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Ubisoft Ditches Always Online DRM, Listens To Feedback

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In a recent interview with John Walker of Rock Paper Shotgun, Ubisoft have stated that they have officially dropped the always online requirement to play many of their Uplay titles on PC.

In the interview, worldwide director of online games Stephanie Perotti and corporate communications manager Michael Burk state that “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.”

The original DRM required that players of their games – including From Dust, Assassin’s Creed 2, and Splinter Cell: Conviction – on PC would have to have a constant live internet connection whilst playing their games, even in single player mode. If that connection dropped, so did the game.

When questioned about their stance on piracy and recent claims that PC suffered from 93-95% piracy rate, Perotti quickly qualified the original statement: “With regard to the numbers, the numbers are coming from both internal and external research. Research showed that it can reach that rate for some specific or popular PC games, and that number often varies depending on the territory. So we are not saying that it applies to all PC games for all territories, and we’re not saying that the same situation would apply for any game.”

While the online connection requirement was reduced to a one-time activation in July last year, this is the first time Ubisoft have officially announced that their version of always online is dead. Hopefully, this backtrack by one of the industry leaders in DRM will lead to a more end-user friendly approach to the problem for other publishers.

Diablo 3 next, Blizzard?

This interview comes courtesy of Rock Paper Shotgun.

Lachlan Williams
Former Editor in Chief of OnlySP. A guy who writes things about stuff, apparently. Recovering linguist, blue pencil surgeon, and professional bishie sparkler. In between finding the latest news, reviewing PC games, and generally being a grumpy bossyboots, he likes to watch way too much Judge Judy. He perhaps has too much spare time on his hands. Based in Sydney, Australia. Follow him on twitter @lawksland.

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4 Comments

  1. Finally someone at Ubisoft listened! Jeremy made a comment about this in episode 4 of the podcast. If you have horrible and invasive DRM, people are going to pirate it more than if you have little DRM.
    As for the Diablo III comment, I wish. It won&#039t happen though, since the Battle.net server is what determines enemy placement, drops, etc. You would have to emulate Battle.net offline to do that.

  2. Finally someone at Ubisoft listened! Jeremy made a comment about this in episode 4 of the podcast. If you have horrible and invasive DRM, people are going to pirate it more than if you have little DRM.
    As for the Diablo III comment, I wish. It won't happen though, since the Battle.net server is what determines enemy placement, drops, etc. You would have to emulate Battle.net offline to do that.

  3. While i don&#039t agree with always online DRM, it&#039s not really an excuse to pirate games. The pirates just want something for nothing and will never stop, regardless of what the companies do.

  4. While i don't agree with always online DRM, it's not really an excuse to pirate games. The pirates just want something for nothing and will never stop, regardless of what the companies do.

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