Driver: San Francisco requires constant connection and more marketing time

Ubisoft seems to be doing everything in its power to scupper the comeback chances of its promising Driver: San Francisco, with the revelation that the title will bring back the always-online DRM checks the company was thought to have phased back. The news comes hot on the heels of Ubi's announcement that D:SF would debut the company's Uplay Passport system, which requires second-hand buyers to purchase an access code for online play, together with confirmation that the title's release date has slipped. It truly is all your bad news, in one bad-news basket!

Above: Ubisoft's last venture into always-on DRM left a lot of damage in its wake (see what we did there?)

Nobody in the world liked the Ubisoft Online Services Platform when it debuted in 2010. US Armed Forces stationed abroad pointed out that many of their favorite Ubi games were functionally unplayable over patchy foreign networks with the system's constant DRM verification, which was a funny way for Ubisoft to realize that there are literally thousands of potential customers outside the US (and plenty within) lacking a constant Internet connection, but there we go. Then the servers went down, and nobody could play their games, and really the only people who didn't mind any of this were pirates, who'd cracked the titles months ago, so it's nice to know Ubisoft was keeping someone happy.

Anyway, Driver: San Francisco is confirmed by Ubisoft to bring the Online Services Platform – scaled down in January to make only one online check at the start of play – back in full effect, with a failed check resulting in a short grace period followed by the game hanging until players go back online. The announcement could hurt sales for the title: PC figures for Assassin's Creed 2 were said to suffer from UOSP's inclusion, and that title was coming off the back of a very positive reception for the console versions of the game, whereas Driver: San Francisco's challenge is to restore the series' damaged reputation after the poorly-received Driv3r.

Ubisoft urged consumers to remember that the game would release simultaneously on consoles, which is cold comfort for PC players; the US release date, it's been announced, has slipped by a week from late August to early September due to “shipping considerations and getting the best exposure in North America, not production of the game.” A hard week to be a Driver fan – but do you think the finished game could still make it all worthwhile?

Jul 27, 2011

Source: Shacknews


  • crumbdunky - July 28, 2011 7:33 p.m.

    I would have probably bought this for my PS3, if I'm being honest, but feel EVERYONE should kick them up the arse for doing this again. Even those without the possibility of playing it on PC shopuld asack buying itr FOR them. Support each other and , just maybe, the industry won't be so over entitled and try to make us feel sorry for them over used sales when a lot of us work in other industries that cope with, and see the benewfits OF, second hand sales. As a muso I also have money stolen from me and my kids via piracy and I don't insist on some mental DRM that punishes the legit buyers(in this case gamers)to make me feel a bit better about it.. They don't deserve our cash if they treat gamers like this and some solidarity over DRM and online passes etc would be a start to showing them we aren't as soft a target as they think and won't merely bend over and say "cheers" after each shafting they dish out in bizarrely misguided piracy curbing attempts or ways to claim used sales cash when they haven't made games good enough to effin well keep! They ignore any possible benefit of used sales(allowing for poor gamers, often students, to stay with gaming during their early adult years rather than going to other hobbies, building new fans of genres, series etc which wouldn't ever be risked at full price or even keeping the online portion of a game well populated and full servers are a great ad for your next game and if a used sale makes someone hooked they will buy the next, more than likely, anyway!)or decent ways(longer/more game trials?)of attacking piracy by doing these things which also serve to give pirates good PR("look!", they can say," the industry is SOOO greedy! Why not try out a torrent? They expect us to pay for games with all this crap? They cry about used sales when no one else does and gaming's a dear hobby ANYWAY!")which stops US being on the same anti piracy side(we turn a blind eye as we get shafted by the industry)as the industry which is the first step to stopping it-which is what we should all be working towards through better understanding of each other.
  • jakethesnakes - July 28, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    I haven't bought an Ubisoft title since they implemented this DRM and won't buy a single one until they remove it from every single one of their games. I might be missing out, but c'est la vie. I won't compromise. Plus there are enough other good games to play that don't have such awful DRM in them.
  • mothbanquet - July 28, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    Having endured my (PC-gaming) friend's endless tirades over the evils of DRM, I shook my head at reading this. Not just because I want to get a decent gaming rig in the future but because it's only a matter of time before console games rely on a connection to XBL/PSN too. My initial enthusiasm for PC gaming died years ago when I couldn't play my eagerly-anticipated copy of HL2:Ep1 because of a lack of internet connection. It's saddening to see that companies still impose these conditions on people who have already bought and paid for the game they are then entitled to play.
  • RicePuddingUK - July 28, 2011 2:31 p.m.

    What's wrong with pre-owned games? I'm sorry but if I finally come across your game 5 year after release I'm not paying £40 for it (I'm looking at you CoD4)
  • rabidpotatochip - July 28, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    @etherealshadow - Speaking of not learning... moral and legal implications aside, if you pirate a game you're sending a clear message that there is at least some demand for it. The only way to send a message that this is a bad idea is for _everyone_ to have nothing to do with it and leave it to die on the raodside, even the people who wouldn't buy it anyway.
  • Baron164 - July 28, 2011 1:25 p.m.

    Well they have successfully convinced me not to purchase the PC version. I don't know why developers insist on killing PC gaming with this bull. The game looks interesting but I'll pick it up on the 360 which will let me play it without an internet connection.
  • etherealshadow - July 28, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Ok. Now I'm going to pirate this game. Not because I want it. I won't even play it. I'm just going to do it to spite Ubisoft for being idiots. Some people just don't learn >.<
  • MySistersMenstruationTastesFunny - July 28, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    Like anyone was going to pirate it in the first place. Now they're asking for it. I usually hate piracy, but I think snagging this one would be completely justified.
  • angelusdlion - July 28, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    PC version will be cracked in a month, tops.. if it's not already. *yawns* next story. Also, I will not be gettign this game because I rent before I buy.
  • Ultima - July 28, 2011 9:19 a.m.

    This is a sure-fire way to encourage pirating, it almost gives people an excuse to do so. It's like you buy the game but you still dont actually own it because you have to ask permission to play it. I just dont know what they are thinking, there are plenty of other good games available which dont mess you about.
  • oni - July 28, 2011 7:35 a.m.

    "PC figures for Assassin's Creed 2 were said to suffer from UOSP's inclusion" Understatement. I haven't bought any Ubisoft title in 2010.This year I bought Cliff of Dover because it uses Steam but it's too buggy to enjoy. I was planning to goggle up whether Ubisoft will be giving away offline play patches for the titles I've missed when I heard Ubisoft is ditching the DRM. Then, I read THIS article..... Move along....
  • Erebus - July 28, 2011 5:46 a.m.

    If anything it will simply increase piracy! I still don't understand these companies that feel the need to have so many restrictions on games that have been legitimately bought. Bring back the code wheel as DRM like in the early 90s!!
  • Solid_Gabriel - July 28, 2011 4:51 a.m.

    I don't know about you guys, but I'm always traveling to another city, near the beach, where I don't have internet connection. The only way I use the ineternet is through my cell phone. So When I go there, I don't play games online. I like to spend a good amount of my vacations there, so that means I won't be able to play any of these Ubisoft games, if this shit continue to happen.
  • HaVoK308 - July 28, 2011 4:28 a.m.

    UBI seem oblivious to their fuckups. Just look no further that this years E3. They are the one company who truly does not understand it's customers. They are even worse than Capcom. Driver's sales will suffer, they will continue to lose money, and they will continue to wonder why. Must be a French thing.
  • FOZ - July 28, 2011 4:09 a.m.

    It does nothing. It's really that simple. This will have zero impact on piracy.
  • wolfboy20 - July 28, 2011 4 a.m.

    I'm praying to all that is holy that is a cruek sick joke becuz this is the worst idea i have ever seen implemented into a game....srsly ubisoft change this!!!!
  • thedez - July 28, 2011 2:45 a.m.

    I'm sick of this bull. ubisoft is dead to me.
  • Redeater - July 28, 2011 2:38 a.m.

    Driver 1 was the only good game in this series and that was years ago! This would piss me off more if I had any desire to play this stupid thing. Thank god I don't but I have a feeling this will only lead to more of this DRM bullshit.
  • Tomgoulter - July 28, 2011 2:33 a.m.

    @Shanetexas: The console versions won't require online authentication. UOSP is PC-only. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
  • Shanetexas - July 28, 2011 2:25 a.m.

    I can understand PC games that require a internet connection, because most computers are connected to the internet, but hey, I just want to play my console single-player game without connecting to the internet. And is Driver this big killer of a game that deserves this fuss? "Well you only have to check it once". Well I shouldn't have to check it at all. I bought/rented the game, and I can't play it because I don't have access to the internet or the internet's down.

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