Ubisoft Changing its ‘Always-On’ DRM Policy

An interview with Chris Early, vice president of digital publishing at Ubisoft, and another interview with Ubisoft's Stephanie Perotti reveals that the company is finally starting to turn the corner on its "always-on" DRM schemes for PC games.

Early tells VentureBeat that the company actually stopped using the method awhile ago, and that moving forward you will only have to connect once to authenticate games that are single-player.

"The key date is June 2011," Early said. "Everything since then is based on our current practice. Every game coming forward is based on that policy, and old games that came before that date are being switched over to that policy. It was originally much more of the stick approach. Now it is much more of the carrot."

He goes on to say that the reason the company is a popular target for piracy is that it makes good games. That's one fact most gamers would not try to dispute.

In a separate interview with popular PC gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Stephanie Perotti – who serves as Ubisoft’s worldwide director for online games – said that some unfortunate comments have been made in the past, but they are moving forward with a friendlier DRM scheme that customers will be happy with. Below is an excerpt about DRM in Assassin’s Creed III

RPS: So, with Assassin’s Creed III, and other forthcoming releases, we’re going to see a one-time activation, and there won’t be limits on that activation. Is that correct?

Perotti: It’s correct. And then you’ll be able to play offline on PC. Whenever you want to reach any online service, 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 III 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.

Source: VentureBeat, RPS

[Full disclosure: Chris Early sat on the board of directors of Crispy Gamer, a company the author worked for for several years.]

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  1. 0
    GrimCW says:

    doesn't help GRO was released with a FUBAR microtransaction store, and with pretty much ZERO advertising..

    login during peak gaming hours and it still reads "low" for the activity level… even during beta it wasn't that bad :(

    tis a nice game, but has a very console game design to it IMO with the whole TPV thing…

    i'd play, but i can't seem to find any games when i try…. :(

  2. 0
    lordlundar says:

    And this comes after Ubisoft said they were going to do the F2P model, aka make every future game be online required.

    The double take on that one was so quick I'm surprised she didn't get whiplash.

  3. 0
    GrimCW says:

    Ubi's still standing behind its "95%" rate for PC piracy.

    yet despite that they also have caved in and brought games they SWORE would never be on the PC to the PC anyways (such as GRFS). Yet they also claim that it only would take 12 people and 3 months to port a working game from the consoles to the PC…. that didn't pan out so well since its taken 3 more months to fix the botched release, and lost sales as a direct result…

    sooo… not sure if i'm doing the math very well, but wouldn't it make more sense to have a proper tested port with maybe a bit more time in the works than to release early?….

    i honestly hoped they'd learned from GRAW PC and the R6V ports when they nearly got sued (and actually had a couple of class actions pending IIRC, as well as a sh** TON of BBB complaints filed) after those two games released in well below working order, and missing features… hell, as i recall they officially dumped R6V support 2 weeks after release, and were forced to continue support for nearly a year (the game was that broken…) after the backlash (as well as gave PC users the DLC maps for free while consolers needed pay)

    at this point though i'm convinced they're trying to make a bad name for PC games and gamers by releasing sub par ports and titles merely to try and "urge" us onto the consoles.


  4. 0
    axiomatic says:

    So I read the Rock Paper Shotgun article about an hour ago and I'm changing my opinion a little. the two people interviewed were still a little to smug about things and were clearly still unwilling to stand up and say "we made a mistake." I think sales are tanking and that this is a reluctant test to see if the public will forgive them. I'm not certain this new found Ubi-religion is dogma or dog crap.

  5. 0
    GrimCW says:

    tbh they made this change awhile ago and haven't included that old "always on" with any of their newer titles lately (or at least it wasn't in ACR or GRFS when i got to'em. and GRFS i got on release)

  6. 0
    Papa Midnight says:

    I don't know about going out and buying… I still stand by my diatribe on the Steam forums (http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1850437).

    But I am willing to give them a second look if this means a turn in the tide and something comes to fruition.

    Edit: Oh, and if they cease their practice of holding off PC games for as much as 6 months into the product life cycle (Assassin's Creed) to "deter piracy". The only thing they're doing there is deterring their own sales.

  7. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Ubisoft, you have given me much to think about now. For the longest time, I have had a personal Boycott of all things Ubisoft because of your prior stance and actions in regards to DRM and piracy. I see that you are finally on the path of putting paying customers first and hopefully that sticks within your organization. I have not yet at this time recanted by boycott as I have much to think on, but thank you for this great first step.

    Perhaps as a good faith gesture, I will buy Beyond Good And Evil from Good old Games, but we must still wait and see.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  8. 0
    axiomatic says:

    I'll hold my kudos until I see my Ubisoft games patch on my PC and remove the DRM. Until then Ubisoft… treat your customers like pirates… they will pirate. Treat your customers with the respect of paying customers… they will want to pay you for your wares.

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