Ubisoft feels the need for DRM will disappear with enough added value

Friday, 23rd March 2012 12:59 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Ubisoft has said it wants to offer enough value to PC gamers that the need for DRM eventually “goes away”, and to do this, the firm’s digital boss Chris Early said a system similar to MMOs needs to be set in place.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Early said: “Is it fair for someone to enjoy our content without us receiving some value for that? I think at the core of that is, no. Otherwise, other than works of charity, there would be few games made. The balance, however, is, how do we do anything about that and not harm the person who is giving us value for that?

“That’s been the delicate balance that the industry has walked over time. It continues to be one that we grapple with as an industry. How do we create content and receive good value for that, and at the same time, not inconvenience the player who has given us value there?”

Early feels some will still pirate, but those who want a broader experience won’t.

“The question is, with enough on-going content development, content release, engagement at the community level, can we create that kind of MMO value system,” he mused. “I think we can. As the rest of the game industry continues to evolve, the more you hear more about cloud gaming, the more you hear about companion gaming, the less a pirated game should work in all of that environment.

“So, therefore the value of that pirated content becomes less. Will some people still pirate? Yeah, they will. Will the person who really wants that broad experience pirate? We hope not.”



  1. Christopher Jack

    I’d rather a one time activation through the internet via a service like Steam than always online fucking DRM bullshit, fuck off. The only time I’d want to play a game exclusively online is if it were an exclusively online game. No idea whether or not any of their games still require internet access 24/7 to play but that’s a fucking ludicrous idea for anything but multiplayer.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    It’s incredible that Yin-Poole just lets him get away with that. Ever heard of a follow-up?

    He’s basically just holding the mic while the guy succesfully misdirects and derails every question.

    And it’s a simple question: Has the severe approach to DRM at Ubisoft earned them a single sale?

    Their earnings reports say they’ve lost more than half their business on the PC after its introduction. Making him say “Yes” would leave him digging his own hole, and making him say “No” would leave you with a huge story right off the bat. Either way, that’s an article actually worth printing. Instead, it’s just pointless PR chatter.

    He even gets away with sharing the blame with the rest of the industry. You’re the only people using that DRM, Ubisoft. And before that, it was Starforce. You’ve let your paranoia devalue your games for more than a decade.

    Take some fucking responsibility :P

    #2 3 years ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    A delicate balance that Ubisoft has piled on to the wrong side of at almost every turn.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. endgame

    And I feel the Ubisoft DRM in particular will disappear if you download their games from pirates. There. Problem solved. :D

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Christopher Jack

    I find too much intrusion in today’s games & not just DRM but shoddy & unwanted online features like Rockstar’s Social Club for L.A. Noire, I don’t want/need/care for it so why was I forced to download it? L.A. Noire isn’t ever working & one of the many issues with others was that it needed .net 3.5 while every other modern service uses 4.0, turned out not to be my problem but that still leaves a lot of pointless troubleshooting to do before its fixed & people like Erthazus wonder why people prefer console gaming.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. thesamy

    i love cookies

    #6 3 years ago
  7. lama

    anyone remember this story?

    some people will never learn, sad but true!

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DSB

    @7 Wow, I thought I was the only one who bothered to look that up. Great link man.

    According to their annual reports, business isn’t down 90%, but 60% after introducing Online Services Platform. That’s still absolutely abysmal.

    In comparison, EA are down 4% over the same period, and Activision are up 200%. EA were still making more on every PC release than on either of the consoles, so it’s safe to say that Ubisoft are fucking themselves over quite severely.

    Using the Maginot line as the header image. Priceless.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Old MacDonald

    The problem with this approach is that if they design their games as services with added value, it almost always hurts the single player experience.

    Mass Effect 3 and the “forced multiplayer” is a good example. I don’t think this is what gamers want. At least I’d much rather have a game DRM-ed up the wazoo than have all sorts of social and online elements messing up my single player game.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DSB

    @9 That totally depends on how they do it. The time where games didn’t depend on an internet connection is dying, if not dead.

    It doesn’t mean we can’t demand the best possible service, and stick to our guns, but looking at something like The Witcher 2, the fact that they haven’t fucked themselves over with DRM and the fact that they focus on good faith digital distribution, means they’re actually adding a hell of a lot of value for no cost, and little in terms of inconvenience.

    Naturally that’s not something most publishers are willing to follow, but personally I’m a quid pro quo sort of person. I don’t mind socking some things up if it means I’m compensated for that inconvenience (like balancing DRM by adding a great service).

    That’s good faith business, something for something.

    The biggest problem I see, is that a lot of publishers are acting in bad faith, and expecting gamers to accomodate them, instead of working on their products and services.

    #10 3 years ago

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