Ubisoft Claims Its DRM Is A ‘Success’

Ubisoft Claims Its DRM Is A ‘Success’

Ubisoft’s approach to DRM is controversial to say the very least, and its policy continues with Driver: San Francisco, which requires a constant internet connection to play. This has bothered many gamers but, speaking to PC Gamer, a Ubisoft rep has claimed that the DRM has been a success.

Apparently Ubisoft has seen a “a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection,” claimed the rep. “[F] rom that point of view the requirement is a success.”

Piracy is clearly an issue in the PC market, but is Ubisoft’s DRM the solution? Surely there has to be a third way?

Ubisoft: our DRM “is a success” [PC Gamer]

Thanks VG247!


  • Firstly how are they tracking piracy of their product?

    Secondly of course he has to say its a success. The only time they can say its not successful is during the press release saying they’re canning it entirely. Stupid public relations people are stupid.

    • So, lets test their statistical gathering abilities.

      Everyone pirate this game on PC, please.

      If we all pirate it because Ubisoft puts the DRM in then they cant in future

  • They can continue using this until the cows come home for all I care. I for one won’t be buying a game with it.

    • +1.

      What he forgot to announce was the success in combating people willing to purchase titles with this DRM. 😛

  • I have a solid net connection so it doesn’t bother me too much but I’m not everyone…however the real issue here is;


    • I got a reply on the Ubi FB page about that – apparently it was too difficult to get accurate and fast car selection in the SHIFT mechanic when using a steering wheel. Sadly I almost understand.

      • That’s a crap excuse. Why would you use the wheel for the shift mechanic? There’s a lovely input device that I think is being used for it already in the PC version, I think it’s called the mouse.

    • This. Draconian DRM policies are part of the reason I’m more of a console gamer. At least the DRM on the consoles is consistent and non-invasive.

    • I know I’ve been refusing to buy any games Ubisoft has been using this kind of DRM for, including the consol versions.

    • People will still buy the next Creed game though. Everyone gets all up in arms, and 99% of them lose the rage the minute the next game comes on sale.

      Look at DA2 and the DLC for that – if anyone should be looking at reduced sales, it should be DA2 and the DA2 DLC. Can’t see that happening.

      • Sure, but they’ll buy Ass Revelations on console. As someone who plays Assassin’s Creed on PC, yeah, the online thing really sucked when it first came out (I had a pretty flakey connection at the time), and ramping it up sure ain’t gonna help, but the PC versions don’t come out for another 3 or so months. Polish it up and include all the DLC you want, Ubisoft, but I imagine everyone’s going to get their fix in the November-December period when the games comes out on console, not in March at full RRP in 3 months time.
        I can’t imagine their PC sales are particularly strong because of this delay (also, it feels better on console; keyboard mapping is kind of balls), so whilst people might be outraged in principle, it’s only a minor slice of their customers that are affected who really would be raging at this.

          • For now, at least. If they were pushing it back, you’ll probably not know about it until 3 days before release day (at the earliest).

  • Okay its reduced piracy but how much has it reduced sales? How much has it reduced respect for you?

  • I’ll be buying this on ps3 just for the fact that I can use a controller and sit/lie on my couch, rather than use a mouse/keyboard and have to sit in a chair.
    In short I won’t have a problem with this.

  • I want to be unequivocal about this. Driver I don’t care about, but I was intending to buy From Dust. Persistent online DRM means no sale. I have a stable connection, but I also like to play my games on the road.

    Again, I guarantee they’ve lost at least one sale.

  • I know of people who have computers just for gaming and they don’t connect them to the net at all… what about these people?

    Plus where there is a will, there is a way. I am sure it will get hacked within the week of release.

  • I wont be playing this game if an internet connection is always required. Rural Australia doesnt always have the steadiest connection and im not wasting $90 on something that only works sometimes. 🙂

  • I’m seriously dismayed by the number of people who are saying “I play on console” or “My net is rock solid”, and therefore don’t care. By the same logic, because you’re not in Afghanistan, who cares what atrocities the Taliban commit, right guys?

    • I play on console, but I do care. It’s a ridiculous DRM method, but unfortunately there isn’t much anyone can do now that Ubisoft has it in ther heads that it works. People want the games, and I’d imagine console sales are way higher than the PC sales for most of their games, so they feel they can get away with something like this.

      If every single person refused to buy the PC version, they’d maybe change their policy. There just aren’t enough people who care enough to make this happen though. At the end of the day, people want the product.

    • Wow. Serious over-reaction. For people who aren’t worried about their internet going down, or have a console, Ubisoft are supplying a product which works. Those bastards.

      Not playing advocate here, as I don’t like the system, I’m just amazed at the response to it. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

      But also don’t accuse Ubisoft of crimes against humanity.

  • its going to be a slopply console port with the press start to continue on the main menu so likely to happen with little pc optimization, so who cares.

    Another thing is that the best DRM is to create a game with such value and dept that you target the pirates morals for enjoying a product they stole. Who goes to there friends and say, “hey i am really enjoying this game i stole”. Have no DRM but come out and say that you are doing this because its bad and that we put all this effort for you to experience. And maybe have a page up where people can pay what they want for the game, display what the gamer is really wanting to pay. Just trying to say that DRM isn’t the way to go, punishing your paying consumer and rewarding the pirates isn’t the right thing to do.

  • hasnt helped with piracy, for a laugh i downloaded it torrent style, along with a pirate authentication server BAM works fine…

    just like assasins creed 2 😀

    • Thinking about it, it wouldn’t be that difficult to circumvent anyway – a bit of network traffic snooping, some alteration of the game exe/config (or to the PC’s hosts file), and a local server simulating the responses from Ubisoft’s DRM server… Somewhat of a simplification, but it’s not rocket science. Their DRM probably appears to work because they see no pirated versions trying to connect to their DRM servers, they’re just using local ones.
      Btw, I’m a console gamer, so it doesn’t really affect me directly, but I can’t see how this style of DRM could possibly be very effective.

  • After not being able to play Final Fight for weeks with the PSN down, I will never again buy again a game requiring constant connection to anything-PS3 or otherwise.

  • Finally I’ll be able to play Settlers 7 now.

    Initially I made a point of not buying OR pirating Ubi’s recent offerings, but thanks to their current actions and statements I now no longer have to deal with any guilt for reverting to the latter option!

  • Asking them if they’re happy with their DRM is like asking Activision if they’re happy with CoD. Of course they are.

    I also agree with everyone, less pirates….maybe. Less sales….definitely.

  • Ugh. This really urks me. Why do they punish the people who buy these games legitimately, when someone who pirated it will simply be able to get around these loopholes with a simple crack/pirated server?

    Apparently Ubisoft has seen a “a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection,” claimed the rep. “[F]rom that point of view the requirement is a success.”

    “The rep later added “Admittedly, only three people bought the game, and gave up after a couple of days of frustration with our DRM System. But for them, it was a success!”

    • I agree completely with your statement about punishing people who buy the games legitimately. Pirates don’t have any restrictions to their usage. It’s the same as DVDs, I buy a DVD and have to sit through messages telling me that I shouldn’t download movies, yet if I did download it, I would be watching the movie already

  • There is a 3rd way – what Blizzard has done with battle.net and Starcraft 2 for example. Move a significant portion of your game to an online portal – one which people WANT to connect to – and bam.

    • well you’d be loosing me that way to.

      From what i played of AC:B The fighting is still pretty bad IMO an improvement over the original no doubt but still rather bad.

      I see nothing advantageous about multiplayer there. as it’s just gonna waste development dollars.

      Same as the other series i have skipped over this stuff. PoP:Movierelese(can’t remember the name of the game) again is PoP so no use in MP there.

      Splinter Cell maybe, but i didn’t really like the look of the new game, and the DRM was enough to stop me from playing it.

      Fact is that moving stuff to an online based game doesn’t help if it’s an inherently SP game.

      And if the selling point of your game is that its a Multiplayer extravaganza then requiring an internet connection to play singleplayer mode is rather redundant

      Not to mention that all of starcraft 2’s singleplayer can be played offline you just don’t get achievements

  • May have been a success but I bet the amount of people who bought it retail were low.. Stupid idea, take me back to the days when all I needed was my console, control and a copy of the game!!

  • Fallout New Vegas has a brilliant anti piracy measure.
    Its a good game.

    Bethesda has always went out of their way to make games that are mod friendly and develop massive communities as a result.

    Sure you can pirate FNV easily, but you cant use the latest mods which require a Steam only patch.

    This to me, is the best way of combating this, by adding value and accessibility to your games.

    Something Ubisoft continues to fail at.

    You want to demand crazy prices for products now dominating the global scene and not have people simply take your product?

    Thats just stupid and naive.

    Bill Gates put it best, and Ill paraphrase as I cant be arsed finding a quote:
    Who cares if people pirate windows? Why bother enforce it? If we become a staple, and people like it, perhaps they will buy it later.

    Ubisoft needs to pull its head out of its ass, because right now even the most moral of gamer will happily pirate their games to hell.

    This guy, this guys one of many yes men who’s ideas of business died before the industrial era even ended.

  • Also.. you do realise that the only people that have to deal with DRM are the ones who buy it right?

    Pirate or cracked versions remove that stuff..

    Making, ironically, for a better experience.

    Go figure.

  • I’d like to see any solid data showing a correlation between the reduction of piracy and an increase of sales. I’m willing to bet there isn’t anything genuinely significant or concrete.

    People who pirate generally aren’t at all that interested in going down the purchasing route, which is generally what makes all DRM pointless.

  • I do agree that this DRM is a huge problem. Not right now, perhaps (assuming you have a solid Internet connection, which isn’t the case for everybody), but in the future.

    In 10 years time, will people who have bought these games still be able to play them? I still regularly play games that are from the late 90s, and I would hope that ones I buy today will still work in another 10.

    This isn’t just a Ubisoft problem though, and it really makes me worried about my games collection.

    • naah the DRM accessibility for older games has been a problem for a while now:

      – old games running certain versions of things like Securom designed for Win95/98 just load to black screens on XP even with compatibility modes (but run fine when cracked)
      – the implementation of Tages in Beyond Good and Evil was at least partially responsible for the three game-stopping bugs that required a third-party save editor to circumvent (and because it was integrated through the game code it couldn’t be fixed by running a cracked copy)
      – current versions of SecuRom will make some games crash out to General Protection Faults in certain hardware combinations (again, cracks fix everything in many of these cases)

      there are other examples, but we’re pretty much looking at another one of those ‘failed to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it’ scenarios where in maybe 30 years time companies will finally consider what took TV stations so long (eg. look at series like Doctor Who where piracy was the only thing to save a lot of episodes!)

  • Success? I still haven’t brought ACII on PC due to this… I didnt even buy the pack when it was on Steams sales…

    Has it stopped piracy? Not really as they patched it to allow for playing offline with checks to the internet as when their authentication servers went down no one could play, legit or not…

  • Korwin: thats assuming all pirates are just looking for a free ride, and not that they simply cant afford the ride.

    I think youll find a lot of pirates also purchase games, when they’ve dropped in price.

    $120 is a ludicrous amount of money for a single piece of multimedia. Sure that comes down to our market and how they are run, but you cant complain about things like piracy while not trying to solve the issue.

    All the DRM does is add another layer of crap for the actual customer.

  • I don’t understand how does less pirating mean the DRM works? I mean if the DRM works that means people shouldn’t be able to pirate it at all.

    So if people are pirating that means the DRM doesn’t work and the decrease in piracy is as a result of something else. Possibly people being less interested in their games?

  • Of course there is a reduction in piracy, because each time they implement this DRM there is a loss of interest in their product..
    If your game is getting massively pirated, then its a good indicator that you make a good product that people want to play it, legally or otherwise

  • It’s a startling success.

    In that since it’s inception they haven’t released a single game that i would have wanted to buy anyway.

    Which means that pirating them because of an archaic system which means i can’t use my internet for anything else while im playing said game for fear that ubisoft will smite my progress. Was a rather low priority.

    although i have been told i should be pirating them out of protest whether i play them or not

    • Unfortunately, yes. The Steam page has that “persistent internet connection required” (paraphrasing), message.

  • Yeah but if the DRM means lots of people aren’t buying your games anyway Ubisoft, it’s not really a success. Before you might have been losing some money to pirates, now you’re losing it to rivals instead. Pretty sure thats Fail.

    It’s also a little like burying a new game in a ball of metal, then burying that in concrete and not releasing it so you can say, “There look nobody pirated it. SUCCESS!”

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