Here’s a roundup of today’s news found elsewhere on the internet:
Ubisoft denies Silent Hunter 5 DRM cracked on first day (gamesindustry.biz) - Ubisoft has denied that its new anti-piracy measures have been cracked for Silent Hunter 5 on the day the game was released, saying that versions currently being hosted on torrent sites are incomplete.
According to a report published earlier today by Eurogamer, submarine simulator Silent Hunter 5: Battle of the Atlantic, and the day one patch that fixed many fundamental bugs, were immediately hacked, with the game appearing on torrent sites and Usenet. Sites were also hosting versions of Assassin's Creed II.
In the case of Silent Hunter 5, the anti-piracy system was apparently circumvented by replacing an executable file with a patched replacement – similar to most PC hacks. The piracy group responsible said that, in addition, the user turning off their internet connection or not using Ubisoft's game loader was enough to get the game running DRM-free.
However, Ubisoft denies its systems have been circumvented, saying in a statement, "You have probably seen rumours on the web that Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 have been cracked.
"Please know that this rumour is false and while a pirated version may seem to be complete at start up, any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version will find that their version is not complete."
Forum users seem to disagree though, with some today saying they are playing a pirated version of Silent Hunter 5 without an internet connection and by saving offline.
Ubisoft's new DRM system relies on gamers having a constant internet connection in order to be authenticated on the company's servers to play. If their connection drops out, they can lose progress made in the game up until that point.
Since its announcement, the PC community has largely been opposed to the new restrictions it imposes on them. However, Ubisoft has said there are upshots to the system – such as being able to run games without a disc and play on any number of PCs, and store save files remotely – and point out that most people are always connected to the internet anyway.
Star Trek Online Brouhaha (Blue’s News) - There is a bit of an uproar on the Star Trek Online forums, where many users are upset by a Star Trek Online promotion they say included 60 free days of game-time (in addition to the 30 days included with the purchase of the game) that was later rescinded. This has lead to this 300+ page thread and this 200+ page thread complaining about the situation. If you don't have the patience for over 500 pages of forum posts, you can check out this post that attempts to summarize the situation.
MMO Parents Take Care of Virtual Toddler While Real One Starves (Kotaku) - A Korean couple is said to have neglected their infant - to the point of starvation - while they fed their own online gaming addiction in Internet cafes. The Sun's reporting this, so, let's get our sensationalism detectors on.
The couple allegedly raised a virtual toddler in a game similar to Second Life, called Prius Online (pictured) while leaving their real one home alone each day with just a single bottle of milk for nourishment. One day they came home to find the child dead and called the cops, claiming they found the child dead when they had awakened. Investigators noted the child's dehydrated condition and weren't buying it. An autopsy later said the child died of starvation.
This all happened back in September actually. After the infant's funeral the couple disappeared and were only recently arrested. Don't think they were bingeing on the MMOs however: ""Due to our sense of guilt, we have not been to a PC gaming room over these five months," they told an investigator. Mighty damn big of them.
Rockstar: Red Dead Needs A Little More Polish (Kotaku) - While speaking to investors, Take-Two CEO Ben Feder said Red Dead Redemption had been delayed because of "optimal" release schedules. Developers Rockstar say something a little different.
"We at Rockstar have always prided ourselves on the uncompromising quality of our games - and will always opt to take a bit longer to polish and fine-tune a game to be as perfect as possible when we think it necessary" a company representative says. "With Red Dead Redemption, we felt that these extra few weeks will make a big difference in helping us deliver you an experience beyond your expectations."
Now that sounds a lot more likely. Bit of a double-edged piece of news, this; it's good that they're taking the time to polish it a little more (it certainly helped Batman: Arkham Asylum), but then, it's worrying that a game due so soon still needed some work.
“Loyal” Halo 2 players to gain free access to Halo: Reach beta, other free perks (vg247) - As much as we loved our original Xbox and its Tonka-tough, bullet-deflecting exterior, we jumped ship to the Xbox 360 seconds after it launched.
Some people, though, aren’t so fickle. “Loyal” is what Microsoft’s calling them, and we agree. But Microsoft’s officially declared it curtains for the original Xbox’s Live service on April 15. The console maker isn’t, however, callously bulldozing players’ online homes and leaving them high and dry. So, what’s up for grabs?
Most tantalizingly, Halo 2 players will be able to leap right into the loving embrace of Halo: Reach’s beta as soon as Xbox Live gives up the ghost – no copy of Halo: ODST required. According to an email received by a number of players (as reported by Kotaku), Microsoft’s also passing out free three-month XBL Gold memberships and 400 Microsoft Points.
It’s not an air-tight plug for the hole in your heart, but it’s something, right?