Published on September 6th, 2012 | by Brandon4
Ubisoft Repents for Past DRM Sins
When it comes to oppressive DRM schemes, we have long considered Ubisoft one of the worst offenders. I’ve even abstained from purchasing highly acclaimed titles from franchises like Assassin’s Creed because of Ubisoft’s asinine always-online requirements. However, Ubisoft has apparently realized–finally–just how much damage their misguided attempts to curb piracy have caused them. Today, PC gamers, our collective cries have been heard.
RockPaperShotgun has been calling out Ubisoft for years now about the customer-hostile measures they have implemented in the name of piracy prevention. Surprisingly, Ubisoft agreed to an interview with RPS to address long-held complaints about Ubisoft’s stance on DRM. Even though most of Ubisoft’s responses are half-answers laden with PR speak, reading between the lines in this interview shows that perhaps Ubisoft realizes how badly they screwed the pooch on this one.
Though Ubisoft won’t say they regret the effort (and they still refuse to provide any data to back up the piracy figures their executives are always going on about), they do admit to having made some “unfortunate” comments regarding the efficacy and success of their always-online DRM.
But the grand moment is when Ubisoft says that they have decided to drop their infamous always-online requirement in favor of a one-time activation, and that this practice will extend to their upcoming and future releases:
RPS: So, with Assassin’s Creed III, and other forthcoming releases, we’re going to see a one-time activation, and there won’t be limits on that activation. Is that correct?
Perotti: It’s correct. And then you’ll be able to play offline on PC. Whenever you want to reach any online service, multiplayer, you will have to be connected, and obviously for online games you will also need to be online to play. But if you want to enjoy Assassin’s Creed III single player, you will be able to do that without being connected. And you will be able to activate the game on as many machines as you want.
While it’s a shame that Ubisoft took so long to realize how much self-inflicted damage they were causing to their own brand, I suppose it’s always better late than never. Make sure to check out the full RPS interview for all the juicy I-told-you-so goodness.