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5

DRM and me – The problem with The Settlers 7

By pcurd

This morning I happened to notice on Steam that there is an update for the Settlers 7 out and I thought to myself, wow did I miss the release?

I’m a big fan of the Settlers series and I own all of them from Settlers 1 (which I have on floppy disk somewhere) through to Rise of an Empire, the sixth game in the series, which I own on Steam.

Although there have been shakey moments in the francise, the fifth game The Settlers: Heritage of Kings tried to be too much like Spellforce without capturing the essence of RTSRPG for example, Settlers games have always been fun to play.

So with much excitement I did a quick search.. nope, Settlers 7 (Paths to a Kingdom) is not available on Steam.. must be one of those regional locks which annoys me, considering The Settlers is made by Blue Byte Software, a German developer. Why does the US get it first? It’s published by Ubisoft – a French publisher!

So I decide to check out Ubisoft’s download page to see what the price is and there I find it. Well, I find the US page anyway. After some more searching I find the UK page – except it’s from GamesPlanet. But whatever, it’s got a Ubisoft logo on it.

£34.99 is a reasonable price for a new game, don’t even get me started on the “electronic copies should be cheaper” debate, so I start to check out what’s in this edition, after all the US copy is the Gold Edition and only £5 more. The feature difference isn’t important but I do notice one thing I’ve been secretly dreading all this time. Ubisoft’s DRM package (Digital Rights Management).

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