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

posted by MusicallyInspired on - last edited - Viewed by 497 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
  • @Vainamoinen said: "Just eat it" is not the solution to the problem.



    I will agree on that. Complaining about something that will not effect you anyways doesn't help though.

    @Vainamoinen said: I myself have hoped my butt off for Ubisoft to finally make BG&E2, but I will not buy it with the Ubisoft launcher, not ever.

    Well buy a console version then, which leads to the problem I mentioned before.

    @Vainamoinen said:
    You might feel that "90% of the people" are complaining, but fact is, most of them just go on quietly buying PC Ubisoft products. You can hear the outrage by the loud minority, of course.

    I said 90% of those that are complaining, because I know you are right.

    @Vainamoinen said: I'm almost with you on that one. Go on and buy a cheaper PC, it's the thing to do at the moment. And why is that? Because present PCs do not age as fast as some years ago. The games were the driving force to advance the PC part development, and they're either not produced anymore or programmed on the consoles. People don't crave that much for PC power any more. Consoles have halted the need.

    I think it's the other way around. Developers mostly develope with consoles in mind. The games need to run on them because they sell well on them. Most developers put no effort whatsoever in making a decent PC version. So basically the games are optimized for hardware that is 5 years and older. (I have no clue when the Ycarton359 and the PSTripple actually were released, it's been such a long time....)

    @Vainamoinen said:
    Mind you, Ubisoft have proclaimed their DRM a success only weeks ago, they must not actually feel their sales declining.

    This is it. The DRM was actually pretty successful for AC2. The game was not cracked and fully playable on the net for weeks after the release. Nowadays a fully cracked version even before release is actually the standard for major titles. And yes the games should still be selling really well. Of course they might sell a little more without the DRM but that is hardly more than 5% (no source it's a guess).


    On the protesters... I read something in the steamforums that really made me :rolleyes:. The discussion was on Diablo III and it's DRM which is similar to the UBI DRM. (Always Online even for SP) The user said something along those lines:

    "Yeah. I protest the UBI-DRM. But that's mostly because I don't really want to play these games anyways. But there is no chance I'm not buying Diablo III which will easily be the game of the decade."

    Since the thread is gone on the steam forums I can no longer link to the post. But I remember it well because it got me really upset.

    ------------------------------------------------

    @Vainamoinen said: Nay many companies have been asking for that from steam, to get their numbers published openly in the NDP and such. Hell PSN, XBL, and Nintendoware can do it why can't D2D, STEAM, or the other DD sites do it?
    Because the Retailers already give these services a hard time. You may have noticed that the prices for new games on Steam are always higher than they are at retailers like Amazon or play. That's because the retailers are threatening the publishers to stop selling their games (and I assume not only the PC versions) unless they get a better deal than the digital stores. If Steam and D2D would actually name their sales retailers might use their power even more.

    @Vainamoinen said: "It's the same reason you don't let humans see you feeding. It's why the wolf doesn't want the sheep to know he's there. It's also why you don't go juggling dumpsters or outrun the 8:15 from Sacramento. And it's… it's why you didn't know any of this when you woke up this morning."

  • This patch-the-DRM-off thing has happened a few times now. Starting to think that's just the plan from the get-go.

  • Yeah but that has nothing to do with them refusing to release their numbers. So you know, the platform they're backing gets better support.

  • Yes, I'm pretty sure the amount that publishers get from online distributors like Steam for games already released varies according to sales rather than being fixed. On that basis, like Dashing said, they have a figure of DD PC gaming to give shareholders, regardless of Steam's private figures. They don't really need industry figures if they have their portion of it recorded anyway.

  • Private figures don't go to shareholders though, and I'm not sure if they can.

  • @der_ketzer said: Retailers already give these services a hard time. You may have noticed that the prices for new games on Steam are always higher than they are at retailers like Amazon or play. That's because the retailers are threatening the publishers to stop selling their games (and I assume not only the PC versions) unless they get a better deal than the digital stores. If Steam and D2D would actually name their sales retailers might use their power even more.



    What?? Sources please.

    You're telling me that online retailers like Amazon, as well as brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart will refuse to sell PC games if they don't have an opportunity to sell games for cheaper than direct download game distributors like Steam? No. This makes no sense.

    What you're saying is akin to saying that FYE brick-and-mortar music stores will refuse to sell music albums if a label doesn't allow them to sell for cheaper than iTunes. Or like saying Borders Bookstores would intentionally boycott publishers for not allowing them to sell hardcopies of books as cheaply as Amazon sells ebooks for Kindle. No. Ridiculous.

    So... a retailer will intentionally lose profits to spite their supplier just because a retail competitor has less overhead and better distribution/marketing tools? I seriously doubt it.

    Also, Amazon isn't going to strong-arm Square Enix just so they can sell Deus Ex:Human Revolution for cheaper than Steam. Sure, Amazon's PC download is currently $10 cheaper ($40), but their list price for PC download and current sale price for the disc version still says $50. I would better explain the lowered price of Amazon's download version by saying this: They're Amazon. They have good sales, and they're an excellent online store. If Steam wanted to sell the game for cheaper, they would. Just because Steam doesn't at present, it doesn't mean that if they did Square Enix would otherwise face the wrath of Amazon... by making Amazon itself lose money... through forcing Amazon's own customers to shop elsewhere for games that they know people want to buy. Umm... don't you see how dumb that sounds?

    If retailers refused to sell PC games because Steam (and such) was cheaper, then PC gamers would all flock to Steam (and such) instead anyway, making the point of boycotting said games entirely counterproductive.

    @der_ketzer said: Private figures don't go to shareholders though, and I'm not sure if they can.

    Why not? How hard is it to post a profit-margin statement categorized by distributor/retailer or contrasting figures between online vs. brick-and-mortar? And why would it be so super-secret as to keep such information from those who directly invest money in your company?

  • If you think that shareholders aren't allowed to know what profits a company makes, I don't think you understand the whole idea behind shares in the first place.

  • @Chyron8472 said: What?? Sources please.

    You're telling me that online retailers like Amazon, as well as brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart will refuse to sell PC games if they don't have an opportunity to sell games for cheaper than direct download game distributors like Steam? No. This makes no sense.



    I think this traces back to two UK firms huffing over Steam a while ago making idle threats. Nothing came of it as yet though.

    As for shareholders, Valve's a private company on their end at any rate and thus has none.

  • @JedExodus said: I think this traces back to two UK firms huffing over Steam a while ago making idle threats. Nothing came of it as yet though.



    Exactly. And nothing will.

    The very idea of disc-selling retailers strong-arming game publishers into getting a better deal than direct download companies... preposterous.

  • They remained anonymous whilst making the statement (even though it was clearly Game and Gamestop) so it shows how much confidence they really had in it.

    Anyway, it's their own fault. I go to Game to buy a PC title and they have a handful of titles crammed away in some dank little corner.

    "Bwahhh!! Nobodies buying PC Games from us"

    "No shit, you haven't been giving them shelf space for years."

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