Impossible (to beat) DRM

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Impossible (to beat) DRM

Congratulations, Ubisoft, on making DRM so awful that it might eventually work.

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Not only is the DRM gonna stop people from pirating their games, it's going to stop them from playing them all together.

It's funny how all their fool-proof DRM so far has translated into the same profit from this game as from the most highly-pirated ones. I guess people just don't buy the game if they can't get it for free.

Oh and yes, shamus, the rumors are true.

dagens24:
Not only is the DRM gonna stop people from pirating their games, it's going to stop them from playing them all together.

Amen.

DRM isn't doing anything useful. Try harder gaming corporations.

I'm betting Ubi made a loss on the PC version. Serves 'em right, too.

This DRM is really just leaving some people like me out in the cold. The one reason I play mostly singleplayer PC games is that my internet connection is the most unstable thing in existence. Even if a system like this did work for some it wouldnt work for me. So am I supposed to be left with a game I cant play because of where I live? Hell no. I am never buying a game with this kind of bullshit DRM and if by some catastrophe it becomes the norm for all PC games then I will stop buying them all together and either play on console or pirate them if I cant get them on console even though I prefer playing on PC

Fine, but there's an elephant in the room.

That assumes hackers are just a bunch of amateurs sitting at home doing it for fun/the challenge/som perverse sense of duty. That there is no money to be made selling advertising space on sites mirroring cracked games.

If 90% of PC players really are pirates, that's tens of millions of hits every time a new game comes out, that's a lot of bandwidth and potentially a lot of money. As in more than enough to be cracking games professionally.

I sincerely think that not matter how dumb, complicated or plain intrusive DRM gets there will be people sat down coding the crack however long it takes, there's money to be made.

Nimbus:
I'm betting Ubi made a loss on the PC version. Serves 'em right, too.

I'm curious to actually see how many games turn a profit on the PC. I'm sure its a very small percentage compared to consoles. And even on consoles even breaking even is a stretch.

They will lose money with this system. Even if they do make a profit on the PC games, that profit will have to go towards upkeep of the servers.

And thats if you make a profit. I'm sure AC2 didn't sell all that well on the PC, along with Ubisoft's recent titles (Settlers 7 and Silent Hunter 5).

How much do you think those small games for small markets made?

Not to mention there was that one time basically all of Australia couldn't play any game using this DRM.

I had a quick look on the GAME website (yes, same lot as the ones who were closing down a bunch of stores a few days ago, and everyone was going on about how bloody expensive they are) and they were selling the PC version for 23. In six weeks, the price has nearly been halved. In comparison, the same site is selling Modern Warfare 2 for 33. As a general rule, the faster the price goes down, the worse it's selling.

[Edit] I had a another look, and they were selling the PC version of Bad Company 2 and Just Cause 2 for 25 each. Which undermines my point. Bugger.

So a unbreakable DRM would basically just stop people who won't buy the game from playing...

While it would be nice to see Ubisoft not perform anatomically impossible acts, they'll probably say that not having the game cracked for six weeks means that the system is working.

What really needs to happen is for Ubisoft to do this for a little while, shut down the servers, then face the RAEG from the community. Here's hoping for a massive maintenance cost for those servers.

Supposedly got cracked a few days ago (for the 2nd time)

http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20003120-248.html

Can't verify this though, I'm not buying another Ubisoft product until this DRM goes away, which sucks cause I was looking forwards to the Settlers 7.

dagens24:
Not only is the DRM gonna stop people from pirating their games, it's going to stop them from playing them all together.

If the Ubisoft thing is anything to go on...I really hope it does not become an industry standard as its just a pain

I can't believe people actually bought these games on PC. Please, stop encouraging ubisoft by supporting products with this style of DRM.

Get it on console or buy something else.

Alright, supposing the game has only just been broken (I'm still not sure about what I think concerning the first-day crack rumours) it doesn't work.

Why?

It blocked legit-buyers from playing a game for 2 weeks after releases (Settlers 7 I believe) and AC2 has locked people out numerous times for days on end.

Oh, and an entire country was also blocked at one point.

I don't know about about everyone else's version of something working, but that ain't it for me.

Fully cracked in 6 weeks. There were workarounds inside the first week.

I don't know Shamus, DRM eventually working if its broken in such a short time? The only way they could avoide PC pirate losses is to stop making PC versions.

Its pretty much a well known that developing for a PC is cheaper than a console, but I have often wondered how much DRM like this adds to the cost.

Yea, "always on" DRM was cracked a couple weeks ago before the CNET article.

But they didn't make any money off of me. I didn't pirate their second-hand shit, but I didn't buy it either, so they neither gained or lost anything from me by forcing their DRM on legitimate customers.

Oh, and PC Gamer magazine, in big bold red letters said "Don't buy this game", to protest it's use on the PC version in their review.

Cracking is fun and you only need one cracker persistent enough to see it through; making the process more difficulty will only draw them to it.

Either-way... I won't buy any game with DRM like this.

Just a point to start it all off. I was planning to buy Creed 2 on the PC (I previously had the PS3 version and traded-in my copy (I know, the second evil of video retail)), but changed my mind after the DRM. That's one lost sale. Also, I was planning to buy Splinter Cell ConViction on launch day (my birthday in fact), being a fan of every Splinter Cell since Grim was a baby, but I didn't buy it. I didn't want the PC copy because of the DRM and I didn't want the 360 copy because Microsoft treat non-Gold subscribers as second-class citizens and I don't use the 360 enough to pay a subscription for the priviledge of using it. Two lost sales for Ubi and a disappointed fan.

More to the point of the article, it's worth mentioning that I -have- cracked games on occasion (I hope this isn't against forum rules), but only games that I've bought. I bought Hitman Blood Money and the DRM wasn't compatible with my DVD Rom drive. One No-CD crack later and I'm playing the game. I bought Command and Conquer The First Decade. It takes an age to input 10 CD-Keys, or you can get the crack that fills all of them in and starts the install itself. Given the choice, I would probably buy ConViction and crack it anyway, just to not experience being told that I can't play a game I own, because Ubi is a little busy right now. (In my defense, I own all the games and only do it when DRM interferes with my enjoyment of the product)

The reason that people don't mind this state in MMOs is because the system provides consumer advantage in the form of regular updates and additions and a player community, but a system like this for a game which is purely consumer-disadvantage is annoying and disruptive.

I'm a person who's spent most of their money on games since I was a wee nipper and it's times like this that I feel disrespected by an industry I give so much money to.

But hey, why would Ubi complain about my lack of two sales when I'm sure that all of those pirates went straight out to buy the game, because they were all potential consumers.

... normally I try to form my arguments a little better, but his DRM is truly getting my goat and pushing it up a tree... or pushing a tree up my goat, whichever sounds worse.

EDIT: Oh and Cracking is fun to the peopel who do it. They are heroes. The people who manage these private servers, I'm sure love the knowledge that they were there first even if it was too late. It's not like the crackers will truly need to play through the whole game, if they can find the "trigger" code and just send that with all the right variables. Even this amazing DRM could eventually be beaten in days. I guess it beats zero-day cracks though...

fix-the-spade:
Fine, but there's an elephant in the room.

That assumes hackers are just a bunch of amateurs sitting at home doing it for fun/the challenge/som perverse sense of duty. That there is no money to be made selling advertising space on sites mirroring cracked games.

If 90% of PC players really are pirates, that's tens of millions of hits every time a new game comes out, that's a lot of bandwidth and potentially a lot of money. As in more than enough to be cracking games professionally.

I sincerely think that not matter how dumb, complicated or plain intrusive DRM gets there will be people sat down coding the crack however long it takes, there's money to be made.

But most crackers don't crack the games for the general public. They work in groups and they compete against each other to release the cracks first. They usually share the cracks, without the game, on private FTP or BB. They'll be picked up by someone and leaked.

Crack mirrors are mostly used by legitimate customers. Pirates normally use torrents, because they need not just the crack, but also the game code. And since a lot of torrent sites are non-profit or donation only (and even then it usually just covers server cost) so the crackers dont do it for money.

OT: It wouldn't work. Because the crackers would find a way to work out the triggers in the code. Yeah, for the first game to use this sort of DRM it may take them ages, but once they have done it once it becomes much quicker. Same is true for all older DRM. A new system comes in, it takes a while to crack, after that the process is semi-automated.

Ha, talk about "damning with faint praise". Indeed Ubisoft, you are really good at implementing terrible terrible ideas - congratulations! Now go die in a hole.

Most people are content to wait weeks for a release to come out in their country, I don't see how pirates would not be content to wait a few weeks to play the game.
Some may want to play it so much that they go out and buy it, but I imagine the majority of pirates would wait.
And as someone else says, if there's a little bit of money to be made, even if it's from advertising revenue or something, they'll do it, and if everyone who wants to play waits that long, they'll still get that.

I don't think calling attention to the fact it has finally been cracked is a good idea either...
If I was still pirating games, I'd totally be hitting that up.

imagine the cognitive dissonance thats going to occur when someone finally does implement an unbreakable DRM, and the game STILL sells like crap. youll hear the sounds of executive's head exploding all over the place. meanwhile, indie devs will just tool right along, selling their games without DRM (and save money from not licensing DRM), develop a loyal customer base, and not sweat the "lost" non-sales from piracy just like they have been for a while now.

Flying Dagger:
Most people are content to wait weeks for a release to come out in their country, I don't see how pirates would not be content to wait a few weeks to play the game.
Some may want to play it so much that they go out and buy it, but I imagine the majority of pirates would wait.
And as someone else says, if there's a little bit of money to be made, even if it's from advertising revenue or something, they'll do it, and if everyone who wants to play waits that long, they'll still get that.

I don't think calling attention to the fact it has finally been cracked is a good idea either...
If I was still pirating games, I'd totally be hitting that up.

It's a good point that for ConViction for example, people have been waiting years now. Waiting a couple of weeks more -shouldn't- be a problem (though I suspect it would be for pirates :))

As for drawing attention... Well... it's news :) It's hard to deny so...

I've had a cracked Assassin's Creed 2 for Xbox 360 since it came out. I don't play online either. Maybe this article only applies to the PC.

That's alright, Capcom has also stated why they put DRM onto a Playstation Network game, and it wasn't because of piracy. Instead it was rampant "game sharing" that led to its inclusion on Final Fight.

Everyone and their dog knows the real truth, that piracy is not the reason for DRM. It's that the companies want every little bit of money from every single person they can, thus they produce something to fight used game sales and sharing and blame it on those that pirate, saying it's all their fault.

The question is, how long will the gamers roll over and accept it?

I actually posted pretty much the same a while back in another thread here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.178799-Ubisoft-Denies-Launch-Day-Crack-for-Silent-Hunter-5-DRM?page=3#5207473

I really think it can work. I don't really understand how some people can say that crackers just need to crack the "trigger code". I assume they mean the code that will communicate with the publisher's servers in order to request the necessary game logic, but it seems to me that this communication can fairly easily be protected by forcing the user to sign in to the server with his own username and password (and a serial).
Or is it that they will just be able to find all the "trigger code" easily and then immediately request all of the related logic from the servers with their own legitimate copy and then offer those files up for download?

addeB:
So a unbreakable DRM would basically just stop people who won't buy the game from playing...

I refuse to buy anything from Ubisoft because of their DRM, and I also wont pirate it. So they are loosing sales over it.

Any single player game that has any kind of DRM beyond "disk in drive" (and even then ill find a nocd for it) will not get a dime from me.

Then again most "big" pc games nowadays are crapass console ports so they aren't worth playing if they were free.

Heres a link to a news article that states that most companies overstate how much is lost due to piracy.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20100414/tc_pcworld/governmentsaysdataestimatingpiracylossesisunsubstantiated

I wont buy another Ubisoft game until they stop treating us loyal customers like criminals. If they treat me like a criminal why should I give them my money? If I'm treated like a criminal I may as well be one. At least I'll save some money to buy games from publishers that care about customers.

If 90% of PC players really are pirates, that's tens of millions of hits every time a new game comes out, that's a lot of bandwidth and potentially a lot of money. As in more than enough to be cracking games professionally.

It's not exactly a secret that pirating games is a huge business, but ironically, this isn't the kind of pirating that modern publishing houses are worried about. You see, commercial pirating mostly isn't done in Western countries, but rather in Eastern Europe and Asia, where you are literally going to stumble over three guys trying to sell you pirated movies while on your way to the grocer's.

Western "piracy" groups literally do it only for the kicks. When a warez group publishes something, they are going to do it in private, in some isolated IRC channel or non-public bulletin board. This is because the Western "warez scene" is, despite appearances, really a pretty tiny and incenstuous thing. Every thing you see on torrent or warez sites was really leaked to there at one point or another, it wasn't made for these sites.

So why don't publisher's care for the huge piracy markets in the east? Because that's not where the money is coming from, and because huge money making criminal cartels are MUCH harder (and more dangerous) to prosecute than a bunch of tech-savvy guys who crack games for the hell of it. Publishers fight what they know, not necessarily what they should be worried about. But considering the kind of corruption and favor-mongering that's going in in western corporations, this shouldn't really surprise anyone.

[Edit:] Also, there literally isn't a way to make an uncrackable DRM, period. Unless you store most of the game code on a remote server, like MMORPGs tend to do, the complete game resources will always be in the customers possession, with only the access to the game information being restricted. Getting access to this information is just a matter of time, so unless major publishers are willing to go the MMO way, DRM is effectively going nowhere.

Woodsey:
Alright, supposing the game has only just been broken (I'm still not sure about what I think concerning the first-day crack rumours) it doesn't work.

Why?

It blocked legit-buyers from playing a game for 2 weeks after releases (Settlers 7 I believe) and AC2 has locked people out numerous times for days on end.

Oh, and an entire country was also blocked at one point.

I don't know about about everyone else's version of something working, but that ain't it for me.

It's almost as if Ubisoft are saying:

You can either take the easy way and buy the game, which will result in it breaking down all the time and your gaming experience being ruined.

Or you can work (or wait) your ass of for a few weeks or months and voila, now you can play the game offline without any issues!

Assassins Creed 2, being a pain in the ass for everyone.

Resistance is Futile.

Nurb:
Yea, "always on" DRM was cracked a couple weeks ago before the CNET article.

That was an offline server, and parts of the game were still locked because the server lacked the proper code for it. Now there's a simple file that makes the game automatically think your computer is the server.(well, I think that's the way it's done)

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