Having to use multiple digital distribution services to play one game is already annoying enough. Uplay is arguably the worst of everything that's not Steam. But now Ubisoft's platform has given everyone one more reason to get angry.
Update: One of Ubisoft's community managers, Cain Sinopoulos, has gotten in touch to clarify some of the information. The situation described when users attempt to change their legacy username, Sinopoulos says, and doesn't apply when changing your username via your profile on the Uplay website.
Sinopoulos posted on Reddit and contacted me personally to stress that changing legacy usernames are fraught with risks. "As [Ubisoft support] mentioned, it's linked to various different things in older games such as game stats, save games and so on," he wrote.
"The display name (or username) would be the one changed via the method linked in your article. No risk at all with that," Sinopoulos tweeted, adding that free-to-play games, and future ones such as Rainbow Six: Siege, would not be adversely affected if a name was changed through the profile element of the Uplay website.
The earlier story follows below.
In a post on Reddit, user gamemaster257 has reported a surprising restriction within Ubisoft's service: if you have any games in your account that were released before November 2012 — anything before Assassin's Creed 3, in other words — you won't be able to change your Uplay name.
"If you have any older Uplay PC titles (games released prior to Assassin's Creed III in November of 2012) activated to your account, you are not eligible for a username change due to the way that Uplay uses your account's username as the unique identifier when logging in to the service," the post from Ubisoft's support reads.
"Any username changes will result in these games being permanently lost. Uplay has recently been updated to minimize these login issues for newer titles. However, the issue cannot be eliminated for games released before November 2012."
It's curious because the restriction isn't mentioned once in Ubisoft's official FAQ for changing usernames. "Your current Username will now become your ‘Legacy Username’, which cannot be changed, but will be saved permanently on your account," Ubisoft's support page says.
"Your Legacy Username is a personal identifier displayed in your account information page only, and is unique to you. Your Legacy Username will be required for old Ubisoft titles prior to October 14th, 2014."
Even if you have only purchased Ubi titles post-AC3, the name change is still risky: you'll lose all your multiplayer stats and savegame files, the latter of which is probably the more frustrating (since most Ubi titles I can think of would be Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Grow Home, Child of Light, and the Far Cry/Assassin's Creed series, games that trade more heavily on the campaign than the singleplayer).
Oh and if you're one of those who play Ubisoft's free-to-play titles like Duel of Champions: don't change your name either. Ever. "Username changes are also not recommended for customers who play our free-to-play MMOs such as The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot or Duel of Champions as the change can cause various issues (i.e., loss of all card decks, corruption of friend list, connectivity issues)," the email from Ubi support says.
The mere existence of Uplay is already perplexing in this day and age, but issues like this just compound the fury tenfold.