Ubisoft, who publish games, have implemented a new DRM solution in reaction to the reported fact that too high a percentage of PC games are pirated. This new check requires you to be connected to the internet to play their games. This isn’t online, this is a single player game. Actually, it’s two games as announced, Settlers 7 and Assasins Creed 2. In the first case, the game saves as it quits, so when your connection comes back so does your game. In the second, the game will restore back to your last “checkpoint”, however long ago that was.
None of this actually matters. None of the mitagating circumstances Ubisoft have provided – “Without it the
terrorists win”, “It hardly takes any bandwidth at all”, is all bullshit. My internet connection is just *not that stable*. Virgin Media are fine most of the time, and I know I need to bite the bullet and fix whatever keeps crashing the smoothwall box, but it’s really not the point. Being kicked out of Left 4 Dead, World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, anything I’m playing online; because I stopped being online is frustrating, but understandable. Being kicked out of a single player AC2 mission, or a Settlers game vs the AI, or a single player Prince of Persia level, or anything else at all because I stop being online is just stupid.
That’s not the major point, though. The point that ties it back to the first paragraph is this:
The pirates won’t suffer any of this.
A pirate player – with his eyepatch, his wooden leg, his parrot and his tricorn – won’t ever be kicked off a single player game because he’s not on the internet. The honest player who buys her copy and then has a quick game of Settlers on her laptop on the train? She’ll get kicked off when he goes under a tunnel. The pirate plays on.
The legal player who kicks his network cable fails the assassination and back to the desktop.
The pirate plays on.
The only people any of this shit hurts are the ones who pay for the software. They’re the only people who deal with “product activations”, with finding the manual that has the keycode, with DVD drives that don’t support the newest Securom systems; and, going back even further, they’re the only people who had to hold a matt black bit of paper up to the light to read the gloss black letters that let them start the game.
The pirates? Played on.
So I won’t be buying the Settlers 7, though what I saw in the open beta interested me. I won’t be buying AC2 for any system, XBox or PC. I won’t be pirating them either, though. In fact, from this point forward, I’m pretty sure that anything with “Ubisoft” on the box won’t be entering my collection in any way, shape or form. I’ll find another game to play on.