Ubisoft Relaxes DRM After Hardware Site Gaff

I've been visiting Guru3D for years now — even before I started working at Atomic. Usually, I'm there to see what the latest NVIDIA beta drivers are, but very recently the site, which conducts hardware reviews, declared it was axing Ubisoft titles from its benchmarking suite due to the company's DRM on Anno 2070. In a rare move, Ubi not only responded to Guru3D, but lessened the grip of its DRM.

Of course, Guru3D didn't make the decision on a whim. A part of testing PC hardware involves swapping components in and out; the site discovered that while Anno 2070 can be activated on three systems, changing the graphics card on any of these systems would deactivate the game. Permanently.

See, the DRM creates a "hash", a unique signature made up of any number of variables, to identify your machine. In the case of Ubi's DRM for Anno 2070, one such variable is determined by your graphics card so, naturally, changing it all the time means you're going to hit the activation limit in no time.

Soon after Guru3D reported its findings and decision, Ubisoft got in touch with the site's owner, Hilbert Hagedoorn, to let him know it'd dropped the graphics card from the hashing function:

...we now remove the graphics hardware from the hash used to identify the PC. That means everyone should now be able to switch the GFX as many times as he/she wants.

So Ubisoft does listen, you know, when a prominent site is not afraid to roast it.

Ubisoft changes Anno 2070 DRM after Guru3D critique [Guru3D, via Blue's News]


    Uh. Great. I hope hard drives/CPUs and RAM doesn't count either. I guess I don't mind too much about the motherboard though.

      I do. There's no way to recover an activation. Your machine toasts itself, or you reinstall after your OS dies or you lose a drive or something, and you're down an activation.

    So damn heavy handed. What happened, Ubisoft? You used to be cool!

    Ubisoft can fuck off for all I care. They've gone overboard with this DRM crap.
    Statistic I saw recently was Ubisofts PC piracy rates were down but their PC sales rates had also dropped by 90%. USE YOUR FUCKING BRAINS UBISOFT, DRM IS KILLING YOUR PC SALES DUMBASSES.

    Stopping buying ubisoft titles a long time ago because of this DRM crap. Nothing has changed.

    Too little, too late.

    Good move by UBI.

    Also, is Atomic still around? That magazine was the fucking Bomb back in the day!

    I refuse to buy Ubisoft PC games with DRM. If the game is a must-have title, I'll pick it up for PS3 or 360 instead...

    Ive stoped bying ubisoft titles as well and not even pirating them either and it sucks too because iwas really looking forward to Far Cry 3. Just like David Wildgoose im a fan of Farcry 2despite its extreme emptiness

    I got all excited when I saw the title and though it was time to buy Anno 2070..
    Nope. Still way too restrictive.

    I change ram like I change my underwear

      Every couple of months?

    Might want to put a hold on too much positivity. Based upon the linked original article, it wasn't Ubisoft that contacted Guru3D with the news, rather the producer, BlueByte. As such, there's no confirmation that this change is applicable to any or all future Ubi games.

    People still buy Ubisoft games on PC?
    Well I guess they deserve this kind of thing then.

    I have anno 2070 and its great. The drm doesn't affect me. I own a desktop...

    You used to work at Atomic?

    What happened?

    Ok, now all they have to do is make a good game.

    Unrecoverable activation limits = over priced extended rental scheme. Ubi can go jump, their crap DRM does nothing to stop piracy and just pisses off legitimate customers. Would not miss Ubi one iota if they went out of business.

    I love the well deserved hate for Ubisoft and its DRM in these here comments.
    Why are they so batshit insane about ruining the experience for the paying customer? Don't they know DRM only promotes piracy?

    Also, a hardware site gaff? Really? Guru3D sunk their hooks in, did they?


      "Rough treatment; criticism". In this case, the latter part of the definition.

        Excellent. I've seen too many people make that gaffe. :)

    loved anno series, tempted to buy the 2070, but with the stupid DRM method...ubisoft is losing customer really fast nowadays

    It's bad enough we have to deal with OEM versions of OS software, etc, but to have crap like the games we've bought the full version of cease functioning simply because we had to swap out bad hardware is unacceptable.

    I bought Rayman DS, Rayman 3, Rabbids; Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Beyond Good & Evil,and also Assassin's Creed in recent memory. Most of those were purchased for consoles, but I've ceased being interested in consoles. If I buy a game, I expect it to work on any system that I, the customer, expect it to work on. I won't be buying any Ubisoft titles any longer, thanks to this secretive restriction of products.

    Just a stupid question i guess. Why dont they make it 25 installs or 50 per copy. Wouldnt that ensure that the games wouldnt be pirated more then 50times seeing as we hear of games being pirated 100,000times plus and would ensure paying customers dont get stung with this DRM?

    I boycott ubisoft games on PC now.
    I'll still buy the odd console game, but ubisoft have no place on my PC.

    The only saving grace for Ubisoft games is entirely in the way of savings, as in I'll be saving a lot of money due to the fact that I WON'T be buying Ubisoft games, but instead use those savings for purchasing much better games!

    One of the saddest casualties of this is that I'll be passing up FarCry 3, as it's safe to assume that due to UbiSoft going back on it's word considering their DRM for their new game "From dust," (I've read reviews and UbiSoft decimated the PC port of all functionality as a proper PC game, you can't even setup your screen size and are stuck with a cap of 30FPS!.)
    it's a near guarantee that this "Always on" DRM is here to stay, and will surely infect FC3! I have clearly boycotted these bastards and urge others to do the same!..BTW, I'm not a video game pirate as you don't get official support, and your PC getting affected by a Trojan/RootKit is a real, and horrific possibility...

    But UbiSoft makes even that disadvantage/risk a very tempting alternative to supporting this company that is entirely run by a bunch of chimpanzees!!

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