In an expansive interview on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Ubisoft’s director for online games, Stephanie Perotti revealed that the much-maligned (justly so) always-on DRM used by the company is no more. She told RPS:
We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline.
This is very good news for all of us who want to play Ubisoft’s PC titles. The rest of the interview is well worth a read with details on piracy rates, DRM and how the company treat PC releases of their big franchises. Read it now.
Football Manager 2012 Beats The Pirates – Sells Well
Miles Jacobson, boss of Football Manager 2012 developers Sports Interactive has been talking to Eurogamer about the success of using Steam authentication for their latest title. The headline messages from Mile’s are that the games wasn’t cracked for pirates until 10 days after release and that Sports Interactive have seen double-digit year-on-year growth for the series. …
Phill: Own Gears of War? Not any more: The exe files for Gears of War have expired today. That means that without hacking the date and time of your computer, you cannot play Gears of War on your PC from today, until Epic release the (inevitable) patch. Similarly, the setup.exe goes dead on the 22nd of February. So, as Stalin says below, when you bought the PC version of Gears of War, you were essentially buying a demo, only it’s much, much worse than something like an issue with reinstalls and the like, just because it utterly destroys any futureproofing you thought your game had. Hell, I still play games from 10 years ago; surely something that’s only a year or two old should last a little longer?
While Cliffy ‘PC is full of pirates, Dude Huge, I invented chainsaws on guns, Clifford’ B has made faux pas in the past in relation to Epic’s relationship with the PC audience, this really is a big kick in the teeth. Even when it gets fixed, the intention will still be there that they didn’t think people would want to play their game pretty soon after it was released. That shows a disregard for both their product and their audience. Astonishing, really.
Greg: Epic just cannot get it right can they? Or do they even want to? They create a multi-million dollar franchise, and seem to be determined to keep it from the grubby mits of PC Gamers. Even when they actually give us the game, we’re only allowed to play it for a little while according to beleagured gamers on the Epic forums. We can play it – but only when Cliffy B gives us his good graces to do so. Maybe they even consider the PC version a demo – you can play it for so long. Then you have to buy a 360.
The long catalogue of PC Gamer baiting measures by Epic just don’t seem to end do they? We made Epic. Unreal. Unreal Tournament. Unreal Tournament 2003/4. We bought them by the bucketload, and now what? Tossed aside while Billy G flashes with nipple tassles with Dollar Bills attached to the ends.
I’m sure they’ll release a patch re-enabling it. But how many people in the time it takes for it to release are going to download hacked ones? And what’s the point? Those who already pirated it won’t have this issue? They’ve already got the game. It’s only those who bought it who are going to wake up to find their game not running. This is by far, the stupidist move in Epic’s increasingly long history of screwing the PC Gamer over, whether intentional or not.
Congratulations Cliffy. You’ve given us and a thousand other sites another reason to display that oh-so-flattering pic with the Gear Gun again. Bask in it mate. Bask in it.
Chris: I have tried this out myself, and through the following images you can see that what is happening over on the Epic Games forums can be reproduced. This was a totally new install of Gears of War, and issues such as this are totally unacceptable. Epic have made a big blunder here, if they don’t take action soon then this will escalate further and further.
Check out the message I got when i tried to load the game, and the message you get when looking at the certificate for WarGame-G4WLive:
Cliff Harris, more commonly known as Cliffski or Cliff is the person behind one man indie game studio Positech famous for such games as Kudos 2 and Democracy 2 amongst many others. I recently got the chance to quizz Cliff on his games, life as an indie game developer. We also talked about that ever controversial issue of Piracy and DRM.