Ubisoft abandons always-on DRM in PC titles

Sep 5, 2012
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Ubisoft abandons always-on DRM in PC titles

Ubisoft has made a rather huge announcement, saying that it will no longer implement its much-hated always-on DRM in its PC games. Ubisoft's worldwide director for online games Stephanie Perotti announced the big news in a particularly hard-hitting interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, saying that the company has been listening to feedback from players and has decided to ditch the controversial form of digital rights management. Hopefully this decision sticks, because while always-on DRM may make investors happy, it certainly has the opposite effect on paying customers.

As many of you already know, Ubisoft's always-on DRM required players to have a constant internet connection while playing its games. Losing your connection while playing meant that you were booted from the game - even when playing single player - which is something that didn't sit well with the people who payed good money to play. Ubisoft was met with outrage from fans every time it implemented this DRM, and it seems that the company has finally had enough of the vitriol.

Now, instead of requiring a constant Internet connection while playing, Ubisoft will only require that you be connected to the Internet while you activate your game. After that, you're free to play offline to your heart's content. Even better is the fact that you'll be able to activate your game on as many machines as you want. Perotti says that this has been Ubisoft's policy since June of 2011, but that isn't entirely true. Ubisoft titles like From Dust and Driver: San Francisco were stuck with the DRM when they released in fall 2011, only to be removed later when fans started complaining (and, in the case of From Dust, started demanding a refund from Ubisoft and Valve).

Still, it seems that from here on out we won't have to worry about dealing with Ubisoft's always-on DRM. This appears to be just one part of Ubisoft's new commitment to the PC platform, as Perotti also says that Ubisoft will be trying to improve communication with PC players. That includes attempting to get PC releases out the door at the same time as their console counterparts, which is a huge plus. If Ubisoft is serious about getting back into the PC community's good graces, then the publisher will likely be rewarded with more sales, so this could potentially be beneficial for everyone involved. Bask in the glory, PC players, because for a while many of us were thinking that this day would never come.


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