Ubisoft Changes Tune of DRM Dance Again

From Dust
Last week, Gaming Bus reported on Ubisoft’s confusing DRM policies in both From Dust and Diver: San Francisco. Today, Ubisoft has given us another statement about their ongoing saga with DRM and how it will effect their From Dust customers via a report from Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

“We recognize that one of our posts in the From Dust forum regarding the need for authentication in the game was not clear. We sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding. Our tech teams are working on a patch that should release in approximately two weeks that will eliminate the need for any online authentication. This development time is required as we are working to ensure that those who have already started the game, and who’s [sic] progress is currently saved on our servers, will receive and save their game information locally. Once the patch is ready, players who already have the game will automatically receive the update on their next login and subsequent game sessions will be 100% offline.”

Ubisoft has made it very clear since Assassins Creed II that the online DRM was to prevent piracy, with games like From Dust and Driver receiving so much backlash with these requirements, they’re making their stance on piracy and DRM very confusing. This statement has Ubisoft going back to how they first intended From Dust DRM to be, but no other information has been given from Ubisoft about the other problems plaguing this PC port or when it will include basic PC options.

Analysis: I have to ask, Ubisoft, when are you going to haul your heads out of your collective asses? Because at this point, no one’s taking your stance about PC piracy or DRM very seriously. PC gamers have many a good reason to be upset about always-on DRM, but the most important one is this: What happens if your Internet goes down? I had my Internet go out about two weeks ago, and it took Verizon about six days to fix it. I had intended to play a game that I had previously activated, but it wanted to do it again so I was unable to play that game. Obviously, something happened with the mod I installed while offline or maybe with the update they did before it went down, but it’s reasonable to ask for another authentication when changing files like that, so I didn’t get pissed at the developer. Rather I was upset that I didn’t think of it before I installed the mod since I had never modded that game before.

Ubisoft, understand that things happen beyond our control on your end as well as ours. Some DRM is reasonable, but let’s not forget that the always-on DRM didn’t stop pirates from cracking Assassin’s Creed II, either, so why do you keep imposing restrictions on legitimate customers when pirates still find ways to circumvent them? I agree you should protect your intellectual properties, the fact you’re lying about how DRM will be implemented in your games, how it is effectively fighting piracy, and then back-peddling to save face is ludicrous.

Ubisoft, you have lost or are quickly losing all credibility with the PC community. Chris said it best last week: “At this point, anyone who buys an Ubisoft PC game is a fool, and anyone who preorders one—considering the pathetic history they have with the market—is an even bigger one.” The only way to absolve yourselves at this point is make quality PC ports, fix the ports you’ve already released to be more PC-friendly, loosen the reigns on your internal DRM policy, and give us DRM that is fair and not abusive to the PC customers.


About Brandon Mietzner