FNG Logo created by Nick Serr

28 June 2011

Ubisoft Returning to More Acceptable DRM?

As many of you know, I started boycotting Prince of Persia: Epilogue DLC because the game was released on several platforms, but the story-continuing DLC was only released on two platforms... leaving the rest of us hanging.

Later I extended the boycott to Ubisoft's games due to their release of the "Online Services Platform" (OSP) DRM that all future games (including TrackMania 2) were slated to be released with.  This DRM required that the user be on a persistent internet connection in order to play the game.  If the connection was disrupted for whatever reason, the game would drop out to the main menu, regardless of your progress.  Needless to say, it was the frustration of many paying customers.

The pirates didn't care, because they cracked the stuff within 24 hours and were playing their game without a required connection.

I was ecstatic to start hearing rumors a few months back that Ubisoft is returning to a softer/gentler familiar DRM where one will only be required to be online for a one-time activation at install time.  This certainly feels like a step in the right direction, if it's really true.

I've been trying to track down official statements about this, and unfortunately haven't been able to find any.  However, I have found several articles on the internet that lead me to believe it's really going to happen.

Below are links to some of them:
PC Gamer - "Constant net connection no longer required for Ubisoft games."
VG24/7 - "Ubisoft removes constant connection requirement from controversial DRM"
Rock, Paper Shotgun - "Good: Brotherhood will be 'Playable Offline'"

I've also been doing my own investigation into TrackMania 2 Canyon, and it's sounding like it won't be released under the OSP.

Thus my boycott will be lifted.  I will be pre-ordering TrackMania 2 Canyon (a few copies so I can play with my kids on my LAN and online.)  I'm hoping Ubisoft will also remove the OSP from other games that have been already released under it, as there were several I wanted to play, like HAWX, and Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands.

If I can find official word, I'll be sure to post it here... for now I'll just offer thanks to Ubisoft if this is true.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I think many of Ubisoft's games are fantastic, and I'm more than happy to pay to enjoy these awesome games, as long as they don't punish those of us that are willing to support them!

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