More Ubisoft DRM Blues

Ubisoft has found itself on the defensive yet again after customers in Europe who bought the latest Anno strategy game complained about its digital rights management software. Reports surfaced last week that the DRM, which offers a limited number of activations, were being used up if users changed their hardware configurations.

“While it’s correct that copies of Anno 2070 include three activations and that changing hardware may trigger the need for reactivation, the vast majority of Anno customers never encounter this scenario,” read a Ubisoft statement given to Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

The company added that if customers run into this problem they should contact customer support.

“On the rare occasion when a customer does need additional activations, Ubisoft customer service is available to quickly resolve the situation, and we encourage those customers to contact us directly so that we can ensure they are able to continue to enjoy their game.”

Web site Guru3D first uncovered the problem with hardware and limited DRM activations. It contacted the company last week. They were told by the company that there "was no way to bypass" the activation limit. Developer Blue Byte later fixed the problem.

Ubisoft seems to have a real problem with implementing and operating DRM in a way that doesn't manage to agitate its customers. The last complaints were about some DRM forcing customers to stay connected to a DRM server in order to play a game – even if they were playing single player.

Source: Develop. Image Credit:

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  1. 0
    Dinasis says:

    It is true, but I've read that they only removed the GPU from the equation for hash generation…

    Kind of wonder how they're going to handle this retroactively. My GPU is easily the oldest piece of performance hardware in my computer and so, first in line for an upgrade. So the question comes down to: if I upgrade my GPU and nothing else, does it use an activation since it was initially registered on release day with the GPU as part of the hash?

    I'm hoping instead it means that they're actively updating existing hash codes as people launch the game now that they've made the change–eh, who am I kidding? That's probably a pipe dream.


    hellfire7885 and other interested parties: You can play offline and, despite my earlier complaint about features being needlessly tied to being logged in (player color, etc.), I really do enjoy it and log in at least once a day, if for nothing more than to check elections and do daily quests.

    I understand holding out on a product to protest an element of it (especially within the realm of DRM), but it is a game worth playing, especially if you've enjoyed any past Anno games–just don't expect as much from the combat. Personally, I preferred the armies and seige units of Anno 1404.

  2. 0
    Conster says:

    While it is true Ubisoft responded this way (and also true that it's incredibly silly DRM), didn't BlueByte email Guru3D 2 days ago to let them know they'd decided to remove that part of the DRM?

  3. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    I was actually considering purchasing this game on Steam too.

    Ubisoft just made this choice easy. I won't be purchasing this until they remove this.


    It's a shame, this game looked interesting too.

  4. 0
    axiomatic says:

    If I were a development house I would be looking to dump any alliances with Ubisoft. I mean seriously… how many good games are going to get burned by draconian Ubisoft DRM slapped on top?

    And shame on you Ubisoft…. haven't you learned your lesson yet? You are screwing yourself on profits. Were I an Ubisoft investor I would be looking for some bodies head right about now.

  5. 0
    Dinasis says:

    Yes, and somehow, I'm still glad I bought it, though I admit it doesn't help that the log in servers go down every so often. Maybe if I had just pirated it I'd have my persistant Ark storage and the ability to change my title and player color all the time.

    Allow me to emphasize the insanity in that statement: you cannot change your player color if you're not logged in.

  6. 0
    greevar says:

    "The company added that if customers run into this problem they should contact customer support."

    Where they will be immediately accused of being a thief, because only people trying to "steal" the game will run into a problem with this. /sarcasm

    When will they learn that DRM doesn't stop anyone from doing what they want to do? They will never succeed until they realize they need to let go of controlling distribution of copies and focus on the service of creating games, while building value-added services to support that. Steam is already starting to do that. Adding services that make the game worthy of buying over just copying from someone else is how you get people to buy, not by trying and failing to stop them from accessing the free content. You don't win customers by taking away choice or breaking what you want them to buy. DRM breaks media and makes it worth less than what you get from file sharing.

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