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Ubisoft ditches controversial always-on DRM for PC games

"We have listened to feedback."

Ubisoft has discarded its much-derided always-on DRM for PC games, the company has announced.

The U-turn comes after sustained criticism of the anti-piracy measure, which required players to remain online at all times for their games to function.

Ubisoft worldwide director for online games, Stephanie Perlotti, told Eurogamer sister site RockPaperShotgun that the company had implemented the change in June.

"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 explained.

All of Ubisoft's future PC titles will now be free from always-on DRM - including this year's blockbuster Assassin's Creed 3. Obviously, an internet connection will still be required for any online services.

"Whenever you want to reach any online service or 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 3 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."

Ubisoft's DRM policy hit the headlines when it was announced that PC versions of Driver: San Francisco and From Dust would require users to log on to the internet every time they played the game.

A number of Ubisoft PC games, including Driver and Anno 2070, were completely unplayable online and offline when the company moved its gaming servers over to a third-party.

The always-on DRM furore sparked debate throughout the industry, with Minecraft creator Marcus 'Notch' Persson chiming in to say: "Protip: if you pirate Ubisoft games instead of buying them, they will work fine if your internet connection goes down."

Regardless, in July last year Ubisoft claimed its DRM strategy was a "success", noting a "clear reduction in piracy". What a difference a year makes.

Assassin's Creed 3 celebrates its independence (from always-on DRM).

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