft going to do the decent thing and drive a stake through the rotten heart of their whole demented DRM system for all their software?

  23. StingingVelvet says:

    Good show Ubisoft, I will buy it when the patch is released as a vote for no DRM.

    • sneetch says:

      I’ll do the same, after reading a few of the more reasonable posts around here, I’ve come to the realisation that my blanket ban on Ubisoft games only hurt me (well, it did hurt Ubisoft too, but they didn’t really know that) so I’ve decided that my new policy will be to buy the Ubisoft games that I want that are without the DRM and to email them about the games I want but won’t be buying because of the DRM. Only sensible approach to this problem.

      Glad to see the “Blizzard, I’m coming for you next” in the article, no favoritism!

      Edit: Oh, I will of course be reading the patch notes and making sure that it’s less of a horrible port too, before buying it.

  24. BatmanBaggins says:

    You have to wonder who keeps making the decision to include it in the first place.

    “I know users have hated our awful DRM every single time we’ve included it before now, but maybe THIS time no one will notice or care…”

    • Sinomatic says:

      This, really.

      I’m honestly starting to think a lot of people who make marketing and publishing decisions in the gaming industry are demented.

      How is building up so much bad-will with your paying customers (or prospective ones) a good idea?

    • DClark says:

      Ever since Ubisoft’s DRM scheme was implemented I’ve been convinced it was concocted by someone in management so high up he doesn’t have to worry about losing his job, is so high up employees wouldn’t dare speak out against him for fear of losing their job, and someone who can’t be bothered with actually playing the PC games Ubisoft publishes.

    • JellyD says:

      Well as I’m reading the comments here, seems like a lot of you are buying now anyway. The game already sold pretty well. Could they be using this for extra sales? I mean, first they release the game with dreadful DRM. Bunch of people don’t know or don’t care buy the game. Then they patch out the drm and all the angry internet people buy it. Would that perhaps create extra sales from people who are “voting with their wallet” who, if the game wasn’t released with drm hadn’t bought it in the first place.

  25. billyblaze says:

    No. Fuck that. Fuck everything about going “Oh well Ubisoft is a company but they do see reason”. You are getting hustled.

    DRM is all about protecting a product from pre-release on to as long as possible. No publisher in the history of history was ever under the delusion of protecting a game forever. Most sales happen within the first two weeks, unless there’s some unexpected hype-bump coming up. Ubisoft removing DRM now means fuck all, and we shouldn’t pat them on the back for it.

    It was a calculated risk they took. Patching out DRM after a while deserves no good will at all, since a working cracked copy is literally one Google search and two mouse clicks away. The copy protection has been made obsolete, hence they remove it. They still fucked you over. I understand if someone buys the game now if all they were concerned about is their wonky internet connection interrupting gameplay, but don’t do it because you deem Ubisoft a caring company. Nope. Nope. Nope. This means nothing. This is like admitting you stole something after you’ve been caught in the act – no one should go “BOY IS HE HONEST!” and leave their car unlocked a second time. Fuck everything about Ubisoft’s manipulative approach, trying to pose as the good guy now.

    I’m sure there’s good people working for them, but I hope the committee that opts-in for the “looks like it’ll make more money on paper” should be burned for disrespecting their customers that way. And screw the irresponsible consumers that disallow anything about any of this ever changing because they can’t keep themselves from reinforcing their bullshit with their money and making my righteous rant obsolete.

    • Jahandar says:

      Well I would be less annoyed by their DRM if Ubi made it there policy for all new games to only have DRM for the first 2 weeks for that initial wave of interest, then patch it away.

    • Grue says:

      ” ‘Oh well Ubisoft is a company but they do see reason’. You are getting hustled. ”

      … What?? So… you’re working under the assumption that BY DEFAULT *ALL* COMPANIES DO NOT SEE REASON… inherent to the fact that they’re COMPANIES? Wow. The anti-business ideological brainwashing REALLY worked well on you.

      “righteous rant”

      Nothing “righteous” about your rant, bub. You’re part of the problem.

    • Prime says:

      No, Grue, no. There’s an alternative reading of that first sentence that does not – as you have done, knee-jerking into your face – lambast all companies as evil and unworthy of trust, but instead points the blame squarely at the one single solitary company mentioned in the sentence = Ubisoft.

      How about you wind back on the vitriol, read it again, and this time respond like a regular human being instead of Righteous Internet Crusader?

    • malkav11 says:

      This seems kind of unnecessary. I don’t think Ubisoft has suddenly become some kindly trustworthy uncle or somesuch. I’m certainly not going to buy their software pre-release. But the issue I have with them is their use of unnecessary and product-crippling DRM. If they remove the DRM, then the issue is resolved, at least in that particular instance.

      My worry at present is that they’ll be “removing” the DRM like they did with Assassin’s Creed II – i.e., scaling it down very slightly. (Yet apparently enough that Steam lists no third party DRM on their product page, which fooled me into buying it.)

    • wu wei says:

      Agreed with billyblaze. I thought this whole “launch with DRM, patch it out a short while later” two-step was already well recognised as simply providing a limited form of protection to the product for the launch period?

      Now we’re applauding Ubisoft for this practice? Well played, you magnificent bastards.

    • Kadayi says:

      I kind of hear what you are saying, however I don’t think the DRM was so much the issue Vs the mis-communication of the intent (I’m not of the camp of ‘they LIED!!!) of one time activation Vs always on.

      Personally I love gaming as a medium & I want developers to get their money, so they can continue to make more of them. So I can’t object to a limited period of DRM if it offers them some degree of product protection (however slight). I don’t think Ubis DRM works particularly well in that respect, and they’d probably have been better off opting for something like Steamworks, however I don’t condone them for trying (and withering glances to all of those who don’t support game development).

    • Prime says:

      “(and withering glances to all of those who don’t support game development).”

      Please try not to confuse not supporting game development with not support Ubisoft game development, Kadayi. It’s quite possible to support one and not the other.

    • Kadayi says:


      link to penny-arcade.com

      I’m looking at a particular demographic who regularly pop up in these threads beating their chests. I’d of thought that was obvious, but I guess I was mistaken.

    • Prime says:

      …but who haven’t popped up in this particular conversation yet, as far as I can see, which is where I got confused. But now you’ve clarified I can leave you be: I absolutely detest piracy too, vastly preferring to support financially where I can do so. :)

    • Kadayi says:


      I’m more referencing the earlier Ubisoft threads, as well as the stuff I’ve seen around the web. Apologies for the confusion.

  26. Markachy says:

    EDIT trying not to be an internet angry man

  27. Diziet Sma says:

    I’ve really enjoyed playing through the game on PC. It’s actually quite tragic the port was a bit sloppy and the whole kerfuffle over the DRM; it detracts from what is actually an enjoyable light game.

    I do like to think my post on the forums here helped Ubisoft towards the honourable path:

    link to forums.ubi.com

  28. MadTinkerer says:

    Still want my money back. After they fix it, I’ll get again when it goes it goes on sale.

  29. Grue says:

    “and the option to use the mouse as a cursor independently of movement”

    That option existed since release on the PC. It’s called something like “mouse scrolling” and is enabled by default. Uncheck the option and you’re set — after you increase mouse sensitivity by a huge amount. Well, mostly set. The cursor is still a bit wonky. To be fair, so was Black & White’s (another game where the cursor follows the terrain, and a game released FOR the PC), but B&W’s is not as bad.

  30. Zanchito says:

    “We recognize that one of our posts in the From Dust forum regarding the need for authentication in the game was not clear.”

    More like a flaming lie raging through the skies if you ask me, but thanks for the euphemism.

    • wu wei says:

      This is pretty much how Ubisoft communicate.

      Back in March, Ubisoft launched an Australian Ubishop site. For about a day, pretty much every title was listed and selling at $0. So I, like a heap of my friends, grabbed a bunch of things. Some took the full collection.

      A few days later, once we’d all received keys and downloaded our haul, we received a politely snide email from Ubisoft that read in part:

      As you were quick enough to act on this error, we would like to advise that Ubisoft will honour this sale at the full discount.

      Sounds noble, right?

      Yeah, it’s amazingly big of them that they decided to let us know that they were “honouring” Australian consumer laws.

    • Kadayi says:

      “Sounds noble, right?”

      More noble than you I’d say.

      I mean just because you can rip someone off does mean you have to does it? The money you’d have paid for those games would go towards funding future title development and keep people in jobs.

    • Prime says:

      If we choose not to support a bad publisher, this means that money can go to a good one instead. Only Ubisoft lose out here. Case in point: I took my From Dust money and supported the two guys behind S.P.A.Z instead.

    • Kadayi says:


      Did you read what the guy said? It had nothing to do with the DRM in From Dust and everything to do with ripping off a publisher over a clerical error. Pay attention.

    • Prime says:

      Ok. I got that one wrong. Apologies. But how is it “ripping off” a publisher when they put their games up free? That might not have been their intent but they still have to honour it by law. That’s their mistake and people should not be blamed or held to account for taking advantage of it.

      It’s not ideal but it’s hardly a crime.

    • Kadayi says:


      Well clearly it was a case of oversight, rather than intent. That someone can exploit a situation doesn’t necessarily mean they should though. Sure one can argue no harm no foul, but life is rarely that straight forward.

  31. mad monkey says:

    Man … what a shame Ubi. DRM has mostly become pointless. Has been for quite a while, really. And publisher should know that–do know, I’m sure; and yet are so damn unwavering in their insistence on disrupting and often ruining the gaming experience honest users have. Whats the message? Be a pirate so you can enjoy our games without us lurking over your shoulder and yanking your savegames away from you when our servers are out due to yet another rage fueled ddos by Anonymous?

    That just can’t be it. Take the good road and do it like CD Projekt does it. Users like it, hell love it; and more importantly, reward it!

  32. RichardFairbrass says:

    To be honest I wouldn’t bother with it if you’re looking for a god game anyway. Reminded more of playing Wetrix than Populous. Great engine though, hopefully someone can mod up something a bit more inspiring with it.

  33. BrightCandle says:

    I long for the day when I don’t have to go looking for details of a games DRM status before I buy it. This period of games requiring internet connections is not a healthy one and its making my hobby a lot more complicated. Its simpler for me to just assume UbiSoft is going to use draconian DRM so as soon as I see a game from them I can safely ignore reading into the various complexities of their new fancy system.

    I just want to buy and play games but that does not mean I have a nice reliable internet connection.

  34. sinbad269 says:

    I’m OK with games having an “always-on” connection. Even if it’s just for save-game and game options backup. But if the connection is non-existent, or drops for whatever reason, then the game should be OK with that, and just deal with it.

    Like Steam

  35. Prime says:

    While this is welcome news indeed I’d caution anyone from running out to buy the game. The principal factors we disagreed with were (in no particular order):

    a) the anti-consumer, ott DRM
    b) the lies/misrepresentation of this fact in official statements
    c) the shockingly poor port
    d) the constant delay tactics used for PC versions

    The From Dust release represented a ‘final straw’ for many after months/years of watching Ubisoft treat PC Gamers like dirt. What they’ve done here is admirable in itself BUT they’ve chosen to do it after the initial frenzy of sales, which as we all know is still the dominant view of a game’s shelf-life by most major publishers, and have not addressed or even acknowledged any of the other complaints.

    There is nothing stopping them from doing any of this shit again to whatever games are coming from them next, and we’d be foolish to believe this tiny step in the right direction means we can relax and safely purchase from them. Until we see definitive statements that they have reversed their ridiculous policies, until they stop delayign PC versions for no reason other than to promote console sales, until they stop misrepresenting their DRM policies and until they stop including this anti-consumer DRM – consistently – they are simply not to be trusted and I , for one, will not be supporting them in any way, least of all financially.

    • skinlo says:

      Why don’t you just wait until each one of their games comes out before deciding never to buy them again. If they start releasing DRM free, or one time online activation games, then surely buying those will encourage them to do it more often.

    • Prime says:

      The problem with that is we can’t count on their analysis being fine-grained enough to spot the reasons behind which are selling and which aren’t. And suppose they delay a game a month again but don’t put DRM on it – we buy the game in droves so that proves, what, that we don’t like the DRM but are okay with the nonsensical delays? There’s also the fact that this ‘DRM it to hell, then take it away'”in recognition of the difficulties/uproar”‘ tactic has been done before by Ubisoft, and we seem to celebrate it as some kind of minor victory when actually we should be consistent in saying “stop f*cking doing it full stop“.

      Being kicked in the balls and then apologised to afterwards still leaves you with sore balls.

  36. jay35 says:

    “Brilliant”? Hardly. More like the way it should have been from the start. Ubisoft get no credit for this. We had to fight to get them to do the right thing. The only credit belongs to people standing up to these jerks and the blogs that covered this without making excuses for Ubisoft.

  37. Nameless1 says:

    (Blizzard, I’m coming for you next)

    I hoped so.

    • Catalept says:

      From Dust was clearly a standalone game with connectivity-based DRM glued to the side. I strongly suspect that Diablo3 is an entirely different kettle of fish… in particular, from what’s been said (and not said), I suspect (or at least, the pessimist in me suspects) that Blizzard has designed D3 based on a client/server model, functioning similarly to a WoW client that only does instances. This would give Blizzard complete and immediate control over loot drops, item stats, ability powers and effects, and possibly even creature AI… and it would also mean a ‘DRM free’ version of Diablo3 will never happen, as the fundamental game architecture requires an ‘always on’ connection.

      I hope I’m wrong. Or failing that, I hope it’s easy to reverse-engineer :p

  38. SquareWheel says:

    Good to hear. I’d purchase the game at this point if it looked interesting to me. Online saves are moronic.

    *glares at GFWL*

  39. GenBanks says:

    Speaking of indie games that cost £11… I bought Bastion (instead of From Dust due to this whole fiasco) and it’s great so far. I’m reading everything in the voice of the narrator already even though I’ve only played an hour.

    The kid reckoned that by time the DRM patch would come out, he might be ready to give it a chance.

    • Aufero says:

      I’m loving Bastion – best $15 I’ve spent in a long time. From Dust could have had a similar reception from me with a bit more work on the port and less obnoxious DRM.

      As for Ubisoft, I’ll undoubtedly still think twice before buying anything they publish in the future. Apology over the “misunderstanding” or not, they don’t seem to get that treating your customers like crap doesn’t encourage sales.

    • jaheira says:

      The kid reckoned Bastion was jaheira’s game of the year (so far)

  40. Solidstate89 says:

    I REALLY doubt Ubisoft has learned.

    They originally removed the DRM a few months after the launch of AssCreed 2, and because of that, it didn’t appear in AssCreed Brotherhood.

    And yet here we are, discussing about how they have the always-online DRM for From Dust, as well as for Driver.

    Just as soon as you think they’ve learned…they do a 180 and go back to roll in their own shit.

    • malkav11 says:

      Again, as I said above, they never “removed” anything. They scaled it back to activate at launch rather than continuously connect to their activation servers. An improvement, but hardly “removing” the DRM. I’m hoping this isn’t the same trick.

    • Josh W says:

      I hope someone can find a way to get the patch by itself; I’d much rather download a copy of a patch than a crack.

  41. Mattressi says:

    I sincerely hope that they don’t do a reversal on their position of DRM for Driver – the game sounds like it’s going to be absolutely terrible. If they release it without DRM like they did with that Prince of Persia game (the one that most people hated and thought was dumbed down), it’ll sell extremely poorly and they’ll once again complain about how piracy is clearly the problem – not the fact that most of their games are horrible, nowadays.

  42. Shooop says:

    Very funny Ubisoft.

    It wasn’t “a misunderstanding” it was either a blatant lie or incredible failure of communication between employees. They made an announcement that turned out to be untrue but instead of either exclaiming their announcement was wrong or they accidentally put the DRM in (however the hell you manage to do that) they deleted posts and tried to pretend it didn’t happen.

    Ubisoft is either insanely incompetent or horribly malicious. The deleted posts definitely suggests the latter.

    • jaheira says:

      “horribly malicious” – To whom was this horrible malice directed? Potential customers? How is that even vaguely logical?

    • Prime says:

      Jaheira – if you can explain the logic behind Ubisoft’s behaviour I’d be fascinated to hear it. One of the most common sentiments in these threads is “Don’t they realise how much bad will this is generating??” or “My god, they don’t have a clue”. At times it does very much appear to be wilful contempt towards us.

    • edit says:

      I seriously doubt they are malicious. They are more likely afraid. DRM, how ever poorly conceived, useless and counter-productive it might be, is the only real anti-piracy “measure” they have. They’d feel naked without it. OMG pressure and obligation to shareholders! Money! Nobody wants to be in the line of fire by being the one to take a risk and re-evaluate something, just in case it doesn’t work and they have a loss on their shoulders. Perhaps they’ll consider changing tactics when they realise how much they are already losing, as customers avoid or pirate their PC products due to needless DRM hassles or their past reputation.

      I’d say the incorrect announcement was a communications error, and the replaced post was someone’s attempt to not get in trouble for it, or just damage control of the “whoops, I hope nobody saw that” kind.

  43. VileThings says:

    “Meanwhile, I strongly hope that this is no aberration, and instead Ubisoft are learning from the experience”

    I highly doubt it. I see this story repeating itself with Ubisoft’s games. First they put in some ridiculous restrictions (number of installs possible, always online DRM, etc.), then let the customer outrage spill over them untill they decide to loosen the restrictions to some extend (or even removing them entirely).

    This appears as some kind of experiment to me, in which they try to determine just how far they can go with their copy protection without incuring too much wrath from their customers.

  44. Jambe says:

    Blizzard, I’m coming for you next

    I chuckled.

  45. StuffedCabbage says:

    The only reason Ubisoft is removing the DRM is because of the “misunderstanding.” If they really give a rusty F$*K about their legitimate paying customers then they would remove it from all their upcoming games (Driver – San Francisco). Sorry Ubisoft, you can’t bullshit me with your insincere lies.

  46. Berzee says:

    I just want to say..

    |田|田田│ ”,,’,.’,”’,,’,.”

  47. medwards says:

    We’re also hopeful that a patch with two weeks to be made might also include some other rather significant improvements for the PC game, such as graphics options, removing the 30fps cap, maaaany bug fixes, and the option to use the mouse as a cursor independently of movement. We’ll let you know when it’s released.

    Why would you even say this? It raises huge false hopes. Any large organization is probably already shuddering at having to force a migration patch out this fast. I would be utterly amazed to see anything more get shoved into this patch.

  48. Pointless Puppies says:

    I really don’t know why anyone thinks this is any sort of apology from Ubisoft. First of all, their “apology” was simply an apology because the consumer was allegedly confused. There was absolutely no apology to the restrictive DRM. Second of all, they’ve been doing this two-step for several games already (Far Cry 2’s activation limits, AssCreed 2’s always-on DRM).

    They’re not “back-pedaling” on their DRM, this is part of their little scheme of releasing first with this DRM because for some weird reason they think all piracy happens just after the game is released, then they remove the DRM. And by doing that they can say “hey! We listen to consumers! Look! We’re removing this DRM that we put in the first place for no reason!” and they’re on PC gamers’ good side again. Two birds with one stone.

  49. Squishpoke says:

    I agree, removing DRM within the first few weeks may be a step in the right direction. It ain’t perfect, though.

  50. bhlaab says:

    Don’t be surprised if some time after the release of Driver:SanFran the DRM in that magically goes away as well.

    Put in the DRM, get your day one protection, then remove the DRM a little while after release and suddenly you’re doing everyone a favor because you love your customers and value their feedback sooo much

    • bhlaab says:

      And just to throw some more cynicism into the mix, From Dust has gotten quite a bit more attention from this than it probably would have otherwise.