Ubisoft DRM Targets Hardware Upgrades

32 posts in this topic

Posted

This news has been making its way around various gaming sites in the last few days

Once again Ubi's DRM punishing legit users :wall:

Isn't Ubi's always online DRM management enough? Why this now?

http://www.guru3d.com/news/why-guru3d-probably-never-will-review-ubisoft-titles-anymore/

Why Guru3D probably never will review Ubisoft titles anymore - Anno 2070

By Hilbert Hagedoorn, January 14, 2012

So it's Thursday in the 2nd week of January 2012. I Figure, hmm, it's time for a nice new VGA / graphics performance article on a game title. One of my favorite series is Anno, I still play Anno 1404 which in fact is included in our graphics card benchmark suite.

A few weeks ago the latest version of the game was released, Anno 2070. I've been playing it for a while now, and do like it despite the time it eats away ! :) Next to that, it's a good looking game as well with an updated graphics engine.

So yesterday I started working on a performance review. We know (well at least we figured we knew), that the game key can be used on three systems. That's fair, the first activation is used on my personal game rig. The second we installed on the AMD Radeon graphics test PC and the 3rd on our NVIDIA graphics test PC.

[...]

Here's what Ubisofts DRM is doing these days, they don't just verify the number of PCs you work on, nope .. they monitor hardware changes. So once we inserted that GeForce GTX 590 the hardware id # hash changed rendering our activation invalid.

What a bunch of rubbish ....

This means that if we'd like to make a VGA performance review on Anno 2070 we'd need to purchase the game seven times. Ubisoft claims that you can send an email towards their support so that the activations are reset, we did so .. yet are still awaiting reaction.

When contacting Ubisoft marketing here in the Netherlands, their reply goes like this: 'Sorry to disappoint you - the game is indeed restricted to 3 hardware changes and there simply is no way to bypass that. We also do not have 7 copies of the game for you'.

I'm sorry, but I am not about to purchase the title seven times to make a review that by default benefits Ubisoft sales.

Welcome to PC gaming Anno 2012.

Please find the results of our massive VGA performance review below on the one chart. With one hand in the air I wave to Ubisoft, more puzzled about this then anything. What do you think ?

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Posted

Seems excessive. It's not outwith reason to expect a gamer to have more than 3 hardware upgrades during the play-life of one game.

For example, "PC gamer" buys game finds it runs a tad slow on his ageing gaming system so buys a new GFX card - STRIKE 1. The game also east up some Gigabytes of hard-drive space, and "PC gamer" was planning on adding a new massive HD anyway because they are so cheap anyway - STRIKE 2. A few months down the line, his sound card packs in, or some RAM needs replaced, that's STRIKE 3.

Flash forward 18 months. There's a new intel processor out, so "PC Gamer" decides it's time for a complete rebuild, a brand spanking new gaming system. He spends upwards of £800 on a new rig, installs all his games, and finds that all his Ubisoft titles from 2012 refuse to run.

Does that seem fair? That scenario is not far fetched, been there myself and went through that kind of upgrade path and I'll bet others reading this have too.

As CR6 says, legit customers lose out, pirates, business as usual.

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Posted

[...] legit customers lose out, pirates, business as usual.

You summed it up so perfectly! :thumbsup:

If only Ubisoft could get their (apparently) solitary brain cell to fire fast enough to grasp that simple fact. Sigh...

:wall:

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Posted

No apology for trotting the head of Valve's quote out again...

"One thing that you hear [Valve] talk a lot about is entertainment as a service. It's an attitude that says 'what have I done for my customers today?'" he said. "It informs all the decisions we make, and once you get into that mindset it helps you avoid things like some of the Digital Rights Management problems that actually make your entertainment products worth less by wrapping those negatives around them."

Gabe Newell, 2010.

Here's another quote that seems to have relevance even though it is not about DRM.

"..you have to start with the customer experience, and work back to the technology..."

Steve Jobs 1997

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Posted (edited)

Those guys must be quite paranoid about piracy. Firstly bulls*it comments how GR:O is supposed to be for PC gamers because of piracy and now this. I can imagine their CEOs waking up in the middle of the night screaming. I wonder if they wet their beds too. Quite discouraging, let's face it.

Plus it's completely useless. Scene groups will crack the thing sooner or later. Hell, if there is a proper crack dealing with this, I will crack my legit, already pre-ordered copy as well. In your face, Ubisoft. Otherwise what will I be supposed to do buying a new laptop in which everything's new? Buy another copy of the game? I don't think so :wacko:

Edited by DarkMagic

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Posted

is the game still come to the pc platform i am now comfuse!

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Posted

Plus it's completely useless. Scene groups will crack the thing sooner or later.

Thats the point, UBI' DRMs are always cracked some few days after game release, they are in fact only "punishing" legit owners of their games, and not stopping piracy. :pirate:

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Posted (edited)

i like it over the constant net connection one. but i think it would be more logical to have the program detect the BIOS or motherboard type in ALONG WITH the three parts that have changed. makes more sense as motherboards don't tend to blow out as quickly as far as i know.

i think if you are a legitimate customer you should be able to call up (not email) Ubisoft and ask for the game to be unlocked, perhaps print a unique serial number in the manual of the game for referance to customer support so they can then check if the code has been used by a different customer recently would make more sense.

just my opinion.

Edited by Zeealex

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Posted

If............repeat........if........they have trashed the idea of the always on-line DRM, :nono: . Then they have at least moved in the right direction :)

I think that the basic idea is sound but I agree with Zeealex that they need to monitor a more perminent part of a computers hardware.

But I am not sure what that would be :huh:

OldGhost.

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Posted

The point is this: Ubisoft, make a game that's good enough and people will buy it anyway, regardless of piracy, scene groups, bittorrent etc. The Witcher 2 turned out to be awesome enough that pretty much every person excited about it bought the game apart from the fact its publisher released a DRM free version along with boxed, copy protected regular releases.

It is not the overzealous overwatch and bigotry in the gaming industry that will prevent piracy. It is quality and proper customer care than encourage people to buy games. There is so many people who fail to understand this, regardless if we are talking Ubisoft, SOPA or anything else out there.

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Posted

DRM has always been the PC Gamers pain in the ass to be honest and I for one will not buy this GRFS if it has that, and also the fact that they didn't listen as usual and you can only play it in 3rd person perspective. This should have been selectable in the options, but no....they always know best don't they ?

I never thought it would happen, but I have moved on from GRAW and GRAW 2 (still have GRAW 2 on PC though, just havent played it in ages) and sadly, dont miss playing them anymore !

Been playing Battlefield 3 and CODMW3 and others.

A real shame UBI stabs its followers in the back once more.

And this is why piracy becomes rife......what idiots they must be.

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Posted

Ubisoft is just doing this to kill PC gaming so all they'll have to develop for is consoles. oh well... I just feel for my PC owning colleagues out here. This doesn't bode well at all for them. in the push to prevent piracy, they actually hurt the target audience and the pirates win anyways.

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Posted

Ubisoft and their lovely DRM, shame they dont learned that PC Gamers hate that, (Customer Feedbacks are nothing for Ubisoft, Sad)

Anyways DRM will hit the PC sales for sure if they insist using it.

Personally wont buy it if thats the case .

Cheers

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Posted

i had to do this with a legit version of Windows. I usually reinstall my OS at least 3 times a year due to windows slowly coming to a crawl. Well one time i reinstalled and it gave me a number I had to call to activate.. and everytime after that as well. I called and said activate my windows and they said why did you format. i was like what the F%^K do you care just activate the windows well they did but told me I would have to call everytime form now on... so I bootleg my windows now. Saves me money and headaches. Microsoft started their life by stealing form everyone else so one good turn deserves another.

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Posted

I wonder if Sales of this game with DRM, should they falter be blamed on the innocent PC gamers.

pretty much like, "Well PC Sales of GRFS are down.. Guess we can stop developing for the PC"

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Posted

queue a very swift U-turn by Ubi

Just wanted to let you know, that we now remove the graphics hardware from the hash used to identify the PC.

That means everyone should now be able to switch the GFX as many times as he/she wants.

Source

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Posted (edited)

They should publish a list of parts that will be tracked. What about RAM and disks and so on? Anyhow, this is bulls*it, as said. Thanks gr.net for staying watchful.

Edited by DarkMagic

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Posted (edited)

it might be interesting to see i the hash changes if TheRAM Double Data Rate number changes as those are two things that would indicate it's a different PC the Double Data Rate Change would usually come with a change in motherboard.

it would be a bit stupid if you up or down the Size of the RAM slowly as you go along, that's what i do if i get a defective chip.

As for the hard drive, surely the program would be able to check if the Interface type has changed (IDE/SATA/SATAII/SATAIII) again, if the inteface changes then it would flag up as suspicious to me, especially if the SATA type has changes (again alerting to a motherboard change)

the thing is though is, isn't there a way of changing your hardware ID so it looks like nothing has changed?

Edited by Zeealex

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Posted

Frequencies? Huh? Every single part in your computer has its serial number which can be read easily enough. There are tons of applications letting you check these, e.g. HWiNFO, if you want to look into this. The DRM system will very prolly store and watch your parts' numbers for changes. That's it. CPUs and motherboards will be watched for sure. RAM is probable, especially as increasingly more people invest in expensive high quality dies. I doubt disks will be watched at all. GPUs won't be for sure. We shall see how this goes.

In fact this doesn't look as scary as it might appear in the beginning, although of course the best would be to have a completely DRM free game. How often does one change his/her CPU and the motherboard in the main gaming rig? Once or twice in two years?

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Posted

All hardware tracking under the pretense of DRM is complete BS (and a breach of privacy to boot), IMHO. None of their business if I chose to change my RAM or HD every full moon, or reinstall my OS every other day. If you want to upgrade your machine it shouldn't break your game due to licensing issues. What's next? Don't change your hairstyle? Or your clothes? Will we soon have to send DNA samples to "activate" a game, too?

Alex, please think before you keep suggesting even more draconian DRM. RAM frequency changes?!? What about e.g. overclocking? I changed my RAM frequency in my PC about a dozen times during my search for the best overclock. Should I buy about three dozen licenses for a game in the future?

Anyway, all of this is completely moronic and just another way for Ubisoft to inconvenience their paying customers long enough until the very last honest PC gamer turns to piracy. Sheesh... everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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Posted (edited)

Alex, please think before you keep suggesting even more draconian DRM. RAM frequency changes?!? What about e.g. overclocking? I changed my RAM frequency in my PC about a dozen times during my search for the best overclock. Should I buy about three dozen licenses for a game in the future?

Sorry! *facepalm* i completely forgot!

i wouldn't mind but i even overclock my RAM :rofl:

Edited it now anyway.

the very last honest PC gamer turns to privacy.

do you mean Piracy?

Edited by Zeealex

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Posted

This is not a U-turn, all this is, is that Ubi wants to look less rediculous! As Apex said, any hardware changes or for that matter any change at all in a paying customer's inventory is not Ubisoft's business. If I pay for a game, it shouldn't matter how, where and when I'm going to use it. Hell, I have three computers and a laptop in my house I should be able to run it in all those machines without issues. On one hand you are paying money and are still subject to the whims of this spectacularly stupid DRM and on the other hand you can just pirate the game for free and you dont have to worry about any DRM as they get cracked sooner or later anyways, which method would you choose?

Who is the guy who's responsible for these inexplicable decisions in Ubi? lol! Compare this with consoles, no DRM no platform specific checks, I can easily exchange games with friends etc etc, why the hate for PC gamers?

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Posted

why not have DRM do a motherboard check each motherboard when checked is different in terms of serial numbers enough said.

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Posted

thats what i initially said, it does make sense to do that, doesn't it?

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Posted

the very last honest PC gamer turns to privacy.

do you mean Piracy?

Ouch. Yep, that's what I meant. Edited. :thumbsup:

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