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Ubisoft ditches PC DRM tactics

Ubisoft ditches PC DRM tactics

Ubisoft has received a great deal of criticism regarding its DRM measures on its PC titles.

Ubisoft has abandoned its pirate-fighting strategy of requiring a constant internet connection for its PC releases to run.

The publisher has been notorious for its DRM measures that require a persistent internet connection, even for the single player portion of its games. It has argued in the past that this has been necessary in its fight against piracy.

However, the publisher's director of online games Stephanie Perotti told Rock Paper Shotgun that Ubisoft's DRM policy was abandoned back in June 2011 following feedback from the gaming community. The company's PC titles will now only require a one-time online activation to be playable.

As well as removing the constant internet connection requirement, PC games will also now have an unlimited number of installs and will be able to be activated on multiple machines.

Perotti also clarified claims made by Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot last month that Ubisoft sees a 93%-95% piracy rate on its PC titles. She sates that this figure only related to 'some specific or popular PC games' and that the figures were based on internal and external research.

Ubisoft's requirement for a constant internet connection to run its games debuted in The Settlers 7 and drew further attention from the gaming press with its inclusion in the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2. The DRM strategy garnered particular criticism from gamers who frequently lost progress whenever their internet connection was severed.

In July this year, Ubisoft claimed that it considered its DRM strategy to be successful as it had seen a clear reduction of piracy on titles that carried the measures.

41 Comments

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Dave Lister 6th September 2012, 09:39 Quote
So does this cover previously bought games that were crippled with Uplay ? or is it only for new releases ?
wuyanxu 6th September 2012, 09:41 Quote
looks like i may preorder Assassin's Creed 3 and Watchdogs after all. :D
r3loaded 6th September 2012, 09:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
So does this cover previously bought games that were crippled with Uplay ? or is it only for new releases ?
Probably not. They shot themselves so many times in the RPS interview that I have no idea if they're being sincere or if it's a marketing ploy. I'll want to see more action before I can trust them again.
steveo_mcg 6th September 2012, 09:46 Quote
Quote:
UbiSoft ditches PC DRM tactics

APRIL FOOL!

Oh wait its September.
hyperion 6th September 2012, 09:52 Quote
Cool, this is great news.
Dave Lister 6th September 2012, 09:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
So does this cover previously bought games that were crippled with Uplay ? or is it only for new releases ?
Probably not. They shot themselves so many times in the RPS interview that I have no idea if they're being sincere or if it's a marketing ploy. I'll want to see more action before I can trust them again.

I'm still boycotting any Ubi' games until it's confirmed they don't use any of the old DRM, online activation and a serial number is ok I guess but nothing more.
Shirty 6th September 2012, 10:00 Quote
If this turns out to be 100% true, then Ubisoft can have my custom again. I won't hold a grudge, I don't think I've missed anything too fantastic anyway - don't overly love the AC/Anno style games personally.

Watchdogs, on the other hand, makes me salivate every time I think about it, although it might be a huge disappointment. Like Prototype was. I remember being moist with anticipation when I saw the preview screenshots, and then the finished product was a stinking mess (IMHO).
runadumb 6th September 2012, 10:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirty
If this turns out to be 100% true, then Ubisoft can have my custom again. I won't hold a grudge, I don't think I've missed anything too fantastic anyway - don't overly love the AC/Anno style games personally.

Same. If they have changed their ways then hey they can have my custom again. I'm just glad they didn't put it on Rayman as I LOVED that game and wouldn't have played it if it had that BS.
Artanix 6th September 2012, 10:52 Quote
Quote:
In July this year, Ubisoft claimed that it considered its DRM strategy to be successful as it had seen a clear reduction of sales on titles that carried the measures.

Fixed it :)
alpaca 6th September 2012, 11:11 Quote
I can confirm. I pulled out my internet, booted into windows and you can start up uplay to play some games (only tested AC:B & AC:R) and it'll notify you about the part you cannot access when offline (multiplayer, obviously), but doesn't stop you from playing singleplayer or saving or other such things. Better than Steam, which refuses to start up in offline mode :).
runadumb 6th September 2012, 11:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
I can confirm. I pulled out my internet, booted into windows and you can start up uplay to play some games (only tested AC:B & AC:R) and it'll notify you about the part you cannot access when offline (multiplayer, obviously), but doesn't stop you from playing singleplayer or saving or other such things. Better than Steam, which refuses to start up in offline mode :).

Could anyone test Splinter Cell conviction? I fancy trying that game (when's its a fiver or something) but held off due to the DRM.
DXR_13KE 6th September 2012, 11:33 Quote
I would love to be a fly in the room when they told the execs that they lost sales due to the DRM and that pirares have less problems playing the game than paying customers.
WildThing 6th September 2012, 11:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirty
If this turns out to be 100% true, then Ubisoft can have my custom again. I won't hold a grudge, I don't think I've missed anything too fantastic anyway - don't overly love the AC/Anno style games personally.

This is exactly how I feel. At least now if they do come out with anything good I will be much more inclined to make a purchase.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirty
Watchdogs, on the other hand, makes me salivate every time I think about it, although it might be a huge disappointment. Like Prototype was. I remember being moist with anticipation when I saw the preview screenshots, and then the finished product was a stinking mess (IMHO).

Hmm looks like it could be good. I haven't been paying much attention to it recently, probably because I knew it was Ubisoft and would have DRM...
Draksis 6th September 2012, 12:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirty

Watchdogs, on the other hand, makes me salivate every time I think about it, although it might be a huge disappointment. Like Prototype was. I remember being moist with anticipation when I saw the preview screenshots, and then the finished product was a stinking mess (IMHO).

I'm with you on that one, though one thing Ubi does well is the generally high quiality of thier games...... after a few patches :p
Griffter 6th September 2012, 12:36 Quote
this company has got ulterior motives im sure. first the drm was a success yet the last statement was that pc titles are pirated by 95%, so what is it?

all i see is a big pile of meat (sirloin medium rare with a draught of castle larger beer) and when u take it a big box traps u. now u live the rest of ur life in an expensive bird cage.
Comfyasabadger 6th September 2012, 12:56 Quote
Quote:
UbiSoft ditches PC DRM tactics
Screen shot or it didn't happen.
Shirty 6th September 2012, 13:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffter
all i see is a big pile of meat (sirloin medium rare with a draught of castle larger beer) and when u take it a big box traps u. now u live the rest of ur life in an expensive bird cage.

I'd like to think that this post made sense, but I just can't seem to :?
Griffter 6th September 2012, 13:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirty
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffter
all i see is a big pile of meat (sirloin medium rare with a draught of castle larger beer) and when u take it a big box traps u. now u live the rest of ur life in an expensive bird cage.

I'd like to think that this post made sense, but I just can't seem to :?

was channeling michael from "the office US" with his weird ways of explaining but u know what he means :D

im saying its a trap. have u never put down bird seed under a box and when the bird comes pull the string and down goes the box to trap it? i used bird cage cos this children tactic was mostly used on birds, well in my area.
Woodspoon 6th September 2012, 13:43 Quote
Hmmm I am suspicious of their motives, I suspect there is something else going on here.
Phil Rhodes 6th September 2012, 14:54 Quote
I'm suspicious about this 95% figure.

Does that mean that 95% of all people playing the game were playing pirated copies?

If so, does the remaining 5% represent a significantly smaller number of actual sales than would have taken place without the piracy?

The second question is key and of course impossible to answer but it strikes me that these statistics may be a little bogus.

P
Madness_3d 6th September 2012, 15:23 Quote
Apart from anything the 95% statistic proves that the DRM is ineffective at stopping mass pirating via torrents and the like, Sure it stops you loaning your copy to your mate or next door neighbour but that's not what their problem is. Better off trying to garner higher customer satisfaction and thereby purchase rates by cutting the useless DRM. Just hope they patch UPlay out of all the old games, but sods law says they wont...
Eiffie 6th September 2012, 16:25 Quote
I too would like to know about the UPlay situation. Might have to install might & magic heroes 6 :(
Aracos 6th September 2012, 17:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
I can confirm. I pulled out my internet, booted into windows and you can start up uplay to play some games (only tested AC:B & AC:R) and it'll notify you about the part you cannot access when offline (multiplayer, obviously), but doesn't stop you from playing singleplayer or saving or other such things. Better than Steam, which refuses to start up in offline mode :).

That was fixed ages ago on Steam. I've just tested myself....
Roskoken 6th September 2012, 19:41 Quote
**** ubisoft
Anfield 6th September 2012, 20:33 Quote
Quote:

However, the publisher's director of online games Stephanie Perotti told Rock Paper Shotgun that Ubisoft's DRM policy was abandoned back in June 2011 following feedback from the gaming community.

Can someone fire up the ubi exec to human translator?
Waynio 6th September 2012, 20:43 Quote
I like the stopping so many activations, that took the P, installing a game you bought shouldn't be a chore.

The Uplay never bothered me at all though but clearly bothered most people, only thing that did bother me about it is it didn't stop their games from being pirated, surprise, groups love a challenge & it wasn't much of one for them, these protections will be like a game within the game for them to conquer lol, shame though because the money for the weak protection could have gone into games.

So, it didn't take them long to conquer it so Ubi should have given up pushing the DRM because it mostly bugged the people who bought the games or might have bought them, some enough to boycott Ubi, personally I really like quite a few of their games too much to boycott them & I had no problem with boycotting greedyvision games or at least COD, was bored to death with COD type games anyway. :D

I'll bet money on the 95% stat being about the ratio of people who hated the DRM, makes perfect sense. :)

Ubisoft 5% club.
SimonStern 6th September 2012, 21:52 Quote
I too would like to know if/that it effects already released games. I have wanted Anno 2070 for quite a while now but refused to get it due to the always online and drm crap. If I find they get rid of that I'm in. And Watchdogs too, mmmm Watchdogs :)
alpaca 6th September 2012, 22:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aracos

That was fixed ages ago on Steam. I've just tested myself....


On my computer, it still refuses. Hmmm. Maybe I'm just the unlucky one with the right combination of wrong hardware and software...
ArthurB 6th September 2012, 23:48 Quote
After years of treating their paying customers like scum, I am finding it hard to forgive Ubisoft that quickly.
l3v1ck 7th September 2012, 01:51 Quote
Quote:
It has argued in the past that this has been necessary in its fight against piracy.
In its fight against sales more like!!
Given that I mainly game on my laptop when I have no internet connection, that policy instantly ruled out any purchases from me in the past.
Elton 7th September 2012, 03:09 Quote
About time, but I think the head in sand attitude really bit them hard.
GravitySmacked 7th September 2012, 07:41 Quote
Ubi release their own online game store, realise no one will buy anything with their bad rep for always on DRM and then decide to ditch it?

Well whatever the reason it's good news and now I can look forward to WatchDogs :)
ChaosDefinesOrder 7th September 2012, 09:43 Quote
I REALLY REALLY REALLY want this to result in a sharp and noticeable increase in sales (and/or reduction in piracy, whichever works) to show them that it WAS the DRM all along that was hurting their sales and driving people TOWARDS piracy!

Probably won't work that way but we'll see...
Paradigm Shifter 7th September 2012, 10:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
On my computer, it still refuses. Hmmm. Maybe I'm just the unlucky one with the right combination of wrong hardware and software...

I went through a period of about two months last year where Steam refused to accept that Offline Mode was usable on my Surround rig.

I 'cured' it by copying the steamapps folder to a different drive, uninstalling Steam, having a quick hunt in the registry for any leftover Valve/Steam related stuff, removing it and reinstalling Steam. From that point on, it worked again.

I think Steam sometimes gets its wires crossed.

...

As for Ubisoft and their DRM... well, I'll believe it when I see it. Other than that, I'll probably just stick to buying their stuff when they release it on GOG. Because that doesn't even have a one-time activation.
CashMoney 7th September 2012, 16:20 Quote
I'm a big fan of the AC series, so this is good news for me ... although I'll be waiting for the other shoe to drop before I purchase. As for the 95%, I guess I'm in the 95%. I bought the AC games, then used the cracks so I could actually play. I wonder how many others in that 95% did the same?
Gradius 7th September 2012, 17:24 Quote
Huh? Too late?
blinkieleblind 7th September 2012, 22:17 Quote
Ubisoft is run by the minions of Shaitan. The DRM thing understandably irked some... didn't really bother me apart from Uplay. However, them publishing unfinished games, taking money from their sales, and then abandoning them (a'la silent hunter V and IL-2 CloD) made me despise them.
Pinguu 8th September 2012, 18:09 Quote
About time!
PingCrosby 8th September 2012, 22:19 Quote
I wonder if they'll smile as they slide the knife between your ribs
SinxarKnights 9th September 2012, 21:50 Quote
+1 to most comments on this. I can finally buy their games again. Its about time they got a clue.

ed: actually I had to look up the old news thing that popped up. Specifically this: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2012/08/23/ubisoft-driven-to-f2p-market-by-piracy-rate/1

According to them they had piracy rates of 93% - 95% but now they claim that the DRM was successful. Huh?

By all means Ubisoft, bring out some more sob stories. I think its all pretty funny.
oliverr97 11th September 2012, 19:50 Quote
Well i hope this is true, i may actually start playing ubisoft games on the pc again
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