Thursday, April 08, 2010

How Important?

Don't worry, this isn't a rant about Ubisoft DRM. Yes, it's about Ubisoft DRM, nominally, but it's about more than that.

It's about conviction.

Eurogamer reported Wednesday that the DRM issues with Settlers 7 (difficulty establishing and maintaining the required connection with Ubi servers) are still not "completely resolved."

The game shipped nearly two weeks ago.

Here's a quote from Ubisoft:
Our technical teams have made progress but we are not yet able to say that the issue is completely resolved.

So this has morphed from "measured inconvenience" to "inconvenience without boundary," and I've got to think that's a disaster for Ubisoft.

Here's what seems particularly interesting, though: even after an absolute public relations ass-blasting in regards to their use of this "constant connection" DRM, they're still forging ahead. Well, forging, anyway.

To me, that indicates that Ubisoft is absolutely convinced that piracy rates are so high that even losing a significant portion of PC sales due to the DRM method will be more than recouped by pirates buying the game because they can't crack it.

That's the question, really--who constitutes the larger group? Is it pissed off customers who won't buy because of the DRM, or pirates who WILL buy because of the DRM?

It's hard for me to make the leap to pirates buying games they can't crack, unless the game was so huge and so necessary that everyone was playing it. Ubisoft isn't making Modern Warfare, though.

At first, I thought this was just another example (one of many) of us getting screwed. As it turns out, though, it's more interesting from the standpoint of Ubisoft so strongly believing they're right that either
1) they really are right, or
2) their congitive dissonance is so high that they can't see their mistake

Either way, I'm making some popcorn, because this just keeps getting better.

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