Industry NewsPC

Ubisoft tone down PC DRM **UPDATED**

Rumours, coupled with some screen shots as dubious proof, are coming from Reddit (via PCGamer) that Ubisoft may have relaxed some of the DRM restrictions on their PC games.

A trip into one of 2010’s least desirable moments after the cut…

Update

Shacknews have official confirmation from Ubisoft that Assassin’s Creed 2 and Splinter Cell Conviction now only authenticate on first load.  Other games will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so if you’re steadfastly against this clusterfuck of a PR disaster, you won’t be adding Settlers 7, Silent Hunter 5 or H.A.W.X. 2 to your collection any time soon.

The publishers Online Services Platform was heralded as a fantastic Steam-esque service platform by the Gallic publisher Ubisoft, but as per usual, the point was missed.  Valve’s leviathan download service offers many community/entertainment-focused services for the consumer, making it (horror of horrors) an actual service, whereas Ubisoft’s effort merely shackled gamers, all in the name of preventing a bit of day-zero piracy.

PC gamers were noticeably hurt by Ubisoft’s actions and comments, which were essentially branding PC gamers as second class citizens who were automatically guilty of piracy with no chance of being proven innocent. The fact that it was exclusively targeted at PC gamers, despite the Xbox 360 attaining piracy rates previously unheard of in the console-space, made things even worse.

Then DRMageddon happened and all face was essentially lost.

Still, it’s only taken ~9 months and a heavy drop in their PC game sell-through for Ubisoft to loosen their grip on the reigns.

Rather than a persistent internet connection, games should now only require a one-time authentication when loading the game. As per the above screen shots, only Assassin’s Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction are ‘confirmed’ to be ‘fixed’.

It’s a start, but there’s still no offline mode, still no other real value to the OSP and, ultimately, the game is still permenantly locked to your Ubi.com account. Quite why they haven’t just given in and moved all their products that use this ‘service’ to Steam (just like R.U.S.E.) is beyond me (and probably the majority of their audience).

There’s been no official word from Ubisoft on the matter (presumably due to the holidays), but any update will be posted ASAP.

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