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04 March 2010

Ubisoft's "Online Services Platform" Cracked in Under 24-Hours

While following the rant thread I created on the TrackMania forums, someone posted this gem of an article from InfoAddict today about how Ubisoft's new DRM was cracked in under 24 hours!!!

Most game publishers have been changing the video game scene's focus as of late from the actual game's content, to the "bonus game" on-top-of-the-real-game called DRM.  This "bonus game" is intended to promote hacking/cracking of the game, giving pirates/crackers the challenge of seeing if they can hack this new one faster than the last one.  And they're very good at it, good enough that it seems to be pleasing the publishers enough to continue dumping countless resources into providing said "bonus games" with all major releases of their new games.  It's not about the real game's content anymore, it's about the pirates...  And they continue to win.

When will enough be enough?  When will companies finally realize that if they re-channeled the DRM resources (development time, licensing money, etc.) to the actual content of the real game, they may be able to make a higher quality game at a fraction of the cost and time taken to release said game?!

Imagine that... they might actually be able to lower the price of the game some, which would make it even more alluring for customers that actually pay for their products and not leave them high and dry with games that don't work, while the pirates who never plan on paying enjoy their game problem free, because there aren't any draconian DRM systems in place anymore that hamper their experience (and sometimes violate their computers.)

Will we see another class action lawsuit against Ubisoft this time around, like we did with Starforce back in the day?  Couple those costs with the costs it takes to implement the crap to begin with... and add the costs to support the paying customers riddled with problems after it's released, and I'm thinking net loss for everyone, publishers, developers and paying customers alike.

Wake up people, and STOP THE MADNESS!

Go read the InfoAddict article, and pay close attention to LordCancer's comment at 03 03, 2010 04:03 that brings up a Gun Control analogy.  Bob Barker's comment at 03 03, 2010 06:45 is good as well...

I'm still hopeful that Ubisoft will pull-their-heads-out before the release of TrackMania 2 and rid themselves and we gamers of this garbage. 

Alas, my hopes have been semi-shot-down some, thanks to a Voodoo Extreme article entitled "Ubisoft: More Sequels, More Often" that states: "TrackMania 2 for PC will feature innovative content purchasing options."  They'd better be talking about the existing copper system from TrackMania United Forever, because if they're talking about real money for content, the TM community will be angered.

Anyway, all who know me know I'm the last to advocate piracy and cracking, but I'm glad this happened, in hopes that these companies will wake up and realize they're only hurting their paying customers... Oh, and keeping one gaming community alive and thriving... those that relish the challenge of a new DRM system to break.


FNG_DirtyD said...

Unfortunately, I don't think Ubisoft gets it yet. Yes, the DRM on their latest releases (Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5) has been cracked by the time the games release or within a day of it. Yes, there have been tons of complaints about the whole DRM system.

Ubisoft, however, seems to think we're okay with the system, we just want it implemented better. You see, after the announcement that the DRM on ACII was cracked, Ubisoft announced that you would now start exactly where you were when your connection is regained, rather than starting at the last checkpoint.

First of all, starting at the last checkpoint (while it might be annoying) wasn't the real issue. The real issue is that if you lose your connection, you get dropped from your game - in a single player game. The real issue is that you have to be connected any time you want to play. There isn't even an "offline mode" offered for when you're on a laptop, don't have a solid internet connection, or just don't want to be connected all the time.

Ubisoft just doesn't get it. And they are going to keep punishing their paying customers in foolish attempts to stop people from playing their games for free. Heck, even if I bought any Ubisoft games from now on I'd look for the cracks just to avoid all the DRM crap. But, Ubisoft won't have to worry about that. I just won't buy any of their games.

FNG_DirtyD said...

Ah, today Kotaku posted an update to their article yesterday about Silent Hunter 5 DRM being cracked:


Quoted from that article:
"You have probably seen rumors on the web that Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 have been cracked," the publisher told website CVG. "Please know that this rumor is false and while a pirated version may seem to be complete at start up, any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version will find that their version is not complete."

Trackmaniack said...

God...when did these big companies lose sight of the gamer? Oh yeah. When EA came on the scene and started snapping up smaller companies. I'll never forgive them for killing, not buying, Maxis and Westwood. Killed two of my favorite game series that way. I'm not too interested in any of Ubi's current titles, but I think I'll get the cracks just so I can piss 'em off...seriously, the OP message was true. Drop the DRM, drops the cost, more people buy legit, fewer piraters. Look, it's hard work trying to crack a game, and most gamers are LAZY. At least I know I am. If I have the option, I'll buy a game at WalMart rather than crack it. But if it's 60 bucks, PLUS has this shit DRM...I can't buy it. DRM renders any game useless for me--I have an unreliable satellite connection at my end...so any game I buy with that becomes very quickly a colorful bookend.

That One Guy said...

@Tsam314: Complete or not... it's still cracked... I'm sure they'll find a way to get the rest of the content.

Ubi can make excuses all they want, but the facts remain the same... net loss for EVERYONE, including Ubisoft.