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Ubisoft Officially Scraps Always-On DRM, Sees Reason

Jonathan Lester
Always-on, DRM, Ubisoft

Ubisoft Officially Scraps Always-On DRM, Sees Reason

"We Have Listened"

After weathering years of painful backlash, Ubisoft has decided to completely axe their controversial 'always-on' DRM system - and apparently took the decision months ago. Going forward, they also plan to remove install limits for their PC games.

About time too, really.

Ubisoft's Worldwide Director for Online Games, Stephanie Perlotti, explained that player feedback lead them to completely axe the painful DRM policy, and that they plan to relax installation limits for future PC titles like Assassin's Creed III.

"We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline," she told RPS.

"Whenever you want to reach any online service or 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 3 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."

Perlotti also stated that the move was quietly implemented a few months' back; as evidenced by the lack of always-on DRM in Rayman Origins, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Driver San Francisco and and Anno 2070 (though the latter two came with their own set of DRM-related problems).

Ubisoft's recently-released Uplay platform and an aggressive shift towards free-to-play may be key factors here, and we'll likely update this article once the full RPS interview goes live later this morning. For now, though, we're glad that the publisher has finally realised that always-on DRM has been encouraging (even legitimising) the very piracy it was intended to stop - catching consumers in the crossfire.

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