From Dust, DRM and Why Ubisoft Can Only Blame Itself

#101 Posted by LordKorax (278 posts) -

Regardless of your stance on the matter, Ubi's handling of this was slimy at best. When the word came out that the DRM was much more restrictive than they first claimed, they tried to edit/delete the initial board post to make it look like they never said it, and only reposted the initial statement after being called out on it.

#102 Posted by Jimbo (9767 posts) -

It's a joke how Ubisoft are handling their PC releases nowadays, and not just because of the insane DRM.

I refuse to believe that deliberately causing confusion by pretending their PC releases are coming day and date, before inevitably 'delaying' them at the last minute (eg. From Dust, Call of Juarez, Driver, the AC games - too predictable now to be genuine delays) ends up being beneficial for them. I understand the thinking behind it -to avoid PC piracy harming the console release, without having to call their PC customers thieves- but I strongly suspect they have come to the wrong conclusion in this case (I begrudgingly accept that delaying the PC release of something like AC probably does make sense, though they still don't need to lie about the inevitable 'delay').

If a game like Super Meat Boy can go without DRM and end up selling better on PC than XBL, then From Dust certainly would. Or at least it would have if Ubisoft hadn't fumbled around and fucked it up so badly. This is a game where they clearly should have been treating the PC as their primary market, not as an afterthought.

If they don't want to put any effort into selling to the PC market then I'd rather they just stopped entirely. Ubisoft have made some of my favourite games of this gen, but all they're doing now is generating badwill.

#103 Posted by zaglis (909 posts) -
@GenghisJohn said:

Why do companies even bother with PC games anymore?

Yeah, I dunno. Magicka sold like 800k copies. Awful for a 10$ niche digital-only game, right?
#104 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2451 posts) -
@GenghisJohn said:

Why do companies even bother with PC games anymore?

Too bad you intended your comment as a cheap flame bait, because in the specific case of Ubisoft that is actually a valid question.
#105 Posted by Vexxan (4612 posts) -

I bought the game on 360 but this still pisses me off. To think they screwed up so badly.

#106 Posted by Sweep (8782 posts) -

Currently arguing with a bunch of people about this on Twitter. I agree that the From Dust DRM situation is a total mess. What I do not agree with is people treating it as an excuse to pirate the game, as though poor DRM entitles them to free content. It's fucking ridiculous. If you don't like the way a game is being sold then don't buy it. Vote with your dollars, bones, rupee's or gold coins - piracy is just counter productive.

Moderator
#107 Posted by TorMasturba (1095 posts) -

I was considering getting this on Steam. Ah well, I was already playing Bastion anywho, and I'm very happy with it. :-)

#108 Posted by paulunga (1903 posts) -

Isn't that the EXACT same DRM solution as in Half-Life 2? People are still losing their shit about this? Seems to be a bit of an overreaction in this case simply because Ubisoft's been bad with the DRM in the last few years.

Online
#109 Posted by Jimbo (9767 posts) -

@TEG said:

"[We have seen] a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection, and from that point of view the requirement is a success,"

I wonder if they are seeing increased sales as a result? If not, is it really worth alienating legitimate consumers?

You're totally right, and this is exactly the difference which the industry (and certain analysts I could mention) seem to have trouble with. Reducing piracy doesn't mean anything in and of itself, so crowing about it is meaningless. It only matters if it leads to an increase in sales, which nobody can really prove one way or the other, but seems unlikely to have happened in Ubisoft's case.

I can only speak personally, but I know there are at least half a dozen Ubisoft games which typically I would have bought, but took a pass on because of the DRM they implemented. Maybe they made those sales up from the ex-pirates, and good for them if they did, but who can say whether they did or not. The way Ubisoft keeps flip flopping on this issue indicates that they certainly don't have a clue whether it's increasing sales or not - they're guessing, just the same as the rest of us.

#110 Posted by retsub101 (166 posts) -

I'm always connected anyway so the DRM doesn't bother me too much but the controls just suck, I'm constantly fighting with the mouse. :(

#111 Posted by teekomeeko (615 posts) -

Damn, I almost bought From Dust yesterday on PC. I'm about to have to change internet providers and would have been screwed out of playing a game I legitimately payed for.

It doesn't help that all the benefits of PC gaming are thrown out the window for a god-awful port (apparently).

#112 Edited by lokilaufey (241 posts) -

I can empathize with publishers wanting to prevent piracy but they just seem to be doing it in the worst way possible. Seriously guys... 
 
I don't like things requiring an internet connection for SINGLE PLAYER content. I DO actually play on a laptop in an area with unstable or no connection. The connection at school is of mediocre quality & cuts out constantly, and is only available in the commons rooms. I can't just go anywhere to play, or outside. There is no wifi in my office so I can't play on my break time. And no, I won't just buy and then pirate or just pirate. One, I don't pirate games. Two, I shouldn't have to pirate a game I already bought just to play offline.

#113 Posted by HeadNodShy (72 posts) -

@Sweep said:

Currently arguing with a bunch of people about this on Twitter. I agree that the From Dust DRM situation is a total mess. What I do not agree with is people treating it as an excuse to pirate the game, as though poor DRM entitles them to free content. It's fucking ridiculous. If you don't like the way a game is being sold then don't buy it. Vote with your dollars, bones, rupee's or gold coins - piracy is just counter productive.

Isn't that going back to the whole "is it really stealing?" vs. "of course it's stealing!" ?

#114 Posted by Metal_Mills (2980 posts) -

I'm glad this disaster of a port(for a game I was very excited to play on PC...) is getting some attention like this on GB. Good job, Patrick.

#115 Posted by Skogen (430 posts) -

Im amazed that developers are still putting out such poorly optimized ports.

30 frame cap and unsatisfactory mouse controls? Among the worst mistakes possible for a PC RTS styled game, but fear not there's DRM too!

These kind of rumors will absolutely destroy sales on PC, hope it was worth it Ubisoft.

#116 Posted by masternater27 (915 posts) -

Publishers, your game is going to be pirated no matter what you do. Here's what you do: Provide enough value in your product so that some torrenters turn to buyers instead. Don't fuck over your customers that are buying with orwellian DRM. Easy. Alternatively make your game something that is always online for gameplay reasons and you can get away with this sort of thing.

#117 Posted by gretzkyranger (3 posts) -

There's gotta be a better way to counter piracy than customer screwing DRM. Perhaps just treating customers with some respect like Valve is the right course. There's no perfect solution to stop piracy of games but being a company that is upfront and honest while not looking to screw over paying customers seems like a great way to go.

#118 Edited by Cmdc00kie (46 posts) -

It's funny because this is done to stop pirating in the first place and all it does is encourage it. "You mean I can have the game without all these troubles AND for free?"  And the thing is, pirating isn't the problem. Majority of the piraters who pirated the game end up buying it anyways. Those who don't usually never intended on getting the game at all.

#119 Posted by Capt_Ventris (588 posts) -

It's not the DRM that bothers me, it's the crappy port of a game that should shine on a PC. Own goal Ubisoft.

#120 Posted by jmrwacko (2444 posts) -

ROAAAAAR
 
Something is wrong on the Internet, guys. I'm scared.

#121 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -

I will never understand the logic of treating all of your legit consumers as criminals. Sooner or later they are going to take a step to far make it easier to pirate the game then play it normally and then they are fucked.  
 Why pay to be treated like a criminal when you can be a criminal download the cracked version and play as much as you want without paying a dime?  Either way your gonna be treated like you stole something.  You might as well get the benefits right? 
  
I don't know about anyone else but when I'm accused of something enough I just feel like doing it just to give them a reason to bitch. 

#122 Posted by sandwich_adjustment (685 posts) -

I hope its ok that I can use GB to vent a bit....i dont want to go anywhere near ubisoft or steam forums.

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO DOESNT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS SHIT? Everything works - day of purchase. No "youve been disconnected from EA servers" . Game runs f fine because wow i spent 400 bux on a new video card and cpu. I dont know...Its just frustrating to see this shit all the fucking time. Maybe im the 1% of users that can play ubisoft games as they meant their DRM to work.

That being said. THIS DRM SHIT IS A WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME. Good Job Ubisoft. I almost feel embarassed for Eric Chahi! You guys wasted your efforts since the BS with AssCreedII. And for what? Your DRM was cracked. Pirates won anyway. Like always. So all you got for your cash were a bunch of pissed off twats and dumb articles all over the web that poopoo on your face.

#123 Posted by ItBeStefYo (1021 posts) -

Solution: Never buy another Ubisoft game on the PC till DRM is scrapped and they admit they were wrong

#124 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -
@Sweep:  If I'm gonna be treated as if I stole it in the first place why the hell not steal it?  Being punished for something you did not do and getting no benefit from it. 
#125 Posted by Slaegar (685 posts) -

According to a post on the Ubisoft forums you actually need to have internet 24/7. Even during a game, if your internet cuts out, you get kicked and lose all progress.
 
Which if true, means ubisoft lied...twice!
 
http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/9751064939/m/2901034249 
 
^ Ubisoft's edited DRM post
 
http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/9751064939/m/6311026249
 
^
Forum post about it not being true, again.

#126 Posted by Metal_Mills (2980 posts) -

@Capt_Ventris said:

It's not the DRM that bothers me, it's the crappy port of a game that should shine on a PC. Own goal Ubisoft.

Seriously, the capped 30FPS is bad and weird to say the least but ok, I'd live with it. The lack of settings and options is bad too but my PC should be able to run it ok so it's not the end of the world. But the controls, the controls are FUCKED. And this is a game that looks like t was built with a mouse in mind! It blows my mind at how bad this port is.

#127 Posted by Oddsor (23 posts) -

Looks like I can never buy a game from Ubisoft ever again.
I'll do my best to part ways with Steamworks and Battle.net as well in the future. I almost feel like I've rediscovered my principles!

#128 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

A PC game with a 30 FPS? That's fucking stupid.

#129 Posted by FritzDude (2249 posts) -

In my country "from dust" means "from moron", or "from jerk". I guess it's a perfect metaphor for this failure of a port.

#130 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1082 posts) -

PC gamers have a point when it comes to fears potential servers woes could prevent them from playing, but I'm sympathetic to the profound effect piracy's had on PC gaming, and I'm hard pressed to find too many instances where someone would find themselves without a connection.

Take heed, Patrick. There was a time where GiantBomb was going to go exclusively to streaming video, but many with spotty internet connections (myself included!) convinced Dave and the engineers to code an option to keep "Progressive" playback mode, otherwise the site would basically become worthless. Bad internet is a problem for some of us.
#131 Posted by hagridore (500 posts) -

Poor performance aside, PC gamers brought this DRM shit on themselves. You think Ubisoft has crazy DRM because they're mean? Its because most of you pirate games.

This is the reason everyone but Valve and Blizzard ditched the platform for Xbox 360. Why bother with the PC and the immature response to situations like this?

#132 Posted by subyman (587 posts) -

Ouch. The sad part is there is already a cracked version out there, the pirates get to play without the DRM woes at all while the legit gamers get slapped in the face. DRM does not work.

#133 Posted by wickedsc3 (1046 posts) -

Already got this game on console, don't care. Maybe people shouldn't steal games and DRM wouldn't be a problem. They have the right to protect there product, but they shouldn't have lied about it. But maybe they were planning on this not being DRM, but seen how many people were already stealing it and decided to implement it.

#134 Posted by dezvous (531 posts) -

This is why Steam works so well. It works as a sort of DRM in itself but it provides a service anyone with a PC benefits by having. I know I have spent way more money on PC games than I ever have in the past thanks to Steam and I freaking love it. How these other companies haven't figured this out yet is beyond me.

#135 Edited by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -
@Oddsor:  I see no problem with battlenet and steamworks  Yes they are pretty much the same thing and the same hassle but they give you something for that hassle.  It's one thing to give you friends list  player states and so on and make you be connected to use it. It's a completely other thing to force someone to be connected for no reason other then you think they stole the game.  
 
This  DRM system is  based on  guilty before proven innocent. 
#136 Posted by Giantstalker (1511 posts) -

I was almost sure I was going to buy this on the PC once it released.

Now, I'm not going get anywhere near this game. So screwed up on so many fronts; years from now, I truly wonder if people will look back on Ubisoft's foray into DRM and say it saved them money... or it cost them.

#137 Posted by Firrae (67 posts) -

@digitalsea87 said:

Ubisoft lied, and that's obviously an asshole move. But what I don't get is the outrage at always-online DRM (remember the Diablo III news a while back?). Isn't everyone who plays video games pretty much always connected to the internet? I mean, you surely are if you're playing From Dust, which is a digitally distributed game. It honestly feels like whining over nothing. What's wrong with being connected to the internet? I'm connected to the internet right now. It feels good. Bad mouse controls and a capped framerate, however, those are bad things. Sounds like I'll be playing it on PS3, if I ever do at all.

I may be connected to the internet now, but I have a cap on my internet usage here in Canada and it's only 60GB, if I leave my computer connected to the internet all the time it really doesn't last long as the ISPs here have a real hard time of gathering your proper usage (they tend to think 1Mb is more like 100Mb for some reason). Always on DRM is horrible for me as a gamer under such circumstances. I also regularly travel across Canada and the only major airport that still offers free wifi through the entire building is in Vancouver, it's horrible while I travel.

I totally understand the idea of DRM and how it supposedly helps but over the past year or so how many big name titles with DRM actually remained unbreakable for longer than 20 minutes?

#138 Posted by Shuborno (938 posts) -

@paulunga said:

Isn't that the EXACT same DRM solution as in Half-Life 2? People are still losing their shit about this? Seems to be a bit of an overreaction in this case simply because Ubisoft's been bad with the DRM in the last few years.

Not the same at all.

Typical case of playing HL2 is log in to Steam, no longer need internet connection, play Half-Life 2. If you set Steam to Offline Mode I don't think you even need to be online again for your next session.

With From Dust, if I understand correctly you need internet connection at all times, from launching the game, to being in-game. If your connection cuts out at all while you are playing you can no longer play.

#139 Posted by Veektarius (4539 posts) -
@Mumrik: Laptops don't equal poor connections any more than desktops do.  The only place I can see laptop being equal to a problem is for portable gaming purposes.. and I don't really believe that's a substantial share of the market.  Happy to look at stats that suggest otherwise.
#140 Posted by Firrae (67 posts) -

@hagridore said:

Poor performance aside, PC gamers brought this DRM shit on themselves. You think Ubisoft has crazy DRM because they're mean? Its because most of you pirate games.

This is the reason everyone but Valve and Blizzard ditched the platform for Xbox 360. Why bother with the PC and the immature response to situations like this?

It's the stereotyping in your comment that worries me. People like you help spread the word that PC Gamers are pirates and games should be console only. I would like to remind you that currently on a daily basis more console based games (per platform) are pirated than on PC. And not everyone has "Ditched" PC, EA still has many games developed for PC and ported to consoles (BF3 and Dragon Age being 2 of them), as a matter of fact not may companies make games solely for consoles, hte PC gaming market is still to big to just ignore.

#141 Posted by Lobst (151 posts) -

DRM needs to do one thing: prevent the average user from distributing a paid copy to all his friends. This can be solved with an actual one-time login at installation, or the first time you boot up the game. EA does this, and it works great.

Alternatively, consider:

  • Distributing a pirated version that has a nonessential component locked out, to incentivize pirate conversion (ex: leaderboards in Trials 2)
  • Letting market forces have their way with a full-price product, then having a Pay What You Want sale for a limited time (ex: World of Goo)
  • Not having DRM at all, and being an extraordinarily cool company (ex: CD Projekt/GOG.com)

Just a thought.

#142 Posted by truckington (54 posts) -

Just to stress this again, people are upset because Ubisoft lied, not just because of the DRM itself.

They specifically said it was a one time activation, when it was not. They then went back and removed the posts saying that, then edited it and acted like nothing happened.

#143 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -
@Lobst:  Yeah the sad fact is the companies that don't bother with DRM and simple ask the torrent sites and hacker communities nicely are more effective at preventing piracy then any company that put overbearing DRM in there software.  DRM does nothing to prevent piracy all it can do is slow it down. If you get the people doing the work and hosting the stuff on your side on the other hand the stuff never gets pirated in the first place. 
#144 Posted by Beomoose (672 posts) -

What a big, wet dump by Ubi. Always-on DRM and the PC version is gimped. Why don't they just charge extra for playing it on the PC while they're at it?

#145 Posted by Fuga (206 posts) -

Well here are the links *I* visited on reddit:

#146 Posted by Skronk61 (114 posts) -

Who isn't connected to the Internet when their computer is on?

#147 Posted by Doogie2K (216 posts) -
" PC gamers have a point when it comes to fears potential servers woes could prevent them from playing, but I'm sympathetic to the profound effect piracy's had on PC gaming, and I'm hard pressed to find too many instances where someone would find themselves without a connection.
 
One ISP or router blip (which happens more often than you'd think, especially in rural areas) and you're kicked out of your single player game without saving progress. 
#148 Posted by Doogie2K (216 posts) -
@Skronk61 said:
Who isn't connected to the Internet when their computer is on?
Some people can't get broadband where they live. Shocking, I know.
#149 Posted by hermes (1349 posts) -

Correct me if I am wrong, but how is this different than the "always online" policy of Blizzard? 
They advertise it as a feature instead of a restriction, but its basically the same thing; however, no one seems to complain about it.

#150 Posted by Thule (692 posts) -

@hermes said:

Correct me if I am wrong, but how is this different than the "always online" policy of Blizzard? They advertise it as a feature instead of a restriction, but its basically the same thing; however, no one seems to complain about it.

World of Warcraft and Starcraft 2 are games in which being online is a large part(essential in WoW's case) of the game. SC2's campaign can be played offline, should you desire to do so.

From Dust is a single player game.

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