4 Comments

Viva La Revolución

[Via Rock, Paper, Shotgun]

We barely need to say anything here (but we will), as where we’re going we don’t need words. We only need righteous fury. PC Gamer have experienced the controversial new Ubisoft DRM first-hand, in the PC build of Assassin’s Creed 2. We already thought the paranoid new copy protection was pretty bad, requiring as it did an online check everytime you played and giving you a hard time if you tried to launch it offline.

What we didn’t think – what we didn’t believe they’d be mad enough to do – was that it’d kick you out of the game if your net connection dropped for any reason.

Or, as PCG’s Tom Francis rightly observes, even if Ubi’s servers happen to have a funny turn. (A troubling precedent for which has already been set by EA – Alec experienced something similar yesterday, when Bioware/EA’s servers suffering extended maintenance meant all his Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 DLC was deemed unauthorised, which in turn prevented him from loading any savegames which used that DLC. The point being: don’t punish your customers because you’ve screwed up).

Incredibly, the worst is indeed true in Assassin’s Creed 2 – and, it appears, will be for Settlers 7 too. No matter what you’re doing, no matter what the reason, the game will refuse to let you continue playing if it decides you’re not online. You’re dumped right back to a menu, losing any progress made since the last checkpoint. If you don’t have a constant, uninterrupted internet connection, you can’t play. Let’s list some of the reasons you might drop your net connection, shall we? Router crash, ISP problems, cat playing with the cable, microwave muddling your wi-fi connection, train going into a tunnel when you’re on 3G, Windows having a networking befuddlement, someone else in the house torrenting the bandwidth dry…

Incredible. In-cred-i-ble. It’s like someone taking away your food mid-meal because your napkin’s fallen on the floor. It makes us want to pull an expression we’re not physically capable of, like this. It’s also worth noting this is a day on which EA have turned off multiplayer servers for games that are only a year old – so it’s hard to have faith that Ubi’s activation servers will be around for many years hence. Hopefully they wouldn’t turn them off without first releasing an offline mode patch – but, given how unforgiving this system currently is, we’re hardly going to leap to such positive presumptions.

While we’ve not always gone full-pelt protest against excessive DRM, this is open contempt for paying customers, and, quite frankly, it’s the most valid reason yet for PC gamers to call a massed boycott. We’ll certainly be ignoring it with all the passion we can muster.

Originally Posted by godlikesteve(and gramatically adjusted):

This is War.

Consider this a wake up call for every one of you who bought CoD: MW2, every one of you who sigh and bend over every time some ratty publisher pushes the PC version into next year, every one of you who *****es and moans about shoddy PC ports, and then go buy the sequel.

Next time you go into Game/Gamestation/wherever, and see the sad little shelf thats all thats left of the “PC Gaming” section, dont sigh and walk out. Punch the manager in the face and yell “WE DON’T ALL DOWNLOAD!”.

The next time you see some CliffyB type dev wank chunter on about how piracy is making PC Gaming a lost cause, dont sigh and shake your head. Blow up his inbox with abuse and scorn, boycott his software on every format and question his penis size.

This has to end, or PC Gaming as we know (and love) it WILL cease to exist. Maybe this is what the fatcats want, I dont know. But I will not go quietly into the night! I will fight for what has become my preferred way of wasting an evening.

If you buy AC2, for any reason, on any format, you are guilty of treason. Unless you already have, in which case I guess a slap on the wrist will suffice for not being clairvoyant…

Bring it Ubisoft. Here’s 5 quid you WONT be getting *burns a 5 pound note* You are going down.

Disclaimer: All the above is my opinion, and as I have not had my daily requirement of caffine Im slightly wobbly. However, if any of it elicted a smile or a feeling of patriotisim, Ill consider it a success. FOR THE REVOLUTION!!!!!

I know this is falling on deaf ears here in console country, but remember the words from the poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller :

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

A call goes out to you console players, to stand up for your brothers in gaming. Don’t sit idly by, because this WILL eventually trickle down to you too. Cry havok, and let loose the dogs of war! Let these publishers know the sting of nerd rage!

We’ve been hearing stories about securom and DRM for years now. We’ve seen people speak out and fight against publishers who push this filth on us. And now we see those publishers not making any attempt to make things better, just making things worse. Safeguards that could’ve made this DRM of mild effect were not implemented. This shows a total disregard to the end user.

This isn’t just about fighting against draconian DRM, but also fighting this shift towards a very anti-consumer gaming experience.

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About Zeiram Wing

Just your average neurotic bag of problems.

4 comments on “Viva La Revolución

  1. as a fellow yet reformeing pc gamer i can bump this. its sad enough to see that the ports that the pc games are getting are mere shadows of the console version considering the potential for awesomness the pc holds over the consoles imo. there needs to be a more than just two developers that are wiling to commit to making a outstanding pc game cause if we boycot everything theres nothing left for us in the end. i think this is why i played wow for 4 years, because interms of pc gaming nothing really made me say omg! all the potentially interesting stuff was on the consoles. i guess thats the easy money and where the devs will go to make there millions but wow should be proof that if you develop a great game on the pc the fans will respond. maybe its just easyer…. or cheeper. i sunno but its a dam shame all the same. i started a console gamer, then went to pc and am basically back to consoles. the thing that bugs me most about consoles is it feels like my cash is some how more disposable on a console then a pc. i mean atleast on a pc i can be productive aswell.

    the issue of drm im not all to familiar with but the basic idea that i need a net connection to play a game offline is inane at best. and why does a company whose product i payed for have a right to tell me i cant reinstall the game as many times as i want? not everyone runs an os for the entire life of there system, hell z-dub reinstalls like every week or two cause hes nuts. now im not saying pirates have the right to steal a game but lets just not get stupid about this. christ the gaming world is almost starting to resemble the political world and that WOULD suck!

    all in all some good reading materials but realistically not what it will take to change things imo. then again every little bit can help.

  2. Wow. What a fantastic way for the game publisher to say, at any time they want, “Oh, that game you paid for – you can’t play it any more, ’cause we’re turning off the servers. You’re obviously not spending enough money on our products – go buy something new, you cheapskate!” Effectively, they’re turning a physical purchase into DLC – you have to be online to play it. That, as you guys would say, SUCKS. I refuse to buy any game with such harsh restrictions, just as I refuse to buy any game with a monthly subscription (but that’s a whole other thread). Online activation/verification, at first launch time and at intervals afterwards – sure, OK, I could live with that; but having to be permanently online, to play an offline game? No, thank you – you take that idea and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

  3. Thought you’d LOVE to read this:

    Ubisoft Responds To Online-Only PC DRM Outcry

    So, it looks like illegally downloading ACII then waiting a few weeks until pirates crack the netcode command lines is the… right… thing to do?

    Plus, didn’t the game sell well enough on consoles to be able to weather the hit by using something a bit less intrusive like SecuROM? What about STEAM?

  4. I ran into the same issue with Dragon Age on the 360. I couldn’t even get to the start menu when the EA Servers were down. Sad thing is, other than not buying games there isn’t much to do about it.

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