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Assassin's Creed Revelations to drop always-on DRM

ConsumerNews
, 10 Nov 2011News

Ubisoft has ditched the controversial 'always-on' Digital Rights Management (DRM) anti-piracy technology that shipped with its second Assassin's Creed game and meant that players had to be constantly connected to the internet in order to play.

Games site Rock Paper Shotgun reports that the next instalment of Assassin's Creed, Revelations, will not feature the system - something fans of the series will no doubt be very pleased with.

The system is just one of a number of DRM technologies that have irritated legitimate purchasers of games over the past few years, including SecuROM and its limited installs.

Hopefully the move by Ubisoft is a sign that the publisher is moving away from restrictive DRM, something that it has been criticised for including in past games. With Revelations, gamers will only need to be online when first registering the game. From then on, they can play offline to their hearts' content.

The reason the always-on DRM was so hated was because of the way it interfered with the single-player experience. If a player's internet connection went down mid-game on Assassin's Creed II, they'd be dumped back to the main menu. Not only would they not be able to play again until their internet went back up, but they would have to revert to the last save they'd made, forcing them to replay what they'd been doing before the outage.

The always-on DRM system was designed to prevent illegitimate gamers (read: pirates) from playing the game. The reasoning that if they had to connect to Ubisoft in order to play, it could ban the file sharers.

But what really angered gamers (and game developers) was that the DRM had been completely removed from pirated versions of the game that had been downloaded illegally - providing their players with a better gaming experience than those who had bought the game in a store.

Hopefully this first step by Ubisoft will be mirrored by other firms that have traditionally been rather restrictive with their DRM. Some companies have been leading the way for years, it's good to see others beginning to catch up.

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