Monday, March 01, 2010

Ubisoft: Suicide By Cop

I mentioned the new Ubisoft DRM method a few weeks ago, asking questions about certain parts of their statement that seemed a bit vague.

Well, it's not vague anymore.

PC Gamer's Tom Francis (thanks all of you who sent this in) received review copies of Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII, verified with Ubisoft that the DRM is the same as the boxed product, and here's what you get, even in single-player mode:
If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected.

I'm not going to get all outraged about this. I'm just not going to buy anything from Ubisoft.

Oh, wait, I guess that's outraged, huh?

This is pretty simple for me. If a game comes out and I can't play in single-player mode offline, then I'm not buying the game. There are lots and lots and LOTS of ass-kicking games out right now, and this takes Ubisoft below the cut line.

Both Assassin's Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction are priced at $60 for the PC version, according to EB.

For $60, I have lots of choices.

I could buy three or four (or ten) indie games that are more creative than Ubisoft's $60 game. I could send Tarn Adams $20 to further the development of Dwarf Fortress and still have money to buy a few games. Hell, I could almost buy somebody's entire catalog for $60 on Steam during a sale (which I can play offline, thanks very much). So why would would I reward The Iron Horses Of Douchebag for making it as as inconvenient and annoying to play their games as possible?

I wouldn't.

Seriously, Ubisoft, do you think anybody gives two shits about your games? You have a few interesting, uneven franchises, but now you've successfully pissed us all off to the point where we don't care.

Ubisoft is denying this, but here's what I strongly believe is happening: suicide by cop. That's the term for a criminal who wants to die but doesn't want to commit suicide, so they put themselves in a situation where a policeman will do it for them.

It's hard to imagine PC sales for any of their games now being anything but totally dismal, and that will give them all the justification they need to stop developing for the PC. Good riddance.

If you're thinking that I'm philosophically opposed to copy protection, that's not correct. What I'm opposed to, though, is spending $60 on a product and then being forced to verify every single second  I use the product that I didn't steal it.

I'll still spend that $60. I'll just spend it somewhere else.

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