It wasn’t too long ago that Ubisoft made a great decision to tell PC gamers that the console port of the god game, From Dust, would only require a one-time DRM login authentication process and after that there would be no intrusive, always-on requirement from then on. However, that turned out to be false and From Dust on PC did require an always-on DRM connection, prompting Valve to allow Steam consumers to get refunds on the game.

According to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Ubisoft’s decision to include the very intrusive DRM into From Dust after they said they wouldn’t created a major backlash in the gaming community, so much so that Valve has allowed gamers to get refunds and they say the DRM will be removed via a patch.

The exact wording from a community tech support representative stated that…
“Ubisoft has just announced that they are working on a patch that will eliminate the need for any online authentication for From Dust. The patch will release in approximately two weeks.
If you don’t want to wait for the patch or if you haven’t played the game, per Ubisoft’s request, we will issue refunds for this title. If you would still like your purchase of From Dust refunded, please reply to this ticket.”

It’s really sad that Ubisoft even included such an underhanded tactic, especially considering that readers across multiple forum boards and news sites are readily exclaiming that a bypass crack is out and available for From Dust, meaning that if you pirate the game there’s a crack that will allow you to still play it offline.

This incident leads me to question what the purpose is of DRM? If hackers will crack it, it certainly won’t stop anyone from pirating the game and if it enforces an always-on connection, will gamers with less-than-reliable internet connections still go out of their way to buy and play the game? I also imagine that anyone who pirates and cracks a game wasn’t planning on buying it anyways, so that basically means DRM is just there to hassle people who do plan on buying the game from legitimate sources.

Regardless, Ubisoft softened the blow of this potential PR disaster thanks to Valve and a very outspoken community. Also, props to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for pursuing the matter because this story easily could have been buried, and consumers would have been none the wiser.

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