All Your Games Are Belong To Ubi

January 27, 2010

Nothing like resurrecting a decade old meme…

So, Ubisoft, a company that make Electronic Arts look not evil, have announced their new PC DRM.

To play their games you will HAVE to be online. Plus all your saves will be done on remote servers. This is being touted as a good thing. Cloud computing and all that nonsense. When ultimately it’s just another item to leverage control over so you are beholden to the company.  For now we’ll ignore the gigantic gaping flaw these assholes have also chosen to ignore. That being that folk that are stuck on dialup. And limited dialup at that. But screw them, right? Far better to screw over the dialup users and treat your actual customers like thieves, right Ubisoft?

Of course it’s marketed by saying you WON’T need a disk in the drive and all the usual PR bollocks. Thanks for nothing, Ubi.

It’s once again a PC game developer treating its customers like criminals and offering a defective, lesser product than the inevitable pirated version will offer.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve pirated stuff. Used to pirate a lot actually. 20 years ago I was heavily into the Amiga scene. As time has worn on I’ve lost interest in piracy. It used to be the thrill of collecting more than anything. Plus it was a way to get hold of titles you would never be able to buy locally in a million years.

All these restrictive DRM schemes have done is made me not give a damn about mainstream games anymore. I can’t be bothered to pirate as it’s too much hassle, and I won’t allow these greedy bastards to gouge me and charge me $60 just so they can then tell me how I can use my computer or run the game I’ve just bought… Sorry, ” run the game I just had restrictively licensed to me.”

So ultimately they’ve prevented me pirating their games. Well done to them.

Of course what it also means is whereas before I was likely to buy the game if it was any good (I can’t think of any case where I pirated a game and if it rocked I DIDN’T buy it), now I’m not exposed to the game at all, and the DRM means I would never buy it on a whim either. Then of course the inevitable lost exposure means I won’t be buying the sequel either.

Ubi say they’ll release a patch if the servers go down, but where does that leave your remotely saved games?

Also, based on incidents I’ve seen with Ubisoft and Starforce, if you go on their forums and complain about how you can’t play your game (and given most people’s Internet goes out from time to time, it’s a valid concern), the reaction will be to brand you a pirate and delete your account to shut you up.

One wonders just how obviously they will point out on the packaging of their now quite frankly useless games that you have to online all the time to play.

My guess is probably not that obviously.

After all, why should Ubi try not to fleece you? You are a thief after all…

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