Driver: San Francisco PC 'requires permanent internet connection'

The PC edition of Driver: San Francisco will see Ubisoft's much-disliked DRM return to its original method of requiring players to be online at all times.


The PC edition of Driver: San Francisco will see Ubisoft bringing back its DRM requirement of an always-on Internet connection.

"PC version requires permanent internet connection," Ubisoft confirms on the official Driver: San Fran Twitter account. This is how the publisher's proprietary DRM system worked when it first launched in 2010.

What this means is that you won't be able to launch Driver: Golden City if you're not online. If you are online but your connection drops, after a very brief grace period, the game will pause until you go back online. In some past Ubi games, players were sent back to checkpoints, while in others the action resumed where it left off.

In January, Ubisoft scaled back its DRM to simply require players be online when they launch games, but it seems it's back in full force for Driver: Frisco. However, it's certainly possible, and quite likely, that the harsh DRM requirements will be softened for Driver: The City by the Bay after a while.

Defending the DRM, Ubisoft said, "Bear in mind though that the PC version of DRVSF is released simultaneously to consoles." However, Ubisoft's recent releases cast doubt on that statement. The PC version of From Dust was delayed by a fortnight mere days before its release, and Call of Juarez: The Cartel PC was quietly pushed back by two months without explanation.

The company's mention of a simultaneous launch as an upside to its DRM supports speculation that PC piracy concerns play a large part in the company's repeated PC delays. (Though, if history is any indicator, it won't take long for unsavory elements to break through that protection anyway, once again giving paying customers the short end of the stick.)

On the subject of delays, Ubisoft casually confirmed on Monday that the North American release of Driver: SF has been delayed from August 30 to September 6. "The delay has to do with shipping considerations and getting the best exposure in NA, not production of the game," it explained.

Driver: The City That Knows How is also being used as a testbed for Ubisoft's uPlay Passport, an 'online pass' system which locks multiplayer off behind a single-use code included with new copies. Those who buy used copies will need to pony up cash money to get online, as well as receive unspecified "bonus content" and "exclusive offers."

To end all this Twitter crawling on a somewhat positive note, Ubi confirmed demos of Driver: Fog City for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A PC demo, alas, is still "unconfirmed."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 27, 2011 7:30 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Driver: San Francisco PC 'requires permanent internet connection'.

    The PC edition of Driver: San Francisco will see Ubisoft's much-disliked DRM return to its original method of requiring players to be online at all times.

    • reply
      July 27, 2011 7:41 AM

      Pass. You get more of what you sponsor, and I won't sponsor this crap. Wonder if there are any elements of dissent within Ubisoft when it comes to this stuff? Or will they just run with it until they have to give up on the PC market.

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        July 27, 2011 8:27 AM

        agreed. vote w/ your wallet

        Or just beat the DRM anyway by being a pirate. It only punishes the paying customers.

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          July 27, 2011 8:57 AM

          Well, being the pirate will not only hurt yourself, but hurt overall PC gaming community. If you do not support the DRM, just dont buy and dont pirate. I guess its easier for me to say since it is the game I have no intention to play (unlike maybe Splinter cell, HOMM, Anno, or The Settlers series which I love), but then again, most of Ubisoft games have been declining in quality recently, at least for me. Call of Juarez Cartel proved this point further.

          I think this crap will even go further to Anno series. So sad at this development.

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            July 27, 2011 9:27 AM

            Can you explain either part of your first sentence?

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              July 27, 2011 9:53 AM

              Yeah I reread it and confused myself. Thats what I got for writing and talking at the same time.

              All I'm saying is if you are going to not support the DRM, dont pirate it. Pirating it will only give more bad reps to us PC users.

              As for my other rant, I'm also having the same problem doing that since most of Ubisoft strategy and city building games are some of the games I love to play but if I have to deal with the stupid DRM again (like I did with AC2), then I'd rather find other games to play.

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        July 27, 2011 10:38 AM

        I haven't bought a Ubisoft game since they started with this BS DRM scheme, and this will keep me on that path. I won't pirate the game or any other. I will simply play something else.

    • reply
      July 27, 2011 7:45 AM

      And no driving wheel support:!/DriverGame/statuses/95753634020724736


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      July 27, 2011 7:46 AM

      And so the Ubisoft-hate-PC campaign has returned in full swing. Not like this is my type of game, but this definitely make me not respect them more. I guess I'll stay away of Ubisoft games for a while, although I think they might already lost me as a customer permanently.

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      July 27, 2011 7:59 AM

      "Bear in mind though that the PC version of DRVSF is released simultaneously to consoles."

      Yeah, Ubi, like the fact that you're going to be less of a douchebag regarding the release date this time (and I'll believe that when I see it) is going to compensate the fact that your DRM is the worst and most useless one invented since StarForce.

      Wasn't much interested in this, but now it's definitely a lost sale for them, and I'll pester my friends not to buy it either. Congrats, Ubi.

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        July 27, 2011 8:53 AM

        Yeah, I've read that too. How lol of them.

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        July 27, 2011 2:06 PM

        That was a reply to me! I didn't understand it either... disappointed for sure. Wish they weren't trying to bring it back on Driver, MP life is what I', worried about and this sure isn't helping.

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        July 27, 2011 2:47 PM

        Ubisoft should stop publishing PC games entirely.

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      July 27, 2011 8:16 AM

      I guess they never learn! It's amazing how these companies are ran. Fucking retards!

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      July 27, 2011 9:10 AM

      That's a damn shame, I likely would have got this for PC, but I won't go near games with these DRM schemes.

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      July 27, 2011 9:21 AM

      Meh. /resumes playing GT5 on the PS3 that is never connected to the Internet, except for game update downloads

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      July 27, 2011 9:44 AM

      you can pirate games on the console, why don't they have to be connected at all times as per this bs DRM?

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        July 27, 2011 9:54 AM

        They got a different 'punishment'/'feature' by having to activate the Uplay crap or whatever so if you buy the game second, you will need to pay to unlock the online play or some features.

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      July 27, 2011 9:54 AM

      Don't they announce this with every game and then recant at the last minute... or am I thinking of SSF4ae?

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      July 27, 2011 10:33 AM

      Trying to revive an IP killed off by low-grade uninspired sequels? Start by attaching the most hated DRM solution!


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      July 27, 2011 10:53 AM

      As a fan of the original two games, i was looking forward to this game since it appeared to be returning to its original form of gameplay. You've just lost a sale, you fucking morons!

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      July 27, 2011 11:08 AM

      Ubisoft is so weird. Double Fine has dumped the PC from their concerns entirely, as near as I can tell, and they don't seem to do poorly and are certainly not regarded by PC enthusiasts with the same hate as Ubisoft. Why do they continue to make PC games when they so obviously hate the platform and the customers?

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      July 27, 2011 11:34 AM

      The funny thing is even people who buy it will use the pirate crack to avoid the DRM any way only the people who do not use the pirate cracks will suffer.

      Its kind of Ironic the worse the DRM the more people will pirate or use pirate cracks to bypass it only for the devs to then use pirates as reasons to put more DRM on the next game they make.

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        July 27, 2011 12:01 PM

        thats what I always did was purchased the game and used the crack, so much more convinent. However Ill admit I'm wielding a double edge sword, I hate the drm scheme so don't want to support it, however I want to play it and don't want to pirate in the end they win.......

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          July 27, 2011 2:38 PM

          You support there silly DRM when you buy or you pirate and enforce the reason for the silly DRM hell soon i expect them to send a guy around to check and make sure you payed.

      • reply
        July 27, 2011 8:34 PM

        And when they are forced to use a crack to bypass the annoyances of the DRM in a legal copy of the game, they are forced into "the dark side" too.
        And thats a bad thing for them because for many people it will be the first time using a crack for a game.

        At that point, because they get good results and they see that its really easy, some of them will start pirating the next games ubisoft sell, because they are unhappy, but still want to play the game.
        So this DRM ends doing the exact opposite of what it was built for, and instead of stopping pirates, it only creates more pirates.

        And in the end those new pirates probably aren't going just to pirate Ubisoft games.

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      July 27, 2011 12:02 PM

      Damn, I wish I wanted this game in the first place so I could actively NOT buy it because of this bullshit.

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      July 27, 2011 12:03 PM

      I've never been a fan of Ubisoft and this kind of thing just reinforces my negative opinion of them..

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        July 27, 2011 12:19 PM

        I actually declined a job offer in their Montreal office because of their image.

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      July 27, 2011 12:04 PM

      That's a big mistake with a game no one really wants to play in the first place.

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      July 27, 2011 2:04 PM

      Ubisoft makes such good games but I have not purchased one of their games since the introduction of this DRM. Seriously what is complaining or lost sales going to do at this point? NOTHING complete fucking morons run the PC division over there.

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      July 27, 2011 2:13 PM

      Just piss of Ubisoft

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      July 27, 2011 2:20 PM

      I wonder how many 'loyal' buyers they are losing by doing this

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      July 27, 2011 2:21 PM

      Well done, dumb fucks.

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      July 27, 2011 3:19 PM

      Doesn't this confirm that the reason they often delay the PC versions is purely because of piracy?

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      July 27, 2011 3:41 PM

      So... reading this article; in the assassins creed series, that time that they said it will sell at the same time in pc and in consoles, and then ended up selling it nearly a year later.... was deliberate a deliberate "attempt" to stop piracy and not because they were working in the game?

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      July 27, 2011 3:42 PM

      Guess who this doesn't affect? Pirates Guess who you are inconveniencing Ubi? The people still willing to give you money.

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      July 27, 2011 4:06 PM

      gonna fucking pirate it out of spite. shackpile me.

    • reply
      July 27, 2011 7:20 PM

      "Though, if history is any indicator, it won't take long for unsavory elements to break through that protection anyway, once again giving paying customers the short end of the stick."

      What history? Ubisoft's first prominent use of this was for the PC release of Assassins Creed II ( Ubisoft also used it for the release of Silent Hunter 5 before ACII for which there was a fairly quick but very incomplete "crack" ). It took more than three months for there to be a working scene release of ACII, far longer than most games using less draconian DRM.

      As a tool to prevent casual 0-day piracy, persistent online DRM checks work. Ubisoft is merely ahead of the curve in tieing your game experience to a persistent online connection for whatever reason (DRM in Ubisoft's case but in many others to support key gameplay mechanics). In five years you will be hard pressed to buy a game on the PC that was made by more than five people that does not have an online connection required.

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        July 27, 2011 8:20 PM

        It took less than 3 months to crack it, and that was only because it was the first game using this DRM.
        The rest of the games that have used this DRM after that first one have been cracked day 0, without any problems. And that makes it a totally useless anti piracy system.

        So again, the paying customers are then only ones that suffer the annoyances of the DRM.

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          July 27, 2011 8:46 PM

          I stand corrected on the three month claim. The actual period was from March 9th to April 21st, nearly six weeks. At that point though the DRM has already paid for itself by dissuading casual 0-day piracy at the cost of frustrating some of their more enthusiast potential customers. I'd wager most of the people who bought Assassins Creed II for PC were not even aware of the connectivity requirement in the first place.

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            July 28, 2011 12:35 PM

            no and no. you are missing the point completely. just re read every forum on the internet regarding this DRM to educate yourself.

            the bottom line is: nothing is un-hackable. nothing. just as the post above yours just mentioned. 0 day piracy will occur for this game. so keeping this in mind... their entire reason and method to prevent said piracy is moot. it only effects paying customers, annoyingly so.

            theres even the argument that is always used "pirated downloads cannot be counted towards losses since the pirate never intended on buying the product anyways" (even DRM free games from ubisoft, PoP, were pirated all over the internet)... and now with DRM like this you get paying customers who will crack their paid for program just to not have such draconian DRM... and then wonder why he didnt just pirate it in the first place.

            this argument is so old... and its been covered a million times. its an example of how DISCONNECTED the publishers are from their customer base, and how people don't vote with their wallet enough. (this company should be buried, im sure most would agree. there are far better publishers)

            stop defending such tactics that hurt the consumer, industry, and developer's profit. realize there is a better way of doing business.

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        July 28, 2011 2:10 PM

        The key to preventing piracy is selling a product for which people want to pay. Current DRM schemes typically harm people who pay rather than incentivize people who otherwise would not.

    • reply
      July 28, 2011 2:59 PM

      BREAKING NEWS - It doesnt matter, game looks like tosh

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