Ubisoft's PC Games Will Soon Require An Internet Connection

Fresh off copying from Xbox Live with its "Uplay" service, Ubisoft is now taking a leaf out Valve's book (The Big Book of Steam), introducing a range of new anti-piracy measures for the company's PC games.

Ditching the controversial "StarForce" system of digital rights management, Ubisoft will now be moving its PC game copy protection services to Ubi.com accounts.

This new system will allow unlimited installs (rather than the limits seen on other DRM systems like SecuRom), let you play games without a disc in the drive, and even save your games remotely to Ubi's servers, meaning you can swap between computers and pick up right where you left off (similar to how Valve's Steamworks system operates).

The catch? You have to be online to play your games. It's the only way you'll be able to verify with Ubisoft's servers that you're playing a legitimate copy of a game. So if you get intermittent internet connectivity, or travel a lot, or just like playing games on your laptop, you're in trouble, as no "offline" mode will be offered.

It's a brave decision on the part of Ubisoft, one even Valve may still be a few years away from making. Be interesting to see how severe a backlash there is from users, or whether the company has made the right call in deciding most people are 100% connected to the internet 100% of the time.

Ubisoft Launches Anti-Piracy Countermeasures [GameSpy]


    too bad im still going to hack ac2

    I think it's a stupid idea but one that some Steam games already enforce as part of Dragon Age Origins and Mass Effect 2 when using their DLC.

    Why do they even waste money on trying to prevent piracy, it never works and just pisses off legit users.

    If this is the reason Splinter Cell Conviction got delayed...

      I wouldn't worry about that. If Ubi wanted to delay Conviction to include UPlay, they would have only delayed the PC version.

      That's what they did with Assassin's Creed 2. The PC version was delayed for UPlay, the console versions were released on time.

    I like how it is with company of heroes, you do not need the disk if you are connected, and instead log into your account. If you are offline you can still play, you just have to put the disk in.
    Not being able to play at all when offline is as bad as securom in my opinion, I would rather have to put a disc in.

      Agreed. The COH system is by far the best to use (aside from a fresh game install and all the sequential updates form the in-game updater... and the forced hosting of updates).

      Sorry, Ubisoft, but with my connection coming and going as it likes, I'll end up having to run cracks on your [legally purchased] games too.

      Unfortunately, while that is more convenient for the user it does very little in the way of copy protection. It's much easier to someone to circumvent the system; they just need to disconnect from the Internet and use a disc image. With a system that requires you be connected to the Internet then they have more power for verifying authenticity.

    Aw great, I get no internet at home during the day, (live too far from an exchange) so now I'll have to find out how to pirate ubisoft's future games if I want to be able to play them.
    Nice one.

    I purchased the DRM free Prince of Persia for full price knowing I could very easily pirate it if I wanted. But I chose to support a publisher who cares about their customers.
    Now it looks like I will be cancelling my pre-order of Assassins Creed 2 if this affects it, which I imagine it will.

    I recently re-installed Counter-Strike: Source on my computer, just as something to pass the time offline, but it wouldn't let me play at all unless I connected to the internet and downloaded all the updates.

    Even in this day and age where almost everyone has the internet, an internet connection shouldn't be a requirement.

    It's bad enough that I have Games for Windows, R* Social Club & Steam opening when I boot up my computer. Yes, I'm aware I can change this but my point is that if every publisher is going to have their own network to sign into before playing a game then I'll pass. All this will do is push people to pirate.
    I'm more than happy to buy the game over steam but to be constantly connected to the net & have TWO background programs running is a joke.

    Guys... just use Steam. No, it's not your company, but it doesn't HURT you to use it, does it?

    It makes more sense to me that Ubisoft have this kind of network than Rockstar. Ubisoft DOES publish a lot of games, so its at least reasonable that they have a personal social network. I imagine EA will probably hop on the wagon sometime soon as well. Rockstar really shouldn't have its own social network. Doesn't have enough titles to make it necessary.

    And yes, Assassin's Creed 2 PC WILL have this system, as will Splinter Cell: Conviction and R.U.S.E.

    Be nice if they offered disc AND online validation in the same package. While I actually prefer the later method (I enjoy the convenience of not having to mess with discs every time I want to play something), it'd be nice to have some reassurance that if Ubi ever folded, I'd still be able to play the games I paid for.

    But unlike Steam (with community features, store front and awesome specials), they're offering no incentive or pay off to the customer for accepting such restrictions (no offline mode).

    I'll be closely looking at how AC2 purchased through Steam is going to be managed before laying down my cash.

      Not so much as you might think. The UPlay service is going to include a community, where you do the usual stuff (friends, blogs), find forums, you can post screenshots and videos, etc.

      On top of that, there are achievements, which give you points you can exchange for DLC. So, you finish mission X in Assassin's Creed 2 and unlock a gun in Splinter Cell Conviction.

      And I'm fairly sure I can't put steam into offline mode without signing in online. Last time I was without Internet I couldn't connect to steam to put it INTO offline mode at all. Don't see how UPlay would be worse.

      I'm not saying that this DRM is good and should be welcomed with open arms, but it's a lot better than you might think, and it's necessary if you want to keep seeing games released for the PC in the future.

    Just when I was going to go on a PC game buying spree I discover that a.) You need an internet connection to install your legally bought games (ie: not just for multiplayer) and now you need a constant connection to play. I caN GUARANTEE i WILL NOT BUY any of these games and will instead crack/pirate them if I must play. Ubi and Steam can F - oFF, ie: UP YOURS!! Unless a game is multi-player it should not require online access. Punnishing your paying customers is going to lose you their support. FIN! I will stick with my old games and with freeware otherwise, bought and paid for thank you

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