Ubisoft has confirmed via their Twitter account that the PC version of Driver: San Francisco will feature their “always on” DRM scheme. The DRM requires that the PC playing the game maintains a consistent Internet connection, and players risk losing data if they get kicked out of their game because their internet dropped. Ubisoft initially had the same scheme in Assassin’s Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction, but relaxed those requirements so that the games only needed the internet to launch.
The console versions of Driver: San Francisco will also be the first Ubisoft game to feature Uplay Passport, their brand name for a $9.99 online pass that is already widely in use by Electronic Arts, and was recently announced by Sony as well.
Driver: San Francisco releases for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on September 6th.
Analysis: Considering what Ubisoft did with their last experiment with screwing over their legitimately buying players, I have a feeling that this is meant just to limit day-one piracy. These schemes are almost always and inevitably cracked open like Humpty Dumpty, but it does usually take a few days. Ubisoft’s likely banking on pirates losing patience and going, “Oh my God I can’t wait I MUST PLAY DRIVER RIGHT NOW!”
What’s confusing for me is that Driver isn’t exactly a marquee franchise that must be protected. Seriously, is anyone excited for this game? I can’t remember the last time people were excited for Driver. When are we talking about, 1998? That’s the PlayStation One era. Now, we’re going to protect Driver like it’s a new Call of Duty?
As for Uplay Passport, well, Ubisoft hasn’t shown any genuine innovation in years, with the exception of Child of Eden. It doesn’t surprise me that they’re outright ripping Electronic Arts off now. Maybe they should have made more of an effort to make sure the latest Call of Juarez wasn’t so bad.