With the beta for Settlers 7, Ubisoft is unveiling a new anti-piracy measure that will require gamers to log into their Ubi.com account in order to authenticate their play session.
While requiring an Internet connection is not the most gamer-friendly initiative ever devised, the invasive technology does have at least two decent aspects, as noted on GameSpy: game saves will be stored online and can be accessed from anywhere (providing an Internet connection is available) and a single game can be installed on “hundreds” of PCs.
GameSpy seems to think that this system is at least a little better than the StarForce DRM system Ubisoft used in the past. As one columnist stated:
I think the DRM benefits of this approach and the ancillary bonuses (remote game saves, unlimited installations, no CD authentication) will end up outweighing the annoyance of having to log-in before playing.
Ars Technica compared the solution to an annoying practice employed by some retailers:
If you’re annoyed when you have to show your receipt to someone when you walk out of an electronics store, Ubisoft is not the company for you. This is like having to show your receipt every time you want to turn on your television.