Ubisoft loosens Driver DRM restrictions - Report

San Francisco-set racer eschewing always-on Internet connection, but will still require players to sign on at launch, with option to play offline afterward.

Last month, Ubisoft revealed that the PC version of its upcoming Driver: San Francisco would feature its always-on digital rights management system, requiring a constant Internet connection to play the title, even in single-player modes. Today, Rock Paper Shotgun is reporting the publisher is pulling, if not a 180, at least a gentle left-hand turn.

Ubisoft is downshifting Driver's DRM.

According to the PC-focused blog, Ubisoft heard disapproving feedback about the requirement and, as a result, has decided against implementing that form of DRM in the new Driver. However, PC players will still need to sign in with Ubisoft's servers at the game's launch and can then choose to play the game offline if they wish.

Driver: San Francisco will be a throwback to previous installments in the franchise, featuring a matchup between original protagonist John Tanner and Driver 2 antagonist Charles Jericho. In terms of plot, Tanner, a hard-boiled detective behind the wheel of a 1970s-era Shelby GT500, is on the hunt for Jericho, and the two engage in vehicular duels on the streets of the titular hilly California city.

The game will include more than 100 licensed vehicles, all of which are subject to damage. The game will also feature a supernatural element as Tanner is pursuing his mark from the confines of a coma. Tanner's situation impacts gameplay, as players will be able to pause time to hop to a new vehicle on the fly, as well as get a bird's-eye view of the city to jump to various locations.

Driver: San Francisco is set for release September 6 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, with the PC version trailing September 27. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Discussion

103 comments
emanc93
emanc93

People do realize that this is why the PC platform is dying as a viable option for multi-platfrom titles. It's just not profitable. Try instituting DMR, and player's throw a fit. Sans DMR, your game will surely be pirated. PC gamers are killing their own platform. Sad, but true

HollowNinja
HollowNinja

Remove it, and then we'll talk. Oh, by the way, Ubisoft, me not buying the game has the exact same effect as if I had pirated it, except that I'm not committing a crime this way.

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

What, I thought this DRM was a SUCCESS??? Having second thoughts, Ubi?

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

This plot is so bad.... Shifting, a coma...? Ubisoft, go look at Driv3r, then go MAKE IT AGAIN!

Gen007
Gen007

hmm so From Dust hasn't taught them diddly squat. One day they will get it but that day might be too late unfortunately. If it werent for the AC series Ubisoft would really by hurting right now.

trfritzen
trfritzen

If anything this DRM would force legit players to turn to piracy to get the offline function they want. This new decision is a fair compromise then going nazi on legit gamers forcing the constant internet connect.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

This is great. I don't mind signing in to approve the install, but when they force me to play online the ENTIRE TIME even in single player, that's just lame dude. And considering I'm in college and don't have the money to pay for internet right now, it totally sucks when publishers force you to play online.

joder666
joder666

Now if they make it like starcraft2 where you just need a one time activation for the off-line mode OK. Otherwise F!ck the damn DRM.

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@randsome1 You really haven't thought about this very much, have you?

01706_123
01706_123

drivers looks like a amazing game i downloaded the demo it was aweson and im not going to hesitate to buy this game

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@randsome1 technically paying monthly for broadband is paying monthly for a game that you have to be online to play... Derpty durp

Chrypt22
Chrypt22

People whine... people complain... but one way or another hate it or not they will find a solution. Maybe it will never be 100%, but they can tighten it down enough to make the requirements to pirate a game not worth the trouble. I am suprised that they havent used modern Steganography as a DRM solution which is not very intrusive and it works. The trouble of going through and cracking imbedded 256 bit Steganography codes isnt worth the trouble and probably wouldnt work anyway. Thats what I vote for.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Video Game Developers/Publishers: All Anti-Piracy methods will fail and be cracked, in one way or another. So...stop?

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

Thank you UBI fro taking off DRM!!!! Now if other companies would cut that crap out!

recvx_freak
recvx_freak

wow....latest trailer got me all tingly inside :)

MN121MN
MN121MN

Now that's what they should've done, not add more restriction to it, it will give more reasons for others to pirate this game...

pidow
pidow

UBI, shows that they care about us that buys their games and as long as they continue to consider me/us, I will buy their games.. For those who do not, no sale.

fzd88
fzd88

Man, DRMs are so annoying for us paying customers. I honestly have downloaded cracked files for my boxed-copy games just so I can avoid the stupid DRM and loosing my save games and progress. For games such as these, why even bother with DRM? Racing games are only fun online, so pirates are missing 90% of the game anyway.

jamyskis
jamyskis

@randsome1: Your ignorance and arrogance astound me. I live in a region where the internet connection is spotty as a general rule (our nearest node is 11km away), and changing modem or provider won't make the slightest bit of difference. I'm not alone in this, so you'd best check your facts before you start with that condesending tone. And FYI, D:SF IS using the online pass.

jamyskis
jamyskis

Not good enough by far. Even having to activate upon first launch or installation is still unacceptable (a la Mass Effect, Steam games), but is just about tolerable, as I can at least play on the road when I don't have internet. While not having to be connected during the game does ensure that I could at least play the game at home, being bound to the Ubisoft server in this way means that the game is worthless to me. Ubisoft, you've got a lot to make up for with the way you've insulted PC gamers over the past couple of years.

airsoftmanic
airsoftmanic

Ubisoft is lying again. they said before From Dust was released that it would have only one-time activation (what, like steam hasn't done this since the beginning of time?) which we were all happy about. they then changed this on the official forums to say you needed connection all the time, and even worse than this, flat out DENIED that they had one-time activation in the first place. thank god people took screenshots of the original forum post. Ubisoft has LIED before and they will LIE again.

justcool2
justcool2

awesome soundtrack on the vid

shanethewolf
shanethewolf

They do this to try and stop piracy, and yet the pirated versions will not require any net connection or intrustive software. Ironic.

CTR360
CTR360

i hope driver san francisco its good game i love the series on PSX no anothert crap game

randsome1
randsome1

Ok I don't care if people hate me for this comment. For one, all you need is internet to play it. WHO GIVES A ****?? There is no point sitting here crying about it. You don't want to have to have an online connection? Then buy an xbox or ps3. Jesus you people act like you have to pay for the game on a monthly basis. If your interent sucks, switch providers, get a new modem. Whatever. If you can sit on this site and comment about why you hate this then your internet is probably fine. If your interent goes down for a couple days, OH NO!!! It's only a couple days. At least Ubisoft didn't introduce their online pass with this game or the comments would be even more annyoing.

Icehearted
Icehearted

Was this game really meant for greatness anyway. I haven't really cared about Driver since the first one. I think this is just one of those series that evolved poorly, and slapping a big fat DRM (which I guarantee only paying customers will have to fuss with) isn't going to go very far toward changing this.

Flint247
Flint247

Will it hurt to make a normal game? If it isn't broke, don't fix it.

imadqamar
imadqamar

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

imadqamar
imadqamar

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

imadqamar
imadqamar

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

imadqamar
imadqamar

Driver's preorder sales did not seem good on Steam atleast. Its probably because of the DRM that people aren't buying it. Maybe that's the reason they decided to make it the same way they changed it for, e.g, Splinter Cell.

imadqamar
imadqamar

@Yulaw2000 They admit that they are in favor of alway-online DRM, but they also mentioned that it won't be implemented in RAGE. Read the Gamespot article again.

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

One game doesn't cut it Ubisoft, and having to sign in at the games launch isn't much better. Lose the DRM completely as its not doing anything for your legitimate customers except being an irritation. Your going to have to trust your customers or you'll lose them (like me! I already refuse to buy anything with Ubisoft's name attached to it because of said DRM.).

brok
brok

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Dawg9000
Dawg9000

@rockafella06 Did you even read the article?

DrKill09
DrKill09

Ha. See, Ubisoft, you are the only ones who like your ****y DRM. :roll:

Ergo_Proxy656
Ergo_Proxy656

Kind of hard for me to actually believe Ubisoft after the way they're handling From Dust. Making it pretty clear that DRM would only be required for a one-time activation, then going back to edit after launch that it's in fact having to start the game every time with an internet connection, then being able to play offline(WHAT PURPOSE DOES THAT SERVE). Well, Ubi? Can Driver fans expect the same treatment?

rockafella06
rockafella06

Ubisoft will make kids cry this Christmas when they try and load there game into the new xbox just to find it doesn't work without internets. I have two 360 consoles, one is online in my bedroom and the other is for offline in the lounge. The Lounge console is played the most and my best games are seen and played by my friends. They have bought games after playing them over my house, so no sale to me could loose many... Simply, You Suck Ubisoft!!!

billlabowski
billlabowski

Still unacceptable, still not buying. Sorry Ubisoft. Oh and that goes for Far Cry 3 as well.

boyd62
boyd62

Still not good enough, since i travel frequently and play games offline many times. Just means i wont be spending cash with Ubisoft which is not a big loss anyway

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

I still find it hard to believe that id want to push for this always online stuff too. Its a shame because I was thinking of getting Rage day one until I herd that was the direction they were going in, not to mention the Single player Pass rubbish that it has.

neil_2468
neil_2468

Ugh, they really should lose the DRM completely. Then people just might actually buy the PC version knowing they aren't supporting DRM.

kaem79
kaem79

Better but not good enough Ubisoft. Every game should only require a one-time-activation to be played. Not a forced Steam or coc or multiple-time-activation drm. To all game developers out there, I will never buy your illegal, intrusive drm games. And the piracy will only be going up.

Blink3r
Blink3r

@Cobra5 thanks, i didn't know the whole story... it sure is a sad one... and it may repeat itself once again...

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

Well that's progress at least, but still unacceptably.

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

@poidad Among other reasons, if your ISP has spells of unreliability (like mine, because Comcast sucks even if it is better than the alternatives here), you can't play a single player game that you paid for while someone who cracked it can. This isn't going into the privacy, inconvenience, bandwidth cap, principles of product ownership, etc issues that also come up with this kind of DRM. This isn't ideal that they're still keeping some DRM, but it's better than before. DRM is a waste of time, though, I'm willing to bet there hasn't been a single DRM that hasn't been cracked within a week or two of the game coming out. However, there's plenty of DRM that kill sales because people just don't want to deal with it, or worse, people pirate it, rationalizing that this is getting back at the company for using such dumb DRM. It doesn't work, just stop pissing off your legitimate customers.

GAMERALL
GAMERALL

The sign-in-first is a trick to make sure the copy of the game is legitimate. However it won't be difficult to crack. I'm not with piracy but Ubisoft should have dropped the whole thing. It would've made them look better.