Ubisoft dialing back DRM for Driver: San Francisco on PC

Ubisoft is backing away from plans to saddle PC Driver: San Francisco players with restrictive DRM - but just barely. Responding to backlash over its initial decision to make the open world driving game unplayable without a constant internet connection, the studio stated it will be switching to a less demanding DRM system whereby players will only have to log online once at the beginning of the game to prove they aren't dirty ruthless pirates.

“We’ve heard your feedback regarding the permanent internet connection requirement for Driver and have made the decision to no longer include it. So this means that Driver PC gamers will only need to sign in at game launch but can subsequently choose to play the game offline,” said a Ubisoft rep to Rock Paper Shotgun

Ditching always-on DRM should appease law abiding PC players who feel most inconvenienced by such anti-piracy measures (other than, you know, the pirates who already know how to bypass these requirements). Still, the need to prove one's legitimacy at the start of every games makes this more of a half measure than one that fully addresses its fans' DRM concerns. But then, that's probably because Ubisoft has absolutely no desire to fully address its fans' DRM concerns. Last month, a Ubisoft rep told PC Gamer its DRM measures were doing an excellent job of creating “A clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection, and from that point of view the requirement is a success”.

Ubisoft's always-on DRM last appeared in its From Dust PC Port, citing outrage from a large number of owners on the game's Facebook page. We'll see if the switch to 'always-at-launch' DRM will be received better when Driver: San Francisco arrives for the PC on September 27th in North America, and September 30th in the UK. The game will also be released earlier in reverse regional order for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii on September 2nd in the UK, and September 6th in North America.

Aug 19, 2011

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  • BobsYurUncle - August 19, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    why not a one-time activation? What is wrong with that?
  • jasoncarter - August 19, 2011 9:57 p.m.

    Considering the bullshit they just pulled with From dust on pc, screw them. They deserve to go out of business for blatantly lying to their customers.
  • Baron164 - August 19, 2011 7:59 p.m.

    Well if I do end up getting this game it will be on 360. Any PC game that requires an internet connection that's not an MMO or multiplayer is BS.
  • celticwhisper - August 19, 2011 4:51 p.m.

    Any DRM at all equates to "No Sale," Ubisoft. How long can you keep funding production of DRM systems (and games, for that matter) when you're starved of cash by customers turning a blind eye to your deliberately-broken product? I won't shed a single tear if Ubisoft goes out of business. Oh, well - there are other game companies in the world and maybe they'll learn a lesson from seeing Ubisoft hang themselves with their DRM obsession.
  • Potchi79 - August 19, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    Well, I won't be buying this now.
  • Hullonotna - August 19, 2011 4:02 p.m.

    You know I wouldn't be to picky about it if my internet wasn't shit and got disconnected every few minutes. Still like Ubisofts games so will buy them (once I get my internet fixed).
  • jakethesnakes - August 19, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    Not good enough. All Ubi games are still on my will-not-buy list. Get rid of your awful internet required DRM from all your games and then I'll think about buying something from you.
  • rabidpotatochip - August 19, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    The irony? Pirates will be able to play offline. Ubisoft should keep in mind that there has _never_ been a DRM that hasn't been broken. DRM used to be about stopping casual piracy in the first few weeks to months of release, when a game makes most of its money, now it's degenerated to the point of sending the message that legitimate customers can't be trusted. Put another way, if your method of stopping piracy impairs my use as a legitimate user you're doing it wrong.
  • angelusdlion - August 19, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    Congratulations Ubisoft you made me want to not play your game at all.
  • db1331 - August 19, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    "PC gamers will only need to sign in at game launch but can subsequently choose to play the game offline" That's exactly what they said about From Dust, then included the always-online DRM anyways. Steam is currently offering refunds for it since Ubi lied. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The only people DRM affects are the ones who purchased your game the right way. People will still pirate it. From Dust just came out and there are already people playing the pirated version that bypasses the DRM.
  • festafreak - August 19, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    Screw Ubisoft. I want to play a game when internet is out.

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