August 8, 2011

Ubisoft Says Their Online Only DRM is a Success

Ubisoft has often been crit­i­cized by the PC gam­ing com­mu­ni­ty for it’s online only DRM.  The DRM requires gamers to have a con­stant Inter­net con­nec­tions so the game can authen­ti­cate with Ubisoft servers.  This in turn is sup­posed to help pira­cy.  But does the ben­e­fit real­ly out­weigh the cost to the con­sumer?
The online only DRM brings up sev­er­al key ques­tions such as what if some­one does­n’t have Inter­net *deployed mil­i­tary per­son­nel for exam­ple* or what if they live in an area with flakey Inter­net and their con­nec­tion drops?  With Assas­sins Creed if you inter­net con­nec­tion dropped then the game would shut down and kick you out.  Many play­ers have com­plained that they can­not play because the game con­stant­ly kicks them out.
Ubisoft told PC Gamer  “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.” And that their Online only DRM soft­ware had been a com­plete suc­cess and that it will be deploy­ing it on their newest title Dri­ver: San Fran­cis­co that releas­es on August 30
In my opin­ion the ends do not jus­ti­fy the means here.  Clear­ly Ubisoft is alien­at­ing a great num­ber of it’s hon­est cus­tomers and one has to won­der if these extreme mea­sures real­ly dri­ve more sales or just dri­ve more hon­est cus­tomers to pira­cy or drove them not to buy the game at all.  Com­pa­nies often for­get about the cus­tomers who sup­port them when they devel­op soft­ware.  This is clear­ly evi­dent in some of deci­sions we have wit­nessed from the indus­try giants as of late.  Ubisofts DRM may indeed be a suc­cess, as a con­ver­sa­tion starter but wheather or not it’s suc­cess­ful has yet to be seen.
What do you guys think?

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