Ubisoft’s future-based city-building sim Anno 2070 is a pretty great game. If it has one mighty flaw though, it’s in its implementation of the nasty Tages DRM system. As we told you last week, the game allows for three installations – but a simple change in hardware, such as putting in a new graphics card – eats up one of those installs. Many though it might be a bug in the DRM – but Ubisoft’s confirmed that that’s just how it is.
In fact, they’ve defended the DRM, saying that the DRM works as its supposed it, and most customers don’t mind – because their wonderful customer support makes up for the hassle.
“While it’s correct that copies of Anno  include three activations and that changing hardware may trigger the need for reactivation, the vast majority of Anno customers never encounter this scenario,” Ubisoft told Rock Paper Shotgun in a statement. “On the rare occasion when a customer does need additional activations, Ubisoft customer service is available to quickly resolve the situation, and we encourage those customers to contact us directly so that we can ensure they are able to continue to enjoy their game.”
Ubisoft recommends that anybody who’s encountered the limit should contact them to get it reset. The problem with Tages , is that it doesn’t include any means of deactivating an installation – so even a format and reinstall nixes one of the three allotted installations. Ubisoft has a great line-up of games – possibly one of the strongest 3rd party lineups from any publisher – but they have to realise at some point that all this DRM nonsense is hurting their business.
When it’s easier for an end user to pirate a game than to buy it and play it legally, there’s something wrong with the system.
To be fair to Ubisoft here though, most players probably won’t encounter the DRM..it’s just the the minority that does is very, very vocal about it indeed.
I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces. I am also the emperor of the backend