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UbiSoft Ensures I Will Not Play Driver San Francisco on PC

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As I have said many times, I enjoyed my brief multiplayer romp with Driver San Fran at E3. According to this tweet from Driver’s community manager Mathieu Willem, it looks like I’ll be playing the game on the Xbox 360 or PS3 because there’s no way I will play a PC game with DRM that forces me to have a constant connection to the Internet when I want to play a game that doesn’t need one. This is despite the fact that I’m always connected to the Internet.

It’s a principle thing.

If Ubi’s going to continually assume that PC gamers are nothing but torrent downloading cretins, I’m taking my ball and going home.

Somewhere, The Witcher is chuckling.

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

24 thoughts to “UbiSoft Ensures I Will Not Play Driver San Francisco on PC”

  1. Too bad other people don’t feel the same way. I know folks out there will pirate the game just because it has DRM.

  2. I don’t understand the outrage on this. Just being connected to the internet doesn’t seem like a big deal at all.

    I have more frustration on the 360 where I have to have all 3 of our XBL tags logged into Live in order to play Rock Band because we have replaced our 360s so many times. But it doesn’t stop me from playing Rock Band.

  3. What is there to fail to understand? It’s a DRM mechanism which can lead to legitimate purchasers of content being denied access that content in certain circumstances. That’s something that is hard to pitch as a Good Thing, even if it’s unlikely to adversely affect you specifically.

  4. For me it’s several things

    1) What if I buy Driver and want to play on a machine that’s not connected to the net? I cant. Even if its a solo game. Assumning that every machine is net connected is wrong. Way wrong. And for q game im not using to play online, it’s shit that I cant do it.

    2) DRM (Star Force, whatever) slows down machines and has been known to install bogus crap on PCs that do nothing but act as intermittent spyware. I do not want this garbage on my computer and will not buy PC games that use it.

    3) I hate being treated like a crook.

    4) What happens if UbiSoft is bought by another company next year? What if I LOVE Driver and still play it three years later and UbiSoft decides to close down the authentication server? Then what? Then i’m stuck with a PC game I want to play but cant because of this nonsense. Microsoft does this all the time, in fact. The 20,000 people who play the original Halo know of what I speak.

    So, yeah, kinda a shitty deal and a shittier way to treat customers.

  5. I agree that DRM is not a good thing. But a particular game’s DRM will not keep me from playing that game if I want to play it. If Diablo 3 requires a constant internet connection for single player, I am still buying it day one. Also if you play a game on the 360 and buy DLC for it, if your 360 dies or you have more than one 360 in your home, guess what, you must be online and logged in to Live to access that DLC. To me that is way more annoying. But again, it doesn’t keep me from playing games or buying DLC on the 360.

  6. I wasn’t commenting on whether DRM as a whole is a good or bad thing. Personally I can see arguments on both sides, at least at a theoretical level. However, here we’re talking about a DRM mechanism which can lock out the purchaser, the customer whose dollars/pounds/euros are funding development of games; something which does not affect the pirate. We are talking precisely about a DRM that might keep you from playing that game.

    As for the 360 thing, you can get much of that sorted easily. You can migrate your licenses to a new console and you can do it online, without any approval mechanism, once per year per license set. Should you need to do it more often you have to call MS and talk to someone, but at least here they’re pretty helpful. I’m sure it is a pain if you’re using content on multiple consoles but you can at least ease some of your burden.

  7. While Driver isn’t something I am necessarily looking forward to, it still pains me that Ubisoft makes quite a few games I would love to play, but that stupid DRM BS is a major turn off.
    Who gave them the idea that this is good? Rupert Murdoch?

  8. I remember buying ‘dirt’ and not being able to play it on my vista machine because the anti piracy didn’t work on it (starforce I believe it was, wouldn’t recognize the disk I saw as legit).

    Something demoralizing about having to crack a game you have bought just to play it.

    And while I haven’t had a problem with ubi’s DRM (hawx, hawx2, asscreed2, brotherhood) and it certainly wont stop me from getting revelations, I still wonder what is the point? Has anyone who wanted to pirate the game been turned off pirating it because of the DRM? Have more people actually been turned off BUYING the game because of the DRM? How much did it cost to implement and continue to have such a system running? It is even justifiable? I would love to see some real numbers.

  9. Publishers and artists need a way to protect their products from being stolen. DRM isn’t bad, but the way they implement it is not the best way to do so.

    Steam, for example, does an excellent method of DRM. Just the fact that you *have to* be on the internet constantly just to play the single player mode is a ridiculous expectation. Sure every computer is probably hooked up to the internet, but just like article says, if you have a slow connection or there’s something wrong with it, you’re pretty much SOL.

  10. Yes I am aware of the 360 license migration. And I have done it in the past. But it is a huge pain in the a$$ to migrate 900+ Rock Band songs.

    Back to the UBIsoft issue. To me simply requiring an internet connection is among the least intrusive of DRM solutions. I just think people look for things to complain about sometimes.

  11. These companies are paying people to work out the best way to sell as many copies of a game as possible right?
    This sort of thing seems to only ever drive negative publicity and decrease the value of their product yet it has consistently escalated. Do the numbers add up and it sucks to be us?

  12. But they don’t want me to play it. And given my backlog of games, I have no need to pick this one up.

    I do hope that people who don’t want to buy the PC version on DRM grounds won’t turn around and buy the console version instead. That send Ubi the “PC is a bad market” signal, instead of the “DRM costs sales” signal.

  13. I guarantee 98% of the people who are going to by a Driver game don’t know and don’t care about DRM.

  14. I’m sure you are glad you don’t live in a third world country whose government is still debating on the issue of the internet and its evil while censoring whatever they please, when they please. To be more specific the government doesn’t directly do it since we haven’t had a stable government since our last coup d’état, or four/five constitutions ago, but the ministry that does it is still a government institution. Getting games legitimately is more expensive and so on and so forth here but if you add DRM in to the equation, especially one that relies on the shoddy government infrastructure (we still get electricity and internet black outs periodically and I’m in the suburbs) at that, then you might start to understand how I feel when it says I to be on the internet to play.

  15. I love made up statistics, can I play?

    99% of people wearing hats on Friday at a baseball game think you’re wrong about that.

  16. Jeff, no offense meant here, truly, but you have absolutely no clue of what you are talking about.

    If you don’t think that having DRM on a PC game affects sales in some way you’re clearly not paying attention. Do you not think a company like CDProjekt did the research before releasing Witcher 2 DRM free and making such a huge deal out of it? Think that was them just spitballing?

    This is a HUGE issue inside PC gaming circles. Feel free to keep thinking what you want and based on your comments in every other thread, that’s your M.O., but your’e dead wrong about this, fake stats aside.

  17. Don’t worry Kyle. It takes alot to offend me.

    The point I am laboring to make is that I just don’t think the general gaming public cares about DRM nearly as much as the people who post on gaming forums and listen to gaming podcasts every week. I think Witcher 2 sold well because it is a good game, (from what I hear), not because it was DRM free. Of all forms of DRM out there, simply requiring an internet connection for validation seems pretty unobtrusive to me since my computer is always online anyway. If you disagree that’s fine. But whatever the case, I am never going to let DRM influence my buying decisions one way or the other. If it is a game I want to play, I will play it.

  18. I have just noticed ubisoft are pretty much the only major publisher not charging the “you live in australia tax” on steam. Now I literally cannot vote with my wallet either way without my vote being counter to what I want as a consumer in some way.

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