I thought I'd write a quick follow-up to my last DRM post based on a new scuffle in the ring.
Source: Another wonderful Arstechnica article
The jist of the article is that Ubisoft screwed up big time when patching Rainbow Six Vegas 2 recently, breaking the game for anyone who had decided to do a direct to disk download (or similar solution). The new patch reinstated the CD-Check requirement, which was of course impossible since they had downloaded the game, albeit from a legitimate channel. Their solution was to post a 'third party bypass' (you know... software from those evil people that steal their games?) as it were, without bothering to tell people it wasn't even written by them.
Needless to say this caused a huge snafu all around with people angry on all sides (unless you were on the outside laughing like me). Some were angry they had to crack their game, some were angry their crack was stolen by a company. Others were angry the issue ever came up to begin with (this is where I would have sat had I not been on the outside looking in).
The Blue Pill:
Sadly, there isn't one. There's no laymans, put your head in the sand answer this time around. This issue affects every gamer that plays the game, even if you bought the cd/dvd version of the game. Because now most of your opponents can't login to the game, and if they can who's to say Punkbuster or a similar technology won't punt them back out when they go online? Pretty much this is a total mess, and it's doubtful a proper resolution can be brought to bare before the death of the community kills the games replay value entirely.
The Red Pill:
Ubisoft screwed up, not once but twice. First by botching their patch and breaking their game because of DRM but also by stealing the hard work of a cracker and claiming it as their own. It's somewhat surprising the first half hasn't happened more often than this really but I guess that's something to be more grateful about than anything else. Hopefully this incident will resonate in the minds of people deciding how to protect their titles in the future but it's not something I'll hold my breath for.