Ubisoft’s new DRM technology, which requires a constant Internet connection, has been put through its paces and the results are not pretty.
PC Gamer test drove the technology, after receiving copies of both Settlers VII and Assassin’s Creed 2 for the PC, which both contain the DRM tech. The site reports that launching a game while offline results in an error message right away.
The next test involved removing a PC’s network cable in the middle of a play session:
This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers'. The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen - all my progress since it last autosaved was lost.
The reverse is also true; if Ubisoft’s master servers were to go down, PC Gamer says that “everyone playing a current Ubisoft game is kicked out of it and loses their progress.”
ReclaimYourGame, which reviews and reports on various DRM systems used in games, offers a pro and con article on Ubisoft’s technology. A sample from each side is below.
Ubisoft can now be the sole content, DRM, copy protection provider. No more third party DRMs to worry about. If you have a problem, there's only one place to look and that's Ubisoft. I don't know about you, but I'm sick of being a ping-ping ball when it comes to authentication support.
How many of you have a family member with their own system that you game with? I do, and lately it’s gotten ridiculously expensive. It used to be that my brother would buy a game and I would buy a different one, we’d both play through them, then trade them out. No longer, with more games switching to an account based system, it’s becoming an impossibility to do this.