Since the reports a few weeks ago about Ubisoft’s 93-95% claimed piracy numbers, Ubi has continued sending ambassadors out discussing how they are reducing their DRM away from the always-on requirements type to the just-activate-it-on-your-machine type. Tying a game to a machine (or even 5 machines) is still dumb, but not nearly as reviled as requiring one to always be online when server downtime or sunsetting is always a possibility. I guess that if we go from the fire back to the frying pan, we are supposed to be grateful.
It saddens me when I see video game publishers still wrestling over simple customer-satisfaction items like this that are pretty-well solved in the minds of average customers. I look at the video game world as a precursor to the inevitable digital mainlining of most media (mainly the PC gaming world, because the consoles are still acting anti-competitively).
Downloadable music still has a ways to go there, but it’s farther along than TV shows and somewhat movies. But most MP3 customers don’t understand DRM and really shouldn’t have to. Because of the early rifts in digital music rights, there remains a lot of misinformation about where you can play a song you buy on iTunes (the answer is anywhere, now, but at first it was not so) or what to do with music bought from Amazon (drop it into your music device, or import it into iTunes if you roll that way).
It’s odd to me, looking back, that Apple was content to throw away the Fairplay DRM that it developed and move into DRM-free music as soon as it could get the labels to agree to it. Contrast that behavior to Ubisoft’s cattiness when asked by RPS if their DRM had been a mistake. RPS thinks they’re protecting their shareholder’s perspective, but Apple saw a resurgence in its stock following the removal of DRM from iTunes songs.
In fairness, Apple wasn’t producing the music they sold, but their profits were still tied to sales. And, surprise, the world didn’t come down. And people still buy music on iTunes even at their relatively high prices. I suspect that Ubisoft still kind of believes that DRM works, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. And, even if it doesn’t work, as least they’re doing something. If that something alienates the people waving money at you instead of serving them, that something you did was wrong.Source: rockpapershotgun.com