You don’t get the show #15: Cheaters, Hackers and Lawsuits


We’re talking cheaters, hackers and lawsuits from Overwatch players wanting to sue Blizzard for banning them for cheating to Blizzard suing software hackers for messing with their game.

If you think that’s bad, we also talk about how South Korea wants to toss you in jail if you make cracks for these games.

Next, we look into the changing face of the YouTube content creator and the growing difficulty of separating yourself from the herd we also look at how Apple hopes to bring first run movies to Apple TV within 2-weeks of its theatrical release, but how do they plan to prevent wide spread piracy?

Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked?

Server is down
Server is down

Ubisoft DRM Servers Attacked

Remember back in late February when we brought you the story about Ubisoft DRM? The idea was to combat piracy and provide a better gaming experience to its users so Ubisoft would require an always on internet connection to its servers so you can play their games? Well over this past weekend the DRM servers went down due to overload because of the recently released PC version of Assassin’s Creed II or at least that is what we thought it was.

ACII was one of the first games to utilize the new DRM policy and it has been plagued with many server issues. Posters on the ACII forums complained of connection outages and not long after the DRM servers went down not allowing anyone else to connect to them and play.

An official response on the Ubisoft forums stated:

“Due to exceptional demand, we are currently experiencing difficulties with the Online Service Platform. This does not affect customers who are currently playing, but customers attempting to start a game may experience difficulty in accessing our servers. We are currently working to resolve this issue and apologize for any inconvenience.”

At this point it looked as if Ubisoft had just underestimated how much traffic they would receive and was underprepared for the server load then this tweet appeared on the Ubisoft twitter page.

“Apologies to anyone who couldn’t play ACII or SH5 yesterday, servers were attacked which limited service from 2:30pm to 9pm Paris time 95% of players were not affected, but a small group of players attempting to open a game session did receive denial of service errors.”

So it looks as if someone or someone’s were not happy with the new DRM policy and launched an attack. Later an official gave a statement to IGN saying:

“All players with an open session during the attack were not affected. We also confirm that, at this time, no valid cracked version of either Silent Hunter 5 or Assassin’s Creed II are available.”

Well I am glad most of you fans of Assassin’s Creed were able to play but the fact remains that the DRM servers had issues before the attack. Simply put, people are not happy and I have seen more frustration than praise from the playerbase.

Ubisoft can boast about no cracked versions of their games being on the net, but what they should be talking about is how to make sure that the 5% who did not get to play will not have to worry about outages, connection issues and attacks in the future.

It’s gonna be a long road people.

Let’s hear your feedback ACII and SH5 players, how did playing on the Ubisoft servers fair you this past weekend?

Not So Jolly Roger

anti-drm

Piracy is once again back in the headlines, for several reasons. The latest DRM for PC games from Ubi Soft has been heavily satirised by the web cartoonists. The industry has also released figures showing losses accumulated due to game piracy. Then there was the million-dollar fine for the Australian accused of illegally uploading a Wii game.

Let’s deal with Ubi Soft’s DRM first. Producers have a right to protect their content. After all, they have invested a lot of money in getting it to market. However, as soon as that starts to make things inconvenient for a legitimate user, then the balance is wrong. While the new system does allow unlimited installs – handy for the PC fanatic who constantly upgrades their hardware – and “Cloud” save data online, the reliance on a permanent Internet connection is less welcome. You have to be online to play, and any interruption in your connection will cause the game to stop abruptly. Progress since your last save will be lost, forcing you to go back to the last checkpoint or whatever the game has. One cartoon characterised the software as being like a stalker or jealous partner, calling and harassing you, particularly if you “move on” to another game.

We can all probably tell stories of difficult to install software, or long and boring anti-piracy messages that cannot be skipped. Surely there must be some way to detect a legitimate copy and jump past those messages, and force the pirates to watch them? Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint from a few years ago was clever enough to work out that it was an illegal copy and gave the illusion of continuing to run properly but gradually disabling features.

The sad truth is, the current generation of consumers has got used to the idea that virtually all the entertainment they want can be found for free. The one thing they haven’t grown up with is the moral judgement on whether they SHOULD get the music, TV or games they want in an illegal manner. But on the other side of the argument, software companies touting figures of a “$300 million loss” have missed the point. How many of those people illegally downloading would not have bought the game anyway? From my experience of people who pirate, the increased consumption rate that illegal activity gives them also means a shorter attention span. And while many of those who download music are also big legal consumers as well, using downloads to find potential new purchases, the higher price tag of games would seem to mitigate that effect.

The car boot sales and market stalls may be heaving with pirate games and DVDs, but the vast majority of console owners still buy their games (albeit many of them second-hand). The target of the authorities should be those dealing in thousands of illegal copies and not the individual caught with a few. In the long term, piracy hurts us as consumers more than the companies.