PC game publishers, like the music or film industry, face the challenges that piracy pose.
A game for instance is usually available on the Internet before it can be purchased. The game that is provided this way comes without copy protection and other forms of protection. Regular buyers on the other hand have to wait longer usually, and face copy protection that the publishers have added to games to protect them from being copied and spread.
Legit customers sometimes cannot install or play a game because of copy protection. It has happened in the past that a game could not be installed if a virtual DVD drive was installed on the computer for instance.
The most common form of protection nowadays is online activation that forces a legit buyer to activate the game online. This does mean however that the customer needs to have access to an Internet connection to activate the game. That was, until now, a one-time job.
Ubisoft now decided to up the ante by linking their games to the cloud which essentially means that games can only be played if the user has an online connection. If the connection breaks the game will stop working.
This obviously improves the copy protection of the game but to what costs?
The main question here is if the protection will keep piracy at bay. History has shown that this is likely not the case. Until now any game has been pirated eventually. It might take a little longer for the first game or so to become available but it will happen eventually. And the score will be again Pirates:1 Legitimate Customers:0.
What's your opinion on this always online copy protection? Do you think it is the right step in protecting games from being pirated or do you see it as another fruitless idea that will only punish legit customers of the game?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.