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Anno 2070 drops graphics card counting DRM

Anno 2070 drops graphics card counting DRM

Thanks to a campaign by Guru3D, Anno 2070 will no longer prevent you swapping out your graphics cards.

Ubisoft has agreed to slacken the somewhat draconian digital rights management (DRM) system it is using for strategy title Anno 2070, following complaints from a reviewer that it made analysing the game near-impossible.

The latest in a reasonably long line of complaints regarding Ubisoft's DRM implementation came from tech enthusiast site Guru3D, which was attempting to run an in-depth graphics performance analysis on the title using a selection of graphics cards.

We say 'attempting,' and with good reason: the DRM system built in to the game would only allow two graphics card swaps before declaring the test rig to be a 'new PC,' for which a whole new licence key would need to be purchased and installed.

With a stack of cards ready to test, Guru3D's reviewers complained to Ubisoft, only to be met with a stony silence and a refusal to grant any more keys for testing. Finally, the decision to refuse to review any future Ubisoft titles was taken; a move which finally got a response from the company.

According to an update posted late last week, Guru3D has decided to continue to review Ubisoft titles simply to keep people informed of DRM restrictions such as the one preventing the original performance analysis, while Anno 2070's producer BlueByte has agreed to exclude graphics cards from the DRM system detection technology.

'Just wanted to let you know, that we now remove the graphics hardware from the hash used to identify the PC,' a BlueByte spokesperson told Guru3D following the initial contretemps. 'That means everyone should now be able to switch the GFX as many times as he/she wants.'

While the news is to be welcomed, it's far from a reversal of Ubisoft's stance on DRM: it's clear from the fact that the message came from BlueByte, rather than Ubisoft, that the restriction on graphics card swaps is only removed from Anno 2070; future Ubisoft titles, on the other hand, are more than likely to retain the restriction in the name of preventing piracy.

Has BlueByte's response put your mind at ease, or will it take an undertaking by Ubisoft not to use such restrictive DRM on all its future titles before you jump for joy? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

41 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
steveo_mcg 23rd January 2012, 16:45 Quote
Ubisoft: continuing to justify my stance of not buying their games...
Fizzban 23rd January 2012, 16:50 Quote
Wow... They do like to punish their paying customers with DRM don't they? It is a wonder Ubisoft hasn't been blacklisted by every gamer by now. And I've seen many a gamer say HAS said they won't buy Ubisoft games until they drop this ongoing drm fiasco.

It's funny really, they add drm to save themselves supposed lost sales to piracy (extremely debatable) but actually alienate paying customers who then refuse to buy their games...thus losing them money anyway (which they will blame on piracy..round and round we go).

They lose more money with drm than without IMO. They really need to use less draconian drm, or drop it altogether.
rickets187 23rd January 2012, 16:51 Quote
Since when did buying a game mean that you can only play that game on one machine? These guys are total w@nkers.
Aracos 23rd January 2012, 16:52 Quote
Yeah, this reinforces my boycott of Ubisoft and quite frankly, I feel like I'm not missing out on anything due to the boycott. I've yet to see a game that's made me go "I must have that! Damn this boycott!".
Anfield 23rd January 2012, 18:07 Quote
Whats next? you can only play a game you paid for when you wear the same pair of socks as you did on the day of purchase?
cyberspice 23rd January 2012, 18:13 Quote
the DRM locked you out after TWO graphics card swaps? That's gotta be a f**king joke.

Buy the game and Ubi dictate how many times you can upgrade your card, thus punishing paying customers.

Pirate the game and have no such restrictions, thus rewarding pirates.

Good logic there, bound to put people off piracy. [/sarcasm]
ZeDestructor 23rd January 2012, 18:23 Quote
Seriously? What if I have 2 computers and upgrade one? What happens if the GPU dies and I need a new GPU? What happen wrt everything else in my machine changes?
warejon9 23rd January 2012, 19:20 Quote
It makes me chuckle that people at Ubisoft still think DRM protects games, and it actually just alienates the paying customers and pirates just crack it in about 30 seconds!
SexyHyde 23rd January 2012, 19:55 Quote
Boycott engaged!............... Sorry boycott STILL engaged! As said before, DRM that hinders and punishes the paying customer is retarded. Plenty of other games makers out there that don't treat you like a criminal if you buy their game, I think I will stick with people that treat their customers decently.
Sleepstreamer 23rd January 2012, 20:28 Quote
That's the most retarded thing I've ever heard of.

Well, it's a good thing Ubisoft never release any good games then.
somidiot 23rd January 2012, 20:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberspice
the DRM locked you out after TWO graphics card swaps? That's gotta be a f**king joke.

Buy the game and Ubi dictate how many times you can upgrade your card, thus punishing paying customers.

Pirate the game and have no such restrictions, thus rewarding pirates.

Good logic there, bound to put people off piracy. [/sarcasm]

"Sarcasm test complete"

This is getting out of hand, when did paying customers become the bad guys? It's almost like they find us gamers a painful scourge that must be wiped away. Even though we're their source of income....

I had to say no to buying Arkham city because of my issues with their DRM (and no I didn't "play it anyway" either). That one hurt.
l3v1ck 23rd January 2012, 21:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Ubisoft: continuing to justify my stance of not buying their games...
Snap.
Why are they treating a game like it's an OEM license? It's just silly.
Suppose you bought this game, then in three months you bought a new PC. Ubisoft are effectively saying you'd have to buy the game again. What a stupid policy. If I buy a game, I want to keep playing it for years regardless of the upgrades I make. That's why I like Steam and GOG so much.
Pete J 23rd January 2012, 21:57 Quote
I know others have said it, but TWO GPU swaps?! They're off their rockers

Hell, I thought the five install limit for other games was bad enough.
jimmyjj 23rd January 2012, 22:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickets187
Since when did buying a game mean that you can only play that game on one machine? These guys are total w@nkers.

Agree.
Elton 23rd January 2012, 22:40 Quote
Two GPUs? Wow imagine if your graphics cards blew up..

Ubisoft surely would compensate correct?
MiNiMaL_FuSS 23rd January 2012, 22:50 Quote
Crazy thing is they are putting off legitimate customers - and their DRM doesn't even work.

Usually it takes about a week to crack after a new release before an ubisoft game hits the torrent sites in full working order...the latest AC is downloadable and fully functioning. I don't condone piracy, I'm simply pointing out that this madly strict DRM doesn't work and probably drives more people to piracy.
eddman 23rd January 2012, 22:59 Quote
Now this is a game company that deserves to see their games pirated.
Anfield 23rd January 2012, 23:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by somidiot
This is getting out of hand, when did paying customers become the bad guys? It's almost like they find us gamers a painful scourge that must be wiped away.

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the ridiculous drm would be part of a conspiracy to end PC Gaming once and for all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
If I buy a game, I want to keep playing it for years regardless of the upgrades I make. That's why I like Steam and GOG so much.

go gog go

<- goes back to wasting more hours on Syndicate:D
leexgx 23rd January 2012, 23:09 Quote
why i norm do not buy any Ubisoft at all now with stupid limits like this

(really video card DRM lol that's just stupid)
mucgoo 23rd January 2012, 23:20 Quote
Anno got cracked about a week after release.
I don't see why they even bother trying. Or at least once a crack is easily available they may as well just lift any DRM bar the online key check, one of the few methods which is hard to circumvent.
bluespider42 23rd January 2012, 23:47 Quote
So what happens if you run tri SLI....
Fizzban 23rd January 2012, 23:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mucgoo
Anno got cracked about a week after release.
I don't see why they even bother trying. Or at least once a crack is easily available they may as well just lift any DRM bar the online key check, one of the few methods which is hard to circumvent.

It is utterly a waste of time. Utterly. And money, lets not forget the money which these companys are SO intent on. WASTED! There is no ifs, maybes or buts. None.

Anyone with half a brain-cell can see drm does not work.

I can only come to one conclusion. The DRM is there because of the shareholders.
l3v1ck 24th January 2012, 02:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
I can only come to one conclusion. The DRM is there because of the shareholders.
And that shareholders are even more clueless than the executives that run the companies they own.
Can you imagine someone turning up at a shareholders meeting and explaining why their DRM system is hurting their profits? They wouldn't be able to get their tiny little minds round the concept.
dark_avenger 24th January 2012, 07:30 Quote
+1 to everything that has been said.

When are these company's going to realise that the old model doesn't work any more.

Welcome to the age of the internet. Catch up already.
Phil Rhodes 24th January 2012, 09:41 Quote
I'm less worried about graphics cards than I am about other updates. They really make you buy it again if you somehow manage to convince it you've changed PCs... twice? That's completely insane.
V3ctor 24th January 2012, 09:45 Quote
And that's why I don't buy their games...
[USRF]Obiwan 24th January 2012, 10:00 Quote
And still theywonder why people play cracked Ubisoft Games.
lp1988 24th January 2012, 12:50 Quote
Was considering to try it, but not any more, sorry Ubisoft one lost sale, a shame that your games must be judged on their DRM more so than any other quality.
Elton 24th January 2012, 15:02 Quote
Lost my sale. I won't be pirating the game, but at the same time I won't touch them with a seventeen foot barge pole.
DXR_13KE 24th January 2012, 15:44 Quote
They are trying to kill the second hand market with this.
Leroyingo 24th January 2012, 23:06 Quote
As a compulsive up grader I wouldnt get long out of a Ubisoft title. That is a load of crap. If i pay for a game i dont want to then have to pirate the game to be able to continue playing what i paid for in the first place.
Ubisoft are going to push more people to pirate, including people who 'own' the game. (or did own it till they upgraded their computer a couple times)

UBISOFT = bunch of plonkers

Does this lockout happen through all sources of obtaining the game - store bought DVD, steam , d2d etc?
[DE]FreD_S 25th January 2012, 10:16 Quote
I don't think they care much about PC customers. They obviously make more than enough with console versions and I don't think a console player cares much for the implemented DRM...
Kris 25th January 2012, 10:45 Quote
Indeed, they might not care about PC customers.

Heck, AC II is a perfect example - they said they did their best to make it better for the PC platform, yet the whole interface (both main menu and in-game) are horrible for the PC.
I bought 3 AC games from Steam during the holiday sale, but that's the maximum i would pay for ubisoft games.

So, dear Ubisoft - just from these forum posts in this topic, you have lost hundreds of euros in revenue.

I wonder how many people are not buying their games because of DRM? My guess is that the number is in the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands.

Bit-tech, perhaps you would like to do an article that looks in depth at the whole DRM situation, including all the developers, and getting their feedback as well?

Granted, I am pretty sure that Ubisoft for example is not that willing to admit that yes "we do what we must, because we can", and "there's still some screwing to be done, on the players who are on PC".

+rep if people understand where those sentences come from.
Fizzban 25th January 2012, 16:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris
+rep if people understand where those sentences come from.

Sounds like Portal to me.
Eiffie 25th January 2012, 21:01 Quote
Only Ubisoft game I've bought in a long time was the recent Heroes of Might & Magic VI on steam. Dunno much about the DRM that came with the game other than I have to be online if I want access to any of the Uplay features on the account. I bought the game because of my love of the previous game even if it came with crap DRM. Safe to say though that I won't be picking up Anno 2070, a game I actually was interested in playing, or any other Ubisoft game besides another Heroes title until they make some friendlier DRM changes to their games.
Elton 26th January 2012, 04:06 Quote
We're all going to get sued for lost sales. :P
GaryP 26th January 2012, 11:33 Quote
I haven't bought one in years, and won't buy another Ubisoft game. These are GENUINE lost sales now, not an imaginary sale due to piracy.

As mentioned previously, if I was so inlcined, I could get a pirated version of any of their games and have a BETTER experience than paying for an original. That proves thet have got their policy totally and utterly wrong.
AstralWanderer 8th February 2012, 19:10 Quote
While I don't want to defend Ubisoft on this (and indeed have boycotted their titles for a few years now - Heroes of Might and Magic V was the last one I purchased), locking games to hardware is part and parcel of online activation DRM. Carry out one upgrade too many and you'll see a similar thing happen with purchases from Steam (in offline mode - if you can get it to work), Direct2Drive or ImpulseDriven as well as any game using SecuROM online or similar systems. Microsoft themselves have a similar system for Windows Product Activation.

What's new here is using the GPU - but aside from reviewers, most people aren't likely to change this part of their system very often. Systems using more frequently changed parts like RAM (as Zuxxez's Two Worlds activation does) or disk volume IDs are more worthy of criticism.
Kris 13th February 2012, 14:17 Quote
I genuinely hope Two Worlds II has better terms - i bought it during a Steam sale for €10 i believe.

Did not even think about the activation issues, guess have to be more careful in the future.

can't help but wonder, why do the corps still bother - every game (including activision's supposedly uncrackable always-on scheme) is relatively soon perfectly working in the pirated version.
AstralWanderer 18th February 2012, 07:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris
I genuinely hope Two Worlds II has better terms - i bought it during a Steam sale for €10 i believe...
Not according to some of the activation complaints in the Two Worlds 2 forum (like dual boot/OS changes or time zone).

However Steam's activate-on-play requirement gives Valve far more control over purchases than Zuxxez's system and has far greater potential downsides for customers (details discussed previously).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris
can't help but wonder, why do the corps still bother - every game (including activision's supposedly uncrackable always-on scheme) is relatively soon perfectly working in the pirated version.
Because they're aiming to restrict, monitor and control usage by those who don't know about cracks. They want to kill off the second-hand market (which is apparently worse than piracy), limit sales by region (so they can charge different prices for each country) and revoke copies on spurious grounds to force people to pay multiple times.

And they wonder why more and more gamers are saying F*ck you...
ec928 21st February 2012, 21:31 Quote
I actually support sensible DRM from publishers to protect their software. But two GPU swaps before being locked out is ridiculous.
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