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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  • My first reaction to this is that I don't really care. I'm sure I'll still manage to play the game. If my connection or the Ubi server goes down, I'll just post some angry comments on the relevant forums or send an angry email, then play something else. I've certainly done that before about different issues so it's nothing new really, and when the game is working again I'll play it again. I can accept that the world isn't perfect, and I can certainly accept that computers are a long way from perfect, I have plenty of experience of computer problems not related to DRM. If you don't know that the world isn't perfect and that computers aren't perfect then the sooner you learn that they aren't the better for you, or you'll always be living in a state of constant frustration. One always needs coping strategies. You can pressurise Ubi to do what you want but you can't pressurise the whole world to do what you want. There is so much benefit to being flexible and having coping strategies, I recommend it to everyone. You may say we shouldn't let Ubi get away with this but I don't see it as being that onerous or draconian, from my point of view it isn't, I expect it will all work fine, and I don't think it means things will necessarily get even worse in the future, and if they do I will protest them when that happens, but I don't think this is particularly bad in itself. There are worse injustices than this in the world.

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