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Ubisoft Online DRM: It's Worse Than Expected

| 17 Feb 2010 21:52
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It looks like Ubisoft's new online DRM scheme is going to be even worse than we thought: Gamers will need a constant internet connection to play Assassin's Creed 2 on the PC and if it drops, so does the game.

Ubisoft announced in January that as part of its ongoing effort against piracy, all of its future PC releases would require gamers to connect to the internet and log in to Ubi.com in order to play. Trying to sell the scheme as a positive move for gamers, the publisher pointed out that it would allow players to install their games on an unlimited number of PCs and access their saved games from any of them, because saves would be stored remotely. "We think most people are going to be fine with it," Ubisoft's Brent Wilkinson said. "Most people are always connected to an Internet connection."

Unfortunately, it appears as though it won't be quite that simple. As PC Gamer discovered during its recent look at the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2, you'll not only have to connect to Ubisoft servers to start the game, you'll also have to stay connected while you play. And woe betide anyone whose connection happens to crap out while they're playing: If it does, the game will drop out to the main menu and any progress made since the last save or checkpoint is lost.

Oh, and if Ubisoft's servers hiccup momentarily while you're playing? Same deal.

It's bad enough that PC gamers won't be able to start their games if Ubisoft happens to have its servers down for a few hours for maintenance, but to be kicked out of games and lose progress because of it? Or because a router is accidentally unplugged or an ISP goes down for a couple of minutes? It's utterly mind-boggling, and absolutely inexcusable. Does Ubisoft really think that gamers are going to be "fine" with that?

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