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Old 02-18-2010, 09:53 AM   #1
Jae Onasi
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Ubisoft plans to require constant net connection just to play their games

See article in PC Gamer Blog here.
Discuss the insanity of this idea, and what drugs the people who thought this up might be taking.


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Old 02-18-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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Where to start? This is abominably stupid on all levels, really. I don't see a benefit for anyone, either - Ubisoft included. No doubt they'll justify it as "anti-piracy", but I don't really see how it helps with that.



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Old 02-18-2010, 10:09 AM   #3
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Predicted Future of Digital Rights Management
~ Sabretooth

2010: Constant Internet Connection required for singleplayer gameplay
2014: In the rare event that you have bought a game disk, you need to be connected to the Internet to activate the disk after putting it in the drive
2016: You are asked during installation to upload a photograph of you receiving the game from the shop
2017: Videos required instead of photos
2020: In the novel "Five-Fold Plan", you need to: Install GFWL, verify your account by linking it to a Steam account, verify that by providing PayPal and credit card details, activating the game through both mediums by using different keys and finally, entering a unique verification number every 1 hour of gameplay and before important boss fights.
2024: Purchasing any game requires a signed Certificate of Confidence, that has to be additionally signed with a recommendation by at least 3 witnesses - one photocopy has to be sent to the publisher, one to the store and one must be kept with yourself and presented on demand.


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Old 02-18-2010, 10:12 AM   #4
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth View Post
Predicted Future of Digital Rights Management
~ Sabretooth

2010: Constant Internet Connection required for singleplayer gameplay
2014: In the rare event that you have bought a game disk, you need to be connected to the Internet to activate the disk after putting it in the drive
2016: You are asked during installation to upload a photograph of you receiving the game from the shop
2017: Videos required instead of photos
2020: In the novel "Five-Fold Plan", you need to: Install GFWL, verify your account by linking it to a Steam account, verify that by providing PayPal and credit card details, activating the game through both mediums by using different keys and finally, entering a unique verification number every 1 hour of gameplay and before important boss fights.
2024: Purchasing any game requires a signed Certificate of Confidence, that has to be additionally signed with a recommendation by at least 3 witnesses - one photocopy has to be sent to the publisher, one to the store and one must be kept with yourself and presented on demand.
2035: Purchasing any game requires a signed Certificate of Confidence, affirmed by both Popes and the Dalai Lama, with one photocopy sent to the publisher, one to the store, and one to be kept with you at all times and be presented on demand.



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Old 02-18-2010, 10:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious View Post
2035: Purchasing any game requires a signed Certificate of Confidence, affirmed by both Popes and the Dalai Lama, with one photocopy sent to the publisher, one to the store, and one to be kept with you at all times and be presented on demand.
2036: All games with DRM banned in the People's Republic of China; move applauded by gamers worldwide for unrelated reasons


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Old 02-18-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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i can't wait until the evolution of drm becomes the driving force behind moore's law



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Old 02-18-2010, 02:31 PM   #8
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And they wonder why PC gaming is dying.

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Old 02-18-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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And they wonder why PC gaming is dying.
Quite.

This has to rank as one of the worst DRM decisions ever. What was so objectionable about a disc verification on installation?

I can't see Ubisoft making any money from PC sales so long as they stick to this lunacy.






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Old 02-18-2010, 03:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
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This has to rank as one of the worst DRM decisions ever. What was so objectionable about a disc verification on installation?
Well, people who buy it on Steam or D2D don't have the discs. I agree that this is one of the worst DRM decisions I've seen. I'd love Ubisoft to give me a good explanation on why I shouldn't obtain the game from that bay of buccaneers, besides my overdeveloped sense of morality. If I buy the game legitimately (which I like to do because I want the gaming devs to stay in business and make more), I'm the one who gets punished when there's problems with my 'net OR if Ubisoft has problems with THEIR servers. The people who steal it won't have any of those problems, except for maybe losing out on uploading achievements. Big whoop on that.


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Old 02-18-2010, 03:48 PM   #11
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I like how Ubisoft drummed up fanfare prior to this by calling their current model "DRM-free". It's like they're intentionally alienating PC gamers in order to confine everything to castrated consoles... oh, wait.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:23 PM   #12
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Screw Ubisoft. If you can't play a game offline, no point in bothering with it.


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Old 02-18-2010, 04:55 PM   #13
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I doubt it's going to stop the pirating of the game, which makes this move so much more stupid.

But as much as developers keep alienating us PC gamers, I'm still not going to buy a console.


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Old 02-18-2010, 04:58 PM   #14
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Not like it wont be cracked anyway.


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Old 02-18-2010, 05:18 PM   #15
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I also noticed that the PC Bioshock 2 will not allow you to save games unless you're connected to the Internet with an Xbox Live account with a verified copy of the game.

I did not know this before buying it, and am quite pissed that this is the case. This essentially means I'll never be able to play Bioshock 2 without an internet connection.

Frankly, I'm getting closer to giving up on PC's as a gaming medium with all this damn DRM and ridiculous requirements to play. ****, even Steam lets you play and save offline if you verify it once and that is a proven, working system.

If anything, this makes pirating even more tempting because at least I wont have 3 INSTANCES OF DRM running at a time when I'm playing Bioshock 2. Not only that, but that same DRM is in place if you got it from Steam...

Which means this:

If you bought Bioshock 2 on steam, you have to play through Steam, Save through an Xbox Live account, then need to allow all 3 instances of DRM to play in the background or the game will simply not allow you to ever save.

That is bull****, and 2K Marin and Ubisoft can go to ****ing hell.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:36 PM   #16
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2042: In response to the Great EA Torrent Party, the UN Security Council passes a resolution creating the United Nation Anti-Piracy Coalition (UNAPCO), an elite, international cyber-police force directed to engage and suppress all international threats to intellectual property.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
I also noticed that the PC Bioshock 2 will not allow you to save games unless you're connected to the Internet with an Xbox Live account with a verified copy of the game.
That's good to know. I still haven't played past the intro of the 1st one and am now likely to put off finishing it anytime soon.


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Old 02-18-2010, 08:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
I also noticed that the PC Bioshock 2 will not allow you to save games unless you're connected to the Internet with an Xbox Live account with a verified copy of the game.

That is bull****, and 2K Marin and Ubisoft can go to ****ing hell.
Actually it isn't Xbox Live, it's Games for Windows - LIVE. Cosmetic difference.

Also 2K Marin is awesome and have made a great game - don't be rapping on them now.


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Old 02-18-2010, 09:34 PM   #19
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Actually it isn't Xbox Live, it's Games for Windows - LIVE. Cosmetic difference.

Also 2K Marin is awesome and have made a great game - don't be rapping on them now.
Not like you paid for it :P


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Old 02-19-2010, 12:33 AM   #20
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My thoughts on this, from my blog post (which has all the links and such).


Timbuk3 once released a hit called 'The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades'. Ubisoft's business decision to require constant internet connection in order simply to play their games is so bright, you gotta wear night vision goggles to find the dim light of the single brain cell that was responsible for creating this moronic policy. Their latest digital rights management (DRM) scheme is nothing short of insane.

PC Gamer Blog had a story yesterday about Ubisoft's plan to require constant internet connection in order to just play the game. This is not just 'authenticate when you begin playing the game' or 'authenticate when you begin each play session'. It's 'authenticate constantly, and if you don't have an internet connection, you can't even load the game, and if you lose your net connection in the middle of a play session, you're screwed, the game is shutting down, and all progress since your last save is lost'. Never mind the fact that there are a lot of us who game on laptops (something I do, say, on airplanes, where we don't have net connection), or for whatever reason don't have reliable net connections due to bad weather or such. In some places around the world, they don't always have internet or even electricity 24/7. This doesn't even begin to address what would happen WHEN, not IF, Ubisoft's servers go down.

This server issue happened just 2 weeks ago to Electronic Arts and Bioware when Mass Effect 2 came out. Everyone who pre-purchased the game rushed to play it on release day. I can understand this, Mass Effect is a lot of fun, and people wanted to play ME2 as soon as it came out. Bioware had also released some new download content (DLC) a few days prior to that for their other recent major game release, Dragon Age: Origins. Bioware's servers were overloaded with so many people trying to get online to play both ME2 and DA. I couldn't log in that day, but I played offline anyway. What I didn't know was that you lose access to all your DLC if you're logged out, AND you don't get it back when you log back in. I had the 'joy' of having to replay 6 hours' worth of Dragon Age: Origins to get to an uncorrupted savegame. However, while annoyed at this issue, I was still able to PLAY the game, even while logged out. With the new DRM Ubisoft plans, I won't even have that option.

Here was Ubisoft's reasoning, as reported in another of PC Gamer's posts:
Quote:
"We are aware that there is a lively discussion with regards to our new online services platform that will be included in most of our upcoming PC games, and which gamers are currently discovering with the Settlers 7 beta.
As there are a lot of question out there, we thought you might appreciate some of the following clarification:
Ubisoft's number one goal is to provide added value that will facilitate and enrich the gaming experience of our PC customers. The Settlers 7 beta version is enabling players to discover that this platform empowers them to install the game on as many PCs as they wish, to synchronize saved games online so that gameplay can be continued from where they left off (from any computer with an installed version of the game) and frees them from needing a CD/DVD in order to play.

The platform requires a permanent Internet connection. We know this choice is controversial but we feel is justified by the gameplay advantages offered by the system and because most PCs are already connected to the Internet. This platform also offers protection against piracy, an important business element for Ubisoft and for the PC market in general as piracy has an important impact on this market. Any initiative that allows us to lower the impact of piracy on our PC games will also allow us to concentrate further effort to the creation and expansion of IPs for the PC - our goal is to deliver the best gaming experience to our customers, anywhere, anytime."
Ubisoft, be honest. Your goal is to make money for your owners and shareholders, and piracy means lost revenue. We gamers who actually buy your products aren't idiots. We get that you need to make money to stay in business. That's why I buy my games instead of stealing them from you and other developers by torrenting free copies from The Pirate Bay and other torrent sites. I'm willing to pay for my games, just like a lot of other people are, because, shockingly, we want you to stay in business and make more games for us. It's rather hard for you to make more games if you're bankrupt.

Telling me that you're giving me the 'best gaming experience anytime, anywhere', though? That rings hollow with this new DRM you're instituting. Please explain to me how losing access to the game I paid for when your servers or my computer is offline is going to give me the 'best gaming experience'. It's going to give me 'no gaming experience'. Here's a Clue for you: "no gaming" and "best gaming" are not the same. They are not even remotely related, just in case some smooth-talker in the PR department tries to convince you otherwise. Do I care that my in game achievements can be listed on your site? No. Do I care that I can upload my savegames online? No, I'd rather have them on my own hard drive where I can get to them offline, thank you. If I really want to have them online, I can do that with other free programs. Do I care that I can play the game on any computer anywhere? I can do that already with Steam and Direct2Drive, or with (gasp) my game disc.

So, here's what's going to happen. People will get the game on release day. They'll try to authenticate. Your servers will crash at least once. People won't be able to play, and they'll howl at customer service. You think dealing with angry hormonal teens is bad, wait til you have to deal with their parents who had no idea what was going to happen with this DRM. Furthermore, we all know that pirates are just as smart, if not smarter, than your programmers, Ubisoft. They'll have the game cracked and the DRM removed in short order--in fact, if there's a pool on how long it'll take, I might join and put in 4 days as my guess. It'll get posted so fast on torrent sites we won't know what hit us. People who can't play the games through legitimate means will look for alternate ways to get the game. I know my proxy from a .png. It's not going to be hard to get a bootlegged game up and running (N.B.: I do NOT advocate participating in illegal activities). On top of that you'll have people who are just salivating at the chance to get back at you for doing something this crazy by cracking it as fast as they possibly can. Explain to me, please, what the advantage is to buying this game, besides my overdeveloped sense of morality, instead of visiting my Swedish buccaneer buddies?


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Old 02-19-2010, 02:32 AM   #21
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Actually I don't know if I'm irritated or happy about this, since I am pretty sure they'll mess it up and when they do it will fail so horribly that it won't be tried again. After all, people don't care about limited installs etc, but with everyone and their mom playing on wifi, people will drop their net connections like flies and will be pretty angry about losing the last 10 mins of play time-- in single player!


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Old 02-19-2010, 04:13 AM   #22
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Actually I don't know if I'm irritated or happy about this, since I am pretty sure they'll mess it up and when they do it will fail so horribly that it won't be tried again.
This is exactly why I am happy about this. Someone was bound to try it sooner or latter.

Not even EA was dumb enough to try this. Congrats Unisoft! You have successfully alienated more fans than EA with one announcement!


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Old 02-19-2010, 04:19 AM   #23
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Not like you paid for it :P
I uh, don't support GFWL's oppressive fascist policies making out legit customers like me as criminals. Down with the system, and er yes.


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Old 02-19-2010, 05:16 AM   #24
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Not like it wont be cracked anyway.
And about 2 weeks after it's introduced. Why can't these cretins understand that all of these draconian measures only encourage more piracy?


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Old 02-19-2010, 05:30 AM   #25
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Damn, i've just realised that Ubisoft are responsible for the Silent Hunter series.

Now I really want this DRM to fail, or they won't be getting a penny from me in future.






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Old 02-19-2010, 10:40 AM   #26
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This makes me feel sorry for the hardworking artists, coders, technicians, testers etc who work for these companies. It would be a lousy feeling putting such hard work into a title and then having it tarnished by something the 'douchebags in corporate' decided. AC2 is something many PC gamers are excited about. Such a decision can do nothing but turn people off, even if simply on principle. Also, you'd think a company like ubisoft would have paid attention to the damaging effects of another recent DRM debacle - with how EA handled Spore.

It's not like AC2 wont sell well(unless the PC port is *really* bad), the 'suits' are just getting greedy.

I'm not entirely sure this can come to fruition, apart from being restrictive to end users, it is actually staggeringly unrealistic to expect all end users to have permanent internet access(for a SP game)

I'm sure this will make a lot of folks upset, at many levels, not just fanragers, and ubisoft will reel it back - hopefully the knuckleheads that came up with it will get their just desserts.

@Prime - not that he should be taken too seriously, but EAs new(ish) CEO recently described the PC as the ''gaming platform of the future.''

I myself am a contented PC gamer, but I'm not sure I share his optimism

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Old 02-19-2010, 11:00 AM   #27
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I'm willing to bet one hundred million dollars that Ubisoft games will still be cracked and uploaded onto the internet even before the game goes to retail.


Besides, I don't buy Ubisoft games for PC. Don't see it bothering me.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:34 AM   #28
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As stated this thing doesn't make any sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubisoft Online Services Platform Q&A
What are the key elements of this platform for PC gamers?
Although a permanent online connection is required, this means that a CD/DVD is not required to play the game after installation. The protected game can be installed as many times and on as many computers as you like. Saved games are also synchronized online so the user can continue playing from any location with the game installed.
So, the proposed benefits are:
  1. CD/DVD not required to play after installation
  2. Can be installed unlimited times on unlimited computers
  3. Saved games synced online so you can play from any location
I don't see why any of these would require a constant internet connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubisoft Online Services Platform Q&A
Is there an "off-line" option?
No. The added services to the game (unlimited installs, online storage of saved games and the fact that you don’t need the game disc to play) require you to have an online connection while playing the game.
The services don't require a constant online connection, Ubisoft requires a constant online connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubisoft Online Services Platform Q&A
Why is Ubisoft forcing their loyal customers to sign up for a Ubisoft account when they don't want to give their private data and only play single player games?
We hope that customers will feel as we do, that signing up for an account will offer them exceptional gameplay and services that are not available otherwise.
If this was really the reason, they would need to do better than hope, considering the obvious downsides. And which of the three proposed benefits are impossible without this system? Which of them provide exceptional SP gameplay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubisoft Online Services Platform Q&A
How does the save game feature really work?
The new Online “save games” feature enables you to store your personal saved games online, as well as on your PC. Your saved games are also available from another computer and can be used as a backup if needed to re-install your computer or if you are getting a new one. The synchronization of save games is executed when you start the game and when you exit the game and can be aborted at any time. If you abort, the save game will finish execution the next time you start the game. You can also disable this feature if you prefer to.
So really, if your computer crashes or online connection goes down, you can't play on another computer from your last save, but only from the last save you had when you started the game. So if I start the game, play for 4 hours and save 10 times and my computer crashes I can only play from 10 saves ago, since none of those 10 saves were uploaded.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have the option to sync with the server on every save, since the amount of data is so small and a constant connection is required anyway?

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Old 02-19-2010, 01:03 PM   #29
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You're forgetting the point. All the stuff they're saying is B.S. to make the uninformed consumer think they're getting something special.

In reality, it's their futile attempt to combat piracy.
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:18 PM   #30
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I mean, what?

But seriously this is kind of the most retarded thing I have EVER heard in the entire world. Who the hell does this benefit? All it does is piss people off, it's not going to fix any problems.


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Old 02-19-2010, 01:26 PM   #31
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Unbelievable..what an absolute crock...let's hope other manufacturers don't resort to this sort of stupidity. If they do they will kill what little PC gaming market is left, and we can all look back and say Ubisoft started it.

edit: they're even getting killed on their own forums. I didn't read the entire thread on their site but most of what I read was not positive.


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Old 02-19-2010, 03:01 PM   #32
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Just a quick mod note: We cannot discuss how we as individuals conduct illegal activities, and participating in game piracy is illegal. Discussing game piracy as a concept is OK. Discussing how YOU pirate will earn you an infraction. You've been warned.



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Old 02-19-2010, 04:13 PM   #33
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Legion speaks
Quote:
PCG: What I think a lot of us would really like is a firm commitment that you understand our worries that the servers are going to go down and suddenly we've just got some trash data on our hard drives that we've paid for.



Ubisoft: The system is made by guys who love PC games. They play PC games, they are your friends.



PCG: So you can commit to saying that those systems will be patched out?



Ubisoft: That's the plan.



PCG: It's the plan, or it's definitely going to happen?



Ubisoft: That's written into the goal of the overall plan of the thing. But we don't plan on shutting down the servers, we really don't."
Emphasis mine; they sound like a tobacco company being grilled on the content of their cigarettes: change subject and evade, and always add some all-encompassing touchy-feely propaganda. Where are corporate terrorists when you need them?
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #34
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I think you're right on the money, PastramiX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubisoft
They play PC games, they are your friends.


I call shenanigans. I can't see any way that any sane (that being the pivotal word, here, I think) PC gamer would think it a good idea to require constant online connectivity for a single player game.






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Old 02-19-2010, 04:21 PM   #35
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@Jae - I hope discussing this part of piracy allowed


OT:

Reading about the history of AC1 on PC, and the massive losses ubisoft incurred, that is probably why they decided to come up with this heavy handed approach. It's hardly an ideal solution though.

I always thought Ubisoft was a Canadian company(their main dev studio is based in Montreal) but was a bit shocked to find out it is a French company.

What happened to Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!!

This all boils down to greediness, with a total disregard for their employees job security and apathy towards their consumers..

Not surprising if you see who Ubisoft's CEO is these days...



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Old 02-19-2010, 04:31 PM   #36
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I'm pretty sure Ubi's CEO is a Rothschild, if you get my meaning:



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Old 02-19-2010, 05:35 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
Just a quick mod note: We cannot discuss how we as individuals conduct illegal activities, and participating in game piracy is illegal. Discussing game piracy as a concept is OK. Discussing how YOU pirate will earn you an infraction. You've been warned.

My bad. Sorry about that.

I didn't actually mean it, this whole concept of having to be connected to the internet to play single player is just RETARDED, and I was attempting to make a point, but I understand.

I don't understand this concept because I mostly play single player campaigns when my internet DOESN'T work for whatever reason, they are taking that away


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Old 02-19-2010, 08:13 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrotoy7 View Post
@Jae - I hope discussing this part of piracy allowed
I prefer these pirates, silly Astro!





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Old 02-20-2010, 11:40 AM   #39
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Wow this is all a load of BS... damn!

I guess I'm a little glad now that DDO has sucked my life away, I have been able to blissfully grind away ignoring the veritable schlock-fest the game industry has become.


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Old 02-20-2010, 01:41 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarWarsPhreak View Post
You're forgetting the point. All the stuff they're saying is B.S. to make the uninformed consumer think they're getting something special.

In reality, it's their futile attempt to combat piracy.
I know that, as most people do. I was just pointing out that their story doesn't even remotely hold water, and has no chance of fooling anyone but the most gullible person.

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