Ubisoft: DRM Can't Stop Piracy

VP of digital publishing says, "I don't want us in a position where we're punishing a paying player for what a pirate can get around."

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The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red is not the only gaming company that thinks DRM is an ineffective way to stop piracy on PC. Assassin's Creed and Far Cry publisher Ubisoft believes any game can be cracked with enough time and effort, so developers should instead focus on making games that people actually want to pay for.

"What becomes key for us is making sure we're delivering an experience to paying players that is quality," Ubisoft VP of digital publishing Chris Early told GameSpot. "I don't want us in a position where we're punishing a paying player for what a pirate can get around. Anything is going to be able to be pirated given enough time and enough effort to get in there. So the question becomes, what do we create as services, or as benefits, and the quality of the game, that will just have people want to pay for it?"

During our interview, I brought up the claim that Bethesda's recently released FPS Wolfenstein: The New Order was pirated over 100,000 times in its first week. According to Early, it's a "mistake" to consider that entire figure as lost sales because some number of people were always going to steal the game.

To fight piracy, Early explained that Ubisoft needs to not only focus on making better, more compelling games, but also ensure that these games have more online services (which are not available to pirates) baked into them.

"I think it's much more important for us to focus on making a great game and delivering good services. The reality is, the more service there is in a game, pirates don't get that," Early said. "So when it's a good game and there's good services around it, you're incentivized to not pirate the game to get the full experience."

Following fan feedback, Ubisoft dropped its controversial DRM system in 2012, instead requiring only that PC users connect to the Internet once when they first install a game.

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