Ubisoft updates PC game DRM to be less draconian

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Old 14-Jan-2011
Ubisoft updates PC game DRM to be less draconian

In March last year Ubisoft gave other publishers a lesson in how to make gamers hate you. The reason: introducing DRM on PC games that requires a constant Internet connection. The fallout from such DRM was very angry gamers, DRM servers going down under load and attacks, and anyone who didnít have a 100% stable connection having a game pause constantly.
The first games to get the new DRM were Assassinís Creed II and Silent Hunter 5. Assassinís Creed II was unplayable soon after launch as the DRM servers were not online to support it. So any early adopters paying full price for the game couldnít play it. Then hackers got involved and decided to hack the DRM that was upsetting so many people.

Even so, Ubisoft remained adamant that always-connected DRM was the future and declared all forthcoming titles would use it, but also that it would ďevolve and improveď.
Well, it looks as though the evolving DRM has recently been patched, and Ubisoft finally decided to do something sensible with it. Gamers are reporting that Ubisoft backed down and has removed the need for a constant connection, instead a check is only done when the game first loads. This has been confirmed on Reddit as being the case for Assassinís Creed II and Splinter Cell: Conviction.
Read more at PC Gamer and Reddit
Matthewís Opinion
So it only took Ubisoft nine months to realize that you cannot require a constant connection to the Internet and not expect to have problems. Iíd love to know who decided such a system was workable in the first place as they clearly donít have a great knowledge of how unreliable a connection can be sometimes.
The check every time a game starts does give a gamer a lot more freedom. You can start the game then kill your connection but continue playing. Itís not perfect, and I think everyone would prefer a token system which allowed you to play several days between checks. That would allow you to take a game on holiday where a connection may not be accessible.
Iím still uncertain as to whether I would invest in a Ubisoft PC game again. The connection test may have been relaxed, but thereís nothing to say it wonít return or some new measure thatís equally infuriating gets introduced in its place.

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