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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:46pm 25/04/10 | 44 Comments
Ubisoft's controversial DRM anti-piracy measure for PC games, that requires gamers to have a constant internet connection in order to play any Ubisoft title released on the PC platform, has apparently been hacked by a group calling themselves "Skid Row".

While Ubisoft has claimed there have been server attacks and what not plaguing the system since its launch, the momentum behind this particular DRM bypass is gaining, with it being shared under the radar through peer-to-peer and other difficult-to-trace methods.

According to a report over at CNet the hack actually removes the DRM altogether, replacing an executable file and needing a crack to run. A Readme file with the hack has a message from Skid Row:
Thank you Ubisoft, this was quite a challenge for us, but nothing stops the leading force from doing what we do. Next time focus on the game and not on the DRM. It was probably horrible for all legit users. We just make their lives easier.
At present Ubisoft are remaining steadfast in their DRM solution decision due, in large part, to piracy and the severe loss of revenue they suffer on the PC platform (primarily).












Latest Comments
d^
Posted 02:49pm 25/4/10
And this is why developers leave the pc platform.
Trauma
Posted 03:08pm 25/4/10
I saw this online not long ago, thought it was about time, but didn't think AG would make a news post promoting it.

Sad day when your glad such groups exist. Ubi will either drop PC or the DRM.
corrino
Posted 03:07pm 25/4/10
Honestly though who is found of DRM.
Robbo
Posted 03:16pm 25/4/10
They won't drop either. They will just keep trying.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 03:17pm 25/4/10
well it's news - we're not really *promoting* hackers, or the illegality of piracy, just stating that the DRM issue has reached a critical mass
Shao
Posted 03:19pm 25/4/10
I’m glad this day has come, I have nothing against drm generally speaking, tho when it stops you using what you’re legitimately entitled to I have no love for it.
This kind of drm will make them lose more money than not having it

ubi should change their drm to only authenticate at launch of the game, also (lacking what steam does) a 48hour offline mode or something like that would be nice (something like needing to connect to the net once every so often [as in days, not hours or minutes] would be semi acceptable, compared to what it is now), I game on an Alienware m17x and I often have no net access
DM
Posted 03:35pm 25/4/10
I knew this would happen. Having big elaborate measures to protect your game only serves as a challenge to these groups to be the first to crack it.
Dazhel
Posted 04:09pm 25/4/10
I game on an Alienware m17x and I often have no net access


So... is that a problem with the m17x model in particular or are you just trying to sneak in a bit of product placement into your post?
Steve Farrelly
Posted 04:09pm 25/4/10
I think Shao has a valid point. The idea of DRM isn't overly daunting, provided its implementation is sound. The issue is, Ubisoft assume everyone buying their games is capable of connecting to the internet, when largely that isn't necessarily the case or, in the instance of say Australian gamers, internet access and connection is ultimately sub-par to the rest of the world leading to drop-outs, generally poor connections or worse. The end result, as we've seen resonated over the past few months, is a tiring experience of even trying to start a game, let alone keep it in consistent motion.

Looking at an internal Steam model for digital distribution and launch would be a start, or a less stringent connectivity and authentication method, as well as options for gamers not connected to the net at all.

Ignoring concepts like this and the raw facts will likely hurt Ubi more than piracy does in the long run. Here's hoping acts of hacking like this, while obviously highly illegal, prompt a more ready response from Ubisoft to loosen their grip and work with gamers, not against them.
Trauma
Posted 04:23pm 25/4/10
well it's news - we're not really *promoting* hackers, or the illegality of piracy, just stating that the DRM issue has reached a critical mass

Nah that's not what I meant Steve, it's just odd to see a group like Skidrow getting proper gaming coverage but I understand why, DRM is gay as.

They won't drop either. They will just keep trying.

I rkn they will drop the DRM, they have done so before (while working on this I guess) and this has failed as it was always going to, I still think if you make a good enough game it wont need any elaborate protection. You only need very basic protection to keep the truly clueless from pirating, everyone else who knows what a torrent is can bypass any protection with ease.
ravn0s
Posted 04:39pm 25/4/10
werent ubi the ones that used a pirating groups hack to patch one of their games?
Lawlord
Posted 04:55pm 25/4/10
fail ubisoft.
Trauma
Posted 05:53pm 25/4/10
werent ubi the ones that used a pirating groups hack to patch one of their games?

Yea they patched in a Reloaded crack for Vegas2, after that embarrassment they dropped all protection for a while.

http://torrentfreak.com/ubisofts-no-cd-answer-to-drm-080718/
Bah
Posted 05:04pm 25/4/10
Looking at an internal Steam model for digital distribution and launch would be a start,
The counter argument to that is steam being useless as drm.
UBI wanted to stop zero day cracks, and they did that.. what effect that had on sales, who knows? I dont think they have released sales figures for ac2?

Also, the skidrow crack has copy protection.
Deano
Posted 05:36pm 25/4/10
The best developers out there realize that treating their customers "guilty until proven innocent" is not good PR and bad for them in the future

Developers like EA and Ubisoft are way too hard and unreasonable with the treatment of their users.

Strict policies like "always online" are ridiculous especially when playing SP.

I'm a savy buyer so I'm always checking these things before buying for example:

I did not buy 2 games I wanted to this year simply because of "always online" required for singleplayer play.

I have a decent internet connection but I don't like the common possibility of being 3/4 through a level and then having a message pop up saying hey... could not verify and then the game closes...

BAD EXPERIENCE!

Developers beware of the backlash from potentional customers.
gamer
Posted 05:55pm 25/4/10
Also. Fuck all those people saying 'they just want to protect their game'. Some of the most recent games released have had three hundred million dollar sales (that's 300,000,000.00+) sales in the first WEEK.

They are getting plenty for their fucking games. If they were to realise that the cost of their games keeps many from being able to afford them and drop it, including the lower income (poorer) families they would notice an overall increase in the number of customers and loyal supporters.

That's the way i see it anyway. I would have loved to play Moden Warefare 2... but i had to choose between MW2 and Bad Company 2. So in the end, i chose BC2 because it was only $90 and MW2 at the time was over $130!

Fuck that.


source here

cant find the other source but halo 3 took less then 100million to make, so thats 200million profit in the first week.


last edited by gamer at 17:52:26 25/Apr/10

edit2

here is another repulsive fucking sales figure click this - mw2 550million in first week!

last edited by gamer at 17:55:15 25/Apr/10
Twisted
Posted 06:37pm 25/4/10
Good stuff! Screw DRM that bones legit customers.
parabol
Posted 07:15pm 25/4/10
UBI wanted to stop zero day cracks

Well if your DRM is so restrictive and your servers are so unstable and overloaded in the first week of release that a significant number of your legitimate customers can't play, then yes you have also managed to stop zero day releases.
Shao
Posted 07:59pm 25/4/10
Dazhel, no intention of epenis boasting intended, was just a simple way to say that im often gaming on a laptop and am used to people saying u cant game properly on one, and that as a result of not always being at home with it i often have no net access
darkjedi
Posted 08:24pm 25/4/10
And this is why developers leave the pc platform.


Explain this to Capcom, who with the PSN release of Final Fight: Double Impact added a DRM system very similar to Ubisoft's in that it requires your PS3 to be online else the game won't run. Needless to say, this just encouraged me to not buy it and spent the cash on After Burner Climax instead.

For the record, Capcom's response was oh sorry, we forgot to mention that".. They then go on to blame "rampant PSN sharing" for having to include it. Way to go guys!
kirkoswald
Posted 10:13pm 25/4/10
Well done Skidrow... cant wait for some more great titles to go to console...
Dazhel
Posted 10:35pm 25/4/10
No worries Shao, just checkin to see if you work for Alienware. ;)
I agree with your point too, single player gaming shouldn't require a network connection - paying customers are the ones copping the brunt.
cJay
Posted 11:01pm 25/4/10
"Skid Row" Have not these hackers been around since the day dot? I remember some of their releases like decades ago.
Mantorok
Posted 11:07pm 25/4/10
cJay
Posted 11:12pm 25/4/10
hi5 Mantorok!
Trauma
Posted 11:30pm 25/4/10
Old skool, my uncle loves Amigas, he's got a bunch of em.
Oracle
Posted 01:23pm 26/4/10
Well, isn't that precious! I piracy group pretending to care about legitimate users! Look, they think they're people! Awwwwww....
tequila
Posted 02:30pm 26/4/10
So... is that a problem with the m17x model in particular or are you just trying to sneak in a bit of product placement into your post?


I believe his point is that he games on a laptop and is often in a situation where thar' be no internets
Spook
Posted 03:08pm 26/4/10
man, how much did demo/crack coders love that rolling text!~?
gamer
Posted 03:16pm 26/4/10
cant wait for some more great titles to go to console...


I lol'ed.

It seams to me this is the new buzz phrase. Complete with inbuilt fear mongering that developers will somehow abandon the cashcow that is computers for only consoles.

Dont kid yourself dude. Consoles allow pirating of software just as easily as pc's do. Now and into the future.
Lithium
Posted 03:25pm 26/4/10
Good work SKIDROW! Ubisoft should pay people to pirate their games seeings as though they are so shit.. fuckin clueless bunch blame piracy. Make a good game for a change!

Trauma
Posted 03:52pm 26/4/10
Lithium, Ubi make great games, shit DRM does not change the fact.
Eorl
Posted 04:33pm 26/4/10
@orcale they technically are people...very smart people in fact. I'd like to see you crack a video game's DRM
Midda
Posted 04:39pm 26/4/10
Dont kid yourself dude. Consoles allow pirating of software just as easily as pc's do. Now and into the future.

Yes, consoles allow the use of pirated software, but you're fucking high if you think it's as easy to achieve on consoles as it is on PC. You still can't even do it on PS3.
Seven
Posted 05:17pm 26/4/10
DRM. It makes sense to have it if you're a company trying to make more money. Should you use it if it even remotely pisses your customers off? NO.

To be honest, I think companies like Ubisoft are showing a lack of respect for fans of their games. Assassin's Creed I would not have received rave reviews like it did with an intrusive DRM system. They expect the next instalment, AC2 will grab instant attention and love, and thus sales. Obviously they want more users to buy it rather than pirate it.

It really sucks, because supply and demand rules do not apply to this entire system. The more popular a game is does not reduce its supply. Supply is unlimited. Even in cases with digital distribution, where the user partakes in paying for the game acquisition, prices do not drop. There is no "user wins" scenario. Only a win for the companies involved.
MatchFixah
Posted 05:59pm 26/4/10
The more popular a game is does not reduce its supply. Supply is unlimited
Really? why wouldn't it reduce supply? it would at least in the short term, especially if it's purchased from a retailer where they stock limited quantities?
kirkoswald
Posted 09:02pm 26/4/10
"Yes, consoles allow the use of pirated software, but you're fucking high if you think it's as easy to achieve on consoles as it is on PC. You still can't even do it on PS3"


Yep , totally agree.

Gamer, whats your deal ? are you like 12 years old and cant see the business aspect of gaming?

Ubisoft screwed up with their DRM but only because the servers were down, not because it requires you to have a internet connection to play... Im never on my pc with it not being connected... who is ?

Ubisoft are just looking to cover their ass , even if they fail with skidrow hacking them..
kirkoswald
Posted 09:28pm 26/4/10
* Gamer - " Some of the most recent games released have had three hundred million dollar sales (that's 300,000,000.00+) sales in the first WEEK"

YEAH I AGREE, They should make their next 3 titles FOR FREE because they've made enough money and are greedy for wanting anymore! ..

pfft seriously *Gamer*
ravn0s
Posted 09:49pm 26/4/10
Ubisoft screwed up with their DRM but only because the servers were down, not because it requires you to have a internet connection to play



they screwed up because of both of those things


you should never be required to be online to play a single player game.


Pinky
Posted 09:58pm 26/4/10
I think their mistake was to have ONLY an online DRM system with no further server stats/upgrades or some other included service.

EA have been using online validation for DRM for ages essentially.

Ubisoft could have avoided all the bad publicity by adding some features where settings are stored online (or save games or whatever) - so, like with MSN Messenger, when you log in you get your data back. You reformat, install game again, you log in and get your settings back or whatever. They could publicise this as a *feature* and shift the focus off the DRM which of course would be the main aim. Hook the game into the saved online data very deeply so that cracking is very difficult.

If they are losing as much money as they say they are, the above setup would cost some money but would be an investment into recovering the masses of money they think they are losing.

The other advantage of running online storage is that you can whack in your EULA that the game will be supported for 5 years - then you can control your market. Not good for gamers of course, but I'm just speaking from a purely commercial business perspective. Just pointing out that I think they haven't made great business decisions.
Bah
Posted 10:12pm 26/4/10
Err it did have online saves.
Pinky
Posted 10:29pm 26/4/10
Err it did have online saves.

Yeah, that was a bad example. It's not enough.
Crizane Tribal
Posted 06:38pm 27/4/10
Well if your DRM is so restrictive and your servers are so unstable and overloaded in the first week of release that a significant number of your legitimate customers can't play, then yes you have also managed to stop zero day releases.

HAHA, priceless. Parabol wins the thread.

Seriously though... hardcore pirates won't buy a game just because it's too hard to pirate.
Bah
Posted 06:47pm 27/4/10
Settlers7 appears to be properly cracked now too.
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