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Default Ubisoft - Responds to Piracy with DRM Free Title

December 12th, 2008, 19:20
blatantninja writes in to point out a recent article on the piracy issue at tech website Ars Technica detailing Ubisoft's decision not to include copy-protection on its next PC entry in the well-known Prince of Persia series:
Let me fill you in on something we've learned in the past year: PC gamers do not like DRM. EA was reminded of this the hard way, and every PC release that includes SecuROM inspires legions of gamers to claim that they'll refuse to buy the game because of the program's inclusion. Ubisoft has heard you, and the retail, boxed version of Prince of Persia on the PC has absolutely no copy protection. It's doubtful the company is doing this out of the goodness of its heart, however.
"You're right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games," Community Manager UbiRazz wrote on the official forum. "A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM we'll see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine." He goes on to note that only retail copies are DRM-less, since the Steam-bought version will, of course, [have] to be tied to Steam's authentication system.
Ubisoft has already had its eye blackened a few times recently when it comes to DRM and piracy. Assassin's Creed suffered from a shoddy PC port, and the game constantly tried to authenticate online, causing problems for players who bought the game… Gamers often had to shut off their Internet connection to play the game.
In another case, a patch for Rainbow Six Vegas 2 broke the game for some people; the game asked for the CD to be placed in the drive, and of course players who purchased the game online had no disc…
The conclusion speculates:
So what will happen with Prince of Persia? The game will be pirated. The game would have been pirated no matter what DRM was placed in the game, naturally, but by removing DRM and waiting for the title to hit the torrents, Ubisoft has given itself an out whenever they're taken to task over DRM in the future. "We tried removing it, and we lost money!" will be an easy answer from now on…
More information.
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December 12th, 2008, 19:20
If the game ships without DRM but still has SecuROM then that won't be a huge improvement.

Ahhh, well. Still a step in the right direction.
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December 12th, 2008, 19:36
"You're right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games
That's what the developers for such copy-protection say. In reality, copy-protections haven't worked up to date. They are only wasting the developers money with the result of screwing legit customers. Copy-protections have never been an answer.

"A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM we'll see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine."
This exclusively depends on how good the game is. The game's average score on gamerankings is 78.6%. I am sure they will end up blaming piracy anyway.

"We tried removing it, and we lost money!" will be an easy answer from now on…
And still the wrong answer.

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December 12th, 2008, 20:01
So it is OK to pirate a game if it has poor review scores? I don't think so. You can download a demo, try the game and see if you like it. If you want to play more than the demo offers, then you'll have to pay.

Piracy is never OK.
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December 12th, 2008, 20:05
err… I took his comment as meaning, low reviews = slow sales = blame the pirates, but, to each their own.
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December 12th, 2008, 20:05
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
This exclusively depends on how good the game is. The game's average score on gamerankings is 78.6%. I am sure they will end up blaming piracy anyway.
Is that a low score?

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December 12th, 2008, 20:10
Originally Posted by KasperFauerby View Post
So it is OK to pirate a game if it has poor review scores? I don't think so.
It's ok to not buy a game if it has poor review scores, which on the sell-rate have the same effect as piracy.

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December 12th, 2008, 20:11
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Is that a low score?
I believe it's average these days.

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December 12th, 2008, 20:19
And this relates to RPGs how?
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December 12th, 2008, 20:26
Although I'm not interested in Prince of Persia I might buy it just to support that move.
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December 12th, 2008, 20:30
Originally Posted by Kostaz View Post
Although I'm not interested in Prince of Persia I might buy it just to support that move.
Same here, but little diferent, i am interest on Prince Persia and see a company do this is because they know is a good game.

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December 12th, 2008, 20:32
Too bad I don't like this kind of game.

Otherwise I find it okay.

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December 12th, 2008, 20:35
Yeah, guess I'll have to buy this now, otherwise they'll just continue to put DRM on games I'm actually interested in. Well played Ubisoft…
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December 12th, 2008, 20:49
I tried the first of the "new" Prince of Persia games and failed to enjoy myself. Getting too frustrated at the "no quicksave so please replay the same sequence over and over again" gameplay I dropped the game.

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December 12th, 2008, 20:54
Originally Posted by Toothpaste View Post
And this relates to RPGs how?
RPG's have no DRM issues? Ubisoft's a big dog in the games industry and I would think this move, successful or not, could well influence other publishers down the line who do specialize more in RPG's. But thanks for trying to keep me honest, I guess.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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December 12th, 2008, 20:55
Originally Posted by Toothpaste View Post
And this relates to RPGs how?
DRM is a part of all genres.

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December 12th, 2008, 20:56
I think it's interesting. I'd expect a DRM-free, big name title to lose some sales to casual piracy.

Piracy happens in proportion to how easy it is. Idiots will tel you taht console games can be pirated too, and while that's technically true, the fact that you have to bust open your $300 machine, get a soldering iron and install a mod chip means that most people just aren't going to do it. Duh. Idiots.

On the other hand, PC piracy doesn't involve anything more complicated than installing your friend's copy and googling a crack. Or you can d/l the whole thing too, which is only a tiny bit more work.

BUT even the above, which is pretty simple, is more work than some people either want to do or are comfortable doing. And in theory it is those people who are stopped by DRM; people who might install a friend's copy, but for whatever reason don't know how to install a no-DVD patch or whatever. I'm not saying this is a big segment, but you have to imagine some of them exist.

In conclusion, I expect this experiment to result in less sales for the game. BUT I hope we all realize that there's no frigging way to measure the fallout one way or the other. There's no science here, and I'm annoyed by people who talk as if they can explain why a game sells more or less than exected. ANNOYED.

You think game quality is the sole determinant? Why don't you take a look at the sales chart:

1. World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
2. World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Collector's Ed.
3. Call Of Duty: World At War
4. Spore
5. Fallout 3
6. World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest
7. The Sims 2 Deluxe
8. Left 4 Dead
9. The Sims 2 Apartment Life
10. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
11. World Of Warcraft
12. The Sims 2 Mansion & Garden Stuff
13. Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy
14. EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey
15. Far Cry 2
16. World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade
17. BioShock
18. Spore Creepty & Cute Parts Pack
19. IGT Slots: Little Green Men
20. Assassin's Creed

What's that? Some of those games might not be among the 20 best reviewed PC games on the market? Woe, that's a crazy coincidence. But still, don't let that change your mind that a well-pirated game with a less than perfect review score lost all its sales to reviews, and none to piracy.

PEOPLE BUY CRAP. On the consoles, they can't get enough of lousy games. That's how the industry keeps afloat and thrives. Why exactly would you assume that on the PC, only the finest of games should make a profit?
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December 12th, 2008, 22:08
I'm pretty sure that the game will still have copy protection, just not DRM. The game probably won't sell that well since the console versions have gotten mediocre reviews and didn't receive all that much hype to begin with.
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December 12th, 2008, 22:52
You don't have to solder in a mod chip to play backups on most consols anymore. On the ps2 and xbox 360 there is a software way of doing it. With the ps2 you download a program, make a saved game, and put it on your memory card and you can use homebrew that allows you to eith play games off a hd or play backups. On the 360 you just have to connect the 360 dvd drive into your computer and flash it with some custom firmware.

PS. Usually DRM refers to copy protection like when people refer to DRM onmusic cds they are refering to the cds having copy protection.
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December 13th, 2008, 00:27
As far as console piracy goes, the DS Lite no longer needs hardware mods either. The R4 chip and its components do it all for you. Just stick the card in your cartridge slot, pop it out and use an SD card reader to plug it into your PC to load on games you got off a torrent. Almost as easy as PC piracy, but I never hear about it.
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