UbiSoft Online Controversy

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Marzhin
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Postby Marzhin » Mar 1 2010, 20:10

Let us play your games the way we want, and we'll be happy to buy them from you.


In the best of possible worlds, that would work that way. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Remember when Ubi dropped Starforce in 2006 ? They did it to please the players. Do you think there was an increase in their sales ? Or do you think more than 90% of the gamers just pirated their games with a smile of their face ? Piracy in videogames has become such an bad habit for so many years than most gamers are doing it on a regular basis without any second thought.

Unfortunately, making a game cost a lot of money. Even a niche game like Heroes cost several millions of dollars. For AAAA titles like Assassin's Creed 2, it amounts in tens of millions.

As I have been working as a videogame journalist for the best of the past year I saw some figures. On the total number of people playing one specific game, 8% have actually a legit copy. And that's if you're lucky. Now think about it and try to put yourself in the shoes of the people who actually spent around 15 millions dollars and 3 years of work doing that game. Wouldn't you be a bit pissed off ?

The DRM sucks, that's a reality. But you must remember one thing : in the time frame before a game is cracked, it sells. And that's all this is about really. Selling the games, a lot of them if possible, before it is cracked.

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Postby jeff » Mar 2 2010, 1:04

ywhtptgtfo wrote: Not everyone is like you jeff. I get laughed at by my co-workers for not torrenting games.


This may well be true, I guess I am a member of an ever decreasing group of gamers that feel once we buy a game that we should be able to play it whenever we chose and not at the discretion of the company that sold it. As I mentioned earlier, it just shows the gaming community has left me behind and I have no interest in joining them.
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Postby HodgePodge » Mar 2 2010, 5:15

jeff wrote:
ywhtptgtfo wrote: Not everyone is like you jeff. I get laughed at by my co-workers for not torrenting games.

This may well be true, I guess I am a member of an ever decreasing group of gamers that feel once we buy a game that we should be able to play it whenever we chose and not at the discretion of the company that sold it. As I mentioned earlier, it just shows the gaming community has left me behind and I have no interest in joining them.

You're not the only one jeff. I can't remember the last time I actually bought a game for my PC. And I probably won't ever again either, since companies like UbiSoft want to control their customers' game playing even after they already bought the game.
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Re: UbiSoft Online Controversy

Postby ByteBandit » Mar 2 2010, 6:41

Roman wrote:And if you don't like the internet and play H3, then I can see what is wrong - you're stuck in the past. And this is bad for anything.


Well, at least I OWN the game, and kept many a customer happy with the maps I made and continue to make. And it's still popular enough today even for as old as it is. (Stargate:Atlantis comes to mind.)

Roman wrote:Well, I guess you will be stuck in the future when Ubisoft pulls something like this on you: .


True enough! If I got it, which I won't, so .....

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Postby klaymen » Mar 2 2010, 12:10

ThunderTitan wrote: Because if it's new it must be good... :rolleyes:


Wat? 8| You say that these new shiny overpriced games with draconian DRM (and often with shallow gameplay) aren't always good? How dare you?

/sarcasm
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Postby ywhtptgtfo » Mar 3 2010, 9:42

HodgePodge wrote:
jeff wrote:
ywhtptgtfo wrote: Not everyone is like you jeff. I get laughed at by my co-workers for not torrenting games.

This may well be true, I guess I am a member of an ever decreasing group of gamers that feel once we buy a game that we should be able to play it whenever we chose and not at the discretion of the company that sold it. As I mentioned earlier, it just shows the gaming community has left me behind and I have no interest in joining them.

You're not the only one jeff. I can't remember the last time I actually bought a game for my PC. And I probably won't ever again either, since companies like UbiSoft want to control their customers' game playing even after they already bought the game.


That's an exaggeration. Ubi is still in the minority when it comes to these kinds of tactics.

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UbiSoft Online Controversy

Postby admira99 » Mar 3 2010, 15:45

Well to be honest, I use pirated version of games, but for testing purpose only. Sometimes the demo may fool you with great opening of the game so in my case I always use pirated version for a while before buy the real stuff. Why do you ask? well I live in a country where 90% games are pirated version and they did it because the price of the game is worth 1 to 2 months worth of daily living cost here. With the average game price nowadays, the exact same price may provide you with enough money to not worry about food at least for the last 1 or 2 months. So, yeah, I need to carefully choose of what game I will buy since it is not a small amount of money, at least for me and I do honor game-makers when they release a game that is worth my time and of course my money by buying the original copy of them.

On the other hand, the country I am living now also famous for the unstable internet connection in which, you will constantly get disconnected at random occasions. This is not the only problem, I am also limited with fair usage for my internet use which also explain why I don't play any MMORPG. How do I download the piracy version of a full game? I bought it from someone else at 5% of the real game price fully packed with the crack.

But I am more than just a lame piracy game player, I got myself original games once I found that the game is worth my money, to name a few: All Blizzard games in exception of: WoW (I don't play online) and Diablo 1 (no specific reason, but buy the Diablo 2 though). As for the Ubisoft product, I bought Heroes V (I don't even download the piracy version to test-drive it and found that I was on a regret not to test-drive the game first since this is my all-time favorite game), Tribes of the East (I Passed the Hammer of Fate since it is also not live to my expectation, but I found that ToTE indeed worth my money, test-drive them then order them) and some other games from different franchise.

Judging from how Ubisoft will implement DRM, if this is one-time authentication (it means that I will need to authenticate even for single player for one time only and still able to play the single player game even if my connection down after authentication) then I will reconsider about buying other ubisoft's game especially Heroes franchises. Although it will be still very annoying has to online all the time, there are many times I go to places with no Broadband (either GPRS or HSDPA signal) and no wifi signal. BUT, if this is the all-time-must-online-even-in-single-player, then this is a farewell for all Ubi games for me.

The main point is: If you want to make people buy your game then do it right, go with flawless release. Game protection like Ubi's DRM will not make people buy the game (in fact maybe they will lost some), but a good flawless release will. Heroes V is not an AAAA title compare with Assassin's Creed, but I don't think it is the reason to let it released with devastating bugs then blame the selling is not went as expected due to piracy version of the game.

Just my 2 cents though9999
Edited on Wed, Mar 03 2010, 11:10 by admira99

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Postby berntie » Mar 3 2010, 16:30

Marzhin wrote:
Let us play your games the way we want, and we'll be happy to buy them from you.


In the best of possible worlds, that would work that way. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Remember when Ubi dropped Starforce in 2006 ? They did it to please the players. Do you think there was an increase in their sales ?

You are wrong. Ubi replaced Starforce with SecuROM. That's replacing plague (deadly) with, say, polio (crippling). That's not what "we" want, and after all the statement you quoted reads "the way we want". "We" want a game without any DRM, "we" want to live healthy, not less ill.

Back in the middle of the 90s (when I first played computer games), when you purchased a game it
  • didn't force you to be online during single-player
  • didn't require online (or any other kind of) activation
  • didn't require a CD key
  • had no copy protection
  • came in large colorful box
  • included a printed manual
  • and probably some extras
  • could be resold, if you didn't need it anymore
That's what I consider a good bang for the buck. Maybe there were even cases where you weren't forced to have the CD in the drive during playing (for the early games shipped on CD I remember, eg, Diablo or Heroes (I and II), that was necessary).

Now compare that to what a customer gets for his money today. Surprisingly, back in the nineties pirating certainly was an important issue in the industry, but not the root of all evil as it is today. How can that be??

Marzhin wrote:But you must remember one thing : in the time frame before a game is cracked, it sells. And that's all this is about really. Selling the games, a lot of them if possible, before it is cracked.

Oh yeah, sure: If people cannot get a pirated copy, they will buy the game.

I am sorry, this logic is utter BS. I know that. I've played some pirated games in the past. If I hadn't come across the pirated versions, I'd played none of them. Does that make it right to pirate a game? No, but it did not result in a single lost purchase for the vendor, which is, after all, the industry's main (and only) point.
Last edited by berntie on Mar 3 2010, 23:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby HodgePodge » Mar 3 2010, 18:05

ywhtptgtfo wrote:
HodgePodge wrote:
jeff wrote:
ywhtptgtfo wrote: Not everyone is like you jeff. I get laughed at by my co-workers for not torrenting games.

This may well be true, I guess I am a member of an ever decreasing group of gamers that feel once we buy a game that we should be able to play it whenever we chose and not at the discretion of the company that sold it. As I mentioned earlier, it just shows the gaming community has left me behind and I have no interest in joining them.

You're not the only one jeff. I can't remember the last time I actually bought a game for my PC. And I probably won't ever again either, since companies like UbiSoft want to control their customers' game playing even after they already bought the game.

That's an exaggeration. Ubi is still in the minority when it comes to these kinds of tactics.

The operative words in my post are 'companies like UbiSoft'. No one believes that UbiSoft is the only game publisher that wants to have control over their customers (or spy on them) … but it seems like they're about to join the club of the majority.

I really miss the good old days when I could buy a game, install it and play whenever I want. I still play Might & Magic 6, 7 & 8 and Heroes I, II, II & IV. I wouldn't be able to play these games anymore if 3DO forced us to connect to their servers in order to play. I for one, will not buy a game that uses this tactic, no matter what excuse they give.
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Postby klaymen » Mar 3 2010, 19:53

Someone has posted that Ubisoft's epic DRM has been cracked. Quite fast, if you ask me.

Since the distributors have the false belief that one pirated game equals one lost sale, I bet that the DRM's developers got two choices from Ubi management as a "reward" for their failure:
-commit harakiri and die with honor
-get hanged on the closest tree (they've created a monster against legal customers, anyways)
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Postby jeff » Mar 3 2010, 21:21

HodgePodge wrote:
ywhtptgtfo wrote:That's an exaggeration. Ubi is still in the minority when it comes to these kinds of tactics.


HodgePodge wrote: The operative words in my post are 'companies like UbiSoft'. No one believes that UbiSoft is the only game publisher that wants to have control over their customers (or spy on them) … but it seems like they're about to join the club of the majority.


I agree HP, while it may be in the minority overall, they own the MM franchise which is the focus of this forum. This new policy means the last gaming franchise standing of those I have played since I started gaming is planning to use this DRM, so in a very real sense there is no exaggeration.

HodgePodge wrote:I really miss the good old days when I could buy a game, install it and play whenever I want. I still play Might & Magic 6, 7 & 8 and Heroes I, II, II & IV. I wouldn't be able to play these games anymore if 3DO forced us to connect to their servers in order to play. I for one, will not buy a game that uses this tactic, no matter what excuse they give.


Those were the days, it is sad to think that those games you mention (along with many others of that time) are all symbols of what was the golden era of gaming. Most of the founding companies have faded away into bankruptcy or bought out. :rip:
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UbiSoft Online Controversy

Postby Sir Charles » Mar 4 2010, 1:51

Doesn't bother me in the least and certainly won't stop me from purchasing a game. If this is what the company thinks is in THEIR best interest...more power to them. In the end, it's THEIR game and THEIR intellectual property. And let's be honest here, just how many PC gamers out there DON'T have internet connections? I'd say it's a VERY small percentage.
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Postby ywhtptgtfo » Mar 4 2010, 5:36

klaymen wrote:Someone has posted that Ubisoft's epic DRM has been cracked. Quite fast, if you ask me.

Since the distributors have the false belief that one pirated game equals one lost sale, I bet that the DRM's developers got two choices from Ubi management as a "reward" for their failure:
-commit harakiri and die with honor
-get hanged on the closest tree (they've created a monster against legal customers, anyways)


Yeah, I'd say if pirating is impossible, then perhaps only 20% of those who pirate will actually buy all the games they pirated. Instead of trying to directly prevent pirating (which is hardly possible), it may be better to instead provide incentives for people to buy legit copies.

Art books, trinklets, and sound tracks are usually things I would really like to see in a game box (without having to pay extra for collector's editions)

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Postby klaymen » Mar 4 2010, 7:20

ywhtptgtfo wrote:Art books, trinklets, and sound tracks are usually things I would really like to see in a game box (without having to pay extra for collector's editions)


I agree with you on this, however retailer can also give you some items. One Czech shop has a nice habit of offering some bonus trinket to anticipated games, for example you will get Kane's ring with your Command and Conquer 4, or Risen got some (game related) jewelery too.
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Postby Humakt » Mar 4 2010, 12:07

I considered buying Assassin's Creed 2. Now I'm not so sure if it is worth the trouble. I guess Prince of Persia didn't sell well.
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Re: UbiSoft Online Controversy

Postby Kristo » Mar 4 2010, 14:21

Sir Charles wrote:Doesn't bother me in the least and certainly won't stop me from purchasing a game. If this is what the company thinks is in THEIR best interest...more power to them. In the end, it's THEIR game and THEIR intellectual property.

That's the real catch isn't it? Most EULAs state that the game is licensed, not sold. Therefore you're technically not allowed to do whatever you want with a game you bought at the store. But I feel like most people can't wrap their heads around the idea of owning a license for a game, not a copy of the game itself.
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Re: UbiSoft Online Controversy

Postby Corlagon » Mar 4 2010, 17:45

Sir Charles wrote:And let's be honest here, just how many PC gamers out there DON'T have internet connections? I'd say it's a VERY small percentage.


Sir Charles, I have a lot of respect for you, but here I crucially, fundamentally disagree. If not for one tremendous stroke of luck in 2005 I would still be offline, and part of the "VERY small percentage" which I suspect is rather higher than branded.

I'd be equally interested in seeing a calculation of the percentage of PC gamers with always-on, never-interrupted, pristine, perfect broadband which never cuts out. Or the percentage of those supportive of a system which, proven as of yesterday, completely fails to deter pirates and turns away, functionally and morally, the customers who wanted to pay.

Similarly, let's estimate at the number of gamers satisfied, for better or worse, that the DRM was cracked yesterday, mere hours after its launch. Perhaps a very HIGH percentage.

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Re: UbiSoft Online Controversy

Postby jeff » Mar 4 2010, 17:53

Sir Charles wrote:Doesn't bother me in the least and certainly won't stop me from purchasing a game. If this is what the company thinks is in THEIR best interest...more power to them. In the end, it's THEIR game and THEIR intellectual property. And let's be honest here, just how many PC gamers out there DON'T have internet connections? I'd say it's a VERY small percentage.


Normally you seem to have thought out comments but on this none of those points mean anything, it is the fact this new policy is both restrictive and intrusive. If you can't see that, then go forward in blind bliss.

By the way according to techcrunch worldwide the internet is only available to 15-25% of the world's population.
http://techcrunch.com/2009/01/23/comscore-internet-population-passes-one-billion-top-15-countries/
Granted these figures are a year old, but even by recent estimates here in the states about 30% do not have internet access either at home or work. There are a lot of potential games in those percentages without access.
Last edited by Anonymous on Mar 4 2010, 18:14, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Salamandre » Mar 4 2010, 18:09

All is about profit and UBI is not stupid. If the new policy will generate more income, arguing is unnecessary and will be kept. If it fails (which I suspect will happen), they will remove it.

In general the fight against piracy need some extreme measures because atm it became ridiculously easy to get anything for free. But while going against, the honest customer should not be penalized. Hard to find the right way.

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Postby ThunderTitan » Mar 5 2010, 7:33

Hahahaha... i hear that AC2 got leaked to torrents even before it was released...

Maybe if they actually found the leaks and closed them they might get some better results...


Oh, and apparently this was posted by a dev on the Ubi forum:

You purchase a $60 subscription and receive an anonymous phone call within the next 24 hours with GPS coordinates. You meet at the coordinates and are blindfolded and put in a van with other players.

You are then transported to an unknown location and forced to strip, then you will be forced to walk through a metal detector and frisked. Anyone looking shady may be subject to a full body cavity search.

After being forced to shower in the presence of a rather burly security guard, you will be moved into a plain white room (still naked) and directed to a chair, which you will be bound to with shackles and a belt.

The game will begin, all under the supervision of no less than 4 security officers armed with next-generation military equipment per single player.

After a certain amount of time, the process will be reversed and you will be dropped off at the coordinates where you began this journey.


Of course the game would get leaked anyway if they do nothing about that... :D
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