Watch Dogs has launched today but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the highly-anticipated open-world title. According to Ubisoft it appears that the authentication servers for its digital distribution service Uplay has been malfunctioning.
We (along with several other news outlets) missed this when it first happened, but apparently Valve did something back in September that it has never done before. After shutting down the multiplayer servers for Square Enix's Order of War: Challenge due to low traffic, Valve then went and yanked the game from user libraries on Steam of those who had purchased a copy. To the best of our knowledge, it's the first and only time Valve has done such a thing.
New service lets you share Steam games with up to ten people
Today Valve announced a new service called Steam Family Sharing which allows users to share their games and software with other people on their friends list. It launches in limited beta next week, and is open to the first 1,000 who sign-up. Those who gain access will allow be able to share the contents of their Steam library with up to ten Steam accounts.
Xbox One owners won't have to put up with any draconian restrictions on offline play or the resale of used games
At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the Playstation 4 emerged as the clear favorite to win the next-generation console race, due to commence later this year. And it wasn’t necessarily due to any technical edge over the Xbox One, but on account of a set of controversial restrictions proposed by Microsoft in a bid to curb piracy and the sale of used games. Thankfully, common sense seems to have finally prevailed at Microsoft and there are no longer any clear favorites in this race.
Uh Redmond, you have a problem, and his name is Adam Orth...
Microsoft has some damage control to take care of, and if any of the decision makers in Redmond have an ounce of sense, they'll issue an official statement, and perhaps an apology, STAT. For what, you ask? Well, it's never good when your games director takes to Twitter to argue with fans over sensitive subjects like always-on digital rights management (DRM), and it's even worse when he cops a condescending attitude the way Adam Orth did. Here's what happened.
EA’s public relations team plays Spincity all weekend long.
SimCity made our list of “most anticipated games of 2013”, and with good reason. This PC reboot was not only long overdue, but the franchise itself is an all-time classic. We were confident Maxis was the studio to deliver a proper sequel, but the studio’s choice of an always online DRM solution has proven to be a complete disaster. Maximum PC online managing editor Jimmy Thang has criticized EA’s handling of the situation, and the company’s PR department has been pulling overtime trying to repair the games reputation.
Some people believe piracy has no negative effect on sales. I am not one of those people. So I sympathize with EA's desire to combat piracy with SimCity. However, I do not believe that requiring users to always be connected to EA's servers to be the best solution to the problem, especially when those servers come crashing down and prevent honest customers from playing legitimate copies of their game.
Ten years ago a group of four Microsoft engineers took to the stage at a security conference in Washington, DC, and presented a paper titled “The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution”. In this paper, the authors made a compelling argument describing how the rise of information technology would make it easier and faster for people to share files, and how DRM would do little to slow the process down. At the time this premise was a bit controversial, and as the authors openly admit, it almost cost them their jobs.
Blizzard's decision to add a real-money auction house to Diablo III prompted the developer to force users to have an active Internet connection in order to play, to cut back on possible fraud. This has caused much consternation amongst gamers. Another fraud-protection scheme has generated a new wave of anger as digital Diablo downloaders have found their games nerfed until Blizzard verifies the payment, which takes anywhere from one to three days. To make matters worse, a bug in a recent update dumps downloaders into the "Starter Edition" of the game until verification occurs.
Publishers are more than a little squeamish about ebooks, and lending ebooks doubly so. With that in mind, it’s not really a surprise that Penguin Books has decided to pull its content from OverDrive, the lending system used by over 7,500 libraries in the U.S.. Penguin previously removed its titles, only to bring them back a few days later. This time, however, the change is looking to be permanent.