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Ubisoft disables always-on PC DRM

Ubisoft disables always-on PC DRM

Ubisoft appears to have silently disabled last years controversial DRM solution, according to reports.

Ubisoft appears to have silently disabled the controversial, always-on DRM that appeared in recent PC games such as Assassin's Creed 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Silent Hunter 5 and The Settlers 7.

The news comes via PC Gamer, who noticed users on Reddit claiming that they were able to run the games without internet connections and who posted screenshots to prove it.

Previously, some Ubisoft games needed to be online constantly in order to be playable. Disconnected them from the internet, even in offline play, would interrupt the game. Ubisoft suffered a huge backlash as a result of the move, especially when verification servers went down and prevented users from playing the games at all.

Ubisoft, which had boasted about the DRM system as early as July 2009, ended up compensating users with free games and silently omitted it from its most recent PC release, RUSE.

"We know this choice is controversial but we feel is justified by the gameplay advantages offered by the system and because most PCs are already connected to the internet," said a company rep back in January 2010.

We've contacted Ubisoft for a comment, but let us know your thoughts in the forums in the meantime.

22 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Optimaximal 4th January 2011, 12:36 Quote
To date, it has only been disabled in AC2 & Conviction.
azrael- 4th January 2011, 12:38 Quote
But how is it disabled? I went to Ubisoft's site yesterday and there haven't been posted any patches in ages...
Psy-UK 4th January 2011, 12:47 Quote
I am intrigued by this news. Ubisoft games might...be worth purchasing again?
frontline 4th January 2011, 12:48 Quote
Never mind DRM, have they put back DX10.1 support into Assassins Creed yet? The only reason i didn't buy this game.
Zurechial 4th January 2011, 13:22 Quote
*facepalm*

They WOULD do it after the Steam sales have ended, wouldn't they? ******s.

Let's hope this is the end of such nonsense from them.
Centy-face 4th January 2011, 13:31 Quote
Meh the only Ubi game I fancied was RUSE and it was already using steamworks not that rubbish but it is nice to see they have been defeated even if they won't publicly admit it.
r3loaded 4th January 2011, 13:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
*facepalm*

They WOULD do it after the Steam sales have ended, wouldn't they? ******s.

Let's hope this is the end of such nonsense from them.

My thoughts here. If they did this back in December, I would have bought AC2 by now.
Teq 4th January 2011, 13:43 Quote
I kinda need to know if this is disabled as a downloadable patch as I currently don't have internet access while I am hunting for a new place to stay...
Mitcian 4th January 2011, 13:54 Quote
I'm not a religious man but...hallelujah!

Now people can acutally buy Ubisoft games again.
WildThing 4th January 2011, 15:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
My thoughts here. If they did this back in December, I would have bought AC2 by now.

Yeah me too. I really wanted to give it a go for £9.99 on Steam, but I exercised some self control for once in my life. :(
docodine 4th January 2011, 15:37 Quote
Goes to show you... Self control is a bad thing
wuyanxu 4th January 2011, 15:41 Quote
hum, HAWX 2 still required an internet connection when i played it last night.

i really hate it, let's hope Ubisoft learns and release Assassin's creed brotherhood on PC without such rubbish.
Volund 4th January 2011, 15:57 Quote
haha, I had a serious moral delemma when I bought AC2 last week, now I don't feel half as bad about it :D

Good job that they listened to their customers.... to bad it was about a year to late....
azrael- 4th January 2011, 16:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volund
haha, I had a serious moral delemma when I bought AC2 last week, now I don't feel half as bad about it :D
TRAITOR! :p
DwarfKiller 4th January 2011, 17:23 Quote
Now I may actually play my free copy of AC2.
Glix 4th January 2011, 19:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teq
I kinda need to know if this is disabled as a downloadable patch as I currently don't have internet access while I am hunting for a new place to stay...

You need to start your drm'd game with an internet connection active, and uplay will update itself.


Edit: It seems to be quite a big patch, and you will need to login to start your game, after that I'm guessing it works offline.
Volund 4th January 2011, 20:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
TRAITOR! :p

I know :'(
Madness_3d 4th January 2011, 22:11 Quote
IMO regardless of the DRM AC2 is a great great game
memeroot 5th January 2011, 07:18 Quote
SCC2 wont even boot on my computer...
downloaded from ubi direct
it moans about the internet connection
says the gtx 570 is not supported (yes the card it came free with!!!)

dies a death
kornedbeefy 5th January 2011, 13:23 Quote
So me taking the step to boycott a company based on horrible customer service aka DRM in this case may have actually mattered? To bad more gamers can't take a stand when needed. Maybe we wouldn't have all this payable microtransactions (DLC) and PC games striped of PC featurers like LAN play, private servers etc.
Showerhead 5th January 2011, 19:10 Quote
Yay now i can buy AC2 pity i've got exams coming up. I wonder if this will apply to future releases or at this point have they realised than anyone who was going to pirate their games has.
AstralWanderer 8th January 2011, 00:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kornedbeefy
So me taking the step to boycott a company based on horrible customer service aka DRM in this case may have actually mattered? To bad more gamers can't take a stand when needed. Maybe we wouldn't have all this payable microtransactions (DLC) and PC games striped of PC featurers like LAN play, private servers etc.
Agreed - the only reason publishers have been able to get away with such DRM for this long has been due to those who continued buying, ignoring the downsides and restrictions to their rights as consumers and gamers. And it is still going on with digital distributors like Steam, GameTap, GamersGate, etc.

I'd be interested to know if this "removal" is complete (i.e. allowing buyers to install and play a game without Internet-based authorisation) or whether UbiSoft have simply moved to a "check-on-install" approach. I was interested in Settlers 7 and would consider buying it if the DRM removal was complete.
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