Posted on November 19, 2014, Ron Whitaker Ubisoft Uses FOV Slider to Reveal Far Cry 4 Pirates
Ubisoft is outing pirates of Far Cry 4 using a novel method – a missing field-of-view (FOV) adjustment slider.
The missing field-of view (FOV) adjustment popped up on Reddit, prompting a tweet from Far Cry 4 Creative Director Alex Hutchinson that revealed the tactic. Apparently, the FOV slider was added in the day one patch for the game, which was only available to legitimate purchasers as a download through UPlay.
PC players! If you're online complaining about the lack of FOV control … You pirated the game.
— Alex Hutchinson (@BangBangClick) November 18, 2014
Ubisoft’s CEO said in 2012 that, “normally on PC it’s only about five to seven percent who pay anyway, the rest is pirated. It’s around a 93-95 per cent piracy rate, so it ends up at about the same percentage.” While that number seems inordinately high, considering it helps you understand why Ubi might be implementing things like this, especially since they recently said they were done with “punishing a paying player” with DRM.
Other developers have had some less hostile reactions to pirates, and some have been downright creative. Starbreeze slipped a job recruitment pitch into the source code of Syndicate. Notch said that if you couldn’t afford Minecraft, you should pirate it and pay later. Team Meat, when asked about piracy of Super Meat Boy, said, “Our game was hugely pirated – we don’t fucking care.” It’s pretty obvious that there’s a wide range of responses to the issue.
As to how you stop pirates, Valve’s Gabe Newell says that DRM isn’t the answer – better service is. “The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates.”