Ubisoft wants to add more value to its PC titles, so that it no longer needs to add its controversial 'always-on' DRM. Ubisoft vice president of digital Chris Early told Eurogamer that the company hopes to add more companion services like mobile and social hooks to keep users from pirating PC games.
"The question is, with enough on-going content development, content release, engagement at the community level, can we create that kind of MMO value system? I think we can. As the rest of the game industry continues to evolve, the more you hear more about cloud gaming, the more you hear about companion gaming, the less a pirated game should work in all of that environment. So, therefore the value of that pirated content becomes less," said Early.
"Will some people still pirate? Yeah, they will. Will the person who really wants that broad experience pirate? We hope not."
Some consumers have categorized Ubisoft's DRM practices as hostile, but the company is still working on finding the right balance between protecting itself and punishing legitimate users.
"Is it fair for someone to enjoy our content without us receiving some value for that? I think at the core of that is, no," said Early. "Otherwise, other than works of charity, there would be few games made. The balance, however, is, how do we do anything about that and not harm the person who is giving us value for that?"
"As we continue to keep our player at the center, we want to find ways that don't inconvenience that player who is paying for it," he said. "We've had a variety of degrees of success as we wind our way down that path. Our plan, our hope is we stay on the less intrusive, less cumbersome side of that path as we go on."
"That's been the delicate balance that the industry has walked over time. It continues to be one that we grapple with as an industry. How do we create content and receive good value for that, and at the same time, not inconvenience the player who has given us value there? I don't know that there is a perfect answer today."