Last weekend PC gamers trying to play Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed 2 found themselves unable to connect to the company’s servers and thus unable to play the game. Ubisoft recently implemented a very controversial anti-piracy measure for their games which requires players to be connected to the Internet at all times in order to be able to play the game at all.
Exactly as many critics had warned of, shortly after the copy-protection went live, hackers ran a denial-of-service attack against Ubisoft which prevented legitimate consumers from playing the game. You know who could still play the game though? Pirates who’d already bypassed the game’s security.
This just goes to prove that it’s always paying customers who bear the brunt of restrictive digital right management schemes on games. Pirates just find a way to side-step the hassle of DRM and ignore it completely, leaving law-abiding gamers as the true victims. This has been the case for decades now.
I’m not sure when companies will wise up and realize that ever-increasingly draconian copy-protection will never stop piracy. It just presents one more challenge to be overcome by technologically savvy folk who love a challenge and already have too much time on their hands. Ubisoft certainly hasn’t learned this lesson, as they’ve vowed to stick with their system despite the outcry and obvious inherent flaws.