Ubisoft drops its intrusive “always on” internet DRM

Ubisoft sold Assassin’s Creed II, Splinter Cell: Conviction and other popular PC game titles in 2010 using the always on DRM that requires a constant Internet connection. After months of complaints and annoyance, Ubisoft called a truce with customers and released a new update removing the always on DRM.

Gamers were frustrated by the always on DRM that required a constant Internet connection, with some gamers complaining they were unable to save games without Internet access. Now Ubisoft has decided that an Internet connection is only necessary to help authenticate the game, not to have access while playing the entire time.

Ubisoft drops its intrusive "always on" internet DRM

It was rumored the controversial DRM was cracked on launch day, and the fight against Ubisoft only became more interesting. The Ubisoft always on DRM was cracked for good in April, showing Ubisoft and other game studios how swift the community would respond against DRM.

The highly annoying “always on” DRM also failed Ubisoft customers when their DRM servers went down, cutting off all legitimate customers from game-play, while the pirates were able to continue playing their DRM-stripped versions with no problems.

To end 2010, Ubisoft found new ways to try and combat piracy that didn’t directly involve the use of DRM. Specifically, the company has tried using decoys with crippled game code in the hope of preventing pirates from actually playing the game. Instead of using DRM, this only punishes pirates while paying customers can continue on their way without any hassles.

DRM technology used on video games remains a controversial topic, especially with so many intrusive methods being used. It’s refreshing to see Ubisoft learn from its mistakes and realize that new strategies should be used to prevent piracy that don’t punish paying customers.