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Is it Working DRM, or Extra Brittleness?

February 27, 2010 13:45:10.805

Slashdot reports on the DRM for Assassin's Creed 2 - apparently, if you don't have a working connection, it'll just stop working. Never mind all of the obvious issues with this from the consumer end (what if your ISP has an issue?) - what about the brittleness this introduces on the back end?

Remember, all of its code for saving and loading games (a significant feature, I'm sure you would agree) is tied into logging into a distant server and sending data back and forth. This vital and complex bit of code has been written from the ground up to require having the saved games live on a machine far away, with said machine being programmed to accept, save, and return the game data. This is a far more difficult problem for a hacker to circumvent.

While it may be harder to circumvent, it sure will be easy to tick off users. Say the servers have a problem - then every game owner is SOL. Say a DDOS attack is launched on those servers? In a way, the vendor has painted a target on themselves. I won't be a bit surprised if a few black hats take aim at it.

Going back to the client side for a moment, I see my XBox dropping offline fairly regularly for small amounts of time. Usually it's after it's been unused for a bit, but sometimes it just drops right in the middle of a game - I know this because the XBox notifies me. If I had Assassin's Creed 2, such periodic drops (and cuts from the game) would get to be really, really annoying. My desire to buy the game just about fell off a cliff.

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posted by James Robertson

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