Command & Conquer Copies Ubisoft's Awful DRM

Well, here's something that slipped through the cracks. While we were all busy condemning Ubisoft for its restrictive, must-be-online PC digital rights management, EA has crept in and done almost the exact same thing.

In a post over on Command & Conquer 4's forums, EA community manager Apoc writes "First thing to be clear about, Command & Conquer 4 has NO DRM. Zip, zero, zilch, none."

Sounds great! Until, a few lines later, he says this. "To play Command & Conquer 4, the computer needs to be connected to the internet."

Uh. Apoc. If the publisher is imposing limitations on when and how a game can be played, it's DRM.

It's sad to have to highlight this only a day after giving EA a pat on the back for removing some DRM from Battlefield Bad Company 2, but hey, I guess different arms of EA do things in different ways.

C&C 4 Installation/Online Update [EA]


    BWAHAHAHAHAHA. Not buying this one.

    deep breaths, everyone... all together now...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

    Sure as hell not getting it now.

    You might also like to note that Starcraft 2 will be implementing a similar model, you won't be able to save your single player campaign unless you have a connection to the internet. As per this Kotaku post:

      No LAN ability + DRM of that nature means NO BLOODY WAY.

      This total move towards cloud computing, and that's what it is, is disgusting. Cloud computing is a total loss of privacy...

      A. Yes. StarCraft II does require an online connection and you must login the first time you play. We are in the middle of adding an “Offline” feature which allows you to play the Campaign offline if you, for example, are traveling and want to play on a laptop. Playing while connected allows your progress in the campaign to be saved online to your account. This means if you switch to a different computer to play you can pick up from where you were.

        I believe this is very similar to what Steam does with Torchlight. When my computer died and I reinstalled Torchlight on a different computer I could still access all of my saves as they were stored in the cloud. However I believe if you play offline for a while and save, then go online it will display a message saying that your local saves are more recent than the ones stored in the cloud, would you like to load these.

        It seems like one of those features that is annoying when you don't need it, but you'll be very thankful for if you ever do.

      It ALSO says:

      "We are in the middle of adding an “Offline” feature which allows you to play the Campaign offline if you, for example, are traveling and want to play on a laptop."

      Crazy that you need an internet connection for the online component of the game, huh?

        I take it you stopped reading there. Here's the rest of the paragraph:

        "...are traveling and want to play on a laptop. Playing while connected allows your progress in the campaign to be saved online to your account. "

        Of course there is some conjecture there, but the sentence does suggest cloud saves.

      They are working on that so you can save it locally but because you're not 'connected' you won't be able to save it online obviously. Although they haven't stated it yet I doubt your championship final starcraft2 match will suddenly stop due to no net. Maybe it does checks every so often or before or after each game?

    I want to play this because I've been a big fan of C&C single player since the first one and want to see the storyline to the end. This makes me sad though :(

    EA just stomped on my heart.

    Is it illegal to buy the game then crack it?

      Yes technically, but not morally wrong.

      I think that is what a lot of people will end up doing.

      i would say no logically you could purchase it and then download a crack

      Although i would say that if you were to defend yourself if you got pulled up for piracy the CD key would need to be tied to an account

      That way you could just say that due to your internet connection not being 100% you decided to obtain a way to play your legally purchased game at no harm to the distributor

        With the signing of the US Free Trade Agreement, we picked up DMCA style anti-circumvention laws. So the act of using a crack to circumvent the DRM is a crime.

        The fact that you own a license to use the protected content doesn't matter.

          well then wouldnt a logical conclusion be that ripping CD's music off them onto a MP3 player is also illegal

          I more doubt they would try and prosecute you and even if they did i think you be able to make a large justification into not having to pay the 1.2Billion in sales theyd claim you cost them

            It's not just a logical conclusion, that is what the law states. Assuming the CD has copy protection on it. Same is true if you wanted to rip a DVD you own so you could play it on your iPod. The same is also true for some print cartridges, although in those cases it is the manufacturer not the end user who gets in trouble.
            I do believe there is also a part of the law that states you are allowed to create a backup (and I use that term in the non-ironic way) copy of your legally purchased goods, but because of the anti-circumvention law, you aren't allowed to. As far as I know, this conflict has never been tested in court. Personally I would love to see a case where a company sued someone for downloading a movie, and their response was "I was using the internet to make a backup of my legally purchased good"

    Cool. Another way to save my money! Now that I don't have to buy Starcraft 2, C&C4, AC2 and probably many, many future games, I can probably afford to buy that yacht I always wanted.

      Good idea, you should buy an EA yacht, you can only use it while its hooked up to the pier.

        This comment wins in so many ways.

        Hahahaha! Thats it, you win. Everyone go home, the internet's over!

    Yes i'm suprised nobody noticed, theres also a major flaw with it. I've posted about it on Giant Bomb.

    Theres a windows user name bug with EADM which is used for the DRM solution.

    its hardly the same thing or new

    they said this would be the case when they annonced it since the SP campaign also gives you experience for the MP section

    and it was about tying the 2 communites to one another to get them to cross between them(since hte game also has coop MP as well)

    Whereas ACII has absoutly no feature that requires the internet not even MP

    Sure its kinda a kick in the balls but to put it in the same league as ACII's is ridiculous

    I SOOOOOOO called this

    Don't expect this to go away. At all. more and more companies are going to do it. Bigger companies do it first (Ubi, EA, Activision will be next) and the smaller companies will probably lease the same technology from them (rather than try to develop it in-house). Enough people are connected to the Internet these days that it's economically possible.

      Hardly Anything new

      It was always Expected Anyway
      Hell EA attempted it the first time with Mass Effect 1 But after Such loud outcry from the marines and whatnot saying they dont have a steady connection so they wouldnt be able to play when they have free time among the wider community also stopped that

      I have no doubt it will become mainstream but the thing is while i is currently economically possible the fact that not everywhere has perfect internet, is going to actually push people to pirate and when Things like UBI's Server Crash happen are going to make people think twice about a legit purchase of one of these games


        You just stumbled on an awesome idea for part of the next 24 season..

        A game companies HQ gets taken over by unknown assailants that turn out to be elements of the military angry over not being able to play games due to DRM. They threaten to kill the CEO or blow up the building or something but Jack stops them, then Chloe cracks the DRM and they all play happily ever after...

        Well maybe not... but it sounds like the farfetched stuff they are trying lately..

    This one sounded stupid anyway, no base building unless you're a specific kind, stuff like that, just makes me want it less

    "Enough people are connected to the Internet these days that it’s economically possible."

    Enough people are gullible enough to have a persistent internet connection and buy these more like.

    The only time I expect a game to require and internet connection in during an online multiplayer match. Ever.

      It's not about what you expect. Or your opinion. Or the way things have worked in the past.

      This technology has always been expected to show up at some point. As soon as Internet usage became commonplace the idea of using it for authentication has been existent. And over time, more and more services use the Internet.

      What has simply happened is; the amount of money which is lost to piracy is no longer a greater amount than how much money is lost on sales to people who do not have a constant Internet connection. As time moves forward the number of people who have a stable Internet connection increases, so the amount of money to-be-lost on sales which are not made decreases (over time).

      This year marks the time at which more money is SAVED (by a company) from recuding piracy than there is money SAVED (by the company) by providing a product to the section of the market which does not have a stable internet connection.

    Does anyone really care about this game?

    I lost interest after they decided to make a 'tactical squad based RPG' (AKA DoW II Clone), and said they were 'toning down' the campiness of the cutscenes to try and make it more serious business.

    It's a pity, because i usually LOVE CnC games (i've bought every one except RA3: Uprising), and was interested in the story of Kane!

    I didn't even know this had come out...

      I brought all of them also... Though did not buy any of the RA3 ones... Refused to buy it at launch due to the way they went... I brough this at pre order to get my Signed Kane card and the original game... Ill buy it off steam later as EA tends to rmeove the DRM on steam recently.

        Steam is its own DRM. I have no problem with Steams DRM, but people (including people at Steam) are just delusional if they think Steam isn't DRM.

          true that though its stupid when Steam DRM is placed ontop of other not-needed DRM... Thats what gets me,..

    Awww crap. I was looking forward to this, but flaky satellite internet means no purchase for me.

    I had been a great fan of all C&C games, and I saw a $35 "Like New" used copy on Amazon today. So guess what I did: I ordered it, wondered why it dropped by more than $10 two days after the release, checked its review, and cancelled my order for the very reason that EA decides to require internet connectivity.
    Someone computed UBISOFT's lose of sales of AC2 due to DRM issues to be 7.3 million copies; compare that with their estimated 5 million loss by piracy (this estimation is not for AC2), they are going to lose 2.3 million more. I wonder how much EA is going to lose this time, but I doubt it'd by much less than 2.3 million copies*$50/copy=$11.5 million.
    After EA's two outrageous DRM measures, I am seriously considering boycotting EA for life, for the sole purpose of starving those who come up with the DRMs to death so they don't provide any more shitty DRM ideas. Good job, EA, you've just taken one more massive step toward bankrupcy.
    May this serve a valuable lesson for those that decide to buy EA and UBISOFT's system in the near future.
    Now, back to my minesweeper game.

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