BACK IN MARCH The INQUIRER reported that games publisher Ubisoft was reeling after a blow from hackers that had managed to crack its attempts at digital restrictions management (DRM).
Ubisoft had come up with what it thought was a pretty good way of preventing copyright infringement, which was to ask people to register themselves with their copy of a game and check their credentials against its online records.
The system, called the Online Services Platform, had a "play anywhere" spin put on it by Ubisoft but it appeared that its heart lay in preventing the misuse of its games. Controversially received, the publisher cautiously told the website Gamespy that it thought people would be fine with it.
The problem, at least for Ubisoft, arose when the website pressed the firm for details on what would happen should it stop supporting the system on its servers, to which it replied that it would release a patch that enabled offline play. And with that, a lightbulb went off over the collective heads of the Skid Rowdies gamers group.
Within twenty four hours the group had released a crack that just did that, and it posted an NFO online with instructions for avoiding Ubisoft's server-based copyright cops.
Ubisoft took the rather weak approach of warning users that downloading a cracked copy of its games would leave users with not much more than a partial experience.
"Rumor control: any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version of [games] will find that their version is not complete," it warned, but comments on The INQUIRER article suggested that this was not the case, adding that the games were very much playable.
The game around the game gradually grew dirtier, and in a revenge attack the Internet community turned its attention on Ubisoft's servers and knocked them offline, ruining the experience for those people that had bought the game legitimately. Which, predictably enough, caused even more controversy.
The INQUIRER contacted Ubisoft to find out whether it took its DRM experiment outside and shot it, and is waiting for a reply. In the meantime it looks like the French publisher is taking a jokey approach to tackling hacking, and is adding a Vuvuzela track to ripped off Micheal Jackson dance games.
Which is surely the first time that instrument of torture has ever improved anything. µ
It's an onomatopoeic week for Google
Hope that free lunch was delicious
It's like Bixby being terrible never happened
Notch to be outdone