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Ubi PC DRM downtime due to “server attack” [Update]

Monday, 8th March 2010 13:34 GMT By Johnny Cullen

assassinscreed26

Ubisoft’s said in a tweet that the DRM issues that’s affected titles like Assassin’s Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 for PC were down to a “server attack” last night.

Because of that, “limited service” was only available for both games between 2:30pm and 9:00pm CET.

Apologies to anyone who couldn’t play ACII or SH5 yesterday. Servers were attacked which limited service from 2:30pm to 9pm Paris time.”

Update: Ubi just issued a statement on this:

“Ubisoft would like to apologize to anyone who could not play AC2 or SH5 yesterday. Servers were attacked and while the servers did not go down, service was limited from 2:30PM to 9PM Paris time. 95% of players were not affected, but a small group of players attempting to open a game session did receive denial of service errors. All player with an open session during the attack were not affected. We also confirm that, at this time, no valid cracked version of either Silent Hunter 5 or Assassin’s Creed II are available”

Assassin’s Creed II released on Friday for PC in the UK, with it entering 14 in the UK charts released this morning.

Breaking news

35 Comments

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  1. Blerk

    Gosh, I wonder what could’ve possibly prompted such an attack? :-D

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Alakratt

    Well, it’s good that greed like this get attacked. I hope this happens again.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. mington

    i haven’t really been following these stories but when i saw the head lines, i guessed it would’ve been that

    #3 4 years ago
  4. NiceFellow

    freedom fighters for PC!

    not sure this is the right way to get the point across, but I’m finding it hard to condemn given who reprehensible the DRM is from a consumer perspective.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. endgame

    to whoever did it: u’r fucking awesome man!! if u can do it again then by all means, please don’t hold back! light those sons of a bitches up! :D

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    Owwwww… Poor little Ubishit get attacked by people who understand that this system is a nonsence.

    I think Ubisoft is lying about attack and that 5% of people have this problem so we could feel sorry for Ubisoft.

    this shit won’t work. Keep up a good work guys. Smash this piece of crap system to pieces and until Assassins Creed 2 crack will come out i will play Battlefield: Bad Company 2 multiplayer. + i have plenty of time because of Final Fantasy XIII, GOW 3, METRO 2033 and e.t.c.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    @Alakratt
    I can see why people are pissed off with DRM, but what has greed got to do with it?

    #7 4 years ago
  8. SplatteredHouse

    It reads like a piece of propaganda, does their statement. All of that “small group” headed online to express their disdain of being unable to play, and there’s the out cry explained away?

    “We also confirm that, at this time, no valid cracked version of either Silent Hunter 5 or Assassin’s Creed II are available””

    /slow claps. If that’s true or no, they’re yet their own worst enemy.
    Reading this stuff, I can’t help but feel like a neutral at a football game:- I just can’t decide who to root for!

    #8 4 years ago
  9. DeSpiritusBellum

    I guess that Stalinist thing kinda backfired. Who would’ve thunk it?

    I still think the most awesome thing you can do is just not buy Ubisoft games anymore, that’s the easiest and most effective way to destroy these incompetent payer-haters, but I can’t help but laugh at this.

    Karma-is-a-bitch.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. NGCes26294BIV

    Good to see all the PC pirates joining in the balanced discussions here on VG247.

    It’s amazing how quickly spelling, grammar, sentence structure and general coherence falls apart when an interesting discussion point is hijacked by adolescent PC gamers.

    Never really understood how piracy and cyber attacks are a justified means of disagreeing with company policy…

    #10 4 years ago
  11. OlderGamer

    Makes me wonder why anyone bothers making games for the PC anymore to begin with.

    To me it is less a matter of “US against the evil greedy man”, and more of an idea that stealing is stealing and stealing is wrong.

    DRM didn’t invent piracy. It was invented to fight piracy. So what are people saying? That they have the right to fight back against companies thay are trying to fight back against solen/lost property? To me it would be like shooting a cop, because he carries a gun. The reason cops carry guns is to fight crime/criminals in the first place.

    I am not saying that DRM is cool. But I know that hackers are NOT cool. I know that DRM wouldn’t be out there in the first place if not for the hackers to begin with.

    Hackers and thieves are going to be out there with or without DRM.

    So what can a game pub do?

    I would say if I was them, I wouldn’t publish a game on PC to begin with.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. SplatteredHouse

    10. Ask yourself, who stands to profit from exaggerations of the truth, and how any one of us would know to prove Ubisoft had made such exaggerations.
    Clearly, players want to play the game(s), but equally clearly, they disagree with the measures that Ubisoft has taken to protect itself. Next, ponder whom Ubi are hurting the most, between their own image, and the pirates? If it would be affecting the pirates, only them, then I’d imagine it’d be business as usual in the world of games.

    Ubisoft are just expecting people to bear with them, when they disable purchased games? They ask too much to request support, when the PAYING PLAYERS are the ones that are getting the rawest deal, the people that actually bothered to pay, having no part of the actions of the freeloaders. Explain how that’s fine.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. DeSpiritusBellum

    @10 I’d say it’s far worse to start typing when all you have to add is some inane banter about grammar and spelling, as if that has anything to do with cultivating a constructive “discussion” (in a comment section) at all. Not to mention the whole adolescent accusation, which is really nothing but a cheap and unintelligent stab at incitement.

    You’re also assuming that every person who is disgusted by a publisher who tries to bind you to their servers, simply in order to get you what you paid for, loves pirates. You don’t consider that some semblance of a leap?

    So if you aren’t with Uncle Stalin, that means you love Hitler? Fat chance, buddy.

    I’m pretty sure most dedicated gamers support pirates as little as they support grumpy, despotic games publishers. Both certainly do what they can to cripple the industry, even if they claim the opposite.

    Have you considered a job at Ubisoft though? I’m pretty sure they could use a friendly face right about now.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Alakratt

    @7

    Because in fear of loosing money, ’cause of piracy and stuff, anyway, just plain insecurity in their product. If they had faith in their product they would just use a serial code for activation. AC2 really was amazing IMO, but requiring a person to be online to play a SINGLE PLAYER game is just stupid. This game would’ve sold alot anyways, this wasn’t necessary. What Ubi has failed to realize is that even though piracy in PC is high, games on PC don’t sell like they use to. UBI admit it and learn to live with it!

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Freek

    Earlier reports here and on Kotaku talked about the game no longer working at all. And Ubisoft apologizing for that fact. Now they claim only 5% and that SH5 isn’t cracked, when infact it is?
    Smells like more spin.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. DrDamn

    Fear of losing money you are entitled to is not greed though is it? They aren’t trying to make more money than they *should* by using DRM.

    We are living much more in a connected world these days, a requirement to be connected to the internet to play a single player game is a little annoying yes, but in the grander scheme of things – and if it helped keep the industry going in some way – then isn’t it a price worth paying? At the very least it’s not something worth getting so worked up about – unless of course you are pissed that you can’t get the game for free as you expected.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Freek

    Negativly effecting your paying customers by treating them like potential criminals while they actual pirates can play the games is not the path to a healthier more profitable industry.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. OlderGamer

    @12

    There is far more to it then that.

    First off:

    “Clearly, players want to play the game(s), but equally clearly, they disagree with the measures that Ubisoft has taken to protect itself.”

    And clearly, many players diagree with paying for their copies of said game too.

    “Next, ponder whom Ubi are hurting the most, between their own image, and the pirates?”

    UBI didn’t cause this, Pirates did.

    “If it would be affecting the pirates, only them, then I’d imagine it’d be business as usual in the world of games.”

    This is business as usual in the world of (PC) games. There is no way, as of yet, to my knowledge, to target just pirates. Torrents get shut down, and ten new ones take the place.

    Look, even good natured, game buying players, won’t turn down a free game. I believe that is left alone torrents would run wild. I believe that most PC players would chose to get their games from a free download instead of paying for it.

    Where I do disagree with many game pubs notions is that every pirated copy = one lost sale. I feel that many of the people that torrents do so as if the game was a demo download. Not that they intend to buy the game, but more that they never intended to buy the game DRM or torrent be damn. Just because someone downloads a free version of your game, doesn’t mean that same person would pay you for it if they could not have downloaded it for free to begin with.

    But that is corpate logoc, it is flawed to hell and back. Also just as flawed is the idea that because of DRM you or anyone else has the right to pirate a game.

    Game pirates are not Robin of Locksley. They are simple thieves. It really is that simple. I don’t like DRM, I don’t like torrents.

    I play on a console, for those and other reasons.

    I really have to question if the sales on PC justify the efforts of game pubs.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Alakratt

    @16

    Ok, let me get ready for this. Ok, I’m not a PC gamer, I tried, but to me, it’s an investment having to upgrade your PC to keep up with new requirements. I support piracy when companies take stupid measures to ensure that people are buying their games. Someone needs to set these companies straight when they get out of hand and hit’em where it hurts…and that’s money. I don’t agree with having a connection always on just to play a SINGLE PLAYER game, you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. But I think it’s stupid and I am so glad that this happened. This gen, I’m playing on a PS3, and ALL of my games are bought. I admit, I use piracy to determine if something is shit and I should buy it or not.

    So if any of the pirates/attackers are reading this: DO IT AGAIN!! PIRATE THE SHIT OUT THOSE GAMES! AND ATTACK THOSE STUPID DRM SERVERS UNTIL UBI GIVE UP!!

    PC is dead and console is the future, so just quit developing for the PC please.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. NGCes26294BIV

    @13

    Thanks for the nitpicking reply, but aren’t you just exacerbating the issue by commenting on my ‘cheap and unintelligent stab at incitement’? Surely it would be more potent to ignore me entirely. No?

    And I assume you know what a generalisation is. I could, if you prefer, state what I think of each and every post and/or poster in this thread, but for the sake of our sanity (and time) I thought it better to generalise based on the overall ‘feel’ of the posts thus far. Please disagree if you feel the following is neither adolescent (by which I mean immature, not young) or inciting/advocating piracy…

    - to whoever did it: u’r fucking awesome man!! light those sons of a bitches up!

    - Owwwww… Poor little Ubishit

    - Smash this piece of crap system to pieces and until Assassins Creed 2 crack will come out i will play Battlefield

    Right. Anyway.

    “You’re also assuming that every person who is disgusted by a publisher who tries to bind you to their servers, simply in order to get you what you paid for, loves pirates.”

    No, I’m not. I’m saying that if you don’t understand WHY they’re binding you to their servers (Like Valve did for Half Life 2, I might add) then I suggest you do some research into what piracy is and how it works. And if after that you can still be ‘dusgusted’ with a publisher for doing so, but you provide/suggest no cost-effective, piracy-proof alternative, then how on earth is anyone meant to take you seriously?

    #20 4 years ago
  21. DrDamn

    @Alakratt
    Ok fair enough. I think this sort of action and some of the responses on here are like cheering another nail in your own coffin. Seems you want control of the hammer to speed things up :)

    #21 4 years ago
  22. skuphundaku

    This sums up pretty thoroughly the situation: http://img202.imageshack.us/i/5231267701872847.gif/

    #22 4 years ago
  23. xokero

    more info http://www.clandragonrojo.es/estimulando-la-pirateria

    #23 4 years ago
  24. vincentw00t

    I posted this rant on a similar topic last week but its comments had died down. Figured I might as well post it again…

    I’m getting so sick of this quasi-righteous attitude to circumventing DRM and piracy. I think you’d be a fool to argue that piracy isn’t a pretty serious issue for companies producing digital media. You only need to look at all the spods who measure self-worth in gigabytes—they’ve download the WHOLE Beatles back catalogue, but I doubt they could hum you the chorus of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. “Hey, have you downloaded the latest episode of Family Guy/American Dad/South Park?” his friend asks. “Fuck you!” he replies, “Hahahahahaha, I have made a funny joke like they made on that latest episode of Family Guy/American Dad/South Park that you just asked me about! Also, of course I downloaded it—it’s my duty/right as an American/Englishman/Citizen of Earth”

    It’s easy to think of the studios and the companies that put this stuff out there as some faceless evil who want nothing more than to whittle down your rights to access their work to the tiniest possible sliver while charging you out the arse for it. And this is probably somewhere between a bit true and quite true. Companies—by their very natures—tend not to have faces and it’s a well known fact that they love money and hate you. The argument that companies needn’t waste their time on developing and deploying DRM strategies because the kind of people that would pirate the media rather than paying for it will find a way round it is logically circular; company suffers as a result of piracy, company employs DRM, DRM is circumvented and the company suffers as a result of piracy, the company employs new DRM, Orr would be crazy to fly more missions!

    There seems to be this prevalent notion that it’s more justifiable to pirate media if the people that own and made that media EXPECT YOU TO PAY FOR IT and try to give you no choice other than TO PAY FOR IT. The bastards. Like somehow taking a stand against the fact the company invested time and money into developing DRMs is somehow going to make them lay down arms and accept that—no matter what they do—people will always steal that stuff what they done! Like somehow exacerbating the situation will make it all better. Like fuel on a fire. Like red to a bull. Like another tired cliché.

    There’s certainly some stuff not to like about Ubisoft’s new DRM model; the introduction of an unwanted and prohibitive barrier to how and when the game can be played. But as I understand it, this model also provides some advantages: multiple installs on multiple machines, disk not required to play, saved data stored on a cloud somewhere. It’s by no means perfect—and arguably the drawbacks outweigh the benefits—but I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction. We’ve got DRM now and it’s an evil we brought on ourselves—you guys saw what happened to Sodom when they got out of hand, right? I’d much rather see a company taking steps to make owning a legitimate copy of their work a boon rather than an inconvenience (The unskippable frustration: You wouldn’t steal a handbag). I think maybe Ubisoft’s model is a misstep, but at least it’s on the right road.

    To summarise: I don’t really have a problem—per se—with piracy, I’d just rather that people didn’t act like they were hulking, bare-chested, freedom-fighting liberators when they did it.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. SplatteredHouse

    I’m done with this, for now.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. DarkElfa

    Is this supposed to be something that shows the benefit to unpirated media?

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Michael O’Connor

    If NGCes26294BIV isn’t Shatner, I’ll eat my hat.

    On the topic at hand: I’m not going to justify piracy in the slightest. I don’t partake in it. Never have.

    That doesn’t change the fact that Ubisoft’s current system is archaic and retarded. I commend whoever made this attack to show Ubisoft how utterly draconian this DRM system is and just how deeply it can impact the consumer.

    A valid consumer should *not* have to deal with this kind of barbaric shackling just to enjoy their games, and it proves just how fucked over the consumer is in these circumstances. What if the servers ever go down for good? The *consumer* loses the ability to play something they legitimately purchased.

    Ubisoft are getting what they deserve. I hope these attacks continue just so that Ubisoft reconsider their position.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. blackdreamhunk

    the only ubisoft has to say is sorry when you can’t play your game you bought.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Michael O’Connor

    I simply voted with my wallet and didn’t buy it.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. blackdreamhunk

    here is the kicker the costs about $60 and you can’t even play it

    what a joke!

    I can go buy a for $20 have better graphics and game play valure than AC2

    #30 4 years ago
  31. MushroomStamp

    BTW, Assassin’s 2 has already been cracked.. it came out on Saturday… I commend them for trying, but they will never ever ever be successful in trumping piracy. Man can make it.. Man can break it.

    Btw, Some of you are pretty confused or naive by saying pirating is a PC thing. Consoles games are also pirated.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. revolting

    I love that everyone is getting so bent out of shape about a comparatively brief downtime for a single player game as if the gall of such a travesty has never before been witnessed by paying customers. This in the wake of the ApocalyPS3 on Heavy Rain launch weekend, during which paying customers could not play, you guessed it, a single player game due to connectivity issues. At least Ubi didn’t have to warn the entire universe to not dare turn on their machine at all for anything whatsoever, unless they wish risk having it launch shards of fractured leap-year calendars into their eyes, as with Sony’s rapidly swept under the carpet and conveniently forgotten about shambles. MMOs have to deal with server downtime and unhappy customers all the time, but, of course, AC2 isn’t an MMO, world of differece there.

    DRM is a pain in the arse, yes, but it’s an necessary evil, like driver’s licenses, and foreplay. This is hardly a new occurance, it’s been tackled time and time again for twenty odd years, and they’ve yet to get it right. During that time, we’ve seen many variations on the theme, and as intrusive and awkward as this one might seem, it’s hardly the worst we’ve ever seen. It pales in nefariousness when held up alongside the likes of code wheels and and hidden cyphers buried deep within the forgotten recesses of often lost or discarded manuals that dominated the floppy disk years. No game devised yet beats Shadow of the Comet when it comes to awkward piracy prevention; you had a little card box with illegible scrawl printed all over the inside. One of the faces of the box had a special lens attached to it which you had to use to decypher the mess within each time you wanted to play. It was like trying to crack the lament configuration or something equally quite literally soul destroying.

    But at the time, such horrors were seen as the best and most acceptable option. If I’d known a decade ago that such horrors would soon be behind me, and all I’d have to do would be log on to the internet, I’d have been giddy with joy. A necessary evil made so much less insanity-inducing.

    The only justification there is for not wanting to participate in this particular flavour of DRM is the net connection issue; Ubi is assuming that everyone who plays the game has an always-on, unlimited supply of internets. While this may be a given for an MMO, it’s certainly not the case for all gamers; some unfortunates are still on dial-up, hence why they play single player games to start with.

    But not even that does not alter the unchangable fact that it all boils down to; if you didn’t pay for it, it’s not yours. The end. If you don’t like it, don’t participate; you have every right to boycott the product. You do NOT have every right to enjoy a product without owning it.

    And while it might suck that those without an intravenous net-pipe can’t play the game, hey, that does suck, but that’s life. Not all gamers are created equal, unfortunately. I’d love to play Epic Mickey, but will never own a Wii, so too bad for me.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. skuphundaku

    @revolting
    Get off your high horse with “if you didn’t pay for it, it’s not yours”. The crux of the matter is that even if you paid for it, the DRM makes it so that it’s still not yours. The Internet connection is down – no game, the servers are down – no game. When someone else has so much power over something that you supposedly own, then you should start asking yourself whether you actually do own that thing.

    Also, the outrageous part is that this is a completely artificial and arbitrary limitation, unlike your inability to play Epic Mickey. In the Epic Mickey case, you need some physical object in order to play (the Wii) and there’s no way around that. In this case, the game would have worked (even better than it does) without the DRM. Your comparison is fallacious and this kind of fallacies are exploited by companies like UbiSoft to (falsely) claim moral high-ground.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. revolting

    Oh, don’t be so utterly absurd.

    In the real world, paid services experience disruption all the time. It happens every single day in every single business sector. Power cuts, Sky signals failing, buses not turning up… if this is honestly the first or worst time you’ve experienced paying for a product and then encountered disruption to the service you are owed, you have lived a very sheltered and blessed life of which we should all be most envious. I heartily recommend you never book a flight with British Airways, never send a package through the Royal Mail, never set foot on a train anywhere near Britain, never place a long distance call on a British Telecom line, never try to use an Orange or O2 mobile phone in the countryside, or never order food from a restaurant where meals are served by actual human beings; if you do any of these things, you will inevitably end up paying (a lot of) money for a service and not have it provided. It’s a fact of life and it happens constantly. Shit happens and paid services break down. Prepare to be disappointed and outraged, a lot. Things break and paying customers are let down, day in, day out. It’s not the end of the world.

    And when it does happen, it’s up to the supplier to fix it ASAP… which in this case, Ubisoft appear to have done in a couple of hours, comparatively quickly. If this was a First Great Western train, we’d all still be asleep on the platform. Certainly not even comparable to, say, the massive delay experienced by Haiti survivors after we paid bajillions to get the relief effort moving their way. You’re fighting the good fight in demanding your owed goods with a vengeance, but when it comes to consumer rights, there are bigger and more important things in the grand scheme of things than a mere couple of hours in a video game, and this doesn’t even come close to being the atrocity many are bemoaning.

    I didn’t say this DRM was good, but it exists, and no amount of self-righteous indignation will change that. Ubi thought it had an amazing idea, and it proved to be not so amazing in practice. It happens. Like it or not, it’s part of the product the consumer agrees to when they purchase the game, like it or leave it. Personally I didn’t like it, myself, so I got the game in question on xbox, which ironically is always online anyway, so more fool me.

    More to the point, unfortunately, if you buy the game on PC, you agree to use the DRM system that enables it, and all that that implies. It’s unforunate that there’s all this talk of “yeah, stick it to the man!” and “Haha I’m not paying, I’m downloading, that’ll show’em!”. If people REALLY wanted to stand up to Ubi’s DRM and show them what for, a complete, 100% boycott with nobody anywhere playing legitimately or otherwise would have so much more of an impact on the suits than any amount of piracy championing.

    But that’ll never happen, because it’s a decent game hampered by an ill-advised service that many hundreds of thousands of people are ready, willing and able to put up with and enjoy participating in.

    Regarding the supposed “right” to play if you don’t have a net connection; it does mention this as a requirement on the box, yes? If it does, single player or otherwise, nobody can claim they didn’t know any more than if it were an MMO under scrutiny, or if they didn’t pay attention to any other system requirement they can’t meet. And if it doesn’t clearly state the required net connection, THEN you have a consumer rights case. But only then.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Michael O’Connor

    They’re under attack… again.

    Ahahahaha…

    #35 4 years ago