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

posted by MusicallyInspired on - last edited - Viewed by 820 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
  • @Rather Dashing said: As long as you buy it why should Square care?
    All this does is give Gamestop a reason to stop selling PC games. So thanks for giving negative press to GameStop. It just makes things harder for people like me, that have no console but still would like to play PC games and that don't care about the pack-in copies since they are either offline or online with a machine that can run the game natively all the time anyways. Just like >90% of the people that are actually complaining just because it's cool and hip at the moment.

    Nicely done RD.

  • @Rather Dashing said: Just like >90% of the people that are actually complaining just because it's cool and hip at the moment.

    Cool and hip? Get a grip man.

    When somebody takes $50 worth of something out of the game box to suit them you've every right to get pissed off.

  • @der_ketzer said: Gamestop removed a coupon from all versions of the new Deus Ex game that would give their customers an extra copy of that game (we are talking about a game that costs 49.99$ on the service this copy was for here, that's stealing) because they don't like competition.

    Let's keep an eye on these quite interesting events. If I wrre Square I would not take these copies back. Gamestop was stealing 50$ from their customers and they should face the consequences for that.

    @der_ketzer said: As long as you buy it why should Square care?
    All this does is give Gamestop a reason to stop selling PC games. So thanks for giving negative press to GameStop. It just makes things harder for people like me, that have no console but still would like to play PC games and that don't care about the pack-in copies since they are either offline or online with a machine that can run the game natively all the time anyways. Just like >90% of the people that are actually complaining just because it's cool and hip at the moment.

    Wait... Dashing, are you arguing in favor of GameStop's sales of PC games, or against them?
    [edit]Nevermind. I get it. :D Dang, I'm slow.[/edit]

    Personally, I've felt the same as JedEx for quite a while now:

    @der_ketzer said: 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."

    This. Very much this.

    Don't you guys realize just how hard it has been to find a retail store that sells a reasonable amount of PC games? By reasonable, I mean somewhere close to comparable to stores' availability of current console games. Seriously, I go to GameStop, and they have huge sections devoted to PS3 and 360; slightly smaller sections for Wii and DS; two or three racks in the middle crammed to bursting point with PS2 and XBOX games; a small-ish shelf somewhat populated with GameCube games; and a little tiny space on some shelf (on which also lives random peripherals) where only a handful of PC games are available, and 3 of them are World of Warcraft.

    I even went to Best Buy recently when I was looking for comparable prices for Dragon Age: Origins and had a similar experience.

    It's been this way for quite a long time now, and it's no fault of Steam that people don't often buy from retail brick-and-mortar stores. People can't often buy from retail brick-and-mortar stores because these stores do not sell any reasonable amount of PC games.

    So, it is because of Steam and other download distributors that PC gaming is on the rise. It's not Steam's fault that retail stores' sales of PC games are dropping, since their supply has been crap for ages anyway. If they try to strong-arm their suppliers by refusing to sell PC games altogether, it would just give Steam a larger market share in the PC gaming market anyway.

  • @JedExodus said: Cool and hip? Get a grip man.

    When somebody takes $50 worth of something out of the game box to suit them you've every right to get pissed off.


    You misunderstood. I was just taking the piss out of der ketzer for being okay with one egregious consumer rights violation as long as he got the base product and then decrying another not that long afterwards. =P

  • @Rather Dashing said: You misunderstood. I was just taking the piss out of der ketzer for being okay with one egregious consumer rights violation as long as he got the base product and then decrying another not that long afterwards. =P

    You really think these 2 are in any way compareable?
    DRM and stealing 50$ from someone. Wow.

  • @der_ketzer said: You really think these 2 are in any way compareable?
    DRM and stealing 50$ from someone. Wow.


    "Stealing $50" is not the same as "removing a coupon for something which is sold for $50". You could not get the full $50 value for the coupon itself, nor would have anyone buying the retail release have bought it from OnLive as well, at least not for the full $50 price. In many ways, this practice is far more acceptable than the Ubisoft DRM, as it does not affect the core product being purchased, nor does it affect your core rights as a consumer when dealing with the main product. The loss of the coupon, while overall a dick move, does not compromise your ability to use the retail copy as you see fit.

    You say >90% of people simply are not powerfully affected by the DRM, but exactly 100% of the people who bought the game, anywhere, were saddled with the restrictions that they had implied would not be there. By comparison, less than 100% of people would even get around to redeeming this coupon, and even less of THOSE would actually find a use for it anytime in the near future, and of those that care, this is an action by only ONE retailer, which is hardly known for its large PC sales anyway. In short, yes, the UbiDRM is FAR more egregious than these actions by GameStop.

  • Right, if you already own the PC version of a game, then having an OnLive copy of the same game is more of a novelty, so the value is much lower than the full price of the game.

    I don't think the issues are totally comparable but the reaction of "oh don't boycot it, that will just discourage them further" is probably equally applicable in either case. Perhaps more so in this case, since GameStop has apparently pulled all PC copies of this Deus Ex game from store shelves after this controversy. So now you can't buy it there anymore.

  • @LuigiHann said: GameStop has apparently pulled all PC copies of this Deus Ex game from store shelves after this controversy. So now you can't buy it there anymore.

    Again, I say "boo-hoo" (with great sarcasm) because that will just make customers who know about Deus Ex:HR and want to buy it shop elsewhere, to the detriment of further profits at GameStop.

    ie. More potential money for Steam.

    @LuigiHann said: it is because of Steam and other download distributors that PC gaming is on the rise. It's not Steam's fault that retail stores' sales of PC games are dropping, since their supply has been crap for ages anyway. If they try to strong-arm their suppliers by refusing to sell PC games altogether, it would just give Steam a larger market share in the PC gaming market anyway.

  • @Rather Dashing said: You misunderstood. I was just taking the piss out of der ketzer for being okay with one egregious consumer rights violation as long as he got the base product and then decrying another not that long afterwards. =P

    Sssshhh, it was early I hadn't had my coffee yet :p

    @Rather Dashing said: Right, if you already own the PC version of a game, then having an OnLive copy of the same game is more of a novelty, so the value is much lower than the full price of the game.

    I don't think the issues are totally comparable but the reaction of "oh don't boycot it, that will just discourage them further" is probably equally applicable in either case. Perhaps more so in this case, since GameStop has apparently pulled all PC copies of this Deus Ex game from store shelves after this controversy. So now you can't buy it there anymore.

    As a consumer it's not my job to worry about Gamestop policy, it's my job to look out for my rights and get value for money. Gamestop are expanding into the digital divide aggresively showing that there's money in PC gaming still. Show them you're not putting up with any aul jiggery pokery and shady practices.

  • @Chyron8472 said:
    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?

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/14/technology/video_game_sales/index.htm

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2011-04-21-valve-no-steam-data-for-digital-sales-charts and yes I've read the full article not just that little snippit you get when you don't have an account.

    Also I gotta agree with the comments. I think it's because they might want to keep the trend of the hottest sellign games hidden. So only they know what they are and don't have a fiasco like the Apple App store where people see ANGRY BIRDS is selling so then nothing but Angry Birds clones. Also for themselves to know what games to make next.

    nodev2.png
    A good comment to read for those who can't view the full article/comments.The circle is there from before when I didn't resized the picture.


    @othertopic My local Bestbuy has like 5 shelves covered in PC games, front and back. Then 3 more only covered in front with PC games then the back of them is software. I guess my BestBuy likes PC games. There's more of them then there are PS3 games, 360 games, PSP, and 3DS. However Wii and DS destory all others.

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