The Basics: Ubisoft, in an effort to reduce piracy of their games, will require that all PC games be verified with an Ubi.com account and will only play when an Internet connection is present.
Either go to the GameSpy article (here), which explains it all, or click the cut. I copy and pasted the article, as it already said everything there is to be said.
Last year, Ubisoft head honcho Yves Guillemot mentioned that the company was “working on tools that will allow us to actually decrease tremendously the piracy on PC.” Ubisoft is now launching this proprietary new system to manage its PC gaming community, starting with making its PC games accessible through Ubi.com accounts.
In the past Ubisoft has been derided for its use of the controversial StarForce digital rights management application. Ubisoft’s new platform takes an approach that tackles many of the typical criticisms of DRM. You’ll be able to run your games without a disc in the drive for authentication, and you can take advantage of unlimited installations.
“If you own a hundred PCs, you can install your games on a hundred PCs,” said Brent Wilkinson, Director, Customer Service and Production Planning at Ubisoft.
One very interesting benefit of this new account management system is how it handles save games. Your saves will be stored remotely on Ubi servers, allowing access to your game saves on any machine. Steam offers a similar service for select games, but this will be available for the majority of Ubisoft’s PC titles.
So what’s the downside? Since authentication is now handled through your Ubi.com account, you’ll always need to connect to your Ubi.com account to authenticate before playing. While it’s hard to conceive of PC gamers being stranded without an Internet connection, those situations do come up, particularly when traveling.
We asked about the potential backlash to this authentication platform requiring an Internet connection. “We think most people are going to be fine with it. Most people are always connected to an Internet connection,” Wilkinson replied.
If you’ve signed up for access to a beta playtest through Ubi.com, you’ll already have a working account. This PC authentication platform debuts with the Settlers 7 beta, which you can sign up for at our sister site, FilePlanet.