Ubisoft wants DRM to go away

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UbisoftU-Turn

Ubisoft, the company that’s saddled the PC versions of its games with some of the most draconian, unnecessary and ultimately broken DRM in the history of computer games has said it wants DRM to go away – by negating the need for it.

Instead, the company hopes to  offer more value to legitimate customers – make its games function more like MMO’s, and adding broader experiences that tie in to games themselves.

“Is it fair for someone to enjoy our content without us receiving some value for that?” Ubisoft’s digital boss Chris Early rhetorically asked Eurogamer during an interview “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?”

“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.”

While it’s nice that Ubisoft’s looking at other ways to make people buy their games instead of just pirate them, this sort of approach – with social and online interaction that likely requires a persistent internet connection  – could just end up negatively impacting single player games. Still it’s a nice change for Ubisoft, who’ve piled so many shackles on their games that many PC gamers have boycotted the company’s products.

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Last Updated: March 26, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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