I remember there was an old topic on these forums about the Assassin’s Creed 2 DRM, which required the player to be constantly connected to the Internet. Well now Ubisoft has changed it’s policy so that games only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game.
They won’t get that from me. This was a gigantic waste of time for everyone involved. They treat their PC gamers like crap. Keep in mind that this isn’t the first time they removed the always online DRM, and they always bring it back later on in a new form which they think is finally going to work. First it was Starforce, then it was their always-online, then they remove the always online since it didn’t work at all. Then they bring it back again without even informing their own community managers about the decision. Now they remove it again.
The problem is they don’t think about the consumer at all. Don’t think for a moment that this decision was made because of concern over their image or for all the problems they’re causing for their customers. They did this because they finally realized their investment in this form of DRM isn’t profitable. The moment they think it’s worth using again, they’ll reintroduce it.
And after reading the interview, the responses they gave are just hilarious really. RPS obviously knew what they needed to ask. For example this question:
Now, everyone knows why they do this. They maximize preorders from PC gamers by tricking them into thinking the game will be released on time, then delay it at the last moment so that pirated PC version won’t have an impact on console sales. In reality the PC versions are already finished at that point. RPS obviously knows this and asks if this business practice will continue, and Ubisoft gives them the usual lie about how they need to optimize the game. They said the same about the delay on the PC version of From Dust (announced the day before release!), stating the game needed to be “optimized”. One month later, they released the worst PC conversion I’ve seen in long time.
So no respect from me for them, they’ll have to do a lot more to convince me to buy their games.
I should clarify; I respect the decision to drop the DRM, not necessarily Ubisoft as a whole.
Now, I haven’t been following Ubisoft’s history of DRM as closely as you probably have, so perhaps you can show me if I’m going wrong. It seems unlikely that they would add worse DRM to existing games. For example, if you had a game such Assassin’s Creed 2 in your Steam account, this would no longer require the always-on DRM. But are they likely to add worse DRM to that Assassin’s Creed 2 license later? Can they even legally do that? I can understand how it could be applied to future titles though.
The way I’d approach this is to support games without draconian DRM (if they’re good games), but avoid the games that include it. That way you’re boycotting the problem rather than the whole company and voting with your wallet correlating to the particular issue.