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Driver: San Francisco on PC Marks Return of Always-On DRM

Ubisoft is reviving one of its much maligned DRM policies.

Ubisoft has gone back and forth on its PC DRM policies. With Driver, it's back to always-on.

Ubisoft's relationship with PC users has been a rocky one, thanks to the company's erratic DRM policies. Sometimes its games require a constant online connection to play, sometimes not.

Assassin's Creed II required an Internet connection at first, even if you were playing single-player. So did Splinter Cell: Conviction. Ubisoft eventually patched out that requirement, instead asking players to verify the game's authenticity through a login screen. After that, the game didn't check for an Internet connection. Ubisoft relied on a similar login method for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Not perfect, but it worked.

Ubisoft is returning to the always-on requirement for the PC version of Driver: San Francisco.

"I can confirm that the PC version of Driver San Francisco will require an online connection to play in both single player and multiplayer modes," said Ubisoft public relations representative Dominic DiSanti to me this afternoon.

The change in DRM policy was noticed on the game's official Twitter account.

On the console versions of Driver, players will have to activate Uplay in order to access the game's multiplayer, as Ubisoft adopts the now regular "online pass" feature designed to combat used games.

"When we first introduced the connection requirement last year, we stated that our decision to implement it into our PC titles would be considered on a case by case basis and this remains true," said DiSanti. "We will assess each future PC title and strive to offer the best gameplay experience possible while also ensuring that we are protecting the amazing work and effort of our talented creative teams."

Part of the reason people react strongly to Ubisoft's DRM policy is out of principle. They own the content, why can't they play it, with or without Internet? The other reason is practical, as hackers brought down Ubisoft's DRM authentication servers, which prevented some users from being able to play Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5, two games with always-on DRM.

It's possible Ubisoft will change its stance, depending on user feedback; the company has done so in the past. As it stands, however, when Driver ships in September, it'll mark a return in DRM policy.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
Ubisoft has gone back and forth on its PC DRM policies. With Driver, it's back to always-on.

Ubisoft's relationship with PC users has been a rocky one, thanks to the company's erratic DRM policies. Sometimes its games require a constant online connection to play, sometimes not.

Assassin's Creed II required an Internet connection at first, even if you were playing single-player. So did Splinter Cell: Conviction. Ubisoft eventually patched out that requirement, instead asking players to verify the game's authenticity through a login screen. After that, the game didn't check for an Internet connection. Ubisoft relied on a similar login method for Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. Not perfect, but it worked.

Ubisoft is returning to the always-on requirement for the PC version of Driver: San Francisco.

"I can confirm that the PC version of Driver San Francisco will require an online connection to play in both single player and multiplayer modes," said Ubisoft public relations representative Dominic DiSanti to me this afternoon.

The change in DRM policy was noticed on the game's official Twitter account.

On the console versions of Driver, players will have to activate Uplay in order to access the game's multiplayer, as Ubisoft adopts the now regular "online pass" feature designed to combat used games.

"When we first introduced the connection requirement last year, we stated that our decision to implement it into our PC titles would be considered on a case by case basis and this remains true," said DiSanti. "We will assess each future PC title and strive to offer the best gameplay experience possible while also ensuring that we are protecting the amazing work and effort of our talented creative teams."

Part of the reason people react strongly to Ubisoft's DRM policy is out of principle. They own the content, why can't they play it, with or without Internet? The other reason is practical, as hackers brought down Ubisoft's DRM authentication servers, which prevented some users from being able to play Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5, two games with always-on DRM.

It's possible Ubisoft will change its stance, depending on user feedback; the company has done so in the past. As it stands, however, when Driver ships in September, it'll mark a return in DRM policy.

Staff
Posted by Torrim

Great :/

Posted by bassman2112

I don't quite get Ubisoft's logic of testing the proverbial waters every time they release a big-name PC title. You'd think they'd have learned by now that not a single PC user is going to support always-on DRM.

Posted by Jamsque

No-one was going to buy D:SF anyway.

Posted by Kazona

Not buying ths on pc

Posted by MattBosten

I can't wait for the day someone figures out a way to do DRM that's fair to the end user and every publisher will just accept

Posted by MrMiyagi
@Jamsque said:

No-one was going to buy D:SF anyway.

Ain't that the truth!
Posted by wolf_blitzer85

Nah I'm good.

Posted by Contra

Meh, I wasn't interested anyway; and that just went significantly lower to laughable levels. 

Posted by Xaviersx

Well, at least it can be modded :P

Posted by Toms115

they somehow made me want a new driver game less. well done ubisoft. well done.

Posted by eulogize_my_baked_goods

Wow, they really don't want me to buy their games! Impressive.

Posted by Beaudacious

Well now i wouldn't buy this for 5$ on launch day, keep up to good work Ubisoft!

Posted by 1337W422102

And I never bought another Ubisoft game again.

Posted by HeadNodShy

One less game to buy

Posted by CL60

Why? It doesn't work and everybody hates it..

Posted by fr0y0

@CL60 said:

Why? It doesn't work and everybody hates it..

Exactly. And they backed down from it on Assassin's Creed 2. Why revive it now?

Posted by yakov456

Eww, gross.

Edited by Deric

But this is only a problem for the PC Master Racer? (Pun intended)

Posted by TadThuggish

Driver: San Francisco on PC Marks Return of Always-On Driver: San Francisco, So You Don't Need to Buy it Anyway

Posted by ervonymous

Guess my 'bitching' in that From Dust thread was in place, why can't we have nice things?

Posted by Krakn3Dfx

Nice, so now only pirates will be guaranteed to be able to play 100% of the time.

UbiSoft - Supporting Piracy Since 2010

Posted by Subjugation

The game already looked pretty boring. Now, well now I don't see any reason to buy it ever. Legitimate consumers get saddled with intrusive DRM while pirates nearly always figure a way around it. What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by tourgen

I wouldn't mind seeing ubisoft go out of business. hopefully this DRM policy helps.

Posted by Oddsor

Good thing I wasn't buying this anyway, now I wouldn't play it if my life depended on it. Steam is bad enough, there's no need to try out even worse DRM-schemes.

Posted by Hockeymask27

Because it went so well the first time around.

Posted by Marokai

Gross.

Posted by slantedwindows

vote with your wallet, not your pithy sardonic comments.

Posted by buft

Also known as "the pirates got the better deal"

Posted by Simplexity

One less game to buy, thanks Ubisoft.

Posted by VibratingDonkey

Looks like I'll cancel my pre-order and postpone the purchase either until Ubisoft stops being jerks or until the game hits the bargain bin.

I don't understand why this war against piracy has to be waged against the paying customers.

Posted by SomeJerk

Driver, more like Drove 'er.

As a man with an ISP that is great but not perfect and has monthly moments of hiccups losing contact with the internet for 60 or more seconds, no thanks UbiFlaccid.

Posted by alternate

err, this shit got cracked last time they tried it.  Only loser is the chump who is honest and buys the game while the pirate is laughing his ass off.  I might be more annoyed if I though there was any chance of this game not stinking to high heaven..

Posted by Jimbo

If I wasn't already going to not buy it because it looks terrible, I would not buy it because of this DRM. How do ya like that Ubisoft? Now I'm double not buying your game.

Posted by ajamafalous
@Jimbo said:

If I wasn't already going to not buy it because it looks terrible, I would not buy it because of this DRM. How do ya like that Ubisoft? Now I'm double not buying your game.

This.
Posted by crusader8463

Honestly, at this point I'm shocked and amazed when Ubisoft doesn't fuck over the PC release of a game.

Posted by zeppelinracer

Woah woah woah woah woah woah woah woah. Woah. Woah people were going to buy Driver: San Francisco?

Posted by afrofools

It's extremely easy to get a DRM-free pirated copy of anything these days. DRM should be removed completely, or at-least handled by the digital store client (Steam, GFW, etc).

Posted by Azteck

Aaaaaand here's where I will never ever buy this game. Not that I ever meant to but you know, still.

Posted by Device

Dear Ubisoft, please kindly fuck off.

Posted by Erotolepsy

Really didn't think I needed another reason not to buy a Driver game, but Ubisoft is nothing if not thorough.
Posted by Baal_Sagoth

Man, now this shit starts again. Don't care about this particular game, but I won't buy a game that requires to be online all the time, even in SP.

Posted by Dourin

@MattBosten: They did. It's called Steam. Unfortunately, publishers are greedy asshats and would rather use their own shitty services like Uplay and Origin.

Posted by Oddface

Way to punish your paying customers, Ubisoft. Such bullshit.

Posted by Claude

Doesn't something like this piss people off enough to pirate more?

Posted by stallion74

the game will suck either way and they found a reason to justify poor sales...way to go Ubisoft.Now turn the Assassin's Creed into another Call of Duty and don't bother releasing another game on PC never again...either you want to sell your games or get out of the PC gaming community..and i agree completely that the only people who will play this on PC would be the ones to get their hands on pirated copies of this game...

Posted by FriskyHeadCrab
@slantedwindows: vote with your wallet, not your pithy sardonic comments.

And i say, why not do both?

Posted by Tennmuerti

@ajamafalous said:

@Jimbo said:

If I wasn't already going to not buy it because it looks terrible, I would not buy it because of this DRM. How do ya like that Ubisoft? Now I'm double not buying your game.

This.

Word.

Posted by Danda

Ubisoft doesn't want me to buy their games! That's OK, I'll keep that money for Battlefield 3.

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