Assassin's Creed II for PC Locked Down by DRM

While some game publishers are getting a little more customer-friendly with its DRM efforts, Ubisoft has fused some pretty strict protection-schemes into its upcoming games that could cause some big headaches for PC gamers.

Last month Ubisoft revealed a new service that requires gamers to be signed in to a custom account and connected to the internet in order to play games.

PC Gamer UK received its review copies of Assassin's Creed II and Settlers VII and reported that the games aren't at all friendly towards gamers with shoddy internet connections. "If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected," the site reported.

This means that any gaming session of Assassin's Creed II you may have running can be taken down by your ISP failing, your wireless signal being weak, your router on the blink, or simply just someone pulling any number of plugs. Even worse, what happens when Ubisoft's Master servers are down?

Ubisoft's seemingly restrictive service does have a few benefits: it can sync your save games with the Ubisoft cloud so you can retrieve them from anywhere; and you're allowed to install the game as many times on as many PCs as you want (but you can only sign in at one machine at a time).

Ubisoft offered comment in an earlier story regarding its online-always service:

The platform requires a permanent Internet connection. We know this choice is controversial but we feel is justified by the gameplay advantages offered by the system and because most PCs are already connected to the Internet. This platform also offers protection against piracy, an important business element for Ubisoft and for the PC market in general as piracy has an important impact on this market. Any initiative that allows us to lower the impact of piracy on our PC games will also allow us to concentrate further effort to the creation and expansion of IPs for the PC - our goal is to deliver the best gaming experience to our customers, anywhere, anytime."

What's your take on this new DRM scheme?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • logitic
    To bad the game will only be in DX9 for PC's. Way to drop the ball...
  • 4745454b
    Why did they build this instead of just using Steam? Sounds almost the same as steam. Not sure if I can play my single players games without a steam connection though. I haven't tried loading a game then pulling my NIC cable.
  • kingnoobe
    It's simply drm, and will be cracked. DRM for single player games are simply stupid. Simply another game hurting legit users, while making pirates laugh.

    DRM's don't keep honest people honest. They have a tendency to turn honest people into pirates cause they don't want to have to deal with the crap. Seriously most pirates couldn't crack anything, but we can hit download, extract, install, profit.
  • Nightskeeter
    Yeah, Mise well just get the game for the PS3. Right now it's on sale at Newegg for $13! and FREE shipping.

    There's literally no point in this game going to PC if it's just DX9.
  • ahnilated
    Yet another game I won't purchase with these kinds of restrictions.
  • curnel_D
    Two guesses to pick who's not buying this!
  • curnel_D
    4745454bWhy did they build this instead of just using Steam? Sounds almost the same as steam. Not sure if I can play my single players games without a steam connection though. I haven't tried loading a game then pulling my NIC cable.Steam isn't anywhere near this bad, and I don't buy steam games as a matter of principal either.
  • cielmerlion
    I think the only ones who benefit from this are pirates. I am always surpriz.ed at how little these companies learn
  • cib24
    I think it's a great idea. There is far too much piracy in games on the PC and despite the fact that it alienates 1-5% of PC gamers, I believe this should be a step that more and more publishers adopt when releasing games on the PC. This type of system could give more incentive for developers to create or port good games to the PC again and reverse the dying trend.
  • STravis
    I might be upset if I was interested in playing this game - however all my hardware would go to waste on this nonsense.

    Am I just old? I haven't found a really good games lately...I find myself much more interested in pounding away code on the keyboard....