Ubisoft DRM Issues
Introduction to Ubisoft and Ubisoft DRM
Ubisoft are a computer and console video games manufacturer which have brought us every thing from the latest Settlers games (even if they changed the gameplay) Assassins Creed, all the way to RUSE, a ground breaking strategy game.
All in all they have brought out some fantastic games which really have some fantastic entertainment value, and yet over the last few years they have been coming under increasingly negative press regarding their DRM copyright protection systems.
This is a shame, since while Ubisoft have been one of the few video game companies to persue original content for gamers, the restrictive DRM is not only very annoying to a lot of players, but it is also going against the current strategies of most gaming companies in regard to DRM.
So What is Wrong with Ubisoft DRM?
Ubisoft DRM is made to protect Ubisoft's investment in a game, but many people think they have gone too far.
The Ubisoft DRM basically requires a high speed Internet connection to allow you to play the game, even when playing single player mode, offline. Most gamers have no issue with a game doing a quick authenticity check when they open the game up to play a multiplayer game.
But what if you want to play single player, and you don't have access to the Internet at that moment in time?
You are out of luck I am afraid.
And what if Ubisoft's security servers go down when you want to play?
Well, turns out the game will not play then either. Which is unfortunate, since with every game release there has been at least several days of down time. The problem is only exaggerated by 'maintenance' downtime, which even vast multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft do not seem to suffer from.
So if you are on the train, out of Internet for a few days, or waiting for ubisoft to sort out some technical difficulties, then all you can do is wait, even single player is out of your reach.
Nearly every single software publisher has now made it clear that they will only incorporate simple piracy detection techniques. After several other huge publicity nightmares in both the music and software industry it has become clear that if you are going to include software protection, make it unobtrusive.
Why DRM is a Good Thing.
Despite the theme of this post, I do not think DRM is a bad thing, I do believe people should get paid for their work and for their products. DRM can help ensure that people buy the product, rather than steal it.
The Future of DRM
While DRM such as that supplied by DRM might be giving the company a bad reputation as a publisher, other companies are beginning to realise that restrictive DRM does not stop the pirates, instead it only inconveniences the customer.
For instance if you are suffering from problems with Ubisoft's DRM, then you would actually have less problems if you had illegally downloaded the game.
Instead things such as multiplayer validation checks can run in the background, do not interfere with gameplay, and prevent pirate copies fo the game working online. This means that legal buyers of the game are getting a pristine version of the game, with multiplayer functionality, and they don't have to search through a load of virus ridden sites to get it.
Most people do not want to pirate video games, it is much safer to download or buy them from a reputable store. A lot of software developers have realised this, and are now appealing to the market.
Unfortunately companies like Ubisoft are still driving more and more potential customers to software pirates simply by releasing a product which is worse than the illegal version of the same piece of software.