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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.