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RUSE drops Ubi DRM for Steamworks

RUSE drops Ubi DRM for Steamworks

Ubisoft has confirmed that upcoming strategy title RUSE will not use Ubi's own DRM system.

Ubisoft has confirmed that the PC version of upcoming World War II strategy title RUSE will not use Ubisoft's own DRM system and will instead opt for Valve's Steamworks API.

Ubisoft's own DRM solution, which has been bigged up by Ubisoft's boss Yves Guillemot, requires players to always be online and log in to game servers.

"When R.U.S.E. is released in September, it will benefit from Valve's Steamworks API to offer the best community experience to players," claims an official message on the Ubisoft forums.

"Consequently, a Steam account and Internet connection will be required to activate the game, as per Steam policy. For this reason, R.U.S.E. will not use the Ubisoft protection. Single player can be played offline."

Ubi's DRM system has drawn much controversy with gamers and has been accused of being unreliable, so this news is being taken well by PC gamers. It's still unclear whether future PC titles will also be release without Ubi's own DRM.

RUSE itself is a World War II strategy game where players use deception and camouflage, rather than force of arms, to outwit each other. It's been delayed at least once since it was first announced in March 2009 though and we have to say we weren't very impressed when we previewed it last, at Gamescom 2009.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

38 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
r3loaded 12th August 2010, 11:59 Quote
Next steps: remove the Ubisoft DRM from Steam copies of Ubisoft games, add in Steamworks instead and I'll buy the games instantly!
Phalanx 12th August 2010, 12:00 Quote
That signals a death knell to me for Ubi's DRM. It's very honest and open of them to drop their own system from their own game.

If they do it to all their games, I might consider purchasing them :) I want some of their titles, but I'm not touching that Ubi DRM.
ZeDestructor 12th August 2010, 12:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Next steps: remove the Ubisoft DRM from Steam copies of Ubisoft games, add in Steamworks instead and I'll buy the games instantly!

It'll never happen :(
Evildead666 12th August 2010, 12:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Next steps: remove the Ubisoft DRM from Steam copies of Ubisoft games, add in Steamworks instead and I'll buy the games instantly!

+100000000000000000
Unknownsock 12th August 2010, 12:18 Quote
Never had a problem with Ubisofts DRM. Although it did seem to DC me 50% of the time when i alt-tabbed out of a game.
Plugs 12th August 2010, 12:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock
Never had a problem with Ubisofts DRM. Although it did seem to DC me 50% of the time when i alt-tabbed out of a game.
sounds like a problem to me
tristanperry 12th August 2010, 12:42 Quote
Very glad to hear it. Here's hoping Ubi scrap it altogether!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock
Never had a problem with Ubisofts DRM. Although it did seem to DC me 50% of the time when i alt-tabbed out of a game.
As Plugs says, that does sound like a problem? I.e. the DRM disconnects you and is unreliable (DC 50% of time) when you use the game in a normal way (alt-tab out)
Zurechial 12th August 2010, 12:42 Quote
If they apply this little dose of common sense retroactively to Splinter Cell: Conviction and Assassins Creed 2 I might finally get to enjoy those games without compromising my principles.
I refuse to buy those games until Ubisoft's DRM is gone.
REMF 12th August 2010, 14:01 Quote
Hah, i might buy this on principle.
nemo 12th August 2010, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by REMF
Hah, i might buy this on principle.

amen to that :)
the-beast 12th August 2010, 14:23 Quote
Now all they need to do is drop the steam requirement and those of us with no interest in 'community' features, multi player or even a stable and reliable internet connection will then buy the game. Swapping one crappy DRM for an every so slightly less restrictive one is not progress. Oh well another 30 odd quid for me to spend on something else.
WildThing 12th August 2010, 14:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
If they apply this little dose of common sense retroactively to Splinter Cell: Conviction and Assassins Creed 2 I might finally get to enjoy those games without compromising my principles.
I refuse to buy those games until Ubisoft's DRM is gone.

+1 Yeah I've wanted to try AC2 for a while now (on PC of course) but the idea of supporting the Ubisoft DRM does not sit well with me.
sear 12th August 2010, 15:17 Quote
The most hilarious part of this entire saga is that it could have been totally avoided by just using Steam in the first place. Yes, I realise that there are licensing costs associated with it, and Ubisoft were trying to build their own community, blah blah, but the costs of developing their own infrastructure - which clearly was not up to snuff - likely would outweigh the licensing fees anyway. I don't think Ubisoft realised how difficult it was to get it right.
CharlO 12th August 2010, 15:21 Quote
Is incredible, the first time I heard of RUSE and already want a copy.
erratum1 12th August 2010, 16:08 Quote
Not interested in the game but this is 'good news'.

Ditch the ubisoft drm.
Star*Dagger 12th August 2010, 19:27 Quote
RUSE is going to change revolutionize the RTS genre. SupCom gave us strategic zoom, RUSE is going to give us proper fog of war and deception tactics, something that has been missing all too often in Pc Gaming.

S*D
AstralWanderer 12th August 2010, 19:45 Quote
Bah, this is out of the frying pan and into the fire. :(

Ubi's DRM may suck royally (and I've boycotted a couple of games due to it) but Steamworks means having all games tied into a single Steam account, allowing Valve to hold your games collection to ransom if they so choose (e.g. by bringing in a regular fee to keep accounts open). You also have the Steam Subscriber Agreement which includes the following gems:

4B. "ALL STEAM FEES ARE PAYABLE IN ADVANCE...Valve reserves the right to change our fees or billing methods at any time...you are responsible for reviewing the billing section of Steam to obtain timely notice of such changes. Your non-cancellation of your Account or an affected Subscription thirty (30) days after posting of the changes on Steam means that you accept such changes."

(If everything is purchased in advance, why have this section at all unless there is a plan to introduce a subscription charge?)

5. "...Valve may terminate your Account or a particular Subscription for any conduct or activity that Valve believes is illegal, constitutes a Cheat, or which otherwise negatively affects the enjoyment of Steam by other Subscribers. You acknowledge that Valve is not required to provide you notice before terminating your Subscriptions(s) and/or Account, but it may choose to do so."

(Valve can shut accounts for almost any reason - even something as trivial as posting negative comments on their forums).

9A. THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF USE OR PERFORMANCE OF STEAM, THE STEAM SOFTWARE, AND MERCHANDISE REMAINS WITH YOU, THE USER. VALVE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS (I) ANY WARRANTY FOR STEAM, THE STEAM SOFTWARE, AND THE MERCHANDISE, AND (II) ANY COMMON LAW DUTIES WITH REGARD TO STEAM, THE STEAM SOFTWARE, AND THE MERCHANDISE, INCLUDING DUTIES OF LACK OF NEGLIGENCE AND LACK OF WORKMANLIKE EFFORT.

(Disclaimers aren't unusual but "lack of workmanlike effort"? What sort of coders are Valve using to justify that?)

9C. VALVE DOES NOT GUARANTEE CONTINUOUS, ERROR-FREE, VIRUS-FREE OR SECURE OPERATION AND ACCESS TO STEAM, THE STEAM SOFTWARE, YOUR ACCOUNT AND/OR YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS(S).

(If Steam is hijacked and used to spread malware, and with access to 25 million systems it must now be an attractive target for malware pushers, you're on your own - even if your bank account is emptied by a trojan).

DRM-free software can work as a business (Gog being the best example) and avoids all these hassles. However if people choose to tolerate "light" DRM then this is going to be seen as acceptance of tighter controls in future.
south side sammy 12th August 2010, 21:17 Quote
I have a good idea......... Let the game work the way they used to work..... you know, stick the disc in and let me play my game. Now I have to have internet just to play single player. F.O. with that B.S. already!
Cobalt 12th August 2010, 21:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
DRM-free software can work as a business (Gog being the best example) and avoids all these hassles. However if people choose to tolerate "light" DRM then this is going to be seen as acceptance of tighter controls in future.

Ah the good old slippery slope argument. Unfortunately this very article acts as evidence against your claim. Steam has been around a long time and the worst of the draconian DRM schemes are more recent. Steam has survived and the others haven't. This seems to clearly establish that there is a maximum level of DRM that consumers will tolerate, Steam sits below that level and would face revolt if it became too restrictive just like every other scheme out there.

I agree that I'd prefer not to have any DRM but the value-add of Steam makes the service a net positive (a widely expressed sentiment I believe).
AstralWanderer 12th August 2010, 21:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt
Ah the good old slippery slope argument. Unfortunately this very article acts as evidence against your claim. Steam has been around a long time and the worst of the draconian DRM schemes are more recent.
Would that not support the point I made? ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt
Steam has survived and the others haven't. This seems to clearly establish that there is a maximum level of DRM that consumers will tolerate,
I wouldn't sound the death knell for UbiDRM, SecuROM online and other systems yet - but yes, different folks tolerate different strokes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt
Steam sits below that level and would face revolt if it became too restrictive just like every other scheme out there.
Ah, but how could anyone revolt if it meant losing all their previous purchases? If you had say, £300-500 worth of Steam software, would you be prepared to lose it all over a £10 fee?

To be fair, this applies to other systems where multiple purchases are tied to a single account (Stardock's Impulse or Paradox's GamersGate) but with Steam being the largest by some margin, they're likely to be the first to try pushing the envelope.
Saivert 12th August 2010, 22:05 Quote
so? if you purchase games on steam you have to be prepared for this. games are tied to your account. this has been clear from the very beginning. I don't see an issue with this. The only alternative is to not play those games. If I want to play the PC version of Half-Life 2 Episode Three I will have to buy it on steam. There is no way around that. The only other alternative is illegal as we all know.

In a perfect world nobody would be forced to do anything. and there would be no need for laws. and everybody did what they were supposed to do. but the world is not perfect and thus we have DRM.
DragunovHUN 12th August 2010, 22:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by south side sammy
I have a good idea......... Let the game work the way they used to work..... you know, stick the disc in and let me play my game. Now I have to have internet just to play single player. F.O. with that B.S. already!

NO! For the love of god not disk checks!
AstralWanderer 12th August 2010, 22:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saivert
so? if you purchase games on steam you have to be prepared for this. games are tied to your account. this has been clear from the very beginning. I don't see an issue with this.
Well yes, if you join a club, you have to accept the rules. However did you review Steam's subscriber agreement and consider the possible ramifications beforehand?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saivert
The only alternative is to not play those games.
Wouldn't a better one be to support those publishers and developers who don't impose DRM on their customers? If enough people boycott DRM-ware then it will die out and everyone will be the happier for it (except for those whose livelihood depends on it).
Sloth 12th August 2010, 23:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
Bah, this is out of the frying pan and into the fire. :(

Ubi's DRM may suck royally (and I've boycotted a couple of games due to it) but Steamworks means having all games tied into a single Steam account, allowing Valve to hold your games collection to ransom if they so choose (e.g. by bringing in a regular fee to keep accounts open). You also have the Steam Subscriber Agreement which includes the following gems:

4B. "ALL STEAM FEES ARE PAYABLE IN ADVANCE...Valve reserves the right to change our fees or billing methods at any time...you are responsible for reviewing the billing section of Steam to obtain timely notice of such changes. Your non-cancellation of your Account or an affected Subscription thirty (30) days after posting of the changes on Steam means that you accept such changes."

(If everything is purchased in advance, why have this section at all unless there is a plan to introduce a subscription charge?)

5. "...Valve may terminate your Account or a particular Subscription for any conduct or activity that Valve believes is illegal, constitutes a Cheat, or which otherwise negatively affects the enjoyment of Steam by other Subscribers. You acknowledge that Valve is not required to provide you notice before terminating your Subscriptions(s) and/or Account, but it may choose to do so."

(Valve can shut accounts for almost any reason - even something as trivial as posting negative comments on their forums).

9A. THE ENTIRE RISK ARISING OUT OF USE OR PERFORMANCE OF STEAM, THE STEAM SOFTWARE, AND MERCHANDISE REMAINS WITH YOU, THE USER. VALVE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS (I) ANY WARRANTY FOR STEAM, THE STEAM SOFTWARE, AND THE MERCHANDISE, AND (II) ANY COMMON LAW DUTIES WITH REGARD TO STEAM, THE STEAM SOFTWARE, AND THE MERCHANDISE, INCLUDING DUTIES OF LACK OF NEGLIGENCE AND LACK OF WORKMANLIKE EFFORT.

(Disclaimers aren't unusual but "lack of workmanlike effort"? What sort of coders are Valve using to justify that?)

9C. VALVE DOES NOT GUARANTEE CONTINUOUS, ERROR-FREE, VIRUS-FREE OR SECURE OPERATION AND ACCESS TO STEAM, THE STEAM SOFTWARE, YOUR ACCOUNT AND/OR YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS(S).

(If Steam is hijacked and used to spread malware, and with access to 25 million systems it must now be an attractive target for malware pushers, you're on your own - even if your bank account is emptied by a trojan).

DRM-free software can work as a business (Gog being the best example) and avoids all these hassles. However if people choose to tolerate "light" DRM then this is going to be seen as acceptance of tighter controls in future.
Ah the beauty of legal-ese. If you're scared by Valve's agreement for Steam then I suggest emptying any bank accounts this very instant and dealing with only cash for the rest of your life.

You might notice that you are given 30 days to cancel your account before any subscription is implemented. That's entirely reasonable and fair, Valve is not going to go charging people's accounts without any sort of notice. If you're bothered about losing access to your games due to not accepting the subscription, well, that's really your own fault and should be common sense that when buying a game via digital distrobution you are entirely reliant on access to Steam to access your games. You should never buy a digital copy of anything if that bothers you.

Section 5, again, is quite similar to ANY disclaimer for any sort of service. Check the agreement with your ISP, or any other utility providers.

9A... now you're just getting into conspiracy theories. All it's saying is that Valve is not held by any common law duty to maintain and work on Steam. They could abandon it right now and it would be entirely in their rights. Again, quite a common disclaimer.

9C, good luck living in the modern world if this bothers you. I'd like to quote Newegg.com's limitation of liability policy for an example: "NEWEGG.COM SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR THIRD PARTY CLAIMS FOR DAMAGES AGAINST THE CUSTOMER, OR FOR MALFUNCTION, DELAYS, INTERRUPTION OF SERVICE, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OR DAMAGE TO EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, WHETHER OR NOT NEWEGG.COM HAS BEEN MADE AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH CLAIMS OR DAMAGES". It's simply a way to make themselves safe against thousands of lawsuits from money hungry pricks. Start dealing with it or trade with furs and skins at your local market.

Don't mean to get too off-topic, so tl;dr good luck finding something which doesn't contain these disclaimers. Anything that reaches Steam's size without them will be brought down by lawsuits.
CowBlazed 12th August 2010, 23:24 Quote
Awesome! Really enjoyed playing the beta on Steam and the Free Preview, but I would never buy a game with the Ubisoft DRM. This solves that problem, hope they realize they're only alienating their own customers by using draconian DRM.

I'll take Steam over any other DRM system any day.
south side sammy 12th August 2010, 23:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
NO! For the love of god not disk checks!

What's wrong with having to put your disc in...... the one you bought that you actually own and can use to run YOUR game without even having an internet connection ? Now they have it you don't even own YOUR game and you have to check in with "Big Brother" just to play single player.... c'mon man..... YOU/WE paid for it but it still ISN'T OURS.....
lapens 13th August 2010, 00:09 Quote
I for one welcome this decision. In all honesty, I am actively boycotting ALL Ubi games until they end this ridiculous form of DRM.

However, I admit I did install the RUSE beta as I am genuinely interested in this game. Who knows, if they do end their DRM experiment I might even purchase it!

PS. And no sammy, disc checks are not the way to go - thankfully they have gone the way of the dodo. Exampels of why?
- My bf2 disc got so much use it was scratched to buggery - I had to buy a new disc, as did my friend.
- When travelling to different cities (and yes, some people live and work in different cities during week/weekend), you have to remember the discs! ARGHH!!!
- My son destroyed one of my game disks once - yep, never played that game again...

There are millions of reasons... Steam FTW.
DragunovHUN 13th August 2010, 00:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by south side sammy
What's wrong with having to put your disc in......

They break, they get lost, they take up room in your house, you have to fetch the disk if you want to play a game, and if god forbid you want to play a different game you have to fetch the other game's disk and swap them out first.

Not to mention the "put in disk 1 to install. Now put in disk 2. Now put disk 1 back in just to make sure you still have it lolol" bullshit when installing a game.
Aracos 13th August 2010, 02:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Quote:
Originally Posted by south side sammy
What's wrong with having to put your disc in......

They break, they get lost, they take up room in your house, you have to fetch the disk if you want to play a game, and if god forbid you want to play a different game you have to fetch the other game's disk and swap them out first.

Not to mention the "put in disk 1 to install. Now put in disk 2. Now put disk 1 back in just to make sure you still have it lolol" bullshit when installing a game.

Now insert disk 3, now insert disk 4. In the case of beyond good and evil, oh and did I mention the incredibly slow speed of game installation from a DVD? I back all my games up to a F3 1TB from steam and back up all my game DVD's to a UIF/ISO file for quick installation, I refuse to install with a disc.
Xir 13th August 2010, 09:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
RUSE is going to give us proper fog of war and deception tactics, something that has been missing all too often in Pc Gaming.

S*D

Ever tried Ground Control?
Fog-of-War. Advantage of high grounds, angle dependant hitzones, height dependant hitzones. AI that can be "lured" away and then hit in the back. Units out of line of sight are hidden. Infantry in the bushes is hidden. Free zoom camera.
It's only about ten years old, maybe on current systems you can set environment details to max :D

EDIT: aahhh, the makers of Groun Control was Massive Entertainment, which belonged to Vivendi, who sold it to Ubisoft.....
And there the circle ends :D
Mentai 13th August 2010, 12:03 Quote
I think they're only doing this because RUSE is a relatively risky title, as in it is not guaranteed to sell a crap tonne on consoles (new IP, RTS). Not giving the traditional PC RTS market an excuse to boycott it makes sense. Assassins Creed 3 will probably bring back the Ubi system.
the-beast 13th August 2010, 12:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by storm20200
...

Now insert disk 3, now insert disk 4. In the case of beyond good and evil, oh and did I mention the incredibly slow speed of game installation from a DVD? I back all my games up to a F3 1TB from steam and back up all my game DVD's to a UIF/ISO file for quick installation, I refuse to install with a disc.

There are good and bad points to all forms of DRM be it disk based or Internet based.

Personally I prefer the disk based DRM because my Internet connection is crap. Not the games makes fault but it means it affects my purchasing decisions. You might think installing a game from disk is tiresum imaging installing a big game from the Internet over my connection. Something like MW2 which is approx 12 GB would take 4 months at least to download and install on my connection (Limited to 3GB per month, crap I know but the best I can get out here in the sticks)

At least with disk based stuff I don't have to rely on the good will of the game maker (i.e. to activate it) and my Internet connection.

Hopefully they will realise the folly of trying their games to the good will of a 3rd party and release it with sensible off-line DRM or better yet no DRM!
AstralWanderer 13th August 2010, 13:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
If you're scared by Valve's agreement for Steam then I suggest emptying any bank accounts this very instant and dealing with only cash for the rest of your life.
Somewhat excessive - wouldn't boycotting Valve be a more appropriate option?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
You might notice that you are given 30 days to cancel your account before any subscription is implemented.
The notice period is irrelevant when the option to refuse involves losing all your previous purchases on Steam.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
You should never buy a digital copy of anything if that bothers you.
Surely a more sensible course of action would be to use DRM-free digital distributors like GOG. Furthermore this isn't limited to digital copies - the physical copy of RUSE will require Steam just as physical copies of Half Life 2 or Napoleon: Total War did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Section 5, again, is quite similar to ANY disclaimer for any sort of service. Check the agreement with your ISP, or any other utility providers.
I have and they have nothing comparable to the "negatively affects the enjoyment of" phrase which is the real problem with that section.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
9A... now you're just getting into conspiracy theories. All it's saying is that Valve is not held by any common law duty to maintain and work on Steam.
Then why don't they say so? "Lack of workmanlike effort" translates to "if our software is a pile of cack, then tough".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
9C, good luck living in the modern world if this bothers you. I'd like to quote Newegg.com's limitation of liability policy...
Which, if you examine closely, makes no mention of avoiding liability due to security breaches at their end. It's also rather an apples-to-oranges comparison since NewEgg don't send software updates to your system in the way that Steam does.

As for media/CD checks - yes, they are a pain in the proverbial but at least the downsides are under user control (i.e. take good care of the disks and you're unlikely to come a cropper). Many games using these have had updates removing such checks (examples include Supreme Commander, Neverwinter Nights 2 and X3: Reunion) and for those that haven't, there's always the option of a no-cd patch from GameCopyWorld.
DragunovHUN 13th August 2010, 15:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir


EDIT: aahhh, the makers of Groun Control was Massive Entertainment, which belonged to Vivendi, who sold it to Ubisoft.....
And there the circle ends :D

And then Massive went on to make World in Conflict for Ubisoft.
Dedlite 13th August 2010, 16:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4lanx
That signals a death knell to me for Ubi's DRM. It's very honest and open of them to drop their own system from their own game.

If they do it to all their games, I might consider purchasing them :) I want some of their titles, but I'm not touching that Ubi DRM.

No - the developers of RUSE did, not Ubisoft. Think about it - why would Ubisoft. who developed their own DRM, drop it for another one? And don't be telling me 'Ubi are being honest and doing what the punter want'; you just KNOW that ain't gonna happen!
Dedlite 13th August 2010, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
You should never buy a digital copy of anything if that bothers you.
Surely a more sensible course of action would be to use DRM-free digital distributors like GOG. Furthermore this isn't limited to digital copies - the physical copy of RUSE will require Steam just as physical copies of Half Life 2 or Napoleon: Total War did.
[.[/QUOTE]

The only problem here is that GOG sell only games that are years old, so there's no DRM on those games because their not protecting retail sales, developing costs etc.
AstralWanderer 13th August 2010, 18:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dedlite
The only problem here is that GOG sell only games that are years old, so there's no DRM on those games because their not protecting retail sales, developing costs etc.
That was certainly the case when GOG started - however they now have more recent releases like Empire Earth 3 (2007) or Two Worlds (2007) and the 1994 classic scrolling shooter Raptor has received a 2010 remake.
Dedlite 13th August 2010, 20:54 Quote
That was certainly the case when GOG started - however they now have more recent releases like Empire Earth 3 (2007) or Two Worlds (2007) and the 1994 classic scrolling shooter Raptor has received a 2010 remake.[/QUOTE]

You're right - fair eneough. That is, if you can 2007 ''recent' (in the PC Game world, three years is a lifetime) Meh.
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