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Ubisoft DRM lowballs customers

March 8, 2010

The controversy behind digital rights management is sparking up again after a mass failure of Ubisoft’s system leaves paying customers locked out of their properly purchased games.

Over the weekend, players of Assassin’s Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 could not play the games at all, a problem which was posted on several times on Ubisoft’s community forums.

A representative from the company confirmed these problems by saying, “Due to exceptional demand, we are currently experiencing difficulties with the Online Service Platform…We are currently working to resolve this issue and apologize for any inconvenience.”

All the while, the people the software is supposed to be stopping are playing it with no problems whatsoever.

Ubisoft’s near-draconian system requires that users must maintain a constant internet connection to be able to actually play their games, whether it has an online mode or not. However, pirates have quickly bypassed that system and can play the game freely, but at the cost of having to stay offline entirely.

However, even if users do have a constant internet connection, the server must also remain up, which Ubisoft alleges was the problem due to a denial of service attack on its servers for the problems experienced by gamers over the weekend.

Although any time a DRM system is shown to be flawed is a good thing in demonstrating the importance of a paying customer’s right to usage, it still doesn’t mean piracy is great. This causes the industry to lose money and smaller developers to shut down or larger ones to lose interest in developing titles for a platform.

However, let’s hope this sends a strong message to Ubisoft to rethink their usage strategy.

[Thanks to Edge Online]

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