Piracy has taken a hefty toll on Ubisoft, according to company head Yves Guillemot, but the developer and publisher say they are hard at work on a tool that should help reduce the negative impact.
"Altogether on console, the piracy is low," Guillemot said. "On the PC the piracy is quite a lot. We are working on a tool that would allow us to decrease that on the PC starting next year and probably one game this year."
Guillemot didn't say what that solution would be, but it since he talked about it as if it were a new tool and not an existing form of digital rights management, like SecuRom, it stands to reason that it may be an internal solution.
The topic of piracy came up during Ubisoft's quarterly earnings call after Guillemot pointed to it as part of the reason that their DS games haven't been selling well.
He said that piracy on Nintendo's DS is strong, though oddly not as bad on the DSi, and that the company has learned that they can reduce the impact of illegal copies of the game by including physical extras like figurines, with their titles.
The increase in piracy on the DS started in Spain, Guillemot said, where they say "sales going down at a very strong level" last year. That then seemed to move to other countries this year, increasing the most after the month of March with continued impact this summer.
"We see it coming country by country." he said. "We see when we put other things with the product (people) go and buy the game. We need to make sure that the value is better when they buy the box then when they download (the game) from the Internet."
Guillemot said that Ubisoft is working on the problem both internally and with Nintendo's help.
"Nintendo has been able to slow down piracy a lot in Japan," he said. "They are now putting pressure to make sure it decreases in many other countries. We think we will be able to solve this matter."
Ubiosoft was so concerned with piracy on the Playstation Portable they started to retreat from that platform, Guillemot said. But there are now "new ways to control piracy" on the PSP, he said, and the company is reinvesting in the platform.
Honestly , i'd like that .I'm sick of piracy although i use it daily . On PC, a software only solution can't last too long .Maybe a hardware chip on the MB or video-card combined with something software will hold it back .
Games are going digital and studios need a very good protection since they are giving iso's on a plate to everyone .
Just like Qmark said, they probably won't last long with that security measure. Isn't it always the same? As long as there is something to hack, it will be done, by someone ... or someone else
The famous software Pro Tools uses hardware as a piracy tool. Why not PCs. Sell the game were most of it resides on the CD, and sell a piece of hardware with the rest of the game's programming. So if someone downloads a title, they game will install, but will not run without the hardware piece as it is impossible because the hardware piece contains the rest of the gaming code (whether the piece was for USB or another type of interface, doesn't matter). The hardware piece could be as small as a flash key.
we had tried the dongle idea with the lpt port keys, and what a pain in the arse
first they all looked alike, then you had to go fishing for a port, install your software which locked the key
but if you ever removed the software you HAD to reattach the key and unlock it first, if you did not you were SCREWED
course the software never made mention of this so you had a very good chance of having a Legit software package and a bricked key
Look, theres NO point in faffing around with hardware hacks. It costs too much for the developer. If the game looks for the dongle, someone will (usually withi a day) hack the game and stop the hardware check, so the publisher then has to produce thousands and thousands of copies, knowing it can be easily bypassed!
Would a gamer rather own a game which treats you like a criminial, forcing you to plug things in, type a number from a book, do a 5 min internet/cd check, enter numerous codes, ONLY install once on your comp and then be useless or...........
download a copy you can simply play with no restrictions?
I have c/fw on my psp. When gran turismo comes out, i want to buy the original and support the game.
If sony put a c/fw check on it, i wont be able to play the game, even though i have legitimately bough it!!!
so the only option left to me and many others, is to obtain a hacked version for free.
So well done sony!
Why Sony? EVERY designer and publisher company does theses kind of things. Like, for example, in xbawks 360, some official games had DVD firmware checker.
Also, about dongle thing. It was already tried (and failed). Someone simply did as mrbob3 already said. Made a hack that bypasses check. Also, there was another game with a dongle, and it had a dongle emulator in place.
I'm hopeful a member of the Committee will be able to make an announcement in the coming weeks about registration pricing for this event
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