I thought Ubisoft had lied to us, but instead they acted incompetent and shifty when trying to explain From Dust’s DRM.
From Dust was released on Steam August 17, and the post explaining it will have a “one-time only online activation” was posted on their forums August 1. So, if I were a potential buyer, I would be nice and happy to know that unlike most of Ubisoft’s latest PC titles, I wouldn’t have to have Internet access after I’ve bought the game.
As it turns out, that post was misleading in the most annoying of ways. When they said “one-time only online activation” they actually meant, “one-time only online activation” each time you want to play the game. You boot up the game, Ubisoft connects to the Internet to make sure you own the game, and you’re free to go offline as long as you don’t exit. It sounds simple enough, right? Why couldn’t Ubisoft type that up in the post before everyone went and spent $15 on it? I don’t know.
They did finally post the truth, or clarification rather, a day after the game released. This was where they went wrong, and basically scammed their users. Okay, that’s a little harsh, but that fact that someone couldn’t go edit in a real explanation before the game launced is ridiculous, and is not acceptable.
Ubisoft is a big company, they could make the time to avoid all of this.
But the real problem lies with our DRM situation now. For the most extreme among us that want to vote with their dollars, they’ll pirate the game. None of their money will support Ubisoft. They will be able to play offline no matter what. Honestly, I don’t like this idea, but it’s going to happen now.
I’m more unhappy with Ubisoft’s failure to explain the reality of the From Dust’s DRM. For such a prestigious guy like Eric Chahi behind it, and that it’s a bad port from what I hear, it’s sad to see people resorting to pirating.
So, how do we fix this? I guess, I really can’t answer that, but we need to handle DRM way better than it’s behind handled now. When I take the moment to really think about it, I begin to start coming up with really gross reasons why Ubisoft would effectively lie to consumers. I understand it could have also just been a simple error that someone forgot to fix, but either way it’s very sad that this even occurred.
DRM in it’s most simplest sense is fine, but when we abuse it, or somehow fail to inform the people purchasing the content, it’s useless and embarrassing.