Ubisoft: DRM 'Vital' To 'Creative And Innovative' PC Games

Ubisoft wants PC gamers to know it's heard the complaints and anger regarding its DRM "online services platform," and, after careful consideration, it's digging in. The creative side of the company is now calling it vital to what they do.

"We consider that protecting our PC games is vital to our business," Max Béland, the creative director of Splinter Cell: Conviction told VG247, "and will allow us to continue investing in the development of creative and innovative games on the PC platform."

Yes, argumentatively speaking, the sarcasm in this post would imply that sound business practices, such as protecting the effort put into one's products, don't ensure the ability to make more good products down the line. They do. I just disagree that copy protection requiring an always-on Internet connection is a sound business practice, especially when having that connection is a necessary but not always sufficient condition for playing the game.

Anyway, PC gamers, Splinter Cell: Conviction won't be out until April 27. So, in addition to the DRM, you get to wait two weeks while everyone plays it DRM free on a console. How's that for not having your cake and not eating it too?

Ubisoft DRM Software "Vital to Our Business", says Conviction Creative Lead [VG247]


    wait there even gunna put this shit on splinter cell? kinda screwed themselves here, no ps3 release and no "real" pc release, what am i meant to play it on, im not buying a rrodbox

    I'm still half half about buying Conviction. On one hand I do want to play it but on the other hand I really don't want to be supporting DRM. I'll be damned if I convert to console gaming full time though so *shrugs*. Don't have a 360 anyway so even if I wanted to get the console version, I couldn't.

    Ubisoft are fail

    I want Ubisoft to know ive heard the complaints and anger regarding its DRM “online services platform,” and, after careful consideration, im not buyign any of their games because of it. The logical side of my brain is now calling it stupid and pointless .


    Buy the game = $, shitty copy protection inbuilt.

    Pirate the game = Free, play offline all you like.

    Way to add a negative to actually purchasing your products Ubioft..

    “We [as conscumers] consider that protecting your PC games is vital to our frustration and removes enjoyment from out gaming experience and will cause us to discontinue investing in the purchase of creative and innovative games on the PC platform.” Fixt.

      Buy the game = Support developer, finance future game development and increase quality of DRM (fix the problem)

      Pirate the game = Wait 1 month for crack that doesn't work, developer stops publishing games on PC

      Sure, one way's nicer for you, but you should probably think about it in the long term rather than short. Especially considering that other developers are starting to do this as well.

        You missed option three:

        Buy the game = Support developer, finance future game development blah blah blah, then crack it so you can play the game you paid for.

        I have done this to every game encumbered by this type of DRM. Ill support the industry, but ill be damned if im going to have their fears impact my gaming enjoyment.

    “We consider that protecting our PC games is vital to our business,”

    They have obviously not listened to the complaints at all. If they had, they would abandon DRM instantly because it does not protect their PC games at all. How is it that only the gaming public can see this and not the people working on the games?

    What I want to see is a series of interviews directly with different developers asking the hard questions about why they choose to use DRM, then let them know the facts about how drm doesnt protect anything and paying customers are treated like crims and see what there response to that is. This article is one of the few direct responses to the issue I have seen.

      Although I dislike DRM, let us get the facts straight, yea?
      DRM was never created to protect games from pirates.
      Rather, it was created to stall the pirates from cracking the game. Of immense importance is day 0 and day 1 when the game comes out. If a pirated copy is available before release, that spells the end of all profits. If the pirated version is available on day 1 when the game is released, profits take a huge hit.
      If you can delay it by even just a day, that profit margin increases significantly.
      That is what DRM is for; to prevent Day 0 and Day 1 pirated copies.

        So why isn't there a week one patch removing the DRM?

          Because it still hasn't been (properly) cracked.
          And even if someone does crack AC2, it won't mean that SC:C is cracked. Apparently they change the implementation for every game, and are constantly making it more secure. Every time a Uplay game comes out it takes longer to crack.

          AC2 set the bar at one month. Imagine how many people who were waiting for a crack in that time just knuckled under and bought the game.

            The irony is those that knuckled under and bought the game will no longer buy another Ubisoft game because the DRM doesn't work.

            People can try and spin the DRM however they want but the facts of the matter speak for themselves. This DRM stops legitimate users from using the products they paid for.

            All Ubisoft has done for me is remove any and all thoughts I had about buying any of their games. Not that I've had those thoughts they produce utter shit as is (see ports).

          Because they don't like to admit that's the reason.

        @james shen

        Kind of a redundant argument.

        If a torrent of the game got out before release it is usually an inside job, it would be cracked before release and there ya go, drm didn't save anything. Sure, the DRM will stop someone cracking the game on day one if it wasn't leaked (well you would hope so) but they will crack it eventually. Which leads to the type of persons who download and play pirated games....they will not be 1st day purchasers of the game, they will wait until a torrent is out....this so called profit margin/sales the developer is trying to protect was never there in the first place....a pirate isn't going to sit there and say "Dang, there isn't a torrent of this day [email protected]!#!! ill just go fork out some cash and buy it!", they will wait.

        So lets just get our facts straight in plan english...


    Whatever, DRM does nothing but piss off legit customers who have to put up with the crap. It doesn't hurt the offenders it is targeting at all

    I'm totally boycotting all Ubisoft games because the extreme's they're going to are just ridiculously absurd.

    Well, I'm pretty sure a team can crack Splinter Cell considering that Assassin's Creed 2 has been cracked and confirmed to be playable.

    This experiment will fail, hard.

    I don't eat cake, nor do I like it ;D

    Can they explain why i get mouse lag when playing assassin creed 2 on pc... because first i thought it was performance lag but find out it is cursor lag caused by worst DRM

      Cursor lag? O_o Sounds more to be a crappy port rather than anything to do with DRM, that is, unless you pirated it.

        Result of bad port.

        More specifically, Mouse acceleration cannot be turned off, and it compiles with OS mouse acceleration for not-a-very-nice-experience.

    Dear Ubisoft:

    I consider protecting my money from your company is vital to my enjoyment.

    It will allow me to continue investing in the development of creative and innovative games on the PC platform.

    "protecting our PC games is vital to our business"

    and it's vital to my wallet that I no longer buy any ubisoft game until this crap is removed. I'll spend the money I would of used for Splinter Cell on Monster Hunter Tri instead.

    Well, it's not like Ubisoft have been making any creative or innovative games in the first place...

    Ubisoft, you won't be getting my money, there's plenty of games out there and not nearly enough time to play them. I have no reason to waste my time and money with games which are just going to cause me unnecessary trouble.

    The way the headline of this article was writen really does imply something else entirely to what the quote means tho

    But given that im about to take a hit in how much money i earn per week coupled with DRM i highly doubt ill ever play SC:C and if i do it wont be a copy ive purchased(im sure someone i know will buy it)

    DRM wouldnt be a problem if it wasnt net always connected athon, i dont have an awesome gaming laptop for nothing afterall

    as for Day 0 - 1 piracy, as soon as something gets leaked online let the stores release it nothing more stupid than someone getting a hold of a copy 4 days and leaking it but you guys havent released it yet because you want to be on the thursday of the week or whatnot because it fits better with showing first week sales taly or somesuch nonsence like the cinemas do

    Again, it's retarded policy like this that causes me to play fewer PC titles. Unless there are significant advantages to a PC version, most of my games are now bought for my Xbox 360. Largely to prevent being shat upon by Draconian DRM solutions such as Ubisoft's newest failware.

    I want Ubisoft to know, I've heard their feeble spin and condescending waffle, and after careful consideration, I'm digging in too. You don't get my money, and I don't play your games - It's a deal.

    Can I ask a dumb question?

    Surely the wisest minds on this subject, are those of us out here in consumer land... isn't that the idea behind open source?

    Can't we all get together and work out something that we would be happy to operate with?

    Surely we can all agree that they should have the right to install some measure of protection... so can't we find something we can all agree on?

      Because what would be agreed on would be a half-measure. And when it comes to DRM, a half-measure is as good as no measures. If you don't go the whole nine yards, it's not worth even implementing it in the first place.

      It's not like disc checks ever stop people these days. To make effective DRM you have to use every technology available.

      I work with some software which requires a USB dongle attached to the computer to work. It also uses Internet verification. If the dongle comes out or you loose Internet connection, the software closes.

      It may seem harsh but when you realise the software costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to create you can understand why they want to protect their work.

      Thats why customers and publishers can't agree on a level of protection. Customers are only interested in their own experience, they'll always choose to have the least interference. No interference, if it's an option. For publishers, that's not an option. Ubisoft tried releasing a game with no DRM (I mean absolutely NONE) in 2008. The game was still pirated, heavily.

        I guess I'm just being naive,

        I see why they need it, and I agree they should have some measure of protection.

        I just don't believe they can't set up a thread on their forums and call for submissions. They could take ideas from each... maybe.

        Or maybe make it a competition?
        "This form of DRM has been cracked, how do we stop that from happening on the next version?"
        Surely they have their own coders who can look through the submissions and weed out ideas that wont work?

          You seem pretty open minded about this, and I respect that. Instead of trying to explain the situation myself, I leave you in the hands of someone who has already done a good job of analysing the situation.


          Just scroll down a bit to the 'Ubisoft's New DRM' section. I hope it enlightens you.

        was that the new PoP because i could understand why after i finished it on the Ps3

        and ubisoft has a tendency to release on PC leter on as well while i played ACII on my nice Ps3 cos there was nothing better for me to do at the time

        If there was moddable content or whatnot i probably woulda pirated the PC version to have a play with that stuff

        Also they need to release Demos
        People will pirate a game to see if they wanna play it and if after playing a while of the game seems short there probably not gonna buy it from you

    Wait, which of their games are they calling "creative and innovative"; Splinter Cell #6, Prince of Persia #7 (more if you count remakes), Silent Hunter #5, The Settlers #7, a crappy video game version of Avatar, Ghost Recon #9, Rainbow Six #8, Assassin's Creed #2 (that's pretty original for Ubisoft; only 2 Assassin's Creed games so far, better milk it some more!)? Seriously, do they even know what "creative" and "innovation" mean?? They mean the polar opposite of what Ubisoft do!

      By Creative and innovative they mean finding new 'creative' ways yo port 'innovative' titles from the PS3 and X-Box to the PC prior to crippling the experience by applying DRM.

      They recently aquired the Anno devs too. So far;

      Anno 1404
      Anno 1404
      Coming soon
      Anno xxxx
      Anno xxxx
      Anno New IP? What the heck is that edition.

        One of those 1404s is meant to be Venice.

    This is win-win for ubisoft they prove to investors the PC is no longer a viable market and focus solely on consoles, where piracy is s lower and from what I can tell volume is too.

    I'm a PC gamer, still holding out, but the writing is on the wall.

      How is it a win? Ubisoft actually makes money from their porting efforts. It's in their best interest to continue their culture of ports to further increase their profits.

        Would be interesting to know how much profit though, after the costs of porting, including costs to develop, implement and support the DRM on top.

    From "Anon"
    "Ubisoft tried releasing a game with no DRM (I mean absolutely NONE) in 2008. The game was still pirated, heavily."

    What game? Was it also a commercial success, which I can't tell myself because you haven't told me what game it is? It's nice of you to say "it was pirated heavily" but without other information that is a COMPLETELY useless statement.

    Also from "Anon"
    "I work with some software which requires a USB dongle attached to the computer to work. It also uses Internet verification. If the dongle comes out or you loose Internet connection, the software closes."

    Does your (given you are not clear on if you work at the software company or your company merely uses it) software allow you to do a save when this happens? From what I've heard, the Ubisoft DRM does not, although I have neither pirated or bought the games in question so I would have no idea myself. Of course, saving in a business environment is much different from saving in a video game, where saving is often controlled as a way of making the game "harder", because it is easier then doing ACTUAL WORK to make the game harder. But I can guarantee that if a business lost data because the DRM failed, at best they would change software, and worst they would sue for damages.

    Anon, you seem to be making the assumption that DRM is essential, much like the argument being put forward by Ubisoft. But that simply is not the case. There are games that are released without DRM. Some of those games are rubbish, sure, but other games are also brilliant. Putting DRM on a game has nothing to do with making a good game. Much like putting locks on a car have nothing to do with making the car go fast. Even if we were to assume, like the industry does, that every pirate copy is a lost sale (this is wrong, btw), then DRM still doesn't make any sense. As we see over and over again, no matter what 5 guys at Ubisoft dream up with for their next DRM system, the 200 scene crackers will break it, they simply cannot compete. So instead of spending thousands of dollars on DRM that doesn't work, why not spend that money on making a game people actually want to buy.

      Prince of Persia (2008) was released without DRM on the PC as a test to see how much the game would be pirated. To test if the exclusion of DLC lowers sales or increased them. Short answer; it lowers them.

      To clarify, it is the software that I work with, not software which I make.
      You have been severely mislead, by whatever your source. It is the main problem with the media surrounding Ubi's DRM; misinformation. When connection is lost in Ubisoft's DRM the game is effectively paused. If connection is regained, the game resumes immediately where it left off. In the event that the user does not wish to wait and wants to stop playing, the game is saved, and if the user wishes, uploaded to the cloud as well.
      For instance, Assassin's Creed 2 uses a checkpoint system. If the player dies, they are returned to the last checkpoint. The player is not given direct control over saving. If the connection drops out an the user opts to quit the game, the last checkpoint is saved.

      Why not spend that money on making a game people actually want to buy? Because no matter how good or bad a game is, it will still be pirated. You spend more time making a good game, more people will pirate it. Forget what you think about the reason people pirate games. Pirates do not care whether a game is good or bad or the developers are pro-DRM or anti-DRM. Pirates are indiscriminate in their actions. They will take whatever they can and whatever they want.
      It only shows that there are people who have no care whatsoever for the industry. They care not at all for morality or legality or support of developers. So if piracy is going to exists regardless of whatever other measure a publisher takes to avoid it, only one option remains to stop piracy. Denial of service.
      The only system that will ever exist to stop piracy is one that prohibits unauthorised people from playing the game. Because that is what piracy is; when people who do not have the right to play a game, play the game. How do you go about implementing such a system? Well here's where the problem is. Technology is not, at present, stable enough to support a system that allows complete control over the use of a piece of software. The point is though, that technology is CLOSE to that level of stability.
      Okay, maybe Ubisoft jumped the gun a little bit in terms of implementing this. But it was inevitable. Someone had to be the first. This is the future of DRM. This is where it's going. Just as the internet has provided a method for Piracy to exist, so will the internet provide the method to end piracy.

        oh shut up, you generalise the pirates too much.

        "If connection is regained, the game resumes immediately where it left off. In the event that the user does not wish to wait and wants to stop playing, the game is saved, and if the user wishes, uploaded to the cloud as well."

        ... So if my internet connection isnt working the game sends a save game to the cloud which is on the internet which isnt working so the game isnt saved at all?


        Internet down means no internet, meaning the game cannot be saved as the cloud is on the internet and therefore cannot be accessed.

          “If connection is regained, the game resumes immediately where it left off. In the event that the user does not wish to wait and wants to stop playing, THE GAME IS SAVED, and if the user wishes, uploaded to the cloud as well.”

          I shouldn't have to repeat myself.

    It is an excruciating wait considering it was supposed to come out in February, now made worse because us PC gamers have to wait a fortnight longer than everyone else, made worse due to the PC DRM crap, Assassins Creed 2 is available to pirate and apparently people have finished that with an offline server, they will just do the same thing to Splintercell, while us devout fans of the series get hammered and punished for purchasing it with cash. This situation is unacceptable.

    Anyone who has used this DRM ( teething problems aside ) on their normal desktop PC will have already teasised this form of protection is pretty damn unobtrusive. You'd hardly even notice it wad there. Having logged well over 80 hours in Silent Hunter 5, I've never had a problem yet.

    Get over it guys.

    If you hate this DRM, don't buy it and don't crack it, period. It's only a game, skip it. To ignore it is the only way to protest against it. If you feel compulsed to chosebetween either obediently get scammed or encourage piracy, you've got a problem.

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