Ubisoft finally dumps "always on" DRM for PC games

For the past couple of years, Ubisoft has made most of its PC games require an "always on" Internet connection to be played, even if the game was a single player only game or was played in a single player game mode. This move has angered many PC gamers who feel that Ubisoft's DRM policies are simply too strict.

Now, in a new interview at Rock Paper Shotgun, the publisher has now admitted it dumped the "always on" DRM set up for its PC games over a year ago. This is just the first time that it had admitted openly that these polices are no longer in effect.

The publishers' worldwide director for online games, Stephanie Perotti, stated:

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.

While we are sure that most PC gamers don't feel any DRM setup is needed for PC games in general, Ubisoft's about face on an "always on" policy is certainly a move in the right direction.

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun

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19 Comments

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About time. They certainly took their sweet time in deciding that "always on" was a bad move. Some people can't afford to pay and pay.

Thank God! I was most interested in picking up Watch Dogs when it releases but Ubisoft being the publisher had me a bit uneasy. I'm more committed to the purchase now.

They did this on Splinter Cell Conviction a while back. I was excited then, because of all the times I had been kicked out of the game by my then poor WiFi connection.

I would buy Anno2070, but the three activation limit bothers me. I have 3 PC's, if i need to format, id have to email them and wait a week to activate? SOME of their titles return an activation monthly and thats tolerable, but what if i format and install win8 on all 3...

nope...

Beyond Godlike said,
I would buy Anno2070, but the three activation limit bothers me. I have 3 PC's, if i need to format, id have to email them and wait a week to activate? SOME of their titles return an activation monthly and thats tolerable, but what if i format and install win8 on all 3...

nope...


Isn't that a one-machine license with Ubisoft anyway?
Correct me if I'm wrong...

GS:mac

Shouldn't matter. If I paid for a game, I will play in on as many machines as I please. It's not for the developer to decide for me. If it's intention is to discourage piracy, it still accomplishes that goal as they were paid once for a single player. If it's intention is to make me pay simply to play on different machines I own, then I disagree and refuse to respect their "rule" and will circumvent it without a second thought or any guilt whatsoever.

Hahaiah said,
Shouldn't matter. If I paid for a game, I will play in on as many machines as I please. It's not for the developer to decide for me. If it's intention is to discourage piracy, it still accomplishes that goal as they were paid once for a single player. If it's intention is to make me pay simply to play on different machines I own, then I disagree and refuse to respect their "rule" and will circumvent it without a second thought or any guilt whatsoever.

Same here, just saying that you shouldn't expect any supportive actions by Ubisoft then by making things less complicated, although I agree it should be user-based installs and DRM should completely get out of the way as they learned and that's a good thing at last.
It's funny how they turned sane, once the prime example of horrifying users, now Blizzard turning the opposite direction - becoming horrible and once being an example of being pro-consumer.
This example goes well beyond DRM questions mind you.

GS:mac

Hahaiah said,
Companies only change behavior when it becomes costly. If everyone complied nothing would change.

I was speaking of the current moment.

Other than that: you're right.

Glassed Silver:mac

Hahaiah said,
Companies only change behavior when it becomes costly. If everyone complied nothing would change.

I dont see why theyre seeing DRM as profitable. THey have to pay to use it, and pirates get past it anyways. It is also a deterrence from buying their games cause its so annoying. I want to buy Anno 2070, but i wont until the 3 machine limit is lifted.

Glassed Silver said,
Excellent.

Is this retro-active for games like AC2 that released with this DRM system - are there patches?

GS:mac


I believe the DRM system is tied to their Uplay software so they don't need to update every game individually. I could be wrong.

Deranged said,

I believe the DRM system is tied to their Uplay software so they don't need to update every game individually. I could be wrong.

From what I gather if you update Uplay by downloading the installer from their website it will update for all Uplay games that you have installed. I don't know for certain if AC2 is included but it works through the new Uplay interface so I imagine it will.

Javik said,

From what I gather if you update Uplay by downloading the installer from their website it will update for all Uplay games that you have installed. I don't know for certain if AC2 is included but it works through the new Uplay interface so I imagine it will.

Thanks guys!

GS:mac

The interviewer did a damn fine job pointing out just how stupid this DRM nonsense is. And how inconsistent (and secretive) Ubi's position has been on it effectiveness

compl3x said,
The interviewer did a damn fine job pointing out just how stupid this DRM nonsense is. And how inconsistent (and secretive) Ubi's position has been on it effectiveness

Indeed. I've been vocal on many publisher forums for quite some time about how utterly pointless DRM is. I think it's beyond dispute now that DRM only affects (negatively) the legal paying customers, as the pirated versions of games have the DRM stripped out of them.

It's laughable that those who obtain the game illegally have a superior gaming experience to those who support the developer/publisher by actually paying for the game. It is long overdue that publishers realised this.

Treating their customers with disrespect and suspicion is what is driving many of them to piracy.