Ubisoft to disable online services and DLC activation for some of its older games, even if you bought them full price
If you’re a fan of some older Ubisoft titles, it might be worth taking a look at your back catalog and downloading some of those games while there’s still time. The company has announced that come September 1st, 2022, a number of its titles will no longer be able to access the internet. That means not only will those games lose multiplayer capabilities, but it also means that any games that have DLC that needs to be activated online will no longer be accessible following that date. The affected games are as follows:
- Anno 2070: multiplayer, linking accounts, online features
- Assassin’s Creed 2: multiplayer, linking accounts, online features
- Assassin’s Creed 3 (Remaster not affected): multiplayer, linking accounts, online features, DLC access
- Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: multiplayer, linking accounts, online features, DLC access
- Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD: multiplayer, linking accounts, online features, DLC access
- Assassin’s Creed Revelations: multiplayer, online features
- Driver San Francisco: multiplayer, linking accounts, online features, DLC access
- Far Cry 3 (Remaster not affected): multiplayer, linking accounts, online features, DLC access
- Ghost Recon Future Soldier: multiplayer, to play single-player campaign you’ll need to put the console in offline mode
- Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sands: multiplayer, linking accounts, online features, DLC access
- Rayman Legends: linking accounts, online features
- Silent Hunter 5: multiplayer, linking accounts, online features
- Space Junkies: entire game
- Splinter Cell: Blacklist: multiplayer, linking accounts, online features
- ZombiU: linking accounts, online features
Of course, this highlights a greater issue when it comes to digital game purchases. At any time, companies can (and likely will) revoke access to your games, even if it’s decades down the line. Your favorite games now that require online services to activate will, one day, no longer be playable. The same can be said of cloud gaming platforms, which Ubisoft has also been a massive proponent of. What’s particularly egregious is that in this instance, Ubisoft is entirely removing Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD from Steam, after putting it on sale for the Steam summer sale. Owners of the game won’t be able to continue playing it, either. Silent Hunter 5 displays the same message on its Steam page.
As for the reason why Ubisoft says it’s closing the online services for these games, it’s not the most clear-cut of answers. The company simply states that “closing the online services for some older games allows us to focus our resources on delivering great experiences for players who are playing newer or more popular titles.” In other words, it likely just means that these games cost the company money to keep the servers up, but the problem is that elements of those games that require activation servers (such as DLC) will fail because of those servers going down. The most recent game on the list is Space Junkies, which launched in 2019 as a VR multiplayer title.
If you’re affected by this server shutdown, let us know in the comments below. As companies sunset older titles that relied on online activation methods for DLC and other additional content, this is likely to become a more and more common phenomenon. Even the most popular titles like Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and more will eventually have their servers shut down, and games that have single-player campaigns should be protected from going entirely redundant. The DLC that people purchased should be protected too, especially when it comes to games that could have been purchased for full price just a few months ago.