No DRM for Prince of Persia… What’s Up With That?

The just-released PC version of Prince of Persia is free of DRM software, an increasingly rare circumstance in today’s paranoid game publishing climate.

As Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica notes, PoP publisher Ubisoft has burned its customers badly in the past with flawed DRM implementations:

Assassin’s Creed suffered from a shoddy PC port, and the game constantly tried to authenticate online, causing problems for players who bought the game. "The address is random local, 3 attempts every 75 seconds, registering to Ubisoft in Ontario. DRM messing with honest patrons again… as long as the game is running it will keep hammering away at that address," one forum member wrote. Gamers often had to shut off their Internet connection to play the game. 

So, what’s up with the DRM-free PoP? Is it a holiday gift to consumers, or, as Kuchera suggests, a ready-made "we told you so" when the game is inevitably pirated:

Ubisoft has given itself an out whenever they’re taken to task over DRM in the future. "We tried removing it, and we lost money!" will be an easy answer from now on. The remarks from the Community Manager already sound surly and antagonistic, as if the company is simply waiting to get ripped off to prove its own point

Ubisoft could let the pirates do their thing and remove the DRM without framing it as a challenge to the community—rarely is a pirated copy a lost sale—but that’s asking a lot from an industry that continues to see its customers as guilty until proven innocent.

We note that Prince of Persia is getting good reviews. MetaCritic currently has the PC version of the game rated at 86/100.

GP: Noting that a game has no DRM and then getting suspicious of the publisher’s motives is, admittedly, a bit like finding a $20 bill and worrying that it’s counterfeit. Still, that’s what the current DRM controversy has come to. I can’t fault Ubi for releasing a DRM-free PoP and I can’t fault Ben for his suspicions, either.

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  1. Afirejar says:

    And some speculative damage over time of that guy’s drive, which happens to be an expensive Bluray writer, can be linked to Spore. And yet if some politician were to blame video games you’d still cry about all the scapegoating going on.

  2. Kendra Kirai says:

    That’s something else indeed, actually, that I forgot….it’s a PC port of what is clearly designed as a console platformer. The sales figures are going to be crap anyhow.  Everyone who’d be interested in it almost certainly already has at least one of the consoles it’s on.  I’m betting that a good fraction of the people who download the PC version are going to be people who can’t get it any other way…for example, they’re not in North America and have a months-long wait if their region is going to get it at all.


    Then there’s the fact, as the previous poster said, it’s at the end of a major season for hot games…released at the very beginning of the end-of-the-year lull after everybody’s spent their gaming budget.


    Just for good measure, they might even drop in, not just the global downloads for PC Prince of Persia, the ones for the console versions as well.


    For the record, Fallout 3’s DRM is…a little bit annoying.  If you use a virtual CD program at all, it won’t let you use the launcher, which is required to load extra data files, get into the more important video settings, and so forth. It doesn’t care if the actual disc is in your actual DVD drive…if it detects any virtual drives, it’ll spit an error message.


    And no, piracy is NOT the only use for virtual drive software.

  3. Flowerbed says:

    that is an interesting question. I’d imagine if you contacted the publisher/dev, and had some irrifutable proof your legal copy of the game had perished due to old age, they’d sort you out. Or maybe i’m just niave (spell?)


    I was only mildly interested in this New Prince Of Persia title (i enjoyed the last trilogy), but now thanks to this lack of DRM i’m relatively keen to support it (not that i’ve had noticeable trouble with drm in the past, still not stoked about it though).


    Although, every review i’ve read basically states that the game is so dumbed-down that it practically plays itself, so on the other hand i’m not interested in playing a glorified casual game.

    hmmm…. and i was originally gonna get it on the consoles….This is an odd situation. Now i know where Doopydoo22 is coming from. Heck, maybe i’ll just get it coz i like the art direction.


    I’m also worried that the fact that this game has been released at the very end of an INCREDIBLE season for gaming, people would have already spent their gaming budgets on earlier titles. i know i’m struggling to fit the last few titles in, i cant be the only one.

  4. GoodRobotUs says:

    Here’s a hypothetical question:

    Considering that CD’s like all other things, age over time and can become unreadable, and considering that I have, according to the Software companies, purchased a license to play the game, not the CD’s themselves, then doesn’t that mean that, if I own a game and the CD’s have degraded through use over the last decade to the point where they cannot be read properly any more, the right to download the game again? After all, I still own the license, even if the CD’s themselves have degraded?

  5. GoodRobotUs says:

    It does make interesting reading, I already knew that sites like Pirate Bay were far from non-profit organisations, and were probably lying about their income, but it’s still a very good neutral view of the whole DRM fiasco.

    As I said earlier, my biggest gripe is the ‘remove/replace’ disc routine that seems to need going through reguarly to get the system to accept that a game I paid for is actually legal, especially when I consider that Pirates don’t have to put up with it.

    DRM doesn’t make life harder for the Pirates, only for the legitimate customers, pirates just strip it out or de-activate it and it’s no longer a problem, yet I have to go through this routine whenever I want to play my game.

  6. Joran says:

    I just moved to a new gaming rig.  I installed steam, waited a couple hours, and tada, all my games are on my new computer.  Didn’t need to find the CD keys, didn’t need to find discs; it was very convenient.

  7. Flowerbed says:


    Wow, that piracy article Jahkaivah linked to was INCREDIBLE! i implore all of you to read it, please.


    Really nice find there, well done. Changed my view point of DRM completely….


    here it is again if you are too lazy to look for his/her original post (which is only a few posts above mine anyway)


    Makes me wish everyone in the industry and pirate bay would read it too.

  8. zel says:

    For the record, dongles aren’t hack-proof. The exe can be edited to remove the check for a dongle or an emulator could be made to act like the dongle and you just run it before you run the software that requires it.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  9. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Illicit copies are just a part of business, its almost a normal function of human society. IMO there is little you can do with no profit illicit copies and the programs that circumvent them because the mainstream will ignore them thus whatever harm is done is mitigated to the fringes of paying consumers.

    Now in 20ish years or more when we have something akin to net police with the ability to properly track data and lean fines against internet consumers thats when things will change and the wild west of the net will become more tame.
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  10. NovaBlack says:

    even if the phonecall lasts less than 5 minutes.. why should i have to pay a premium rate number (EAs is overa  dollar a minute) to prove to somebody i have bought the game legit?

    and then wait up to TEN DAYS (yes 10 days with my mass effect experience) for it to be reactivated?

    so.. which part of this is ‘ranting’ and ‘only exists in my mind’ because im pretty sure (unless i was on hallucinagenic medication.. which i was not) that this all happened.

  11. NovaBlack says:

    im pretty sure that they will be suprised and find that the game was pirated no more than those games WITH DRM.

    look at world of GOO .. 90% piracy DRM, BUT the developers themselves said even after analysing the figures, that DRM is pointless, as another game they released WITH DRM, (i think the game was ‘ricochet’), had almost exactly the same % of pirated copies. In their opinion this shows how DRM has no effect.

  12. rma2110 says:

        I think publishers should reward legitimate buyers instead of punishing them to get at the pirates. Give legitimate buyers some free DLC, a nifty map, or a just downlaodable music or wallpapers from the game. All a legitimate user has to do is register with a code. Firts time buyer only. Buy used and you forego the little extra nick knacks. Simple right? I love dthe little paper hat that came with Order Up and the map that came with Oblivion.

       I hate to say this, bt SecuRom does nothing but piss pff legitimate buyer and put some off buying completely. I recently moves to consoles because of this. The pirates already know how to crack securom and any new system only has to be cracked once. After that any game that uses the new system will be cracked on day one.

       If SecuRom or Starforce lessened pirating then I would be all for it, but I doen’t think it does. Pitares just laugh at the same old lock that they know how to break. Maybe what we need is an indeendent game authentication authority. One place that autenticates any and all PC games. They would keep track of your purchases and keep track of the number of times you install and uninstall each game.

    No internet, then the friendly guy at the store will give a code that you will need to install the game. Maybe a phone call? All I am saying is find a better solution than this SecuRom crap. So far what I have seen has only made me spend my new gaming PC money on an HD TV, a Wii, and a 360.

  13. turdevo says:

    though really, you should be weary in general about using your school e-mail since you should be aware the e-mail will only exist while you are in school…

    was not me who told it was a school e-mail – it was my ex-provider account but anyway this not change the point

    The damn point is that I require a fucking activation – what the hell is good for? may I download my damn legitimate purchased game and play with it, maybe burn in a DVD and reinstall it without hassle the next time I buy a new PC or just format my hard drive??? is that so impossible?

    do not get me wrong though, I love the idea to jump all the distribution step – is good for a dozen of reasons – but the Valve way to achieve this is a PITA for the consumer

    though i would have to ask… if a login is required to play orange box and what not, can he not just create a new login and use that… i mean, ya he’ll loose whatever he had saved on his old login, but he can still go back to playing the game…

    but that was the first thing I did, if I get your question – steam replied me with a nice DUPLICATED SERIAL NUMBER welcome message.

  14. Ma2ReeD says:

     I wish all games could be managed by steam. you can play a game on any computer so long as it has steam, you can host LAN parties with a single copy of a steam game, you can save settings for your games via steam, and it has community stuff to boot.

    if you don’t forget your username it’s actually a good service.

  15. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The only thing I do nto like about sicrom is the online only activation of it.
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  16. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Starforce was more problematic than any other DRM system, it really did lead to crashing and drive firmware eating, a game by itself being installed on a system by itself will not lead it to acting strangely.


    Now I could agree that SF issues were exaggerated but frankly we need a better form of DRM that dose not involve online only and drivers.

    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  17. Jahkaivah says:

    Partially off topic, Rock Paper Shotgun found out a very interesting article on the PC piracy debate:

    Not saying its right nor am I saying its wrong. However I would be cautious if you are a Anti-DRM extremist as your views may be challenged.

    More specifically take a look at its page on the specific types on DRM.

    If what it says about Starforce is true, I want it back.


    Back on Topic: I personally find it odd that Ubisoft would compromise the sales of this game just to proove a point, though I would not be at all be surprised to learn that the game gets pirated less.

  18. Monte says:

    True… i’m not sure if there are other bits of infromation you cna give steam instead of your e-mail; the faq does seem to imply that e-mail is the most preferable information but not neccessarily the only information… not sure, but it does have you set up a security question, which might be enough to get the account back…

    though really, you should be weary in general about using your school e-mail since you should be aware the e-mail will only exist while you are in school…


    though i would have to ask… if a login is required to play orange box and what not, can he not just create a new login and use that… i mean, ya he’ll loose whatever he had saved on his old login, but he can still go back to playing the game…

    in that sense, loosing your login information was like loosing a physical memory card

  19. turdevo says:

    4 years has passed since then – I lost email, username and password and the credit card has switched to a new one so I ain’t a chance to use the common soviet-burocracy procedures provided by Valve. Today I opened a ticket to steam support and sent a shot of my halflife2 box + serial but with very low expectations.

    I don’t miss much the hl2 game but I bought afterwards a couple of other games I can’t play nomore and this piss me off a huge lot.

  20. GoodRobotUs says:

    It is actually possible to physically damage a computer with software, it’s just a question of sending the right (or wrong) commands to the Hardware itself. Protections are in place, but it’s not impossible, don’t know the details and wouldn’t post them if I did, but I suspect it’s a question of sending certain commands to the drive-head that can damage it, I seem to recall that continuously parking the drive head and then making it read the innermost track on the drive could have a similar effect over time, which is, iirc, more or less how Securom works, by using Data density at various points of the disk and a non-standard disc format.


    Edit: Another possibility is, for example, the Bios on your Graphics Card was altered to say that the cut-off temperature was now 1 million degrees celsius. That could, effectively, damage the equipment, not directly through Software intervention, but via Software nonetheless.

  21. Afirejar says:

    And I’m sorry, paying money one time and 50 at that is fine, buuut I spent over 300 dollars to replace my computer after I installed Spore and it destroyed my computer

    Yeah, right. And how exactly did this video game physically damage this 300 dollars worth of hardware? Because I don’t see, how this is actually possible on a technical level.

  22. topher says:

    Yea.  Thats how it is with me.  I am usually very good about buying games.  I have only pirated about 2 games I can think of.  Final Fantasy 7, as you cant buy it for the PC for a reasonable price and Spore, for DRM reasons and a test run to see if it was worth it(it wasnt, i was bored in 2 hours and deleted it)…oh and Guitar Hero 3 two days before release but since then bought it for the Wii and Xbox 360 so I cant count that.  I havent bought Red Alert 3 because of SecuRom.

    Fallout 3 did it right.  CD key and CD check are all that are really required.  No activation limits, no secret software.  I was happy to give Bethida studios my money for Fallout 3 for doing right to the consumer.

  23. Krono says:

    you should usually be able to recover it as long as you have somekind of information like your e-mail…

    Email accounts can get lost as well you know. For example if it was a college email account, and he’s no longer at that school, he’d be SOL.


  24. Seiena_Cyrus says:

    Not really sure where I’m seeing this point you’re making. I believe that the internet community isn’t saying that’s the only way. And I’m sorry, paying money one time and 50 at that is fine, buuut I spent over 300 dollars to replace my computer after I installed Spore and it destroyed my computer before my college semester ended sending me into a panic because I couldn’t get my computer working again (the company no longer had backup discs for my dinosaur and my computer couldn’t make one).

    I think the Internet community’s bitch is actually in the feild of "I play a game I spent over 50 bucks on, and the company rips my computer apart, installs programs under the radar or generally makes my 50+ Investment worthless since the DRM -can- render the game 100% unplayable or unenjoyable with it’s interfereing. Which isn’t acceptable if you spent a -LOT- of money on something.


    I mean how would you feel if you paid that ammount for say a movie and then every minute the movie is interupted by say 30 minutes of commercials that the company has blocked your ability to fastforward through, you’d get frustrated and annoyed really quick wouldn’t you?

  25. Monte says:

    DRM has been slowly gettign worse… i mean, in recent cases, spore was cosnidered one fo the worst as its DRM was more restictive than most other DRM’s… question is where does it go from there; seeing as th DRM did nothing to stop it’s priacy and the game even bacem more priated than other games, what’s the next step in DRM… Normally publisher’s don’t see the DRM as a cause for spore’s piracy and instead think they need a bigger and badder DRM to combat it…

    However, there is some hope, now we see companies going through the trouble to say "our DRM is not THAT bad" as what seems to be a reaction to the spore flap. Hopefully, the companies get the idea that more restictive DRM’s hurt sales tahnks to what happened to spore…


    though still, DRM’s are rather pointless… i mean, yes i know they want to protect their products and they have a right to, but the fact is that most DRM’s do not do anything… it doesn’t matter if you hinder pirates, as long as just ONE copy fo the game gets hacked, it will spread through the internet and get as pirated as any other game; only way to protect the game would be to make the game 100% hack rpoof, and that is something the DRM’s have yet to do

  26. GoodRobotUs says:

    Sad thing is, DRM has actually, on occasion, forced me to hunt down No-CD cracks, since my copy of Warhammer Battle March WILL NOT accept that the disc is an original, hasn’t since the day I bought it. I never even knew where to find them before DRM existed, which is kind of ironic. Had the same problem with X3, but Egosoft were smart enough to remove the Securom after a while.

    And it’s that which really frustrates me about Securom, I don’t believe that it is the Disk-Drive eating monster that people claim it is, but it is most certainly not 100% reliable when it comes to identifying legal discs. and that causes frustration purely for the legal purchasers of the game, I’m fed up with having to start the game, get a verification fail, remove the disc, re-insert the disc, start the game, get a verification error etc, and have to repeat the action about 5 times before the game actually accepts the legality of the disc.


  27. Monte says:

    So why can’t you recover the account… on the steam website, if you lick "login" and then "forgot password" there’s an FAQ on what to do if you don’t remeber the name of your account

    you should usually be able to recover it as long as you have somekind of information like your e-mail…

  28. Monte says:

    Man, it’s obvious how this is all gonna play out… no matter what, ubisoft is gonna declare "victory" for their point of view that DRM is needed.

    They will pull out bittorrent numbers and say "look, we took out DRM and the game got pirated thousands of times; obviously pirates don’t care about DRM" and then they will go back to using DRM… however any INTELLIGENT person will take the time to COMPARE the torrent numbers with other hot games and such and find that Prince of persia was pirated only as much or less than other hot games; thus proving that DRM is worthless at halting piracy… and concsidering that the numbers will likely be much smaller than spore, it will also prove that draconian DRM only increases piracy rate… now that is a news story i will be waiting to hear

    Really, they are idiots in their explainations. They say that they use DRM to make the game harder to pirate and thus save sales but fact of the matter is that piracy is a winner take all kind of game… it doesn’t matter if one hacker breaks the drm or a thousand do, the piracy numbers will always be the same; if just one person breaks the code, the version of his game will be pirated out to every other pirate… in otherwords, the ONLY way to halt piracy is to make a game 100% hack proof, which all current DRM are a far cry from


    All in all, they are either idiots for believing that DRM can combat piracy, or they are just being dishonest and hiding the REAL reason for DRM which is to do stuff like kill the games resale value and attack the used game market… you will never see them admit to that, but you know publishers do not like it when you resell a game you stop caring about

  29. GoodRobotUs says:

    Thing is, I don’t consider the ‘dongle’ system a bad idea technically speaking, similar to those used by Cubase etc, the problem is, it wastes a USB port. I wouldn’t object if a purchased game had a small device that had to be plugged into some sort of socket before it would run, and each device is unique for that version of the game, though something like that would require collaboration between Hardware and Software manufacturers.

    Even that has a downside though, what happens if you lose your little bit of hardware, or spill coffee over it, or your dog decides it looks edible? Then there’s all the rigamarole of replacing it. No system is perfect, but if it is to be an imperfect system, then at least keep the balance in the centre, so that neither side of the argument can use the system to exploit the other side.

  30. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The point of protections is to make illict copies a hassles, insted of useing something like securom, use a simpel program that runs with the game if they are not running togather the game dose not run ,it simply checks that the key and all running files are legit,if a online conenction is found double up this checking with a behind the sences scan of files to a online database, a passive ssytem that only locks down the game when it finds a real problem.


    THere are a dosen things they can do but they wont do becuse they an over the top lock on the game.

    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  31. GoodRobotUs says:

    Or possibly they think if they ignore it for long enough, people will get fed up with complaining and just put up with it, it’s worked before in several industries, people are adaptable.

    And as for ‘some insane hellish freak-DRM that only exists in their minds’.. At the moment, I agree with you, but like the slippery-slope argument in Video Games, it’s slowly getting worse and more restrictive in the name of ‘protecting the companies interest’, and the movement against DRM is also growing slowly, so it’s really a question of who blinks first.

    At the moment, it looks like Ubisoft have blinked, it that’s the case, then it is now the responsibility of anti-DRM acitivists to acknowledge that.

  32. Afirejar says:

    It’s a joke to say that, because loads of games are downloaded illegally more often than legally bought. It’s a joke, because it’s pointless.

  33. Afirejar says:

    Having to make a short phonecall is hardly what I’d call "useless". Did it ever occur to you, that maybe, just maybe, criticism of this DRM gets ignored by the companies, because most people don’t even bother to whine about the DRM that’s actually in place but instead go on ranting about some insane hellish freak-DRM that only exists in their mind?

  34. Spartan says:

    I encourage everyone to make posts about this unexpected event in as many communities as possible, especially in gamer based or oriented ones. I also suggest sending emails to mainstream media news venues informing them of this most consumer friendly gesture for the holiday season. It would be nice to see some serious positive news cycle coverage of this if only to embarrass EA and AB for the next week or so…  


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  35. Deamian says:

    When Spore came with DRM, EA made the mistake to basicly shout out "We have new security measures. They are harsh, tough, crappy and anti-consumers. We believe this will discourage pirates." And what happens?

    Without official numbers, is it so far of a joke to say Spore was illegally downloaded more often than legally bought?

    Ubisoft realizes that DRM-protected games are now invitations for pirates to pirate.

    Yarrr hear me mateys, DRM be more of a harsh mistress than the internet-sea, yarrrrr!


  36. krotoslol says:

    Sweet, Prince Of Perisa is full of win now.

    Do you know how easy it is to get past the DRM?

    Also even Spore is one of the most pirated games ever.

    It’s that easy.

    =========================================================================== Jack Thompson is vanquished!!!

  37. turdevo says:

    DRM haven’t still stopped me to buy a game and PoP saga is one of my favorite of all times since amiga500 so I’ll buy it for sure – It is also true that DRM ain’t stopped me to p2p pirated games if I don’t trust the content – 60 dolla for an uncertain game are too much to get a risk on it. Take Bioshock for example: I got the ‘p2p version’, I liked it and I bought it with 110% of satisfaction. But I can’t say that for Fallout 3 that have been erased after a couple of ours of try out. With PoP I just can go blind to buy it…

  38. turdevo says:

    thankyou VideolandHero I couldn’t say it better – I guessed IM’PWNED was just enough but please apologise my fucking english

  39. catboy_j says:

    Neat if my computer was better I would buy it. And I’m not a Prince of Persia fan, just a plug and play fan.

  40. Azhrarn says:

    Then consider this game (while a good port) is simplified to the point of boredom, and you’ll know they set those numbers up to make the game fail.


  41. Daria_C says:

    My biggest gripe with DRM is the second hand programs it installs, and the install limits some have (ala SecuROM).

    I remember having to deal with low space on my otherwise nice older PC. I had to pick and choose which games I put on it at a given time. I installed Rome: Total War on it 7 times, and Galactic Civ around 5. Good thing they didnt have SecuRom, or they would be usless by now. If I pay you $60 for a game, I am not paying you to rent it.

    Also stop trying to smuggle in random crap that slows down my computer D= 

  42. rma2110 says:

    I hope being DRM free gives the game an extra boost, but it probably won’t. Most gamers have no idea about the DRM that comes with a game. The gamer who will buy or avoid a game bcause of DRM are at a miminum until ir bites them in the ass.

    I suppose the game wil sell as usual, DRM or no DRM. Maybe a few extra sales from well informed PC gamers, but that’s it. I haven’t bothered to replace my four year old gaming PC because of Securom. I haven’t had a console since the NES, but now I used my PC money to buy an HD TV and a console. Bye, Bye PC gaming.

    I hope it’s a great game that sells like hotcakes. The people who buy will not be put off by DRM, and pirates will pirate it anyway. DRM or no.

  43. VideolandHero says:

    He said he bought a boxed copy of Half Life 2 at a store, but still had to make a Steam account to play it.  Recently when he went back to play it, he forgot what his Steam account was so he can’t play it anymore.

    — Official Protector of Videoland!

  44. Spartan says:

    Officially Ubi expects to move over two million copies of it in the short term and about three million in the long tail for the title to be considered a very successful Given it is a major franchise for Ubi I can understand the number of units. If it moves less than two million units Ubi will consider it a failure. Personally I think that number is high but I don’t have access to the production costs across the board for it. Moreover it is at least to me a product which has a much smaller customer base then other game types.


    To determine success I would average out the total sales of all previous editions then factor in half the growth variable from each version and use that as my target but maybe I’m naïve…  


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  45. Alex says:

    I’m sure I’m not the only gamer out there who has legally purchased a game and then downloaded a cracked version just to stop the copy protection from screwing with my system or my game’s performance. Those downloads go into the numbers too, and making a copy of something you already own for your own personal use is not illegal.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  46. Bennett Beeny says:

    I wish I could buy it on PC, just to prove that guy wrong (not that I think he’d ever accept the result even if he could be proven wrong), but my PC is not working well with games right now, so I’m afraid it’s the Xbox 360 for Prince of Persia.

  47. GoodRobotUs says:

    That’s the problem though, isn’t it? Defining what is not invasive and what is. Programs that install other programs without permission, programs that send your computers’ details over the Internet without your permission, they are all invasive and are no more effective at preventing piracy than simply entering in a key code.

    I’m perfectly happy with the idea of Software companies protecting the privacy of their information, as long as it isn’t at the expense of my own, especially when it IS people like me, who prefer to pay for their goods, who are actually paying the price.

    Ubisoft aren’t the worst, they haven’t tried to limit installs which, I think, has played a big role in the downfall of EA, however, they are headed that way, and I’m hoping this won’t get pirated any more than other games, because it will demonstrate that punishing the bystanders doesn’t hurt the criminals.

  48. Dark Sovereign says:

    Not really. Some DRM really isn’t bad, really isn’t a hastle, and really isn’t something to get your panties into a knot over. Some is. Companies want to protect their interests, and they should be allowed to do so. If companies find a way that prevents or lessens piracy, then fine, so long as it doesn’t horribly inconvenience consumers.

  49. GoodRobotUs says:

    I think the point that is trying to be made is that Piracy will take place with or without DRM, the only difference is that the Pirates don’t have to worry about the privacy burden of having to use DRM, whereas the legal customers do.


    That’s the point, I think, DRM does nothing whatsoever to combat Piracy, but it does everything possible to (a) destroy the resale value of the game and (b) Turn the consumer into free sales information for the company without their permission, since you can be certain that all these activations are being fed into a database and used to create market models for the distribution sections of said companies.

    That’s why it was created, nothing to do with Piracy, everything to do with stopping resale and generating free market-research for the company involved. Which is, strictly speaking in the UK, illegal under the DPA unless you grant permission for your information to be used.

    Hopefully, this little ‘experiment’ by Ubisoft will prove to them that the money they are giving to Securom is, at the very least, a complete waste of funds in a financially tight period.

  50. turdevo says:

    but what is DRM in front of valve’s STEAM?

    I’d a valve’s steam Id for having buy the BOXED half life 2 long time ago and today happens the need to reinstall it again and I realized to have lost that … Id – you know what? I’m PWNED!


  51. Mr. Stodern says:

    I don’t expect this to mean much. Sure, it’ll be used to bolster the argument for DRM and SecuROM, but do the developers who use such things actually care if they can justify them? We all know they don’t. Excercises like this are merely…insulting.

  52. Doopydoo22 says:

    Thanks Ubi, thanks for making me feel obligated to buy it on PC.  Now watch, I’ll get it for my PS3 and then feel guilty when they inevitably chide PC gamers for not buying their game.

  53. Charax says:

    "Ubisoft will have proved that people don’t pirate to simply avoid consumer-irritating DRM, they do it because they don’t want to pay for the game."

    Which they don’t really need to prove, as a) Nobody’s ever claimed otherwise, and b) it’s absolutely obvious.

    What it will (hopefully) prove is that DRM exacerbates piracy.

  54. Canary Wundaboy says:

     "Ubisoft has given itself an out whenever they’re taken to task over DRM in the future. "We tried removing it, and we lost money!" will be an easy answer from now on. The remarks from the Community Manager already sound surly and antagonistic, as if the company is simply waiting to get ripped off to prove its own point."

    And the problem with that is? People seem to ignore the brutally obvious….piracy is ILLEGAL. If people STILL pirate the game, Ubisoft will have proved that people don’t pirate to simply avoid consumer-irritating DRM, they do it because they don’t want to pay for the game. That CANNOT be justified people, under ANY circumstances! If you want to play a game, you have to pay for it! Why is that so hard for the internet community to digest??? There are SHEDLOADS of games I want to play this Xmas, but no way I could possibly afford them all. So guess what, I had to go without. I couldn’t afford to pay for them, so I didn’t get to play them.

    Why does that seem to be such a shocking point of view?

  55. ZippyDSMlee says:

    No to mention if the nubmers reflect a slower P2P rate or on the same avrage of games with DRM.
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  56. GoodRobotUs says:

    It could still backfire, since, if the pirating rates are no higher without DRM than they are for games with DRM then there is no argument whatsoever that DRM is anything other than a waste of company time and a legal and financial burden on the purchasers of the game.


    Chances are that, yes, they’ll try something like comparing North American sales with World torrents, but then, that’s where other groups come in (cough cough ECA) to point out the error in their calculations.

  57. Kendra Kirai says:

    I can see how this is going to end up.


    In a couple weeks to a couple months, they’ll do a press release, using third party, independant stats..probably from the bittorrent sites themselves…


    They’ll have the numbers of global downloads compared to the sales figures for North America, point out that it’s clearly larger than the sales figures, and say ‘See? Look at all those lost sales.’ and they’ll look vindicated in their use of DRM.


    This is going to end badly, no matter what happens.

  58. Father Time says:

    Shocking, I hope this starts a trend.


    "What for you bury me in the cold cold ground?" – Tasmanian devil

  59. Zero Beat says:

    Good move from Ubi.  Hopefully they keep it up, regardless of how pirated the game ends up being.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  60. Wag says:

    For me, Piracy is a two fold issue.  DRM is one large component but the cost of games is the other.  People can argue all they want about the ethics of piracy, but the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of gamers out there who skimp and scrape to buy a $500 graphics card and have nothing left over to play the latest games.

    Until they reign in the costs of the software, piracy will remain an issue.  I feel confident that if a big title like Prince of Persia was released DRM free and at $20 a copy for a new release (like most standard DVD’s) that they could easily sell 3 for every 1 $60 copy of DRM infested crap they keep shoveling.

    By the way, has an excellent deal on this new PoP release  $29.99–I–for-PC-All-PC-Games_stcVVproductId58398049VVcatId444774VVviewprod.htm

    I suggest supporting the Ubisofts experiment if you can.


    My 2 cents.

  61. mr_mlk says:

    > they are gonna end this by declaring they were "right

    Assuming they want DRM. I’m not sure they do. Implementing DRM costs a fair few pennies. If the end of this shows that is does not show that DRM has a positive effect on sales what do they gain by keeping it?

    If o/c Ubisoft have a share in who ever makes SecruROM ignore the above. 🙂

  62. Monte says:

    doubtful… they are gonna end this by declaring they were "right"

    certain FACTS don’t matter to them… like "PoP was pirated less than games with DRM"… all they will look at is that fact that PoP was pirated and use that to claim that they need DRM to combat it; only way they would have to eat their words is if PoP was not pirated at all, but such a thing is impossible

  63. Valnar says:

    If people can’t afford shouldn’t that mean you don’t get it at all?

    Why do people belive they have a right to something that they cant afford?

  64. Mr.Tastix says:

    That quote is only partly true. For some people, DRM is what causes piracy but for the large majority of people, they pirate games because it’s cheaper.

    Piracy happens because we, the consumer, can’t afford the ridiculous amounts the publishers charge us to play these games. And it’s even worse when the game is pure crap.

    — Joshua Smellie

  65. Charax says:

    That’s a remarkably naive comment, and it presumes that just because some people use DRM as an excuse to pirate games, therefore ALL piracy is because of DRM, and not for other issues (like, for example, games being too expensive, or just plain wanting something for free)

    This is the  company that copied a warez group’s no-cd crack for one of their own patches, remember?

  66. jmcc says:

    Why not quote the surly comment in question?

    "You`re right when you say that when people want to pirate the game they will but DRM is there to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to make copies of our games. A lot of people complain that DRM is what forces people to pirate games but as PoP PC has no DRM we`ll see how truthful people actually are. Not very, I imagine."

  67. Haggard says:

    It’s weird, Far Cry 2 had limited installs and SecuROM. You’d think maybe they’d put it in this one.. and it’s supposedly a pretty good port too.

    Oh well, thanks Ubisoft for not screwing up my PC! (and the PCs of everyone who pays up the money your shareholders seem to love so much)

  68. DeusPayne says:

    It’s a good port, with NO DRM that I could see anywhere. No CD-Key. No CD-check, nothing. Pure single player experience with nothing hampering it. If I wasn’t already so interested in the game, I’d have bought it just to support DRM free media.

  69. ZippyDSMlee says:

    They would have to be blind and inept to trump up the piracy numbers and exclaim that its damaged them in some way when the game is selling well, it dose not matter what port is raking in the profit as long as its gaining a profit as a whole.

    Cooperate mentality will fail this no DRM experiment no mater the results.


    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  70. GoodRobotUs says:

    To paraphrase Cpt Petulant from Ubisoft…

    ‘We are also right when we say that we want a game to get fair and un-massaged review scores, I wonder, if Ubisoft didn’t interfere with the review process, how many sites the rely on their Advertising income would have given the same review scores to Ubisoft games? Not many I imagine.’

    As far as sales figures go, I think Ubisoft will be in for a surprise, but the big question is will they learn from it?

  71. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Very intersting what protection dose it have? or have they learned that protections are 2ndary to a well marketed/made game?
    Pirates,Shearers,Lenders and downloaders are not a market that can be taped by the mainstream.
    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=

  72. Ashkihyena says:

    They were smart, they see what crappy DRM does, just nothing but piss off the consumers, but, maybe I’m wrong, I dunno, I just wish all PC games lacked the crappy DRM that plagues PC games.

Comments are closed.