A Note from UPlay

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jul 2, 2013

Filed under: Rants 70 comments

I have written about the horribleness of Ubisoft’s UPlay system in the past. It’s pretty much the worst of the major digital “platforms” out right now. Even Origin pretends to have features and a digital storefront, but UPlay is nothing more than naked DRM with no sugar coating.

I last dealt with UPlay back in January, when I tried to play Far Cry 3. Here is that saga as I related on Twitter:

The last step was a huge slap in the face. They give you 10 UPlay points, which you can use to “buy” a promotional desktop wallpaper. That’s fractally wrong: Even the wrongness has little sub-wrongs that branch off into more wrongs. I shouldn’t need to register to play a Steam game. And if I do, it should be easy. And if it isn’t, their “reward” at the end should be 100% painless to obtain and shouldn’t involve a store with some kind of shopping cart and meta-currency. And if it does, then the reward at the end should be valuable to me. And if none of that is true, then at least UPlay should have enough tact to not attempt to charge me worthless un-money to use my desktop as advertising space.

But that’s all in the past. Water under the bridge. I haven’t thought about UPlay since then. I forgot the service existed until I got this email today:

Dear Member,

We recently found that one of our Web sites was exploited to gain unauthorized access to some of our online systems. We instantly took steps to close off this access, investigate the incident and begin restoring the integrity of any compromised systems.

During this process, we learned that data had been illegally accessed from our account database, including user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords. Please note that no personal payment information is stored with Ubisoft, meaning your debit/credit card information was safe from this intrusion.

As a result, we are recommending that you change the password for your account: [redacted]

To enter your new password, click the link below:


Out of an abundance of caution, we also recommend that you change your password on any other Web site or service where you use the same or a similar password.

You can find more information here https://support.ubi.com/en-US/FAQ.aspx?platformid=60&brandid=2030&productid=3888&faqid=kA030000000eYZ2CAM.

For any additional support enquiries, please contact our customer service via our support web site at https://support.ubi.com

We sincerely apologize to all of you for the inconvenience. Please rest assured that your security remains our priority.

The Ubisoft team

Awesome. UPlay has one purpose, which is to ALLOW people to play their legitimately-purchased games. And they couldn’t even accomplish this without creating a security threat for their customers.


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70 thoughts on “A Note from UPlay

  1. postinternetsyndrome says:

    To be fair, I’d call the uplay points system sugar coating. When you finish certain milestone achievements in the games you get awarded a bunch of points which can be used to get addons for the actual games. In the Assassin’s Creed series it’s usually extra ammo for throwing knives and stuff like that.

    Kinda stupid, but at least it’s something. Overall though, I agree that uplay is really dumb.

    1. Shivoa says:

      I think the more interesting case (and one that couldn’t be achieved by just integrating that reward system into the actual game layer) is that I can use the ‘UPoints’ from Driver:SF on the 360 that I had not cashed in to unlock the extra two puzzle tombs for Assassin’s Creed 2 on the PS3 or PC as soon as they were available in my AC2 game progression.

      In general there are no rewards for achievements and certainly none that transfer between games (but the next Xbox changes that?) but UPlay does do that with their achievement layer. That’s more… interesting than the other achievement systems (baring the Steam sale achievement stuff that they have given up on due to not having a secure model to ensure people couldn’t game the system or hack their way to what they wanted).

      Do we want cheats and content unlocks hidden behind a wall of achievement point and so on? I’m voting for no but at least it wasn’t just cloning existing functionality already in the ecosystem for no reason other than to say you had that identical system coded in-house. UPlay is pretty dumb, the stuff they had before everything worked with the offline mode was unacceptable (I’ll never sign up for always-on DRM, it just doesn’t work and removes my ability to play games I paid for when I want), and getting their database dumped is not good. But they’re being a bit novel with implementing things we probably don’t want in our games.

      1. SKD says:

        I’ll give them half a pass on the database dump. When it comes to being hacked the issue is a matter of when it will happen not if. At least they weren’t storing their customers credit card data in clear text and the passwords were encrypted, which indicates that they took steps to mitigate the damage before it could happen rather than having to run around like headless chickens after being successfully attacked .

        I like that the Uplay points give you tangible benefits instead of just being another useless milestone like PSN trophies and Xbox achievements. Just wish they made it possible to purchase the Uplay DLC rewards outright instead of locking them behind the the upoints system.

        1. SKD says:

          I’d also like to note that last night when I went to log in to my Yahoo account I was barred from doing anything until I changed my password. On top of that I had to use trickery to use my new PW scheme since the new password too much resembled my old one.

          The only justification I was given is that there was suspicious activity on my account recently. Funny, because Google will give me details such as “Someone attempted to log in to your account from IP address umpty-squat in China. Please change your password and consider using a stronger PW scheme.” UbiSoft at least owned up to what happened and proactively notified its customers instead of just forcing a PW change at next log in with no explanation.

  2. MrGamer says:

    I am still unsure as to why VALVe would allow dangerous third party drm inflicted games onto steam. It goes against VALVe’s general policy of “lets have good pr and happy customers.”

    1. Felblood says:

      –but Valve is also really good at playing nice with publishers, even if those publishers have their own fake version of Steam and insist on shoveling it into the Steam version.

      That’s why GFWL is allowed to infect the Steam versions of Arkham City and Red Faction: Armageddon. (I have owned both these games for a year or more, and have only ever played one of them, due to GFWL BS)

      This is part of the reason that basically anything worth having is typically available on Steam. It’s the price they pay to carry nearly everything.

      Am I the only one praying for the day when we can have more digital distribution platforms, that aren’t trying way too hard to be a crappy version of Steam? Don’t misunderstand; I love Steam, but I also love competition, innovation and variety. these things are in short supply.

      1. Alan says:

        While I’m leery of Steam’s power in PC games, I do hope that they use some of that power to pressure other companies into not being dickbags.

        1. RCN says:

          As Shamus said, Steam doesn’t care about being dickbags. It is just a business. The only difference is that it is actually a very competent business that knows that being dickbags is bad for business while good customer service drives more sales.

      2. Scampi says:

        As for me: I don’t think you’re the only one praying for that day, but I’m not in for that prayer. My personal prayer would call for the day when all games can finally be played without having to be bound to an account with any of the distribution platforms. No Origins, no UPlay, no GFWL, no Steam etc.
        I still don’t get why there are so many people saying “yeah, but Steam is great because it sucks less than the rest.”
        I remember a few days ago, Daemian Lucifer said this about the Witcher:

        The thing is:It doesnt matter if something bad is not as bad as other things.It still is bad.

        (Thx for this awesome quote, btw;-) )
        To me, the sugarcoating is more the inverse version of what Shamus wrote here:
        To me, this does feel as if someone (Valve did it first, I guess…) realized it’s more effective taking a turd and, as has been said, sugarcoating it instead of dipping the popsicle into the excrement. You see the nice coat first, taste it and one day you say: “Well, that’s the tradeoff: if we want to lick the candy, we have to “chow down” the innards.
        The bad thing for me: I’m not even that hostile towards DRM itself-I just hate having to register with bank information, installing software that I don’t like and that may possibly interfere with my system.
        Their shop may be as nice as can be-if I’m obliged to register just to play games I might have bought as retail versions, I don’t like it.

        1. The Snide Sniper says:

          It’s not so much “it sucks less” as “we know part of this sucks, but if it’s 75% off, do you really care?”

          Most of the time, Steam provides a good (in my opinion) balance. The DRM, security, and privacy problems are made worthwhile by the abundance of cheap games (I almost always wait for sales, so the prices beat the competition by 50% or more), combined with an online backup service that means I don’t lose track of or damage my old games (I’ll probably never figure out where I put those Impossible Creatures CDs, but I can find Gish or Overlord in seconds).

          There have been a few times (okay… once) when I’ve been annoyed at needing to use Steam. That time was when I got a deal on a physical copy of Portal 2, but needed to register it with Steam anyway. In that one instance, I got the bad parts of Steam without most of the good.

          TL;DR: It’s not perfect, but with those benefits do you really care?

          P.S. I feel it only fair to point out that the game I originally planned to use as an example of “lost” copy was found within 10 seconds by instinctive navigation. My argument has been weakened by approximately 30%.

        2. ateius says:

          Steam is great because Stockholm Syndrome.

          We (via our hobby) are being collectively held hostage by a posse of no-goodniks, but while the others spend their time kicking us in the ribs and extinguishing their cigars on our foreheads (EA, Ubisoft, etc) Steam is bringing us tea and cookies (great sales, various social features) and asking if our bonds are too tight (constantly improving offline mode). Therefore we bond with Steam, even if strictly speaking we ought to still be outraged by the whole ‘hostage’ thing.

          1. Zak McKracken says:

            You are so right. And that’s why my Steam account basically died with my old Windows 2000 computer. I sometimes wish I could play Counterstrike again, but I don’t know the password any more and really can’t be bothered.
            Also: why does every single companyI interact with on the web insist that I open an account? I’m at a point where I’ll pay a premium in order to not have to do that, and often I still find no senators that will let me just effing buy something.

            1. harborpirate says:

              Whoa, Win 2k? I’m guessing it wasn’t exactly last year that machine gave up the ghost.

              Steam has continued to improve over the years; I feel that these days it offers real value in exchange for the minimal pain it inflicts.
              If I buy cross platform games, Steam lets me install it on any of them. If my computer is stolen, destroyed, or just replaced; I don’t have to worry about my library of games. I just install Steam on another computer, log in, and pull them down. Games are insanely cheap on their service.

              Anyway, to each their own; but I’m still thankful that Steam has freed me from the tyranny of lost and scratched discs.

              1. Scampi says:

                As someone who never fell victim to this specific tyranny and who never resold his games anyway and who only lost his discs by throwing them away because I hated the game in question (and didn’t want anyone else have to suffer it in my stead)…well…I don’t feel the necessity to have someone protect me from myself;)

        3. Daemian Lucifer says:

          “(Thx for this awesome quote, btw;-) )”

          Damn,I shouldve copyrighted it.

      3. Just Passing Through says:

        I probably have at least a dozen pointless ‘accounts’ I’ve been forced to make over the years to play my games. More digital distribution platforms is the last thing I want. I realize in a perfect world that would make me a terrible consumer, but I am just sick and tired of having my email address sitting in some server somewhere waiting to be hacked into and sold to spambots.

      4. LunaticFringe says:

        Ugh. Don’t remind me about Arkham City and GFWL, there was a horrible save-game deleting bug awhile back that ate my 89% completion file.

    2. Humanoid says:

      Yeah, I got burned recently by Tropico 4 needing a third-party (well, second-party, really) account on top of Steam. I’ve found out since that you can bypass it by disconnecting from the Internet, or just denying access via your firewall – but by then I’d moved on, really. It’s great that that fallback exists when the game thinks you have no Internet, but that’s just a fig leaf given the registration screen they throw in your face gives no indication that that is the case at all.

  3. Irridium says:

    Want to know something else? This isn’t the first time Uplay has been a security risk.


    Oh, Ubisoft…

    1. Eruanno says:

      Oh yeeeahhh… I remember that! I think UPlay is just this neglected product that Ubisoft has quietly shoved into a corner because nobody can be arsed to make develop it and make it useful for anything. And then occasionally someone breaks it because nobody is really responsible for keeping an eye on anything. “Greg! Someone broke your thing again!” “Aww crap, what is it this time?”

  4. Bryan says:

    Big company takes account information, gets exploited, forces all their users to change all the passwords. Film at 11.

    (I’d be a lot more annoyed if it wasn’t so ~!%!*()$ common… as it is I can’t afford to be that annoyed, except on a meta level. Grr.)

  5. Steve C says:

    I have throw away email accounts for such nonsense. Spamgourmet.com has them for free and it’s super easy to use.

    Somewhat related, one time Blizzard told me I had to change my account information to their new system. The new system had some sort of offensive clauses in their ToS (that I no longer recall). So I decided I didn’t want to participate and wanted to remove my credit card info from their system. I tried phoning them and they couldn’t do it over the phone. Turns out the only way to remove your credit card was to first agree to the terms of service.

    So in order to decline their terms of service, I had to first agree to them. And then I was subject to their new cancellation terms– the reason why I wanted to terminate.

    1. Decius says:

      Send them a letter, certified mail, stating that they are in default of their current contract (the prior TOS and termination), and that you wish yadda yadda.

    2. Humanoid says:

      I love the Kickstarter trend to bits, but this is becoming a problem with each passing project. Even for the simplest reward tiers, where all you may need to receive is a redeemable digital distribution key, there are still devs that feel the need to compel you to create an account on their custom site. For these cases, a simple e-mail or Kickstarter private message would be plenty sufficient.

      The blame is somewhat shared, of course: to some extent, it’s a necessary evil, as in many cases there’s really no practical alternative to creating all these standalone account management sites. KS’s tools are manifestly inadequate for most larger projects – i.e. since the Double Fine induced boom – since there’s the persistent restriction that projects can only send out one backer survey, ever, and further, their inflexible payment options also force developers to create their own systems for alternative methods.

      I’m not advocating an all-encompassing third-party system like Steam for this though – it’d be creating a cure worse than the disease – but I do wish the whole end-to-end process could be cleaned up a bit.

      1. Mechtroid says:

        You mentioned the problems of interfacing with Kickstarter’s tools, but I wanted to clarify: Most of Kickstarter’s tools DON’T EXIST, at least from an automation standpoint. For example, Hidden Path did an entire presentation at PAX Dev about their experience with Kickstarter and their Defense Grid 2 campaign. Kickstarter doesn’t release backer’s email address until the project’s funding is complete, and even then, there’s no way to easily match them to a user.

        In order to do something as simple as contact a backer with a key to the original game, Hidden Path had to create a bot that would manually refresh the backers page and parse the HTML itself to figure out who needed a key, and then it had to load each profile individually and pretend to click on the “message this user” link. It then pasted the auto-generated message into the text box, filled out the subject, and faked clicking on the “send PM” button. And every time the webpage style updated, the bot would break in some way, one time sending the exact same message to one user about 30 times before they could stop and fix it.
        Safe to say, a user account system is not only a necessary evil, but for most teams, the only option to do anything remotely out of the ordinary.

  6. RCN says:

    The most tragic about this whole UPlay debacle and Ubisoft in general is that, of the trinity of publishing evil (EA, Activision and Ubisoft), Ubisoft is the one taking chances with IPs and trying new stuff, while the other two avoid innovation like the black plague.

    Which is horrible, I like the games but I hate the publisher. One of my favorite games from recently was The Settlers 7 with it’s extremely german approach to management and efficiency.

    I really liked Heroes of Might and Magic VI (or Might and Magic Heroes VI… just because). For a fantasy strategy game it actually had a very interesting story, much better than V (but still not quite IV). Then it came the expansion and UPlay BROKE THE GAME. Not figuratively in the likes of “Haven is now OP and thus the game sucks”, it LITERALLY broke the game. Every time I tried to play it since launch I’ve got variations from Steam that the game isn’t available. I’ve reinstalled the game more times than I can count. I’ve upgraded and purged my system since then and still the game won’t launch. I’ve bought the expansion to try and fix it and no-dice. I’ve asked steam but they tell me the problem is from Ubi. Ubi hasn’t answered me anything…

    Meanwhile I have RUSE sitting in my Steam library and I won’t install it just out of spite. I know Ubi already got my money but dammit I can’t deal with this DRM bs again.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ugh,heroes….I was a fan of the series once,but then came ubisoft,and changed 3 developers in order to publish two games.And the bugs were plentiful.

      1. RCN says:

        Yeah, there’s that too. First it was launched with no town screens. Then it took like patch 1.5 for lots of stuff to actually work (and the crossbowman upgrade became very, very broken capable of doing a piercing shot from melee… which was yet another bug of course).

        But hey, it kept the long Heroes tradition of knight/castle/haven being the weakest campaign… even though Anton was actually more interesting than I initially gave him credit for.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          For me 1C’s kings bounty is the new heroes.

        2. MelTorefas says:

          Yeah, I abandoned the series with Heroes VI. The story never grabbed me (maybe I shouldn’t have played Haven first), but what really bothered me was the infinite exponential growth on creep camps. I like to take my time and fully explore each map, find all the little things. But when I did that I would eventually reach the point of finding vampires and liches in stacks of over 1000, with absolutely no way to beat them short of cheating.

          This, combined with the lackluster story (for haven at least), and with having to restart because you cannot convert an online game to an offline game, and with all the bugs present at launch that STILL were not fixed two months later, caused me to uninstall and never look back.

          1. RCN says:

            I can only imagine how much of a development hell Ubi made of the process… the bugs that arose from the change of developers is a tell-tale of people fucking with code they didn’t write themselves.

            Still, I honestly liked the game, just wish Ubi had any other kind of relation with it that wasn’t the abusive parent kind. Every time it walks in the game walks away more damaged…

            Personally, I had no problem with the stacks of neutral stacks. After you get a big enough army and the right spells you can pretty much beat any number of enemies. Sincerely, King’s Bounty expect you to win much more unfair battles just in order to advance (and hey, for me that’s fine).

            (Oh, and about the campaign, the biggest thing working against it is that the campaigns have a completely bonkers chronology. The right order is not the order of the faction campaigns… nor any order of campaigns. The chronological order requires you to jump from campaign to campaign like a madman… and there’s absolutely no in-game hint as to the correct order… But yes, the campaigns are interesting after you play in the right order. The necropolis campaign is very emotionally charged, the Stronghold campaign is silly fun, the Sanctuary campaign is an interesting political situation and finally the inferno campaign is a mind twister. Sincerely, interesting enough to warrant a go through its let’s play:

        3. Scourge says:

          Bugs are still plaguing it to this day. Sometimes when you enter a battle will the screen just not fade back in. You can move your pawns, you can cast spells, you can save, load and pass turns.. but the screen stays dark.

          This can happen after 6 battles, 20 battles, or even 2 battles. Sometimes even just one.

  7. Torsten says:

    And supposedly for security reasons they will not tell which one of the gazillion websites related to Ubi is the one exploited. Is it Ubisoft’s own site, one of the sites for different games, maybe a console specific site. No, they won’t tell so all the thousands of people who have sometimes visited one of their numerous websites have to go through the hassle of changing their account information for other services just in case.

    1. Bryan says:

      Are these different sites actually differentiated internally though? I bet not. It’s a lot easier to tie all of them into the same account system, than to build seventeen-mumble different independent systems.

      Or maybe they just stuffed everything into one database table regardless of the site that the login applied to. *Maybe* with an indication of the site, if they wanted to keep them “separated” in customers’ eyes. That’d be less of a single centralized account system, and just a single centralized account database instead. Which is actually worse…

    2. Eruanno says:

      Apparently I have two Uplay accounts, one linked to each of my two mail adresses, because they both got the “please make a new password” email. I know the one linked to my Hotmail is probably for my Xbox games from Ubisoft, but… wait… I don’t even have any Ubisoft games on any other platform. Uh. What.

  8. MichaelG says:

    I got that email too. And it looks exactly like a phishing attempt, especially with those complicated links you would never type in by hand.

    I hovered over it to check that the link really matches the text, so I guess it’s not spam. I’m still leery of clicking on it.

  9. Cody says:

    I got that email and don’t even have a Uplay account, so I would say it’s a scam.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Still though, maybe the hackers will have better customer service than Ubisoft. I wonder if they could remove the DRM while they’re poking around in there?

    2. Shamus says:

      The above email was sent to my real email address and mentioned my real Ubi account name, which I didn’t use anywhere else. This email came from someone who knew that email went with that unique account name.

      So either it’s from Ubi, or it’s from someone who hacked Ubi.

      So either way, they got hacked. :)

    3. Irridium says:

      It’s not limited to Uplay, but any Ubisoft account you have (they can be used for Uplay and any other service Ubisoft feels like using).

      Either way, it’s not a scam, since the news comes straight from Ubisoft.


      1. Cody says:

        I only have 2 games from them, Assassins Creed and Rainbow 6 Vegas. One may have had me get an account but this was years ago, I haven’t dealt with them since the AC2 always online DRM was announced.

        1. guy says:

          AC1 had some offensive online registration DRM that locks people out of the game that came bundled with their graphics card. That’s probably where yours is from.

    4. Karthik says:

      They ask you to enter your new password, but not your existing one. If they’re phishing, I don’t know what they’re phishing for.

  10. Astor says:

    Ah, yes, I remember the first time I found out you could put DRM on your DRM: playing the STEAM version of From Dust. “Wha-? What’s this “UPlay” it’s installing? I need to sign up there too? The Hell??”

    Thanks for the heads up too, I signed up with a crappy email I reserve for such things, I doubt I would have checked the inbox in another year or so!

  11. The Other Matt K says:

    Yeah, this was just a series of absurdities from Ubisoft.

    1) Receive an e-mail that looks suspiciously like spam.
    2) It seems legit, but still don’t feel comfortable, so go to their website. Which is down.
    3) Finally find another part of their website which is working, and request a password reset.
    4) It tells me an e-mail with instructions has been sent out. It never arrives.
    5) Finally go ahead and use the original e-mail to reset password, after doing my best to determine it is legitimate.
    6) Hours later, the reset e-mail I requested arrives. And, for some reason, is entirely in French.


    1. sab says:

      Actually, the fact that the website is down, is a good reason to assume it’s legit.
      If their servers were hacked, all of their customers would be receiving an e-mail to reset their passwords, and therefore their servers can’t handle the load. Which also explains the rest of the problems.

  12. Just Passing Through says:

    Uplay makes me sad, I will never get to play Anno 2070 because of it. The devs at least had the decency to patch the DRM out of 1404 in the end, but Ubisoft seems to do everything in its power to keep people from playing those games.

    1. Mintskittle says:

      Whenever there’s a Steam sale, Anno 2070 is usually there, and I keep thinking to myself, I know I’ve looked at this before and liked the idea, why didn’t I buy it? And I look at the store page, and remember, oh right, it’s got Tages and install limits. Pass.

  13. Skuvnar says:

    Ok, I rebuild my PC from the ground up in 2011. Then I start reinstalling all my games. Eventually I get around to Splinter Cell Convictions and Assassins Creed 2. (There were valid reasons for both installs, I’m aware they’re not great games.)

    Anyway, I try to install both games and in both occasions I am told the 16 digit code is already in use. I then go to my uplay account to check my games. Surprise surprise I apparently don’t have any games registered to my account despite the fact I registered those games to my account over a year ago.

    The next obvious step is to email customer support and explain the situations.

    The reply asks me to take a photo of the game manuals with registration code visible and photos of proof of purchase. The second picture I can’t provide, both games were bought over a year ago at this point. So I explain that to customer services and I’m told there’s nothing he can do…

    The next step was to say ‘fuck it’ and crack both games. These games also used always on DRM so that was also no longer an issue after spending 2 minutes downloading a crack.

    1. Mistwraithe says:

      And then next time you are thinking of paying money to buy an Ubisoft game, what are you gonna do? If you’re going to end up cracking it anyway…

      So self defeating by Ubisoft.

      1. Skuvnar says:

        It’s worth pointing out I always buy a game I want to play. I just don’t want to play any more Ubisoft games.

    2. Primogenitor says:

      And if someone didn’t know how to crack a game before, after a few searches and asking friends how to get your purchased game to run, they’ll probably be pointed to a crack. It will probably be easier to find and download a crack than deal with customer services. To avoid it happening next time, they will consider pirating it entirely.

      Thus badly implemented DRM and/or poor customer service not only fails to stop, but actually promotes, piracy.

      How can these companies not see this yet?!?

      1. Raygereio says:

        Thus badly implemented DRM and/or poor customer service not only fails to stop, but actually promotes, piracy.
        How can these companies not see this yet?!?

        We look at the results of DRM and see that. They look at the results of DRm and go “Oh, they’re still pirating it. We need better DRM.”
        There are multiple reasons for why they have that viewpoint, but the most important one in my opinion is that the people making the decisions are completely detached from not only their consumers, but also the actual product.

    3. Humanoid says:

      Ubisoft for some reason have the rights to distribute some of Microsoft’s old games. One of these is Age of Empires 2 on DVD. But the original came on CD so the CD check can’t possibly work with the new repackaged version. So what does Ubisoft do? Well, they just provide a cracked executable on the disc instead of the standard file – indeed the same cracked executable that’s been around for years before, so they’ve just grabbed it off the usual place(s) and chucked it on a commercial product.

  14. While Ubi sucks almost as hard as possible, GfWL sometimes manages to exceed them.

    Specifically, I’m talking about Dark Souls. Withy most GfWL games, you can basically shrug and ignore it, so it’s ultimately a minor nuisance at worst. Not Dark Souls on STEAM. The PC version was and is superior to the console for several reasons… all relating to the fact that a modder did in a single day what the entire company of Namco failed at, and claimed was too hard to boot.

    Regardless, the game is great. Except that it requires, absolutely and positively, GfWL sign-in. Because you can’t save your game without it. Note that Dark Souls on console was nearly as obnoxious about this; it wasn’t actually GfWL specifically. At some point I lost my GfWL login and simply couldn’t figure out how to properly reset it, or even get my login. I finally gave up despite loving the game thoroughly.

    Even Microsoft seems to hate GfWL and makes no attempt to push it. Why would any sane and sentient being decide to actively enforce its use?

    1. HeroOfHyla says:

      Last year when my internet was awful, Dark Souls became basically unplayable. If you lose your internet connection while playing, the game kicks you back to the title screen and restarts in offline mode. Then it scolds you for quitting without saving.

  15. X2-Eliah says:

    Sorry Shamus, but I simply must disagree with you on two points.

    1) You say “Steam Game”. Well, yes and no. I bet you that the game you tried was, inherently, a Ubisoft game first and foremost. If it had to be stripped to jsut one layer of DRM, then it frankly would be UPlay, for better or worse.

    2) UPlay is not the worst. I agree with all the points you said (even if the tweets do seem like petty bickering about nothing), but Games For Windows – Live (GFWL) is still far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far worse.

    1. Shamus says:

      I don’t understand where you’re going with #1. My point was that if the game is on Steam, then it’s already doing the DRM-stuff and UPlay is just a stupid extra hanger-on. Yes, if I had the choice to get rid of one of the two, I’d get rid of UPlay.

      2) GFWL is indeed worse. But that’s like saying someone is nicer than Hitler. Hardly an excuse for being horrible.

      1. X2-Eliah says:

        With number one, I’m going for the obvious: A publisher’s own system will always have priority. In a perfect world, I’d like to have no DRM. In an almost perfect world, I’d like everything on steam, sure. In the real world, there will ALWAYS be a publisher-DRM on these sort of games, and the only choice you have is whether to add another third-party layer (steam) or not.

        Don’t forget – here UPlay is not the “third”, “extra” DRM. Steam is. It’s just our poor luck that the extra is better than the core.

        As for GFWL – I mentioned that because, appalingly, modern games STILL keep using that POS. (e.g. Dark souls for pc, arkham city). And if we collectively forget how bad GFWL is, good games will keep getting saddled with that crippling trojan.

        1. Raygereio says:

          A publisher's own system will always have priority. In a perfect world, I'd like to have no DRM. In an almost perfect world, I'd like everything on steam, sure. In the real world, there will ALWAYS be a publisher-DRM on these sort of games, and the only choice you have is whether to add another third-party layer (steam) or not.

          Only there are plenty of games on steam that only use the steamworks DRM, not the publisher’s own spaghetti coded useless crap.

          Also calling GFWL a trojan is insulting to trojans.

        2. Steve C says:

          There’s no reason for the publisher’s own system to have priority. In fact it should have lowest priority. It’s the easiest for the publisher to avoid. But either way it’s not particularly relevant. The publisher can choose one, but only one. Anything else is stupid from both a consumer and a business perspective as it’s redundant and adds no value. Those things not only inconvenience consumers but they also have to be maintained and paid for- now twice.

  16. ClearWater says:

    I love how that link that supposedly has more information about the security leak takes me to a page on their website that says:

    Something is technically wrong.

    Thanks for noticing – we’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon. Click here to go back to the home page.

    and nothing else of use.

  17. RTBones says:

    The whole “we need extra DRM besides Steam” thing is really, really annoying, and unfortunately starting to propogate. A while back, I bought Max Payne 3 via a Steam sale. Fantastic, I thought – until I tried to play it and Rockstar made me make an account on their ‘social network’ or whatever the hell its called just to play. I still havent finished Max Payne 3 because I have issues with that idiotic social network (password) and I honestly cant be arsed to sort it. I cannot begin to tell you how annoyed I was. I hate having to have multiple accounts to log into to access games I legally purchased, solely for DRM. I wont buy anymore GfWL titles, because as we all know, its GfWL, which is stupid. I dont buy Ubi games because of the extra account and DRM required. After the assininity of Mass Effect 3, I am generally not buying EA titles (though I will admit – as I do have an Origins account, I might *consider* a Bioware game – AFTER the community has played it and I know whether or not my single player game will stupidly require stupid on stupid line stupid multiplayer stupid gaming which will stupidly affect my game.)

    I’m not the biggest fan of Steam, but at least I *generally* dont feel like I am being treated like a criminal with them, and that I occasionally (Steam sales) get bargins.

    EDIT: A note on GfWL – back in January, I “upgraded” my machine to Windows 8 (I run Start8 and never see the toy Modern interface). Anyway, at the time, I had an old James Bond (Quantum of Solace, I believe) game installed, which was GfWL. GfWL in Windows 8 broke the install somehow (I believe it was the Windows 8 GfWL client or some BS that, despite multiple attempts to correct/clean up/reinstall, never worked). QoS got summarily uninstalled. This game was not bought via Steam and required a CD. Yet Fallout 3/New Vegas (Steam) both seem to work just fine.

    1. Scourge says:

      Yeah. Max Paine. It was.. fun, to a degree.. until I got regularily hit with the cover bug. You could enter cover but -not- leave it. Ergo, you just run and gun and die cause you can’t take cover!

  18. urs says:

    …. I like the Already Taken Names :)

    I had bought Trials Evolution Gold from Steam and after clicking “play”, the UPlay overlay came up. I had no idea what I was looking at until I saw my username which translates to “this_is_ann0ying”. Guess why I’m using the “0”… And now, in Trials, I actually want to be recognised and there’s no way whatsoever to have the name changed. pffff

  19. Primogenitor says:

    Don’t forget UPlay was hacked to leak Blood Dragon, and also allowed hackers to run arbitrary code on end users machines (IIRC).

    1. X2-Eliah says:

      Not quite. That arbitrary code thing was when users clicked on a link that used UPlay protocol, thus opening the web resource via UPlay instead of, say, Firefox/IE. Then it was an exploit vector. But if you don’t click on random uplay links, no worries (well, all the other issues aside).

  20. DRMSucks says:

    Seriously I’m getting fucking tired of DRM and being treating like a fucking low life scum.

    I had an issue with my Uplay login and now I can play the game I’ve paid for and their technical support has ignored me as usual. Well, what do you expect now they’ve got your money.

    I PAID for my fucking games. So let me motherfucking play you faggots.

    EA, Ubisoft, Rockstart, GFWL can all go suck nuts imho.

    I love steam because it works, it’s reliable, it doesn’t give me grief and I can play offline, backup and do whatever the hell I want with the games I PAID FOR!

    Instead we have clowns at EA & Ubisoft trying to make a gimmick out of what is already working. THAT IS PIRACY IMHO.

    If you want my money, then fucking work for it and stop pumping out junks you faggots.

  21. Balin says:

    Yeah well Uplay keeps telling me is installed WHEN IT ISN’T EVEN ON MY PC! I bought this game through steam, why can’t I just play it through there, now I have to deal with the useless tech support that is going to tell me to do everything I’ve already done. I can deal with Ubisoft with console, but for PC its unbearable.

  22. Kevin Day says:

    I love Uplay. Ubisoft has my favourite games and i have never had a problem.

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