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Ubisoft reportedly revoking The Crew from owners' libraries following server shutdown

"You no longer have access to this game. Why not check the Store to pursue your adventures?"

Promotional art for The Crew showing cars racing toward the camera as a rugged landscape stretches out behind them.
Image credit: Ubisoft

After shutting down The Crew's servers at the end of March, Ubisoft has reportedly started removing the open-world racer from owners' libraries and revoking their user license.

Ubisoft delisted The Crew - which would otherwise be celebrating its tenth birthday later this year - from digital storefronts last December, with the publisher announcing it would be permanently shutting the game's servers down on 31st March 2024. And that didn't just mean The Crew's multiplayer elements would no longer be accessible; due to the game's always-online nature, all single-player content would cease to be available too.

Even so, The Crew fans - some of whom had hoped the game might live on through private servers - were shocked to discover that Ubisoft had seemingly started revoking owners' licenses earlier this week too, making the game impossible to download and install.

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Players reported (thanks PC Gamer) The Crew had been moved out of their Ubisoft Connect libraries and put in a new "inactive games" section, along with the message, "You no longer have access to this game. Why not check the Store to pursue your adventures?". Attempts to run it directly from an existing install directory reportedly launch the game, but only in demo mode, while Steam installations are met with a request to input a game key.

Needless to say, the response has been far from positive - one commenter on a lengthy Reddit thread discussing Ubisoft's actions called the move "really abhorrent behaviour that needs to stop being legal", while another said it was the "saddest and the most ruthless decision I've ever seen in gaming history" - with many directing players' attention to the recently launched Stop Killing Games initiative.

Stop Killing Games was established by YouTuber Ross Scott in response to Ubisoft's original The Crew shutdown announcement, and aims to mount political and legal challenges to the increasingly common occurrence of purchased games becoming unplayable.

As for Ubisoft, when approached by Eurogamer for comment on its decision to begin revoking The Crew licenses, it merely referred back to its initial announcement. "We announced on December 14, 2023 that after almost a decade of support, we would be decommissioning The Crew 1 on March 31, 2024," it wrote. "While we understand this may be disappointing for players, it was necessary due to server infrastructure and licensing constraints."

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