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Ubisoft's DRM servers crash, games unplayable

By Jos
Mar 8, 2010
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  1. It was bound to happen sooner or later -- we just didn't expect it quite so soon. Ubisoft's new and controversial always-online DRM authentication servers crashed over the weekend, preventing customers from playing legally purchased copies of games such as Assassin's Creed 2 and Silent Hunter 5.

    Read the whole story
  2. skitzo_zac

    skitzo_zac TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 459

    Classic DRM, the pirates have a better experience than the paying customers.

    Caused by an attack on their servers, possible, not sure if I believe it though.
  3. Xyvis

    Xyvis Newcomer, in training Posts: 18

    Attack on the servers or not, that is definitely up for debate. But regardless of the cause when Ubisoft is limiting consumers by this DRM service they better damn well be prepared to handle the consequences of such events. Consumers not being able to use a product which they purchased because of a problem on Ubisoft's end is unacceptable.
  4. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 604

    Not sure how true their press release is, but it would not surprise me if they get attacked over this. There is a lot of (misdirected in my opinion) anger out there over their DRM. Maybe there wouldn't have been if they just called referred to their new games as SPOGs (Single Player Online Games) as all the MMORPGs have the same restrictions.
  5. compdata

    compdata TechSpot Paladin Posts: 604

    I agree they should have been more prepared, but doesn't WoW follow essentially the same DRM scheme? They have had a few outages right?
  6. Recipe7

    Recipe7 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 142

    I'm sure this is just a minor mistake by Ubisoft. No server is perfect, it is bound to happen. If it continually occurs though... I feel bad for those who paid for their games.
  7. Puiu

    Puiu TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,036   +91

    I do believe that they were attacked. It's a very attractive target for crackers. But they need to make some kind of backup servers so that it won't take so long to repair.
  8. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

    Well this will certainly highlight the problems with this type of DRM. Glad it happened soon and I hope this makes them re-think their "brilliant" idea.
  9. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,105   +18

    I guess this was an artificial recreation of a real world possibility, but the point was made.

    Not only does the DRM not work, those who purchase the game stand a chance of having a worse game play experience than paying customers.

    You can get a new Xbox version for about 30-40 bucks online. As low as 20 used. Its not a new game anymore, its been played and beaten by what hundreds of thousands of people? Why are PC players forced to pay a mark up for essentially an older title?

    This is really strike three. Punish PC players more under the presumption of them being thieves. They do make a profit on these games. Its just they have these dreams of billions more if only they could somehow get everyone to buy the games.
  10. natefalk

    natefalk Newcomer, in training Posts: 78

    I don't necessarily disagree with DRM. The only way to verify legit copies of games will require some sort of online registration/verification. A lot of games out there right now require an internet connection to play. Without the online verification, someone will release a "no-cd" hack and someone else will supply the software files, then everyone (who knows where to look) can get the game for free.

    It is a problem when DRM servers go down, especially when they say "always-online". Shouldn't a multi-billion dollar software corporation have teams of Network admins working on 100% up time. I don't think DRM would get such a bad rap if it worked as it should.
  11. Sooo... I was thinking of playing Silent Hunter 5.... Oh wait it Ubisoft, i'll give my money to someone else instead until they figure their **** out.

    btw, these games are cracked already.... what/who do they think they're helping!??

    ARG!
     
  12. levar

    levar Newcomer, in training Posts: 232

    I was over at the forums and me being victim I wasn't quiet about first of all it was annoying as hell and the worst thing about is it got cracked in one day, I should've just took the easier way.
  13. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,285   +232

    Hate to say it (since it detrimentally affected fellow gamers), but a part of me is glad this happened. UbiSoft needs another black eye and attention drawn to how ridiculous and pathetic this new DRM scheme of theirs is. Perhaps a media storm of protests will help them see that the only people they are hurting are their legitimately paying customers. Hey, I could even see some kind of class action suit popping up with failures like this, you know how lawsuit happy many are these days!

    @compdata - comparing this to WoW is completely apples to oranges. WoW is an online multi-player subscription game that requires an online connection at all times to be connected to the game servers on which the product is based - you essentially run a client on your machine, with the server handling the world. The UbiSoft games affected are single player games, which have absolutely nothing to do with an online world or persistent server - they are not just clients, but the entire game code, so requiring the constant tether to an online server has nothing to do with actual gameplay.
  14. jjbeard926

    jjbeard926 Newcomer, in training Posts: 69

    This is the primary problem with DRM, what to do when it fails. There's a certain point of balance between preventing piracy and reasonable annoyance for legit customers that the producers of software need to find. So far the best one I've found is actually very old school: find a phrase in the paperwork packaged with the game during install. Without it you can't install. This forces pirates to find the 'secret' phrase along with the software. If you make it a semi-random phrase, with multiple options you actually get some decent security out of a very low tech solution.
  15. EduardsN

    EduardsN Newcomer, in training Posts: 56

    The games are cracked already.. This stuff just stops players with legal copies from the playing the game It's not helping anyone
  16. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,209   +74

    This is actually quite funny, players who bought the game and legally own them were the only affected, on the other hand the cracked ones were unharmed.

    This says to me "Ubisoft is spending quite a lot of money on unnecesary servers, systems, and research whily annoying their gamers".
  17. Richy2k9

    Richy2k9 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 515

    hello ...

    that's too bad that game developers need to put more effort in building a fortress to protect their work, that turns out to be made out of sand after some anarchist would try reverser the situation.

    & say that this wouldn't even be necessary if 'most' of use gamers were happy or 'honest' enough to buy originals.

    with the main entrance crack open, i hope this DRM thingy will be patched away & people would still (not steal here) go for the game ... let's buy what we like please, thank you!

    cheers!
  18. gobbybobby

    gobbybobby TechSpot Maniac Posts: 543

    This is funny. Far too funny! Just shows that this kind of DRM FAILS, and puts the Spotlight AGAIN on Ubisofts DRM!
  19. Decimae

    Decimae Newcomer, in training Posts: 79

    Now they're saying it's an DDoS attack. I think this kind of DRM is unacceptable, though I don't tend to buy ubisoft games anyway, because none of them seem outstanding.

    Compdata, the DRM scheme is part of WoW. It can't give full gameplay without it. This however, only has cloud saving in return, which really doesn't make up for it.
  20. unrealmp3

    unrealmp3 TechSpot Member Posts: 49

    But WoW is a Multiplayer Online game, which mean there is no single player. It would not make sense to have a multiplayer-only game to work offline.

    However, a single player game that requires you to be online at all time is a bit far stretched.
  21. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    If someone had bothered to look, they probably wouldn't have been a paying customer anyway.

    I am a firm believer in that there is no way to get rid of piracy. Any protection tool out there can, and will be broken; its just a matter of time. Content producers should look at alternative means to make non-paying users into paying ones.

    History has shown over and over again that if a game (or movie) is good (or not so good in the case of CoD:MW2) the producers WILL show a huge profit, irrespective of the level of piracy on their software. In this case, its a matter of greed. Bear in mind that my above comment about pirates not going to pay still stays true here.

    Any content producer who thinks that console games cannot be pirated should think again. A quick check online would show that every popular console game is available for download.
  22. Kovach

    Kovach Newcomer, in training Posts: 44

    Huh, I was waiting for this king of story, it was just metter of time when it will fall aparat. And probably, it's already on the torrent, cracked and for sure working. Useless losing of time on both sides. WoW, like you guys says, is a multiplayer game and playing online, using servers have sense. But this...?
  23. Neojt

    Neojt TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 137   +9

    Somehow we told you so dosent quite do it !!

    Good job
  24. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Why didn't Ubisoft think of having a backup server or something? Deliberate attack or not, they surely should have had a Plan B. I mean there was a lot of attention focused on this new DRM and now they have gone and urinated over their legs and proved to everyone that DRM is BS.
  25. There is a huge difference there. WoW is an online game, if servers go down, yes it sucks. This is a single player game, and I know if I have put aside an afternoon to game, and my MMO is down, I play single player stuff personally, but in this case, you can't even do single player stuff.

    If it is hackers DDoS'ing them, they need to fix it, they are now and will be a target for all script kiddies and hackers alike to interrupt the service to prove a point.
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