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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
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News  → Ubisoft Officially Scrap Online DRM

Rock, Paper, Shotgun reports that Ubisoft have officially denounced their controversial "always-online" DRM solution:

"Ubisoft tells us that they will no longer use their controversial “always-on” DRM. In fact, they quietly scrapped it months ago, but haven’t made that official until now. In what is a really remarkable turnaround, the publisher pledges that from now on they will only require a single online activation after installing, with no activation limits, nor limits on how many PCs it may be activated."


We also reported the "quietly cooling off" policy - not merely "months ago", but back in January 2011, as one in a series of articles about the matter. We have always maintained - from the very start in February 2010, despite Ubisoft officials claiming otherwise - that these efforts are as annoying as they are feeble.

At this point (having tried to convince them for years) I am not even interested in praising Ubisoft for their decision to scrap their DRM policy. They have thoroughly demonstrated a complete lack of vision by not realizing this sooner.

For context, also read:
Ubi DRM Prevents Hardware Changes
No DRM For H6, Conflux Explained
Ubisoft Cooling Off DRM Policy??
UbiSoft Online Controversy
Comments
ywhtptgtfo at 2012-09-14 09:40 wrote:
I used to download games as well - mostly ones I don't plan on buying, but if they are good, I tend to buy the retail versions later.

But nowadays with steam, i just buy when a sales is on for convenience. It's not like $20-30 a game every other week's going to kill anyway, although I tend to stay away from the expensive ones unless I know they are really good.

camelotcrusade at 2012-09-10 19:00 wrote:
Interesting how two people asked practical questions (e.g., how are they going to implement this, and will I able to use formerly online features while offline) but the rest of the comments are a philosophy fight interspersed with venom for Ubi.

Maybe that's what it was like working at Black Hole lol.

Infiltrator at 2012-09-09 16:24 wrote:
This is a step in the right direction, although many more need to be made, like spending resources on aspects of the game that are important, such as gameplay and continued support, not DLC and Conflux.

tress at 2012-09-07 20:05 wrote:
That's an act of CHEATING
If some guy yesterday wouldn't have tried to prove me in all seriousness theory of creation as real deal(at least I think he was for real), I would say this is most absurd thing I heard this week. Now it fall behind...
Anyway, cheating is when you know squat and come to the test, and you weasell out by writing from someone, or peek in those "stolen" notes(in fact in many cases even your own).
In normal university as material of reference anything goes. You know that Wikipedia is written by people and they dont really differ much from other guys notes. So taking notes from anywhere except during lesson from professor is cheating..... not.

hellegennes at 2012-09-07 18:00 wrote:
Ahem... you call "studying lecture notes at your home" cheating? That's an interesting point of view.

MoNoXiDeBlue at 2012-09-07 17:32 wrote:
@Hellsgenes
"That makes copying notes for studying an act of theft"

That's an act of CHEATING.

"You don't take anything from anyone"

You do. Yourself for not learning the material in the first place.

The End.

Avonu at 2012-09-07 15:53 wrote:
They probably won't. HoMMVI doesn't have DRM, it has U(won't)Play instead. :devil:
After all, you can play this game off-line... without all content of course, but from Ubisoft's PR point of view, it's difference.

camelotcrusade at 2012-09-07 15:42 wrote:
So... are they just gonna patch it out? I haven't read the follow-ups but was wondering if anybody saw how they were going to actually implement this separation.

hellegennes at 2012-09-07 13:29 wrote:
@MoNoXiDeBlue:

That makes copying notes for studying an act of theft. When you get an illegal copy, what you're doing is not taking away stuff but just copying it. You don't take anything from anyone, the owner still has his/her copy.

@cjlee:

Yeah, you got it right. Ubisoft pay me to defend their games. They also pay me to promote piracy. It all makes sense.

MoNoXiDeBlue at 2012-09-07 05:59 wrote:
cjlee has a point.

hmm, taking something that isn't yours....sounds like theft. But I'm a pirate so :: shrugs ::

cjlee at 2012-09-07 05:41 wrote:
Guys, I think hellsgenes has made his views clear. Quite revealing.

BTW he also said somewhere that he played H6 for no more than 6 months and hasn't played in a long time despite the game being 'fun and addictive'. Considering how enthusiastically and vehemently he posts on this forum defending H6, where does that leave us? Is hellsgenes playing H4 in secret? Or is he totally not playing any Heroes game at all, meaning he logs on just to do whatever he's paid to do?

(I, for one, am still slowly slogging through that H4 Grandmaster scenario and wondering if it will also take me 3 years to finish that.)

One should put one's money (and time) where one's mouth is. Or risk not being taken seriously. I've paid and I've spent time gaming and I claim that right. If you don't believe in paying and you don't spend time, you're just hot air. Lots of guys in the 12-18 age range are like that, producing lots of hot air because they like farting through their mouths.

Hellsgenes is one man (or boy) I would never put in a position of responsibility.

"I myself download stuff which I have no intention of buying. If there was no such option, I would still not buy these. I only buy what I truly want. No one loses any money; potential or existing. I just enjoy stuff for which I did not pay. How is that an offence?"

hellegennes at 2012-09-06 20:44 wrote:
@Angelspit:
No, piracy suggests theft. So, it's not me who brought it up. And the car analogy is still fine. There's no suggestion that non-tangible goods have no value, only that losing a potential customer is not the same as having goods taken away from you.

So, the argument is that pirated copies don't actually go to customers, so the company loses nothing. So everyone is happy; there are gamers who play without paying and the company loses nothing substantial. The claim that these would be potential customers is silly considering the growth of the market. Let's see some facts from Reuters:

Size of global game market revenue: $65 billion, up from $62.7 billion in 2010. Retail software revenue: $29.5 billion, down slightly from $29.8 billion in 2010. Online revenue, including digital delivery, subscriptions, Facebook games: $18 billion, up from $15.6 billion in 2010.

What do you know? Despite the world still plunging in global financial crisis, the actual revenue of this industry is going up, where other industries have fallen below 1/3 of their 2007 revenues! To even suggest that there are more videogaming potential customers is downright insulting.

I myself download stuff which I have no intention of buying. If there was no such option, I would still not buy these. I only buy what I truly want. No one loses any money; potential or existing. I just enjoy stuff for which I did not pay. How is that an offence?

Ya5MieL at 2012-09-06 15:57 wrote:
No, it does not mean you can play the game offline with all features.

For Heroes 6, this means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, as Heroes 6 was first game that ALREADY followed the changed "not required to be always on policy", so this was already applied to H6. As you can see, it's not as great as the announcement would have you believe.

ShadowLiberal at 2012-09-06 15:18 wrote:
Does this mean that I can now play Heroes 6 offline with all the features that were previously online only? Can anyone confirm this?

Angelspit at 2012-09-06 14:57 wrote:
Actually, you're the one who referred to theft first, in addition to bringing back that old and tired car analogy (which suggests that non-tangible goods have no value).

hellegennes at 2012-09-06 09:54 wrote:
Torrents have nothing to do with ISPs. Nor can police ask for private data from an ISP, for that matter, if it's not for a serious crime investigation. Claimed losses from piracy is not a serious matter and may not be a matter at all. People illegally download stuff that they don't really want and would not pay for them if they didn't have the option of pirated copies. So, almost all of the claimed loss is absolutely bogus.

And please, stop equating piracy to stealing. When someone steals a car, the person who had it loses it. In piracy the owner loses nothing. It's like if I could just touch a car and duplicate it, so both the owner and I could have the same car. Would you consider that stealing?

cjlee at 2012-09-06 08:05 wrote:
Some of these problems are beyond UBi's control. EG filesharing is good in theory, in practice people tend to share copyrighted stuff. Governments need to enforce laws better.

EG it should be ok to share a 5mb "HOMM mappack" or "HOMM wallpapers"
Anytime you see a torrent of 4gb "Homm full release" the police should get off their butts. Not as if it's that hard to find out an ISP number, figure out who is the ISP and send them an email.

But as I have said twice in the forums: the fact that piracy exists does not excuse a company from making a good product! Should Toyota and Siemens make lousy products because Somali pirates like to prey on the Asia-Europe trade routes?

Fuddelbaerentatze at 2012-09-06 07:38 wrote:
I hope I will be proved wrong but i think it is likely that Ubisoft does not regard something like the conflux as a forced online drm, but as something like optional online features. So if you want to utilise all game features you still have to be online. I doubt that they will scrap the conflux in a patch or an addon and make its features available for offline playing.

GreatEmerald at 2012-09-06 04:14 wrote:
About freaking time. Now at least I can consider their games.

On one hand this comes a bit late for Ubi, on the other I wish all those freeloaders weren't so cheap. It's not as if computer gaming was an expensive hobby these days.

Not much can be done about it, except for education. And the poor ones are not customers to begin with, they can't be seen as losses.

Angelspit at 2012-09-06 00:36 wrote:
On one hand this comes a bit late for Ubi, on the other I wish all those freeloaders weren't so cheap. It's not as if computer gaming was an expensive hobby these days.

Dalai at 2012-09-05 21:42 wrote:
a complete lack of vision
It seems to be Ubi's modus operandi.

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