Hardware changes trigger Anno 2070 DRM

DRM is a sad fact of life these days. Some protection schemes are more restrictive than others, and strategy game Anno 2070 may have one of the most annoying implementations yet. While doing some testing for a graphics performance article, Guru3D discovered that the game must be reactivated after changes to system configurations as minor as swapping the graphics card. Frequent upgraders are supposed to be able to email Ubisoft, the game's publisher, to have their three-activation limit reset. Guru3D tried that route, but it wasn't successful.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun questioned Ubisoft about the issue, and it looks like Anno 2070's copy protection is working as intended. The publisher reiterated that gamers can contact it directly when their activation limit needs to be reset. There's no explanation of why reaching out didn't work for Guru3D, though.

Ubisoft points out that the vast majority of customers won't exceed their activation limit, which may well be correct. However, it's fair to assume that the vast majority of pirates will be unfazed by the DRM scheme designed to dissuade them. A quick search of popular torrent sites reveals that a cracked version of Anno 2070 is widely available for download. Game developers and publishers certainly have a right to incorporate DRM measures, but when copy protection fails to prevent piracy and ends up inconveniencing legitimate users, what's the point?

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