Ubisoft scraps always-on DRM for good

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UbiDRM

PC gamers have, for a long time, been caught in a bit of a catch-22 situation with Ubisoft games. They make and publish some of the best games available on any platform – but the PC versions (besides almost always being late) have been saddled with draconian always-on DRM that requires you to have a functional internet connection just to play single player games (and nobody wants to do that, okay Blizzard?). It’s actually annoyed so many PC gamers, that they’ve sworn off Ubi games completely. Well, Ubisoft’s come to its collective senses.

Ubisoft’s worldwide director for online games, Stephanie Perlotti told RPS that the always on restriction’s been gone since last June – but that it won;t be making any sort of return. Ever.

“We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline.”

“Whenever you want to reach any online service, multiplayer, you will have to be connected, and obviously for online games you will also need to be online to play. But if you want to enjoy Assassin’s Creed III single player, you will be able to do that without being connected. And you will be able to activate the game on as many machines as you want.”

Ubisoft’s controversially defiant stance on DRM has earned the company a pretty poor reputation amongst PC gamers – and for good reason.  In Assassin’s Creed II – which is an entirely single-player game – a connection error would result in the player being booted out of the game, potentially losing hours of progress. That won’t happen anymore.

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Like most PC games, Ubi games will now just require a single, once-off  online activation (so you still need internet access), but after that? stab Templars, untethered, to your heart’s content. It should shift PC gamers attitude towards Ubi a little…though it might just be a means for them to garner enough goodwill so that their own Uplay PC service doesn’t die a miserable death.

Last Updated: September 5, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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