Ubisoft have trashed their pretty much universally hated always on DRM, which required you to not only activate the game online, but to maintain an internet connection for the duration of your play, even if it’s a single player game. They’re only just announcing it now, but they’ve not been using it since June, meaning all upcoming Ubisoft PC games will be blessedly free of the hateful requirement.
When I tried to play Splinter Cell: Conviction, there were constant interruptions; moments where Sam Fisher would have a little break mid-combat roll, or the guards would stop mid-sentence, a “I’ll find you...” before, a few seconds later, they’d end it with a frustrated “Fisher!”. I don’t have the best internet connection, you see, and Ubisoft’s Always-On DRM didn’t like that too much, so my experience was constantly interrupted.
It wasn’t so much the requirement as the implementation that frustrated, because even if in test environments it seems to work perfectly, people’s PCs are all different, and their internet connections are all different. So it never worked properly, and people’s experiences are always going to be impacted. So it’s genuinely brilliant that Ubisoft are getting rid of it.
The best of all of this is that the big upcoming Ubisoft releases, like Assassin’s Creed 3 and Far Cry 3, will be utterly free of the DRM, requiring only an online activation. They’re even going to let you install it on as many PCs as you like. Lovely.
We've got a big interview up with Stephanie Perotti, Ubisoft's Head of Online services, full of delicious details.