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Ubisoft 'always on' DRM is draconian, hurts legit buyers, says analyst

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 03 Jun 2010 11:15 User comments (9)

Ubisoft 'always on' DRM is draconian, hurts legit buyers, says analyst Over the months we have reported on Ubisoft's controversial "always on" DRM, which forces gamers to stay connected to the Internet at all times, or lose the ability to play their legitimately purchased games.
If the Internet ever cuts out, or the Ubi servers go down, gamers are returned to the main menu, unable to play, losing any additional progress they have made since the last save point.

This weekend, analyst Nicholas Lovell had some harsh words for Ubisoft, and their decision to use the DRM into the future.

"It seems crazy to me that Ubisoft didn't emulate Steam, which by some estimates has more than half the market, and instead went for their own, draconian system. There is no doubt in my mind that pirates now have a better experience than legitimate consumers," says Lovell. "Publishers spend a ton of money on promoting its games. So there are ways to see piracy as the start of a relationship with a future consumer, not theft."

On Friday, publisher Namco Bandai backed the DRM, calling it a "good strategy."

Progressively thinking, Lovell says the best alternative is to "give the whole game away entirely for free, make it small and charge for DLC. Slash the marketing budget and rely on pirated copies to spread the word about how good your game is, then charge for additional elements."

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9 user comments

13.6.2010 12:21

Quote:
Progressively thinking, Lovell says the best alternative is to "give the whole game away entirely for free, make it small and charge for DLC. Slash the marketing budget and rely on pirated copies to spread the word about how good your game is, then charge for additional elements."
I've been saying for a while now that that is the way it should be. Though, I can see how that model could quickly turn ugly if implemented poorly.

23.6.2010 13:16

itd kill the second hand market though

33.6.2010 13:30

Originally posted by shaffaaf:
itd kill the second hand market though
Who cares about second hand market if the games are free?

43.6.2010 20:20

A good idea,
however I could see publishers getting really greedy and with all the dlc to make the whole game costing around 60 for what people only pay 40 now.

The best way to combat piracy is to attually make a good game with little DRM, it's been proven time and time again.

The better the game more people will buy it, sure it means more people will also pirate it, however publishers do see a bigger profit.

I belive at this moment in time and for the near future there is no way for PC gaming to be piracy free, which I think is sad as it puts publishers off putting effort, time and money into PC gaming.

On a side note I also think from a programing side of pc development they should focus on making games run on lower specs then they do now, this can easily be done if they take a bit of time, I mean just compare graphics cards to those in the Xbox and PS3, their much more powerful and yet only yeild slightly better graphics, more time, care and less drm into our PC games!!!

55.6.2010 0:03

I think with all the game sharing and low price for the base games, PAIN and Paradise City probably made more money on the DLCs than on the game cores.

All games and online play should be free...pay for them with advertising...and I don't mean a scrolling bar at the bottom; I mean the "Sprunk" machine becomes a "Sprite" machine, the main character wears Nike shoes, the billboards are advertising real products, etc...it would make the gaming experience more realistic, while generating huge ad revenues...plus they could still sell DLCs.

The only problem is games in the past...a Coke advertisement in Assassin's Creed would not make much sense...but then Assassin's Creed does not make much sense as it is, and they could have put the coke machine in the "Present" part of the game...they could have made him need to drink coke, as it contains everything that the Animus removes! I'm sure good marketing departments could find advertisers and advertising space in just about anything.

As for conventional, offline, single-play games...they need to die off. The single-player mode should be entertaining, but designed more as an extensive training program to get a player good enough to survive online. A good story is still a wonderful thing...but good online play can make a game with a terrible story into a hit (CODMW2).

65.6.2010 12:42

I have no interest in playing online or multiplayer games, so I will not be buying any games that require this form of DRM for a single player game. Until Ubisoft releases Heroes of Might and Magic VI or Beyond Good and Evil II I wouldn't have been been buying their games anyway and if this DRM is still in place I won't be buying those either.

712.6.2010 22:16

If they are such protection genius(s) how come they are suing thousands of persons for download their games? They really need to go out of business. They are too stupid to exist.

814.6.2010 13:19

Yeah, that is the model that's being adopted for Lord of the Rings Online, just like their successful free D&D Online.

But I sure hope your wrong about the single-player format KillerBug that would be awful that all future games were just the multiplayer genres. It would just really put limits what games can be... that would suck.

914.6.2010 17:26

Online gaming is not very good for story driven games that are better suited to an individual experience. Same goes for RPG's...if I want to play a MMORPG I play an MMORPG...single player RPGs are a completely different experience.

Some folks just don't like to play other people...they prefer a "solitaire" experience if they game for a few different reasons. They don't want some 13 year old yelling at them that they fvcking suck because they don't move fast enough in Diner Dash Online.

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