Thursday, 28 July 2011

On Ubisoft and DRM

I have a couple of Ubisoft games. I LOVE the rayman series - I think Rayman 3 is fantastic, and I've played it several times. I've got the Assassins' Creed games. I probably have a few others floating around that I'd not even noticed or registered as being Ubisoft.

But no matter how much I love their creations, I weep at their absurd insistence that their DRM policy is the ideal and perfect way to go.

Ok, so it's like this. Piracy is a problem. I get that. Companies do their best to counteract it: EA tried it (failing miserably) by limiting the number of times you can install a game that is officially your own property; games bought through steam have to be played on your account and your account only, though it can be from anywhere (I have nothing against this form, myself) and Ubisoft have decided that you must have a constant internet connection to play the game. Well, yes, it has kept piracy down on those titles, but it's also alienated a lot of their main customers.

Ubisoft, if it were a case of registering online and having to do what Steam does, nobody would object. Sure, you claim that steam games get hacked, but let us not forget that they are not hacked nearly as much as your or EA or other bastard DRM locked games are. People respect steam a lot more, because they are fair in their DRM policies. That and the sale is amazing.

I am no saint. I have plenty of music that I've yet to get around to actually buying the physical cd for, or the odd film that I got because I was waiting for the dvd to come down in price. Hell, I even "pirated" films I owned at home, but wanted to watch whilst at uni... I'm sure there's a bilaw about that somewhere. Should be, anyway.
I don't pirate games, because I like the box and the benefits having the legit game can bring. (Ok, I tried out The Sims 3, but I hated it, so I'm glad I didn't pay for that. I don't have it any more anyway)
However the general feeling now that Ubisoft has declared that this customer-punishing DRM policy is "successful" is that people should pirate the hell out of the game purely out of retaliation. If I had the internet connection to do so, I'd probably join in. =/ And I'm not even interested in Driver.

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