Ubisoft Apologizes For Uplay Outage; Forums Rage Anyway

Over the weekend, Ubisoft’s Uplay PC service went down, leaving a lot of frustrated gamers chomping impotently at the bit, so to speak, unable to play their games. The outage began yesterday, first reported close to 7 AM pacific time, and the Ubisoft forums quickly filled with angry-as-hell commenters demanding access to the games they’d paid for.

This was especially frustrating because the outage appears to have been connected to the crazy and inconvenient always-on DRM requirement Ubisoft loves. The Steam Summer Sale featured a lot of Ubisoft Titles, all of which required Uplay to, you know, play. Uplay servers clearly couldn’t handle the stress and crashed. Not helping matters, Ubisoft waited a considerably long time to even acknowledge the problem – 27 full pages of comments accumulated before, at just after midnight this morning, Ubisoft finally acknowledged the issue with a polite, but terse message to the forums.

“Hello, Sorry for the inconvenience,’ the US Forum Manager said. “The Uplay PC service should now be up and running properly. Please try logging into your game and let us know if you have any issues.” Great! But not great enough to quell the anger. A sampling of the complaints gets to the heart of the matter:

“What a complete joke from ubisoft customer service.. To make 1 single comment here and not a Topic. F*cking awesome job guys”

“Ah good old Ubi, putting paying customers through this for no good reason, then they’ll moan and wonder why only pirated copies of their games are played.”

“I just created an account so I could reply. Seriously, why is anyone buying games from this developer with this DRM in it? I haven’t bought an Ubisoft game in years except one, because of their treatment of customers. I also won’t buy their PS3 games to get around their DRM because I am also a PC gamer. For the record, I don’t pirate their games either. That one purchase exception? Assassins Creed from GOG.com. It’s fully DRM free on the PC from that seller. Even that took me a while to decide on since I don’t want to support Ubisoft until they drop the DRM entirely, but then I also wanted to voice with my dollars that I want DRM free from Ubi, and also wanted to support GOG in getting it done. This is not a personal attack on Ubi, I feel the same about many games from EA, WB, 2K, etc…”

Rock, Paper, Shotgun notes that this cock up bears some striking similarities to the recent botched Diablo 3 launch. Both are related to the maddening requirement of perpetual Internet in order to play, rendering customers as mere renters, rather than purchasers of their property (a practice that is might be doomed to be declared illegal, eventually anyway.)

The most succinct comment on the matter? “If you are going to have always on DRM, Make sure your DRM is always f*cking on.” Perhaps a better plan would be for Ubisoft to stop with the always-on DRM BS entirely, but this works just as well.

So Game Fronters, thoughts?

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3 Comments on Ubisoft Apologizes For Uplay Outage; Forums Rage Anyway


On July 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

That last comment is spot on. That is the problem with this always-on version of DRM. Like most DRM, it only affects the legitimate customers because pirates can find alternatives so you just end up angering people that wanted to give you money. Always-on DRM makes it so much worse because you never no when you simply won’t be allowed to play. Single-player games should never require you to be online.


On July 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Why was a guy who neither bought nor pirated any Ubisoft games on the Ubisoft forums talking about the problems with Ubisoft games? Just keeping up with the non DRM copy of AC he bought at GOG?


On July 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm

They have a right to be mad, they paid for a service and Ubisoft failed to deliver, even if it was for only a day. How many industries can you get away with such practices? I would say not many, just because this is a digital entertainment format does not make it more acceptable.

Always online DRM is itself a bad practice, if I had to phone George Lucas for permission every time I wanted to watch Star Wars episode V I would never bother purchasing his films. Ubisoft have set up an unreasonable requirement for using their products which people should wake up to seeing it for what it is, unjust.

I am a consumer and my loudest voice is spoken with my wallet, my money goes elsewhere.