Ubisoft's New PC DRM Really Requires Net Access, Ends Game If Disconnected

By Chris Faylor, Feb 17, 2010 1:20pm PST Ubisoft wasn't kidding when it said that its new digital rights management technique mandates "an active Internet connection to play the game, for all game modes."

Advance copies of the first two games to embrace the new solution--Assassin's Creed II PC and The Settlers 7 PC--recently arrived at PC Gamer, leading to the discovery that the games automatically shut down if temporarily disconnected from the Internet.

In the case of Assassin's Creed II PC, a single-player game, players will lose any progress since the last checkpoint in the event that they briefly lose their connection to Ubisoft's master servers, be it because of client-side or server-side issues.

Other aspects of the new system include a lack of disc checks and installation limited, along with the ability for saved games to be stored in a server-side cloud. "Most upcoming Ubisoft PC games will make use of this system," according to the company, which has also promised to patch in offline support when or if the system shuts down.

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  • If this DRM would actually work and thwart illegal downloading (even delaying the inevitable for a few months) then I'm all for it. But it doesn't. I see some are saying they're OK with this if it's going to prevent it from showing up on torrent sites, but it won't.

    The argument goes something like "What's the big deal? I mean who doesn't have high speed internet nowadays?" But that's missing the point. What about customers who just want to be able to use their software the way they want to? Playing a single player game without being connected to the internet doesn't seem all that unreasonable but apparently Ubisoft doesn't think so. What about laptop users and others who aren't able to be connected to the internet all the time?

    Look at what EA\Bioware did with Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2. They learned the first time that all the InSecuROM DRM did was cost a lot of money and thoroughly piss off paying customers and passionate fans. I had to download a crack for the first Mass Effect about a month after I bought it because EA said I had reached my limit and were dragging their feet with issuing more activations. There wasn't even a revocation tool for the first year and a half that Mass Effect was out. So while waiting for EA support to get back to me via e-mail I just said screw it. Very sad.

    This whole thing is so illogical. However if EA can learn a lesson there is yet hope for UbiSoft. Thankfully Ubi makes crap games for the most part so I won't be missing much by not buying their buggy ass games.