DRM has shown time after time to be of almost no hindrance whatsoever for those seeking to pirate video games, but has done an excellent job of hindering those who actually bought the game in playing what they’ve bought. Ubisoft, in particular, has had issues with this over the years, with DRM servers failing and preventing customers from playing games that can no longer ping the DRM server.
And while those instances involved unforeseen downtime or migrations impacting customers’ ability to play their games, this time it turns out that Ubisoft simply stopped supporting the DRM server for Might and Magic X-Legacy. And now basically everyone is screwed.
Last month, Ubisoft decided to end online support for a bunch of older games, but in doing so also brought down the DRM servers for Might and Magic X – Legacy, meaning players couldn’t access the game’s single-player content or DLC.
As Eurogamer reports, fans were not happy, having to cobble together an unofficial workaround to be able to continue playing past a certain point in the single-player. But instead of Ubisoft taking the intervening weeks to release something official to fix this, or reversing their original move to shut down the game’s DRM servers, they’ve decided to do something else.
They have simply removed the game for sale on Steam.
This, of course, does nothing for the people who already bought the game and now suddenly cannot progress through it completely, as all the DLC is non-functional. They can play the game up until a point, but then it just doesn’t work.
There are multiple bad actions on Ubisoft’s part here. First, using DRM like this is a terrible idea with almost no good consequences. But once it’s in use, you would think it would be the obligation of the company to ensure any changes it makes on its end don’t suddenly render purchases made by its customers unplayable. In other words, rather than ending support for a DRM server that nixes parts of a paid-for game, the company could have rolled out patches to remove the DRM completely so that none of this happened. After all, with the game no longer even available as a new purchase, what would be the harm in removing the DRM? And, of course, there’s the total lack of communication to Ubisoft customers about basically all of this.
Which is what has people so understandably pissed.