The contentious copy-protection method that will require all Ubisoft PC titles to be constantly connected to the web is crucial for fighting piracy, the publisher says.
The new ‘online platform', as the publisher describes it, will be introduced with the release of Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 on March 5th. But it has garnered criticism amongst some PC gamers.
Speaking to MCV, UK marketing director Murray Pannell assured Ubisoft customers that the system is necessary in the ongoing battle against illegal copying.
The impact of piracy on the PC market is enormous and working to thwart it is crucial to our future ability to continue developing for this platform,” he said.
We know requiring a permanent online connection is a controversial decision and has been seen as a disadvantage to several PC gamers.
But we hope that they will feel the additional services we are able to offer via this platform are worth it.
We are aware that some players will not be able to connect to the internet but with the proliferation of WiFi, the majority of people can connect most of the time, so these instances should be very limited.”
Pannell said that the new online service will only require a minimum broadband speed, with Ubisoft's games sending less than 50 kilobits of data per second.
The online platform rewards users with a number of features specifically requested by the publisher's PC customers.
These include unlimited installs, the ability to play the game without a disk and save data that is accessible from multiple computers.
Ubisoft is also calling on retailers to use their staff's expertise in helping to raise awareness of this new system.
The role retailers can play in educating consumers as to the reasons why we have taken these steps cannot be underestimated,” said Pannell.
Consumers often rely on the advice and direction of store staff, so by asking them to help educate the customer about the benefits of the service can only help us reassure people that this is a good thing.”