Ubisoft wants to offer more value, not more DRM

Ubisoft VP of Digital Chris Early is looking to add more services to its titles, so pirated games have less value

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."

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Latest comments (6)

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus10 years ago
Bullshit. This is about adding value for Ubisoft via perpetual revenue streams that can't be broken without losing the experience. It's still the same user-hostile experience they've been known for.

Really, anyone who buys a Ubisoft PC game deserves what they get.
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Liam Farrell10 years ago
someone from ubisoft said this? Has there been a mistake?
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 10 years ago

Sarcasm is all well and good, but people forget that

a) They've removed DRM from some of their games
b) The last Prince of Persia game had no DRM at all, and
c) the boxed retail of Rayman Origins also has no DRM. The Steam version merely has basic Steam DRM, too.

So, yeah, they've acted badly with their Anno 2070 DRM, but they are moving forwards.
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Dirk van Wijk Student - Computer Science (Master) 10 years ago
Well, I guess they know they've screwed up in the past with their obtrusive DRM. They're spot on with what they're saying. Best way to counter piracy is giving extra value to a game that you won't get when pirating the game.
Now I just hope that those aren't just words for Ubisoft and that they'll actually act like that too.
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Phillip McCafferty Studying Extended diploma in creative media production (Games Development), Belfast Metropolitan College10 years ago
I'm just happy to hear them say it. It can only be a step in the right direction.

Let's hope Far Cry 3 has a less user-hostile DRM system.
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Andrew Clayton Executive Editor, Side Story Games10 years ago
Any guesses as to how long it will be before these services require a monthly subscription?
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