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Ubisoft Breaks Steam's TOS With From Dust DRM; Valve Offers Refunds

posted by MusicallyInspired on - last edited - Viewed by 1K users

[quote]
"Ubisoft Breaks Steam's ToS With From Dust DRM; Valve Offers Refunds"

Author: William Usher
published: 2011-08-18 18:27:44

Big publishers never cease to amaze me how far they will go to screw gamers over for a quick buck, even at the expense of business integrity and consumer trust. Well, Ubisoft proves they’re no less evil than Activision or EA by breaking Steam’s terms of service agreement and forcing DRM into the PC version of From Dust after they said they wouldn’t.

It seems like lately publishers have been proving time and time over again that maybe Valve and the Steam powered digital distribution service really are the champions of the people.

In an article on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Ubisoft has changed their tuned about only requiring gamers to log-in once via a standard issue DRM security measure for their recent god-game, From Dust. Supposedly, after the one-time log-in gamers would be free to use the game from then on without requiring to be online to play the single-player game. Unfortunately, that’s not true anymore. Ubisoft has changed their tune and you will now always be required to be online each and every time you plan to log-in and play the game.

According to Lo-Ping, Valve is offering refunds to anyone who purchased the game. You’ll have to hop through a few loops and sign a ticket but I think the hassle would be well worth it in this case.

Take note that Ubisoft recently announced that they would be scaling back on the DRM for Driver San Francisco, which is a little scary because the same thing they said that wouldn't be included in From Dust WAS in fact included in From Dust in a backdoor manner. Does this mean that gamers can potentially expect the same fate from Driver San Francisco when it launches for PC in late September? If Ubisoft lied once about their inclusion of DRM I don't see why they wouldn't lie about it again.

Without a shadow of a doubt I’m now convinced that Valve removing those EA games from the Steam service and preventing the likes of Battlefield 3 from appearing on the service due to a breach in terms of service was actually for the betterment of the PC gaming community.

Time and time over it looks like one of the few e-tailers out there with consumers' interest in mind is Steam, and despite some people not being entirely fond of the service, you at least have to tip your hat off to them for not screwing gamers over and for looking out for gamer interests when it comes to software purchases.

Sadly, I doubt Activision, EA or Ubisoft will alter their ways to become more consumer friendly and it probably means we won’t be seeing a lot of PC ports appear on Steam in the future for the same reasons listed above.

You can get the full low-down on Ubisoft’s underhanded tactics over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. And I’ll go ahead and say it for the readers…Ubisoft, that was a real douche-bag move right there. [/quote]

http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Ubisoft-Breaks-Steam-ToS-With-From-Dust-DRM-Valve-Offers-Refunds-34397.html

EDIT: Apparently people on reddit are saying that they are NOT offering refunds, but that Ubisoft is asking customers to go directly to them instead.

http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/jnefp/valve_is_not_honoring_refund_requests_for_the/

88 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • This had better not happen to Anno 2070 or I'll be extremely hacked off.

    Normally, I avoid game managers like Steam because I like to launch games via desktop or start menu, rather than some huge launcher app that hogs system resources and makes the games lose their independent, developer-given feel.

    However, if it takes giants like Valve to keep DRM-mad companies like Ubisoft down, I think I'll have to go with them, just to have some kind of consumer protection.

    If there's one thing I think that's frustrating and pointless, it's DRM. Even though I agree with companies wanting to crack down on unauthorised uses of their software (I believe if it's good and you want it, you should reward the maker for their efforts), but common DRM methods (eg. needing to be online for every single play, which some people might not be able/financially willing to do) really suck for the end users. Not only that but within a day or two of any DRM-touched game coming out, there will be a crack somewhere on the Internet. All pirates have to do is torrent the original software in CD/DVD iso form, get the crack and install it. All the companies succeed in doing is hacking off their customers.

    Rant over.

  • I think there is a function in steam so ykou can create desktop shortcuts to individual games, if that helps.

    But seriously that's a dirty trick on ubi's part. Afterall, wouldn't the game be available to pirate now anyway, without the ott drm?

  • @Friar said: I think there is a function in steam so ykou can create desktop shortcuts to individual games, if that helps.

    Not really. Clicking one of those shortcuts still launches Steam, it just opens in the taskbar and immediately launches the game.

    That said...

    steamam.pngsteamnz.png

  • All that said, with what I've seen of Google Android with a browser-based OS, I would quite like to see Valve make a gaming OS (probably with either a slimline Windows underneath or an in-house especially-made kernel and DirectX support). Now THAT I would happily buy.

  • I do not understand why Ubisoft insist on using this DRM, despite the fact that it has caused them so much more trouble than what the potentail benefits are worth.

    It doesn't stop pirates, it annoys their customers, and all the resources they use to maintain it could be put to much better use...

    It just seems retarded to me...

  • @RetroVortex said: I do not understand why Ubisoft insist on using this DRM, despite the fact that it has caused them so much more trouble than what the potentail benefits are worth.

    It doesn't stop pirates, it annoys their customers, and all the resources they use to maintain it could be put to much better use...

    It just seems retarded to me...

    Couldn't have put it better myself. Well done, that man!

  • @tbm1986 said: Couldn't have put it better myself. Well done, that man!

    Especially considering that people are actively avoiding buying products with this online DRM, and the fact that with most of the games they've tried to implement this in, they actually GIVE IN to the complaints and roll-it back, making the whole endeavor pointless.

    Look Ubisoft, you're not Sean Connery.

    EDIT:
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/08/18/ubisoft-edits-forum-keeps-from-dust-drm/#more-70067

    Seriously, WHAT THE HECK ARE UBISOFT DOING??!?!

    Everything they are doing now goes against any sort of business, common, and possibly even legal sense.

  • Ubisoft is retarded. Didn't they get enough flak already for Assassin's Creed 2 requiring a continuous online presence? I would have thought that to implement such a foolish DRM model would be bad for public relations. Apparently, either the powers-that-be over there never took marketing classes, or they have their PR guys locked in a storage closet somewhere. This really is a stupid move.

    @tbm1986 said: Normally, I avoid game managers like Steam because I like to launch games via desktop or start menu, rather than some huge launcher app that hogs system resources and makes the games lose their independent, developer-given feel.

    I used to feel this way... back when I only had 1 or 2 games from Steam. Now that I have many, I find the Steam UI isn't bothersome at all. Heck, I never bother to use instant messaging software but I don't mind at all having people pm me on my Steam account.

    The truth is that Steam's model really is first rate.

    [LIST]
    [*]They have wonderful sales all the time;
    [*]The advertising of said sales (upon exiting a game) takes some getting used to, but it really isn't that intrusive --not to mention worth having if it alerts you to opportunities to buy great games for 50-75% off at times;
    [*]Though Steam games don't come with physical media, it's all the better for storing install files for games on the cloud rather than searching some increasingly cramped shelf for a disc;
    [*]Further, it makes disc-swapping a la disc-based DRM a moot point (it always bothered me having to search for my physical media just to play games--especially when they have a full install);
    [*]It's highly effective in getting the word out about lesser-well-known quality indie games;
    [*]And finally, if a patch is released for a game, the game is updated automatically and immediately rather than my hearing about it by random chance and then having to navigate a potentially poorly managed developer website while searching for said patch.
    [/LIST]

  • @Chyron8472 said: Ubisoft is retarded. Didn't they get enough flak already for Assassin's Creed 2 requiring a continuous online presence? I would have thought that to implement such a foolish DRM model would be bad for public relations. Apparently, either the powers-that-be over there never took marketing classes, or they have their PR guys locked in a storage closet somewhere. This really is a stupid move.


    I used to feel this way... back when I only had 1 or 2 games from Steam. Now that I have many, I find the Steam UI isn't bothersome at all. Heck, I never bother to use instant messaging software but I don't mind at all having people pm me on my Steam account.

    The truth is that Steam's model really is first rate.

    [LIST]
    [*]They have wonderful sales all the time;
    [*]The advertising of said sales (upon exiting a game) takes some getting used to, but it really isn't that intrusive --not to mention worth having if it alerts you to opportunities to buy great games for 50-75% off at times;
    [*]Though Steam games don't come with physical media, it's all the better for storing install files for games on the cloud rather than searching some increasingly cramped shelf for a disc;
    [*]Further, it makes disc-swapping a la disc-based DRM a moot point (it always bothered me having to search for my physical media just to play games--especially when they have a full install);
    [*]It's highly effective in getting the word out about lesser-well-known quality indie games;
    [*]And finally, if a patch is released for a game, the game is updated automatically and immediately rather than my hearing about it by random chance and then having to navigate a potentially poorly managed developer website while searching for said patch.
    [/LIST]

    Some good points. Unfortunately I live in a household where the head of house turns off the router for EVERYBODY if someone pisses him off (even though technically my board cotributes to the always-on broadband) and if I moved out semi-permanently, I might not have a connection anymore, so playing games that require going online every time I launch a game would not be a good move until I had a permanent place where I controlled the connection.

  • User Avatar Image
    divisionten Moderator

    I used to detest Steam myself, But after going to a very strict Buddhist college in Japan that banned gaming of any sort (even game news sites-yet somehow Telltale- and ONLY Telltale- was immune) through their servers. But I couldn't even play games like Starcraft because of the online presence it required. it pissed me off, naturally. I went on vacation, got a bunch of games from Secret Santa, and discovered how fantastic Steam was. I downloaded and activated them while on vacation, and then could play them offline while back at school.

    Not everyone who games had constant access to the net. What if I wanted to Play on a long airplane ride, in an area with spotty service, or when the power goes out? Not cool, Ubi.

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