Ubisoft relaxes Driver DRM

DRM doesn’t get much worse than "always on" implementations that require an Internet connection to experience a game’s single-player component. That’s the kind of scheme that was supposed to be included with Ubisoft’s upcoming Driver: San Francisco. An outcry ensued, and the publisher has softened its stance in response to the outrage—sort of. Instead of demanding that players maintain Internet connection for the duration of their time within the game, they’ll only be required to sign in to Ubisoft’s servers to launch the game. After that, they’ll apparently be able to switch into offline mode for the rest of the session.

While this small concession might help folks who have flaky Internet connections, it does absolutely nothing to address the concerns of those who want to play the game when they’re not connected at all. It’s not like Driver is being sold exclusively as a download that can only be purchased with an Internet connection, either.

The point of this insidious DRM is to reduce piracy, of course, and Ubisoft claims that it works. The publisher doesn’t offer any hard numbers, though. Quantifying piracy is a difficult thing to do, but it’s easy to confirm BitTorrent sites have no shortage of cracks that render Ubisoft’s DRM useless. Anyone able to obtain a pirated copy of a game will probably find a crack conveniently bundled with the ISO. Even if fewer people are pirating Ubisoft’s games, it seems unlikely DRM is the cause.

Comments closed
    • Madman
    • 8 years ago

    Well…

    I don’t play PC games much anymore…

    Main reasons:
    1) DRM
    2) Consolitis
    3) Free flash games like miniclip
    4) Good old games like BG at GOG

    I used to love Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed and POP series. I still have older versions original DVDs sitting right next to my PC tower.

    But now, with all the DRM… Well… fuk it…

    From graphics standpoint new games are not ground breaking.

    The DRM like the one I stumbled upon when buying original Bioshock, which wouldn’t want to install for a days because servers were offline, scare me. And the AC and POP new versions are even worse.

    And don’t remind me how PC games got F’d up by Ubisoft over POP story continuing DLC that was 1 – commercial, 2 – available only to consoles

    Also my internet connection suck big time, with frequent disconnects and weeks without network sometimes.

    And honestly, I recently installed BG:TOTSC and well, you know, that game has a depth and a lot more re-playability than the crap we get nowadays. I don’t even have time to replay it, how long it is. Why on earth I would want to pay 80$ for AC or DOA2 which are shallow and plagued with problems.

    And even when I’m not into old games, open miniclip.com and you have months of entertainment for free, no DRM, no 5h cinematics and 1h of gameplay for 80$, just fun!

    I just don’t see a reason to bother with overpriced, DRMed, boring, and cinematic, consolited autopiloted crap from now on. For the last few years I walk through the shops, I notice few interesting titles that bring back memories, but at the end, it’s either gog.com or miniclip.com.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    DRM is just ineffectual measure to curb piracy and used sales market. The only victim are legit users who have to deal with the teething issues (rootkits, installation limits, hidden drivers). I don’t understand why big publisher keep on pushing for. Piracy is going to be happen one way or another and used market sales aren’t large enough to put a dent in their regular sales. The sales figures and revenue speak for themselves.

    I suspect that DRM is “actually” costing publishers more money in terms of loss sales due to DRM related issues for end-users (customer dissatisfaction) and implementation (DRM makers charge an arm and leg to implement their solutions) then simply omitting it and deal with loss sales due to piracy and used market sales.

    Big publishers are going nuclear over a trivial matter. DRM is just an expensive blanket that gives them the nice illusion that nobody is going to steal their sales.

    • canmnanone
    • 8 years ago

    f**k you ubisoft. as long as you have drm bullsh*t ill never buy your games.

    • odizzido
    • 8 years ago

    I have no interest in playing this game even for free, but I might have to pirate it just to show it does nothing.

    Someone said a while ago on TR that DRM isn’t about fighting piracy, but taking control away from consumers. That has to be the reason.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 8 years ago

      Punish the customer, reward the pirate. Then blame the pirate for all your financial woes and use them as the scapegoat for ever increasing and invasive drm. Wash, rinse, repeat ad nauseum.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    I used to buy many games and pirate a few.
    Now I buy a few games and pirate many.

    The main reason for this is that the pirated versions usually bypass or strip out the interfering DRM that forces the user to jump through needless anti-piracy hoops.

    I earn enough in a day that the cost of games is irrelevant to me, my primary concern is getting a hassle-free gaming experience.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    fewer people pirate ubisoft games because they don’t make the best selling pc games, simple as that.

    • south side sammy
    • 8 years ago

    back in the day FarCry2 had to be connected just for the initial install. After that no internet connection was needed. Worked fine, still does. However, douche bags, what do you say we go back to the “old” ways and keep your DRM to yourself so I can enjoy my games anywhere, anytime, with or without an internet connection.
    Maybe we should get the people in middle/rural America to start a class action law suit because they have no way of playing their purchase because of no internet access and/or not being able to afford it…. class warfare.

    • Skrying
    • 8 years ago

    So, you still can’t play the game in an environment that lacks Internet access…. great improvement Ubisoft!

      • tay
      • 8 years ago

      Just get a warez patch and be done. I always google before purchasing so if a game is like Driv3r then….

    • zzz
    • 8 years ago

    Nowadays, if you travel and want to play a game on the go, you’ve got to dedicate time and effort researching whether or not you CAN play it on the go.

    • provoko
    • 8 years ago

    This DRM still sucks. This is worse than starcraft 2, they only require 3 weeks to sign in. Dawn of discovery only requires you to sign online once and thats it.

    It would be better if all these companies didn’t have this horrid DRM.

    • LiquidSpace
    • 8 years ago

    Who buys shitisoft games these days, after all the trash they have released in the past 3 years I didn’t think that they would still be around.

      • Joe Miller
      • 8 years ago

      Is there good Ubisoft game after FarCry 1? Or it even was not their game, so the question is what good game have Ubisoft made?

        • VinnyC
        • 8 years ago

        Hooray! I’m not the only person who enjoyed the original Far Cry!

          • odizzido
          • 8 years ago

          Farcry1 was a great game. I especially liked it when trigens started showing up

            • Joe Miller
            • 8 years ago

            My favorite was the islands level, with a sniper rifle. And the boat towards the end. And the swamps. And the catacombs, with shotgun and night vision. And ….

        • LiquidSpace
        • 8 years ago

        they Had great games such as POP Warrior Within which is one of my favourite games of all time, FarCry 2 was a good game too, POP 2008 was a nice game that I liked alot.
        BTW I hated FC1 and I hate every single Crytek game. Yes I do.

        • TAViX
        • 8 years ago

        I remember a 15 years old one called LBA and LBA2. That were very good games.

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