GAMING BLEND

Ubisoft Hearts DRM

By Pete Haas 2011-07-28 17:42:13 discussion comments
Many PC games from Ubisoft now require a constant Internet connection in order to play them. While this DRM may be inconvenient, Ubisoft says that it's been effective.

A Ubisoft representative told PC Gamer that they've noticed a a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection, and from that point of view the requirement is a success.

Ubisoft's "Online Services Platform" was first introduced in January 2010. The DRM aggravates many customers because they're unable to play their games offline. The game will pause if you lose your connection, though in some cases players lose all their unsaved progress when this happens. It's quite a hassle if you're using, say, a shaky wireless connection.

Even if you've got stable Internet, there's always the risk of Ubisoft's authentication servers going offline. This will render your game unplayable until the servers are back up. Several outages of this sort were reported in March of last year.

Assassin's Creed II, Settlers 7, and Silent Hunter V are some of the games featuring this DRM. Driver: San Francisco will be added to this list soon. Ubisoft confirmed yesterday that the open-world, action driving game will require a permanent internet connection.

Judging from today's statement from Ubisoft, the company doesn't plan to rethink their strategy anytime soon. They implemented this DRM to reduce piracy and if it's accomplishing that objective, well, why wouldn't they be happy? You could argue that these copy protection measures convince gamers not to buy Ubisoft titles and that this loss in sales outweighs the gains from cutting piracy. However, it's very hard to prove that point conclusively.
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