I’m writing this on November 18, 2014. I’ve just come home from work and I was excited to begin recording a new let’s play series for Clever Musings’ pertinent YouTube channel. I intended on playing a title just released today, Ubisoft’s Far Cry 4. But instead of recording a video, I’m writing a rant. Why? Because of Ubisoft’s amazing failure in its Digital Rights Management (DRM) software known as Uplay. While I was able to download and install the game prior to its release, Uplay won’t let me launch the game because “This game has not been released yet. It will be available to play on Uplay any time after the release date.” And while I’m sitting here, frustrated that I can’t play a game that I’ve obtained through legitimate means, I can’t help but think about the pirates that have been playing the game for days prior to its release.
Whenever the topic of piracy and DRM comes up, someone will inevitably argue that DRM only hurts the people that purchased the game legitimately. I’ve never really experienced that trouble myself, but it’s certainly true for me today. I join countless others on Ubisoft’s official forums and communities complaining that we cannot access the game. Rather than an official response from Ubisoft (which I can’t find), I found the most helpful information coming from a Redditor known as TenshiEX. He created a post on http://www.reddit.com/r/farcry that gives this helpful information:
If you got your game from buying GTX 980/970 and preloaded the game on Uplay but stuck at PRELOADED, you can activate the game/start playing it by doing the following:
ACTIVATING A PRELOADED FAR CRY 4
Go to your email and search for digital rights
Using Gmail? Click this shortcut link to search it: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/digital+rights+ubishop
You’ll see a messed up formatted email with the subject UBIShop – Product Now Available (Order #XXXXXXXXXXX)
Highlight everything (CTRL + A) to reveal the 16-digit code beside Digital Rights: and copy it
Go to Uplay, click on Far Cry 4 and under PRELOADED, click REDEEM CODE and paste it
NVIDIA just gave us a code to add the game into Uplay and preload it. Another email contains the actual code to play it.
Q: But, but I didn’t get any email from UBIShop! Any other way to get my code?
BrianAIGA : If you know you preloaded the game, but can’t find the email (like me), you can also visit https://shop.ubi.com/, go to MY ACCOUNT > MY ORDER HISTORY, and get your activation code from there.
Q: Any performance or tweaking guides for Far Cry 4?
A: Yes! Check it out here!
Q: I get a black screen/not responding error whenever I start the game!
A: Check if you have any controller(s) plugged in or a controller driver installed. Unplug any controllers/peripherals that act like controllers (e.g. Razer Orbweaver, Razer Nostromo, etc) or disable the driver under Device Manager > Human Interface Devices.
Unfortunately, while this information has seemingly helped many people, when I attempt to redeem the code sent to my e-mail address, I get the following error:
This CD Key or Activation Code is already in use with another Uplay Account. For more information please contact Ubisoft Support.
Brilliant. Apparently the message is common to players that obtained the game from Nvidia’s video card promotion. Thanks for the massive disappointment Ubisoft! Let’s not forget that this is coming on the heels of the controversial release of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. I should say I don’t actually condone the use of piracy in situations like this, but it does make think about it an awful lot. Good job Ubisoft.