How DRM kept money on my side.

Note: This blog post was originally written for and posted at Destructoid. Since then, I’ve stopped caring about that websit, and since I still have two entries there, I’m bringing them over to here.

C-Blog post:

Finally, Ubisoft decided to release Assassin’s Creed 2 for the PC, a game that I had been waiting for ever since I finished the first title. The first game was truly awesome, getting everything almost perfect, in my opinion, with the exception of some technical problems and the repetitive secondary mission gameplay.

The second installment of the series promised tons of gameplay improvement and a new, impressive story of corruption and conspiracy. I was stoked. This was a game that I HAD to buy, there was no question about it!

Fast-forward to 8th March, I go down to my local “tech” store, money stuffed snugly in my wallet, ready to buy the game I had waited so long for! The purchase went smoothly enough and I came home itching to get this baby on my laptop and jump into the immersive gameplay.

But Ubisoft had other plans.

The installation itself went smoothly, not even a hiccup, but as soon as it was done I was prompted to log-in or create a new Ubisoft account. …what? No, I just wanted to play my game but there was no way to skip this step so, annoyed, I went on to create an Ubisoft account. Chosen data typed, I clicked forward and…cannot connect to log-in servers. WHAT?! Because some servers god knows where weren’t online I couldn’t play my SINGLE PLAYER game? A game I gave 60€ for?! Unacceptable!

Naturally, I went immediately to the internet, thinking, hoping, this was some mistake on my part. After all, EA games also prompt users to register their game but allow for easy, no one’s forcing anyone. But not Ubisoft.

A quick search soon revealed the monster that was Ubisoft’s DRM. Long story short, the system requires you to have a CONSTANT internet connection to their servers (which are down by the way) so the program can constantly validate the authenticity of your game. If your internet connection fails even for a few minutes, it will boot you out of your game session. Hope you’ve been saving every five minutes!

So, Ubisoft dictates when you play and guarantees that your game copy is legal. Constant internet connection is just a requirement, and you even have benefits through the Uplay platform. At least pirates won’t get to enjoy the game, hahahaha, right?

WRONG!

Not 24 hours after the game was out the DRM was bypassed by a talented group of pirates.

Worse yet, the pirated version is working better than the legal one (or, at least, you can play whenever you want. Yay…I thought that was a single-player given), proving once more that piracy does have its benefits.

So, what is the effect of this DRM? Well, considering people like me (criminals which once in a while feel like a game deserves a small fortune shelled out), it encourages piracy instead of legal purchase. On account of my bad experience, I’ll be telling as many people as I can about it and advising them not to buy the game, just out of spite. Three of my friends are already not buying.

I’m returning the game today and uninstalling it from my hard-drive. I’ll get my money back and swear to never, ever again buy something from Ubisoft. It isn’t just the screw up with the servers, it is mostly the dictatorship they implemented in their effort to stop (read: encourage) piracy. I bought the game. It’s a single-player game, not online multiplayer. Why should I have to be dependent on Ubisoft’s servers to play it? It doesn’t make sense and it’s just wrong! I miss the days when games only required you to insert the serial key during installation…Come to think about it, I bought a lot more games back then.

 

 

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