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Ubisoft's New DRM System Falls Down, Locks Out Paying Customers

Illustration for article titled Ubisofts New DRM System Falls Down, Locks Out Paying Customers

Hey, Ubisoft: when you force users to maintain an internet connection even when playing a singleplayer game offline, you'd damn well better make sure you hold up your end of the bargain.

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Having recently implemented a wildly unpopular new form of digital rights management for its PC titles, over the last few days Ubisoft released two key games for the platform, Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter V.

Thing is, over the weekend, Ubisoft's DRM servers went down. And at time of posting are still down. Meaning many users had trouble installing games, saving games and in some cases even playing those two titles.

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In reaction to a thread on the company's forums, Ubisoft community managers have said "clearly the extended downtime and lengthy login issues are unacceptable", and that the downtime is due to "exceptional demand".

As a means of rewarding those remaining customers loyal enough to stick with the publisher despite the outrageous demands of the DRM, it's...hardly what you'd call a success. Especially when it only affects paying customers, with pirates bypassing the DRM enjoying the games all weekend long.

[Ubisoft]

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DISCUSSION

Does it make me a bad person to be happy that this happened to the people who bought the game and decided to have faith in Ubisoft and their expected failure of a DRM scheme?

I'm sorry, but this was obviously a pretty bad idea right from the start. I just can't sympathize with people who willingly part with their money without thinking twice about the repercussions of these types of anti-consumer practices.

I just hope this really flops even more (if even possible) just so that other publishers take note, and perhaps learn from this mistake... or maybe I'm just being too hopeful. The suits aren't really known for being in touch with reality when it comes to these things.

I'd wager that Ubisoft was doing much better for a while after FC2, when they released some of their games completely DRM-free on PC (Prince of Persia, that voice-command RTS game, and another one or two games).

Piracy will happen whether you spend tons of money on convoluted and useless DRM schemes or not, so they may as well just not spend that money licensing, developing and integrating the DRM and perhaps focus on the game itself (not to mention the money they now need to spend to keep the servers up and running... oh wait).

Why not worry about the sales you're losing from your real would-have-been customers instead of worrying about sales you're supposedly losing from people who aren't interested in spending money on your product anyway?

Stop trying to fight piracy head-on, you're fighting a lost battle here. Focus on your paying customers instead, and reward them for actually buying your product instead of punishing them.