Ubisoft recently launched its new game “Silent Hunter 5”, a simulation of submarine. The game was protected with a new generation of DRM that required constant online connection to servers. Of course, if you are online, it is easier to fight piracy. As usually, in the game arena, this new DRM generated a huge fury (remember Spore).
Unfortunately, 24 hours after the launch, a cracked version appeared on the P2P networks (see TorrentFreak). The cracked version does not require online connection!
Quickly, Ubisoft denied that the game was cracked.
“You have probably seen rumors on the web that Assassin’s Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 have been cracked. Please know that this rumor is false and while a pirated version may seem to be complete at start up, any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version will find that their version is not complete,”
Unfortunately, when scouting the forums, I never find any person complaining that the game was not working. Nevertheless, the crack requires to avoid any connection to Ubisoft servers.
Ubisoft was expecting to deploy the same DRM for Assassin Creed II. Some delay may be foreseen.
As a citizen, I see the need of DRM. As a security expert, I “build” DRM. Piracy is bad. As a gamer, I hate DRM that requires a permanent connection for a game that does not need interaction with other entities. I often play games in train or plane. Such a DRM requirement would be deterrent for me. One of the most important requirements for DRM is that DRM should be as transparent as possible for honest user.
Software protection is one of the most complex tasks.