Ubisoft pledges no more always-online DRM for PC

In an interview, Ubisoft’s worldwide director for online games, Stephanie Perlotti, explained that the company has stopped using the always-on DRM.

Ubisoft is disliked by PC gamers over its use of draconian digital rights management (DRM), which requires gamers to be connected to the Internet all the time while playing games, even the single player ones. Recently, in an interview with RockPaperShotgun, Ubisoft’s worldwide director for online games, Stephanie Perlotti, explained that the company has stopped using the always-on DRM.

Perlotti said that the always-on DRM has been gone for quite some time now. “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,” Perlotti said. The publisher has pledged to RockPaperShotgun that from now on, Ubisoft’s games will only require initial activation, and will have no limit on the number of activations, and the number of PCs the game is installed on.

Ubisoft is going for the free-to-play market

Ubisoft will stop using draconian DRM


Perlotti uses Ubisoft’s upcoming game, Assassin’s Creed III, as an example: “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”.

In August, Ubisoft had announced that it will be going for the free-to-play games market on the PC due to high piracy rates on the platform. Head of Ubisoft Yves Guillemot said, "It's a way to get closer to your customers, to make sure you have a revenue. On PC it's only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P, but normally on PC it's only about five to seven per cent who pay anyway, the rest is pirated. It's around a 93-95 per cent piracy rate, so it ends up at about the same percentage. The revenue we get from the people who play is more long term, so we can continue to bring content".

Ubisoft generally isn’t known for its friendly stance towards the PC games market. The company repeatedly makes bad ports of its games for the PC version, releases the PC version weeks, sometimes months, after the release of the console versions and the company is very well known for its draconian DRM practices, which sometimes require the players to be connected to the internet at all times even when playing a single player game.

Ubisoft’s upcoming game, Assassin’s Creed III, got a multiplayer trailer in August. The trailer shows off a new progression system for the game where players can unlock more things as they level up by playing matches. Another thing the trailer shows off is a new gameplay that looks like it could either be something akin to King of the Hill from games like Team Fortress 2, where a team has to capture a place in the map and keep control of it for a certain amount of time, and a control point game mode where the team that captures all control points in the map wins the game.

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