The Steam Summer Sale has created an influx of new customers for many of Ubisoft’s titles, bringing the company’s Uplay system to a breaking point. This in turn has made a number of Ubisoft’s games unplayable, including titles that don’t feature an online component. Ubisoft posted a brief apology on their forums for the inconvenience:
“Sorry for the inconvenience. The Uplay PC service should now be up and running properly. Please try logging into your game and let us know if you have any issues. You can find the links to Support in my signature.”
Uplay is Ubisoft’s method of enforcing DRM upon players who are required to be connected online at all times, regardless of whether or not they’re playing online multiplayer. Unfortunately, if something on Ubisoft’s end goes wrong, consumers who have legally purchased their games won’t be able to play them.
Analysis: I don’t think there is a soul on Earth who believes that DRM is any good, especially Ubisoft’s draconian version of it, and no more evidence is really needed on that. But this is truly something. Publishers stating they want to protect their rights and ensure customers are legally purchasing the title defend DRM, claiming it’s a necessary evil. However, because of the sheer number of people actually purchasing the title, Ubisoft’s DRM decided to check out. So people are still purchasing the title—a lot of people, in fact—so if that’s the case, why have the DRM? This is especially so considering that Steamworks is more than enough and far more reliable than Ubisoft’s methods.
It’s outrageous that paying customers are punished for actually purchasing an Ubisoft title whilst pirates are free to play whenever they want regardless of whether or not Uplay is up and working. Plus, don’t get me started on games that have no online features and yet require an always-online connection, a feature that was even patched into Assassin’s Creed II long after it was released.
A brief and seemingly insincere apology with the addition of no compensation for those affected is a poor showing by Ubisoft, and the twenty-nine pages worth of rage spewing on the Uplay forums afterwards is more then warranted.