Assassin's Creed II to use new PC DRM platform

Ubisoft's new piracy countermeasure requires perpetual Internet connection, all saves stored online.

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When the original Assassin's Creed shipped for PCs in April 2008, the game's launch was plagued by piracy. As part of a lawsuit filed against the manufacturer that leaked the game six weeks before its official launch, some 700,000 copies of the game were distributed illegally online, costing the publisher millions in revenue. With Assassin's Creed II set for its March 16 bow on PCs, Ubisoft will attempt to circumvent the PC piracy issue with its new Online Services Platform.

Now would be a rough time to have the Internet drop out.

Perhaps the most controversial element of Ubisoft's Online Services Platform system is that gamers will be required to be connected to the Internet during their entire play session. The enabled-Internet requirement is necessary across all game modes, including single-player and multiplayer options. If players lose their connection during a session, the game will pause and resume once the Internet is restored. Players will also be required to sign up for an account on Ubi.com.

As for the perks, the Online Services Platform means that gamers will not need the game's CD or DVD to play after installation. Gamers will also be able to resume their game session from any PC, due to the fact that saved games are stored on Ubisoft's online servers. The publisher notes that if it stops supporting its Online Services Platform, a patch will be released so that "the core game play will not be affected."

Ubisoft also said that the online authentication server will not limit the number of installs for any given game, a common complaint lodged at other digital rights management services. However, only one play session per Ubi.com account can be active at a time.

Speaking to GameSpot, an Ubisoft representative confirmed that "the majority of Ubisoft's PC games will use this platform." More information on Ubisoft's new Online Services Platform can be found on the publisher's Web site.

Discussion

489 comments
evaneself
evaneself

I will buy this game when will be without DRM or activations. Maybe at Soldout.

Manram010
Manram010

This drm has been cracked down search the net for offline servers u might get the answer.

Manram010
Manram010

This drm has been cracked down search the net for offline servers u might get the answer.

nsag
nsag

to bad for the game is too god for this drm ,.,.,

mischiefmeerkat
mischiefmeerkat

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mischiefmeerkat
mischiefmeerkat

Well, i WAS gonna get this game. looked awesome. but i'm not now, not with some ridiculous DRM like that. Good job Ubisoft. You just lost ANOTHER customer :) @vaczec - people like you make me sick. YOU are the reason these companies get away with doing things like this. because no matter WHAT they impose on you, you line up like a braindead zombie to shell out whatever price. People like you are responsible for the death of gaming. I predicted this "constant online monitoring" thing years ago, and now it's here, and this won't stop pirates, it will only screw honest gamers mark my words, soon you won't even install games but play them right off of the developers servers for 5 bucks a play

Fusion32
Fusion32

hehe! this DRM is not only anti-piracy but it is anti-customer! hope ubi learns faster,so the other upcoming games wont be affected by this poisonous Crap!

ziadpayne
ziadpayne

Man I can't believe this!!!!!!!!!! UBISOFT is so greedy.All the profits and big money they made isn't enough for them.NO they are sucking our blood. Well listen to this UBISOFT if you continue this madness no one will buy your games.Those who buy the games and don't care about all the boundaries are only encouraging UBISOFT to continue treating us like C>R

vaczec
vaczec

Yeah,,,but...that won't be a problem to me...I have LAN Wireless...and It never goes out...And I will go to store tomorrow to buy the game...FINALLY!!!!!!!

Krushersmith
Krushersmith

OK i have satellite internet and it goes down all the time.. but it's either that or dial-up. Not everyone lives in a city you know. Plus what about when i take my laptop with me places? Funny how gamespot fails to mention these or any of the other two dozen reasons of how this completely shafts us honest PC gamers. But they were real quick to jump right in and let us know what all the "perks" were. Yeah go ahead and give em a 9.5 you bunch of bought out SOB's...

maitkarro
maitkarro

I hate when they say that they lost loads of money, because the last game was pirated. Half of those pirate mates wouldn't, couldn't buy it anyways, but some did buy it even when they were playing it months before it was released. Like myself. If i get money soon then I'm gonna buy ACII too and if there will be a workaround for the online thingy, I will try that too, but I'm still gonna buy the game. I'm wondering what will those guys do who don't have a decent internet provider and then they would have like every hour or so a disconnection and some days for hours can't get online. That totally sucks, you can't even play a singleplayer game without internet now.

mylol1993
mylol1993

hmm ... well i love this game and i will buy it ... if somebody download a game ... He/She is poor ... if Ubisoft or other "guys" sell it cheaper ... more man can buy it and Enjoy it ^^ ( sorry for my bad english :( )

d3a7hr0w
d3a7hr0w

I agree this DRM says "come and crack me yo" it might take time but it will happen 100%

BarkLikeADog
BarkLikeADog

Ubisoft is so dumb. Do they think crackers are just some idiots running around with their head cut off? No. This is begging people to crack their game.

xxxKONVICTEDxxx
xxxKONVICTEDxxx

@med12:no, dude they only realesed a beta crack which works only for a short time then the game freezes ,well hav to wait a day or 2 for the proper crack to come out from razor1911,reloaded or skidrow!!:D

med12
med12

The DRM has been cracked!!!

izra709
izra709

A good move to increase piracy

lensig24
lensig24

Well it's no brainer then I'll just get Chaos Rising and DA:O Awakening, I'm not gonna get this one thats 60$ saved then, thanks Ubisoft you saved me money, I can probably use the savings to get a gamecard for StarTrek Online and World of Warcraft

DrosteEffect
DrosteEffect

Where I live, the internet is far from stable. Mine routinely cuts off at least six times everyday, for no reason. Despite having a computer perfectly able to play Assassin's Creed 2, I won't be able to play it at all, or until a hack for it comes out anyways. I love my gaming, and being able to play a game without any lagging or other problems is vital for me. It's unfortunate - I was really looking forward to getting AC2 but now, I'm not too sure if I can even play it.

anubis9009
anubis9009

This is rather disapointing. I have used other games the tried this system. Its effected the performace of my PC and made the game rather hard to enjoy. I can only hope that they re-consider this and issue a patch for stand alone. If they dont I will have to re-consider purchasing this game. Its shame; I have been looking forward to getting this game until now.

Alivenow
Alivenow

I leave it alone for afew days and always come back to see new thoughts and normally the same ones passed back and forth... I do beleave that they have a right to protect thier sells I don't beleave they have a right to interfere with a product I've paid my money for which this is... Ubisoft and most other gaming companys use the excuse that pirates are the reason a game didn't sell a million copys of a pc title when it's just not true it's pc gamers don't play the same way as Consoles we normally don't look for the next quick fix we go all out into a few select games for years. How many people still play Civ or Diablo, Swat4 Command and Conquer red alert 2 the list go on and on. Paste and copy game designs don't work so well on the PC market it's why the few that shines do great the ones that don't tend to fade out fast. Had a talk with a THQ rep not to long ago and as we talk he started stating that most companys don't want you playing a game for more then 6 months after release since by that time they have normally release 2-4 more games. Look at EA they turn of game servers all the time so you can no longer play them online just single player. Like I said before this is more of a strong arm attempt then anything and I want stand for it.

McMo0
McMo0

Well I'm glad i got this for my 360 now. This is ridiculous. They do of course realise the only people who truly suffer from drm are the consumers and not the pirates right? It's already been pointed out that spore suffered severely as a result. It was the most pirated and most purchased that week, further fueling the debate that pirates aren't actually consumers, and stopping them from downloading something for free will not increase sales. I guess this is based on their findings from the unprotected PoP game which no-one bought because it was terrible.

pop_can
pop_can

@rycr & @bigrick1: The more Publishers seem hype DRM the more people pirate the game. As rycr said with Spore. You'd think they would realise this. But instead their remark was "they didn't go far enough!"

rycr
rycr

Doesn't anybody remember Spore? It had one of the most restrictive DRM schemes at the time of its release, and it is estimated to be the most pirated game of 2008.

bigrick1
bigrick1

Pirates will still continue to find a way around this, if anything it'll attract them more towards the product because they'll see it as a form of a challenge, you don't tell those people no. As for us paying customers we have to deal with the pain in the ass that this will cause, and I will not. I was going to purchase assassins creed 2, I no longer am.

pop_can
pop_can

@killing_spree20: Yeah, I also hope OnLive doesn't become standard... But thats a whole nother argument I just don't feel like going to right now. And more people are affected my this than people think. There are people with capricious mobile connections, people behind university firewalls, people on metered connections, people without access to always-on broadband, people on the road, and everyone else who plays single-player games because playing online isn't a viable option for them. This system excludes a lot of people. It's worth noting that these are the people who would have the hardest time pirating the game. I just really want to meet whoever thought up this system and punch them in the stomach.

Discobird
Discobird

I personally won't suffer from this, but I feel for people who will. Making a decision to release the game for PC and then... this. Plus, pirates aren't all as demonic as they paint them. I'd say a good deal eventually pays for the game, so this is just an excuse to fck up people's gaming experience.

killing_spree20
killing_spree20

@pop_can: Fair enough, you raise some interesting points. I guess I'm just not concerned enough about this because I'll get a crack like I said, but yes, that shouldn't need to be a solution. Also reading about OnLive...this seems pretty minor in comparison, I mean I still get a disk or install files or whatever, which can have said crack applied...but OnLive looks like a truly ingenious way of robbing gamers of everything. Subscription...Internet bills AND buy the games that you'll never actually own...I hope that fails as much as it deserves to.

pop_can
pop_can

@killing_spree20: Its not so much the customer's connection as it is Ubisoft's. The cost of maintaining the servers, technicians, and whatnot would far surpass any possible profit they would make from AC2, or any of their PC games. Not to mention the buildings that have to house each game's own servers. They could make everything connect to 1 server, but that would be worse for people since the large possibility of a server overload and/or server crash, which means ANY game using this system would be unplayable for a while. If the servers go down for even a little bit, its a harsh slap to the people who would then realise who really owns the game. You could crack it, which is what I'm sure many people will do. But that still doesn't change the fact that this system is just pointless and wrong.

senatorevil1983
senatorevil1983

oh and based on principal i intend to expand my ubi blacklist to include all platforms

senatorevil1983
senatorevil1983

well looks like i won't be buying anymore UBI games. don't like the idea that I can't play a game I purchased while travelling, only while tethered in some fashion to a source of internet, plus i work from home over a vpn, can't have a bunch of crap tying up my work.... what a piss off, i'd been waiting for this one too

killing_spree20
killing_spree20

I don't see why this is a problem, surely most people play online games anyway, with that in mind, internet connected for online gaming - internet connected for single player gaming...makes no difference. Lol at people saying they are being punished, when ubisoft hang you upside down and slap you silly for buying a game, that's when you are being punished for being a paying customer. Besides if you really hate the online aspect, but don't want to be scum, buy the game and crack it. Easy fix. I use cracks for all my games because I'm terrible at putting disks away.

FOBlO
FOBlO

Reloaded and Razor would always find a way around the system.

pop_can
pop_can

@mistablair: But I didn't freaking pirate the games. I pay for them, why the hell am I being punished? Pirates don't have to deal with all this crap, only paying customers! Plus, they will NEVER profit from this system. Since the cost of operating and maintaining the servers will far outweigh the profits from their PC games. Its just completely stupid. People pirate movies and music all the damn time, far more than games, yet those companies don't have idiotic schemes like this to try and protect their products. I'm not saying pirates are right, they're not. But creating systems like this where only the paying customers suffer and have to deal with this is just stupid.

Ikthog
Ikthog

Ah, the smell of desperation. It's hard to say whether Ubi is trying to use this as further "proof" that PC gaming is dying (after the PC version either tanks, or generates sufficient ill will that gamers stop buying their PC games), or simply an expression of its contempt for PC gamers in general, but this is going to end badly for Ubi. It will punish honest users, who are the ones they should be rewarding, and it will do little to curb piracy. The only step left is to simply stop making PC games altogether, and after they fouled the pool like this, I can't imagine why anyone would want to buy their PC games anyway.

mistablair
mistablair

@Ubisoft Haters: Companies need to make money. If someone steals 700,000 units they are losing money. Letting the pirates win would make little sense. "Oh they'll just hack it anyway" is not a good reason to not try. Here's what it comes down to: if you don't want to have to use an internet connection don't buy the game. A petition won't solve anything unless you all pre-pay $50 into an account that will be given to Ubisoft if they give you a DRM-free copy. I buy my games so I don't care about any of this stuff, it makes sense. 700,000 of you ruined it for the rest of us. It's the same reason stores have the security system exits. They don't think everyone is a criminal, but there are people that ruin it for the rest of them. You guys can blame Ubisoft all you want, but it's your own fault for pirating the games.

pop_can
pop_can

@mistablair: The principal is that Ubisoft is treating its customers like criminals, or potential criminals. What, do they think that we'll BECOME pirates WHILE PLAYING the game? Just because you have a great connecton, doesn't mean the billions of other people on the planet have a good connecton. What if they have to do maintanence on the servers? What if the servers get broken somehow? If anything bad happens to them, and a lot of bad things can happen, then YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO PLAY THE GAME YOU PAYED FOR! Half the problem isn't with the user's connection, the other half is Ubisoft's. What about people in other countries? There's a good chance Ubisoft will have to set up servers for them as well. And they would have to constantly pay to maintain them. So when they either give up on it, or go out of buisness, the servers will go down, and you won't be able to play the game you payed for. And before you ask "that won't be for a long time, so it doesn't matter" or something like that, this buisness tends to change very quickly. Ubisoft could get bought up soon, or go bankrupt, or many other things could happen that would cause them to stop supporting the servers. And keep in mind pirates don't have to worry about ANY of this stuff, because they don't have to deal with ANY of it. The only people who have to worry are the paying consumers. So how this is supposed to combat piracy is just beyond me.

saltchan
saltchan

@mistablair : u still dont get it ? even if u have a good connection , there are still a lot of problem which are not supposed for Assassin Creed II . IT IS NOT A FCKING ONLINE GAME . if u have played MMORPGs , then u should know problems that ppl can have : lag --> cant play , disconnect --> cant play , server down for whatever reasons --> cant play ... etc . Those things are not supposed for a single player based games . Even if 99% people out there DO have a perfectly good internet connection , it still means nothing . It does not change the fact that this DRM will bring a lot of inconvenience and frustration which any offline game should never do . btw , u sure dont know that there are nearly 7 billions people and 194 countries in the world . Even in the US , Im sure there are places with bad or no connection at all , let alone many other inferior countries . also , lol @ "ppl playing WoW dont have problem with their internet" . And stop bringing MMOs in here to compare .

mistablair
mistablair

@saltchan: My point is that if you have the technical knowledge to build/purchase a gaming computer, you're probably the same type of person who uses the internet. I would be shocked if only 75% of those who buy PC games have internet access. 700,000 games were stolen. That's quite a large number of thefts do sit back and do nothing about. While some gamers like to complain about anything, this isn't really a big deal unless you live in the wilderness and only know of games because of the game informer magazine you purchase in the nearest town. I think Ubisoft is risking that there aren't too many gamers like that. People playing WoW don't seem to have a problem with an internet connection, I certainly didn't.

d3a7hr0w
d3a7hr0w

why not make ac2 a MMO... f**k this im not buying it i cant pay 2 conections just for 1 game

saltchan
saltchan

@mistablair : Whats your point here ? even if 75% of the gamers have internet access all the time , Ubisoft will still lose the rest who dont . And even with the 75% has connection , that doesnt mean they will have a comfortable time playing Assassin Creed II with the new DRM .

mistablair
mistablair

@saltchan: What percentage of the people who game for their hobby don't have internet access? Facebook and Facebook games seem to do pretty well. Many seemed to find bejeweled blitz and farmtown pretty addictive. If a bunch of casual gamers can find an internet connection, you think a hardcore gamer could.

saltchan
saltchan

@mistablair : WoW and half-life(multiplayer) are games that u are supposed to have internet connection 100% of the time if u wanna play . So of course people who have bought them have internet connection , and people who dont wouldnt buy them . But unfortunately , Assassin Creed II isnt an online game , and it is also not multiplayer-based . Even if the DRM cant be cracked (which we all know it will be cracked) , 99.99% of the pirates wont buy the game anw , I doubt Ubisoft will gain anything from pirates with this move . As many people have stated before , this kind of DRM will only punish legit gamers .

mistablair
mistablair

@saltchan: I'm going to play along. Yes, having to show someone my passport every time I did absolutely anything would be very annoying. On the other hand, if there were someway behind the scenes they could just check for themselves, that would be very convenient and I wouldn't even notice. I'm sure the cost/benefit analysis they did of people who don't have access to the internet vs people who are pirating the game resulted in a greater benefit for the method they chose. Just by looking at games like WoW and Half-Life there are many many people connected to the internet. If someone is still using dial-up then they probably don't have the computer to play the game in the first place.

saltchan
saltchan

@mistablair : Imagine if u have to show ur passport for everything u do . Even little things like stand up , move one step , raise ur hand , go to the toilet , drink a lil of water , chew the meat , and blah blah blah lol. Are u ok with that ? If u are , then I have to tell u , nearly 7 billions of people in this planet are not . And since u are asking , many many many, people out there play games without stable internet access 100% of the time . Just have some kind of internet access wont allow u to play AC II with this DRM . this DRM is gonna bury Ubisoft alive , and we all know that .

mistablair
mistablair

@pop_can: I wouldn't say it is as convenient as your couch situation. Digital property and physical property are very different things. If you copy a PC game you don't have to put in any of the materials, labour hours, or have the same skill set. Couches cannot be easily replicated and distributed. The proceeds from the sale of the couch go towards the labour, materials etc of making said couch. If you copy that design of couch at home you would be required to have to acquire your own materials, put in your own labour hours, and posses the same crafting skills. How many PCs capable of playing AC2 do not have access to the internet?

pop_can
pop_can

@mistablair: There's a difference in showing your ID a few times for stuff, and showing your ID for 1 thing every single time you want to use it. It would like be saying you bought a couch, or a refrigerator, and every time you wanted to use it, you had to show some ID, because it could be stolen. Thats what this is like. Or to put it in gaming terms, it would be like every xbox game needed to be signed into xbox live to be able to play. And if xbox live happens to go down, you can't play any game. This scheme does nothing but punish paying consumers, and does nothing to prevent pirates. If anything, it turns more people to piracy, since pirates don't have to put up with any of this DRM crap.

dc337
dc337

OnLive just feeds you video based on your actions. You can't take that video and turn it into a game. The PS3 has been able to block piracy as well. Piracy is not inevitable.