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Ding dong, the witch is dead! As promised, Ubisoft have now removed the legitimate consumer-punishing always-on DRM from the disappointing PC port of their strategy/puzzle/sorta-god game From Dust. Let Steam auto-update it and the unpleasant eggy stench of a constant internet requirement will be gone, plus it’ll grab your savegames from Ubi’s servers and sync them to your PC. (more…)
With peculiar timing, Valve seem to finally be offering refunds on From Dust. Customers who bought the game under the belief its DRM required a one-time only activation angrily responded to the revelations (as brought to the world by the fine eyebrows of RPS) that the game required a connection for every launch. Demands for refunds were being met with stony silences in every direction, with Ubisoft pointing customers to the retailers. And while there were rumours of Steam giving some money back, most were being met by their questionable stance that they don’t offer refunds for anything. Well, despite the recent announcement that the DRM would soon be patched out, that seems to be changing, as it appears (from the text of Valve’s emails) Ubisoft have specifically asked Valve to return the cash. (Let’s put in a disclaimer here – this is based on reports from a couple of readers, and Valve are notoriously fickle in these regards.)
Well blimey, here’s a thing. After Ubi’s frankly dreadful performance over From Dust, there appears to be a degree of capitulation afoot. On the From Dust forums (which now appear to be the only way to learn such news from the publisher) it has been revealed that the team are working on a patch that will remove online authentication DRM entirely. Which would be, well, brilliant!
Update: Lo-Ping are claiming that Steam is offering discounts to those who apply. Edit: A claim which is increasingly proven to be false.>
Astonishing. Ubisoft have yet to respond to our questions today, when we asked why From Dust was requiring an internet connection to launch despite their making it very clear it would not. They also have yet to respond to our queries as to why it hasn’t been properly ported, despite the weeks of last-minute delay for the PC version. And now, incredibly, rather than apologising to the huge numbers of people who had been deceived by the previous untrue claims about the game’s DRM, they’ve instead just deleted the post, and put up a new one. From Dust requires an internet connection to launch, and tough shit if you bought it when they were saying otherwise. (Edit: They’ve now somewhat confusingly edited in the original post to the new post.)
Update: Ubisoft have deleted the forum post which was saying the DRM would not require an internet connection! Just removed it from history. Fortunately, we took a screenshot.>
Update again!: Now the post is mysteriously back, with a disclaimer saying the details are being checked, and a statement should be coming shortly.>
It’s hard to know what to say. After their insisting that From Dust, the delayed PC version from Ubisoft, would not require an internet connection to launch after the first time, of course it does. It’s impossible to launch From Dust, even from Steam in offline mode, without being online. Launching the game fires up their new Ubisoft Game Launcher, which refuses to work unless it can find a connection. And that’s ignoring the fact that the game is in no way properly ported.