FEB. 25, 2011 • Ubisoft Ent. has decided to sideline its intrusive DRM systems for the spring PC release of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Recent computer games from Ubisoft have required a constant online connection in order to play the single player campaigns. In the case of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, following an initial online authorization, the game no longer requires a connection to play solo.
Impact: Aggressive DRM of single-player PC games often has the the effect of annoying paying customers so greatly that they are driven to investigate hacks that allow for playing the title solo without authentication. Something akin to sending youth to a penitentiary for a minor offense where they subsequently learn how to rob Fort Knox. It’s one of the cultural hold-overs from buying game discs at retail. We believe that once more and more games are acquired via online distribution, and introduce more gateway conduits between consumers and the games the play, the resistance to regular authentication will diminish. For now, however, intrusive DRM attached to a solo game purchased at retail is a recipe for either driving PC customers away, or converting them into pirates.