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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122 Threads* | 449 Comments

  • Thats so sad, i was really looking forward to a new settlers installment!

    However after having bought assasins creed 1 last year, with a seemingly simular DRM, i've only had problems with it. Their master server wasnt accessable for months, hence i could not play the game as it was intended to (lagged/hung for seconds on each kill/action).
    After spending days trying to solve the issue (on my own, because steam/ubisoft support is NON existent, unless you mention that illegal users can play fine THEN you get a pm '"You have received an infraction at Steam Users' Forums" for breaking their non piracy/forum rules. Thanks for the support guys, its legal customers like me who actually pay your salary. ^&@*!!!!! )

    With all the frustrations i get from buying drm'ed games, i do not feel compelled to buy any more in the future.

  • Fuck you. Just... fuck you. I have always been on the side of technology as a means to curb piracy, despite the "they always find a way to circumvent it anyway" cry of the ignorant. This, however, is a slap to the face. I will probably purchase AC2 at some point, but I don't have an incredibly stable internet connection at home, so you decide that you want to SHUT DOWN MY GAME when I'm in the middle of it and lose all progress? We used to call that a crash. A bug. It's a bad thing. Therefore, in order to prevent this from happening, I don't believe I need to mention what I will need to do to my perfectly legit copy of AC2 when I receive it. This is just appalling, plain and simple.

  • It's becoming rediculous (not that DRM isn't already) that pirated versions of these high profile games are actually EASIER to get running properly and contain less restrictions than software you paid for. Bioshock 2 running multiple DRM modules while in-game is over the top, but this form of DRM makes the game unplayable for some people. It may make sense in online-only type games like MMORPG's, but for a single player game ...

    So, I guess since I travel for work I can't play this at the airport, on a plane, or on an unreliable hotel connection. Why make the pirated version more attractive than it already is for your customers?

  • If you have either game installed on your laptop and want to play it somewhere other than your home where you don't have internet access, you can't. Why not reward your customers instead of punishing them? If publishers are insisting on some sort of DRM (even though it all gets cracked anyway), then how about releasing the game without any DRM at all and requiring registration in order to access patches, updates, and dlc. If the publisher wanted to be evil, they could even release the game with some deliberate bugs requiring a patch at launch (many games already do this already by accident) and I don't think anyone would mind. I'm sure torrents for the patches would show up but DRM on games only dissuades the most casual copying anyway, so it shouldn't be any worse than it is now.

  • I certainly don't have a problem with ubisoft launching a new digital distribution service in theory. The fact that DRM scheme they are using needs a constant network heartbeat for the game to function is absurd. I can understand using online activation or have games tied to an account like what other services have done before, but this scheme definitely not.

    I don't know about the majority of users here but I tend to get a random network drop as no connection is guaranteed 99%. Even if your endpoint isp did guarantee that they can't say the same for the internet topology and random hops dying or DNS issues.

    It seems bit heavy handed to end a game in progress that was previously given access. Majority of the games this will likely apply to won't be Multi-player or MMO games they will be single-player experiences. I would be pretty angry to loss progress because of something beyond my control as a user.