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Ubisoft busting out the online DRM beams

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  • BlackDoveBlackDove Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Ahahahaha 3 days.

    Where's that statement where they lied about how it will be different for every game?

  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Reposting this from the Alpha Protocol thread, since Sega have just released the DRM specs for it.

    http://blogs.sega.com/usa/2010/05/01/alpha-protocol-pc-drm-details/
    In the future, SEGA will be releasing an unprotected patch of the game to alleviate any fears of not being able to play the game when the Uniloc servers won’t be around anymore.

    We also do not use Steamworks – the Steam released version will use Uniloc DRM.

    ...

    Am I protected for the future if the Uniloc service is discontinued?
    Yes, we take your rights as a consumer very seriously, so we will provide a version of the game without license management (available as a patch) in around 18-24 months after release. We can’t be specific about the exact date due to business factors, but rest assured that we will provide an unprotected patch, as we did for Football Manager 2009.

    Sounds like they remove the DRM (including online authentication) altogether.

    Which you know what? I can really get behind. I don't mind them having a temporary scheme to try and protect their games, just that it's unintrusive and removed after a while when there's no longer purpose to it.

    Yes it's stupid to have install limits on a Steam version, but other than that, this is actually something I really wish more publishers would do. Patch out the DRM once they're done with it. As it stands if Ubisoft decides that not enough people are playing Assassin's Creed 2, they shut off the servers without a patch and you're left with a coaster. Heck, if THEY had said "we'll be patching this DRM out after a year when we've sold our copies", then even I would've been a bit easier on them on that front. Not much, but at least I'd be a bit more accepting, certainly at least willing to consider buying the title.

    I can also understand why they have to include Uniloc with the Steam version (if they didn't, that makes it all the easier to crack the other versions). So whilst I've never liked install limits of this nature, I'm actually willing to be a little accommodating here and let it slide. Because they've actually manned-up and said "There's no point in keeping this DRM around forever, so we'll get rid of it when we're done selling". How many publishers have actually exercised enough common sense between them that they would come out and say that?

    So yeah, I'll actually give Sega the benefit of the doubt on this one, as long as they come through with the patch. I'll even go one further and give them props for being honest about it and going that ONE extra, vital step that every freaking publisher on the planet seems to despise: Removing the DRM when it's not needed. Other publishers are under the misguided belief that doing so is condoning piracy, which is why they constantly refuse to do so. I can give them props for being more rational about this.

  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It's good, but 18-24 months seems a little long for me. The idea of any more than 6 months makes me uncomfortable I think.

    Who knows what Sega will be doing in two years time.

  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    LewieP wrote: »
    It's good, but 18-24 months seems a little long for me. The idea of any more than 6 months makes me uncomfortable I think.

    Who knows what Sega will be doing in two years time.

    I'd say it's reasonable in that it's hard for them to justify removing the DRM to management, who'll feel it's "cutting into profits" by giving the game away for free or something daft like that. Leaving it for a couple of years is at the point where nobody really expects it to be selling anymore (they almost certainly won't be shipping any new copies by then), so there's not as much viable objection.

    I'd also say it's reasonable in that it's just a one-time online activation check, unlike Ubi's nutty "always online or we cut you". I can put up with that until they remove it. Install limits are always nutty, but if I'm being honest, I'm unlikely to run through five of them in the space of a couple of years. Also unlike some other publishers, they've built the token redemption right into the uninstaller.

    Plus it's not any work for them either. They already have the unprotected files, all they need to do is release them somewhere. Heck they don't even need to host them themselves. And doing so builds goodwill.

    Basically I'm willing to give them a shot since they actually went to the trouble of declaring it. Anyone here have any knowledge of Football Manager 2009? Because from the sound of the post, they already did this same thing for that game.

  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Well, FM09 actually had a steamworks activation too, not sure how well it interacted with the Unilock DRM. Then because of the key problem, they decided to only use Unilock on non-steam DD versions of FM10, so O_o.

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  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    See, it won't turn me away from Alpha Protocol, but I might just not play many Sega PC games until they go DRM free and then are on sale at Steam.

  • KlashKlash Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Thats some pretty good news and a sound idea I can back. The wait time is a bit long, but that can be worked on for future titles.

    I wasn't sure if I was going to buy Alpha Protocol, but now, once the proper version is out and about, I'm getting a copy. Good will helps a lot.

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Up all night To get luckyRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I can agree with that kind of DRM, with one caveat: Those servers must be pretty goddamn stable and bulltproof. I consider being unable to play a single player game due to server issues absolutely unacceptable in any form.

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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    So apparently Conviction's DRM has been cracked to the point where pirates can actually use the online matchmaking, friends system, and get all the free DLC.

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  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    LaCabra wrote: »
    So apparently Conviction's DRM has been cracked to the point where pirates can actually use the online matchmaking, friends system, and get all the free DLC.

    What the fuck? Doesn't Conviction use any serials or anything?

    Seriously, preventing pirates from playing multiplayer was pretty much solved decades ago.

  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Suriko wrote: »
    LaCabra wrote: »
    So apparently Conviction's DRM has been cracked to the point where pirates can actually use the online matchmaking, friends system, and get all the free DLC.

    What the fuck? Doesn't Conviction use any serials or anything?

    Seriously, preventing pirates from playing multiplayer was pretty much solved decades ago.

    Borderlands had the same problem, I'm not sure what's going on anymore.

  • ZxerolZxerol The fullest, most luscious beard. Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    ahahahahahaa

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Up all night To get luckyRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Yeah, So Ubi's DRM solution is actually a lot less efficient than regular DRM that doesn't fuck with the paying customer. I mean, at least the usual cd-key stuff blocks pirates from playing MP.

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  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Schattenjägers Gon' SchattenjägeRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    So these cracks, do they just allow you to avoid the constant internet thing, or is it also a tool for being a dirty pirate?

    edit: Also, it seems like Ubi put all their proverbial eggs in the always on internet DRM basket, and once it was cracked, everything else was stuff they left uncovered

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I can agree with that kind of DRM, with one caveat: Those servers must be pretty goddamn stable and bulltproof. I consider being unable to play a single player game due to server issues absolutely unacceptable in any form.

    It's still a no-go for me. There's no reason to expect the servers to be that stable, and right now all we've got is the promise of a patch which is worth the paper its written on..

  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It's both, I guess? Pirated version: you don't have to be online all the time. Bought version: you do. That straightforward, no other differences.

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    I can agree with that kind of DRM, with one caveat: Those servers must be pretty goddamn stable and bulltproof. I consider being unable to play a single player game due to server issues absolutely unacceptable in any form.

    It's still a no-go for me. There's no reason to expect the servers to be that stable, and right now all we've got is the promise of a patch which is worth the paper its written on..

    Still, unlike this, the only time the Unilock DRM is checking with the server is the one time when you install it. And heck, they even went out of their way to provide an option for computers which aren't connected by transferring some files onto a USB with a computer that does have internet access.

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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I don't really have a problem with activating once when you install - assuming there's no limit to how many times you can do that - but there is the problem of such an approach serving absolutely no purpose at all.

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  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    akeso wrote: »
    RandomEngy wrote: »

    I didn't make up a statistic. I put an estimate on a statistic that I'd be willing to wager money on.

    That's called making up a statistic.
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    Which is the same things companies do.

    If that were true I would be out of a job.

    Saying others do it though does not make what you said any less a form of bullshit.

    Okay, I give up. I can't really think of another way to explain this. So yes, you're right. Not knowing a statistic means you make decisions as if that statistic was 0.

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  • JAEFJAEF Unstoppably Bald Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Not knowing a statistic means you don't make assumptions based on fallacious statistics you created based on no factual research whatsoever or people simply laugh at your argument.

    Anecdotal evidence is especially unacceptable in this particular case.

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  • Squidget0Squidget0 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I don't know where people get the idea that game developers with millions of dollars pull numbers out of their ass without doing any market research. Just because they don't release the numbers doesn't mean they don't have them.

  • GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Squidget0 wrote: »
    I don't know where people get the idea that game developers with millions of dollars pull numbers out of their ass without doing any market research. Just because they don't release the numbers doesn't mean they don't have them.

    Not releasing the numbers typically means either they did actually pull it out of their arse or the numbers don't actually support what they say. See RIAA/MPAA for prime examples of this.

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  • SatsumomoSatsumomo Rated PG! Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Activision has millions and millions, and they dropped support for Prototype on the PC as soon as it hit the streets. A penny saved is a penny earned.

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Up all night To get luckyRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Squidget0 wrote: »
    I don't know where people get the idea that game developers with millions of dollars pull numbers out of their ass without doing any market research. Just because they don't release the numbers doesn't mean they don't have them.

    Watching the whole Infinity Ward debacle kinda makes it clear how little rationality is involved in high level Publisher decisions...
    And the whole Ubi DRM fiasco demonstrate how fucking stupid they can be.

    Anyway, another thing that is pretty clear is that RandomEngy isn't willing to actually read what I wrote and understand what point I was trying to make. He is furiously arguing with things I never meant.

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  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Squidget0 wrote: »
    I don't know where people get the idea that game developers with millions of dollars pull numbers out of their ass without doing any market research. Just because they don't release the numbers doesn't mean they don't have them.

    Because, as a strategy consultant, I've worked with largely successful companies that do less research for multimillion- and multibillion-dollar decisions than I do buying a car, and I'm not all that into car research.

  • KlashKlash Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    So, this isn't quite DRM, but it looks like Ubisoft (and THQ) are jumping on the death-to-used wagon:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100755-Ubisoft-Planning-Its-Own-Project-Ten-Dollar
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100797-THQ-Joins-the-Used-Game-Fight

    Personally, not a fan of this stuff. Not a fan of DLC as a motivator, as opposed to legitimate content thats desired after the finished product, adding as opposed to fluffing a game. Not a fan.

    We don't even care... whether we care or not...
  • DocshiftyDocshifty Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If I want a game enough to be upset about not getting things when buying used, I probably want a game enough to buy it new, so it doesn't really matter to me. I don't mind the used game market, but then, I'm not making games and I mostly buy new, so this isn't something that pertains to me, I suppose.

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  • RandomVinceRandomVince Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Klash wrote: »
    So, this isn't quite DRM, but it looks like Ubisoft (and THQ) are jumping on the death-to-used wagon:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100755-Ubisoft-Planning-Its-Own-Project-Ten-Dollar
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100797-THQ-Joins-the-Used-Game-Fight

    Personally, not a fan of this stuff. Not a fan of DLC as a motivator, as opposed to legitimate content thats desired after the finished product, adding as opposed to fluffing a game. Not a fan.

    Thats a really nasty move imo. Yet another sign of ill-will that publishers have towards genuine paying customers. (Im sure that all variants of this debate already exist in the many pages of this thread so I wont reiterate or proactively rebutt them).

    I guess though at the moment it doesnt affect me because (and this isnt a boycott) ... I just dont buy ubisoft/ea/activision games and havent done for a long time. Their library doesnt interest me for the most part.

    Maybe the key is to make compelling software that people dont want to get rid of. Looking at music for example, who would get rid of a Beatles, Queen or Rolling Stones album? Very few people I would guess. If the second hand games market is so big a concern to the publishers, surely that implies that they are making for the most part disposable and/or rubbish software that is not worth holding onto?

    ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
  • .Tripwire..Tripwire. Firman Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Maybe the key is to make compelling software that people dont want to get rid of. Looking at music for example, who would get rid of a Beatles, Queen or Rolling Stones album? Very few people I would guess. If the second hand games market is so big a concern to the publishers, surely that implies that they are making for the most part disposable and/or rubbish software that is not worth holding onto?

    To be fair, making globally beloved masterpieces with peerless longevity probably falls under the "easier said than done" category.

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  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It's actually ill-will to what they consider non-paying customers in the form of people who buy used since no money goes to the publishers for those sales.

  • RandomVinceRandomVince Registered User
    edited May 2010
    It harms the resale value though, does it not?
    .Tripwire. wrote: »

    To be fair, making globally beloved masterpieces with peerless longevity probably falls under the "easier said than done" category.

    Fair point, but look at your own music library. I'm sure you have a lot of albums that would not fall into 'classics' territory, but you would still be reluctant to give up. A lot of games are disposable in the same way that the seasonal pop song compilation albums are. Heavily stacked sales in the first week then forgotten within a month. No-one would miss them if they lost the disc.

    ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The whole point of the operation $10 stuff is to harm the resale value.

  • RandomVinceRandomVince Registered User
    edited May 2010
    I realise that, but the best way to reduce the desire to resale is to increase the preference of the original owner to hold onto it. ie make better games.

    At the moment, project $10 does nothing to acknowledge the perceived lack of value most games have. Instead, it only serves to impinge on the rights of people to sell on goods they have already bought. Well, maybe impinged is the wrong word, but it is a case of the publishers imposing themselves on a market that they nominally have no place in.

    This isnt just about gamestop (though they are the catalyst behind this move). Its about renting, sharing with and selling games onto friends and on ebay. Publishers are walking into that market and instead of taking a stance to make the original game worth more, they are making the resold game worth less. There is a subtle difference there. I hope you get my meaning.

    ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
  • .Tripwire..Tripwire. Firman Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    .Tripwire. wrote: »

    To be fair, making globally beloved masterpieces with peerless longevity probably falls under the "easier said than done" category.

    Fair point, but look at your own music library. I'm sure you have a lot of albums that would not fall into 'classics' territory, but you would still be reluctant to give up. A lot of games are disposable in the same way that the seasonal pop song compilation albums are. Heavily stacked sales in the first week then forgotten within a month. No-one would miss them if they lost the disc.

    I'm not sure what the answer is on this point actually, which is why I usually stay out of discussions on the second hand market. It seems like an issue based entirely on personal preference, and I'm not sure there are statistics available to determine which are the most popular.

    For example, it is my personal preference to own a massive collection and to buy things new. I'm a consumer hoarder. It is mysterious to me the type of mind that is happy to trade in Dark City to afford a copy of Biodome, but my ways are equally alien to that person. The dude trading could either have his own opinion on the quality of the product (ie. 'this sucks ass I'm trading it for something else') or otherwise is simply interested in experiencing more films for the value. There's probably not much the creators of either film could have done to sway that type of consumer (or non-consumer).

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  • DocshiftyDocshifty Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I realise that, but the best way to reduce the desire to resale is to increase the preference of the original owner to hold onto it. ie make better games.

    I've bought many great games, games I love, and I've traded them away on Goozex, sold some to Gamestop, and gave a few to friends. Going to the music example earlier, if I get the urge for some Queen, I can listen to some great songs in twenty minutes. If I get the urge to start another game of Final Fantasy or what-have-you, I'm looking at a lot longer time commitment. Sure, it may be one of my most favorite games ever, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'd be willing to drop eighty hours into it for the tenth time.

    I'd say increasing the quality would more delay the time until someone trades in a game. Which works out to the same end, I guess.

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    People keep complaining about how it hurts the resale value, but if you really care about that so much couldn't you just, you know, not use the code?

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  • akesoakeso Registered User
    edited May 2010
    The used game market is a fucking scam anyway.
    Only person who actually wins in it is the reseller.
    Also, it COULD be worse. They could be doing the Dragon Age method.

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  • DocshiftyDocshifty Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Do you think Gamestop/Goozex/whatever will have different prices based on if the code has been used? How would you check? Have the person bring in their system, hook it up, and see if you can play online/have downloaded the DLC?

    docshifty.png
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Docshifty wrote: »
    Do you think Gamestop/Goozex/whatever will have different prices based on if the code has been used? How would you check? Have the person bring in their system, hook it up, and see if you can play online/have downloaded the DLC?

    Well, randomvince was complaining about ebay and the like

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  • RandomVinceRandomVince Registered User
    edited May 2010
    There is no way to tell if the code has been used though, regardless of where you buy it from (pawn shop, gamestop, ebay). Only really from a friend would you trust it.

    I guess I'm more worried about how far this would go in future seeing as I dont
    a) play online games
    b) buy DLC

    It's not actually something that directly affects me (yet). I'm just arguing a principle.

    My concern is that the avenue of second hand games as being a viable bargain bin could be compromised. Lets say for example that you are looking through a used clearance sale 10 years from now and find an absolute gem of a game that had limited print run, that you always wanted but could never find.
    Because of Project $10's success, there is content on that game that can only be accessed if you connect online and register it. But that console generation is now finished and unsupported; the online servers are down and there is no way to authenticate it to access the significant parts of the game that are arbitrarily locked away.

    I can buy Ogre Battle 64 (and I did) and know that it works now and is complete and always will be. I dont know if we will be able to say the same thing about this generation's or next's (most likely next gen) classics.

    I have a strong aversion to splitting content between the physical and online.

    ULTIMATUM, n. In diplomacy, a last demand before resorting to concessions.
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