"utterly unbelievable" levels of software piracy.
If piracy was of "very little trouble" then they wouldn't bother. As for the Uplay Passport for second-hand copies, it's just "one of those things" to get used to.
Driver: San Francisco on PC uses Ubisoft's always-on DRM while its console versions have been announced to include the Uplay Passport, which is designed to help the publisher earn money from second-hand. Both these decisions rest with the publisher.
"You have to do something," said studio founder Martin Edmonson. "It's just, simply, PC piracy is at the most incredible rates. This game cost a huge amount of money to develop, and it has to be, quite rightly - quite morally correctly - protected."
"If there was very little trouble with piracy then we wouldn't need it."
Recently Ubisoft caused uproar for lying to customers who bought From Dust for PC as it required you to always login when first starting the game, although you could disconnect your Internet when playing the title. Steam issued refunds to angry gamers.
Driver: San Francisco uses the same Ubisoft DRM method and at first required a constant connection but Ubi relented to community pressure and changed it so that only an initial login is required to the play the game.
"DRM is not a decision taken by us as a developer at all," explained Edmonson. "It's a purely a publisher decision. The publisher has every right to protect their investment."
"It's difficult to get away from the fact that as a developer, as somebody who puts their blood, sweat and tears into this thing... And from the publisher's point of view, which invests tens and tens and tens of millions into a product - by the time you've got marketing, a hundred million - that piracy on the PC is utterly unbelievable," he continued.
"Yes it was, yeah," he added, referring to whether the decision to include Uplay Passport was also their decision and not the developers. Uplay Passport requires you to pay something extra in order to access online multiplayer features which is between £6 and £8.
"If people don't buy the game when it first comes out and wait and pay for rental or for second-hand usage, then the publisher sees absolutely nothing of that," he said.
"I see how much work, effort, money and risk goes into the creation of these games. I think it's entirely right that everybody who's involved - the people who take the risk - should have a reasonable chance at a financial recouping from that."
"It's one of those things that we just have to get used to, it's going to happen."
Driver: San Francisco releases on Xbox 360 and PS3 this Friday, September 2nd. It has taken between four and five years to make with 220 people on the Reflections team.
You "just have to get used to" online passes, says Driver dev
01 September 2011 | By Simon Priest