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Ubisoft kills always-on PC DRM - report

Controversial system bites the dust.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Ubisoft appears to have stopped forcing PC gamers to maintain an internet connection while playing its games.

Gamers on Reddit (via PC Gamer) noticed the PC versions of Assassin's Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction were playable with web connections turned off – and took screenshots to prove it.

In the past a dropped internet connection would cause Ubisoft's PC games to pause. That no longer appears to be the case. However, as is standard practice, an internet connection is still required to validate the game install every time it is booted up.

Ubisoft's controversial DRM launched with The Settlers 7 last April, but was scrapped for the release of the PC version of real-time strategy game RUSE.

Last year Ubisoft's online verification servers suffered digital attacks, which prevented thousands of gamers from playing their games.

In January Ubisoft claimed the goal of its then new PC anti-piracy solution was to "provide added value" and "enrich the gaming experience".

"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," said the company.

"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 on the creation and expansion of our intellectual properties for the PC - our goal is to deliver the best gaming experience to our customers."

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