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