Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

March 8, 2010 -

Ubisoft’s new DRM scheme, which requires a constant Internet connection to authenticate game sessions, had a bit of a hick up this weekend.

Ubi posted to its Twitter feed this morning apologizing to “anyone who couldn’t play ACII [Assassin’s Creed II] or SH5 [Silent Hunter 5] yesterday.” While the company originally blamed the outage on “exceptional demand,” Ubi stated on its Twitter feed that their servers were “attacked, which limited service from 2:30pm to 9pm Paris time.”

Ubisoft added that “95% of players were not affected, but a small group of players attempting to open a game session did receive denial of service errors.”

Joystiq also points us towards a thread on the Ubisoft forums in which the affected “5%” voice their displeasure.

GP: On a related note, I grabbed Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for the PC this weekend and during the install was prompted to choose my favored method of DRM—disc-based or online authentication (I chose disc-based). In a perfect world there would be no need for DRM, but if it is required, this method of offering the user a choice at least goes a little way towards lessening the impact (and might make DRM-based gaming functionable on an Army base or a cruise ship). Bad Company 2 uses Sony’s SecuROM technology.



As another aside, while the DRM tech worked fine, Bad Company 2 had its own online problems for a little bit yesterday, though their issues appeared to be Punkbuster-related.


|Thanks PHX Corp and DarkSaber!|


Comments

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

I'm not too aware of the intricacies of Canadian fair use law, but I doubt that circumventing DRM for personal use would be considered fair use.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Hahahaha.. I hadn't thought of that. There is a certain level of delicious irony, here.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

"Delicious" if you like bitter.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Delicious in that this is exactly what people were trying to warn Ubisoft of when they were complaining about their terrible DRM. Frankly, anything that bites a company in the ass after they play "Know-it-all" and flip their customers the bird is delicious. I hope Ubi learns from this mistake. Either that, or I hope they go out of business due to abusive DRM.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Well, in that sense, it's not really irony, is it?  That it did exactly what people said it would?

The irony is that it did the opposite of what it's supposed to.

Anyway, my comment about "bitter" is that, while I can certainly see some schadenfreude in Ubisoft getting a black eye from this, the people who have really suffered here are the people who paid for the game.  Ubisoft deserves to suffer for its mistake, but the gamers don't.  (Unless they knew about the DRM scheme and bought the game anyway -- but it's not like that information is published on the box, and not all gamers read the gaming press.)

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Schadenfreude is certainly the word, here. I certainly feel bad for the players, but I don't necessarily let that get in the way of my amusement, watching Ubi deal with this.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

"a bit of a hick up"?

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Yeah. epic spell-check fail. Software sees that clusterf**k as just fine. An example of why getting someone with a pulse and a knowledge of English to actually read your document is essential.

It's spelled 'hiccup' or 'hiccough' by the way. 'Hick up' is when a person from Tennessee or West Virginia gets on a plane.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

GP - I completely agree, I'm glad BC2 gave me a choice. Imagine if there was only the second option - 10 installations allowed in total!

That said, I couldn't get onto any servers due to the Punkbuster fiasco (Apparently there was an update and since the EA master server wasn't updated, people couldn't connect to any goddamn servers), but hopefully that's fixed and I can get levelling up my engineer tonight...

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

 95% ofcourse being a pure BS number meant to make this incident seem less than it is... kinda like how they have been trying to tell us that only a small number of people would not have good internet and thus not be able to play their games. 

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Even assuming "95%" is correct, it's totally unacceptable for 5% of your customers to be unable to use your product because you don't have the infrastructure to spy on them like you intended.

While, of course, the pirates continue to play their cracked copies.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

So, let's hear again how DRM adds to the safety and security of our software...

Good job this kind of idiocy has only crept into the game market so far, can you imagine if hundreds of composers had been denied access to Sonar for 7 hours, or millions of Microsoft Office copies had ceased to work for several hours, but hey, it's only games, doesn't matter if you screw over the paying customers' experience with sheer greed...

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

 Microsoft actually did try that. The original "Genuine copy" code used to call home several times per day. Of course they weren't dumb enough to shut down the software when it couldn't call home.

They were pretty close though.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Some years back, my grandmother had some computer trouble.  I narrowed it down to hardware, and did what you do when you're troubleshooting an unknown hardware problem -- I disconnected everything and then reconnected one piece at a time.

Problem was, I wound up booting Windows with half the hardware disconnected, and XP decided I had installed it on a second computer.  Even after I reconnected all the hardware.  And I couldn't get it to connect to the network to re-validate.  Most offensively, when it couldn't connect to the MS server to validate, it suggested I check my network settings -- which of course I COULDN'T, because it had locked itself down.

If she'd just pirated it, of course, none of that would have happened.

Long story short, her next computer was a Mac.  So was my other grandmother's.  And my mom's.  And mine.

Yeah, I'm not one of those customers who just shrugs and forgets about it when he's mistreated.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

I had that same situation. I even called them trying to get a code. Over 45 minutes later, getting circle jerked by an indian call centre that has no idea what the hell they're doing, I request a manager. Of course, the manager asks all the same questions (again) and then asks why I can't use the internet to get the code. My mobo drivers hadn't been installed so internet was out of the question. After fiddling aroung for another 15 minutes, I finally said "It has been an hour, I still don't have my code, my computer is still sitting there useless, and you and your call centre have been absolutely no help to me. This would have been so much easier if I had just pirated the software. Honestly, why did I even bother paying for this shit?"

I finally got some support, after spending an hour on the phone. Learned my lesson. I just run pirated OS now. Sometimes I buy a copy and just keep the key handy. Other times I don't and really don't give a shit. What can I say? After that show of support, you can't reasonably expect me to go through that again.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is fantastic! It's what COD:MW2 SHOULD have been on the PC.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Honestly, I'd imagine if enough people kept the attacks up, and managed to keep Ubisoft's servers offline for a significant period of time, they'd probably think twice about implementing such abusive DRM. Either that or go out of business, since none of their games would be playable.

OT: I also picked up BC2 this weekend. The brief time where I was actually able to connect to the servers, I was able to enjoy some good fun. Hopefully EA gets their act together and gets some stability in their servers. If they do, I think I'll be playing BC2 for a while.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

You do realize that people attacking the DRM servers are only inhibiting the PLAYERS, right?

Oh, wait, pirates don't care about other people.  This is proof.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Lol.. I'm not a pirate. I'm speaking as a 3rd party observer who watched Ubisoft shoot themselves in their own foot with this DRM. I've got no interest in the games that were affected by this, pirated or not.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

And if pirates didn't pirate, DRM wouldn't be seen as a necessity.  That's all I'm saying.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Oh dear god, he does it again: "Pirates are evil people".

Perhaps this was done by a group of freedom-loving hackers who wanted to prove this was a bad idea by showing everyone just how easily it can fail? Trust me, this would not be the first time something like that was done.

This system is full of holes and vulnerability, and Ubisoft has not prepared for that. For example: what happens Ubi decided to pull an EA and shut down the servers? How do you then play the game? People are now realizing the folly of purchasing AC2 and SH5 while protected with this bogus system because whoever did this brought those weaknesses to light. If this hadn't happened, many people would never have realized the position they have put themselves in.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

You're missing my point entirely.

If it weren't for piracy, DRM wouldn't be seen as necessary at all.  Therefore, if it weren't for piracy, Ubisoft wouldn't have needed to come up with ANY DRM, much less the shitty one they did implement.  Therefore, if it weren't for piracy, there wouldn't have been a server  for your "freedom-loving hackers" to make it fail at all.  Therefore, people would have been able to play their games.

See where I'm coming from now?  If it weren't for pirates doing what they do, this wouldn't have been an issue, as DRM wouldn't have been implemented in such a fashion in the first place.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

Well, if you really examine it, you'll see that DRM has been largely ineffective at stopping piracy, BUT, many forms of DRM have put an end to used game sales.

Honestly, I think this has nothing to do with stopping piracy, and everything to do with killing the second hand market.

Re: Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked Rendering Games Unplayable

You can say that all you want, but can't prove it, so long as piracy is prevalent in the industry.  The only way you could do it is to somehow get people to stop pirating games for an extended period of time, I'd say a decade, at the shortest.  If DRM would stay prevalent, I might believe you.  However, there's no way that can happen, so I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree on the subject.

---

You KILL Vampires. You don't DATE them.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.
 
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