Impossible (to beat) DRM

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Sorry, Shamus. Your method would've failed too. You know why?

Before they cracked the game for good (as in, copy/paste a crack and enjoy), I used an even simpler solution they'd come up with.

Illegal. Remote. Server.

Basically, they made the game connect to their server instead of Ubisoft's. Game still checks for updates and connection to Ubi, but when it fails to download saves, you can still launch the game and play.

Now they updated their launcher to work with Local Mode, so you don't even have to connect to their servers...

d319tm:

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

Which I think is pretty fair all in all.

Yeah, but if I where a developer i wouldn't mind if those who can't afford my games pirated 'em as long as I was making money from other people.

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

From what I have understood, all Ubisofts games are cracked already?

I just found out this shit is nothing new and has already been done by Eidos and M$ without anyone taking notice.

I made the mistake of buying Batman for the PC.

You cannot save that game without an online connection to games for windows live.
Getting this to work is the most frustrating experience I've ever had on the PC.

Steam is the only DRM I use, mainly because they're the good guys in the industry.

veloper:
I just found out this shit is nothing new and has already been done by Eidos and M$ without anyone taking notice.

I made the mistake of buying Batman for the PC.

You cannot save that game without an online connection to games for windows live.
Getting this to work is the most frustrating experience I've ever had on the PC.

They hide it pretty well, but you can make an offline "live" profile for arkham asylum.

The reason ubisoft's system was different is there was no "opt out" option for online saves.

The amount of people here who think onlive is possible without magic future technology at every point of the service model (each piece of which would make the webtv guy (yes, its the same guy) billions if he applied them anywhere else) is very disappointing.

Dr_Steve_Brule:
Steam is the only DRM I use, mainly because they're the good guys in the industry.

Careful, this site is very anti-steam. From what I understand, one of the anointed writers (read: this one) doesn't like it, and formulated a pretty crappy argument against it. So everyone around here bleats that argument like demented sheep.

For the record (if it hasn't been said already): There's been a server emulator available since one or two weeks after release. This crack is just a an easier way for the pirates to play the game.

TheBritish:

Woodsey:

Hubilub:

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.

The most annoying thing being that the game is fucking brilliant.

I bought it on the 360 back when it released (I'm sorry, I cannot wait for 3 months for no particular reason!) and it was incredible. Now all its famous for is being the first to use their shitty DRM.

Second. Silent Hunter 5 used it first. I don't know if Command and Conquer 4 used the same system or one based on it, but either way... But yeah, you're right. Good game famous for the wrong reasons.

My mistake, although there's only a day between AC2 and SH5!

C&C4 did use a system very much like it, and even had the audacity to claim it wasn't DRM. Their excuse was that you need to be connected all the time the game can update your scores online; if they didn't feel the need for DRM (as they're claiming here) then they'd of set up a system where scores can be updated the next time you login online, and where people who aren't connected can still play.

you can chalk me up as another lost sale as a result of this DRM. I'm neither buying it nor pirating it even though i was looking forward to it.
not everyone has internet all the time. not even Ubisoft (as quite a few people have found out)
I wouldn't be surprised if there was more people that did not buy the game because of the DRM than people that did buy the game that would have otherwise just pirated it.

Skidrow modified a grand total of one file to crack AC2. A single file under 700kb. They did not emulate the DRM server, they completely removed the DRM, as it was located primary in a single small file.

Oh boy, insta-cracks ahoy!

Seriously, if you big up your DRM and bugger people who legally purchase it, leaving your DRM in one file is a schoolboy error. Back to the drawing board, Ubi, your DRM is now toast.

Honestly, considering the popularity of Steamworks and Impulse's GOO with consumers, I'm surprised that the vast majority of developers are still attempting to drive up a wall with their own branded DRM and failing in both protecting their games (except perhaps the first batch) and in gaining the support of their fanbase. And even then, the most effective anti-piracy is patching the crap out of your game and throwing in loads of free content (see: Team Fortress 2, Galactic Civilisations etc.)

[Edit] Going to hand out props for a post from the GOG forums (specifically, from this thread.) The following is truth in a box:

Krypsyn:
The trouble is that publishers need to blame something other than the quality (or lack thereof) of the game if sales are low. The easiest method is to just blame pirates, then trump up piracy figures for the shareholders. More disenfranchised customers begets lower profits begets more draconian DRM begets more disenfranchised customers, etc etc. Thus, it ends up spiraling towards the inevitable worst case scenario (no profits for the company, nobody playing games).

To break this cycle, the management of a company would have to step forward and admit they made a mistake. This might also force them to admit that they have, perhaps, been making lousy games all along. This would almost certainly get them fired by the shareholders (never get between an investor and their earnings! :P). So... I am not holding my breath... at least not for the bigger publishers already well into the DRM death spiral.

I think holders of intellectual property should have their rights protected, but driving off everyone just to get rid of pirates defeats the purpose a bit. It is very much a throwing the baby out with the bath water situation. I know we disagree on how to deal with Intellectual Property, DarrkPhoenix, but I think we can both agree that the way DRM is heading is just plain retarded ;).

Jinxey:
Putting yourself in a developers shoes it's easy to understand why they get mad at people stealing (yes pirating is stealing) their product.

The other thing that bugs me is the idiotic idea that people think "the developers are turning on us! it's them versus us". When someone is defending themselves for survival purposes they are not on the attack. It's not them versus us, it's you versus them. If you care more about getting your new toy than helping a developer you don't deserve to be in the gaming culture, period. You want DRM to stop? either you personally stop pirating or tell your friends you know that pirate to stop.

That being said, DRM does hurt paying customers. My solution to only punishing pirates is pirating should be more thoroughly persecuted by the law. If there was even a 10% more imprison/fine/community service sentence for the thieves I bet a lot more people would not pirate.

I get that you might care personally about this and hey, I have friends in the games industry too and a couple of them have had to be cut through budget cuts too, but pretending that it's "my" (the consumer's) fault that this DRM is in place is a little exaggerated. I don't pirate and I tell my friends not to pirate and you know what? There's still DRM. There have been various studies that show that companies lose nowhere near as much money from DRM as they often estimate.

BUT the reason I'm really quoting you is your suggestion of imprisoning someone who pirates a game. I think this is ridiculous. This is treating piracy like stealing a car and they're really not the same thing. Pirating a game can take seconds, my grandmother could do it, she could do it by accident, there's rarely any malicious afterthought and the problem is it's too damn easy. It's more like picking up a 10 you find on the floor than stealing a car and that's the problem. Putting pirates, many of whom are great consumers in jail isn't going to fix the problem, it's going to give the game industry a reputation worse than the RIAA.

My solution would be to go after the distributers. They don't exactly hide. Google finds them just fine and what they're doing "isn't" an easy thing that anyone could do in an afternoon and often they're even profiting on it. Would it really be impossible to track down the people who run torrentwebsitesrus.com? Oh and I'm not particularly suggesting imprisoning people like SKIDROW either. They rarely provide that much game content, but I'm guessing they're game enthusiasts. The important thing is to stop people downloading 4.7Gb of YOUR data and there will be no more cracks to find.

Seldon2639:
Yeah, we've all seen the pictures.

But that argument only works for a very, very, very specific definition of "stealing". In point of fact, theft includes not only "larceny" (which is the theft of tangible property), but also the unlawful acquisition of "money, labor or property" (in California, governed by the California Penal Code Section 487). So, your argument is both highly semantic, and simply specious.

What's specious is the assumption that intellectual property even exists to be stolen. Trying to link it to theft of labor is equally so. To steal labor, you would have to hire someone to do said labor and then refuse to pay for it. Any labor by programmers and artists was paid for by the company that hired them. As for the product itself, it's only theft if something is taken from the original. Stealing a disc from a store is stealing. Copying the disc after buying it is not.

Look, I can quote law too:

(1) A person commits the offense of theft when the person obtains the temporary use of property, labor, or services of another that are available only for hire, by means of threat or deception or knowing that the use is without the consent of the person providing the property, labor, or services.http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/mca/45/6/45-6-305.htm

Feel free to find your own definition of theft of labor but they all come out the same. They all refer to not paying someone after hiring them for a service. When you copy a game, you are not stealing any labor. Any work (labor) they created remains intact and whole. The copy is made through the labor of yourself or a device you own. It is a creation of that labor, not theirs.

Seldon2639:
To conflate 'copying' with 'theft of intellectual property' is a bit like saying that because everyone walks, we're all equally guilty of walking away from a bank with stolen goods. Yes, we've all also taken drugs. What matters is not whether one copies information, but whether one does so legally. Copyright violations are a theft of the labor that went into the creation of that data. In the same way that I'm stealing from J.K Rowling if I republish Harry Potter as Larry Hatter, even if I do so without making any money.

You couldn't be more wrong. Your statement fails because it assumes "theft of intellectual property" is even possible. You can not steal what does not exist to begin with. Thoughts and ideas are not property.

Any law that is arbitrary is unlawful. You can copy a movie from TV to VCR and then lend the tape to a friend, legally. Yet, you e-mail that same movie to the same friend and suddenly it is theft. How is that not arbitrary?

Seldon2639:
Please, stop trying to make a silly distinction between piracy (in the sense of illegally obtaining intellectual property) and 'stealing' (in the sense of illegally obtaining property

What's silly is your assumption that intellectual property even exists.

Seldon2639:
No company demonizes copying, they use it every day, and expect customers to use it. And most of us copy things in legally acceptable ways, and copy legally acceptable things. But, to say that "eh, copying is copying, don't demonize it" is a bit like saying "eh, drug use is drug use, don't demonize it" as a way to explain why Heroin is okay as long as Asprin is.

Companies demonize copying by calling it piracy. There's nothing about copying a disc that even remotely resembles a pirate crew plundering, murdering and raping. So please, tell me again how they don't demonize copying.

It's funny you compare drugs and copying. Taking drugs is your own choice and the only "victim" is yourself. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't do actual crimes as a result of taking drugs but that doesn't mean drugs should be illegal. It's like outlawing razor blades because you might cut yourself. The truth is, the "war on drugs" is just too profitable for them to legalize drugs. While I have no problem with wanting to protect others from harm, is it really the job of the law to protect someone from themself?

In any event, comparing drug use to copying is like comparing apples to oranges. Drug use (only) directly hurts the user. Copying harms no one. You can try to argue that it harms the ability for a company to sell their product. However, competition can also harm the ability for a company to profit and that's not illegal. Saying you are losing money you never had to begin with is fallacious reasoning.

The fact remains this.

So long as development time of DRM > than cracking one pirates will win.

And you can be sure this will always be true, because creating something takes longer than deconstructing it. But feel free to block out such realizations and believe, that constrictive DRM measures might actually result in more money for the publishers rather than, oh...I dunno...using that money to support the developers in making the game better!

Seldon2639:

Indie games don't "lose" many sales due to piracy because they're simply much less popular in general. Lemme put it more simply:

I would wager that there's little piracy of even non-DRM indie games because there's a lot less exposure, and the games aren't as in demand. It's the reason I can simply lock my door, while the bank has armed guards. Yes, people can steal from me, but the reward from stealing from me is much less. Indie developers don't reject DRM because they 'don't sweat' it, it's because it's less of an issue for them. But, a hot property worth millions (or hundreds of millions) of dollars, you protect with everything you have.

You'd lose that wager. There are plenty of indie games (with or without DRM) that get pirated equally to any "AAA" title. Also, I take offense to your assumption that indie games are somehow worth less than a game that cost 10x as much to make. The monetary cost of development does not equate to overall value. Of course, not all indie games are great treasures to behold but that doesn't change that many are at least as fun as many games that cost a great deal more to produce.

You really enjoy comparing apples to oranges don't you?

LordZ:

What's specious is the assumption that intellectual property even exists to be stolen. Trying to link it to theft of labor is equally so. To steal labor, you would have to hire someone to do said labor and then refuse to pay for it. Any labor by programmers and artists was paid for by the company that hired them. As for the product itself, it's only theft if something is taken from the original. Stealing a disc from a store is stealing. Copying the disc after buying it is not.

Look, I can quote law too:

(1) A person commits the offense of theft when the person obtains the temporary use of property, labor, or services of another that are available only for hire, by means of threat or deception or knowing that the use is without the consent of the person providing the property, labor, or services.http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/mca/45/6/45-6-305.htm

The distinction you're trying to draw between tangible and intangible property is speculative at best, and without basis either philisophically or legally. You're making categorical statements without any supporting evidence, and which are simply incorrect. To steal labor does not only consist of hiring someone and then failing to pay them, it would also consist of taking a finished product without paying the people who created it, even if you didn't promise to pay them in the first place. You're talking about breach of contract, not theft of labor (or theft at all).

And, you're begging the question. You've stated that it's not theft to "copy" a game, because theft can only happen to tangible objects. And then prove that by saying "it's only theft if something is taken from the original"; "It's not stealing because you can't steal intellectual property, and you can't steal intellectual property because it's not stealing". Awesome.

The attempt to reframe the question as to whether theft of intellectual property is theft of labor is an interesting one, but fundamentally irrelevant. Insofar as intellectual property is defined under the law as undistinguished from tangible property, it doesn't have to be theft of labor to be considered theft. Incidentally, would we not count a copyright violation to be theft? A very direct question is: is it not theft for me to take J.K Rowling's books wholecloth and redistribute them?

And, please, refrain from falling back on the argument that a "product" isn't "labor", or that a company isn't a "person". Both arguments are legally bunk.

LordZ:

Feel free to find your own definition of theft of labor but they all come out the same. They all refer to not paying someone after hiring them for a service. When you copy a game, you are not stealing any labor. Any work (labor) they created remains intact and whole. The copy is made through the labor of yourself or a device you own. It is a creation of that labor, not theirs.

Um... That's not really how it works. The company itself is the entity which owns the game. Let me give you an example from the real world. If you hire a construction company to fix your roof, and then refuse to pay, it's the company to whom you owe the money; the company did the "labor". Corporate law is funny like that. Incidentally, intellectual property is conveyed by contract (depending on the contract) to the employer. Thus, the owner of the property would be the developer, not the programmer.

Again, you're focused on the labor aspect, which is an interesting line of discussion, irrelevant to the question of whether pirating a game is theft of intellectual property, and thus theft.

LordZ:
You couldn't be more wrong. Your statement fails because it assumes "theft of intellectual property" is even possible. You can not steal what does not exist to begin with. Thoughts and ideas are not property.

I suppose we're going to have to agree to disagree here.

Ideas and thoughts are property of the person who created them. At a time in the world in which most of what we (at least in the developed world) do is revolving around computers, programs, and ideas and thoughts, it simply is property. Is a book not property? Should I be allowed to distribute (even for free) books which are still under copyright? Or do you believe there should be some protection of the hard work of the author, and the investment of the publisher?

If I acquire a method of making a chemical, and attempt to sell or distribute it (even not for profit), it is a theft of a trade secret. Use whatever word you like, I've stolen that product.

LordZ:

Any law that is arbitrary is unlawful. You can copy a movie from TV to VCR and then lend the tape to a friend, legally. Yet, you e-mail that same movie to the same friend and suddenly it is theft. How is that not arbitrary?

If any arbitrary law is unlawful, all law is unlawful. All law draws arbitrary lines. It's legal to buy asprin, but not crack cocaine. It's legal to own a gun, but not certain types of guns. It's legal to own pornography, but not child pornography. It's legal to drink up to a certain limit, and drive, but not beyond that. It's legal to smoke, but only if you're over 18.

It's all about lines in the sand, and here's the difference:

If I copy a CD and give it to my friend (or copy a movie from TV to VCR and do the same), the distribution is still exceptionally limited. Strictly speaking, it's still illegal, it's still theft, but the damage is limited enough that it's not worth enforcing either civilly or criminally. The enforcement is arbitrary, not the law.

LordZ:
What's silly is your assumption that intellectual property even exists.

Not according to the law. Intellectual property exists, and is protected. It may be high time to get over it.

LordZ:
Companies demonize copying by calling it piracy. There's nothing about copying a disc that even remotely resembles a pirate crew plundering, murdering and raping. So please, tell me again how they don't demonize copying.

They demonize copying in a way that steals their product, yes. But they don't demonize copying. I demonize shooting a person, I don't demonize shooting a bottle of silly-string (it's awesome). You're making a bit old strawman, and not even making it persuasive.

LordZ:

It's funny you compare drugs and copying. Taking drugs is your own choice and the only "victim" is yourself. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't do actual crimes as a result of taking drugs but that doesn't mean drugs should be illegal. It's like outlawing razor blades because you might cut yourself. The truth is, the "war on drugs" is just too profitable for them to legalize drugs. While I have no problem with wanting to protect others from harm, is it really the job of the law to protect someone from themself?

I believe my point was that simply because we demonize an illegal action which can be phrased as being equivalent to a legal one. Don't make this into a silly argument about the war on drugs. My point was only that equivocating by calling "stealing intellectual property" copying, is a bit like calling "injecting heroin into my veins" "taking a pharmaceutical".

It's a bit like saying "I'm going to watch some pornography" when you're really "going to go see a little kid sexually abused". By using a general term which encompasses both a legal and illegal action as a way to say both the legal and illegal variations are morally and legally the same is simply wrong.

LordZ:

In any event, comparing drug use to copying is like comparing apples to oranges. Drug use (only) directly hurts the user. Copying harms no one. You can try to argue that it harms the ability for a company to sell their product. However, competition can also harm the ability for a company to profit and that's not illegal. Saying you are losing money you never had to begin with is fallacious reasoning.

You really don't see a difference between a company competing with another company with different products (both selling for some price), and the market deciding which was the better product, versus a pirate stealing a product and giving it away for free?

But, let me not take an ethical approach. If a second, competing, company released a completely duplicate game, and sold it, it would be theft. Why is a second, competing, company releasing a completely duplicate game for free not theft? Again, would you be in favor of allowing me to republish the Harry Potter books as my own, and sell them for massive profits? What if I made a duplicate product to the Ipod and sold it?

If the answer to those is "sure, I don't see the problem", I think we're at an impasse in terms of our discussion. And I really hope that no one in a position to make decisions regarding the legality of such actions ever, ever, listens to you.

LordZ:
You'd lose that wager. There are plenty of indie games (with or without DRM) that get pirated equally to any "AAA" title. Also, I take offense to your assumption that indie games are somehow worth less than a game that cost 10x as much to make. The monetary cost of development does not equate to overall value. Of course, not all indie games are great treasures to behold but that doesn't change that many are at least as fun as many games that cost a great deal more to produce.

You really enjoy comparing apples to oranges don't you?

[Needs Citation]. Show me the abundance of indie games which get pirated equivalent to the big-label games, and I'll accept I lost the bet. Bear in mind that I'm referring to absolute numbers, not percentages. Show me the indie game with a million downloads off of torrent, and I'll bow out. So, the 92% piracy rate for Ricochet Infinity doesn't mean much. I don't have the total number of players/pirates, but given that it's the 8,484th most popular game on Amazon tells me that its sales are low.

So, find me an indie game which had half the total number of pirated copies as Spore, and I'll back down. Until then, piracy for indie games is less of a problem because fewer people play them anyway...

Or it is a big problem, and the earlier poster's comments about the developers not caring and not having as much of a problem is false, and pirates are bastards even to those companies who attempt to not screw people with DRM.

Kind of says something, that Richochet Infinity (without DRM) had a piracy rate above 90%, doesn't it? Something in the neck of the woods of "pirates are greedy bastards, rather than people who don't like DRM", eh?

Oh, and you really like making statements of fact without any basis in reality, don't you?

The harsher the DRM,the less likely I am to buy it.

Simple.

True.

Not just that, I generalize, I will likely never buy another Ubisoft game for this ridiculousness

Seldon2639:

LordZ:
You'd lose that wager. There are plenty of indie games (with or without DRM) that get pirated equally to any "AAA" title. Also, I take offense to your assumption that indie games are somehow worth less than a game that cost 10x as much to make. The monetary cost of development does not equate to overall value. Of course, not all indie games are great treasures to behold but that doesn't change that many are at least as fun as many games that cost a great deal more to produce.

You really enjoy comparing apples to oranges don't you?

[Needs Citation]. Show me the abundance of indie games which get pirated equivalent to the big-label games, and I'll accept I lost the bet. Bear in mind that I'm referring to absolute numbers, not percentages. Show me the indie game with a million downloads off of torrent, and I'll bow out. So, the 92% piracy rate for Ricochet Infinity doesn't mean much. I don't have the total number of players/pirates, but given that it's the 8,484th most popular game on Amazon tells me that its sales are low.

So, find me an indie game which had half the total number of pirated copies as Spore, and I'll back down. Until then, piracy for indie games is less of a problem because fewer people play them anyway...

Or it is a big problem, and the earlier poster's comments about the developers not caring and not having as much of a problem is false, and pirates are bastards even to those companies who attempt to not screw people with DRM.

Kind of says something, that Richochet Infinity (without DRM) had a piracy rate above 90%, doesn't it? Something in the neck of the woods of "pirates are greedy bastards, rather than people who don't like DRM", eh?

Oh, and you really like making statements of fact without any basis in reality, don't you?

World of Goo

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Impossible (to beat) DRM

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

Read Full Article

You're not taking into Account a few things:

1) Such a "copy-protection-scheme" doesn't exactly grow on trees, it also has to be be made (from a basic concept, to developing it and doing extensive testing), not to say that they have to have several dozens of servers up all over the world and 24/7 staff on them ready for emergencies... the more Triggers and stuff (like even Textures or entire character art or whatever) is missing from the game, the more bandwidth that'd also cause.

2) Crackers only largely have to break such a "scheme" properly once, developing methods and tools etc. for data mining and packet inspection... If the devs don't change the way it works for EVERY single game it'll be easy work from thereon, just finding and saving/inputting said values for coming games.

3) Regarding the "having to play the game in every possible way", that is not exactly true... even 2 weeks before there was a "Proper Crack", some Russian dudes did a Server Emulator, and someone else made a Webpage for people to apparently Post their Saved Games to with a Short Description of the "Problem" to get said Trigger fixed: http://ac2clearing.whotookspaz.org/ (no Crack to be had there if you wonder, just said page), you're making an assumption in that Crackers and Communities can't change/adapt while Publishers do. It is usually the other way around...

4) That said, 4-6 weeks is nothing really, it probably took up to 3-6x the time and ressources/money to make it in the first place, and they even delayed game launches for it to get "ready".

StarForce on the other hand took a lot longer than that to "Crack", also on a previous UbiSoft title: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarForce

When StarForce 3.0 was released, it initially provided extremely strong protection - the StarForce 3.0-protected game Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was uncracked for 424 days. It also marked a significant step up in the effort required to reverse engineer it. Its games have all eventually been cracked[citation needed].

In March 2006 a warez group released a vast array of documentation about how StarForce 3 works. Alongside many technical details, it revealed how several resource-intensive procedures were implemented, such as virtual file system and functions protected within a complex virtual machine.

It probably took 6 weeks to crack because the stupid DRM servers were down so often not allowing people to play.

DRM's suck - we get it. Can we move on now?

Sorry to sound like a idiot, but what does DRM standfor/mean?

Grand_Poohbah:
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.

yeah if piracy on pc should really become impossible, pirates will simply move over to consoles.
You don't even need a modchip for rthe xbox 360 or wii. Some dvd burners can burn dvds that work on any xbox. And the wii firmware can be overwritten using a sd-card.
The ps3 is apparantly very good against piracy, though it might be the one where people try least. Sony has alot of expierience with formats etc, though.

Also: the drm was cracked by a serveremulator 3 weeks after release, and yes you could do anything with it (tested) but only after 4~ days after release of the emulator. So it took
25 days to be fully cracked. As a comparion, the DRM starforce took 400 days to be fully cracked, when it was new. (and destroyed quite a number of dvd drives along the way, i lost a dvd burner and a dvd drive because of securom messing with the dvd drivers).
A new drm will take alot longer to be cracked the first time, but following releases should now be cracked almosdt instantly.

Really, though, a scheme like that would impose a support requirement on the game not of this world. That would be frickin super expensive, believe me, I work with distributed content systems. A much cheaper alternative would be to sell the game on a proprietary hardware dongle, including some physical logic (ie parts of game-logic implemented in hardware).

Of course, the way these companies are structured that would probably not work out in their balance sheets--but that doesn't change the fact that it would be cheaper.

On another note, perhaps it could be Ubisoft's way to chip in against the worrying unemployment rate in the US. Hire a million or so "support" people to deal with the inevitable mob of gamers likely to show up.

'Reminds me of that 'Dickstar' Player Owned Starbase tactic on EVE, whereby the POS-user makes all the defences break enemy target locks constantly, elongating starbase siege time by days. Did that get fixed already? If so, Ubisoft evidently needs a page from CCP's book.

Shamus, please understand this: nobody actually tries to combat piracy with DRM. Hell no. DRM is a way of getting more money from same IP. For example, in 2030 they can shut down AC2 servers and sell this game again as a "classic" edition. See?

Blow up the house with TNT to stop the burglars come in.
Ingenious and effective.
Whatever makes the guys in charge being happy while watching excel spreadsheets.
"Whoooa this is a great game. Look all those number with + in front of them! Pie charts are all green! I have watched many spreadsheets in my life but I've never played such fun game until this one Assassin Breed something."
It must be realized that games are only secondary for execs. Spreadsheets are their gameplay. If something makes them happy while watching the numbers they will do that no matter what the people think about it.
Who cares about the regular customer. They are just numbers anyway.

baker80:
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.

Actually, Gabe Newell disproved this last year when Value started to push for more localization for Eastern Europe and Asia customers. With a better translation and localization, selling games became a worthwhile cause in a pirate's market. The biggest draw for Steam and Value in general are not only the sales, but it's continued support on each sale.

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=22378

All the DRM says to me is:
"Screw it, go buy the console version instead."

Johnny Cain:
All the DRM says to me is:
"Screw it, go buy the console version instead."

But consoles are the ultimate evolution of DRM.

Cynical skeptic:

Johnny Cain:
All the DRM says to me is:
"Screw it, go buy the console version instead."

But consoles are the ultimate evolution of DRM.

Heh, that's true.
There's some irony in that somewhere :)

Cynical skeptic:

veloper:
I just found out this shit is nothing new and has already been done by Eidos and M$ without anyone taking notice.

I made the mistake of buying Batman for the PC.

You cannot save that game without an online connection to games for windows live.
Getting this to work is the most frustrating experience I've ever had on the PC.

They hide it pretty well, but you can make an offline "live" profile for arkham asylum.

The reason ubisoft's system was different is there was no "opt out" option for online saves.

The amount of people here who think onlive is possible without magic future technology at every point of the service model (each piece of which would make the webtv guy (yes, its the same guy) billions if he applied them anywhere else) is very disappointing.

Dr_Steve_Brule:
Steam is the only DRM I use, mainly because they're the good guys in the industry.

Careful, this site is very anti-steam. From what I understand, one of the anointed writers (read: this one) doesn't like it, and formulated a pretty crappy argument against it. So everyone around here bleats that argument like demented sheep.

Could you please link me to the article?
I would love to see that argument.
Edit: is it this article?
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_245/7285-Steam-A-Monopoly-In-the-Making
If so, I don't see the way it counters steam.

Also, side note: How is Pirating = Stealing in the traditional sense of the word? I would understand if something physical was lost, but there needs to be a better word to represent "Unjustified Copy of the original".

To that end, Growing up in a poor family, all my PC games where pirated aside from a few that where priced low enough for me to purchase. (UT:GotY was my first PC purchase) Now a days though, I relish over limited editions releases and over series memorability since I can afford it. (Seriously, FFXI stuff, TF2 stuff, all that good things) I guess what I'm trying to say and point out is that there's an upside to piracy that no one wants to admit, but if the developers can honestly create a world worth caring about, they Software sales shouldn't be all they need to do.

Look, DRM is a pointless gesture, any lock can be cracked with sufficient time and/or effort, it merely depends on how determined the would-be pirate is. Yes the suggested system would "work", but is would require so much coding that it would give the entire development staff permanent carpal tunnel syndrome.

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

The funny thing is though, that it didn't stop the pirates, just the consumers.

Also, I love this article, I agree with it 100%

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