Already mortgaged to the hilt with limited-access DRM, Ubisoft may have struck an own goal as their latest DRM shuts out honest gamers.
PCs are constantly being tweaked, altered, boosted, repaired and rebuilt. It’s part of the design ethic and, dare I say, part of the charm. Although it’s understandable that developers do have to worry about their software being shared from system to system, it’s been pretty safe to assume that upgrading you basic hardware components won’t cause too much fuss.
Well, as Rock Paper Shotgun discovered, this isn’t the case with Ubisoft’s Anno 2070. The people at Guru3D, testing out the title, installed the game on three seperate systems. Anno 2070 has three installs, so all was well. Problems arose, however, when one of the PCs had its graphics card upgraded. This routine procedure changed the hardware id #, which Ubisoft’s DRM recognised and immediately voided the installation.
Needless to say, this is an unpleasant revelation for gamers already jumping through hoops to keep Ubisoft releases happy – as this suggests that the DRM is not just monitoring how many times a game has been installed, but whether that system hardware has been altered in even the most basic way.
Guru3D swiftly contacted Ubisoft for some kind of explanation as to whether this was an intentional feature, or perhaps just a bug. although the response was swift, it wasn’t what they were hoping for:
‘Sorry to disappoint you – the game is indeed restricted to 3 hardware changes and there is simply no way to bypass that.’
This didn’t actually address why the DRM had deemed hardware upgrades to be a legitimate ‘lockout’.