Ubisoft misleads consumers regarding From Dust DRM

Ubisoft doesn’t have a great track record with PC DRM. When Assassin’s Creed 2 first hit the market, they employed an always-on DRM scheme that required constant authentication with an online server to keep the game running; in other words, lose internet connection and your game hits a brick wall. Since that release, Ubisoft has swung the pendulum back and forth with the extent of their authentication requirements, with some games only requring a single check to the upcoming Driver: San Francisco having the same always-on DRM that plagued AC2 buyers.

With their PC port of XBLA Summer of Arcade hit From Dust, Ubisoft was initially clear in their remarks that the game would only require a single online check. After that check was to be made, the game would be completely playable offline indefinitely (unlike the aforementioned scenario). Rock Paper Shotgun, who initially shed light on this issue, actually made a screenshot of this forum post which clearly states these points:

However, Ubisoft seems to have flipped the script in time with the actual release of From Dust PC. The game will now require a check before every instance of the game, meaning that a connection will need to be made to the publisher’s service every time it’s booted up. This clearly disagrees with the above forum post, which is why Ubisoft subsequently deleted the original informative announcement and replaced with with a message stating the updated DRM scheme. This has led to quite a bit of consumer outrage, mostly due to the fact that all the promises concerning DRM have been ignored in the final release without any information being disseminated to pre-order customers. Particularly with Steam’s sales policy, rebates are not to be issues once a game is actually released to the customer, though some anecdotal reports have suggested otherwise.

Aside from the DRM issues, PC users reported other disadvantages that suggest a badly executed port of a game that should have largely benefited from finer mouse and keyboard controls. In short, RPS noted a 30-fps framerate lock, no anti-aliasing, poor choices of resolution, and bad translation of joystick controls to the mouse and keyboard. These issues and Ubisoft’s handling of the DRM both degrade consumer goodwill for a company that already has a reputation for treating the platform far worse than console platforms.

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun