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Ubisoft compensating for DRM with free games

Ubisoft compensating for DRM with free games

Ubisoft is pledging free DLC from the Special Edition version of Assassin's Creed 2 to those stung by DRM woes.

Ubisoft is reportedly set to offer compensatory downloadable content to PC gamers who've had problems with the publisher's new DRM system - though the offer isn't going over as well as might be hoped.

Ubisoft's controversial new DRM system requires new PC games to be attached to a Ubi account and that players always be online whenever they play - even in singleplayer. If you lose your internet connection for just a second then you'll lose any saved progress and if the servers are offline then you won't be able to start playing at all. Ubisoft's servers have already been taken down by attacks.

According to posts on the Ubisoft forums (via Eurogamer) free downloadable content will soon be offered to players who found themselves unable to play.

"Following the recent temporary game server outages which may have caused disruption to some Assassin's Creed 2 players on PC only, we would like to reward your patience if you have experienced any problems by offering you some additional content - previously only available with special editions," said an official forum message.

Naturally, those customers who went out and bought the special edition of Assassin's Creed 2 on PC are a little annoyed at the whole thing, especially since many of them were also unable to play because of server problems.

We've also confirmed since then that some players are being offered free games too, though the selection of the games being offered is a bit random. Bit-tech's James Gorbold (who reviewed Silent Hunter 5) was offered a free copy of either Shaun White's Snowboarding or Prince of Persia to compensate for his DRM problems.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

28 Comments

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l3v1ck 26th March 2010, 11:03 Quote
Too little, too late.
Naberius 26th March 2010, 11:04 Quote
The thing is I brought Assassins Creed 2 to play Assassins Creed 2, not Shawn White or Prince of Persia. So its not really making the whole situation any better.
Fizzban 26th March 2010, 11:10 Quote
At least they are bothering to try to make amends. Even if it's not enough..it is something. And that's better than nothing in my book.
l3v1ck 26th March 2010, 11:17 Quote
How about making amends by getting rid of this dreadful implementation of DRM? There are other more user friendly DRM systems out there.
human_error 26th March 2010, 11:22 Quote
Unless additional content = DRM free version of AC2 then it isn't enough.

I won't be buying settlers 7 until all this rubbish is removed by ubisoft...
Fizzban 26th March 2010, 11:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
How about making amends by getting rid of this dreadful implementation of DRM? There are other more user friendly DRM systems out there.

I think it unlikely they will remove the DRM on those titles. But I imagine that they either: won't use it again or that they will refine it. EA messed up with the DRM on Spore and Mass Effect by only letting people have a certain number of installs. Gamers went bonkers over it and EA no longer use it. Using DRM that loses you revenue is self defeating, hence my opinion that Ubisoft won't use that particular kind again. (if they have any sense)
rickysio 26th March 2010, 11:35 Quote
EA is going to use it - I heard that CnC4 uses something similar.

All DRM does, is to slow release of DRM stripped editions from being torrented/etc. It only hurts the honest consumer, but does nothing to the pirate. Companies apparently have dumb dumb dumb anti-piracy teams.
PQuiff 26th March 2010, 11:50 Quote
Stop being Douche bags and cut the DRM out.......theres your answer Ubisoft.
Phil Rhodes 26th March 2010, 12:01 Quote
"We have to put DRM on games because everyone on the internet thinks everything should be free."

"Here, have a free game."

Er.
Xir 26th March 2010, 12:16 Quote
Quote:
that players always be online whenever they play - even in singleplayer.
Two words, Crack it.

Crack it, indulge yourself in your evilness and crack it. You've bought it anyway, so what the heck?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
EA messed up with the DRM on Spore and Mass Effect
Same cure :D

GTAIV though, with darn GFWL and Rockstar social club...even the stupid steam variant won't run offline. >:(
liratheal 26th March 2010, 12:24 Quote
So..

To fix the issue of users being shafted, they're going to shaft the users that paid for the limited editions?

Smooth move!
GregTheRotter 26th March 2010, 12:31 Quote
What a load of bull! If you have problems with DRM, then they should offer a DRM free option. I know that's kinda pointless since most people with this issue have probably downloaded some crack of sorts. Either way, I'm not buying this game purely because of the DRM. If I have to be on line to play a single player game, and can't save my game if I'm not on line, get disconnected, then what's the point?
GregTheRotter 26th March 2010, 12:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
"We have to put DRM on games because everyone on the internet thinks everything should be free."

"Here, have a free game."

Er.

lol, more like;

'we have to use DRM, god forbid people who actually paid for the game should be able to play it with less hassle than someone who's downloaded the game and cracked it'.
Matticus 26th March 2010, 12:40 Quote
Would be fun for the people who paid extra for the limited editions, do they get even extra free stuff. Doubt it.

I really do not understand (rubbish) DRM, if we remove the people who refuse to buy the games due to the DRM from the equation and just assume we have buyers and pirates. Surely the cost to implement a DRM into the game, the extra development time to add in the DRM, the cost to keep all their servers running, the damage to their reputation and time and effort spent making silly gestures like this costs a lot more than losing a few paying customers because its easier to illegally download? Then we can add back in the customers who are now willing to buy because its not full of DRM... *sigh*
Cupboard 26th March 2010, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Two words, Crack it.

Crack it, indulge yourself in your evilness and crack it. You've bought it anyway, so what the heck?


Same cure :D

GTAIV though, with darn GFWL and Rockstar social club...even the stupid steam variant won't run offline. >:(

The issues I have had with GFWL and GTA4... makes me wish I had pirated the game in the first place.
SNIPERMikeUK 26th March 2010, 12:55 Quote
I use no DVD cracks where I can, I hate having to put the disc in the drive just for a disc-check, it's like being penalised for buying it....
eddtox 26th March 2010, 13:27 Quote
FAIL. AGAIN.
I vote with my wallet.
Coltch 26th March 2010, 13:56 Quote
I wanted to get AC2, unfortunately I have mobile broadband and line disconnections can be quite common (along with data allowance). I don't mind going online to register a game in order to play (just the once though!), but to be online for a single player is just carp.

I am playing ME2 at the moment and only need to go online to activate any new DLC that I have - not to play through the game!.
somidiot 26th March 2010, 14:13 Quote
That's not fixing the problem. Seems like another "screw you gamers, our bottom line is more important" way of thinking. almost feels like "we know what the problem is but we're not willing to compromise to fix it." too. contrary to popular belivef not everyone has an internet connection on every port in their house. what if you don't have one "you're not good enough to play our game"?
Anfield 26th March 2010, 15:53 Quote
I'm sure EA, Microsoft and Activision will be pleased to welcome Ubisoft to the club of Companies that killed PC Gaming.

Gog ftw... quality games you can play without much hassle.
thehippoz 26th March 2010, 16:25 Quote
I think they're drm this time around is pretty foolproof.. reminds me of when bioshock was released- took crackers a while to get around the initial download scheme.. this just takes that to the next level where it's used throughout the game itself

more of a challenge as you have to get all the data from their servers before you can make any real release that works proper.. means figuring out the way the game requests this data from the server.. and ubi can have checks on the server itself- if said key requests so much data within so little time- that's impossible, cut off connection or even more dubious.. send bad data XD
Warrior24_7 26th March 2010, 17:29 Quote
*sigh* just get off of the platform Ubisoft...
pimonserry 26th March 2010, 18:13 Quote
I've been given a code for some AC2 DLC. It's a shipyard, a church, and a palace. Not too bothered TBH.

But what do the LE buyers get? Or do they get shafted by people who buy the normal version (like me)?
Hilda 26th March 2010, 18:29 Quote
I was really looking forward to buying AC2 for the PC but am completely put off by the DRM so will not be buying that game. From a business point of view, I'd like to know if the loss in sales due to the DRM is the same, larger or smaller than the loss in sales due to piracy. I am pretty sure that the DRM has put off many legit PC gamers from buying AC2. It has also pissed off many honest gamers who were looking forward to paying for their copy and enjoying the game. Nice one UBI. What astute business men!
outlawaol 27th March 2010, 16:51 Quote
No game should require to have an internet connection to play. What about laptop gamers that play on the go? What about people that like to game but dont have access to the internet 24/7?

This version of DRM is more offensive then anything they have put out. I am actually glad the servers got taken down by attacks. The community is speaking out clearly. Anyone have a list of their IP's somewhere..... :D
Xir 29th March 2010, 09:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
The issues I have had with GFWL and GTA4... makes me wish I had pirated the game in the first place.

Hmmm, I've bought it, lies on the shelf though. Then someone brought me a pirated version but I can't get it to work...
When I've built my new system I'll have to install the bought one and live with all the hassles. >:(
gavomatic57 29th March 2010, 13:13 Quote
Forget the free games, just fix the game people paid for.

Clearly that is too much to ask.
dillingerdan 29th March 2010, 21:31 Quote
How do you claim this free game exactly? Ring them up, or complain on their boards?

I bought the black edition of the game so essentially overpaid to get extra screwed. This DRM obviously doesn't work. How sensible is it to tie a single player game to a server? If it was a multi-player game I might get it, but it's not.

Why bother? Pirates don't contribute anyway, and you are paying someone money (for their DRM/to implement a DRM for you) to drive customers away. How is that good business?

Unless they are trying to eliminate the PC market, and just use poor sales as an excuse.
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