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06 September 2012

Reason to Love Ubisoft Again! DRM Getting Toned Back Down

I've had somewhat of a Jekyll/Hyde relationship with Ubisoft for a few years now.  I love them because there is a division within that is really focused on making gamers' experience awesome for LAN events, tournaments, etc. (you'll find many articles here about their support for our GEEX TrackMania tournaments in the past couple of years; and my next post will feature an incredible thing the Ubisoft/Nadeo crew did for me last weekend.)

However, you will also find many articles discussing my disgust and disappointment about their Online Services Platform always-on DRM.

I'm pleased to announce that I hopefully can abandon the DRM hate and just return to love for Ubisoft after a fantastic announcement on the "Rock, Paper, Shotgun" website was made yesterday morning.  The website  announced that Ubisoft is "scrapping always-on DRM for PC games."

"Rock, Paper, Shotgun" published a full interview 2 hours later where they spoke with Stephanie Perotti, Ubisoft's Worldwide Director for Online Games and Michael Burk, Ubisoft's Communications Manager.

According to Perotti: "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."

I will test this very soon, as I boycotted several games that I'd wanted to purchase, but was unwilling to put up with their always-on DRM... titles like "Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands" and the "HAWX" series.  I was awarded a copy of Forgotten Sands at the end of last year, but haven't installed it because of said boycott.  I'm excited to see if what they said is true, because I'd really like to play the game.

However,  it was unclear to me in the article (someone please comment if you can confirm) if older games would have it removed, or if the DRM decision was only being applied to releases from that June date forward.  I hope it will be removed for these other games I've wanted to play.

Regardless, this is a huge step in regaining faith in Ubisoft for PC gamers, as well as faith that other publishers in the industry will follow suit.  Those of us that have been voting with our wallets now need to do the same and support this move.  I hope I will find out I can go back and buy the games I missed because they chose to remove the DRM from them as well; and look forward to future titles from Ubisoft that will allow me to play my games whenever, however and wherever I like.  Let's hope it keeps for a very long time!

Thanks, Ubisoft!  Here's to a bright future.

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