I didn't think this would ever be announced, in fact, I had to check the date just to make sure it wasn't April 1. Ubisoft, implementers and persuaders of, without a doubt, the worst DRM policy in history have back flipped and announced that their always online DRM has been scrapped in favour of a one time activation on installation.
Stephanie Perotti, the worldwide director for online games states
“We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline.”
What does this mean for PC gamers? Well, for those who are unaware or who just want to read it again for a laugh, Ubisoft's DRM meant that a PC gamer had to have an active internet connection at all times for playing games, even in single player mode! What this meant was that if your connection dropped out (for whatever reason) your game would shutdown until a connection to the server was re-established. This would often result in losing the progress of your single player game.
Another problem was that when a PC was upgraded with a new video card, more memory etc the DRM would often sense that this was a new machine and required another activation. This kind of defeats the purpose of owning a PC for gaming which has the flexibility of being constantly upgraded.
“Whenever you want to reach any online service, multiplayer, you will have to be connected, and obviously for online games you will also need to be online to play. But if you want to enjoy Assassin’s Creed III single player, you will be able to do that without being connected. And you will be able to activate the game on as many machines as you want.”
I am sure this will change the minds of many PC gamers to actually buy Ubisoft games such as Assassins Creed III.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun have an interview with Ubisoft here which is a good read.