Breaking news: Ubisoft to abandon always-on DRM for PC titles

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By on September 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm

We interrupt your regular evening programming to bring you breaking news out of the good folks at Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Ubisoft are publicly scrapping their always-on DRM that has been so upsettingly crowbarred into their PC titles of recent years.

Ubisoft’s worldwide director for online games, Stephanie Perotti, explains that “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.”

While Perotti refused to admit that always-online DRM was a mistake and described previous comments by the company that it had been effective in reducing piracy as “unfortunate”, she remained adamant that Ubisoft had quietly axed the policy in June last year.

“We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline.”

It’s been a long time coming, but this is a great win for gamers, and Ubisoft should be applauded for recognising the error of this practice.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun (Thanks Jamie)

32 comments (Leave your own)

Oh, UBI is trying to sneakily grab my money now… I THINK NOT!


Too little too late, also please if it was effective and caused you to gain profit you would continue to use it.

UBI is probably my least favorite publisher OF ALL TIME.



Quite happy to forgive them based on the new stance. People/Businesses do learn new things.


Good move Ubi.

I’d agree with the other two above but I cant, Ubi publish my favourite IP’s so I will always buy their stuff.


June last year?

Hasn’t there been a lot of “single player” games that still require online access after this date?

I believe anno 2070 was one

Darth Teddy Bear

I checked the calendar and it is not April 1, but I still cannot shake the feeling that someone is having a lend of me…


so everytime you install the game you need to activate? what if its 10 years old and they shut the servers down? good try ubisoft but your gay.


If they remove Uplay all together it would be a good move, but by the sound of the article its just saying what a few of us know already, that with the DRM you can play single player offline .

Still does not fix the games that dont have LAN mode and does not fix GRFS PC peer2peer failboat match making internet networking


glad they did this :) not that it really hassled me, but i know it did for plenty of other games. Atleast they listened to the complains, sure it took a while lol but aslong as they’ve got rid of it, good times for all


I’ll be able to buy Ubisoft games again? Good news!

When is the always-on DRM being removed from existing titles?



Was looking at the calendar myself. A little late for an April 1st prank. :)

Sounds like they finally want customers. Good stuff!


Here’s hoping they apply this to previous releases ..


If only they dropped the Australia tax aswell, Some of their games might be worth buying


Absolute BS about their DRM being effective, sure it took around a month or two in the beginning to figure out but those crafty scene groups did it and from then ubi releases were done in a day or two.

Not that I download such horribly illegal releases, I’m just….. informed :P


Well that is a relief and a big victory for the future of pc gaming, this also means that I can lift my ban on ubisoft games, next goal for them should be to make games worth buying now.

Also I do believe always on DRM can help lower piracy but it will also lower sales, contrary to popular belief piracy actually increase sales not the other way around. That a stopped pirate would equal a sale is total myth, even that 10 stopped pirates equals 1 sale isn’t true.


so everytime you install the game you need to activate? what if its 10 years old and they shut the servers down? good try ubisoft but your gay.

The company itself is homosexual? Or they only employ homosexuals? I’m a little confused?


While this is a welcome move, I would still hold back until we see what the games will be lumbered with.
That is;
I was under the impression that Uplay was going to be their entry into steam/origin types of services. I am still hesitant to put another retail outlet on my system.

Will need to see how it all develops, but at least FarCry3 is back on my wanted list.


June last year?

Hasn’t there been a lot of “single player” games that still require online access after this date?

I believe anno 2070 was one

Anno 2070 required online access to start, but you could lose online access mid play and it would still work. This new policy only appears to affect always online games, so connecting online to start it up may still be on the cards.

James Pinnell

Props to Ubisoft for admitting and actively trying to fix these issues.


thank god for ubi, now i will be able to pirate ac3 without any problems

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