The Needles: You Only Have Yourself To Blame

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zehydra:
You'd be surprised what the masses can achieve. You're right though, consumers are not organized, though we could become organized if we wanted to. Why don't we?

Problem right there. "Why don't we?" You say it like "we" is a thing. It's not. There's no such thing as "we" in this sort of scenario. There are only a large number of "I"s. There's no coordination. Plenty of communities exist. Not everyone subscribes to one. Not all of them act in unison. There's no "Gamer's Union". There will never be, either, because many people game in different capacities, for different reasons, with different levels of involvement, and Ubisoft can target them all individually. They make their money off of people who don't care, call it a success, and move on. Intelligent people who recognize the bullying and unethical treatment and horrible DRM don't number enough to matter. Simple as that.

Fenixius:

zehydra:
You'd be surprised what the masses can achieve. You're right though, consumers are not organized, though we could become organized if we wanted to. Why don't we?

Problem right there. "Why don't we?" You say it like "we" is a thing. It's not. There's no such thing as "we" in this sort of scenario. There are only a large number of "I"s. There's no coordination. Plenty of communities exist. Not everyone subscribes to one. Not all of them act in unison. There's no "Gamer's Union". There will never be, either, because many people game in different capacities, for different reasons, with different levels of involvement, and Ubisoft can target them all individually. They make their money off of people who don't care, call it a success, and move on. Intelligent people who recognize the bullying and unethical treatment and horrible DRM don't number enough to matter. Simple as that.

By "we" I meant consumers, but I suppose we could also be referring to the members of the escapist.

zehydra:
By "we" I meant consumers, but I suppose we could also be referring to the members of the escapist.

And that's precisely what I meant. "We", referring to the sum total of consumers, does not exist. It is not a "group" which can be defined in that way. It's too disparate. The ONLY thing which we all have in common is that we wanted to buy this game. That's it. That's not enough to organise a political movement around.

You can't get coherency out of it. There is no "group". There are only many independent individuals who buy this game.

I agree with what a lot of the forum-posters are saying against this article. The server outages may not surprise me, but the angle that The Escapist is coming at this from does.

This is the tagline for this article at the start of this thread:

Andy Chalk:

Ubisoft may have loaded the gun but you, dear gamer, pulled the trigger, so maybe it's time to stop crying about how unfair it is when it goes off in your face.

It's all well and good for the writer to say a few times in the article that he doesn't like the system, but the main connotation is still anti-gamer, which is a surprising view for a gaming magazine to take.

Then, a senior editor steps in. Her first point was simple defence of her writer, fair enough. But then in conversation things again go somewhat pro-activist, anti-gamer.

Susan Arendt:

Don't like the DRM? Don't buy the game. Period. Or, if you make the choice to deal with the DRM because you simply can't live without playing the game, then accept that you've made your choice.

(I would mention the possibility that the response was particularly strong due to a reaction to the swearing of the previous poster, but this is an Editor on the *Internet*, and the article and editor already dismissed the validity of people being surprised by things that they should theoretically be aware of).

Although she does the same thing as the writer later, saying it's a bad system, she is also putting the onus on the gamer, and as a Senior Editor. I know this isn't exactly the world of newspapers here, but a Senior Editor's backing still lends some added official weight to the opinion, I think. (This may be partially because I was a writer and co-news editor at my University's newspaper, so I have a reader's, writer's, and editor's perspective to this.)

So, what about other ways to get Ubisoft to take notice? The writer and editor basically said the only option was - Don't buy the game. There's other ways to speak out besides simply not buying the game, especially if you find the problem after you've already bought the game. You could return the game for a refund, and tell Ubisoft you're doing it and why. If certain staff of The Escapist wanted a message to be given to Ubisoft, they could advocate a mass return. This is both respectful to gamers, allows activism, and is anti-DRM. Or, gamers who have legally bought it and suffered an outage could crack it, and (if they really wanted to take a stand) tell Ubisoft what they've done and why.

And 'shouting out on the forums', as much as the writer may dislike it, seems a perfectly valid response as well.

Jon Stewart recently did a bit on Fox News and their cross between News and Opinion. I am reminded of this as I think about how the Escapist is both News and Opinion. This article is clearly in the Opinion section (proper news would be far more objective), despite the fact it's written by a News Room Contributor and posted in the News section. (The description of the column starts out: "The Needles by Andy Chalk is an ongoing look at the news and events that shape the hobby and the industry we know and love, shot through with occasional outbursts of randomness..." [emphasis mine])

Yet, if this is opinion, why does it seem so aimed against The Escapist's own community? I mean, the writer and editor might have these views, but one would think the editor might temper it against the feelings of the community she both depends on and represents. To analogize, what's happening here feels as if Nancy Grace on CNN Headline News, with their News and Views shows, were to report on something bad happening and then blame her own viewers for it because they weren't vigilant enough. (I don't watch Nancy Grace a lot, but when I flip by she always has her righteous indignation aimed squarely at suspects and those defending suspects.) If she did that, I think her ratings would tank pretty quickly. I think this site has more resilience in that respect, as only a subset of users will read the whole article and this forum thread, and these are only two members of The Escapist, not the entirety of it. But that's effectively the feeling I'm getting from this particular Escapist article and the administrative presence in the thread. I get the feeling from the other comments that others feel similarly. There's probably others who got that vibe and didn't even bother finishing the article.

As for what I'm personally going to do about this situation, in case anyone's wondering - I bought the first Assassin's Creed used for PS3 when I first got my PS3, and I'll likely get the new one used when it becomes cheaper, possibly getting some DLC as well. Might borrow it from a friend before that if the opportunity arises. If I did want to play it on PC, I'd likely get it legally and then crack it at the first server malfunction, as I suggested above. As forum-posters said earlier, why should the gamer, or the artists and coders of the game, suffer because the administration decided on an insane method of DRM? True artists want to eat, but they also tend to want people to experience their works and are probably less bothered by piracy, especially by those on tight budgets or having problems with Draconian DRM, than the rich people at the top.

Whats going to be really pleasant is when Ubisoft simply decides to no longer support their "Online Service Platform" and shut it off. Then everyone that bought it on PC will no longer be able to play the games they have.
As a person who may have pirated a game or two in the past I can say that I have never pirated a game that I would ever have paid for. Now with that said I did want to buy AC2 but their DRM stopped me. So in my experience piracy doesn't cause a company to lose sales but I know DRM has cost them at least 1 lost sale.

nametakentwice:
snip

I think you might be misinterpreting what Andy and Susan are trying to say mate.

This is not, from what I gathered, an attack on gamers. Nor is it a blaming of them. What it is, is that most people KNEW the DRM was invasive. Most people KNEW it was a load of hay. Most people KNEW there was a chance the game would be rendered unplayable by a mistake on Ubisofts part.

Are all of those things Ubisofts fault? Yes.

But when you know all of the above, and you purchase the game, you have to accept the consequences of taking that risk.

It'd be like smoking cigarettes, and then suing the company for getting cancer. Sure, its the companies fault for manufacturing them, but the actual act of using them is always going to be the consumers choice.

Yeah?

I don't think it's fair to say that everybody who got the game should have known. I had no idea about Ubisofts new DRM until everything stated going wrong. Sure, if people continue to go out and buy the games now that they've been hit, you can shift some of the games. But there's every chance if a random person walked in and picked up a copy of AC2, they haven't looked into what kind of DRM it's got attached to it. Out of context, it's a fairly random, trival thing to be concerned about.

Gildan Bladeborn:
They are the victims - shame on you Andy.

Sorry, dude. People who get caught in earthquakes are victims. People who bought Asscreed 2 for the PC are consumers who either made an informed choice or couldn't be bothered to make an informed choice. Either way, sow, reap, etc.

This is a growing trend that is the future of PC gaming. You will get nowhere complaining for something that can not be changed by a larger majority that exists in the troll-universe.

http://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae43/XxScottocSxX/internetdickwad.jpg

Several people have mentioned that "We Should do something" and in response to that, like a few others, I say NO. No amount of petitions/forum posts or outrage is going to change there mind. Using your dollar to "dent" their sales of a product is useless. A Larger proportion of the Gaming Demographic go one of these ways;

- Buy the game knowing the risks involved with the ever growing DRM being enforced
- Buy the game not aware of the risks involved with the ever growing DRM being enforced
- Don't buy the game at all
- Buy the game aware of the issues at hand and still complain when the outrage occurs

You need to reflect on which category you fit into and accept it or just be a very vocal clown about it all.
I have seen countless games introduced over the last few years with DRM, and yet it still prevails today. I bought Dawn of War 2 when it came out despite Steam (steam hater at time) and GFWL (hideous), MW2 and the horrible matchmaking, Battlefield BC 2 and the horrible horrible launch with menu functions worse than beta and now Assasin's Creed 2.

I bought all the above games despite the DRM involved and even embrace Steam for what it is. Criticise me for my actions, we're are on the internet after all, but if I, "the consumer" want to play a game for the game, as is my right I will play it. I don't complain anymore, because I have seen the tired and wasted effort of a near decade of rights being ignored/supressed by people that believe there way is the only way. Getting shafted by politicians/developers/distributors and publishers is common in this day and age. Its about time you got used to it.

Andy Chalk:

Gildan Bladeborn:
They are the victims - shame on you Andy.

Sorry, dude. People who get caught in earthquakes are victims. People who bought Asscreed 2 for the PC are consumers who either made an informed choice or couldn't be bothered to make an informed choice. Either way, sow, reap, etc.

Victims was hyperbole on my part sure, but is it really so unreasonable to believe people can simply purchase games that looked enjoyable and expect them to function as advertised? I hardly think a "reap what you sow" is applicable - the only sin of the paying customers who purchased this game is "wanting to play a fun title on their PC". Not everyone even knows to be mad about DRM, let alone what it is and why they should be angry, and (this part is key) they shouldn't have to.

It's easy to point and laugh at the ignorant masses who stumble into the trainwreck us nerds all predicted, but really, nobody should need to know the ins and outs of the DRM bundled along with the software they actually wanted to run, and the fact that a situation like this one exists is Ubisoft's fault, not theirs. Customers shouldn't need to know about DRM because publishers should not include DRM with the obvious horrific vulnerabilities that this one has - I'd suggest they shouldn't use DRM at all, but at the very least colossal screw-ups like this shouldn't be something quite so easy to predict.

Making informed choices about games should refer to properly researching whether or not you will enjoy it, whether you meet the system requirements, etc - not whether the extraneous software grafted on to keep people from copying it will thwart you from playing the game in some way.

And whether or not customers knew there might be problems at some point going in, telling them their woes are their own doing is like telling somebody who received a letter filled with anthrax that it's their fault for having a mailing address - clearly everyone who has one of those knows you could potentially receive dangerous items via their post, so there's no sense complaining about it now, is there? You knew the risks going in!*

Suggesting that any part of this is the customers fault is just plain insulting, and indicative of how screwed up the PC game industry is that you can actually make that claim in the first place.


*Or for a less ridiculous scenario, consider the customer who buys an X-Box 360 even though they know there have been issues with those consoles encountering the 'red ring of death', only to then have their purchase die in precisely that manner. I suppose they have only themselves to blame and shouldn't bother getting angry at Microsoft for knowingly manufacturing hardware with shitty fault tolerances, hmm? Of course not!

Aries_Split:

nametakentwice:
snip

I think you might be misinterpreting what Andy and Susan are trying to say mate.

I understand the point. "People shouldn't buy DRM stuff if it's bad and they know about it."

What I'm saying is that they are looking at it from one fairly closed perspective on the issue, and it is also the one that would be the most potentially antagonizing to members of this community. The writer is writing an opinion piece, so having one narrow perspective makes at least some degree of sense, but the editor is representing the magazine as a whole, and the magazine should be representing multiple points of view.

Aries_Split:

It'd be like smoking cigarettes, and then suing the company for getting cancer. Sure, its the companies fault for manufacturing them, but the actual act of using them is always going to be the consumers choice.

Yeah?

No. Cigarette companies introduced an addictive substance into a product that kills people, and worked at making it more addictive. Ubisoft makes video games. I disagree wholeheartedly with your analogy.

Andy Chalk:

Gildan Bladeborn:
They are the victims - shame on you Andy.

Sorry, dude. People who get caught in earthquakes are victims. People who bought Asscreed 2 for the PC are consumers who either made an informed choice or couldn't be bothered to make an informed choice. Either way, sow, reap, etc.

This re-enforces my point about the closed perspective. The writer copied Gildan's last sentence to respond to, made an remark about earthquakes that, like Aries' cancer remark, is going beyond a sensible scale of analogies (I don't think Gildan was trying to equate this situation to a natural disaster), and made a statement that can be viewed as antagonizing as it lumps all gamers into two groups - those who do research and those who don't (about a video game), with no grey area in between.

For reference, Gildan's full post is below. He makes some cogent points, some of which agree with the writer's (though the writer doesn't respond to any of these other points). Meanwhile, Fragamoo notes an agreement with Gildan's post, plus (and this is re-enforcing my point) he notes the antagonistic feel in the writer's article.

Fragamoo:

Gildan Bladeborn:
In this day and age, if the failure of Ubisoft's DRM caught you by surprise, then I would agree that you don't really have any right to be surprised - you do however have the right to be angry.

If you buy a product that says "Warning: This product will probably explode in your face" and when it does, get angry about it, you're pretty much a moron. If you buy a product that industry analysts warn "looks explosive", but which purports to be perfectly safe, and then it explodes, you shouldn't really be surprised but you darn well better be angry.

This is what it boils down to - Ubisoft did not clearly indicate that "by opening and installing this product you acknowledge that you may have service interrupted at any time because our servers are a piece of shit", ergo anyone who bought their games gets to be angry when that happens. It doesn't matter if everyone on the internet predicted it, the point is Ubisoft told us everything was going to be just fine and then it wasn't.

I don't have much personal sympathy for the people getting locked out of Assassin's Creed 2, as I consider them weak for not taking a stand on principle and boycotting the hell out of Ubisoft forever and ever (amen), but I'm not going to be arrogant enough to suggest they're culpable in this whole fiasco. They are the victims - shame on you Andy.

This is exactly how I feel about this article.

Also, the entire article had antagonistic tones towards the honest consumer, which were unjustly placed. It's their right as consumers to get mad when something like this happens, so instead of effectively telling them to shut up, we should be supporting them in the hopes that Ubi's crappy DRM never gets used again - if nobody is getting pissed at them, then they win.

nametakentwice:

Aries_Split:
[quote="nametakentwice" post="6.179864.5263480"]SNIP

Fair enough.

Try equating to someone who eats fast food a lot, then sues the fast food company because they're fat.

EVEN THOUGH the nutrition info is on a sheet posted in the restaurant.

As it stands, your argument is "People bought the game even though they knew there was a chance that they'd get fucked over. They got fucked over. Feel sorry for them."

I don't feel sorry for consumers. The Internet is there as a tool for people to make an informed decision if they are going to buy something. If people can't be bothered to make an informed purchase then they got no one to blame for but themselves. I won't be buying AC2 for the PC. I don't want to be bothered with this level of DRM.

Hurr Durr Derp:
I agree 100%. While I'm not about to place the blame for what happened anywhere but at Ubisoft's feet, it's the gamers' own fault for being affected by Ubisoft's mistakes.

If you're paying to support and stimulate Ubisoft's retarded schemes, you deserve to reap the consequences. For better or worse.

I agree with your agreement, but the real reason I'm writing is because you have the best avatar EVER. That is the single greatest use of Pedo Bear and the World Wildlife Fund Logo that I've ever seen...

And as long as Ubi has its little DRM bullshit, I won't be buying any of their games. And I'm a HUGE Ubisoft fan, despite them being from Quebec.

It's a Canadian thing.

A twitter on The Escapist's Water Cooler both furthers my point and provides a counter-perspective to the marketing point.

Andy Chalk Feel like yelling at me because I hold you responsible for enabling Ubi's new, idiotic DRM? Join the fun! http://bit.ly/90Htyb Mar 10 02:16 Reply

The writer seems less interested in discussion than furthering controversy. From a marketing point of view, though, engendering controversy, particularly controversy against the readership, can make for some eyeballs to screens. Not the most uplifting way to gain readers, but potentially effective if it doesn't go too far. Admittedly, it has worked on myself and others:

hyperdrachen:

In short. Ubisoft made a dangerous weapon, griefers used that weapon, customers suffered.
I'll grant you that anyone who knew about the DRM and bought the game is braindead.
Otherwise I'm left only to wonder if your proposal that it's the victims fault is a weapon of mass trolling. If so nicely done, you got me to type a page up...

[emphasis mine]

Personally, rather than maintain a close-minded* view antagonizing readers for ratings, I'd prefer to see the author (or more importantly some Escapist editors) engage in discussion about various options that could have an effect on Ubisoft and DRM. The author purports to be a "die-hard PC gamer" - I would suggest his own advice could be paraphrased - "The hard fact is this: If Ubisoft decides to stay with this DRM for the long run, it will be because of you [the PC gaming author with the podium to encourage serious discussion on the issue of Digital Rights Management and Intellectual Property in our quickly evolving modern times]; and if you get screwed because of it, you'll have nobody but yourself to blame."

For those interested in IP and copyright, I recommend Michael Geist's blog - http://www.michaelgeist.ca/ It's largely Canadian, but follows copyright around the world. I myself submitted a letter to the Canadian Government when they were soliciting public opinions about copyright, an action that I think is a better stand than simply not buying a game.

*adj. Intolerant of the beliefs and opinions of others; stubbornly unreceptive to new ideas ...
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/close-minded

I would say there is a distinct difference between surprise and outrage. The fact that people knew it was going to happen means they don't get to be surprised any more, but they're still fully entitled to be pissed off I would say.

I mean honestly, are you going to blame gamers for wanting to play a new game and having the decency not to go for a pirated copy?

I think you've made some pretty broad assumptions here. The big ones being probably "gamers are informed" and "we all knew this was coming".

I think it's easy to assume that most of people have access to the information you do and see the world the way you do, but that's often not the case. I think a lot of gamers won't be quite as informed, and if they are "informed but to a lesser degree" then it's far more likely they consider those concerns more trivial.

Also, "we knew this was coming" is a pretty broad statement and easy to make after the fact. No we didn't. We thought it was likely that there would be quirks, as there often are with new systems, but we didn't know what or how bad and "we" is hardly every gamer alive.

Bottom line is: a lot of people bought a product with real, honest money, they were fairly expecting it to work, and it didn't. They are slightly pissed off.

I say that's fair. This ISN'T like licking a frozen lamppost. This was something a lot of people were supposed to be putting a lot of time and effort into getting to work to a point that it WOULDN'T cause significant trouble. It's a product, something you buy in the fair expectation that it's functional.

I'm not going to buy it myself, but I think it's fair for people who did to expect it to work and be slightly ticked when it doesn't.

I do agree that consumers should accept that they should have expected this, but I don't think anyone would have expected it to happen so soon.

Ubisoft is a coporate giant, you would expect them to be able to keep their servers up for quite a while before it inevitably went to shit.

I suppose most gamers would reason 'It's a single player game, I can complete it in the first couple of weeks and then I can play it again later if need be, if the servers go down later at least I've finished it.' This isn't the sort of game people would be playing constantly, after I finished AC1 I barely touched it again.

You know, I probably shouldn't admit this here, but back when I was in high school and college I pirated quite a few games, so I know how this whole thing works.

So I have to ask: How many people that had never pirated a game before do you think pirated Assassin's Creed 2 when this happened? And how many of those people will pirate a new game the next time their paycheck is a bit tight now that they now how?

I'm not defending piracy. It's theft plain and simple, and I haven't done it for more than ten years, but when a company is making it a more tedious and less reliable process to buy their game than it is to simply steal it, it's rather stupid of them to be surprised when huge numbers of people chose to go pirate.

They are, in essence, causing piracy in the name of stopping piracy.

As someone who has opposed this new DRM since it was announced and has urged people not to buy AC2, I could not disagree more with this article.

"... expecting a system like this to function smoothly, especially when it's virtually brand new, is almost willfully naive."

Ubisoft is a large and very successful company, and they do (did?) have something of a pretty good reputation. They've never made a blunder this severe before, so why is it the consumer's fault for expecting them to be extra careful with the implementation of such a touchy new DRM system? It is not naivety, it's having faith in the integrity and professionalism of a company. Ubisoft took the people who had faith in them and screwed them over, and that's why Ubisoft is truly the entity at fault here.

On a side note, I agree that this article seems like it was written for the sake of netting some extra hits. That isn't cool.

nametakentwice:
- snip

Okay, you've taken a fairly personal tone with the Escapist writers here and I'm going to ask you and anyone who shares the opinion that Andy Chalk is wrong to consider a few things.

First, this event is not static, the game hasn't been rendered useless forever for anyone who has a legal copy now, or may happen to in the future (not that it may not someday become useless, for it surely will). The game's barely been out for the PC a few days, Ubisoft has acknowledged the problem and not simply chosen to ignore it. From what we can gather from Ubisoft however, is that this variety of DRM will remain for the time being, but most, and Andy Chalk did truly go out of his way to make exceptions, most should have been in the know. Next, you make the contention that Andy is "close-minded" or as I find more accurate in paraphrase 'not trying hard enough'. However, as you yourself tried to exploit, "The Needles by Andy Chalk is an ongoing look at the news and events..." and he did just that. Did he write an expose on the evils of DRM, the intricacies of copyright and the possible solutions? No. Of course not. It's almost explicitly what he did not set out to do. Another point that can be made here is that games can be returned, if you have a retailer that does not allow this, then I'm going to join Andy in calling "you" out in not shopping around. Also, if you're going to throw "anti-gamer" out there, you have to consider that in supporting(buying) Ubisoft's PC games with this DRM, you are encouraging further behaviour in what most would call an "anti-gamer" move on Ubisoft's part.

Personally, I think part of what Andy is trying to say in the short term, is that if you're going onto Ubisoft's forums to cuss them out for a lack of server availability, you're at best contributing to the problem by causing excess traffic for a problem that Ubisoft has already recognized, apologized-for, and is working on a solution. In fact, I'd say he'd be further on the side of encouraging the grievances on Ubisoft at this point, if not for the fact that it may hinder your fellow gamer. The biggest point still being, as stated, he does not support/condemns Ubisoft's DRM scheme.

Edit: One final point, I'm sure Andy feels and is trying to address all the people who heard of Ubisoft's plan and said, "Don't do it, because x could happen!" and then turned around and bought the product only to now say, "I told you so!... (expletives)."

If Andy made any 'egregious' assumptions, it's that you could find other such articles on the site, particularly in Shamus Young's Experienced Points segments (plugging done).

As a consumerist, if two months down the line the situation of playability (downed servers) has not improved, I would support any form of legal action and protection of your consumer rights. I'm sure you'd find the tone of the writers to have changed somewhat as well :)

Ok, so i read your article & i want to say BULLSHIT! Blaming Ubisofts fuck up on the consumer is like saying "Well it was the starving mans own fault that he died... we told him the meal we specially prepared just for him was poisoned... just because he had been denied food for the last week." Lets be honest with PC gaming it feast or famine. We go from seeing all the great console games to seeing the few piddling games that are any good actually coming out on PC.

The alternative to not purchasing the game you want is not having the game... but i want the game, so what am i to do. Should i not get the game because i disagree with a companies DRM. Yeah that will teach them... They will totally be like; "wow... we could have done so much with that $50, oh wait we already got that from the stores selling the game. oh well, no harm no foul."

Don't blame the buying public for Ubisofts fuck-up. They were told by people for ages that this was going to eventually happen. Its not the fault of the people playing the game, thats just fucking stupid.

-M

Andy Chalk:

Gildan Bladeborn:
They are the victims - shame on you Andy.

Sorry, dude. People who get caught in earthquakes are victims. People who bought Asscreed 2 for the PC are consumers who either made an informed choice or couldn't be bothered to make an informed choice. Either way, sow, reap, etc.

Way to be so flippant about this.

You're right, it's totally the fault of the people who purchased a product in good faith, used it the way they were supposed to, then got screwed through NO FAULT OF THEIR GODDAMN OWN.

They sowed by buying a game and installing it.

They reaped not being able to play said game.

Those bastards, how dare they!

Plain truth is, buying a game should not be a gamble(directed at Susan), buying a lotto ticket is. Purchasing a game, like any other product, comes with a reasonable supposition that the buyer can use their purchased product. Are the servers back up? Yes. Could they come down again? Hell yes. And the fact that they can breaks that supposition. I buy a shovel, I expect to be able to dig something. I buy a game, I expect to be able to play it.

Andy Chalk:
Andy Chalk Feel like yelling at me because I hold you responsible for enabling Ubi's new, idiotic DRM? Join the fun! http://bit.ly/90Htyb Mar 10 02:16 Reply

Oh wow. I am disappointed. As someone who is decidedly not to blame for this (ie: non-pirate, non-purchaser of DRM-laden products), I am insulted by you when you try to wake people up and get some accountability going, but then turn around and just laugh when people try to discuss it with you.

The number of people who read up on DRM is still tiny, StarForce and SecuRom don't get in the way during normal use. Unless there's a giant warning on the box that says "lose internet connection = lose game" most buyers will be unaware of the system. I expect the response to be mostly in the form of low sales for the next Ubisoft game.

Also don't go all "you're at fault". I didn't buy the game and I'm sure the majority of people who even know about that DRM didn't either.

I disagree with every word of this article. The people who were aware of the DRM didn't buy the game. The only people being punished are the poor suckers who had the gall to assume AC2 would perform like every other single player game out there. Fine print does not absolve Ubisoft of anything.

A laugh is still a laugh. In this case Ubisoft's failed system and the comical reaction from ppl who KNEW ABOUT THIS DRM AND STILL BOUGHT THE GAME. but i'll take a gamble and say probably 90% of ppl who bought the game knew nothing of this or probably thought it was merely an online activation being its the MOST COMMON DRM now.

I'm almost certain the box doesn't say "You need constant internet access and be logged into your Ubisoft account constantly to play (and heres the part im certain they dont tell you) and for any reason your connection drops, your game will drop out without saving your progress." so...id say more shame on Ubisoft.

Glad he went with the console version of AC2 and will now avoid all UBISOFT PC products

p.s. you also can't blame the ppl who bought the game knowing the DRM but actually had faith Ubisoft is a big enough company to actually make this work, naive but faithful. my condolences for thinking these companies actually care about YOU rather than just your MONEY.

The majority of PC gamers should have heard of this DRM scheme, and they still went out and bought the game. Ubisoft is very much wrong here and I don't think I'll ever buy another Ubisoft-published game again if they keep this up, but the gamers who STILL got the PC version even knowing the bullshit they'd land themselves in have no right to complain.

They have all the right to complain. I consider certain titles must-have. For me, AC 2 happens to be one of those. Since I don't own a console, my only option is to bite the bullet and buy it regardless of the DRM.
And now Ubisoft fails to deliver. I really don't see how I'm to blame here.

Most of you are probably totally boycotting Ubisoft, neither buying Silent Hunter 5 (because it sucks) nor AC 2 (because they've already played it on console). And then you tell the PC buyers of AC 2 that it's their own fault. Yeah...

This article is seriously the most obtuse thing I have ever seen on this website, and that scares the hell out of me.

When the hell did playing videogames (or rather, attempting to play, as the case is now) become an exercise in gambling? So suddenly someone who really liked Ass Creed 1 and really wants to play the new game is shit out of luck, and its their own fucking fault?

Andy Chalk:

Sorry, dude. People who get caught in earthquakes are victims. People who bought Asscreed 2 for the PC are consumers who either made an informed choice or couldn't be bothered to make an informed choice. Either way, sow, reap, etc.

So to take your metaphor to its logical conclusion.

"Sorry mister earthquake victim about losing your house, wife, children, dog, and everyone you ever knew, but you were knowingly living in an area that had a potential to have earthquake. You took the chance, and now you are paying for it, tough shit."

Yup, makes sense.

Also, why the hell does buying a piece of entertainment require making an informed choice? What the hell happened to just buying a fucking game, going home, playing it, and not having any fear of being ass raped later on?

I think you are absolutely right. But also that the people at Ubisoft aren't stupid. They know that any DRM they put on a game will be cracked within hours or days of release. (Which is has.)

But you have to think this is to keep investors and other business-like people happy. To show they are proactive.

It's also moving toward a more all inclusive onine package that Ubisoft are trying to build around PC games. Services around the game to push people toward buying instead of pirating.

Steam had issues when it first launched, and still has issues on launch days for games. Ubisoft will refine their process, and it will become like second nature.

treating customers this way makes me think of ubi as whores who get paid regardless of doing a thing.

I respectfully disagree with most of what you say.

You're putting too much expectancy on the gamer, you expect that any decent gamer should "do their homework" as you say as if it is a requirement. Ignorance is a completely valid reason, games are meant to be increasingly simple and many gamers have the right to expect it to just work. Then when it doesn't, you can't just say "well you knew what you were getting into". That's really an unfair presumption to expect all gamers to follow media, to know what DRM is, to understand the consequences of their action.

People expect technology to just... work. So even if they knew they had to be connected to the internet at all times you can't blame them for not sharing the skepticism that the rest of us hold. When you buy any new technology you assume there are experts who makes it doesn't fuck up, and that's what people are use to. When it does fuck up you can't go up and say "well if you've done your research you'd know that it there was chance it wouldn't work, you shouldn't buy it next time other wise you're just perpetuating the problem further"

I'm sorry but not you, nor anybody for that matter has any right to throw any kind of half-handed political beliefs at people who just really wanted to buy a game, pop it into the computer and enjoy a nice afternoon killing Italians.

Not everybody is a gamer, some people just play games. It's irresponsible thinking to assume everyone thinks like you.

matrix3509:
This article is seriously the most obtuse thing I have ever seen on this website, and that scares the hell out of me.

When the hell did playing videogames (or rather, attempting to play, as the case is now) become an exercise in gambling? So suddenly someone who really liked Ass Creed 1 and really wants to play the new game is shit out of luck, and its their own fucking fault?

Yes it is actually quite scary indeed. I never wanted to admit it, but gamers on on the internet piss me off with their one dimensional thinking. Unfortunately this thinking is not limited to just Andy Chalk alone, he represents a fair proportion of a popular consensus.

Since when did gamers become such snobs? Gaming is meant to be accessible but we act like gaming is an elite act. We expect anybody with even remote interest in the matter to share our education and ridicule them if they fail to meet our standards. To the gamers who share this mentality, you should really grow the hell up.

Some people just want to play a game and they honestly with very good reason, couldn't give a shit about all the political, economical and dramatic ongoings behind the scenes.

matrix3509:

Also, why the hell does buying a piece of entertainment require making an informed choice? What the hell happened to just buying a fucking game, going home, playing it, and not having any fear of being ass raped later on?

Everything requires a person to be informed nowadays and given how pervasive the Internet has become it is easier than ever to make an informed choice. You want to know what happen to those bygone days? It was back when developers and publishers couldn't post patches on the Internet for later downloads. It was back in the day that you actually had to work to get pirated software in social organizations. This is also the fault of the Internet.

Gildan Bladeborn:
Victims was hyperbole on my part sure, but is it really so unreasonable to believe people can simply purchase games that looked enjoyable and expect them to function as advertised? I hardly think a "reap what you sow" is applicable - the only sin of the paying customers who purchased this game is "wanting to play a fun title on their PC". Not everyone even knows to be mad about DRM, let alone what it is and why they should be angry, and (this part is key) they shouldn't have to.

But it is functioning as advertised. "If the servers fail, you don't play." And that's precisely what happened.

And as long as you're promoting willful ignorance in the consumer, do you think it's okay for them to scream like they've been kneecapped if they get home and discover their videocard won't support the game? Or that their processor can't keep up?

Yes, it's gamers' fault they trusted Ubisoft, found out the DRM is way more intrusive and useless than paper towels on a severed artery, bought original game and suffered from something most of us predicted would happen - server brought down.

I don't defend pirates, but I understand them. And I will download the game once they crack it. You know why? Because every time I walk by my video game store, I see Assassin's Creed 2 and think "Oh, wow, I have cash, and I want to buy it!", but then I remember that if for any reason my internet or their servers crash, I can't play a bloody SINGLE PLAYER GAME!!!

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